Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

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Chief
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Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Chief » Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:15 pm

Hi,
I have electrical gremlins and reckon I need to give as many connectors as I can a good clean. Earlier I tried pulling the right indicator bullet connectors apart, but they seem to be somewhat rusted in place.

Is plus-gas safe on electrical connectors, will it affect the rubber in anyway etc? Naturally the battery is all unplugged but I wondered if there was any residue to be worried about, and if so, what alternatives there were to get the rust to break.

Thanks :)

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby MCYorks » Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:20 pm

Personally, I find the connectors are quite difficult to clean if they have significant corrosion. As new connectors are cheap enough I would be tempted to replace them, but you still have to get them apart :wink:
I've used Plus-gas or WD40 to help release seized bullet connectors, but believe they can both degrade rubber over time, so I always cleaned it off promptly. Also a good idea to check the earth points and bulb holders if you're having problems. Hope you get rid of those gremlins.

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Chief » Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:01 pm

MCYorks wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:20 pm
I've used Plus-gas or WD40 to help release seized bullet connectors, but believe they can both degrade rubber over time, so I always cleaned it off promptly.
Thanks for the reply and that's good to hear.

The bullet connectors are still the originals, and they used to come apart easily enough.

My main worry was fire risk from any residue more than the rubber perishing (they're doing well for 47 years) though I was worried they'd end up doing a repeat of my spilt plusgas on my body stonechip (it melted instantly with plus-gas).

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby MCYorks » Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:45 pm

Chief wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:01 pm
The bullet connectors are still the originals, and they used to come apart easily enough.

My main worry was fire risk from any residue more than the rubber perishing (they're doing well for 47 years) though I was worried they'd end up doing a repeat of my spilt plusgas on my body stonechip (it melted instantly with plus-gas).
Not sure what they use for body stonechip, but I suspect it's a very different type of 'rubber' to the electrical connectors.

Overheating connectors could pose a fire risk, which is likely to be increased of there's a flammable penetrating fluid on them. Just ensure you give them a good clean before refitting... if they're still serviceable of course. Nice to keep the originals if you can.

I once had the dip-switch bullet connectors corrode, overheat and melt the rubber, before I realised there was a problem :-? Fortunately they didn't catch fire, but I keep a closer eye on the connectors nowadays, especially those that carry a lot of power.

oliver90owner
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby oliver90owner » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:30 am

Far better to check the continuity resistance and ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ or ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ unless the connectors are high resistance or ones which need to be disconnected regularly, IMO. That or replace them.

Overheating risks depend on the current load and fuse rating. A connection to a 5W bulb is unlikely to be a fire risk, for instance, as the current would be reduced further with a high resistance connection.

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Bowie69 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:19 pm

Very little chance of ignition -in fact you would likely be much better off packing the connectors with vaseline, keeps dirt, water at bay, and stops corrosion because of it, which after all is the only reason it would go high resistance.

Vaseline is used widely in electrical connectors all over the world, so you would be in good company.

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby geoberni » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:42 pm

Chief wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:15 pm
Hi,
I have electrical gremlins and reckon I need to give as many connectors as I can a good clean. Earlier I tried pulling the right indicator bullet connectors apart, but they seem to be somewhat rusted in place.

Is plus-gas safe on electrical connectors, will it affect the rubber in anyway etc? Naturally the battery is all unplugged but I wondered if there was any residue to be worried about, and if so, what alternatives there were to get the rust to break.

Thanks :)
What sort of Gremlins?
Whilst good preventive measures are recommended in ensuring the connectors don't deteriorate, it's equally true that jumping in with both feet could end up causing more problems, if you go disturbing perfectly good connections and don't get them back together properly.

Don't think that because a can of Spray has a Flammable Warning on the back that it applies to the residue, it's often relating to the propellant in the can being Butane.
I've got these 3 cans in the garage, only the K2 is a petrol like liquid that gives off flammable vapour at regular temperatures, it's about 11C outside at the moment.

Trust me, I just went out and tested all 3 and only the small quantity of K2 ignited. 8) :lol:
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Chief
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Chief » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:56 pm

geoberni wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:42 pm
What sort of Gremlins?
Rear Passenger side indicator doesn't work, all other lights at the rear work. The bulb is fine.
Front Passenger side head lamp doesn't work, limited access at the time meant I couldn't investigate further. All other front lights work.
Connectors however do look a tad unclean is sofar as you can see.

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby geoberni » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:28 pm

That's not much of a problem.
To me, Gremlins implies weird stuff like wrong indicators flashing, or brake light flashing when the indicators work.
These are just a couple of non functioning lamps.
I'm going to take a guess that the car is post 63 and not a Traveller, so a common earth for the rear light unit.
A Multimeter would be useful to check if there is power getting to the rear Indicator Bulb contact.
Basically be methodical in working your way along the circuit, don't pull apart more than you need to.
As for the front, again a Multimeter is a good friend in such circumstances, checking out the power line and the earth.
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby oliver90owner » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:18 pm

But do note that voltage at zero current is not a measure of much at all. You would find virtually supply voltage at both sides of even a one kilo-Ohm resistor, if there is no current flowing (actual reading would depend on the impedance of the meter, of course, but any decent digital multimeter would likely be presenting an impedance of MOhms).

Chief
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Chief » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:19 pm

geoberni wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:28 pm
I'm going to take a guess that the car is post 63
Although it's registered as '64, it's a late '63 with the combined lights.

I forgot to mention that I need to pull apart the connectors anyway for wiring in my tow bar electrics as I refuse to scotch-lok my wiring :D (but you're right, I should have tested with a multimeter but I so rarely use one these days I forgot I even had one :) )

geoberni
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby geoberni » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:36 am

oliver90owner wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:18 pm
But do note that voltage at zero current is not a measure of much at all. You would find virtually supply voltage at both sides of even a one kilo-Ohm resistor, if there is no current flowing (actual reading would depend on the impedance of the meter, of course, but any decent digital multimeter would likely be presenting an impedance of MOhms).
But there's more than one way to use a multimeter, such as checking resistance across a pair of bullet connectors.
Most checks can be done far quicker than the time it takes to try and write the instruction on how to do them.
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oliver90owner
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby oliver90owner » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:13 am

I only mentioned that because it is a common failure mode for many amateur DMM users.🙂

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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby jagnut66 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:58 pm

1954 Series 2: 4 door: "Sally" -- on axle stands needing more welding......
1955 Series 2: Traveller: "Elsie May" -- on the road and enjoying her 'as is' for now but I see work ahead......
1970 Triumph Herald 1200: "Hetty" -- driven back from Llangollen in Wales

Chief
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby Chief » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:13 pm

Am I right that those brass connectors need soldering on?

jagnut66
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby jagnut66 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:20 pm

Am I right that those brass connectors need soldering on?
You can do, I sometimes do but not always, even then I just cut the wire off level with the tip and melt some solder into the hole.
So not difficult or too time consuming.
Best wishes,
Mike.
1954 Series 2: 4 door: "Sally" -- on axle stands needing more welding......
1955 Series 2: Traveller: "Elsie May" -- on the road and enjoying her 'as is' for now but I see work ahead......
1970 Triumph Herald 1200: "Hetty" -- driven back from Llangollen in Wales

geoberni
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby geoberni » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:43 pm

oliver90owner wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:13 am
I only mentioned that because it is a common failure mode for many amateur DMM users.🙂
Yep, it's hard to try and pass on knowledge that results from having received hours or weeks of training in just a few sentences.
Understanding the problems that poor, high resistance, earth paths can cause is a hard one to get across.
When it comes to cars, things like the quality of the earth strap connection, engine to chassis.
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geoberni
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby geoberni » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:08 pm

Chief wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:13 pm
Am I right that those brass connectors need soldering on?
There is a Crimp Tool that can be used, they sell for upwards of £25, but quite honestly, many of the retailers say:
NOTE: For an extra secure crimp we recommend running a little solder into the end of the terminal once crimped.
So what's the point....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142151819683

Personally, I'm not that precious about the 'Lucas' uninsulated bullets and I use the PIDG style, pre-insulated ones, with an appropriate ratchet crimp tool.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353176114215
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jagnut66
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby jagnut66 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:42 pm

That crimp tool is what I use, works fine for me, sometimes with solder too but mostly without.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142151819683
Along with a fitting tool for inserting them into the connectors:
https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead ... kAQ&adurl=
And for stripping off the sheathing:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124670130076 ... %3A2334524
To my mind the brass bullets are as good as spade terminals and I like the lucas style look but, as long as you end up with a good connection, it's a case of whatever you prefer.
Best wishes,
Mike.
1954 Series 2: 4 door: "Sally" -- on axle stands needing more welding......
1955 Series 2: Traveller: "Elsie May" -- on the road and enjoying her 'as is' for now but I see work ahead......
1970 Triumph Herald 1200: "Hetty" -- driven back from Llangollen in Wales

oliver90owner
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Re: Seperating rusty bullet connectors?

Postby oliver90owner » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:09 am

If soldering, one should not get solder on the stranded section of the wire beyond the connector - as that, according to the experts, can lead to fractures due to vibration.


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