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Thread: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

  1. #1
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    Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    Having owned over a dozen Fieros over the years, I have been experiencing corrosion on the electrical wires prohibiting the tin/lead/rosin flux from tinning properly. I would assume this is a problem related to oxygen within the strands corroding the copper. I've tried acid flux, and I've heard thats nooooo good. ideas?

  2. #2

    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    if you are soldering connectors onto the wires there realy is no better way then using the flux. Once the connector is soldered you can wash flux residue with soldering flux remover. It does come in areosol can so you can clean individual connectors. When you are finished put some silicone dielectic, its like paste which will protect wires and joints from water/oxidizing/galvanizing and prevent any electrical loses.
    For splicing do the same thing just instead of the dielectric use a heat shrink tubing with sealer inside. Once shrunk the sealer will melt/activate and make water/air tight joint.

  3. #3
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    Sure, I am using a separate flux, and still the wires will not tin properly with rosin flux, unless you scrape the wires with a razor blade or somethin, then the solder will flow. I am an electonics engineer/technician, and I don't care how much flux you put on the wire beforehand, some wire just won't tin because of the corrosion on the strands.

  4. #4
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    i had the problem once and i used a wirebrush to clean them, thats all i knew to do. but yeah i know what you mean its frustrating

  5. #5
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    Hmmmm, maybe some steel wool might work prior to solder and get in between the strands. Gonna have to try that.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    I, too, have used a wire brush to successfully clean corroded wire, but it seems to me there is a cleaner that works; I'll check.

    Secondly, I feel that soldered joints in a vehicle are really wrong. Decades ago, I worked for a truck manufacturer, and they carefully wasted hours soldering the connectors between the cab and chassis. I asked why not use crimp-ons, they said that crimp-ons fail. I asked if they had records of warranty failures, and how often wiring was mentioned. Sure enough, wiring failures made up the bulk of warranty clams.

    So, I suggested that the prove the superiority of solder: they soldered one joint, I crimped one, clamped them both in a vise, and bent them back and forth. Predictably the solder joint snapped off after a few bends, the crimp held on. They said, "crimps pull apart", so I had them crimp a connector; they were dimpling the connector on the wrong side, and the wire pulled out easily. I crimped one properly, and the guy cut his hand on the wire without a failure.

    Unless a solder joint is properly supported inside a component, it has no place in a vehicle; the vibration levels are way too high for that application.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    A good soldered joint just looks better But almost all of my connectors are crimped. I do take the cheap plastic off of them and cover them with a good heat shrink.

  8. #8
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by TLyttle
    I, too, have used a wire brush to successfully clean corroded wire, but it seems to me there is a cleaner that works; I'll check.

    Secondly, I feel that soldered joints in a vehicle are really wrong. Decades ago, I worked for a truck manufacturer, and they carefully wasted hours soldering the connectors between the cab and chassis. I asked why not use crimp-ons, they said that crimp-ons fail. I asked if they had records of warranty failures, and how often wiring was mentioned. Sure enough, wiring failures made up the bulk of warranty clams.

    So, I suggested that the prove the superiority of solder: they soldered one joint, I crimped one, clamped them both in a vise, and bent them back and forth. Predictably the solder joint snapped off after a few bends, the crimp held on. They said, "crimps pull apart", so I had them crimp a connector; they were dimpling the connector on the wrong side, and the wire pulled out easily. I crimped one properly, and the guy cut his hand on the wire without a failure.

    Unless a solder joint is properly supported inside a component, it has no place in a vehicle; the vibration levels are way too high for that application.
    Vibrations usually dont affect a soldered joint, but wreak havoc on a crimped connector. Soldered connections have a better chance of failure when the connection is on a part that is allowed to move. Crimped connections are VERY vulnerable to vibrations, wether its attached to a rigid or moving piece. Crimped connectors are also subject to dielectric corrosion, where soldered connections aren't. No matter how tight a crimp is made, there are still loose strands within the connection. These connections arc when current is passed through them, causing them to gradually loosen over time, and eventually fail. With crimped connectors, it is not an question of "if" its going to fail, and always a question of "when". Go to a junkyard and tug on some of the crimped connections on the older cars, especially the connections exposed to the elements. White powder will fall from the crimped area (dielectric corosion), and the wire will be noticably loose. Soldered connections do not suffer from these issues, and if soldered properly, will provide a lifetime of reliable service.
    Without talent experience is worthless

  9. #9

    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by FerrariXXXman
    Sure, I am using a separate flux, and still the wires will not tin properly with rosin flux, unless you scrape the wires with a razor blade or somethin, then the solder will flow. I am an electonics engineer/technician, and I don't care how much flux you put on the wire beforehand, some wire just won't tin because of the corrosion on the strands.
    if you have wires at state where flux will not clean them so that the solder would flow, I normally cut the wire back to clean copper or just replace the entire length of the wire. I DO NOT like th take chances with poor wires and eventually causing wire fatigue/failure and causing electrical fire.

  10. #10
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    Re: Wire corrosion issue and fix?

    [quote=FerrariXXXman ]
    Having owned over a dozen Fieros over the years, I have been experiencing corrosion on the electrical wires prohibiting the tin/lead/rosin flux from tinning properly. I would assume this is a problem related to oxygen within the strands corroding the copper. I've tried acid flux, and I've heard thats nooooo good. ideas?
    [/quote If you are finding corrosion on your wires there is about a 100% chance that the corrosion is also up under the insulation. Once corrosion sets in the amount of amperage the wire can maintain becomes greatly reduced. In a 12volt system the farther you are from the source the higher the voltage drop. That's why you increase the size of the wire you would need to maintain amperage.As a wire becomes corroded so does it its ability to carry the power.if you are wiring into stereo equipment or any sensitive electronic parts an amperage drop could destroy your equipment. I suggest you remove the entire length of the wire and replace it with marine grade wiring. Don't use the standard stuff you buy at a hardware store or automotive shop if your getting corrosion. Switch over to good marine grade wiring and most likely you will eliminate the problem. I have a 46 ft Hatteras sportfish and all our wire connections are soldered. I am sure this gets a lot more vibration and is exposed to much harsher elements than a car being driven up and down a highway. In over 20 years of running boats we have not had a wire failure. We solder all our connections and then we use the liquid tape to paint over the connections and a final seal with shrink wrap for appearance and extra protection. We say do it right the first time and then you won't have to worry about it later!
    Electrical Connections - The most popular solder alloys used for Electrical connections are SN60 and SN63. The SN63 is eutectic and melts at 361 OF (183 OC); it has no plastic region. SN 60 is more general purpose, is less expensive, and has a very small plastic region (about 8 O F). It also has a low melting point of 361 OF. These alloys allow rapid solder time that can prevent excessive temperature being applied to the component and helps prevent "cold" and "fracture" joints. IMPORTANT: NEVER USE CORROSIVE AND/OR CONDUCTIVE FLUXES TO SOLDER ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS. Do not use acid core solder, corrosive fluxes, or conductive fluxes on electronic equipment. Use mild fluxes such as contained in rosin core solder or rosin flux.
    Also
    Make sure you are using the correct solder!

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