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[oletrucks] Soldering heavy wires.

To: oletrucks@autox.team.net
Subject: [oletrucks] Soldering heavy wires.
From: Bruce Kettunen <bekett@uslink.net>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:31:17 -0600
Should be OK with a 100 W iron, though a hotter one would work a 
little better.

You should be using resin core eutectic solder, made especially for 
electronics.  You can get it at Radio Shack.  Regular flux soldered 
joints will eventually corrode when used for electrical stuff.

The trick is to tin the wire ends first.  Start with a clean iron.
The easiest way to clean an iron is to wipe it in lots of dry cotton 
cloth.  Watch so you don't burn your hand or start a fire.  Don't 
use synthetic cloth, it melts.  An old all cotton T shirt works real 

Strip the insulation away from about 1/2 inch of the end of each 
wire.  Twist the wire a little to make it a stable diameter, but 
leave it straight.

Let the iron heat up.  Hold the soldering iron under the end of wire 
and when the wire starts getting hot, touch the solder to the top 
of the wire.  When the melting temperature is reached the solder 
will melt and wick into the wire.  Get the whole wire end saturated 
in solder.  Repeat this with the other wire.

Now, use needle nosed pliers to make a hook in each wire end and 
hook them together.  Crimp the hooks with the pliers so the joint 
is mechanically tight.  Touch the iron to the joint and touch the 
solder to the other side.  You will see the joint melt first, and 
then the solder melt.  Pull the solder and iron away and don't let 
the joint move until the solder in the joint is frozen, otherwise 
you will get a cold joint.  If the joint does move and the solder 
doesn't look right (sort of granular), heat it up again and remelt 
the solder.  The joint should look metallic and smooth.

Now a little electrical tape or heat shrink tubing and you're in 

This is one way to do it and I know there are others.  It has always 
worked for me and it was the way my dad taught me when these things 
were "newtrucks".

Bruce Kettunen
57 3200
Mt. Iron, MN

At Tuesday, 27 March 2001, you wrote:

>Along the same subject line...can anyone tell me how to solder 8 
or 10 guage
>alternator wire. I am trying to install a new battery wire plug to my
>alternator (10ga or maybe 8?). I've heard not to crimp, but always 
>wires to avoid voltage drops from resistance.
>    I have a 100w soldering iron. Which type of solder should I 
be using? I
>just can't seem to get the wire hot enough to absorb the solder.
What is the
>best method for joining the two wires prior to soldering them? Big 
wire must
>take a certain touch, because I've never had any trouble with smaller
>guages. Special cleaning needed? I've tried flux and lead-free solder 
>well as the leaded variety. 
>    Thanks in ADvance!!
>        Tim in Ft Worth
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:        THE BROWNS [SMTP:armory@swbell.net]
>> Sent:        Monday, March 26, 2001 5:21 PM
>> To:  Willard, Andrew; oletrucks@autox.team.net
>> Subject:     Re: [oletrucks] electrical harness
>> I have a kit that will be going in soon.  It is a Kwik Wire.  It has
>> colored
>> and labeled wires, 3 pigtail connectors on the harness, an on 
/off toggle
>> switch on the block, and GXL grade wire(was told this is step 
above modern
>> >
>> > The wiring on my 50 3100 is mostly original and a mess.  Blinkers,
>> > gas gauge, gauge lights etc don't work.  Therefore I think I'm 
best off
>> > to replace the whole harness.  However I'd also need to include 
the CB
>> > and stereo etc.  I wouldn't mind having a fuse box to run some 
of these
>> > items through.
>> > My understanding is that some of the harnesses are better quality 
>> > others.
>> >
>> > Does anyone have a name brand harness that they would recommend,
>> > where did you get it from?  Does it come with good instructions?
>> >
>> > Thanks, Sam  1950 3100
>oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959

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