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How to Solder - Making a Good Connection

One of the most frustrating problems to deal with in maintaining our vintage VWs is its electrical problems. Most electrical problems are due to either a bad component or bad connections. Before we start spending money on expensive components, let's take care of our connections. First let’s look at the wire ends. Sometimes the wire end is only hanging by a few strands.

The wire ends come in different sizes to match the size of wire we are repairing. Always use the right size end for a good fit.

Use a good crimping tool for a tight fit. There are several types that work fine.

For a trouble-free permanent connection solder the end to the wire. Soldering may sound like a lot of trouble, but it is very easy once you know how. You must first get the right kind of solder. Acid core solder is for soldering copper pipe, not wire.
Rosin core solder is what you need.
The rosin is a flux that makes the solder stick much better. You can buy extra rosin in a tube.
A regular soldering gun can be purchased at radio shack or anywhere that sells electrical supplies. They work the best.
Never use wire cutters to strip the wire. There are several types of wire strippers.
Start by heating the wire and the end,
then feed the solder into the needed area.
The end can then be covered with heat shrink tubing
or even painted with an insulation to prevent future corrosion.
Soldering is always preferred for a wire splice. After stripping the wire ends twist them together.
To simplify the job, you can cut a length of solder and wrap it around the twisted connection.
Then heat with the soldering gun.
If you're using heat shrink tubing, be sure to slip it over the wire first.

Going to the trouble to make good electrical connections will save you many headaches in the future.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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