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Old 12-01-2007, 02:09 PM   #1
Lil Earle OP
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Cleaning electrical connectors

How does one properly clean the blade type connectors? I have sprayed contact cleaner down in them but there appears to be a varnish on them. They are not nice and shiny. I can clean the blades up using a small points file. But the socket leaves me stumped. Maybe I am just trying too hard but I just feel they need to be shiny like when you clean your battery terminals.

Thanks
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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actually what works really well apart from getting some sandpaper down there is to make sure its a pretty snug connection, by closing the female's tabs a bit. because a lot of the female connector's assured metal-to-metal contact is through its two leaves, does this make sense? they are what hold the male spade in, so that where assured contact should be.

put some dielectric grease on everything.

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Old 12-02-2007, 12:40 AM   #3
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+1 on the dielectric grease. maybe 90% of the time, one has to contend with merely crimping/tightening the connections as there is no other option.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Earle
How does one properly clean the blade type connectors? Maybe I am just trying too hard but I just feel they need to be shiny like when you clean your battery terminals.
It's true that a tight connection can make a big difference, but I've also been stumped on this one. I've tried Tarnex, contact cleaner, carb cleaner and various other things and even though they clean they didn't leave the contacts shiny.

Scraping with some sort of blade will make it brighter, but I also don't want to remove or compromise any plating that may be left.

What to do?
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:17 AM   #5
Lil Earle OP
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I was told by a friend that using a small eyeglass screwdriver you can reach the little tab that holds the wire in its plastic case. You push down on the tab and the wire and connector come out. You can then clean it or replace it, as replacements are available. He took a six pin connector apart in about 15 seconds.

Thanks,
Earle
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:17 AM   #6
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jewlers files are cheap and work good too
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
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I'm aware of some fiat restorers who use acid (muriatic, I think) to clean up old connectors, but I think I recall that their practice is to replate them afterward, because the acid removes any protective coatings that may have been there before.

My practice is simply to squeeze the female connector (with pliers, or with my teeth) so it grips the spade terminal tighter, then slide it on and off a few times. You will see nice shiny lines on the spade where the female connector grips it, assuring you a good connection there, though the rest of the connector stays dull. Of course, the rest of the connector is not making contact anyway.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:07 PM   #8
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http://store.caig.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2346/.f

http://store.caig.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2...2&category=185
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:38 PM   #9
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Cool2 Use a dedicated contact cleaner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Earle
How does one properly clean the blade type connectors?
I use contact cleaner for electronic applications. For normal maintenance - i.e. pretty well preserved contacts - it's just a tiny little fog of "Kontakt 61". Seriously corroded contacts get "Kontakt 60" first, after a few hours I wash this out (using brake cleaner or "Kontakt WL"), then a tiny little bit of "Kontakt 61" as above.

(The stuff was made by "Kontakt Chemie", now CRC KONTAKT. Disclaimer: I'm not married with that company , I just have 10+ years of positive experience with their stuff )

I never use any dielectric grease for contact cleaning: by definition, this stuff has isolating properties, so it should only be applied after the connection is made. Applying this grease will prevent the corrosion that air & moisture cause, but then, almost any grease - Vaseline - will do the job.

I never use WD-40 either - it's good as a penetrating oil to wash crud and water out, but it's not a contact cleaner in the sense that it could remove oxidation.
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Joerg screwed with this post 12-04-2007 at 01:09 PM
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:37 PM   #10
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I live across the street from the pacific ocean
oxidation is a way of life around here.

The best ways I've found to clean connections is
I hit them with a little WD40 or Kroil
Then use some fine like 1000 grit wet or dry
If it's a male connection post connection I use a peice of dowel that I drilled a small hole into. I use the dowel with a touch of metal polish on the end
Works like a charm.

Once all the oxidization is gone then I clean out the plugs with some contact cleaner (the non residue kind)
Apply some goop like dielectric grease or some petroleum jelly.
Then it's done. Works like a charm. Keeps the wet out and the special smoke in
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:31 AM   #11
Lee Keller King
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I realize this is an old topic, but someone still might have an interest.

I am troublshooting electrical problems in my 1982 CB650SC Nighthawk and I hope to tackle the Regulator/Rectifier connections this weekend.

This is from Tony Weeks' website: www.oregonmotorcycleparts.com.


Lee




"How to clean and replace connectors."

http://www.oregonmotorcycleparts.com...ionRepair.html

This page is to be used along with my instructions for installing terminals with my CR1
crimper. While other crimpers can be used the information on the terminal installation page
is still very useful.

Most electrical be it charging or ignition problems on old motorcycle can be traced to dirty
corroded or burnt connections. When a pair of connecting terminals corrode, it takes more
power to bridge the connection and the power lost becomes heat that more often than not
melts the plugs. If your bike has a mysterious charging system or ignition problem, more
likely than not, it's in the connections.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Earle
How does one properly clean the blade type connectors? I have sprayed contact cleaner down in them but there appears to be a varnish on them. They are not nice and shiny. I can clean the blades up using a small points file. But the socket leaves me stumped. Maybe I am just trying too hard but I just feel they need to be shiny like when you clean your battery terminals.

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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What about concentrated lemon juice? like what you get in little squeezy bottles, and dip the whole connector in it and let it soak for a whille, it sure makes coins nice and shiney......





White Vinegar is another, baking soda mixed with water.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:49 PM   #13
squish
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Wow zombie thread...
Anyway in my experience
Mild acid works for mild corrosion, or you could leave it on for a longer period of time.

Another word of caution, some contact cleaners are really hard on plastics
Like the kind of plastics that plugs are made of, or insulation, or body work.

I tossed out a can becasue while it cleaned a metal to metal contact pretty well.
It destroyed anything rubber, plastic that it touched.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:50 AM   #14
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be sure to hit wit dielectric grease afterwards too once it's clean
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:17 AM   #15
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+10 on dialectic grease.

Once you have the connector clean, just a dab will do you. Put on blade and plug in; All my BMWs and old VWs electrical connections are that way. Once done, they usually stay working for a long, long time.

One tube of dialectic grease has lasted me about 5 years give or take. It doesn't take much.
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