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Old 11-27-2000, 10:33 AM   #1
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Soldering MAF pigtail wires

I remember reading that you can't just use butt connectors to connect the 5 MAF wires to a new pigtail. You have to solder them when you connect them or somthing to this effect. What exactly needs to be done to ensure a proper reliable connection? thanks alot

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Old 11-27-2000, 01:00 PM   #2
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Yarn,

Plan ahead a bit. Get some shrink tubing to fit the individual conductors and one piec large enough to cover the entire bundle. When you cut the old connector off, slide the large heat shrink over the bundle and place it well away from the area you will be heating with the solder iron/gun. Cut the individual conductors in s ataggered arrangement so that not all the splices will be located side-by-side. Staggering the joints prevents the creation of a huge "bulb" of tape, wire, and solder in the middle of your cable, and aides insulation.

Clean wire is important. Strip back a section of wire, slide a smaller piece of heat shrink tubing over the insulation and well away from the area you will be heating. Join the two wires by gently pushing the strands together, end-to-end. The individual strands should bypass each other and splay outward a bit. Compress the strands back into a bundle to keep the connection diameter as small as possible. Time for solder.

Use paste flux as necessary to insure a good bond. Heat the joint and apply only enough solder to tin the strands and allow a little overlap. This should make a good connection. When the joint has cooled, slide the heat shrink tubing over the joint and shrink it in place. Move on to the next conductor and repeat the process until all five are done. If you planned ahead, a larger piece of heat shrink tubing was already on the wire bundle, so you can slide it into place and shrink it into place. If not, a whip of PVC electrical tape should seal it well enough to prevent problems. The MAF is located in a relatively high moisture area under the hood, so sealing is important.

Using crimp connectors will introduce resistance in the signal circuit that will almost certainly yeild a false MAF signal to the ECM. They might last for a while with no apparent problems, but will eventually degrade and cause problems. Even if you get the crimps sealed perfectly to prevent corrosion, this dissimilarity of the metals involved will eventually cause galvanic action and erosion of the joint.

Do it right the first time and you'll never have to do it again.

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[This message has been edited by Vader (edited November 29, 2000).]
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Old 11-27-2000, 01:39 PM   #3
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Yeah, do what just Vader said. Even if crimping them together with butt connectors did work, it just looks SO sloppy and unprofessional.

Radio Shack is a pretty good source for soldering supplies. A $5 30-watt soldering pencil would get the job done...but invest a few bucks and get the good stuff that you can use forever. Around $40 will get you a hand-held soldering gun rated at around 150-250 watts, and then spend a few dollars for an assortment of shrink tubing, as well as a roll of solder.

As good as Vader's instructions are, the most important thing to remember is to slide the shrink tubing onto the wire BEFORE you begin splicing and soldering.

If you do plan on using electrical tape, the ONLY kind you should get is 3M Super 33+, available at Home Depot. It's over $3 a roll, but it lasts a very long time. 50-cent electrical tape either gets hard and brittle and cracks off, or the adhesive goes bad and it peels off.

Also, depending on what you're doing, it would be nice to have some zip ties to secure the wires away from the hot engine and moving parts. Just remember not to zip-tie everything too tight; anything bolted to the engine needs an extra couple inches of wire for when the engine vibrates.
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Old 11-28-2000, 08:23 AM   #4
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Heat Shrink's cheaper from Home Depot by the way, Radio Shack tends to sell you a $5 assortment of sizes you'll never use Click the image to open in full size.


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Old 11-28-2000, 08:23 AM
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