Aside fron the obvious advantage of spade connectors (ease of disconnection) are there any other advantages, disadvatages of one over the other?
I'm installing a new harness this winter as my ignition and battery lead wires are getting extremely brittle......just a matter of time before my electric system loses its integrity.
I had an issue this past summer with a spade connector loosening on my coil and giving me no spark (Boyer). After almost loosening a tooth on the side of the road crimping my spade in the dark so I could get home, I'm thinking about soldering/crimping ring connectors on the coil leads and using the posts and nuts...
Anyone have any issues with this setup? Not good due to vibrations, etc......?
Thanks in advance,
'77 T140J "Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?
"The paying customer is always right."
Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
JubeePrince, With the spade connectors, I've found that the double u's on the female tend to open up, hence the conn. loosens. I've had to tighten many of them, even when not on vibrating machinery. I think it's age and heating and cooling that spreads them. With rings, I take and cut out a small section of the ring at the leading edge, just enough to slip over the post. Tom ;-D
Tom D. 1967 T120R Bonneville Anyone know of a place that sells Loctite by the quart?
#104641 - 11/03/069:54 amRe: Ring Connectors vs. Spade Connectors?
Joined: Oct 2004 Posts: 4,429Tiger
BritBike Forum member
JP - All the data I've seen says that spade connectors are much better. (Second only to wire-wrap.) Yes, they will loosen, but only one at a time. Ring lugs have lots of problems, especially since multiple connections are sometimes piled on a single post, so that when the fastener loosens connection is lost to all the wires.
Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
RF Whatley Cornelia, GA
"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#104643 - 11/03/063:28 pmRe: Ring Connectors vs. Spade Connectors?
I just changed over to ring connectors on the coils on our 2 T140s, firstly because the spades were vibrating off, and secondly because theres not much room in the coil area on a T140 and I didn't like the sharp angles the wires going to the coils were bent at with the tall spade connectors. I'd like to hear more about the problems with ring connectors, seems like a little loctite could prevent the fastener from loosening. BTW, I got some really nice connectors from www.britishwiring.com
Will S. BSAs: '66 & '69 Lightning Triumphs: '68 TR6R, '68 Bonneville, '73 TR7, '55 6T '71 Norton Commando
IMHO, either connection is fine. A small squeeze of silicone seal will secure the nut holding the ring terminals in place, and insulate the connection too. The spades can be tightened carefully, and all connections should be first cleaned,as with a wire brush, then given a light coat of grease designed for electrical terminations.
It's known as Noalox, and is available at most big box stores, electrical supply stores, and hardware stores. This will also make the bullet connectors fron Lucas work as they should, and last for as long as we'll worry about it.
I did all the connections on my Commando harness this way, and now the turn signals will blink at an idle.
Hugh: Proof the Dodo is not extinct 1964 Bonneville A couple others
#104646 - 11/03/066:00 pmRe: Ring Connectors vs. Spade Connectors?
Joined: May 2005 Posts: 112liaison
BritBike Forum member
This from a recent Coast Guard Auxiliary publication on this subject: "Crimp wire connectors should be of the ring or captive spade type rather than spade-type connectors. Captive connectors are less likely to be disconnected by vibration." Captive spade connectors are sometimes called flanged spade connectors. The ends of the "spade arms" (for want of a better term) are bent so they won't slide out if the fastener loosens slightly. Personally I use ring terminals.
I see three considerations here. The first two, the ring connector wins hands down.
1. Ring connectors are better physical connections, I.E. they stay put better. 2. They have more physical contact area, thus are better electrical connections as well.
My third consideration has to do with ease of maintenance. I like to be able to troubleshoot electrical probs without using wrenches or screwdrivers so IMHO, with Lucas electrics, the spade connectors win hands down. I solder them on the wires and used shrink wrap on both male and female and leave enough shrink material to overlap a little. That way, I can disconnect without wrenches, screwdrivers or wire cutters, connect a meter, fix the problem and reconnect.
My .02, Bernie
'Never argue with an idiot, they'll bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience'
There are good blade connectors and there are better ones. Some have a "tooth" in the middle to better grab the blade. Some have two sets of clamps, one for the bare wire and one for the insulation. Most are ok as long as they're not 40 years old, and you can tighten up the terminals with pliers if they feel loose going on. If you buy those they sell in automotive stores with the ugly plastic insulators, discard the insulator, crimp and solder the terminal, and use shrink tube to insulate.
Sometimes the connectivity problem is between the wire and the terminal, rather than between the terminal and the blade. This can be avoided by using a good crimper and/or by soldering.
Someone above mentioned British Wiring. When I wired my '66 A65, I bought all the wire and connectors from them. Among the connectors I bought were blade connectors with the clear rubbery boots, just like the originals. They also have the original-type inline snap connectors, which are also nice if they're new (the metal inside the couplers corrodes, weakens, and breaks after 25-30 years) - the couplers are black, slender, and inconspicuous, and the terminals will fit through any hole that the wire will fit through, facilitating disassembly if that should be required. There are two types of snap terminals available, crimp-on and solder-on. In lieu of having the correct crimper, I opted for the solder-on type. These are best soldered with a torch, and again, a bit of shrink tubing right behind the terminal gives you something to grab with the pliers should it become necessary to disconnect.
Please refer to Mark Z's post above for the proper way to handle this deal. Anytime I look under a seat and see the rainbow of Lucar connectors it tells me that if not now then very soon some attention will be needed here. And it looks unprofessional . There are certainly better ways to wire a bike than that.
Bullet connectors can be saved from an old harness very easily. Put the entire end of the harness with the bullets on it in a vise and grab each bullet with a pair of needle nose pliers. Hit it with a torch and it will pop off easily. Tap it on the vise to dump the old solder and go on to the next. They can then be re-soldered on to whatever you need them for. Very simple and if soldered properly won't ever come off.
,_o _ -\_<, (*)/'(*)
#104653 - 11/04/064:23 pmRe: Ring Connectors vs. Spade Connectors?
Joined: Feb 2006 Posts: 221gearhead1951
BritBike Forum member
I always use insulated male and female spade connectors so there is no chance of shorting. Always twist your wires and then solder them before crimping. Buy one of those $100 professional crimp tools and then crimp away. Your local Lowes or Home Dept etc. should have what you need.
"Always twist your wires and then solder them before crimping"
I often find, that if I have the right connector for the wire I am using, twisting the wires makes it impossible to put the wire into the connector. Then the thought is to get the next size connector, which the wire will be loose in and the crimp ineffectual.
I like any connection done in a professional manner. It seems when I look at some of the wiring jobs on these motorcycles some are a bit more professional than others.
Now soldering can make a good connection, but one must remember vibration. If you heat the connector too much you will harden the copper wire a 1/4" or so away from the connector. Then you will most assuredly end up with a perfect connection and a broken wire at the most inappropriate time.
This is where shrink wrap saves the guy with the 1,000 watt soldering iron. A piece slipped over the crimp connector and extending back an inch or so, the bending caused by vibration is moved away from the point where you hardened the wire as you soldered it. This works well with crimp connectors also.
"Guess John H. was right....that vibration is not character, it's balance factor!! "
I have been looking for that illusive balance factor for 40 years...
#104656 - 11/05/0612:35 amRe: Ring Connectors vs. Spade Connectors?
Joined: Aug 2005 Posts: 1,145Vox Teardrop
BritBike Forum member