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#714112 - 11/06/17 10:32 pm Soldering Taillight ground  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 220
AML Online content
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AML  Online Content
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Posts: 220
NYC & Upstate NY
Hi,
The ground wire on my Lucas taillight broke and I'm trying to resolder a new ground wire between the socket and base. I really don't know much of anything about soldering and haven't done anything but solder bullets connectors on wire ends.
The problem I'm having is I can't get enough heat into the base, I think. I tried pieces of wet sponge held with clothespin to localize the heat and I've used a 250w gun which didn't give enough heat, as well as a small propane torch.
I'm using 60/40 with a rosin core.
Does anyone's have any tips they could share?
Thanks,
Adam
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#714115 - 11/06/17 10:53 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,512
DMadigan Online content
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DMadigan  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2004
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ca, us
You need to wet the tip of the iron with solder to make better thermal contact. Get a bit of solder on the copper rivet first before trying to attach the braided cable. Clean off the rivet with Scotchbrite or fine emery to take off the corrosion. Minimize heat transfer off the part when soldering.

#714121 - 11/07/17 12:23 am Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Feb 2008
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Tridentman Online content
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New Jersey USA
To solder properly requires two things. Firstly the item has to be at the right temperature and secondly it has to be clean.
Using a wet sponge to "localize" the heat will have the opposite effect.
For that job you need a soldering iron of at least 60 watts to get enough heat into the parts.
And throw away the sponge and the water.
Resin cored solders are only of any use for soldering small electrical connections which are relatively clean and new.
For your job--involving parts which have been knocking around for 40+ years you need a more aggressive flux.
Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get a tin of plumbers flux.
This is more aggressive and will clean the surface of the parts to be soldered.
With the parts cleaned by flux and the parts at a high enough temperature the solder will "wet" the surface and flow.
Put flux on the parts.
Dip the end of the iron into the flux then place the end of the solder stich against the iron and you will have wetted the iron.
Then apply the iron to the parts and at the same time feed in the solder stick.
You should find that the solder flows and joins the two parts together.
It is a skill--but not a difficult one to learn.
Many years ago I was Chief Engineer of a large vehicle radiator manufacturing plant in UK when radiators were made of copper and brass and soldered together-- so perhaps I remember a little bit about it!
HTH

#714132 - 11/07/17 1:27 am Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 220
AML Online content
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AML  Online Content
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NYC & Upstate NY
Dave & Richard,
Thanks for the hints!
I will have a go again when I am up with the bikes this coming weekend.
Adam

#714206 - 11/07/17 6:24 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,580
quinten Online content
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quinten  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,580
Pacific northwest

I wouldn't try to solder/repair The old connection together.
soldered connections, subject to the vibrations, need a mechanical component, like a hook or hole
for the wire to wrap around or through
( like the soldered end at the bulb holder )
this way the solder is not doing all the work but is supporting the mechanical.

examine why that point failed in the first place.
the flexibility of the braid met with rigidity of the connection.
it lasted years, but failures at these points are somewhat predictable

your repair needs to be as good or better than the original.
not just sticking it back together with a dab of solder.

the braid needs more support then mere contact through the solder point.
it should, at the minimum, hook through a hole to add some mechanical hold

what I would consider doing is , crimping a new ring terminal to the braid.
drill out the old rivet and use the old hole, your new ring terminal and a small bolt. ..for your ground point

.. or if the braid is long enough.
drill a hole through the rivet large enough to insert the braid.
tin the rivet, tin the braid
hook the tinned braid through the hole.
heat the assembly up with your Big Iron.
when the assembly is hot enough the tinned parts will liquefy
and at this point you can add extra solder

#714268 - 11/08/17 1:46 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 220
AML Online content
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AML  Online Content
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NYC & Upstate NY
Hi Quinten,
I had thought of a small ring terminal, because I couldn't solder it. I will drill a suitable hole in the plate as you suggested but I'm going to try to develop a new skill and hopefully the wire connections will last. The taillight might be the 50 year old original? And if my work doesn't last that long you've armed me with an alternative.
Thanks for the ideas

#714276 - 11/08/17 3:37 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,048
Tridentman Online content
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Tridentman  Online Content

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New Jersey USA
A proper soldered joint is quite strong and perfectly adequate for this application.
The old one has lasted 50 years----if AMLs repair lasts another 50 years then he probably wont be around to complain about it!

#714369 - 11/09/17 12:58 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Oct 2012
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Hillbilly bike Online content
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Hillbilly bike  Online Content
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Running from demons in WNY
As mentioned above, you may need to apply soldier to terminal and the braided wire separately....Then hold the soldered parts together while applying heat.The braided wire is very hard to soldier if it gets crud in the braiding that seems difficult to clean out.. ..On stuff like that I often ignore the original wire and terminal and soldier a short length of new wire to the metal lamp socket and ground point........And too much heat is as bad as not enough..


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#714519 - 11/10/17 5:32 pm Re: Soldering Taillight ground [Re: AML]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,581
Adam M. Online content
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Adam M.  Online Content
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Posts: 1,581
Mississauga, Ontario.
I had constant problems with this connection when trying to solder it, finally attached electric connector with a ring to a braid wire and put it under a bolt holding plastic part of the lamp to the bracket.
End of problems.


Moderated by  Alan_nc 


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