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Re: Solder vs. Crimp (a long and opinionated reply)

In a message dated 5/10/99 10:02:04 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
avi@cosmoslink.net writes:

<< Come on Mike........... Admit it, solder is better than crimping, "no way 
in hell" crimping will make a better electrical connection.......makes no 
sense! >>

Hi Avi,

Yeah okay...all things being equal, IMO the "electrical" connection IS better 
off soldered in most cases. The "mechanical" connection is much more of a 
concern when soldering (to splice broken wires) though and that is where 
proper attention to detail and taking the time to ensure proper workmanship 
come into play (hello dealer service departments?).

I read the article last night in the quarterly and it is a verbatum copy of 
the Audi TSB regarding a factory "repair kit" which contains a high quality 
crimping tool and waterproof butt connectors in three wire gauge sizes (the 
good marine use types that I use on my boat). For a dealer service dept. this 
is most likely the best way to ensure quality control on repairs from a 
manufacturer's standpoint.

I do know of a very good local independent Volvo shop who, rather than 
install new looms on the problem child 80's DL series engine wiring, remove 
the old loom, lay it out on a workbench and rebuild it. For all repairs and 
insertion of new lengths of wire, they do use solder and heatshrink along 
with tie wraps for strain relief except at the connectors where new crimped 
fittings are required. Their repaired looms definately outlast the new 
factory looms (which typically have problems in about 60k miles) for a 
fraction of the cost and they take great pride in their workmanship. This in 
a town where all old Volvos come to seemingly never die ;-) so they do this 
job often. This is one example where good workmanship, solder and heatshrink 
is better than "factory advice" but I know first hand that the electrical 
systems in the Volvo 240 series make Audis look overbuilt--if that were 

There really was nothing wrong with the quarterly article other than I 
seriously doubt anyone is going to rush out and buy the factory repair kit. 
Without the kit the article is kinda meaningless. 

BTW, Weller pyro pen butane soldering irons work great, and they have a hot 
air tip for surface mount component R&R...oops, that's another type of repair 
work I do.

Mike Veglia
87 5kcstq