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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first attempts at soldering have been doing things on the bike. I must be missing something because it seems to be really difficult to get it right. Alot of the time the solder wants to just flake off and not stick. It shouldn't be this hard. It took me about 3 hours to solder 6 or 8 wires for the digital speedo I'm mounting this afternoon.

Kfox
 

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Are you heating the joint with the iron and letting the solder flow into it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you heating the joint with the iron and letting the solder flow into it?
I've tried both. I was afraid to heat the joint up too much because someone told me you could melt the wire if you're not carefull and those wires are really small.

Kfox
 

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as good soldering gun helps. you have to make sure the solder melts from heating what you re trying to sloder. In your case heat the wires, and touch the solder to the wires. the heat from the wires will draw the solder into them. Just be careful not to melt the sleeves.
 
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Sounds like you copper wire is not clean, or is getting dirty from the heat.

Using flux cored wire is a start, but I always use Resin Flux on the wires as well.

Also the tip of the iron must be kept clean at all times.

I clean my iron/pen with a sponges soaked with water, than dip the hot tip in the flux and recoat it with solder.

It's all about CLEAN - flux helps clean, and keep clean the wire for the solder to flow properly.

Proper technique is needed as well. Use the iron to heat the wire, use the heated wire to melt the solder. You can 'help' the process a bit by hitting the iron&wire with a bit of solder but not too much.

If you put the iron against the wire, then flow the solder over the iron tip and the wire is not properly heated you end up with a 'cold' solder joint that may well fail down the road.

WARNING - COVER EVERYTHING ON THE BIKE UNDER AND NEAR WHERE YOU ARE SOLDERING WITH A HEAVY CLOTH BLANKET
 
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ALSO - are the wires in a good MECHANICAL CONNECTION first?

You know - twist the two wires together you want soldered together.

The following pic will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Note-IMO the depicted joint is sloppy, but you can see the wires twisted together.




Maybe this pic is better ......


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like you copper wire is not clean, or is getting dirty from the heat.

Using flux cored wire is a start, but I always use Resin Flux on the wires as well.

Also the tip of the iron must be kept clean at all times.

I clean my iron/pen with a sponges soaked with water, than dip the hot tip in the flux and recoat it with solder.

It's all about CLEAN - flux helps clean, and keep clean the wire for the solder to flow properly.

Proper technique is needed as well. Use the iron to heat the wire, use the heated wire to melt the solder. You can 'help' the process a bit by hitting the iron&wire with a bit of solder but not too much.

If you put the iron against the wire, then flow the solder over the iron tip and the wire is not properly heated you end up with a 'cold' solder joint that may well fail down the road.

WARNING - COVER EVERYTHING ON THE BIKE UNDER AND NEAR WHERE YOU ARE SOLDERING WITH A HEAVY CLOTH BLANKET
O.K. this makes some sense. I remember the first few didn't seem that hard, but now the tip has solder on it that didn't want to come off and I didn't know how to get it off. I also didn't know about flux. This should help.

ALSO - are the wires in a good MECHANICAL CONNECTION first?

You know - twist the two wires together you want soldered together.
I did the best I could to twist them together but the wires are very small and there's not much room to work with on the bike side. They did leave much length on them from the factory.

Kfox
 
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Get the excess solder off the tip - you want the tip shiny but not loaded with solder - that could cause cold solder joints - these cold joints love to come apart under vibration stress.


After you solder the wires you can and should clean off the fux. Use ACETONE, if you dont have any you can use Fingernail Polish Remover.

DO NOT DRIP THE SOLVENT ANYWHER - it eats paint and plastic.

I take a cloth wet with solvent and wipe off the joints
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I guess you would suggest I redo what just took me so long so that I don't break down after I get everything back together with new custom paint and everything? Great.

Kfox
 

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Or.......


You can come up to Chucks house (aka Easyriders) house this saturday and I can wire it for you.

We're having a tech session. Let me know if you're interested and I'll ping you the address & directions
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Or.......


You can come up to Chucks house (aka Easyriders) house this saturday and I can wire it for you.

We're having a tech session. Let me know if you're interested and I'll ping you the address & directions
Dammitt. I would defenitely be there, but I have no tins. I shipped everything to BD's Tuesday.

Kfox
 

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Kfox said:
Or.......


You can come up to Chucks house (aka Easyriders) house this saturday and I can wire it for you.

We're having a tech session. Let me know if you're interested and I'll ping you the address & directions
Dammitt. I would defenitely be there, but I have no tins. I shipped everything to BD's Tuesday.

Kfox
Ahhhhh...
 

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harcosparky said:
ALSO - are the wires in a good MECHANICAL CONNECTION first?

You know - twist the two wires together you want soldered together.

The following pic will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Note-IMO the depicted joint is sloppy, but you can see the wires twisted together.




Maybe this pic is better ......


Nice post sparky. :wink:
 
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Thanks - but for the pics I give credit to Google.

I was gonna make a few solder joint ... good & bad for comparison ... photo them and post but that would take too much time.

I was trained in soldering for the military back in the 70's and post retirement I went to work for a contractor who did work for NASA. I used to 'think' I knew how to solder, but getting certified for NASA projects showed me lots of new things.

But most important when soldering .... CLEAN COPPER & GOOD MECHANICAL JOINT.

Working in tight spaces, such as a bike harness can be challenging ... but you should see some of the places I have soldered in .... Imagine soldering wires and components so small you have to use a Microscope! :shock:

Just glad I could pass along some useful info! :D
 

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harcosparky said:
Thanks - but for the pics I give credit to Google.

I was gonna make a few solder joint ... good & bad for comparison ... photo them and post but that would take too much time.

I was trained in soldering for the military back in the 70's and post retirement I went to work for a contractor who did work for NASA. I used to 'think' I knew how to solder, but getting certified for NASA projects showed me lots of new things.

But most important when soldering .... CLEAN COPPER & GOOD MECHANICAL JOINT.

Working in tight spaces, such as a bike harness can be challenging ... but you should see some of the places I have soldered in .... Imagine soldering wires and components so small you have to use a Microscope! :shock:

Just glad I could pass along some useful info! :D
I learned from my dad who worked on the Gemini and Apollo.
 

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Clean soldering iron. Clean wires. Good mechanical joints. And most important, the right wattage soldering iron.

I can solder 50 gauge wires with a 500 watt iron. Heat them up and flow the solder then get off the wires before you damage the insulation.

I use a wet rag to clean the soldering iron. Emery paper to clean the wires and then heat the wires and flow the solder into the wires. Flux helps!

Those were GREAT pictures of good solder joints posted up this thread.
 

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One tip from a solderer-in-training: be sure to use the smallest gauge solder you can find.......I used to use this thicker solder that probably wasnt the right stuff and had more than my share of trouble......A guy who knows his stuff showed me how one day and the big thing I was doing wrong was using the wrong solder.........the thinner solder works great......

Ditto on the "good solder iron" advice too. It makes a real difference.
 

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I didn't find it hard to do. I bought a new set of bars for my bike and found out after I had everthing tore down and going back together that the bars were not dimpled so I had to internally wire them. Well to make a long story short I ran the wires, soldered everthing back togther and put heat shrink over each connection and everything worked great. It took about 1 1/2 hours to do and actually enjoyed doing it although i didn't get home that night till around 11PM but I am trying to figure out where home really is since I spend more time at the shop than at home now. I used a cheap soldering iron from radio shack, I put the tip of the iron against the wire and then melted the solder down onto the wire, worked great....and this is the first time I ever soldered before in my life.
 

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Glad to see this post. I want to change out my handle bars and run the wiring internally but my biggest hold up is my soldering SUCKS. Alot of great advice on this post. Thx
 

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Thanks for the topic. I too plan on doing internal wiring on new bars this winter and have struggled soldering up to this point. I love this board and family X. Thanks bros.
 
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