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solder connection keeps falling out

  1. #1

    solder connection keeps falling out

    common issue on FZR600's - a wire that is soldered onto the high/low beam switch commonly falls out - as in the whole blob of solder & the wire fall out of the switch

    so I've repeatedly heated up the metal on the switch - added a small pool of solder, tinned the wire, heated both up until they were melted, got the wire into the "pool" of solder, added some more on top, then had that whole thing pop out of the switch again...sometimes the connection only lasts 2-3 days

    I bought another used switch on ebay - and that was soldered already too.

    I've gotten so fed up, that I just used a rubber band over the wire to hold the connection in place, and it's been f'n great so far...I'm tempted to leave it there; except it interferes with the switch and the high beams are always on.

    any other suggestions?

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out


    Epoxy coat it, which apparently is aka Conformal coating. I know next to nothing about it, except that it exists, and can probably be done DIY with the right product.

    Otherwise, rough sand the surface around where the contact falls out, and make sure the solder gets in to the rough area.

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  3. #3

    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    f'n bitchin

    that's what I want!!!

    about fifteen bucks on flebay:



    only 2 reviews - but 4.5 stars

    Amazon.com: MG Chemicals 4223 Urethane Conformal Coating, 55 ml Bottle: Industrial & Scientific

    in4one - you rock Mr. D

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    Last edited by breakdirt916; 11-18-14 at 01:13 AM.
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  4. #4

    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Usually, conformal coat is for environmental protection, not structural strength.

    Sounds like the surface you're soldering to is contaminated. Make sure to sand to bright metal and clean. Are you using flux ?

    What does the terminal of the switch look like? Could you use a connector like the on of the left in the picture on the end of the wire ?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails solder connection keeps falling out-connector-jpg  

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  5. #5
    Senior Member MHenry600's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Another thought. Does the pin on the switch have a hole in it like the connector in the picture above? If not, is there room to drill a small one? You should be able to get really, really small bits at the local hardware store (like .039"). Put the wire through the hole, then solder it. Should help hold it in place.

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  6. #6
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by Aprilia Pilot View Post
    Sounds like the surface you're soldering to is contaminated. Make sure to sand to bright metal and clean. Are you using flux ?
    This would be my guess.

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  7. #7
    Posting Freak Yknot's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by Aprilia Pilot View Post
    Usually, conformal coat is for environmental protection, not structural strength.

    Sounds like the surface you're soldering to is contaminated. Make sure to sand to bright metal and clean. Are you using flux ?

    What does the terminal of the switch look like? Could you use a connector like the on of the left in the picture on the end of the wire ?
    ^this^

    Solder isn't meant to be mechanical and sucks at it as well. Nice and shiny, use flux and support it some other way or the wire breaks. Crimp lugs work well for that and solder pretty well when clean.

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  8. #8
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Conformal coating won't do it.
    They do make conductive epoxies, but probably not easily available for DIY type stuff.
    Sand down the connection, use flux to pre-tin the metal on the switch. If it "pools" it's not getting a good bond.

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  9. #9
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to soldering. Use emory cloth or a fine sandpaper to expose clean metal on the switch contact. Your soldering iron also needs to be clean. The tip should be bright and shiny for best results. If possible, cut off the end of the wire that was previously soldered and strip it to expose fresh wire. Get the wire situated on the contact and use a stand alone flux on the joint to help keep the connection point clean and promote solder wetting. With a hot iron, put a small dab of solder on the tip to help with heat transfer to the contact. Get the contact and wire nice and hot and start adding solder (preferably something with lead in it as it works better than lead-free). When you have enough solder in the joint, leave the heat on it for another second or two in order to ensure the solder has flowed everywhere it needs to be. Sit back an realize you didn't put any heat shrink on the wire and debate taking it apart again so you can add it.

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  10. #10
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by ZX-12R View Post
    Sit back an realize you didn't put any heat shrink on the wire and debate taking it apart again so you can add it.
    Every motherfucking time!

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  11. #11
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    the whole blob of solder
    solder should not blob

    clean connection with DeOxit cleaner, do not pool solder when you re-solder it

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  12. #12
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    It may be made of a metal that you can't solder. Not all metals work with solder. Is the solder sticking to the wire or the switch when the connection fails? If it sticks to the switch, crimp a new piece of wire to the existing wire and solder that to the switch.

    If there's a way to take the switch apart and drill through a rivet, then replace it with a small SS or brass screw and nut that you can attach a crimp-on ring terminal to, that would work too.

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  13. #13
    '12 Tuono & '02 R6 Eric Baker's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    That, or is it falling out because it's being stressed because the wire is too short?

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  14. #14
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Post a picture and I'm sure someone can figure something out.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member shortbus's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    The trace the solder sticks too could have been "picked up" as well

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  16. #16
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by shortbus View Post
    The trace the solder sticks too could have been "picked up" as well
    You realize we're talking about a mechanical switch and not a PCB right?

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  17. #17
    Senior Member shortbus's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by ZX-12R View Post
    You realize we're talking about a mechanical switch and not a PCB right?
    nope


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  18. #18
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Just replace it with a radial master.

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  19. #19

    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    okay...so I'm going to try on the switch I got from ebay

    here's my best attempt at cleaning the connection at the switch...I scraped it the best I could with a piece of sandpaper, then wrapped the sandpaper over the end of a screwdriver, stuffed in there, and twisted it as much as I could:

    where it's copper - this is bare metal; the middle of the connection is a bowl shape, and I couldn't get anything in there to clean it out



    here's the piss-poor job the previous user made on it:



    I stripped some of the insulation back and sanded the wire down the best I could:



    I used a guide on google to:
    1.) clean the tip of the soldering iron on a sponge
    2.) hold the wire against the switch
    3.) heat up the connection
    4.) add solder to the connection...NOT to the soldering iron
    5.) let the solder flow around the connection, cover up the wire, and fill in the "bowl" part of the switch

    here's the result:





    per Randy's suggestion - I just added enough solder to coat the wire/fill the gaps b/w the strands and make the connection; and there is no "blob" of solder

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    Last edited by breakdirt916; 12-15-14 at 11:51 PM.
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  20. #20
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Quote Originally Posted by Yknot View Post
    Solder isn't meant to be mechanical and sucks at it as well. Nice and shiny, use flux and support it some other way or the wire breaks. Crimp lugs work well for that and solder pretty well when clean.
    This. Soldering is to make electrical connections, not mechanical ones. Solder is too weak and too brittle to be used to physically attach wires of this size.

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  21. #21
    Dr Q : Last resort Medic Qfactor's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    You need a strain relief just up stream from the solder joint to take any and all stress off of the soldered connection.

    a simple tie wrap or spool of wire wrapped around the cable to constraint it is enough.

    Q

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  22. #22
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    If the switch has high resistance then that could heat up enough to melt the solder

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  23. #23
    KNEE DRAGGING BAGGER sedanman's Avatar
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    Re: solder connection keeps falling out

    Resistance equals heat.

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