To solder car wires, you need the following materials:
1. Soldering iron + solder wire;
2. A pair of side cutters;
3. A wire stripper tool (the size should match the diameter of your wiring);
4. Insulating tape or heat-shrink tubing;
5. Electrical tape or other kinds of tie tapes to protect rubbed places in case of abrasion and vibration. You can also use plastic cable ties as a substitute for this purpose;
6. Waterproof connectors (butt, crimp or quick disconnects); pliers which are able to work with them; crimping tools for specific quick disconnects is recommended but not required if you have pliers;
7. A multimeter;
8. Cut wires (manual equipment wire cutter or a knife). It is strongly recommended to use shielded cable when working with high voltages and currents. Refer to the chapter “How to choose wires for car audio” if you need detailed instructions on this issue.);
9. Heat-shrink tubing (it can also be a rubber band). How to make electrical connections using heat shrink tubing . It is possible that you will need extra pieces of insulated tape for some reason, so it's better not to forget about them.;
10. The required connectors + additional pins in order to install your accessories into the car body or interior elements of your vehicle;
11. Multipurpose adhesive tape;
12. A piece of stiff paper or hard cardboard (for making a template);
13. The wiring diagram for your car You can find it at the web-sites of car manufacturers, usually in PDF format , both through an online search and from their home pages if you know where to look for the information (in most cases, it is hidden somewhere on the “Service” or “Owner's Manual” page).
The process of soldering is easy if you know what and how much water to add into the bowl with melted solder. The key rule here is – do not look at it! It's better to have a separate container for melted solder, because the soldering iron will be kept in it during the whole operation.
It is very difficult to melt an amount of solder that's exactly required without looking at it, especially if you are new to such activity. You may end up with too much or too little solder put into the bowl. In this case, either your job won't be done and you will need to do it again from scratch – wasting some time as well as material; or your device may be damaged due to excessive heat dissipation (when there isn't enough liquid metal). That's why I recommend using a separate vessel for melted solder together with unmelted solder and adding parts gradually. If not doing so, and you have a choice, it's better to look at the solder rather than at the tip of your iron.
Do not rush to solder wires and do not sweat! Do everything in one go and keep calm. You should be patient even if you are in hurry or feel nervous about some issues with your car – soldering is an art that requires coolness of mind and gentle movements. Be careful when working with high voltages (currents) too! Many electronic devices can cause electric shock hazards due to high voltages applied between different points within these devices. On top of this, it may also be dangerous for other people nearby if they accidentally touch such “live” elements or get shocked by them without knowing what's going on there. And always remember what you are doing – this is not a computer game or similar entertainment!
How To Solder Wires In 3 Easy Steps?
Besides taking care of safety rules while working on your car, there are some simple tips that allow you to solder wires as fast and correctly as possible. So, how to solder wires?
Required materials: A soldering iron with a tip of desired shape; solder wire (you can buy it in any hardware store); paper napkins for cleaning melted metal off the device you are working on. The soldering station should be close by.
In order to make the best use of this document focus on these three steps – they will help you find out what equipment is required for this job and how to work quickly but professionally without damaging your device or yourself:
1) Cleaning component surfaces where you want to apply new connections so that there won't be any oxidation layers left over from previous jobs performed before. According to experts in the field of electronics, oxidation develops much faster on parts that are regularly used in cars (otherwise there wouldn't be so many rusty batteries and engines). That's why you should be especially careful with this step when soldering coils, cables or wire harnesses. This process is a vital one for obtaining the best possible connections.
2) Properly moistening both wires being joined together with solder and matching their conductor sizes to each other (always do it before soldering – just put everything together and wait until they get wet enough);
3) Heat up the soldering iron to about 700 degrees Farenheit (the optimum temperature for most types of professional irons is 750-800 degrees Farenheit but this depends on your type of work), and start applying solder onto the wire ends – that's it – you are on your way to learn how to solder wires!
How To Solder Wires: Step-By-Step Guide
The most popular way to solder wires is the following one – I have soldered lots of different cables, antennas, and other connectors using this technique. The whole process consists of two steps repeated several times until your connections look like they were made by a professional car mechanic:
1) At first hold the lower part of both wires being joined together and heat up their tips with solder for about 10 seconds (that's why there should be plenty enough of molten metal left in order not to take too much time). Be careful not to touch them while working since they are very hot (can burn your fingers).
2) Again heat up one of the wires being joined together for 8-10 seconds (at a distance of about 1 inch from its tip, you can use an old CD if you don't have other means for heating it up) and apply solder onto both parts – that's how to solder wires properly!
Finally, after having successfully applied new connections, make sure that they are conducting electricity correctly by using a multimeter. Another vital thing is never forget to clean off all materials left over from old connections before soldering anything since they can cause circuit damage beyond repair. It's wise to clean old cables with a fine wire brush or steel wool before soldering new connections.
What other tips do you have for learning how to solder wires correctly? Do you also prefer working with aluminum cables and connectors? Share your experience in the comments below!
If you are looking for an alternative to soldering you can check out welding, which is a great way for creating permanent electrical connections. When welding wires simply clamp them between two metal plates that are joined together using a special joining tool. One of the main benefits of this process is that it allows you to join any metals – even those which do not usually react well with each other like steel and aluminum (just remember that these metals should be at least 1/8 inch thick).