Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector



Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby Drawmain » January 10th, 2015, 1:14 pm

I've had a few issues with the starter harness on my 82. It was totally melted when I got the car, so I replaced the main harness and the starter harness about 4 years ago. After the rebuild, I started having weird electrical issues and the harness connector turned out to be the culprit again.

Here is what I found:

Starter side:

Image

Main harness side:

Image

It was way worse than this the first time I replaced the harness, but this time I didn't want to replace the entire harness to repair a melted connector. I decided that I'd rather go with Weather Pack and separate the ground further from the main power. In the original connector, the ground and power were right next to each other with predictable results (melted connectors). My thought is that by moving the ground away from the main power, I won't have to do this again.

The connectors and the seals are pretty inexpensive, and so are the tower and shroud connectors. The crimping tool is not, however. I got a new one, but I'm sure there are plenty on eBay to be found. A good crimp is essential, so get a good crimping tool. The male and female terminals crimp to the wire and to the silicone seal. Male terminals install in the shroud connector, female terminals install in the tower connector.

Example of a crimped female terminal: (sorry for the bad focus, but you get the idea)

Image

And the finished product:

Image

I hope this helps another 82 owner that may have this issue. It took about an hour or so to do. I did a couple of practice crimps before I started on the harness just to get a feel for it.
Drawmain

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Re: Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby grumpyvette » January 10th, 2015, 1:23 pm

you have obviously done a good job , replacing a well worn and over heated and corrosion effected modular connector , but I'd point out that no crimped electrical connection between any two copper wires, while making a repair with a new pig tail connector on any existing harness, will work, nearly as long or as trouble free as a properly soldered connection(especially over time, as corrosion builds up increasing electrical resistance, with crimp connectors) you need to use carefully cleaned and soldered connections with shrink wrap.
cars electrical systems are notorious for having both less that the ideal gauge wire and over time corrosion forming on any connections, it also helps to spray a corrosion reducing grease in the connectors, before they are pushed together


viewtopic.php?f=59&t=10753&p=46982&hilit=solder+flux#p46982

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=3105&p=8272&hilit=connectors+pigtails#p8272
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby Indycars » January 10th, 2015, 1:36 pm

grumpyvette wrote:[b]no crimped electrical connection between any two copper wires will work,

Did you also mean between a connector and a copper wire? That sounds a
little extreme. I don't think he made any copper to copper connections did he?


Drawmain,

I wonder if the weatherpack connector is rated for enough current, did you
check that out?

Nice job, it's got to be better than what the factory had done!!!

Rick
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
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Re: Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby Drawmain » January 10th, 2015, 1:50 pm

Grumpy:

The wires were copper, but since I replaced a connector that was crimped from the factory with a better connector that I crimped myself, I assumed I'd be okay. If I ever have to do it again, I'll put a drop of solder on the crimp. I'm not as worried about corrosion at this point because the connector is sealed. I'm hoping the weatherpack connector keeps the elements out. I didn't make any new connections, just replaced old terminals with new ones.

Indycars, I did make sure the connector would handle the current. The flimsy connector from the factory was pretty much toast as you see above. The isolation of the wires in the 6 terminal connector I used was way way better than factory.
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Re: Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby Indycars » January 10th, 2015, 4:07 pm


Glad you checked that out, you should be good for a long time now.

What crimper did you buy and what did it cost?

Rick
Too much is just enough!!!

- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: Repairing an 82 Starter Harness Connector

Postby Drawmain » January 11th, 2015, 12:37 am

I bought the basic crimper, it takes two crimps to make the connection, one at the seal, one for the wires. They sell a more expensive one that does both crimps at the same time, but it was over twice the cost of the crimper I got, and I don't expect to use it that much. Mine was $82 or so, the nice one was $177. I probably should have checked ebay for the tool, but I just ordered everything at once from one supplier.
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