more than you ever wanted to know about wire

figgie

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#1
Since this is the stand alone forum. Thought I would post in here about wiring and ALL different types. Specifically the types used in the auto industry and the motor sport industry.

My background. I used to wire aircraft for the Military. Particularly the avionics instrumentation of the B-1b and B-2 bomber. I still remember the critical measurements for stripping. Crimping etc.



PVC/Nylon jackets wire.(Also known as GXL automotive wiring)

You every day run of the mill wire that is used by every single car manufacture to wire the electrical system of the car. The jacket of the wiring is made out of PVC/nylon. This means that it inherits the properties of PVC. PVC is not flammable but once it is lit, it does not self extinguish. Temprature ratings hover around 105 Degree Celcius. Can be stripped with dedicated wire strippers or a nice razor blade and a steady hand.

Teflon wiring (PTFE, also known as Mil-Spec wire MIL-W-16878/4, /5 or /6 which has been superceeded by SAE-AS16878/4, /5 or /6)

This type of wiring is used extensively in the aerospace industry. It's jacket is based on PTFE. Temprature ratings for this type of wiring begin at 200 degree Celcius. The wire should be stripped using dedicated wire strippers. This wiring can be used with higher current ratings for the same gauge wire thanks to the higher operational temprature. This wire is lighter than the PVC/Nylon variety by about 1.2 lbs per 1000 feet. This wire is self extinguishing.


Tefzel wiring (ETFE, also known as Mil-Spec wiring MIL-W-22759/16 which has been superceeded by SAE-AS22759/16)

Tefzel wiring. This wire had it's origin in the Aerospace world but then made it's way to the motorsport industry. This wire is widely available for consumer purchase and is usually stocked in a wide variety of colors. Tefzel wiring can be purchased at most avionic stores. Operating temprature rating is 150 degree Celcius. Just like PTFE based wiring. Thanks to the higher heat tolerance. The same gauge wire is able to be used for higher current as long as the 150 degree operating temprature is not exceeded. Wire is extremly soft. Weight of wire is considered medium (roughly the same weight per 1000 feet as PTFE). Wire requires wire strippers like the Ideal Industry Custom Strip Master or Custom Strip Master Lite. This wire is self extinguishing.

Cross Linked Tefzel (XL-ETFE, also known as Mil Spec wiring MIL-W-22759/34 which has been superceeded by SAE-AS22759/34, or Spec 55 which is trademarked by RayChem).

Now we get into the high tech wiring. This wire is the wire of choice for just about most race teams. Spec55 is light weight coming in at 5.0 lbs per 1000 feet. It has a operating temprature of 150 degree Celcius. Of course it does have some short comings. If it catches fire, Spec55 release TOXIC smoke which happen to be quite dense also.\So yes it is light weight but not at the cost of the really nasty stuff that can be inhaled if the car catches fire.

Pass on it!

PTFE/Polymide/PTFE (also known as Teflon, Kapton, Teflon. Mil Spec MIL-W-22759/80, /81, /82, /91, /92 in the Military which has been superceded by SAE-AS22759/80, /81, /82, /91, /92. )

The daddy of all the wiring. This has all the properties of PTFE with none of the drawbacks thanks to the Polymide layer. This wire has an operating temprature of 200 degree celcius for the Silver plate or Tin plate wiring and a staggering 260 degree celcius for the nickel plated wiring. This wire comes in normal weight and light weight for weight critical applications (4.6 lbs per 1000 feet). The silver plated wire can carry almost double the amperage per the same guage as the PVC/Nylon counter part. The wire is self extinguishing and releases no toxic gases. Only down side is trying to source the wire. Usually must be bought in bulk.
 
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figgie

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#2
Sorry for the delay folks! The strippers had to be ordered from the manufacture and as always, when buying military spec parts. The 20 questions come!

With that said! :)

As mentioned above, military specifications are very strict when it comes to wire strippers. In particular is the nature of the strip. For instance, A couple of the requirements are.

1. The wire can not be knicked after stripping.
2. Cut wires, only two per wire is allowed. Anything more and the strip has to be redone.

So doing it with a razor blade CAN be done but more than likely it will fail for knicked wires.

So the tool that I use is the Ideal industries Ergo-Elite wire stripper (picture attachement labeled ideal-ergolite-Stripper.JPG). This wire stripper is the creme of the crop in the manual wire stripper world. Why? It tends not to damage the wire in the gripping portion as the other versions tend to do.

Note: The wire stripper comes without any cutting blades. Different type of wires require a different blade. For the wires that I am using (SAE-AS22759/91), the blade that is required for this specific wire is Ideal Industries part #55-2693-1

For a full list of wires and blades neccessary see

http://www.idealindustries.com/products/wire_processing/hand_tools/ergo-elite.jsp

Once the correct blade is used for the wire. You get a very nice stripping job with no knicks (picture labeled Wire-Stripped.jpg). After that, you proceeed to the crimping portion of this thread and you are ready to assemble the autosport connector.
 

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figgie

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#3
Auto sport connectors

What are Autosport Connectors?

Well in short they are the civilian version of the Mil-Spec MIL-C-38999 series connectors.

Autosport connectors are manufactured by Deutsch Connector out of the United Kingdom. They have become just about the exclusive connector in the racing world, from F1, LeMans, WRC to even NASCAR. The reason is that the connectors will not disconnect from the otherside without physically twisting the connector off. You will have a wire failure before you have a connector come apart. The other benefit is that the connector can only be inserted one way into the receptable thanks to the keying. The key way is color coded. So if the receptacle is color coded red. The free plug needs to be color coded red also. Basically a square peg to a square hole. ;) Trying to insert a blue coded free plug to a red color coded receptacle will not allow the plug to insert.

So what makes them so good?

In short, since MIL-C-38999 is standardized WORLDWIDE. The mil-c-38999series connectors, pins, and sockets can be also sourced locally. One of the nice benefits of the autosport connectors is the contact pins/sockets. They are easy to identify thank in part to the color band (MoTeC never released the information but I did some digging, with the necessary Autosport connectors identified, the contact pin/sockets was easy to narrow down).

http://www.dmctools.com/search/contact_color_code.htm

This color band also represent the BIN code (Basic Identification Number). The crimping end ALWAYS on the left hand side.

0 - Black
1 - Brown
2 - Red
3 - Orange
4 - Yellow
5 - Green
6 - Blue
7 - Violet
8 - Grey
9 - White

in the link, the bands show as Orange, Blue and Black. This represents a BIN of 360. This number crossreferences to M39029/58-360 which is a pin for 22-28 gauge wiring. The picture attached (Socket-348.jpg) shows a contact with the BIN 348 which is Orange, Yellow and Grey which the part number is M39029/56-348.

These color codes are STANDARD for wiring color also.

I have included the autosport connectors for the biggest items that MoTeC has along with the BIN code and the MoTeC part Number if available. Also included the Mil-Spec cross reference for the PINs and Sockets. In the future I will cross reference the Autosport connectors with the MIL-C-38999 equivalent.

M880/DBW, ADL2, SDL, PDM32 & PDM16
 

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figgie

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#4
Mil-Spec Crimpers

The crimpers used for the autosport connectors come in either a 4 way or 8 way indent. Both are Mil-Spec (M22520/2-01) approved for thier appropiate crimp. MoTeC USA sells the Daniels Manufacturing Corporations (herein refered to as DMC Tools) AF8 and AFM8 (micro). MoTeC australia sells the Astrotools based crimper.


Since that time DMC Tool has come out with a tool that only requires one crimper with the appropiate positioners. The MH860 (picture labled DMC-MH860.jpg). The MH860 is a PRECISION crimper that is qualified to MIL-DTL-22520/7. This is the ONLY way to crimp the wires to Mil-Spec/Autosport connections. Forget using the cheap crimpers for insulated lugs or soldering! It is not appropiate nor is it recommeneded.

This crimper is adjustable for the amount of crimp force needed for a particular contact and guage wire. The information is located on the positioners themselves. (picture labled Positioner).
So taking the example of the contact posted above.


If I were to use a 22 guage wire. I would position the rotary positioner to the number 3. Insert the Contact 348 (Remember Orange, Yellow Grey = 348) with the wire on the end. Crimp and do a test pull to make sure it does not pull out. If the crimp was done correctly. The wire will be solidly crimped to the contact.



To insert the contact into the autosport connector requires a quick dip into isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol) and then insert the pin with the insertion tool (the color side). You should hear a click when inserted. Pull insertion tool out and give the wire a quick tug. It should not come out. If it does pull out, that means you did not insert the wire all the way. For any contact on the autosport not used, they should be filled with a filler plug. This aids in keeping moisture out of the contacts.
 

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figgie

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#6
Sometime It is hard to wrap your brain around items of this nature.

Well, Belden was so kind to provide a table, listing the size of wire compared to the amperage it can handle with different covering materials and the correlation between the number of wires and max amperage.

In the tables 3 & 4, PTFE is not part of the table but it is the highest temprature rating of all even above silicone (200 for silicone v. 260 for PTFE).

For the complete pdf

http://www.belden.com/pdfs/MasterCatalogPDF/PDFS_links to docs/03_Hook-Up & LeadWire/3.28_3.32.pdf
 

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figgie

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#7
Ok

some clarification is in order!

The wires posted above especially the mil-spec stuff are rated to higher amperage ratings thanks to the jacket of the wire. As with everything else, do not run the wire at 100% rating! The wiggle room is needed as we humans and the stuff we produce is NOT perfect.

So basic rule of thumb. If toyota uses a 18 guage wire through out the circuit. You can go down to a 20 guage wire with no ill effect. Going down to a 22 gauge wire is asking for trouble.
 

figgie

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#8
No heat Shrink, No Nylon tie-wraps? What to do!

Well, In airplanes around the world. Lots of wire bundles are niether heat shrinked or nylon-tie wrapped so do not dispair. Instead they use a lacing technique to bundle the wires together which allows air to still circulate around the wire harness/bundle while keeping the bundle nice and tidy.

Benifits of the lacing technique is unlike the Nylon Tie-wraps, the chance of drawing blood are non-exsitant!

here is nasa requirements for lacing along with how NOT to use nylon tie-wraps :)

http://workmanship.nasa.gov/lib/insp/2 books/links/sections/401 General Requirements.html

How come you never heard of this? Unless you worked for a military contractor, military, or NASA. Commercial airlines don't use this to much (in some instance they do) but i prefer this method over wire ties simply because of the major reduction in blood offering to the supra deities ;)
 

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figgie

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#9
MORE Crimpers

This time.

Everyone has used the craptacular crimpers that they sell at NAPA, Autozone etc.

Well there is a crimper that is meant to do the job right and do it right the first time.

Tyco Electronics Pro-Crimper III for PIDG based terminal and butt-splices.

With this tool and the correct splices or terminal. The wire will break before the crimp lets go.

[thumb]http://www.supramania.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=23468&d=1217471892[/thumb]

[thumb]http://www.supramania.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=23469&d=1217471917[/thumb]
 

jt2ma71

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#11
Very good post. I deal with almost all of those everyday. Hand ties (lace ties) are a pain to do. Very hard on your hands. They have coatings on them that causes your skin to dry up!! Especially when doing it for hi vib applications.
 

Dirgle

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Great info figgie. There are a couple of things you might want to add.

First, a warning should be made that Kapton wiring needs to be avoided. The insulation used on it is very poor at tolerating mechanical wear. And if used in an automotive application I'm sure vibration would cause the insulation to break down. I've had peices of gear comes off aircraft that you could flick the wire with your finger and the insulation would crack and flak off. Due to this defect I've done enough rewires on aircraft equipment to truly hate the stuff.

Second when looking for lacing the best type to get is the wax impregnated stuff. It has better holding properties than the standard Nylon stuff.

Also, lacing does demand blood sacrifices when used for over 4 hours. Part of my job entails building jet engine harnesses, and there have been days when my hands got pretty tore up. But I doubt anybody would see that level of use during a stand alone install.
 

figgie

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#13
Ron and Dirgle

Thanks for the input.

Kapton sucks! That is of course the trademark name, the generic being Polyamide :)

Wow, I can't believe it has been one year since I posted that (almost!).

Dirgle. On the lacing. TOTALLY Agree. But 20 feet of car will never ever be the same at 150+ ft of airplane fuselage or 40 feet of cramped WING! lol.
 

jt2ma71

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#14
Ron and Dirgle

Thanks for the input.

Kapton sucks! That is of course the trademark name, the generic being Polyamide :)

Wow, I can't believe it has been one year since I posted that (almost!).

Dirgle. On the lacing. TOTALLY Agree. But 20 feet of car will never ever be the same at 150+ ft of airplane fuselage or 40 feet of cramped WING! lol.

Doing the lace tie on my my own wire harness was fun, I even tied the whole bundle every six inches :) We normally just require one tie per foot here at work!!
 

JZa80

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#16
where do you find mil spec connectors. for like a harenss if i wanted to do a quick isconect at the firewall to pull the harness with the motor
 

figgie

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#18
i get mine from places like A.E Pesche

Need a business or mil-Contract to order through them though. Actually most aerospace parts business do but these mil connectors are not cheap. The stuff for a firewall pull through (ie a bulkhead connector), you are looking at $150+ dollar for the bulkhead connector plus another 200 for the connectors on each side. This assumes you have the appropiate crimpers with positioners though! Otherwise add another $300 for those.

Now if you are looking at a "autosport" connector (same stuff as the Mil-C-39999 except that it is black), you then only have two choices. Pi Research or IS Motorsports (which I have accounts on both). The bulkhead connector will be your biggest expense after tools.
 

Mk3runner

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#19
On engine harness, do it like a Honda.. Bout a ft from firewall is a connector.

Now on the deutsch connectors have you guys ever had issues where the pins wouldn't make good contact and result in not working properly or intermediate signal loss. When I worked on diesels the whole bus was built off deutsch connections and the engine harness would always pull this 1397 connection crap..
 

figgie

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#20
On engine harness, do it like a Honda.. Bout a ft from firewall is a connector.

Now on the deutsch connectors have you guys ever had issues where the pins wouldn't make good contact and result in not working properly or intermediate signal loss. When I worked on diesels the whole bus was built off deutsch connections and the engine harness would always pull this 1397 connection crap..

Not autosport/Mil-C-38999.

If it is a bad connection..

99% of the time is due to a crap crimp. The pin and socket... no issues there.
 

figgie

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#22
depends. spec55 is the low flourine version of Spec44 wire. Not important until the wire starts to outgas the flourine (ie fire) ;)

It is good wire though. And if the price is right.. why not. Fits the Autosport connectors that MoTeC uses like Spec 55.

some comparo

[TABLE=head]|Spec 55|Spec 44
Temperature|200c|150c
Material|X-EFTE|X-PVDF
Mil-spec|22759/32-35|81044 [/TABLE]
 
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IJ.

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#25
depends. spec55 is the low flourine version of Spec44 wire. Not important until the wire starts to outgas the flourine (ie fire) ;)

It is good wire though. And if the price is right.. why not. Fits the Autosport connectors that MoTeC uses like Spec 55.

some comparo

[TABLE]|Spec 55|Spec 44
Temprature|200c|150c
Material|X-EFTE|X-PVDF
Mil-spec|22759/32-35|81044 [/TABLE]
Thanks Wayne!

I start the wiring next week.
(well sourcing and planning it all)
 

mk e

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#26
Great thread.

I'll add this and maybe someone will tell me it's a bad idea, but I switched to a thermal stripper for tefzel wire 3-4 years ago and never looked back. It's very easy to use and no chance at all of a nicked wire.
 

kisedcd

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#27
Very good write up, great to see all this information in one place.
As I am a GA avionics installer, I deal with alot of this on a daily basis.
One observation that I find interesting is that the contact color code also matches the resister color code.:icon_razz
Length of wire run comes into consideration for current carrying capability and whether or not it's in a conduit or free air. Wires lengths going into a car should'nt have to be so greatly scrutinized though since they are relatively short runs unless of course the wire is being pushed to it's limit.
Thanks again for spending the time on this great reference information.
 

airhead04

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#28
Hey figgie, would it be possible and maybe even beneficial to use one of those Autosport Connectors through the fire wall. Meaning where your harness sticks through the firewall, put a connector there?
 

sticky667

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#32
Figgie,

Resurrecting this old gem.

Any chance you can go over positioners needed for the DMC MH860 with Autosport/Deutsch connectors? I noticed you have 86-3/-4/-6/-7 on the first page.

Thanks in advance.

**edit**
guess I should've read the remarks in the autosport attachment. Info about how to select positioners for other types of connectors would be informative.
thanks!
 

mhemore

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#33
Re: MORE Crimpers i must agree great post indeed VERY informative hard to find info

This time.

Everyone has used the craptacular crimpers that they sell at NAPA, Autozone etc.

Well there is a crimper that is meant to do the job right and do it right the first time.

Tyco Electronics Pro-Crimper III for PIDG based terminal and butt-splices.

With this tool and the correct splices or terminal. The wire will break before the crimp lets go.

[thumb]http://www.supramania.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=23468&d=1217471892[/thumb]

[thumb]http://www.supramania.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=23469&d=1217471917[/thumb]