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Thread: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

  1. #1
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    Default more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    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.
    Last edited by figgie; May 2nd, 2008 at 12:56 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    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/produ...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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    Last edited by figgie; June 7th, 2008 at 08:04 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default 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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    Last edited by figgie; April 26th, 2008 at 06:09 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Default 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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    Last edited by figgie; April 28th, 2008 at 09:58 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    updated the wire stripping section.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    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/MasterCat.../3.28_3.32.pdf
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    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.
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  8. #8
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    Default 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...uirements.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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    Last edited by figgie; July 10th, 2008 at 11:57 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Default 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.



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  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: more than you ever wanted to know about wire

    Guess I'm the first to follow your link....well I doubt that.

    Great post Figgie, much appreciated.

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