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what do you use/do to clean electrical connections

dave_dj1

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Jackson NY
like trailer plugs and snow plow plugs?
I have an older Fisher MM1 plow that I need to clean the plugs at the grill. I have sprayed them with CRC electrical contact cleaner and I'm contemplating ordering a 100$ kit of brushes to clean the individual pins. Any suggestions other than this? What do you put on them afterwards? I have uses dielectric grease in the past but is there something better/more effective?
 
Hit em' with contact cleaner/deox and then slather with dielectric...never had any problems after that, no more fighting to get them together or apart like dry connectors would be.

- Canada, so plenty of harsh winter bs
 
so..... I may have been known to spray them down with some ether / starting fluid after going to work on them with a wire brush or bore brush, or sand paper.

Is this Bad? (with the exception of flammability, which is a known risk going in)
 
Hit em' with contact cleaner/deox and then slather with dielectric...never had any problems after that, no more fighting to get them together or apart like dry connectors would be.

- Canada, so plenty of harsh winter bs

Yep, that^. Remove all oxidation from contact surfaces, then protect with dielectric grease or similar. The grease keeps moisture and oxygen away from your contacts, effectively preventing future oxidation / corrosion.


so..... I may have been known to spray them down with some ether / starting fluid after going to work on them with a wire brush or bore brush, or sand paper.

Is this Bad? (with the exception of flammability, which is a known risk going in)

As long as the solvent you're using doesn't attack or degrade the plastics it's contacting, you're good to go :beer:
 
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CRC Electrical Connector cleaner.
 
Lately WalMart has had some spray paint can size cans of Battery corrosion cleaner spray that sprays out as yellow foam and turns pink as it hits corrosion and it rinses off with water pretty well. It does a pretty good job.
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You have to clean connections? I dont even do that on a boat trailer that gets dunked in the gulf.

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You have to clean connections? I dont even do that on a boat trailer that gets dunked in the gulf.


Have to? No. Most shit is fine without any maintenance but on my trailer I got sick of it being a bitch to connect, so I spend 2 minutes cleaning/lubing and now it's fine. Eventually the corrosion will lead to flakey connections though.
 
I'm using WD-40 Electrical Contact Cleaner and Bo-Shield (Boeing), which is good for general corrosion protection... or di-electric grease.
 
Jam a knife in there and twist it around until you see bare copper or whatever base metal it's supposed to be. Slam the plugs back together and tell yourself you'll do it right when the storms over and your back in the garage. Keep plowing the rest of the season or until something goes bad again, whichever happens first.

I've had pretty good luck with the napa brand contact cleaner and some noname dielectric grease from Amazon. Last winter I had some ground issues on two different plows so I actually went through them and cleaned everything with the cleaner and some small brushes and then gooped them up with the dielectric Shmoo. It made a difference
 
OK, I ended up buying a small file set out of the bargain bin at my local NAPA (Not A Part Available) for $1.35 it worked quite well. I took a few minutes and honed them , sprayed with the CRC electric cleaner then slathered them with dielectric grease and pulled them apart and slathered them again, the plow seems to be working good now :)

Side note: I took all the battery connections apart and buffed them and then sprayed some battery spray on them to protect them.
 
Side note: I took all the battery connections apart and buffed them and then sprayed some battery spray on them to protect them.

battery spray kinda sucks (the stuff that smells like cyanoacrylate, right?)
use silicone grease on them instead, works way better because it's self-healing rather than being a heavy film that holds the terminals out of contact when you manage to bump them
 
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;n120410]

battery spray kinda sucks (the stuff that smells like cyanoacrylate, right?)
use silicone grease on them instead, works way better because it's self-healing rather than being a heavy film that holds the terminals out of contact when you manage to bump them

The stuff I used is a purple spray that smells like lacquer paint and goes on after everything is back together, it has worked for years on the battery terminals to keep them from corroding.
 
Hit em' with contact cleaner/deox and then slather with dielectric...never had any problems after that, no more fighting to get them together or apart like dry connectors would be.

- Canada, so plenty of harsh winter bs

Hmm, a tiny bit of tech I know something about. I agree with this method.

Get the clear silicone di-electric, and it works on salt-water exposed connectors as well. Has more uses than you can shake a stick at. Is also non-greasy, doesn't evaporate or harden or freeze, and doesn't attract much gunk. One of the miracle substances.

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For permanent connection sealing, apply the di-electric to the blades/plugs, then you clean the wire/connector area with solvent, alcohol works great.

Then apply 3M silicone self-fusing tape, you can find it at the box store as 'plumber's tape'. The actual 'electric self-fusing tape' works best and is rated, but for redneck poiposes the plumber stuff will do. There's usually a stripe on it to half-overlap it. You stretch it on.

This has a ton of uses too.

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Then apply Scotchkote over tape, 1/2" past the tape onto the wire insulator.

This has a ton of uses too.

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Let it dry tacky, then apply good electrical tape over that. Don't use the chinese no-name bullshit, us 3M or whatever your local contractor supply house is giving the Electricians. 1/2" over the scotchkote, which is 1/2" over the silicone tape, or use your common sense.

You can then coat the electric tape with another layer of Scotchkote if you'd like, which is almost mandatory on auto applications.

AFAIK the harshest conditions on Earth would be the exposed cabling on a warship, or maybe the electric connector of a locking differential on a vehicle used in salt winter areas, which this arrangement will stand up to permanently.

This layer will come off easily with an Xacto or new box-cutter blade, w/o nicking the insulation. You can cut down to near the wire and just peel the silicone tape apart.

You could layer your ECU with this method and mount it under your car, then drive it around Canada or the Northeast US in salt-road conditions and it will last until Doomsday with nary a drop of moisture inside.

Every time I see an auto connector with nothing but electrical tape on it, I cringe. It's so nasty and worse than useless, letting moisture in and trapping it.

Black electrical tape's ONLY use is to armor actual silicone electrical tape. Electrical tape literally has no stand-alone use whatsoever, ever. Every single application of stand-alone black electrical tape is wrong, fight me IBEW.
 
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For small female pins have a selection of guitar strings. The wire wrapped ones in particular work well. Any guitar player will have some they are throwing away on the regular
 
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