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Butt Connectors or Solder?

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Copper - Posts: 46
Copper spacespace
Joined: March 07, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: July 30, 2004 at 10:52 PM / IP Logged  
I got a call while I was in the shop today from a customer that got his radio installed a few months ago by me. When the car came in for a new radio, the old wire harnesses were butt connected together. Like every other install, I went ahead and redid the wiring to the new radio using solder and tape. The guy called in today saying when he was changing out a burnt out bulp in his Saturn SC2 he noticed that I used solder and tape for the install. The customer got real irate and demanded to come in and me redo the install using butt connectors(he also told me he works at a hole in the wall shop that lives by the butt connectors and T-tapsButt Connectors or Solder? -- posted image.). I straight up told him that thats not our standard, then asked if there was anything wrong with the radio. When he said no, I told him that I refuse to waste both of our time redoing the radio just to throw in some butt connectors. Due to the fact that wasnt what he wanted to hear I was hung up on, and that was the end of that.
So let me know all you fellow installers, do you use butt connectors, or do you tape and solder your joints, and why?
Platinum - Posts: 5,041
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Joined: December 23, 2002
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 12:31 AM / IP Logged  
Solder is definately a better connection when done correctly. The ONLY time I use butt connectors are on larger wires such as starter kills. Personally I hate butt connectors because eventuall the wire will come out and I have seen the wire pull out too many times to count.
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Silver - Posts: 711
Silver spacespace
Joined: March 09, 2002
Location: United States
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 12:44 AM / IP Logged  
I agree with you guys I do not use butt connectors. I use solder on every connection plus heat shrink and as auex said I have seen the wires coming out of the butt connector one too many times as well. It may take a little longer but it is well worth it. Plus I think that it is a cleaner look to the install.
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Copper - Posts: 103
Copper spacespace
Joined: October 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 9:59 AM / IP Logged  
I used butt connectors on my first install, and it is a pain having to take the deck out a few months later to find out why the left rear speaker has quit working. With a little practice, it seems faster to solder anyway. Solder is so much cheaper than the butt connectors. I am still working on getting rid of the big dog roll of solder I bought 7 years ago. That would be cool to show that guy who was irate about butt connectors not being used the tug test (tugging on a soldered connection as opposed to the butt conn, and seeing which one comes apart)
Gold - Posts: 1,217
Gold spacespace
Joined: December 18, 2002
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 11:45 AM / IP Logged  
I use butt connectors (company standard) when doing a radio harness or whenever else needed. Quick and easy.. If you tape your whole harness up real good the "theory" is that in order for one to pull out and fail they all have to fail. Haven't had any problems..
Copper - Posts: 172
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 08, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 12:34 PM / IP Logged  
I prefer solder, I've used butt connectors and they work ok for some things. One shop I worked at just twists the wires, then tape, no solder except on alarm installs, I thought that was asking for trouble
Member - Posts: 27
Member spacespace
Joined: July 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: July 31, 2004 at 2:08 PM / IP Logged  

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Copper - Posts: 44
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 20, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: August 03, 2004 at 10:00 AM / IP Logged  
I definately agree that solder and tape is the best quality connection, the only problem I've ever seen or heard was the tape unraveling over time but that can be prevented by putting a zip tie around the tape.  However in my opinion butt connectors are alright too if they are crimped correctly.  We use both in the shop I work at.
Never Let Those Who Say It Cant Be Done Stand In The Way While You Do It!
Member - Posts: 10
Member spacespace
Joined: February 02, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 17, 2004 at 12:16 AM / IP Logged  

 a crimped connection is never as reliable as a clean solder joint but to solve your problem with "tard" I would have agreed to use butt connectors only if he was willing to negate any install warranties since its not up to your shop's standards or mine for that mattter

 p.s. the worlds full of idiots and you just met another one i geuss

Platinum - Posts: 2,806
Platinum spacespace
Joined: February 23, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: August 17, 2004 at 4:41 AM / IP Logged  
Im a fairly big guy so whe I am working in a tight dash, like a VW for example, where the deck was stollen and the wires are all cut and set back in the dash, thats when I butt connect, but I never butt connect harnesses and have never once found an excuse to use a t-tap. I dont even stock those things.
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