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To ttap or not to ttap?


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eurobink 
Copper - Posts: 55
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 06, 2007
Location: Florida, United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 2:13 PM / IP Logged  

I'm taking someone's advice on starting a new thread about connection types..

i have soldered, i have taped, i have taped and tiestrapped, i have scothclocked, i have used butt connectors.. and i have used ttaps.

they ALL work when done properly.. none is superior over the other in terms of electrical functionality..

in terms of money making.. meaning your come-back ratio.... TTAPS, by 3M, when applied correctly.. (it takes many cars to learn the procedure) rule hands down...  when your earnings top $150k in this industry, of your own doing, and you did not use TTAPS, but have performed allinstalls yourself.. I would love to here your response.

Anything else will be charlie brown.

I await intelligent.. not arrogant or ignorant... responses... anyone with less than 7 years don't waste time here.

KarTuneMan 
Platinum - Posts: 7,056
Platinum spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: December 14, 2004
Location: Isle Of Man
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 3:03 PM / IP Logged  

You got my P.M.   To ttap or not to ttap? -- posted image.

I agree with you 110%

AND..... I have yet to earn 150KTo ttap or not to ttap? -- posted image.

JWorm 
Platinum - Posts: 2,208
Platinum spacespace
Joined: December 11, 2002
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:01 PM / IP Logged  
I worked in the industry for 8+ years, and left it a year and a half ago. Not I just do it on the side. Usually an install every month or two, usually on a Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Evo. I'm actually known in the area as the person to go to for a quality install on those cars because of the way I do things. I always solder. Always will. Most of the time I am doing alarm/remote start installs, not just a remote start. The people that have me work on their cars are paying for quality, not speed. I don't put the alarm brain under the dash, or anywhere else it is easily visible. When you look under the dash, nothing you see will not look factory. The only part of the alarm you will see is the shock sensor so you can adjust it if needed. All connections are soldered, taped with 3M Super 33+, then the harness is covered in tape again. I don't use cheap tape that is going to unravel once it gets extremely hot, or crack and crumble when it gets cold.
T-Taps are used for speed. They don't look factory. 95% of the installs I have seen that use them usually end up looking a mess. The connection becomes difficult, if not impossible to hide. That is the last thing you want in an alarm install.
I haven't used a T-Tap in at least 6 years. I couldn't imagine trying to use them on some of the skinny 18 or 20 gauge wiring used in vehicles nowadays. I just don't think they would make a reliable enough connection.
As far as the argument in the other thread that soldering can damage ECU's, BCM's or on-board computers in cars, that won't fly with me. If you are causing damage, its because you don't know how to solder, or are using an iron that doesn't get hot enough. You shouldn't be holding an iron on a wire anywhere near long enough for the heat to travel down the wire and cause damage to the component it is attached to.
tbone587 
Copper - Posts: 167
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:01 PM / IP Logged  
I have not personally used ttaps, because I almost always solder my connections.  I do not believe ttaps are bad thought, there has been a lot of situations where it would have been easy to "ttap" a wire that was in a tight spot and could have saved me a lot of time.
howie ll 
Pot Metal - Posts: 16,466
Pot Metal spacespace
Joined: January 09, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:50 PM / IP Logged  

In Berkshire in England is a place called Thatcham; in there is a place called Motor Industry Reasearch Association, all manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to Zastava via US, Japanese, Korean etc must supply vehicles for crash tests, immobilisers etc.

They also set the rules for car alarms to the Category I alarm and immob. 2 Electronic immobiliser. 3  Mechanical immob. 4 Not sure. 5 Tracking and immobilisation. Once passe by Thatcham every other country in the EU is duty bound to approve that product.

Amongst the main rules such as stealthing the unit and its wiring, strength of siren bracket, metal enclosure for CPU  which must be secured. Trunk and hood switches and 2 immobilisation cuts is the one that says ALL JOINTS MUST BE SOLDERED. T-TAPS SUCH AS SCOTCHLOCKS ARE FORBIDDEN.

I wonder why these guys lay down that particular rule?

N.B. I earn about $600 a day on vehicle trcking, I'm lucky to earn half of that with an alarm job,

KPierson 
Platinum - Posts: 3,526
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: April 14, 2005
Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:57 PM / IP Logged  

I guess I'm not invited to this thread because I don't meet the requirements  :(

I've never owned my own installation shop, and I didn't come close to making $150K when I was installing at Circuit City to puy myself through college (earning my 4 years electronics degree).  However, I do feel like I can provide some insight because now, after many years of installing, I have designed and provide technical support for >10 mass marketed consumer electronics products specifically designed for the harsh automobile environment (dirt, dust, moisture, vibration, temperature).  This is through a private LLC that I founded and am still the majority partner in.  We also provide a 'no questions asked' limited lifetime warranty on everything we sell, so we MUST stay on top of quality.

After college, I earned a national reputation as a controls engineer contracting for companies such as BP, Marathon Oil, Sonoco, Chevron, Citgo, etc.  I've wired and rewired hazardous location machines all over the USA.  I am currently employed by one of the largest packaging companies in the world and work as an automation/electronics specialist..

Oh, and to top it off, I just got done installing 3 3M Scotchloks, so I have first hand experience with them.

Providing technical support for car electronics can be a very frustrating job, especially because 99.9% of the time you are not on site.  So, my first question I ALWAYS ask a customer is "How did you make your connections?"  If they say scotchloks, ttaps, etc. I always instruct them to have the wires soldered, or at least check the wires for continuity.  This typically fixes 60% of problems we deal with (rough estimate, we don't actually keep track).  To be honest, the majority of the problems stem from using a Ttap with two different gauge wires - a VERY bad idea.

From an electronic standpoint, I seriously doubt you will find any noticeable difference between any fresh connection.  Over time, and I've seen it in the field, barrel connectors and other metal connectors will corrode and start causing intermittent problems.  I've made more then one middle of the night service call because of blue barrel connectors!

From a reliability standpoint, soldering is the way to go, hands down.  It is the only permanent splicing method.  All other forms of splicing relay on MECHANICAL forces to keep the copper together.  As stated in the other thread, vehicles are rattle traps, meaning they are metal boxes built around a combustion engine - every thing vibrates inside them, including your Scotchloks.  Over time, they will start to back out, just like a bolt or a nut would (locktite is an amazing product).  When soldering, you bond the wires together.  Short of the wire actually breaking, there is NO chance it will EVER come off without reheating the joint to >650 degrees F.  A quality tape MUST be used to protect the splice (such as 3M - it will NOT peel).  3M has been the only tape I've ever used, from CC through the oil industry, and now.

As stated above, I just installed 3 #M Scotchloks (model UY2).  We started using these a few months ago for small control wires that were to hard to solder with the factory equipment we have (22-26 awg).  This was done for SPEED reasons, because when a production line is down, we are required to fix it immediately. 

Anyway, the UY2 states right on the box that it is 'moisture-resistant'.  The connector actually contains a sealing liquid on the inside.  Once you crimp it down, the liquid fills the splice area and oozes out the opening.  I don't think I would have any hesitations using these in a car, but without the goo and without the 'moisture-resistant' designation I wouldn't even consider it for a long term install. 

I just searched 3Ms site and the TTaps you are referring to are NOT designated as 'moisture-resistant', but are recommended by 3M for automobile use.

I personally think it is funny that you claim it takes 'many' cars to learn how to use these things.  What do you do for your first 5-10 customers while you are 'learning' how to splice wires?  That remark right there is reason enough these things should never be used in cars!

At the end of the day, though, just keep in mind that every time a customer takes one of your installs to a shop that solders that shop is going to make you look like an amateur.  It is VERY easy to demonstrate while YOUR customer should pay ME to remove all the 'crimps' and 'melt' the wires together.  When I worked at CC while in college our shop was literally right next door to a custom shop.  Every January I would redo at least 10 remote starts and remove all their scotchloks.  The customers would gladly pay for it and remark how they would NEVER go back to that shop again because of the shoddy work they performed.  The customers would come to us because the original shop wouldn't always tell them it would be 2-3 weeks before they could look at the car.  Natually, with us being right next door they would drive right over and get our oppinion.  Using a Scotchlok I kept in my box I would show them the difference between the two connection methods.  We made LOTS of money!

Kevin Pierson
peterubers 
Silver - Posts: 706
Silver spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: December 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 5:26 PM / IP Logged  
LOL! Can't wait to post my resume ... i must have taken a wrong turn on the 'net.. is this careerbuilder.com?
The search function is your friend.
KPierson 
Platinum - Posts: 3,526
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: April 14, 2005
Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 6:47 PM / IP Logged  

peterubers wrote:
LOL! Can't wait to post my resume ... i must have taken a wrong turn on the 'net.. is this careerbuilder.com?

Anything else will be charlie brown.

Kevin Pierson
eurobink 
Copper - Posts: 55
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 06, 2007
Location: Florida, United States
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 7:12 PM / IP Logged  

lol.. wow.. you guys are killing me.. i swear im gonna have a heartattack..

you guys rock!.. cool responses.. somehow i dont feel the hostility here..   most of my career i have been in detroit.. very very cold.. installs done outside many times.. there were times when my butane solder would not even heat up enough to even burn my hand..  I will admit, using TTAPS takes getting used to.. and on the very high gauge.. 18-20... i actually close the gap of the metal to accomodate..

all and all, if you have the time to solder, take the time to heat shrink, i have yet to see anyone say that. When you are competing with other shops on price, time is of the essence, no room for soldering..  for those that had the pleasure of installing on the intrepids from 93 to 97, you should know very well that unless you are getting paid, and time permits, to remove those dashboards, ac controls, glove box and all, including the center console.. then you are not able to solder anything..  you are lucky to reach the wires...  I had the dash removal and reinstall down to 20 minutes total.. plus 45 minutes for the alarm..  if customers werent willing to pay the extar labor.. we get the wires from underneath..

on kia sedona for example.. just touching door lock wires activates them.. very very low voltage.. soldering creates heat.. regardless how short you hold it.. it still must heat up the wire enough for the solder to flow thru the wire or you will have a cold joint.. DEI strongly urges the use of heat sinks when soldering on all new vehicles.. I dont have time for that.

And yes.. i have seen many cars with bad TTAPS.. but once again, they were cutting corners.. using sub standard connectors.. 3M is very successful with theres. they cost 4 times the price, but well worth it.. on some earlier ford and gm models, the wires are too thick for the ttaps.. then i use codealarms technique...  anyone know about that?  

when you have 8 alarms waiting, some with rs, to get done.. soldering is out.. they are also bringing you the special ad you posted that saves them money.. u must hurry, but you also must be cautious.. in the last 8 years, from the customers that reported them, i had 2 mistakes that were actually my fault. just 2. and one of those was my fault simply cause i forgot half my tools back at the shop, and didnt have time to go back..  pretty damn good record.. and ALL cars were done with TTAPS. 

My record install was on a keyless entry w/lights, horn and hatch....   9 minutes.  sold a viper 211hv for $145 on a kia sportage... unit costs me $45. And $2 in TTAPS..

And yes.. 33+ is awesome tape.. but here in florida, it's too hot in the summer to use it.. i wrap all my connections, including the plugs on the brain.. and i wrap my ttaps at the end to make it seem like an additional harness.. and at first glance, you wouldnt know..

I wish you all luck in this industry as I am happy to be leaving it.. kinda sucks after all these years, but the business just isnt there.. a topic for my new thread...

KarTuneMan 
Platinum - Posts: 7,056
Platinum spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: December 14, 2004
Location: Isle Of Man
Posted: September 07, 2007 at 8:49 PM / IP Logged  

My record install was on a keyless entry w/lights, horn and hatch....   9 minutes.  sold a viper 211hv for $145 on a kia sportage... unit costs me $45. And $2 in TTAPS..

Carefull boasting about this...... your gonna get flamed....To ttap or not to ttap? -- posted image.

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