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To ttap or not to ttap?

Printed From: the12volt.com
Forum Name: Car Security and Convenience
Forum Discription: Car Alarms, Keyless Entries, Remote Starters, Immobilizer Bypasses, Sensors, Door Locks, Window Modules, Heated Mirrors, Heated Seats, etc.
URL: https://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?tid=96949
Printed Date: November 29, 2021 at 9:21 AM


Topic: To ttap or not to ttap?

Posted By: eurobink
Subject: To ttap or not to ttap?
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 2:13 PM

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.




Replies:

Posted By: KarTuneMan
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 3:03 PM

You got my P.M.   posted_image

I agree with you 110%

AND..... I have yet to earn 150Kposted_image



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Posted By: JWorm
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:01 PM
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.




Posted By: tbone587
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:01 PM
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.




Posted By: howie ll
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:50 PM

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,





Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 4:57 PM

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!



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: peterubers
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 5:26 PM
LOL! Can't wait to post my resume ... i must have taken a wrong turn on the 'net.. is this careerbuilder.com?

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The search function is your friend.




Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 6:47 PM

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.



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 7:12 PM

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...





Posted By: KarTuneMan
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 8:49 PM

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....posted_image



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Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 8:57 PM
really? why?




Posted By: f150fan
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 9:30 PM
This is always going to be difficult topic for people to agree on. I normally just ignore these topics but for some reason I have felt compelled to respond to this one. Let me start out by saying that if I need to make a connection in a tight place where I cannot solder for safety reasons, I have no problem using the occasional t-tap.

However, I do prefer to solder and I require all of my guys that work for me to solder (unless it is just not possible) and I do this for a couple of reasons. The first is that it sets my two shops apart from the competition, I feel that it gives us a more professional edge. The second reason we solder is that I know that the connection will last for as long as my customer owns their vehicle. I know that this is not the cheapest method but then again my goal is not to be the cheapest shop in town but to provide the best sales/service/installation at a fair price for both me and my customers.

I said before that in some instances I have no problem with t-taps. Let me go on further and explain some instances where I feel that t-taps absolutely should not be used: on larger guage wire than the t-tap was designed for, anywhere on the vehicle that will have even the slightest possibility of being exposed to the elements(underhood, under car, etc.), any connection in the vehicle that needs to be stealth.

Eurobink, it looks like you are from Florida so you may not have see the same results that I see in Ohio from exposure to the elements. In the winter there is road salt everywhere that gets in every nook and cranny of the vehicles up here. I have seen fuel injector wires, trailer connections, and tail light connections broke in two from having t-taps installed and the weather gets to the connection. It does not take long for the wire to corrode and become brittle. In these cases we solder and heat shrink(when possible) or use 3M super33 to wrap all of our connections. The hottest it gets here is around 100 and I will agree with you that the tape can get a little hard to work with when it gets really hot( I am sure that you know this better than me).

Let me just finish by saying that the biggest fear that I have with a topic like this is that someone with little or no experience will read a thread like this and justify using t-taps without taking the time to consider whether or not it is the best connection method in the given circumstance.

     





Posted By: swerks
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 9:38 PM
In my opinion t taps take just as long if not longer than soldering I do super duty fords in under 30 mins completely soldered in my record is 16 minutes. solder and 3m are the only way to go, i use a bluepoint cordless butane iron which reaches temps of up to 1300F never had a problem soldering outdoors in -20C and colder, but i guess when it comes to tools you get what you pay for

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Steve Sverdahl
Swerksound Auto Electric
Red Deer Alberta




Posted By: JWorm
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 9:48 PM
eurobink wrote:

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.. 


Butane irons are crap. They just don't get hot enough.

eurobink wrote:

When you are competing with other shops on price, time is of the essence, no room for soldering.

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.




How about competing on quality, instead of price? I worked at the same shop for 7+ years. We competed on quality, not price. I always listened to my boss explain to customers why we were more $, and when he was done they would almost always book the appointment. Lifetime warranty, neat and tidy install, hidden (if it was security), and soldered connections. Would you rather do 8 installs a day making $75 profit on each, or 4 cars and make $150 on each? You may lose some of the cheapo customers to the hack shop down the street that can beat you on price, but they aren't the type of customer you want anyways.




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 9:54 PM

f150fan wrote:



Eurobink, it looks like you are from Florida so you may not have see the same results that I see in Ohio from exposure to the elements. In the winter there is road salt everywhere that gets in every nook and cranny of the vehicles up here. I have seen fuel injector wires, trailer connections, and tail light connections broke in two from having t-taps installed and the weather gets to the connection. It does not take long for the wire to corrode and become brittle. In these cases we solder and heat shrink(when possible) or use 3M super33 to wrap all of our connections. The hottest it gets here is around 100 and I will agree with you that the tape can get a little hard to work with when it gets really hot( I am sure that you know this better than me).

Let me just finish by saying that the biggest fear that I have with a topic like this is that someone with little or no experience will read a thread like this and justify using t-taps without taking the time to consider whether or not it is the best connection method in the given circumstance.

     


I have been in florida only 6 years, most my experience is from detroit, so yes.. i have seen the elements.. lived in them most my life.

i do agree with you 100% with the last statement..  didn't think of that.. TTAPS are not to be used by just anyone.. took me a long time to learn their proper application.  Proper application means using the correct connector for the correct wire size... I was against them just like everyone here, till i took a 4 month assignment after closing a store to make my move to florida, and a shop in detroit insisted on it.. they were part of a chain of 24 stores..

as an employee.. and not the boss.. i did as told.. made many mistakes.. many comebacks..  but that was my fault.. just like improper technique of a soldering gun could cause bad connections... today.. ill tap anything  thats tap-able without even thinking and have no comebacks...  this thread was sparked by a customer badgering an installer for supposedly destroying his vehicle.. and the assumption was the installer used improper installation techniques.. everthing i read there was unfounded.  My point was layoff the installer..





Posted By: chadwa2003
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 10:15 PM
JWorm] wrote:

eurobink wrote:

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.. 


Butane irons are crap. They just don't get hot enough.

eurobink wrote:

When you are competing with other shops on price, time is of the essence, no room for soldering.

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.




How about competing on quality, instead of price? I worked at the same shop for 7+ years. We competed on quality, not price. I always listened to my boss explain to customers why we were more $, and when he was done they would almost always book the appointment. Lifetime warranty, neat and tidy install, hidden (if it was security), and soldered connections. Would you rather do 8 installs a day making $75 profit on each, or 4 cars and make $150 on each? You may lose some of the cheapo customers to the hack shop down the street that can beat you on price, but they aren't the type of customer you want anyways.



You only lose those cheapo customers temporarily because when they go down the street to the hack shop and there car doesn't start 2 months or even 2 weeks down the road they then will call the professionals to fix it. We have customers like that all the time, the usually leave cause they don't like the price then we end of seeing them a few weeks later. And I also definately think t-taps are out of the question, especially for security in no way can you have a clean install with them.




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 10:30 PM

wow, 2 pages on ttaps..interesting

its nice if you have the luxury of being able to wait for the next customer who may pay your price.. come see us in tampa and drop your techniques here.. you will learn quickly as i did, those practices do not go very far.

event tint.. in michigan we would get $230 for a basic 4door car..

down here.. $79 to $129.. and here they use the better film to prevent fading.. Miami is even worse... What works in your area does not work everywhere.. thats business planning 101..

working for someone and struggling to make your own paycheck are not the same animal.. if you have deep pockets.. once again, you have the luxury of time..  every shop down here is switching gears to different industries for extra income... well, i havent polled evryone,... but from the major players, yes.. im friends with them..

"You only lose those cheapo customers temporarily because when they go down the street to the hack shop and there car doesn't start 2 months or even 2 weeks down the road they then will call the professionals to fix it. " 

if you ever get a shop of your own, you will retract that statement very fast.

Look at car audio sector...

Mobile electronics labeled it as ... 'what was high-fi is now low-fi'  mass merchants crippled local shops.. manufactures that saw potential profits there, dropped the mom n pop shop for walmart or BB..     it's price price price...

chinese trade jumped ridiculous numbers.. nothing like this 'Mr 12volt' in history of our industry has happened.. to educate consumers is very costly.. im sure a cost none of your bosses are willing to absorb.

I do agree with your thought process of quality over quantity.. then again, there is the food industry.. just because i agree with you guys on how it should be, doesnt make it so.





Posted By: f150fan
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 10:32 PM
JWorm] wrote:

ow about competing on quality, instead of price? I worked at the same shop for 7+ years. We competed on quality, not price. I always listened to my boss explain to customers why we were more $, and when he was done they would almost always book the appointment. Lifetime warranty, neat and tidy install, hidden (if it was security), and soldered connections. Would you rather do 8 installs a day making $75 profit on each, or 4 cars and make $150 on each? You may lose some of the cheapo customers to the hack shop down the street that can beat you on price, but they aren't the type of customer you want anyways.


It doesnt seem like to many people care about quality anymore but some still do. The customer is in your store because they want to buy, they just need to be educated as to why you are their best choice.

The only way to compete and make money in a price market is to offer items not sold by your competitors. You also have to ask for the sell and be good at upselling. Be creative, you would be amazed at what you can make money on and what you can sell.




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 07, 2007 at 10:48 PM

who said i was makin $75 per install.. i wont touch a car for less than $100.. 8 installs.. well i better not 'boast' but 8 cars is a very very healthy day for profits.. well into mid 3digits minimum... i agree, many dont care about quality.. i eduacte most my customers.. always have.. but it just doesnt exactly make the register ring...

i have competitors selling complete garbage and they are busy.. i have a very low return ratio. and if it wasnt for offering a certain brand.. i would have none





Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 12:13 AM

Every installer has their 'style'.  If your style is using TTaps and your return rate is low why even question what other people are doing?  It sounds like you are set on using TTaps from a time saving perspective, so keep doing what works for you.

As a business owner you have other interests and other factors to consider.  I, myself, would never take a 'commission' based install job because I didn't like feeling rushed with a customers car.  I was the only one at any of the 3 shops I worked at who metered every wire on every alarm/rs I did, even the GM cars that have the same colors year after year after year.

You will never convince me that TTaps provide a better connections then soldering, but I have no problems believing that TTaps are easier to use, especially when doing 8 cars a day.



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 8:52 AM
I almost never test wires, and i test my alarm afteri button up the car.. rarely do i have to change a thing...   but iv been doing it forever




Posted By: swerks
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 9:32 AM
Sure cheap butane irons are crap but like i say when it comes to tools you get what you pay for. Ive checled the temps of both corded irons and Snap On butane irons with an infared thermometer and the butane iron blows corded guns away. Chefs cook with gas stoves for a reason it is a much better heat source than an electric stove

eurobink wrote:

wow, 2 pages on ttaps..interesting

its nice if you have the luxury of being able to wait for the next customer who may pay your price.. come see us in tampa and drop your techniques here.. you will learn quickly as i did, those practices do not go very far.

event tint.. in michigan we would get $230 for a basic 4door car..

down here.. $79 to $129.. and here they use the better film to prevent fading.. Miami is even worse... What works in your area does not work everywhere.. thats business planning 101..

working for someone and struggling to make your own paycheck are not the same animal.. if you have deep pockets.. once again, you have the luxury of time..  every shop down here is switching gears to different industries for extra income... well, i havent polled evryone,... but from the major players, yes.. im friends with them..

"You only lose those cheapo customers temporarily because when they go down the street to the hack shop and there car doesn't start 2 months or even 2 weeks down the road they then will call the professionals to fix it. " 

if you ever get a shop of your own, you will retract that statement very fast.

Look at car audio sector...

Mobile electronics labeled it as ... 'what was high-fi is now low-fi'  mass merchants crippled local shops.. manufactures that saw potential profits there, dropped the mom n pop shop for walmart or BB..     it's price price price...

chinese trade jumped ridiculous numbers.. nothing like this 'Mr 12volt' in history of our industry has happened.. to educate consumers is very costly.. im sure a cost none of your bosses are willing to absorb.

I do agree with your thought process of quality over quantity.. then again, there is the food industry.. just because i agree with you guys on how it should be, doesnt make it so.




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Steve Sverdahl
Swerksound Auto Electric
Red Deer Alberta




Posted By: xtremej
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 10:06 AM
Wow, as a shop owner if I had that happen in my shop you would be gone instantly.  Living in detroit does not equal living in the elements, stop by in january here and we will review some temperatures and snowfall. As far as what is used for connection we have seen many scotchlock connections fail. Please don't ask what model number, they are thrown out after removal. They mainly come from a competitor of mine that has been in business for nearly twenty years. Since opening I strive on doing quality work that does not come back with issues, not everything is perfect but our return rate for install related issues is low. Since opening they have lost nearly all dealer contracts, their customer base has disappeared, uh people are willing  to pay for a quality installation, which includes training on the product they had installed. One thats not rushed and tested several times, prior to leaving. As far as boasting install times, come. Installs like this are whats degrading this industry, this is why people don't trust mobile electronics stores or installers. You have also re-inforced why commision based installs are not the way to go, the only thing you an the installer will look at is how long it takes to slap it in and get it out the door, not how long its going to last trouble free or when its coming back with issues.. I will stick to paying my staff hourly for quality installations and work they can be proud of. As far as t-taps I am aware of only 3 sizes used to accomdate several different gauge of wire, hmm? On another point you say you need moisture for corrosion correct, why do you think most  dashs have surface rust on the steel bracing inside after only 1 winter hmm moisture from snow and ice (salt)that is melted from the heat in the car. Maybe going from below zero to 60 degress causing condensation, hmm. You can install as you wish, everyone has their own style, mine is best thoughposted_image




Posted By: swerks
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 11:56 AM
xtremej wrote:

Wow, as a shop owner if I had that happen in my shop you would be gone instantly.  Living in detroit does not equal living in the elements, stop by in january here and we will review some temperatures and snowfall. As far as what is used for connection we have seen many scotchlock connections fail. Please don't ask what model number, they are thrown out after removal. They mainly come from a competitor of mine that has been in business for nearly twenty years. Since opening I strive on doing quality work that does not come back with issues, not everything is perfect but our return rate for install related issues is low. Since opening they have lost nearly all dealer contracts, their customer base has disappeared, uh people are willing  to pay for a quality installation, which includes training on the product they had installed. One thats not rushed and tested several times, prior to leaving. As far as boasting install times, come. Installs like this are whats degrading this industry, this is why people don't trust mobile electronics stores or installers. You have also re-inforced why commision based installs are not the way to go, the only thing you an the installer will look at is how long it takes to slap it in and get it out the door, not how long its going to last trouble free or when its coming back with issues.. I will stick to paying my staff hourly for quality installations and work they can be proud of. As far as t-taps I am aware of only 3 sizes used to accomdate several different gauge of wire, hmm? On another point you say you need moisture for corrosion correct, why do you think most  dashs have surface rust on the steel bracing inside after only 1 winter hmm moisture from snow and ice (salt)that is melted from the heat in the car. Maybe going from below zero to 60 degress causing condensation, hmm. You can install as you wish, everyone has their own style, mine is best thoughposted_image


AMEN!posted_image

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Steve Sverdahl
Swerksound Auto Electric
Red Deer Alberta




Posted By: chadwa2003
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 7:34 PM
I don't own my own shop but I do help with running it as I am the only employee. As for my statement it happens all the time people don't like our prices we charge for quality work. Some Joe Schmo comes in or calls gets a quote then leaves we see them usually 2-3 weeks down the road when they have to pay double to get it fixed. So I stand behind my statement
eurobink wrote:

wow, 2 pages on ttaps..interesting

its nice if you have the luxury of being able to wait for the next customer who may pay your price.. come see us in tampa and drop your techniques here.. you will learn quickly as i did, those practices do not go very far.

event tint.. in michigan we would get $230 for a basic 4door car..

down here.. $79 to $129.. and here they use the better film to prevent fading.. Miami is even worse... What works in your area does not work everywhere.. thats business planning 101..

working for someone and struggling to make your own paycheck are not the same animal.. if you have deep pockets.. once again, you have the luxury of time..  every shop down here is switching gears to different industries for extra income... well, i havent polled evryone,... but from the major players, yes.. im friends with them..

"You only lose those cheapo customers temporarily because when they go down the street to the hack shop and there car doesn't start 2 months or even 2 weeks down the road they then will call the professionals to fix it. " 

if you ever get a shop of your own, you will retract that statement very fast.

Look at car audio sector...

Mobile electronics labeled it as ... 'what was high-fi is now low-fi'  mass merchants crippled local shops.. manufactures that saw potential profits there, dropped the mom n pop shop for walmart or BB..     it's price price price...

chinese trade jumped ridiculous numbers.. nothing like this 'Mr 12volt' in history of our industry has happened.. to educate consumers is very costly.. im sure a cost none of your bosses are willing to absorb.

I do agree with your thought process of quality over quantity.. then again, there is the food industry.. just because i agree with you guys on how it should be, doesnt make it so.






Posted By: mikvot
Date Posted: September 08, 2007 at 8:41 PM

eurobink wrote:

I almost never test wires, and i test my alarm afteri button up the car.. rarely do i have to change a thing...   but iv been doing it forever
  I don't think this is gonna help your argument one bit, in fact, i think it just made it worse. I have no problem with t-taps, because i do have to use them...(not my choice) and i very rarely see a failure with them. Although, on a remote start i do prefer a soldered connection, but I work at car dealerships, and pull out equipment all day long that has been soldered in. I can't tell you you how many exposed connections i've seen. As already mentioned, the correct tape needs to be used, or in my opinion a soldered connection is no better, or in fact worse than a t-tap.



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Posted By: KarTuneMan
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 1:37 AM
mikvot wrote:

eurobink wrote:

I almost never test wires, and i test my alarm afteri button up the car.. rarely do i have to change a thing...   but iv been doing it forever
  I don't think this is gonna help your argument one bit, in fact, i think it just made it worse. I have no problem with t-taps, because i do have to use them...(not my choice) and i very rarely see a failure with them. Although, on a remote start i do prefer a soldered connection, but I work at car dealerships, and pull out equipment all day long that has been soldered in. I can't tell you you how many exposed connections i've seen. As already mentioned, the correct tape needs to be used, or in my opinion a soldered connection is no better, or in fact worse than a t-tap.


    WHAT?????

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Posted By: Two_Cold
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 2:13 AM
My experience is that soldering is the best. Other connections will corrode over time and can cause problems.

I only use t-taps when I have to, but that is rare. If I use one on a boat I seal the t-tap with a bit of silicone.

I also do boats, so insulating connections is important. All installs I do are soldered with a small butane torch and heat shrink. If tape is necessary I use 3M and if on a boat I seal the tape with a bit of silicone.

I have done many repairs on installs that were done with crimps and to a lesser degree t-taps. Most of these were "do-it-yourself" installs.




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 6:40 PM

KarTuneMan...

haha .. i know.. they cant even read and they wanna argue about electronic issues..

hey.. .they are right, they are the best... thats why they get paid the big bucks....

maybe someday i can be just like them.





Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 6:46 PM

KarTuneMan..

Even for remote starts, TTAPS hold the current no problem..

96 Tahoe.. I installed a Sidewinder 6000ESP.. same as a viper alarm/start.. back in sept 2000 on my best friends truck, who lives in michigan.... not a flaw to this day.. had to replace transmitter batteries once...

I have many customers that long.. no issues.. 3M is the only way..

Now i have tried other TTAPS.. OMG.. they were horrible.. would break easily.. and barely hold any connection.. 3M has a lockin feature, you push until you hear a snap, then you know its on.. to remove, you need pliers, or a very very firm grip.. usually you break the wire...





Posted By: extreme1
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 7:25 PM
there isn't a single t-tap in my shop, hell we solder our deck harness's even. anytime a human hand is involved in crimping a connection there's a chance for failure.

oh, and you want to talk income? I made 133k last year, working at a shop that pays 50% commish, do the math, that's 266,000 dollars in labour I installed last year. 1 person in my bay, the other is close to 100k in income, 200k labour

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Shaughn Murley
Install Manager, Dealer Services
Visions Electronics
Red Deer, Alberta




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 9:49 PM

i wasnt gonna post anything else.. but really.. how many times do i have to post to get a star?

i worked alone when made $150k.. that means advertising, ordering, scheduling, picking up parts.. bookkeeping.. u name it i did it.. why.. cause most installers just couldnt keep up... 

anyway.. this is my 50th post, if i dont get a star, im done.. not doin this again.. i really dont care what you guys post.. im just having fun.. you get too serious.. i was just bored this weekend.. besides.. i have to go evict my tenants this week.. joy. i hate court.





Posted By: JWorm
Date Posted: September 09, 2007 at 10:23 PM
Do you want an award too? How about "Troll of the week"? You can leave now....




Posted By: eurobink
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 12:14 AM

i cant leave, now i need the second star...





Posted By: swerks
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 12:58 AM
Is this guy for real? What a posted_image posted_image posted_image

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Steve Sverdahl
Swerksound Auto Electric
Red Deer Alberta




Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 5:20 AM

The 2nd star is much harder to get!



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: KarTuneMan
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 8:39 AM
The hardest one to get is the "last one"

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Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 10:03 AM
what's the last one, 5000?

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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: DYohn
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 10:42 AM

I really dislike trolls...

T-taps are the lazy installer's friend.  No one who worked for me would ever use them and keep their job.



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Support the12volt.com




Posted By: extreme1
Date Posted: September 10, 2007 at 5:13 PM
DYohn] wrote:

I really dislike trolls...

T-taps are the lazy installer's friend.  No one who worked for me would ever use them and keep their job.




yup, like I said I've even stopped connecting deck harness's and switched to solder, just a more reliable connection.

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Shaughn Murley
Install Manager, Dealer Services
Visions Electronics
Red Deer, Alberta




Posted By: vitrox
Date Posted: September 14, 2007 at 10:13 PM

just throwing in my .02...

I live in alaska.  EVERY shop here solders their connections for remote starters. 

Our shop solders remote starters, alarms, head units, amp wiring.. everything that can be soldered is soldered.  I have yet to use a t-tap in the 4 years i've been doing this.  I haven't had any vehicles come back because of a bad connection yet.

Although, if you are going to solder, invest in a good soldering iron.  such as a master butane iron.  1100 degrees will solder almost every wire, except the 8ga+ wires.  For that I have a much larger butane iron that works. Without a good iron you may as well be t-tapping because you are just getting cold solder joints.  You have no idea how many units i've removed that have came from the states that have had cold solder joints.  I could literally just slide the wire around without even heating it.

If you want reliability, solder is the way to go.  Also, anything but shrink tube or 3m super 33+ is a waste of time as far as covering the joint goes.





Posted By: extreme1
Date Posted: September 15, 2007 at 10:30 AM
vitrox wrote:

just throwing in my .02...

I live in alaska.  EVERY shop here solders their connections for remote starters. 

Our shop solders remote starters, alarms, head units, amp wiring.. everything that can be soldered is soldered.  I have yet to use a t-tap in the 4 years i've been doing this.  I haven't had any vehicles come back because of a bad connection yet.

Although, if you are going to solder, invest in a good soldering iron.  such as a master butane iron.  1100 degrees will solder almost every wire, except the 8ga+ wires.  For that I have a much larger butane iron that works. Without a good iron you may as well be t-tapping because you are just getting cold solder joints.  You have no idea how many units i've removed that have came from the states that have had cold solder joints.  I could literally just slide the wire around without even heating it.

If you want reliability, solder is the way to go.  Also, anything but shrink tube or 3m super 33+ is a waste of time as far as covering the joint goes.



My weller D650 will solder 8awg but that's about the limit of it. I will burn through a tip every 3 weeks during the winter months.

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Shaughn Murley
Install Manager, Dealer Services
Visions Electronics
Red Deer, Alberta




Posted By: howie ll
Date Posted: September 15, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Extreme 1 and Vitrox; I agree with everything you've said, for projects I use a Weler Gun via an inverter, but my weller Cordless seems to run hotter!

The downside is that the gun's tips need constant tightening to maintain heat levels and  getting the cordless to even work in winter is a joke!

Also anyone know where I can get Scotch 33+ in UK? The stuff we get through our major factors here is garbage let alone trying to use it in winter, thanks.





Posted By: init
Date Posted: September 15, 2007 at 7:08 PM

I wasn't going to add fuel to the flame but since this thread has been revived I'll toss in my $.02.

I've used all 4 different methods of connection, soldering, butt splice, ScotchLocks and T-Taps.  Of all of them, T-Taps are my least favorite.

I can see a situation where T-Taps might be useful, such as a wire that's buried underneath a lot of other stuff that would be a pain in the ass to remove, etc, but I don't beleive wiring a whole system, especially a remote start, with T-Taps is a good idea.

Now, I'm not a professional, and as a result I don't have to worry about turnover rate. For me, I do 1 install maybe every year or so.  But, consider this.  McDonald's serves food fast.  Is it the best quality food?  Most likely not, but it does do the job.  It's quantity over quality.  They get customers in and out fast and make money doing it.

You may be able to do an installation in 15 seconds with T-Taps.  But, if I go over to my friend's house and show him the install I did, and say "It's a little sloppy because I used T-Taps instead of soldering the wires like it should be done" and he peeks under his dash and sees the same T-Taps that his "professional" used for his rs/security, how is he going to feel about the installation that he paid his hard earned money for, when he could have had any one of us do the same for nothing?  If he brings the car to a different shop to have anything else installed, and they don't use T-Taps, they'll probably tell him the same.

The way I see it, you can give a customer a McInstall, but when the customer finds out how it was done and that it could have been done a better way, how is that customer going to feel about your shop?  Even if it isn't warranted, customers and other shops are going to discredit your work, because T-Taps aren't considered a "proper" way of making a good connection.  It won't cast a favorable image of your business.  What's worse is, if the system you installed is having problems because of a faulty connection, and the customer brings it to another shop, they're going to get knocked for T-Taps.

So, my philosophly towards this is "quality, not quantity." Sure, you may be able to make more money with T-Taps, but in the long run the word will spread that--despite wether or not T-Taps are good--your shop is doing poor quality work. And that is the last thing I'd want as a business owner.

As far as T-Taps go, I'm not a real big fan of them, but perhaps I haven't got past the "learning curve." To me, it seemed pretty straightforward: slide the wire into the fork and push down, snap the connector together, crimp the other end on, and snap the 2 connections together.  Even with a strong crimp connection and the connector snapped firmly in place, it seemed that 50% of the connections would later be traced to an issue.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong?  Possibly.  Also, the damn things stick out of the side of the wire and get caught up in everything.

I do realize that I'm "charlie brown" here, so take what I say with a grain of salt. As a customer, however, this is how I feel about the issue.

I'm not a professional.  But I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.





Posted By: howie ll
Date Posted: September 16, 2007 at 5:14 AM

Init,very very sensible comments, BUT the whole point is making a good physically strong joint with good electrical conductivity, surely that means PROPER  soldering ie enough heat and watch the solder flow into the joint and proper, lasting sleeving whether sleeving or good quality insulating tape.

Hooray I've found Scotch 33+ suppliers in the UK, but $10 per reel? Do a Cat I and R/S and you've shifted a reel!





Posted By: init
Date Posted: September 16, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Yes.  Personally I do feel soldering is the best option.   Of all 4 connection types, soldering makes the strongest bond when applied right.  Keep in mind, though, if it isn't done right it can be just as problematic as any other.

I realize that, since I'm not a professonal I may not have the expertise to use and apply T-Taps as properly as the OP does.  I was just giving my opinion on the psycological and sociological impact of T-Taps from a consumer's standpoint.





Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: October 10, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I just got this Email and I thought I would share:

A customer looking for support wrote:

I feel dumb for sending that email last night. I was using t-taps and they did not get into the meat of the wire. I ended up stripping a piece of the switch harness wires and attaching it the right way. Everything works good now.



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: profuse007
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 12:18 AM
^that statement doesnt say much since the fact that its not specified the t-tap size he/she used on a certain wire guage.

I am not for it nor against it but from my experiences and testings, it works fine as long as you use the right t-tap size for its corresponding AWG.

Its not the best method for tapping wires in, IMO, but its one of the solution.

theres a shop near my area that uses t-tap on all of the installs to save time and quote customer less. They charge like ~50-75bucks for remote start installation, whereas other places charges 150-200 for RS installation. I had a friend went into this well-known shop and they only charged 50bucks and they used all t-taps. It worked for about a yr until he totaled the vehicle.

What i am saying is that there are competitive shops out there that have used t-taps for yrs and still do.

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Houston,TX
"The two most common elements in the universe are H+ and stupidity" (Ellison).




Posted By: evileagletalon
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 1:11 AM
I used to be all anal like some other installer on here, soldering EVERYTHING, heat shrinking all of the joints, etc.


Now, I use the 3M t-taps. I use the blue 3M t-taps and the light green transparent male spade connectors that go into the t-tap to make the connection.

These connections are actually very tight. Once the connectio is made, you have to tug on the connection pretty hard to get it apart. I hardwire in aftermarket head units on the new Chevys with 3m t-taps. I also use 3M tape to cover up the t-tap connection and keep the harness covered up.

If you're having issues with t-taps coming apart or making a bad connection, you're doing something wrong. Now that I've been using 3M t-taps for head unit installs, alarm/remote starts, etc, soldering and heat shrinking are overkill and not necessary.

What if you need to make a connection on the brake wire on a 99 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4? The brake wire is WAY up in the brake pedal assembly, I could barely manage to get 3 fingers up there. I doubt you'll be able to solder the brake wire connection for the alarm/remote start. The T-tap worked flawlessly, and it was done correctly.




Posted By: KPierson
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 5:44 AM

profuse007 wrote:

^that statement doesnt say much since the fact that its not specified the t-tap size he/she used on a certain wire guage.


This is exactly the problem though, that many people misuse them.

I would almost guarentee that the wrong size was used.

I've never had an Email about someone who used the wrong size solder joint!



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Kevin Pierson




Posted By: usabuilt
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 9:25 AM
T-taps in my experience are fine for samller gauge wires, like parking light wires, ect..but for larger wires Main power connection, Ign,,ACC and starter its best from my experience to either solder or poke wrap and tie rap..

Also I noticed alot of cars comming back when I t-tap anything under the hood, it seems to corrode both the wire and the connector..

The reason for failure is usually wrong size t-tap for the wire, or on large wires the strands of the wire being very large and the connector not 'seating properly'..

Unless you actually have used them it not really fair to base your evaluation of them on other peoples work, the reason why they came to you was because of a problem based on shoddy installation practice, not really a bad connector..just like tape if you use the 3M product and follow guidelines it should not be a problem..

One tip, when squeezing the tap hold the open end towards you when you clamp it down and listen for a snap..also I give a little squeeze to the biting edge of the tap on smaller wire for some extra gripping power..

a zero ohm connection is no better when you solder or t-tap, its the connection failing that causes problems, and in my experience a good t-tap connection made inside the car will out last the rest of the car..and the transmitters.

Also snap on makes a special tool designed for t-taps..I just use pliers though.




Posted By: howie ll
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 4:21 PM
Enough already why doesn't someone post a thread asking if an R/S can be installed in his or her's new S Class Merc and can we use the factory remote to enable it, then we can practise our facetious replies. Ta very much.




Posted By: xtremej
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 4:23 PM
posted_image




Posted By: usabuilt
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 4:52 PM
First I need to raise my insurance liability.




Posted By: usabuilt
Date Posted: October 11, 2007 at 4:54 PM
Then I need to buy some extra t-taps.




Posted By: profuse007
Date Posted: October 12, 2007 at 1:48 PM
Welcome to The12volt.com, my friend. The topic will never end.
howie ll wrote:

Enough already why doesn't someone post a thread asking if an R/S can be installed in his or her's new S Class Merc and can we use the factory remote to enable it, then we can practise our facetious replies. Ta very much.


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Houston,TX
"The two most common elements in the universe are H+ and stupidity" (Ellison).




Posted By: CutDog504
Date Posted: October 14, 2007 at 6:19 AM
I pretty much agree with usabuilt's post above. T-taps are ok if only used on certain wires in certain locations. I'll second that, never under the hood or under the vehicle. And I'll only use them on certain guage wire. No thicker than 14 guage, and no thinner than 18-20 guage. I never use them for stereo connections either. I mainly ony use them for some of my alarm connections such as: doorlocks, parking lights, door triggers, dome lights, trunk triggers, tach wire(if it's under the dash), brake wire connection, and sometimes for the trunk release wire(depending on the thickness of the wire and the amperage). All my other connections, I use one of three methods, I either solder and heatshrink or tape. I'll use butt connectors. Or I'll use a butt connector and heatshrink over the Butt connector. The last method is usually what I use under the hood or underneath the car or bumpers. Thats usually how I connect trailer light harnesses on trucks. The only comeback I have EVER had was on a Honda with VERY thin doorlock wires and the tap lost its connection. Ever since then, I butt connect the very thin wires, no problems ever since.





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