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Author Topic: Back from the dead wiring cleanup  (Read 3770 times)

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Offline Jore

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Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« on: May 12, 2014, 12:03:13 pm »
Hi folks, it's good to be back at the forums.

I had to take some down time on my bike and left it mostly a basket case. Today I dug out the box containing the wiring and proceeded to do some cleanup work on it, the PO just taped and spliced at his will, so I'm planning on soldering and then putting some shrink tubing over the splice.

First of, the cables are really dirty, kind of oily with dirt packed on, what would the best method for cleaning them would be? I was thinking of just hanging them and using some soap and warm water, or just rubbing them with alcohol. What would be best?

I also want to change the idiot lights for LEDs, but I'll jump on to that project after cleaning the loom.

Thanks!
1975 CB400F owner
-Having a vintage motorcycle is like having a moody girlfriend.

My 466 build: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,146494.0.html

Offline calj737

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 01:06:47 pm »
I like to use Denatured Alcohol. It's completely non-toxic to the plastic insulation but removes the goo from the tape left behind. You can usually find it at the Home Center in quarts or bottles. Thousands of uses...
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Offline bjbuchanan

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 01:36:19 pm »
Denatured alcohol works nice and fast, other stuff too. Most of the 'strippers' will clean it quick, some better than others

When you put it back together use plumbers silicone tape. It sticks to itself and doesn't leave the adhesive residue that electrical tape leaves behind
The dirty girl-1976 cb750k, Ebay 836, Tracy bodykit
Round top carbs w/ 38 pilots, middle needle position, airscrew 7/8ths out, 122 main jet
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Don't trust me alone with a claw hammer and some pliers

Offline wowbagger

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 01:44:39 pm »
+1 to the plumbers silicone tape. I'm also covering my harness with Expandable braided wire loom to finish it off over top the silicone wrap. That way I don't have to worry about my wraps looking perfectly symetrical:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221163404138?var=520127441349&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

Offline Jore

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 09:22:39 pm »
Thanks! I didn't even know about the plumbers tape, that the reason I love this forum, the knowledge collected here is pure gold.

Do you guys have any other advice that might come in handy?
1975 CB400F owner
-Having a vintage motorcycle is like having a moody girlfriend.

My 466 build: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,146494.0.html

Offline calj737

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 02:58:20 am »
Yes. Re-solder every connection with waterproof sleeves. Add dielectric grease to the connections.
'74 550 Build http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=126401.0
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*** Currently experiencing life at 60 WTFs per hour ***
I always thought getting old would take longer

Offline madmtnmotors

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 04:09:41 am »
You can buy just the connector blocks (the plastic part) and clean up the connectors (the brass parts). I have rehabilitated the entire harness of more than one CB750. Takes about two weeks working through the weekends and almost every evening. Manually cleaned EVERY connector:


Some of the worst connectors looked like this:


Vintage connections makes a tool that helps getting connectors apart:


Keep a notepad handy for those multi connector blocks:


YUCK!


A Dremel with a wire wheel is a POWERFUL tool!


Steel wool does a good job of cleaning rattlecan overspray off the wire insulation that some goob PO got all over EVERYTHING:


Nice!


Don't forget to bend the retaining tabs back into place:


Voila'! (as opposed to "Viola" which everyone knows is a musical instrument)


I then gave all the newly cleaned contacts a shot of tuner cleaner/lubricant: http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=tuner%20cleaner&origkw=tuner+cleaner&sr=1

For those connectors that were too far gone were replaced with new connectors from vintage connections: http://vintageconnections.com/
Be sure to use the smaller bullet connectors to match the stock ones (there are two sizes), and splurge for the crimp tool. Looks like a factory crimp when done properly.

Purple Power (or "That Purple Stuff") does a bang up job of removing paint from plastic without damaging the plastic. Use gloves when removing parts from solution and wash parts thoroughly. It does not appear to harm plastic, but it's a little rough on the skin.

The female connectors (both bullet and spade) are more difficult to clean (insert favorite chauvanist remark here) but the same principles apply. For the female spades I used the dremel w/wire wheel for the outer part of the connector (just to remove any oxidation that might promote more oxidation) and then used a narrow strip of tin with a narrow strip of 320grit sandpaper folded over it to clean the inside of the spade connection. A pinch with the pliers prior to reassembly to assure a good, tight connection finishes the spade connectors (don't forget the locking tab on these too). The male bullets clean up the same as the male spades, while the female bullets require either a small diameter wire bottle brush (.177 cal bore brush is a popular choice) or an assortment of small diameter diamond stones for the Dremel (my choice). Again, a little pinch with the pliers to assure a tight connection, a little shot of tuner cleaner/lubricant, and, if you did everything right, you're good for another 30 years.

While I was at it I pulled apart the switches and cleaned them too. Here is the rear brake switch at the rear brake foot pedal:

Before:


After:


If you don't want to tackle the whole harness at once (quite daunting) then start with the primary circuits starting at the fuse box. Clean all the fuse holder connectors and harness connections to the fuse box. Then inspect/clean all the problem connectors, especially those connections to the alternator. I did this more targeted approach (as opposed to the whole harness) with my daily driver a couple years ago after it started blowing the main fuse. Still trouble free after this form of maintenance. This process WILL try your patience.

Oh yeah, DISCONNECT THE BATTERY!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 04:30:41 pm by madmtnmotors »
TAMTF...


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Offline Jore

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Re: Back from the dead wiring cleanup
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 09:24:13 am »
Thanks everyone! and madmtnmotors thanks a million! I didn't know you could take the connectors apart.
1975 CB400F owner
-Having a vintage motorcycle is like having a moody girlfriend.

My 466 build: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,146494.0.html

 

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