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Old 01 March 2008, 06:10   #1
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Alternative to Scotchblocks

I'm sure this has been covered before, but can't find it on a quick search.

I'm just wiring a tow bar onto the car and they've supplied scotchblocks for making a break in connection to the electrics. I've never been happy with these as an option ... can anyone recommend a better alternative

Thanks in advance
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Old 01 March 2008, 06:33   #2
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Scotchlocks - spawn of the devil

to be fair tho, they do minimal damage to your existing loom. I think your only alternative is to solder them together and tape em up.

A great alternative to insulation tape that many people dont seem to be aware of is self amalgamating tape. Do a search, it's awesome stuff.
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Old 01 March 2008, 07:44   #3
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Totally agree. My mate had an autoelectrical business for years and he said he could always tell the cowboys because they used Scotchlocks. Solder and tape as you say.
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Old 01 March 2008, 14:23   #4
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It is possible to get proper interfaces for a lot of cars these days - more expensive but quicker and neater.

I got one for my 1999 Focus - you simply unplug a multi-plug in the boot and plug the two connector halves into the supplied interface box, with a third connector off to the trailer socket. Quick and easy (though in my case on the Focus there was a wiring error ), and just as easy to remove and make good.

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Old 01 March 2008, 14:41   #5
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That's why my mate sold his business - it will soon get to the stage where independents can't work on cars and the main dealer will just unplug something and throw it away.

He's just emigrated to Perth and thanks to me he has developed a passion for boats and computers and is installing electrical fittings on luxury yachts - what a life!!!
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Old 02 March 2008, 04:23   #6
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Like all short cuts they can work if you use the correctly but most can't hence the amount of times that a scotchblock will fail.

Its like fitting a plug on to co-ax, most think they can. many can't!

But have to agree there is no replacement for soldering, again if it is done right!
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Old 02 March 2008, 04:48   #7
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OK thanks for this chaps.

Time to get the soldering iron out

Assistance much appreciated
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Old 02 March 2008, 10:14   #8
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Rather than tape, why not try heat shrink tubing. It won't come undone like tape will.
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Old 02 March 2008, 11:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoTango View Post
Rather than tape, why not try heat shrink tubing. It won't come undone like tape will.
I agree that HS tubing is the best if you can use it. However trying to use it with your head stuffed under the console is imposible. I use everthing including Scotch block. If used properly they do a good job. Regarding electrical tape: all tape is not created equal. I use a high quality tape all the time, I add tape to any type of joint. I taped some spliced joints behind my rear bumper for trailer wiring 15 years ago. I had to take the bumper off last week and it was still in perfect condition. Good tape is usually dull black, not shiny and very stretchy. Don't buy from B&Q, buy from an electrical supply place.
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Old 02 March 2008, 12:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoTango View Post
Rather than tape, why not try heat shrink tubing. It won't come undone like tape will.
The scotch connectors are normally used for connecting to a cable already in place so you can't fit shrink sleeving onto the cable.

Nick a piece of the pvc from the cable and tin the exposed wires. (A bit trickier than it sounds because the soldering iron melts the pvc and it interferes with the soldering.) Prepare the end of the joining cable and tin it ensuring there is a blob of solder, trim excess if necessary. Bring the two together and solder. Wipe the cable around the joint with solvent. Use self amalgamating tape and either start by putting the end of the tape in between the cables or put a small snippet of tape in between them and then put a couple of turns of the tape around your joint. Follow it with a wrapping of pvc tape and finish the ends with a small cable tie and trim off. imho, of course.
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