Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong? - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Hey Folks,

I broke down and bought three different sizes of shrink sleeves preloaded with low-temperature solder from Summit.

So far Ive tried the 10-12-gauge and 16-18 gauge connectors without success. I tried a BIC lighter then my heat gun with a narrow pipe. I keep melting the plastic sleeve before the solder melts and makes the connection. Ive even completely melted one sleeve with my DeWalt heat gun set at 1,050 degrees and then the wires just slid apart without the solder doing its thing. Ive tried fast heat and slow heat.

My first reaction was to toss the pile of these things and just go back to solder and heat shrink tubing. But it seems that these things have become pretty popular so they MUST work, right? So whos successfully used these and whats the technique?

Thanks,
Tom.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 12:47 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Why waste money on a wire splice that may not be a good-long lasting connection?

It is so easy to make a good Western Union Splice, just strip and tin both wires, twist together, solder and slip heat shrink tubing over the splice.


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 12:52 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

You need an end for your heat gun that semi surrounds the sleeve. If you concentrate to much heat in one spot the plastic will melt.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 1:21 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

I got a box of them too, never could get them to work right even with the heat gun attachment. I thought about maybe heating up the wires first with a soldering iron but if I'm going through that much trouble why bother. Just stick to the method Dean mentioned.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 3:01 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Quote:
it seems that these things have become pretty popular so they MUST work
Sounds like pills they sell on the internet.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 4:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Yeah... back to twist-solder-heat shrink. What a waste of money.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 6:58 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

The heating method might be the problem here. Heat the joint twice, once to melt the solder, later a second time to melt the heat shrink. Could you wrap the wires around each other, then slide the heat shrink tubing off one side away from the joint? Melt the solder to make the physical/electrical joint. After it cools, slide the heat shrink tubing over the solder and reheat to a lower temp just enough to shrink the tubing.
Most solders melt in the range of 200 to 300C. One of the most common solder alloys Sn63 (ASTM63A, ASTM63B) melts at 183C.
The heat shrink plastic has a lower melting point than most solders. Polyolefin tubing shrinks at 143C.
I do prefer to solder automotive connections for reliability. Some folks disagree as they say solder creates a stiff point in the wiring that eventually cracks due to vibration. I have not experienced this in many years of driving. Strapping wires together and using anchor points limits the movement of wires. I hope this helps.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 7:20 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

They are pretty much considered trash on most other forums that I frequent. Lazy way out of using real solder and heat shrink tubing.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 7:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
They are pretty much considered trash on most other forums that I frequent. Lazy way out of using real solder and heat shrink tubing.
Wish I would have done some reading before buying this junk. The regular twist-solder-shrink tube method has served me well since I bought my first soldering gun about 45 years ago. I thought that just maybe someone had come up with a quicker better mouse trap. And... nope.

Thank you all for your input. At least now I know that its not just me.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 10:15 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Sorry but I have to disagree, the solder sleeves have been used in aircraft since the 80's. You either got some crap sleeves or its user error. I have some in my tool box that are 30 years old and still work fine.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 10:26 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Solderless connectors and the right crimping tool is the way to go
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old May 17th, 20, 11:03 PM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

I've seen too many sta-kon type splices fail. On a bladed terminal block or ground fork or ring terminal they are OK, but over the years too many butt-splice type connectors have caused me a lot of headaches. I've seen them fail on industrial equipment as well as cars and trucks. A properly twisted, soldered and heat shrink covered joint will last, and it will be stronger than a crimp splice, not to mention a sealed solder joint won't corrode and introduce resistance after it ages in harsher environments like a crimp joint. I prefer the 3M heat shrink with adhesive inside that melts over the joint sealing it.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old May 18th, 20, 9:37 AM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

we use these regularly at work to repair mail sorting machines and have zero problems.

Have you ever stopped to think and forgot to start again??
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old May 18th, 20, 9:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by suprdave1 View Post
we use these regularly at work to repair mail sorting machines and have zero problems.
Do tell, please. These SEEM like a good idea, but my solder inside doesn't seem to do it. Do you use a flame or a heat gun???
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old May 18th, 20, 11:19 AM
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Re: Shrink solder sleeves: What am I doing wrong?

Speaking of aircraft atleast on the big ones every connection is crimped . Some connections call for solder but a good connector and crimping tool is just as good.
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