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What makes good and bad quality materials?

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  • What makes good and bad quality materials?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new here, I haven't done a retrofit before and have only had a small amount of experience with automotive electrical work. Originally I wasn't planning on becoming a member just yet, but my girlfriend got me a D2S 5.0 kit for Christmas, so I figured there was no reason not to.
    I've done what I'd consider a decent amount of research over the past handful of months, but I'm having trouble figuring out what are good and bad quality materials. Obviously I know not to buy the bulk terminals off Amazon, but when I look at www.waytekwire.com I don't know what's the difference from "Cross-Link wire" to "Automotive Primary wire" to "UL Hook-up wire". How about where to find decent shrink wrap and crimps? Which brands are reliable?

    Again, I don't have a ton of electrical experience. I grew up using $10 soldering irons and crimp tools, and some auto part store crimp terminals, so I know I'm just scraping the surface. I've replaced speakers, swapped out single filament sockets for dual filament sockets in my taillights and wired in resistors (the ones in the bulky orange casings) so I could use LED 1157s, made a very basic relay harness for the 2-step and line lock on my car... I have some common knowledge like using rosin solder and flux, but just don't have experience when it comes to this stuff. So, what other recommendations do you guys have when it comes to materials?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by acregger; January 2nd, 2019, 03:23 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to HID Planet! You're likely overthinking things. Many of us use regular wires and solder connections together with basic soldering irons. I personally use auto store crimps where crimps are necessary (not ideal but I haven't had a failure yet) and Amazon shrink wrap which is pretty decent. People like Bitter can give you some insight on better quality crimps and such but if you do a good job soldering (heat the wire till solder flows through it rather than melt solder and glob onto the wire) you'll be good. Plus retrofitting requires little wiring, much of it is plug and play these days!

    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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    • #3
      Welcome.

      My expectation of a "hook-up wire" is that the wire is somewhat not too stiff and easy for wiring inside some box. The "UL", if real, should be an indication that the Underwriters Lab has given it a seal of approval.

      My expectation of a "cross-link wire" is that the insulation material is durable enough in warm/hot environments like inside the engine bay compartment.

      I'm not sure what an "automitive primary wire" is. I'd go with either #2 or #3 if those are the only choices for making custom wiring harness.
      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

      3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
        Welcome to HID Planet! You're likely overthinking things. Many of us use regular wires and solder connections together with basic soldering irons. I personally use auto store crimps where crimps are necessary (not ideal but I haven't had a failure yet) and Amazon shrink wrap which is pretty decent.

        Thanks, I'm sure you're right I'm just nervous with it being my first one lol. About soldering, I never had luck getting the wires hot enough for the solder flow, so I always resorted to globbing or crimped it... I also didn't know about tinning the iron or flux
        I'm gonna put in some practice here soon lol

        Originally posted by satrya View Post
        Welcome . . . I'd go with either #2 or #3 if those are the only choices for making custom wiring harness.

        Thank you, I've never used the site before (I saw it in an older post on this forum) so with 10 or however many different types of wire it's overwhelming to say the least lol. I just realized that I typed the URL wrong but it's correct now.

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        • #5
          I don't tin or use flux most of the time. I just wrap two wires around each other and place the soldering iron below them, pushing up. I then stick the solder into the top and as the wires heat up the solder melts and flows into the wires. I do use a strong soldering iron though. Cheap but strong. https://amzn.to/2s8pGih
          I honestly use auto store wiring for my harnesses when I make them. But I personally don't know if that's ideal. I just choose the correct gauge for the load.

          2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
          2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
            I don't tin or use flux most of the time. I just wrap two wires around each other and place the soldering iron below them, pushing up. I then stick the solder into the top and as the wires heat up the solder melts and flows into the wires. I do use a strong soldering iron though. Cheap but strong. https://amzn.to/2s8pGih
            I honestly use auto store wiring for my harnesses when I make them. But I personally don't know if that's ideal. I just choose the correct gauge for the load.
            thatís what I tried, but the iron I was using must notíve been up to the task lol it was just a wand with a plug, and had some age to it. Also for Christmas, one of my older brothers got me a NEWACALOX 878D soldering station (I tried to link it but amazon is being difficult). He uses the same one at work and he loves it... it was a good Christmas this year

            The more I think about it, wire probably doesnít make much of a difference as long as theyíre durable enough for the cold/heat itíll be exposed to like what satrya hinted at. Plus Iím sure wrapping the wiring harness adds enough rigidity and insulation for it not to make much of a difference.

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            • #7
              Yep, you should be good as long as the wire is thick enough for the current and relatively not terrible. Good luck, and let us know if you need any other help!

              2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
              2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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