soldering a new ground cable
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Thread: soldering a new ground cable

  1. #1
    Member herb400t's Avatar
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    Nov 2017

    soldering a new ground cable

    trying to make a new ground cable and each time I solder on the ring terminal, the cable becomes solid by about 1.5" back from solder point. can only think that solder is getting wicked up into copper strands because...????

    why is it never as easy as it is in youtube videos?
    soldering a new ground cable-img_3978.jpg
    1980 CM400T (that may get back on road someday)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator longdistancerider's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Vancouver Washington (text 408-239-9580)
    That's exactly what's happening, solder wicking up the cable. Best way I know of is to "tin" the lug, thin coat of solder applied to the inside. Then tin the tip of the cable, 1/8-3/16", maybe 1/4". Then put the lug in a vise so the bucket is up, insert the cable and using a propane torch heat the lug quickly. Between gravity and the quick heat the solder won't wick.
    Using a soldering iron takes too long and the heat travels up the strands allowing the solder to follow.
    Jim O'Brien
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  3. #3
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Roanoke, Virginia
    Assuming you properly fluxed the ring and wire end , the solder will flow towards the hot spot (source of heat)...
    Heat just at the loop of the ring, touch solder at joint, allowing the solder to draw in, and don't over add solder....
    Tinning is always a good idea as well....
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
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  5. #4
    Senior Member mike in idaho's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    I heat up the lug, clamped in a vise, and feed solder into it until it's nearly full then shove the cable in and hold it still until the solder hardens. After it cools you can pick any off excess that runs over the side.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Gixxer-18's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Weymouth UK
    And to stop the insulation melting, wrap a folded wet tissue round the cable to act as a heat sink where you don't want the Solder to go.
    Bill H likes this.
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  7. #6
    Member herb400t's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
    thank yous to all! I think my problem was also not helped by my applying heat for too long--thus heating copper strands back from end way too far--and thin diameter solder. I have some extra lugs and a few feet of extra cable so will do some practice runs.
    1980 CM400T (that may get back on road someday)

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