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Old 01-05-2019, 02:05 PM   #1
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Wiring loom fire

Due to a dead short which overheated several wires I have had to cut my wiring loom and remove those wires burnt or charred/softened. I have to rejoin the loom and wanting advise on the best way to do this a bar connector (aprox 15 wires) or solder joints. The problem I see with solder/heat shrink is that the loom will double in diameter and not be a pretty job!!


I am going to have to replace about 3 feet of wiring from switchboard area through a bulkhead and into a locker area. Considering a joining bar/strip at either end.
Suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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If by "bar" you mean a buss bar, that's the way I'd go, leaving a few spare positions. Makes future additions and repairs easy; it's pretty labor intensive since you need to install a bunch of ring connectors to the various cable ends, but not that much than a bunch heat shrink crimped butt connectors (no solder needed, please).
While you're in there, I recommend labeling them too.
I take you've identified what caused the fire?
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:02 PM   #3
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I would use good quality butt-splice connectors with a proper ratcheting crimper and adhesive lined heat shrink over each. If you purposely stagger the location of the splices then you will not have too severe of a "bulge" in the wiring.

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Old 01-05-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I take you've identified what caused the fire?
This and why wasn't it protected by a fuse or a breaker?

Burned a few wires this time, maybe to the waterline next time.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:02 PM   #5
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We used a European type connector for our Furuno radar cable. With 24 wires, it was a bit of challenge but it worked. The shields were a pia though. I kept/cut the connector when we replaced the radar 5 years later and it still looked good.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:40 PM   #6
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Terminal strip with the appropriate amp rating is the next best way to running a whole new wire.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:49 PM   #7
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By the way, "terminal strip" is the right nomenclature for the item needed in this case. "buss bar", which I mentioned, is not.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:51 PM   #8
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I would agree with the approach of using staggered heat-shrink marine-grade waterproof butt connections that are adhesive sealed and no solder.

Use the same size of wire and proper connector sizes. When you are done put the bundle in flame-retardant split-loom corrugated conduit. Tie it down neatly to avoid crushing that can cause a hot wire to damage adjacent wires and check your fuse or breaker setup. Wiring should not get hot enough to cause shorts.

If you have to add wire to extend or replace damaged areas try to match colors or make sure that the differences are easy to map. By all means, purchase a high-quality ratcheting crimper and heat gun and do it right.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We used a European type connector for our Furuno radar cable. With 24 wires, it was a bit of challenge but it worked. The shields were a pia though. I kept/cut the connector when we replaced the radar 5 years later and it still looked good.
This

Also a highly acclaimed marine expert sent me an email that also suggested something like this.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #10
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What size wire?
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:12 PM   #11
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The fact that there was a wire loom fire indicates there is some wattage involved.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:05 AM   #12
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Non insulated crimp connectors with adhesive heat shrink is my go to. A terminal strip is also a great approach, with the advantage of being easily separated in the future. The downside is that the ring crimps you will use on the terminal strip can be more difficult to perfectly seal and the terminal strip itself is more expensive. You also need some real estate to mount the terminal strip. If you ever need to take it apart or add connections, then terminal strip, otherwise the non insulated butt connectors with heat shrink will essentially not add any bulk and it can go right back into the loom.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:03 PM   #13
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I would use staggered but connectors so that everything could be covered.
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