Dielectric Grease? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Dielectric Grease?

Okay, I'll admit that I'm real inexperienced about doing electrical work and somehow I've gotten myself turned around.

I've been doing some reading on Dielectric Grease here: http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/001202.html

It seems to me that dielectric grease is non-conductive and I would never want to put it between two electrical contacts. So I WOULD NOT put it in electrical connector, or on the boot end tip of a spark plug, or between the battery and the wire connection. Does this sound correct?

I might want to cover the connection unit with the grease AFTER the contacts have been cleaned and connected to prevent moisture from getting in. Or maybe apply it to the ceramic part of the spark plug where the rubber boot goes. Or in the case of the ignition swich, solder spots, I would want to cover those with dielectric grease to prevent damage from exposure.

Bottom line... Clean the metal contacts with cleaner. Then connect them. Then cover with dielectric grease to prevent damage from the elements. The only reason you use dielectric grease instead of some other type of grease is that the dielectric grease, because it's non-conductive, will prevent you from possibly causing a short between contacts with the grease. Does this sound correct?

Last edited by newOldUser; 04-13-2010 at 10:19 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 10:24 AM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 10:39 AM
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Directions for use from Honda dielectric grease tube:
Apply sparingly to electrical connectors and/or contacts.

So, using on the contacts is ok, and I have done just that. I see no point in trying to 'seal' the connectors with the grease. The idea of using on the contact is that the actual galvanic contact point is protected from corrosion.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappa View Post
Directions for use from Honda dielectric grease tube:
Apply sparingly to electrical connectors and/or contacts.

So, using on the contacts is ok, and I have done just that. I see no point in trying to 'seal' the connectors with the grease. The idea of using on the contact is that the actual galvanic contact point is protected from corrosion.
This is where I get turned around...
I understand that if I put it on the metal contact and then snap the plastic connection together most of the dielectric grease will get cleaned off the metal contact into the plastic connector and help protect the metal contact by keeping moisture out of the connection. But... if only a thin layer remains on the metal contact points it will cause electrical resistance (the grease is non-conductive). If you have a worn connector that doesn't make a strong metal on metal connection you might leave a thicker layer of non-conductive grease and actually be making the problem worse. Or maybe I'm reading it wrong. Maybe it should only be applied to the plastic connector and not the metal.

Last edited by newOldUser; 04-13-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 12:08 PM
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Have you ever pulled a parking/turnsignal light from a vehicle? Most of the time there is a decent amount of dielectric grease on it from the factory.

The grease protects the connections, but when the connection is made, the grease is pushed away from there.
So, there is no grease where connection meets connection, but the connection is sealed by the grease.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 04:36 PM
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From another forum:

1) Dielectric grease is 100% non-conducting, and 2) electrical connectors provide a wiping action on mating, creating a gas-tight connection by displacing contaminants, including dielectric grease! Dielectric grease is designed to hermetically seal the connector joint, thus protecting it from oxidation or corrosion and is usually packed around the mating terminals of a connector to create a moisture barrier, filling the housing cavities of moulded connectors. Brake grease is a pretty good dielectric grease, provided it's not metal-bearing, and much cheaper than other products. One very important property of the grease is its resistance to flowing at expected enviromental temperatures, as it would leave the electrical connector unprotected.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 09:16 PM
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You can safely use dielectric grease in electrical fittings, inside connectors and such. It will not cause the contact between mating surfaces to be weak. What it will do is keep the connection from corroding over time and becoming weak, and building up resistance. Many types of connectors come pre-packed with dielectric grease. I worked in the telecom industry and the beanies or snap connectors we used to make phone wire connections (dc voltage) came packed with dielectric grease, and when you pinched them together, the extra grease was pushed out around the wires. They were made to be water proof and not to corrode over time in the weather.

I have used dielectric grease on my vehicles where I made any electrical connection for many years. On my bikes, I always use dielectric grease on all battery connections, any and all connectors I find, ground points etc. I've had the same can for about 5 years and it's just now acting like it is running out.

Bottom line, it will not hurt to use it on electrical connections on your bike.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, guess I'll be less paranoid about getting the grease on the metal contacts in the future.
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