Electrical connections - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Electrical
Where does this wire go?
Includes Electrical mods, Lights, Stator,
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-29-2007, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Electrical connections

I noticed in another thread that one really smart idea is to pack all electrical connections with dielectric grease, to keep them clean and dry and thus avoid a possible short, later.

This of course is a great way to protect the bike's stator, too!.....

With all that said, I was wondering how much trouble it would be for one of the more experienced members here to list or describe just which connections are the most important for this idea...........???
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-29-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theauhawk View Post
I noticed in another thread that one really smart idea is to pack all electrical connections with dielectric grease, to keep them clean and dry and thus avoid a possible short, later.

This of course is a great way to protect the bike's stator, too!.....

With all that said, I was wondering how much trouble it would be for one of the more experienced members here to list or describe just which connections are the most important for this idea...........???
My rule of thumb is, "If it's an electrical connector (even the ones for the rear turn signals), give it a little grease." Doesn't need a lot, but I've heard folks say that basically you should clean out and regrease a pin connector every time you open it (which, hopefully, isn't weekly). On Orleans, since I was cleaning up the entire wiring harness, everything got it; and then after I had a little crud forming on the neg terminal of my battery, Chad (I tihnk) said to put some dielectric grease there as well.

Seriously, though, the connectors don't need a lot - you don't want it oozing out of there. It just improves the connection and reduces the opportunities for corrosion.

C
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-29-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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One major purpose for applying grease is to prevent oxidation. Oxides are insulators, so when you get a layer of that between two parts of a connection the result is heat and voltage loss. Electricians have anti-oxidant greases designed for the job, like GB Ox-Guard, found in the electrical supplies at Home Depot or Lowes etc.

Connectors have a tin-lead coating which provides a good connection when the metal contacts are wiped against each other when inserted. A thin film of grease there can't hurt. But where you really need it is on the connections to bare metal... like where the ground lugs bolt to the frame. Clean both surfaces with a fine emery or crocus cloth abrasive so that it's shiny. But if the surface on a ring terminal is a dull silver color, that's the tin-lead coating and should not be ground off (go too far and you find copper). Apply enough grease to exclude air around the joint.

I relocated the R&R on my bike yesterday, and while it was all open I greased the high current connections to the battery, starter relay, and the two frame grounds I found near the battery. Hopefully I won't be into the electrical system again for a while!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2007, 01:31 AM
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Those are good suggestions from both of you. Just a note on how oxides can become insulators. On my 1980 KZ550, and yes, it looked as old as it was, pretty rough,... I came out to go home for lunch one day and had nothing, no lights, no starter, nothing. I started by testing across the battery and had 12+ volts. So I went to the headlight and found the main power wire and had less than 6 volts! I traced back to a connector that was on a heavy gauge wire coming off the positive battery terminal. On the battery side I had 12 volts, but on the other side, less than 6. I pulled the bullet connector apart and bluish white powder dribbled from it. I scraped the male end with my knife and then found a sheetrock screw that I used to clean the female end, put them back together and she was ready to go again. Of course, I replaced the connector that evening along with several others and shot them with dielectric grease.
So yes, I've seen the "insulating" action of corrosion, first hand!

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