Soldering Help. Do these joints need fixing?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by MattCBFL, Jul 30, 2013.

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  1. MattCBFL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    I apologize if I have come to the wrong place with my question, but I am in a kind of time-sensitive situation and I am looking all over for help.

    Below are some images showing what I understand to be five(5) solder joints that may or may not be the reason for my 1996 Chevrolet Camaro (vehicle) having electrical issues that are causing the battery to lose its charge. I have looked elsewhere on the internet and many others have had the same problem and claim to have re-soldered these five joints on the Body Control Module (BCM) which has solved the problem. I have NO solder experience.

    Can anyone tell by looking at these photos if there is something wrong with the five solder joints that are the focus of these images. The 5 joints make a T-shape. 3 close together horizontally, 2 spaced further apart vertically.

    I appreciate any help anyone might be able to give me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    I see two that could use 're-flow' of the solder.

    Simply placing a bright and well tinned tip of a properly pre-heated soldering iron on those pins should cause the solder to melt and properly adhere within 1 or 2 seconds.

    place the tip broadside wise to the widest feature of the pin, so that it makes contact with the largest possible area at one time. The solder SHOULD melt within 1 or 2 seconds, at which point you remove the soldering iron and watch. The terminal should become solid again within 1 or 2 more seconds and present a smooth surface all around.

    Re-apply solder to the tip and wipe it off using steel wool or a DAMP sponge, not wet.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
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  3. MattCBFL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    Great, thank you very much. Sounds pretty simple, I'll see about learning how to do this myself.
    But when you say you see two that could use 're-flow',
    if this were a diagram of the five joints...

    1 2 3
    ...4...
    ... ...
    ...5...

    Are you talking about joints 1 and 5? Or some others?
    Or should I just plan on doing all of them?
     
  4. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    I was refering to your numbers 4 and 5.

    All of them should be done if you are going to do this, and by the looks of the joints I would guess that the problem is not much of problem at this point. The joints I see have minor 'ringing' around them and would probably(if at all) only give problems when exposed to extreme temps, or very rough vibration.

    Kinda like you find in a car :)
     
  5. MattCBFL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    Yes it is Florida summer and I'd say the heat is hot. Especially in the car.
    I've looked up images of joint cracks and I recognize now the 'ringing' circular cracks on these joints you were referring to. Tomorrow I plan to get the tools I need, and if executed properly I think this will solve my problem (and save me a great deal of money also)
    Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    +1 It'll be easy once you're rolling, so no reason NOT to touch it up if there is any doubt whatsoever.

    Your biggest risk is spending too long on a pin; you want to get in and get out. A nice hot tip helps, and nice tinning (a wet metal look) is essential.

    You should also not do nearby pins - of the same component - too quickly one after another. Let the component cool down a bit in between. Another trick is to gently attach a hemostat, or needle-nose pliers with a rubber band, to the component. This will act as a poor-man's heat sink for that component while you work on the leads. Don't rely on it - it's just a band-aid to increase your odds.
     
  7. MattCBFL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    Right, well I'm completely new to all of this and I'm learning as much about it as I can today. I'm heading over to YouTube to try and find a good video that shows this. I'm hoping to be able to understand as much about this process as possible. Do you know of any one video or Website (or book maybe) that you would say is better than another for quick learning?
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Better yet I'd find a spent electronic device and practice on removing some of the components from the PCB. Not all PCBs are the same but working on one will get your skill level up faster than any video.

    I hear, I learn. I see, I understand. I do, I remember.

    BTW, you should have fresh solder on you shopping list. You may not need any for your repair, but it's good to have and required for tip tinning. A fresh dab can make it so much easier to melt an existing joint.
     
  9. MattCBFL

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 30, 2013
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    That's a good idea. I should have a dead Xbox somewhere and I'd love to take it apart.

    So basically all I should need for this is a soldering iron, fresh solder, and a wet sponge?
     
  10. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I got myself one of these on sale a few years ago along with extra tips. It's a cheap-o but I've been very happy with it. Sponge worthy.
     
  11. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I don't see anything wrong with the solder joints.
     
  12. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    I would flux those joints before reflowing them. Here's the video you want and I second or third the recommendation to practice on a junk board.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_NU2ruzyc4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    It looks like a case of inadequate preheat for the larger thermal masses when the board was wave soldered.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  13. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Two of the joints (the vert part of the T) have obvious and nasty circle fractures, that might have failed.

    The worst joint I think you missed; middle photo, far left 1/3 the way down. That smaller joint has a very bad circle fracture that is likely your cause of failure! It's even got the darker discolouration at the fracture like arcing (or a hot spot) has occurred there.

    I would resolder every large joint, especially every post joint (anything where the pin is not a round wire component leg).

    (edit) Also that bottom photo, top left group, 3rd joint across seems to have a very dark circle there that could be a bad circle fracture. It's too fuzzy to see in the photo but you should check it out!
     
  14. bertus

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    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

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