best way to clean a multi plug on my engine harness in my boat.

BReeves

Joined Nov 24, 2012
410
Do a google search for "Bull Frog Electronic Cleaner". It is by far the best stuff I have found to take care of corrosion and keep it off.

http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-High-Performance-Technology-distortion-reliability/dp/B00WTH5ND6

Can you take the covers off the connectors to get to the back side (wire side), sounds like you may have salt or corrosion creating a high resistance short between two of the wires. Could be on either side of the connector and both sides need to be cleaned.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,841
Brake cleaner comes in green can and red can. Green can (esters and alcohol) will not damage the wire insulation like the red can (tetrachloroethane or dichloromethane).

Acetic acid solution (vinegar) will make everything worse.
Never saw brake cleaner in green cans. Usually(around here) contact cleaner is in the green can.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
I use white vinegar for lots of cleaning, I'm not sure why to add salt, but the vinegar salt mix is neutralised with the second wash of bicarbonate of soda and a fresh water wash off.
My granny used to use a vinegar/salt mix to clean the copper bottoms of pots. It definitely works. And as I noted earlier, vinegar is volatile and will evaporate away without leaving a residue. But once you add salt or bicarbonate, now you have residue that must be rinsed away thoroughly.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
My granny used to use a vinegar/salt mix to clean the copper bottoms of pots. It definitely works. And as I noted earlier, vinegar is volatile and will evaporate away without leaving a residue. But once you add salt or bicarbonate, now you have residue that must be rinsed away thoroughly.
Granny rinsed the vinegar and dried her pots and pans before putting them away. Vinegar worked well because it dissolved off the black copper oxides to make green copper acetate - not much better unless the OP plans to rinse everything away with water and dry each part before reassembling.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
Yeah, my point was that, just because something works well for pots and pans - and salt/vinegar really works - doesn't mean it's good for an electrical connector.
 

Thread Starter

vivelo

Joined Nov 8, 2015
10
I would of rinsed everything, I bought a hair dryer too.
but what I thought was the problem isn't. I need a diesel engineer! I assumed the stop solenoid would be a same set up to a car, but its backwards with being open with no power and closed with. If cars were like this they would bump start without keys.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
hi all,

I have a short in my harness as I'm getting voltage when I shouldn't and not enough voltage when I should, it doesn't change. I have a 12v dc system on my boat. I think I have found the fault to be a multi pin connector in the harness. It is greasy in there and i didn't help the cause spraying wd40 thinking it would because the voltage/short increases.

it's a plastic connector, approx 30 pins. My question is how can I clean it safely, remove any corrosion and then protect it.

I'm not sure why its faulty or what's caused it, I can only think as the boat has sat for a number of year and the small amount of water in the bottom has condensed on it. The connecter sits in a bracket on top of the engine, and during warmer times and close proximity to the cold engine and bracket has cause moisture to get in.
according to the wiring diagram, the wire which is causing me a problem is wired direct from the ignition switch to the fuel cut off solenoid. I have disconnected both ends and still get a voltage of 5v, though this changes daily as yesterday it was 7v, disconnecting the connector this disappears and is 0.7v.
I'm 60% sure the connector is the problem, but how is best to clean without poking it so not to damage the pins etc.
I have read about radio ops using vinegar and salt, then neutralised with soda. Would dipping it into a solution of something be my best option and if so, do you recommend something. I'm in the UK, so uk brands only please as we dont get the good stuff over here.

thanks in advance and let me know if you need more info.
If you can rig a temporary mains supply, some discount stores have small ultrasonic cleaners that you could dip the connector in.

I'd go for water and dish washing detergent - it should do the greasy contaminants as well as the corrosion salts.

At least when you get it to clean and dried out, it should be easy to inspect it for anything that might cause leakage paths.

For waterproofing afterwards, some automotive workshop manuals suggest Vaseline petroleum jelly, I prefer silicone spray - sometimes I use GT85, its like WD40 but has added PTFE. So far, I've not had any problem with the PTFE insulating things it shouldn't.
 

BlackFall

Joined Dec 22, 2018
1
I am new to this site and feel as old as this thread may be, it is a very important subject.
Personally I like to over do it:
First make sure Power is OFF or ground is unplugged at least
Take pictures of the plug from all angles and make note of all part #s and monuments.
Make sure the plastic and wires are as warm as possible but not got. If plastic is cold, it likes to break, if it's to hot... it likes to melt.
Some plugs such as some Ford , GM , MOPAR, ETC..Transmission harness plugs must be heated to release the glue in between the male female plug as well as whatever bizarre latch they decide to use at the time.. In anycase warm plastic equals malleable (pliable, pliant, soft, workable)
If there are corrosives, such as battery acid, then an ample amount of baking soda mixed with a bit of water to a runny slurry and a good scrubbing and rinsing is a great oldy but goody. There are cans of stuff at the store you can buy that are made specificallyfor this as well.
If the connector is plastic , in the past I used to love hot soapy water and a tooth brush, air or blow dry. Or the highpressure engine degreaser/ soapy blast / pressure rinse/ and if water got into the distributor cap or other spots moisture causes issues until it dries/ I love some Wet Duck 40 tontge rescue, WD- 40 is great at displacing moisture... then some non-chlorinated brake cleaner is always great to blast through certain throttle bodies and other orifices even while an engine is running... my issue with Chlorinated Brake clean is... if you service an engine with it... such as the throttle body, IAC , MAF , EGR , TPS , PCV , ETC .. It can be a bit alarming the first time for some.. unlike non- chlorinated ... the chlorinated brake clean generally will make a truck run and smell so bad for up to 30 minutes or so, you'll think you broke something... sadly these days you may have.. !
Now we have so many different plastic composites , metal composites , sensors and valves coated in different rubber type composites and all coated in Unicorn Semen that you really have to pay attention what you clean each part with. Ever since my dog ate my magic wand, I've had to resort to really making sure I stay up on this.. Also watching the local Corvette specialist burn down a customer's mansion because he used Blue RTV instead of literally using " The Right Stuff " . Which is a Sensor Safe gasket sealant . It shows that the wrong chemical combination can now more than ever result in a catastrophic reaction.
The plus is now we have awesome cleaning products from companies like CRC which make Electronic Parts Cleaners that arw designed to be plastic safe and Mass Air Flow Sensor cleaner that won't ruin your sensors when your not sure. And so on. Also a little goes a long way. I usually catch it in a pan as I spray and I have a little screen in the pan so the debris tends to fall through and I take my old tooth brushes and scrub away while reusing the stuff I just blasted out of the can. Solvent brushes are great but youd be surprised at how well good tooth brushes hold up in solvents lol....
Another must is spend 10 or 20 bucks and get a wire pin kit. You depin the entire plug and clean it up, make repairs and plug them back in. GM weather pack wire kits are great invention, until some one decided to add a massive stereo and ridiculously invasive remote everything wiring time bomb of over crimped wires , over cooked soldering , non sealing heat shrink , under gauged wires , etc. And the slimy cheap electrical entombed tape.. then being able to depin a plug and just replace reasonable lengths of wiire instead of trying to connect a new length of wire to a 1/8 of cheap wire barely Hanging out of a plug while making a repair all the while telling yourself "What the hell am I doing ?! "...
In anycase I would love to see more added to this thread and to see my post thrashed upon, seeing as I'm to tired to type.


MERRY CHRISTMAS and Thank You for such a great site.
I actually broke my hand and dislocated 3 of my fingers while sitting at a work bench building a wire harness and computer system for an old Hot Rod.... so my input may be questionable !
 
Last edited by a moderator:

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I am new to this site and feel as old as this thread may be, it is a very important subject.
Personally I like to over do it:
First make sure Power is OFF or ground is unplugged at least
Take pictures of the plug from all angles and make note of all part #s and monuments.
Make sure the plastic and wires are as warm as possible but not got. If plastic is cold, it likes to break, if it's to hot... it likes to melt.
Some plugs such as some Ford , GM , MOPAR, ETC..Transmission harness plugs must be heated to release the glue in between the male female plug as well as whatever bizarre latch they decide to use at the time.. In anycase warm plastic equals malleable (pliable, pliant, soft, workable)
If there are corrosives, such as battery acid, then an ample amount of baking soda mixed with a bit of water to a runny slurry and a good scrubbing and rinsing is a great oldy but goody. There are cans of stuff at the store you can buy that are made specificallyfor this as well.
If the connector is plastic , in the past I used to love hot soapy water and a tooth brush, air or blow dry. Or the highpressure engine degreaser/ soapy blast / pressure rinse/ and if water got into the distributor cap or other spots moisture causes issues until it dries/ I love some Wet Duck 40 tontge rescue, WD- 40 is great at displacing moisture... then some non-chlorinated brake cleaner is always great to blast through certain throttle bodies and other orifices even while an engine is running... my issue with Chlorinated Brake clean is... if you service an engine with it... such as the throttle body, IAC , MAF , EGR , TPS , PCV , ETC .. It can be a bit alarming the first time for some.. unlike non- chlorinated ... the chlorinated brake clean generally will make a truck run and smell so bad for up to 30 minutes or so, you'll think you broke something... sadly these days you may have.. !
Now we have so many different plastic composites , metal composites , sensors and valves coated in different rubber type composites and all coated in Unicorn Semen that you really have to pay attention what you clean each part with. Ever since my dog ate my magic wand, I've had to resort to really making sure I stay up on this.. Also watching the local Corvette specialist burn down a customer's mansion because he used Blue RTV instead of literally using " The Right Stuff " . Which is a Sensor Safe gasket sealant . It shows that the wrong chemical combination can now more than ever result in a catastrophic reaction.
The plus is now we have awesome cleaning products from companies like CRC which make Electronic Parts Cleaners that arw designed to be plastic safe and Mass Air Flow Sensor cleaner that won't ruin your sensors when your not sure. And so on. Also a little goes a long way. I usually catch it in a pan as I spray and I have a little screen in the pan so the debris tends to fall through and I take my old tooth brushes and scrub away while reusing the stuff I just blasted out of the can. Solvent brushes are great but youd be surprised at how well good tooth brushes hold up in solvents lol....
Another must is spend 10 or 20 bucks and get a wire pin kit. You depin the entire plug and clean it up, make repairs and plug them back in. GM weather pack wire kits are great invention, until some one decided to add a massive stereo and ridiculously invasive remote everything wiring time bomb of over crimped wires , over cooked soldering , non sealing heat shrink , under gauged wires , etc. And the slimy cheap electrical entombed tape.. then being able to depin a plug and just replace reasonable lengths of wiire instead of trying to connect a new length of wire to a 1/8 of cheap wire barely Hanging out of a plug while making a repair all the while telling yourself "What the hell am I doing ?! "...
In anycase I would love to see more added to this thread and to see my post thrashed upon, seeing as I'm to tired to type.


MERRY CHRISTMAS and Thank You for such a great site.
I actually broke my hand and dislocated 3 of my fingers while sitting at a work bench building a wire harness and computer system for an old Hot Rod.... so my input may be questionable !
It is not that important.

It is a 3 year old thread. The TS is long gone. And someone would have to be really desperate to read through all of this mess.

A lot of effort for nothing.
 
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