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Practical Wiring - Club Level: Step 6: Booting Preparation and Labelling

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Step 6: Booting Preparation and Labelling


00:00 - The sixth step of our HPA eight step harness construction process involves preparing all of the dual wall adhesive booting that we're going to slide onto our harness section that will either be recovered onto the wires themselves or a connector body, if that connector body is capable of accepting a boot.
00:18 It's also going to include installing all of our labels onto the harness sections to make sure no misconnections are made when the harness is installed in the vehicle.
00:27 Now it seems like we do this in a slightly backwards order, in that we prepare our booting materials first and we slide those down the harness, we then install our labels, followed by sliding our booting material back up the harness once the connector body is actually pinned into place.
00:43 The reason we do this is if we boot the end of our harness section first, it actually increases the wall thickness quite a lot and that can make getting the labelling materials onto that harness section really difficult.
00:56 However the labelling materials we use actually are quite thin, they don't increase the wall thickness much, so typically we can slide our booting material back down the harness over that labelling material, to get it in place for booting to our wires which is how the majority of this harness is going to be booted.
01:15 So I'll show how we approach preparing that booting material with an example harness section here, we'll use our MAP sensor harness section in this case.
01:23 What we're first going to do is measure the outside diameter of this, including our DR25 sheathing, and we've got around about five millimetres.
01:33 Now we want to use the smallest possible size of that dual wall adhesive shrink tubing, raychem SCL in this case, that will still easily fit over this harness section.
01:45 In this instance that's going to be 1/4 inch or six millimetre raychem SCL.
01:50 So what I'm gonna do is cut a section of that which is going to be 12 millimetres long, as that is twice that six millimetre diameter, and we'll get that installed and slid all the way down that harness branch.
02:09 Now I have cut a few lengths of our 1/4 inch SCL there, all the same length.
02:13 I know that for a harness like this, we are going to be using quite a lot of our 1/4 inch SCL.
02:18 So if I can get more of those pieces cut at the beginning, it's gonna make the whole process much faster.
02:23 Now this brings me to a point when you're actually building this harness for yourself, you're likely to undertake this process in a slightly different order.
02:30 What I do when I'm building a harness is I will go through and measure every branch section when I get to this stage, I'll note that down on my connection document and I will then go through and cut all the sections of booting material, then getting them installed on the harness.
02:45 So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and do that now.
03:16 So now we've got all of our sections of SCL cut to length and installed onto the harness, if you push them up to the transition point, they will actually tighten up and they'll hold themselves in place while you're manipulating the harness around.
03:29 Now I know it might've seemed a little pedantic to go and measure every harness section to determine the size of SCL we needed when we could've just held it up next to the lengths of SCL, but what that has let us do is generate a list of the outside diameter of all these harness sections and that's really going to help us streamline the next step of the process which is going to be labelling.
03:49 Now to label the ends of our harness, we're going to use a thermal printer which can print onto some heat shrink tubing.
03:55 Now with our connection document we've got the names of all our harness section ends, we've now got the size of all those harness section ends, so it is going to be a pretty simple process to go through and generate all those labels.
04:07 Now label printers like the one we have here, actually waste quite a lot of material if you print out all your labels one at a time.
04:15 So what I'm instead going to do is go through my connection document with the right size heat shrink cartridge in the back here, which in this instance is six millimetres we're going to start with and I'm going to line up all of the labels I need and print them out in one long length, then cutting them up with scissors to get all the individual labels I'm going to then put onto the harness.
04:35 Now a couple of details about using a machine like this to generate the labels for your harness, you'll want to make sure as you're printing them out, you keep your font size and any attributes that you apply to that font, uniform across your harness.
04:47 It is going to help give it that uniform professional appearance that we're looking for.
04:52 In this instance I know the size that I like is extra small and I like to have that bold, gives a really nice look to the label when it's on the harness.
05:00 So as an example, I can see that for our ECU communications header here, I'm going to need an ECU comm label printed out on some six millimetre heat shrink which is the cartridge I have installed in the back.
05:13 So we can go ahead and type that in.
05:19 Then gonna put a couple of spaces after that and move onto my next label.
05:23 Just going to go through my connection document to find everything that needs to have a six millimetre heat shrink label, typing them all out, and then hitting print, and we'll get them all out on one long strip.
05:32 So I'm gonna go ahead and do that now.
05:53 So that is a good tip to make sure that you're not going to waste any of that printable heat shrink cartridge as those cartridges can actually be quite expensive.
06:00 The procedure is exactly the same for the other size labels we're going to need, making sure we keep that font and any attributes applied to it the same, giving us that uniform appearance that we're really looking for.
06:12 I'm gonna get those other labels printed now and then we'll have a talk about where we're going to install them on the harness.
06:33 So with our labels printed and cut to length, we're going to have a look at our MAP sensor label here and installing that onto this harness branch in detail.
06:40 Quick talk about a couple of the details you want to be aware of.
06:43 You want to be sure you keep the text on your label all facing the same direction.
06:48 I like to have this facing so you always read it towards the connector on the end of that harness section.
06:55 Other detail I'm going to be looking at is how far I slide this label past the end of our DR25 sheathing.
07:02 I'm gonna aim for around about 30 millimetres in this instance and make sure that's uniform across the harness, gonna give it that really nice professional uniform look.
07:10 So I'll get this label installed on our harness section now.
07:17 Now this is a good example of how sometimes not everything goes perfectly to plan.
07:22 Although I have selected the right size of heat shrink tubing to print this label onto, it is being a wee bit tricky to get that desired 30 millimetres down this harness section.
07:32 So this is a good opportunity to show you a wee technique to give you that little bit of extra clearance on the heat shrink when you need it.
07:38 I'm just gonna slide that label back off there.
07:43 What I'm gonna do is get a pair of needle nose pliers here that have got a curved profile on the back of the jaws.
07:50 Now these are electronics needle nose pliers so they're nice and small and perfect for this purpose.
07:56 We're going to slide our label on there and expand them out just to give us that little bit of extra diameter that we need on that heat shrink tubing.
08:03 Now I wouldn't recommend trying this procedure with the raychem DR25 heat shrink as when you're selecting the size to sheath your harness section with, it should be the largest possible size that will recover onto that branch, so it should be very easy to install.
08:19 However this does work quite well when you need just a little bit of extra diameter on your raychem SCL that we're going to use for our transition points and our booting.
08:28 You do still want to be quite careful when you're doing it though and make sure that you don't expand the heat shrink too much as it can actually lead to that heat shrink then splitting when you go to recover it.
08:39 In this instance though with the thin wall heat shrink that our thermal printer uses, it's absolutely fine.
08:44 You can see it has actually distorted the text a little bit there but when we recover this back onto the harness that will actually shrink down in size and sharpen up and look absolutely fine.
08:54 So we'll get this off my pliers here and get it installed onto that harness branch again.
09:00 So I can now easily slide that desired 30 millimetres up our harness section there.
09:05 So we're just gonna get that in place and head over to our heat gun and recover it down.
09:14 So now we've got that label recovered onto the harness, you can see that text has recovered back to the right size and it's really nice and crisp.
09:21 Last part of the process is going to be recovering some clear heat shrink over top of this label, gonna give it that protection it'll need for the engine bay environment, make sure if it ever gets covered in dirt or grease we can easily clean it without removing that text.
09:35 So I've got a pre cut section of the right size of clear heat shrink here.
09:40 I'll get that installed in place and once again recover that down with our heat gun.
09:55 With that clear heat shrink recovered onto our label, you can see it's shrunk down nice and tight, giving that label good protection and that text is going to be there for the life of the harness.
10:05 Last detail I'd like to point out at this stage is why we pre installed the booting material on the harness sections.
10:13 Now you can see I can easily slide this booting material over that label to where it has to be where we're going to shrink it down onto those wires, however the same could probably not have been said about getting this label material past that booting material if we had already recovered it into position.
10:29 This is why it's a really good idea to prepare your booting materials and get them installed on your harness sections as soon as possible.
10:36 Now the rest of our labelling procedure is a rinse and repeat of this.
10:41 I've got all my labels cut here, I've got some clear heat shrink tubing on standby, so I'm going to go ahead and get these installed on the harness now and get everything recovered down.
11:28 So with all of the labels now installed on our harness, and our sealing boots sitting there waiting ready to be recovered onto the end of those harness sections, it really is starting to take shape.