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Practical Wiring - Professional Motorsport: Step 9 - Transition and Connector Boot Recovery and Sealing

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Step 9 - Transition and Connector Boot Recovery and Sealing


00:00 - Alright we're onto our 9th step of our 10 step process and firmly on the final stretch here with this harness construction.
00:08 This really is the last step of actual construction, our 10th remaining step is simply the final installation of the finished harness.
00:16 So what we're going to be covering inside of this particular step is the recovery of all of the boots around the connector bodies, the transition points, our autosport connectors.
00:28 We're also going to be applying epoxy to some of those boots as required and then we'll also be recovering down our labels and our clear heat shrink so there's a bit to go into this.
00:41 We're going to demonstrate some of the key elements here and we're not obviously going to demonstrate live every single boot because it does all become a little bit of an iterative process, essentially once you understand the process, it's just a rinse and repeat for everything else.
00:58 So what we'll do is we'll start by looking at the recovery of one of our boots for a 2 pin DTM connector.
01:06 So if we go to our overhead here, I've actually got a couple of these that we will be recovering.
01:09 I'll just get this one out of the way for the moment.
01:12 So we've got our termination here and we've got a Hellermann 1030 boot.
01:17 Now this one is actually epoxy lined so there's a little bit to consider here.
01:24 If you are using a non lined boot, then you will be wanting to add epoxy before you recover that down.
01:31 In our case, every boot we've got here that's going onto this harness is epoxy lined so that element isn't essential but we will also be demonstrating the potting process using epoxy, at least to seal up some of our transition points where we want to get some of that epoxy into the centre of the branch points as well.
01:50 And that essentially is going to be the same way we'll go about potting any of these boots as required.
01:57 So what I'm going to do here is make sure I've just got my heat gun, I'm going to use a glove just to protect my hand, we do need to manhandle the boot a little bit as it's recovering down and getting into position so obviously it's going to be hot so a little bit of protection there is sensible.
02:13 Now we've already shown the process of roughing up or abrading the DR25 where these boots are going to go previously for the likes of our transition points.
02:24 Obviously any of our further terminations that also have these boots, that same process needs to be applied.
02:30 Just a little bit of fine emery paper and then followed off by cleaning that down with some isopropyl alcohol.
02:36 I will also mention here, while we're using a Hellermann 1030 heat recoverable boot here, it's quite common to use SCL instead.
02:44 Really it's a coin toss between those two, the actual heat moulded boot is a little bit more pricey.
02:51 I personally think it does a little bit of a better job and looks a bit neater when it is recovered down.
02:55 If you are going to be using one of these heat recovered boots though, you do need to be just mindful that the recovery temperature, if you are concentrating your heat gun too much on the connector body, these DTM connector bodies don't handle huge amounts of heat so it is possible to damage the connector body, a little bit of care is required.
03:15 Alright let's get into this anyway, we'll get our heat gun underway and warming up and we'll get a glove on and we'll demonstrate this process.
03:25 What I'm going to do here is just concentrate on the connector side of our boot.
03:31 You can see I'm just rotating it around so it recovers down nice and evenly.
03:36 We'll just get that located correctly.
03:42 And by rotating that around it allows us to get that boot into the right spot and it also ensures that we don't need to apply any additional or excess heat into our connector body.
03:53 So that's recovered down now.
03:55 What we'll do is we'll turn our heat gun off and these do remain soft for a period of time while they're just cooling down so it's important while that cooling process is completing that we're just going to hold that nice and straight, otherwise we can end up having the DR25 come off that at an angle.
04:13 So there we go, we've got our first boot recovered down.
04:16 Let's just repeat that process one more time for our next 2 pin DTM.
04:22 Right of course this is going to be exactly the same process, I'm just going to hold that boot, recover it down onto the connector body and then shrink down the other side of the boot onto our DR25, let's get that done now.
05:27 We do have a little bit of flexibility while everything is still soft just to move that boot around, make sure that it is correctly located on the connector body.
05:36 So we've just done that, again we'll just allow that to cool down, making sure the orientation of our DR25 is coming off that nice and squarely.
05:44 Now sometimes as you can see here, we do have a little bit of that epoxy has just oozed out the back of the connector or the back of the boot, not a big deal here but while that is still setting up, it's quite easy to remove that just using some isopropyl alcohol so we'll just do that now with a clean rag, clean that up before everything sets up.
06:09 Next we'll look at the process of recovering down our labels and our clear heat shrink so let's start here with this particular connector body.
06:16 This, as we slide our label into place, we can see this is our power steering pressure switch.
06:23 Now just as a matter of course, I like to try and keep some consistency in terms of how far my labels are from the connector body so I'm going to go around about 80 mm here, it's a personal preference, you don't need to necessarily be too fussy here but does add some nice consistency to your finished product.
06:41 I'm also going to align the labels so that it's pointing straight up in line with our clip to connect or disconnect that particular connector body.
06:52 So now I'm going to again just use my heat gun here and recover that down.
07:04 A point to note while we are using the heat gun and something that I should have covered off right at the start of this, while we are just getting started with this process, we've obviously got a lot of our clear heat shrink as well as our little yellow heat shrink labels situated among the harness so we do want to be a little bit mindful of how we're directing the heat gun.
07:24 We don't want to end up accidentally shrinking those down when we don't need to.
07:28 Anyway, we've got our power steering label shrunk, so we'll just move our clear heat shrink into location, making sure that that's nice and central over our label and again we'll just shrink that down using our heat gun.
07:52 Now a good point to note there with the clear heat shrink, we'll know that that is properly recovered when it turns from a milky colour to clear, we can see through it nice and easily.
08:02 So that's the process that we're going to use for essentially all of our labels.
08:08 Before we move on, we'll show one more aspect here which is recovering our SCL which we're going to be using to protect some of our connector bodies where we couldn't properly boot the connectors.
08:20 So for example, let's get this connector here into our overhead shot.
08:26 So as we can see here, this one is for our oil level switch.
08:31 And we've got our section of black SCL here that we've just put into location before we've gone and crimped and terminated that particular connector body so what I want to do is just get that into location and this is glue lined heat shrink so it is going to essentially have that same epoxy that's going to help seal everything.
08:50 I've just located that section of SCL so it's about 50% on our DR25 and 50% over our exposed conductors.
08:58 And what I'm going to do now is just again use our heat gun and recover that down so let's get that done.
09:15 Alright so while I'm going through that process, you can see I was just turning the DR25 there between my thumb and forefinger and that just allows a consistent amount of heat to be placed all around that SCL.
09:26 We'll know that that SCL has recovered properly when we can see the black bead of epoxy that has essentially leaked out the back, we'll have the same on the front.
09:36 So that's now nicely sealed.
09:39 Alright what we're going to do is speed up a little bit here and we'll go through and complete that process that we've just seen with essentially the remainder of our connector bodies here and we'll come back and have a look at our transition boots next.
09:52 The next boot that we're going to recover down is one of our transition boots and we've got a number of these on the harness.
09:57 This particular one here is a Hellermann 152 boot and again it is glue lined so we're not going to need to apply any epoxy to this.
10:07 Reasonably self explanatory and simple to do, just going to make sure that I continually move the heat gun so we're not focusing the heat in one area and that we recover the boot down nice and evenly.
10:19 What I will be doing is starting on this end here, once that's recovered we can move to the smaller end.
10:26 As a matter of course as well, we do want to take note of the little hook location here on the boot as well.
10:35 As a matter of course, we want to try and make sure that these are all aligned consistently throughout our harness.
10:40 So again we're going to be using a glove here just to make sure that we don't end up burning our hand so let's get things underway now.
11:53 Alright we've got our boot recovered down there.
11:55 Just making sure before everything does harden that we have got everything located so it's nice and straight.
12:01 While the boot is still cooling, this gives us a little bit of flexibility to move things around if our harness isn't completely straight through that section.
12:09 Now at this point we're going to have some gaps around the transition here where all of our individual DR25 lengths come out and this will require us to come back and we'll be sealing or potting that with some epoxy a little bit later in the process but for now that's the transition boot recovered and we're going to be repeating that process you've just seen on our other straight transition boots.
12:32 For our next demonstration though, we'll move our harness along a little bit and we'll have a look at one of our angled transitions for our injector and ignition wiring.
12:42 Alright we've got our harness shifted across and we've got one of our little angle transition boots sitting here ready to recover down.
12:49 Now a couple of things with these, there's a little bit more to them.
12:52 First of all, because of the way the boot is situated when it's unrecovered, it makes it impossible for us to essentially get this exactly where it should be, the same goes for our T transition boots which we'll look at as well.
13:05 So what we want to do as part of the recovery here is concentrate our heat around the centre of this boot and what we'll find is that will start getting that angle transition to occur and that can in some instances allow us to move the boot a little bit before we recover the ends to allow us to get it into the right location.
13:25 Should go without saying, the orientation of these is quite important as well.
13:28 Obviously where these come off on the harness is going to affect where abouts we can actually connect the wires up to or the connectors up to so that needs to be correct and I've got my harness in the correct orientation.
13:43 I've got a recovered boot here just so we can see essentially what we're dealing with.
13:47 We'll get that under our overhead so we can see that essentially we're coming off there at about a 45° angle for our injector 1 and our ignition 1 wiring.
13:57 So the process here is just being a little bit more careful with our heat application just around the centre until we get that to start recovering and then we can final position before we recover down the ends, let's get that underway now.
15:28 Alright we've got our boot recovered down there and as you can see at the moment, it is still a little bit soft and that's going to stay that way until the boot has cooled down sufficiently but we've got our injector and ignition wiring coming off at our desired angle at our desired orientation.
15:44 We've got the boot into the correct location so we'll now take this out of our vice and allow it to cool down and we can move on with our next demonstration.
15:54 Next we're going to install our heat moulded boot over our autosport connector.
15:59 This is one of the more challenging ones, not only because the back of this connector is really really full with all of those splices we had to fit in, plus the fact we've fully populated this with 79 conductors, but we've also got a right angle boot here so it's a little bit challenging.
16:17 The boot we're going to use here is another Hellermann boot and this one is adhesive lined so there's going to be no need for us to add additional epoxy.
16:25 This boot is large enough that we can actually install it over the autosport connector so this means we didn't need to go and install it during the construction of our harness.
16:34 Still, it is a little bit awkward to install but let's go ahead and get that done now.
16:40 OK so we've got the boot installed and what we want to do is obviously pay attention here to the orientation of the harness as it comes off that autosport connector, really once we've got this boot shrunk down, we don't really have the ability to change the orientation too much from here on in so one last check and making sure that that is in fact where we want it to be.
17:00 I've also taken the opportunity here just to support the harness in our 2 bench vices.
17:06 Now this isn't necessarily the only way of doing this but it does just support the harness so we're essentially 90° off the back of this autosport connector as it's going to sit.
17:17 Now the process of shrinking this down, what we're going to be doing is applying our heat around the gnurling here to basically shrink down onto that lip as we want to start with.
17:29 We will also need to focus a little bit of our heat around the inside here just to help start forming that 90°.
17:36 It is a little bit of a tricky process and it might require a little bit of manhandling with our gloved hand just to adjust the position of the boot and get it perfect as it shrinks down.
17:46 Once we've got it shrunk down correctly onto the gnurling, we'll continue to add our heat and move back down so we shrink it down onto the harness so let's go ahead and do that now.
18:09 I'm just going to pause for a moment here and we can see at this stage we've worked the boot down into the little lip that it's supposed to sit in on the autosport connector and you can see it is a little bit of work to start with, particularly getting the boot to start forming that 90° shape and that's essential, otherwise we're not going to get that to sit nicely.
18:28 Again just the process of constantly moving that heat gun around so we're not focusing the heat in one location for too long.
18:34 Let's carry on now and we'll continue shrinking this boot down.
18:51 Alright at this stage we've primarily got that boot recovered, we can final check that orientation, there is still a little bit of flexibility in this, just like our other boots while it is still soft and hardening and cooling but our orientation here is good.
19:04 What I'm going to do is just continue to heat that boot, making sure that I've fully recovered the entire boot.
19:14 Alright at this stage we've got the boot fully recovered down on our autosport connector.
19:19 I'm really happy with how that's gone, what we'll do is now move onto our final boot recovery that we're going to demonstrate here which is our T transition boot here.
19:28 Alright we've got our harness rearranged here to shrink down our T junction boot.
19:33 Understandably just like the angle junctions that we've already looked at, the orientation of this is pretty critical.
19:39 Due to the way the harness is being kapton taped together here, there isn't a lot of ability to move this around much so it should end up in approximately the orientation we want but of course we do want to take care to make sure that's the case.
19:54 Now again just like those angle transitions, this boot, it's going to be a case here of applying heat through the centre of the boot just to get it to start to shrink into its T shape so that we can move it across because at the moment, just given how tight this is, we've sort of got our harness all sort of jumbled up a little bit so as this recovers down we're going to be able to move this towards the autosport connector and get it into location.
20:20 Now despite earlier in this module, me saying that we wouldn't be needing to apply adhesive, I had actually overlooked the fact that this particular boot is not adhesive lined.
20:30 So we will be applying epoxy to this and for that purpose we're using our Hellermann V9500 epoxy.
20:38 Essentially for all intents and purposes, the same as the more common Resin Tech RT125.
20:44 I've already gone ahead and mixed up a batch of that and I've just applied it into this syringe which is just going to make the application of this a little bit easier.
20:53 So for now what we're going to do is get started with shrinking our boot down.
20:57 Obviously because we haven't applied the epoxy at this point, we're not going to want to shrink this down all the way.
21:04 I just want to get that centre shrunk and get that T junction starting to come out so we can get our boot in exactly the right spot.
21:13 Once we're at that point, while we've still got some room to work, we're going to apply that epoxy so let's get moving now.
21:29 Alright we're just going to pause here, we can see we've sort of got our T shape starting to form here, before we go too much further, I'm just going to manhandle our boot into location before we get to a point where it's going to be all but impossible to install our epoxy so you can see, still easy enough to move that boot around and we'll just get that about where we need it.
21:49 Still got a little bit of recovery to do but at this point we can now go ahead and install a bead of our epoxy so all I'm going to do is run that gently inside the 3 outlets for our boot there onto our DR25.
22:04 We will be coming back here, particularly with our transitions where we have a number of conductors coming out, we're going to be coming back and potting in between that as well so let's get our epoxy installed.
22:28 Alright we've got our 3 beads of epoxy installed there and we can carry on and continue recovering the boot down.
22:36 Just a point here, if you do end up getting some epoxy somewhere you don't want it, it's easy enough before it sets just to remove that with some isopropyl alcohol and a clean rag, So let's get our recovery complete.
23:11 Alright we've got our T boot shrunk down there and just while that's still soft, I've just taken it out of the vice so that I can make sure that it's sitting in its correct orientation.
23:19 If required we've still got the ability to make some small adjustments to that before it completely cools down.
23:25 So at this stage, we've seen essentially the elements that go into booting this particular harness.
23:33 I'm going to jump ahead now, we'll complete the recovery of the remaining boots and then we'll come back and we'll have a look at potting some of those transition points.
23:42 Alright at this stage, we've essentially got all of our booting complete, the last task in this step is to seal and pot some of our transitions.
23:53 What we're going to do there is use some more of our epoxy that we've already looked at.
23:57 I've still got some mixed up in our little syringe here and we'll just demonstrate this on this particular transition here.
24:05 So what we want to do is essentially get this epoxy in between our different runs of DR25 to help seal the inside of this which is a little bit harder to get to.
24:15 All I'm going to do is just apply this epoxy around and inside of the different conductors and what we should end up with is a nice little chamfered bead between the boot and our DR25.
24:29 Can help as well, depending on how you're applying this, I've obviously got a reasonably small syringe here with a reasonably small outlet and particularly if you're working in a colder climate, it can help just to use your heat gun and just gently heat the syringe, doesn't require too much heat, that will just help that epoxy flow a little bit better.
24:48 Let's go ahead and get this particular junction sealed up.
25:00 Once we've applied the epoxy there, what I also like to do is just use my heat gun and just gently heat the outside there, that'll help all of that epoxy melt, fuse together and give us a nice smooth surface finish so we'll get that done.
25:18 That's all we require there, what I will do while that is still wet is I'm just going to get a cable tie here and just collect our DR25 conductors back together and we'll make sure that stays nice and neat and tidy while that epoxy sets up.
25:36 So at this point we can take that out of our vice and we've got 1 of our interfaces, one of our transitions I should say, potted.
25:44 What we'll do now is we'll complete the potting of the remaining boots, the remaining transitions but we'll jump ahead and have a look at our completed harness.
25:53 Alright so we've completed the potting process here and at this stage, finally we have our completed harness.
26:01 And it is really satisfying after all of the work that's gone in through the course of designing, planning and then constructing this harness, to get to this point and be able to sit back and look at a completed harness and take in everything that you've created.
26:17 Couple of things that I do want to point out here now that we have gone ahead and completed the potting.
26:23 First of all, we can see if we look at one of the transitions, how I've managed to get that potting compound in between the different lengths of DR25 coming out of the boot and that's obviously important, as we've already discussed, to seal that particular section of the harness from both moisture and dirt or dust ingress.
26:44 Likewise, I've also taken the opportunity to go ahead and pot the back of each of these boots and if we take a particular look here at the autosport connector, remembering here that we do have that single branch for our ethanol content sensor coming off at the back of that boot as well so taking particular attention there with our epoxy to make sure that that is all nicely sealed.
27:09 Everything at this stage is complete, we can move onto the final step of our process here which is our final fitment or test fitment of the harness onto the engine.