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Wiring Fundamentals: Pinning and Depinning

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Pinning and Depinning

07.10

00:00 - Pinning a connector is a process of inserting our crimped terminal and wire assembly into the connector body.
00:05 Depinning is the reverse of this process and the removal of our wire and terminal from the connector body.
00:11 This sounds very straightforward but actually requires a fair level of experience to become familiar with the various different styles of connector bodies and how we handle them.
00:20 We can broadly classify the different connector bodies into two main groups.
00:24 Those that have an integral terminal retention clip as part of their body, and those which rely on sprung tabs which are part of the terminal.
00:31 Much like with crimp tools, almost every terminal and connector combination will have a specified tool to be used for the pinning and depinning operation.
00:40 However the reality is that a small selection of general purpose tools is usually all that is required.
00:46 Shown here is my personal selection of pinning and depinning tools.
00:49 Many of which are used very rarely as they're purpose built for only one type of connector body.
00:54 The single tool here that it is impossible to do without is the seal pick though.
00:58 It's very rigid, meaning it won't flex when we use it, and it has a good sharp point meaning it's excellent at reaching into connector bodies to release locking clips.
01:07 These are cheaply available from many automotive parts suppliers but make sure you get one that has a straight tip, as the are other common styles with curved tips which are much less useful.
01:16 As an example of pinning and depinning connectors, we'll look at the same three terminals we used for our crimping demonstration and how they're correctly inserted into and removed from their connector bodies.
01:26 The first connector body we'll have a look at is the Deutsch DTM range.
01:29 This is in the classification of connectors that has an integral locking tab as part of its connector body which interfaces with this locking tab flange on the pin.
01:40 Now with the pin correctly crimped to our wire, it gets inserted into the terminal from the back and we push it through the wire seal.
01:49 Now there are specific tools available to do this which can make it a little bit easier but I find you typically don't need anything more than your hands, and you can push it all the way through and you wanna keep pushing it until you hear a nice click like that.
02:03 We can then have a look from the front and we can see that the locking tab is engaged with that flange and we can then perform a tug test to make sure that that terminal is retained in there nicely and it's not gonna come out.
02:16 The DTM range of connectors have an additional locking mechanism and that these locking keys that get inserted from the front of the terminal.
02:23 So we place that in there and then we use a pair of pliers to push it down all the way and you'll hear it click into place, like that.
02:33 Now with the locking key in place, the locking tab that's interfaced on the flange of the terminal can't move.
02:40 So there's no way that terminal is gonna be able to come out of this connector and we can just do a quick tug test again to make sure that's tightly in there.
02:48 To depin these connectors it's the reverse of that procedure.
02:51 So we need to remove that locking key initially and sometimes it can be best to use a pair of pliers that are actually serrated as you do need a little bit of purchase on these keys, they can be pretty tight in there.
03:03 Like so.
03:05 Take that out of there.
03:07 Then with our pick we reach in and we release the locking tab from the flange on the terminal while at the same time providing a little bit of pressure on the wire at the back of the connector.
03:22 And we can feel it release, and then once it's released we can pull it all the way out, releasing it from the connector.
03:28 The next connector body we'll have a look at is the AMP Superseal 1.0 range of connectors.
03:33 These are a really great connector as they're both very easy to both pin and depin which is probably one of the reasons they're so favoured by the automotive aftermarket.
03:41 The first thing we do when we're pinning one of these connectors is we ensure that the locking flange is in the unlocked position.
03:47 So that's, you want to be able to see these two white tabs here raised up above the connector body.
03:53 We can then simply get our wire, our crimped wire and terminal assembly and insert it from the back of the connector.
04:00 Now these can quite often be a little bit tight so sometimes I like to use an extra tool here just to add a little bit of rigidity so you don't end up bending and deforming the wire.
04:12 So we can push that all the way in.
04:14 Then we have a quick look at the front of the connector to make sure that we can see the very front of the terminal pushed all the way into the connector body.
04:22 With that correctly in place, we can push down on those two white tabs and lock the connector terminal in place.
04:31 Perform a wee tug test, and that is locked in there and it's not moving anywhere.
04:36 To depin the connector, once again it's the reversal of that process.
04:40 So we unlock the retaining flange.
04:44 And then we can simply withdraw the wire and terminal from the rear of the connector body.
04:50 Which once again they can be a wee bit tight and require quite a bit of force.
04:55 But there we go.
04:56 The last connector body we'll have a look at is the Bosch Minitimer connector.
04:59 Now these are in the classification that they have their retention method as part of the terminal itself.
05:06 It's got these locking tabs on either side here.
05:09 So to pin the connector is very very easy.
05:12 We just insert the assembly into the rear of the connector here and you'll hear it click into place, like so.
05:19 And then perform a tug test, and we can see it's tightly in there and it's not gonna come out.
05:25 The back of the wire seal here should be flush with or even just below the connector body.
05:31 If we have a look at the front, we can see the front of the terminal here.
05:33 So we know that's properly pinned in there and is good to go.
05:37 Now to depin these connectors can actually be a little bit tricky.
05:41 And that's one of the reasons I've chosen them as an example.
05:43 There is a specific tool to do this but I'm going to show you that it is possible to do with our general purpose pick.
05:49 So if we remember the orientation of those locking flange tabs, we can see that from the front of the connector we do actually have access to them through these two holes here.
05:59 So if we reach down with our pick, we can carefully bend those locking tabs back in.
06:05 You need to be reasonably careful when you do this as you can damage the pin itself.
06:11 With those bent back in, we can withdraw the terminal from the rear of the connector.
06:16 Now of course as we've bent these locking tabs back in, it's not going to lock into place in the connector anymore, so to repin this we would then have to bend these locking tabs back out again.
06:30 Give it a little bit of tension.
06:37 And then if we insert this into the connector body again, we'll hear it click into place like so.
06:43 And now it's retained and it's not going to pull out.
06:47 Those three demonstrations should cover the majority of connector bodies you'll find at the modified street car or club day track car level.
06:54 It can be quite useful to head to a junk yard and snip a few connector bodies off some wiring looms and practice both pinning and depinning them.