Motorsport Wiring 101 | Tools And Materials [RESOURCE]

So you’ve watched our wiring courses and are ready to get stuck into building your club level harness but you’re not sure of the tools and materials required and where to purchase them? Below is a concise list to save you having to pick through the course modules to find the same information.

Tools

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Sargent 3187 / GM12085271

This tool’s stiff jaws make it ideal for brass open barrel splice crimps.

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Universal 16-30AWG Connector Terminal Open Barrel Crimp Tool

This tool has good feel so you can apply as much, or as little pressure as you need, particularly on the second crimp stage on the wire insulation. It does an especially great job with AMP Superseal 1.0 connector pins.

Tool Aid 18700 Master Terminal Tool Kit

Tool-Aid Master Terminal Service Kit

This kit includes two open barrel crimp tools and three sizes of closed barrel crimp tool for use with Deutsch DTP, DT and DTM connectors which are connectors that you’ll likely use a lot. The red-handled crimp tool has similar-sized dies to the Sargent 3187 and doesn’t get used often. The blue handled crimp tool has die sizes that are perfect for Weather Pack terminals, Bosch injector connector terminals, and most other terminals that include an integrated wire seal. 

Del City Crimp Tool for Weather Pack and Metri Pack 150 280

Universal / Metripack Crimp Tool

This is the same blue handled tool included in the Tool-Aid master terminal service kit, but just by itself.

Ideal Industries Stripmaster Wire Stripper 16 to 26 AWG

Ideal Stripmaster 45-097

This tool is robust and reliable with a larger frame than the Stripmaster Lite range, but also much more affordable. This is the only reasonably priced wire stripper we have found that will reliably and safely strip small 26AWG wire.

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Ideal Stripmaster 16-26 AWG Ergo Elite

This tool is a big step up in price from the previous wire stripper but is also a big step up in quality. This tool has a blade set specifically for mil-spec wire. This stripper also has a convenient adjustable stop that lets you achieve consistent strip lengths. That might not sound too relevant, but it’s a big help when you are terminating a lot of connectors.

DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display Hard CaseAccessory Kit

DEWALT D26962K Heatgun

This is the cheapest heat gun we’ve found that allows control of the temperature. This, along with the fact it includes a case and nozzle attachments make it a great purchase.

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Materials

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Open Barrel Splices

1500 CMA and less of combined wire area: TE 62759-1

1500 to 5000 CMA of combined wire area: TE 63130-2

5000 to 10000 CMA of combined wire area: TE 62357-1

For the best price and in our opinion, the easiest company to deal with for these, check out www.element14.com. Putting the part numbers into the search bar will get you to the right pages as they differ depending on where in the world you are.

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Raychem DR25

This is used on the cutaway example above and is mainly used for professional motorsport wiring harnesses and when combined with heat moulded boots and a sealing epoxy resin the result is a harness that is impermeable to moisture as well as providing abrasion resistance. Once again, Element14 is where we source this from. Raychem DR25 is quite a costly option and not essential at club level so if that is your aim, let’s look at a more cost-effective option. 

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Raychem SCL

6mm (¼”): SCL-1/4-STK

10mm (⅜”): SCL-3/8-STK

This is a rigid shrinkable tube with an inner wall of black potting compound and is excellent for harness branch sealing and support and splice insulation. The most common sizes we use, sized before shrinking, are 6mm (¼”) and 10mm (⅜”). This heat shrink cannot be rolled onto a reel and is generally only available in 1.2m (4’) straight lengths so we usually cut it up into more manageable sections for storage, as it’s only ever used for sealing and support, not a complete harness sheath. As above, we purchase this from Element14, and it will be best if you put the part numbers into their search bar at your location.

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TXL Wire

We last purchased our TXL wire from Waytek Wire, as their shipping options to New Zealand were the best at the time. This may not be the case outside of New Zealand so it will pay to shop around a little rather than just ordering from the first place you find.

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AMP Superseal 1.0 Connectors

Once again, these can also be found on Element14. The connector bodies are available in 26 and 34 pin options and it is important to note that for each pin number option, there are multiple key-way options and you will need to confirm that the keying is right for the device you want to connect to. Below are the part numbers for the most common connector bodies but you can confirm the keying here.

26 Way connector body: 3-1437290-7

34 Way connector body: 4-1437290-0

Contact for use with 16-18AWG wire: 3-1447221-3

Contact for use with 20-22AWG wire: 3-1447221-4

Hopefully, this list can save you time when purchasing tools and materials but do note that it is not the be-all and end-all. If these options do not work for you, a Google search will likely turn up many more that may suit you better depending upon where in the world you are located.

If you’re looking for other tools and materials not listed here, check this blog post of automotive wiring suppliers out.