If you have never soldered before, it is recommended to find a friend to teach you, as experiencing it first hand would be the best way to learn. When working with wires, you want a tip that is about as wide as the wire you will be working on. If you're like us and prefer to rock JDM parts, you now have no excuse not to supercharge your FR-S or BRZ! Clutches may never be headline news, but when you start hearing a screech and grind, they become your greatest concern.
With our car up north with ATS Garage, it was time to start collecting all the pieces of the puzzle to commence Project ATS*SS! Sign Up today for our FREE Newsletter and get the latest articles and news delivered right to your in-box. 12 Volt Soldering IronWe've managed to find a great manufacturer of soldering irons in order to bring them to you. The Good Kit 12 volt soldering iron produces a generous 30 watts of power, making on the road electrical repairs a breeze. Whats more, we also supply you with enough solder to get you out of trouble so you won't have to go hunting for that afterwards. Just simply plug it in to your cigarette socket, wait about 2 minutes for it to come up to temperature and you are ready to go. Be super careful not to let the iron touch any interior work as it will definately make you sad if it burns a seat or dashboard. Before you do this next bit, think of the piece you are holding and consider how hot it will get when you apply the iron to it. To begin the actual solder joint, you must 'wet' the tip again with a small amount of fresh solder, then apply it to the work.
Once you see solder flowing nice and even over the work, remove the solder wire and iron and allow the joint to cool. IMPORTANT NOTE - when the solder is wet and being allowed to cool, it must be perfectly still.
It is important to have a decent soldering iron, as you don’t want one that gets too hot or not hot enough.
Basic soldering is a skill that's easy to learn and not too hard to master but misconceptions on the proper procedures also includes many individuals having no clue on where to start.


A little bigger or smaller is fine, but too small and you will have trouble heating up the wire quickly or at all. Pre-tinning the wires or components (coat with a thin layer of solder) or fills the wires or connector contacts with solder so you can easily melt them together. Keep your iron tip clean by wiping it off regularly with a damp sponge or rag both before and after making connections. In between making connections and immediately after turning off the soldering iron, coat the tip with solder to protect it. Clean up the solder with isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol to remove used flux when done soldering. If you wait too long and the tip starts to discolour, you will have to wipe it again before you start to use it.
You want enough solder on the tip to cover the tip and have a small drop formed on the tip. If your soldering iron is too hot, it can ruin the components on the boards, so if you are using an unregulated iron, I would not exceed 30 watts. Soldering is accomplished by quickly heating a metal or metallic alloy to join metallic surfaces together. When soldering wires, we prefer using the flat tipped ones (sometimes called "spade tips").
A dirty tip can prevent your solder from making proper contact with the parts and can slow down heat transfer to components. Coating prevents the tip's protective metal coating from oxidizing and cracking or wearing away. Alcohol evaporates and dries quickly, does not leave impurities behind, will not corrode metal, and will not hurt electronics; whereas water can take days to dry and can corrode parts or leave impurities behind. To clean your tip, wait for the iron to reach full temperature then poke about 1cm or more of fresh solder onto the tip. I like to use a regulated Weller WPTCT soldering iron, but it can be a rather expensive purchase if you won’t be soldering a lot.
A good soldering job can be rewarding while a poor job can lead to electrical failures and frustration. Keep in mind that total power or wattage of the iron is less important than its thermal recovery ability.


Avoid the rounded conical tips, which are primarily used to repair or solder very small IC chips on PC boards. Pre-tinning is accomplished by applying a thin layer of solder to the individual parts before fusing the wires together. On the flip side, not using enough solder is just as bad, which can make the connection physically weak. If you see the coating of solder on the tip discoloring and turning dull gray, add more solder to re-tin the tip, or turn off the soldering iron if you will not be using it very soon (a discolored tip with a rainbow color pattern means the tip is too hot). If it is not nice and shiny at the end, you should heat it up and add a little more solder and try again. Also make sure that your iron gets hot enough, as cold solder joints cause bad connections. These steps will help improve soldering skills along with teaching you the basics and importance on how to perfect your soldering skills. Thermal recovery is the ability of the iron to "recover" to proper temperatures immediately after soldering.
When tinning wire, you want to make sure the solder flows all the way to the center, from the end of the wire to the edge of the insulation where you stripped it back.
Now wipe the hot tip with the fresh solder onto a damp (not dripping) sponge or damp cotton cloth if you don't have a sponge. Dry joints don't last long in cars and can end up being the cause of an intermittent fault.
If the joint is dull and crinkly, the wire probably moved during soldering and might require a do-over. This whole process should only take a few seconds, but it depends on how large the work is. Wire coil units typically lose heat when used and are slow to recover from the initial temperature drop delaying usage.



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