I hate the power window and door lock switches

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59840Surfer

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I'm still using the stock OE GM switches, but I soldered the wires to the connectors at the switch pins and put some 4-wire oxygen sensor wires and the male and female plugs into the circuit so I could disassemble it if I had to.

After 14 years - no troubles.

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PhotonFanatic

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I'm still using the stock OE GM switches, but I soldered the wires to the connectors at the switch pins and put some 4-wire oxygen sensor wires and the male and female plugs into the circuit so I could disassemble it if I had to.

After 14 years - no troubles.

My next try was going to be soldering. But I was told that generally speaking you shouldn't solder on vehicles, and that crimping is always better. The reason being is that solder isn't rated for the vibration and will sometimes crack. Found that out firsthand when I rigged up some LED headlights. The solder cracked and they'd flicker when I went over a bump. LOL

If yours lasted 14 years, maybe that spot is insulated from vibration. Maybe the plastic door panel absorbs too much of it for the solder to crack.
 

AuroraGirl

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My next try was going to be soldering. But I was told that generally speaking you shouldn't solder on vehicles, and that crimping is always better. The reason being is that solder isn't rated for the vibration and will sometimes crack. Found that out firsthand when I rigged up some LED headlights. The solder cracked and they'd flicker when I went over a bump. LOL

If yours lasted 14 years, maybe that spot is insulated from vibration. Maybe the plastic door panel absorbs too much of it for the solder to crack.
what kind of solder did you use, and did you use flux? I think the solder on vehicle thing has more to do with creating stress points than you can/ cannot do it. Such that if your wire is properly supported and isnt likely to "pivot" or "hinge" at the solder point, then its fine. FOr example, using connectors nearby is good because generally that means that would be the flex spot. Also, soldier on terminals that go into connectors is recommended in a lot of factory situations.
 

Camar068

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what kind of solder did you use, and did you use flux? ..... and isnt likely to "pivot" or "hinge" at the solder point, then its fine.
Very well put. Solder is the best, I trust over any crimp connector.

Pivot/hinge are key.
 

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Ideal is crimp and solder. I strip my wires long so bare wire pokes out the end of the crimp connector I crimp it,then solder where the bare wire pokes out. But joining 2 wires I overlap them wrap them around each other solder and heat shrink,never a problem.
 

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Very well put. Solder is the best, I trust over any crimp connector.

Pivot/hinge are key.

The topic of soldering versus crimping is often debated. Those who prefer crimping are in the good company of aerospace, military, Forumla 1, and medical.

A key advantage of crimping over soldering is the ease and speed with which a properly formed connection can be consistently performed. I have seen far too many people get soldering wrong. With proper tooling crimping is nearly foolproof. I too can produce reliable soldered connections, but they are much more of a PITA to get right (getting heat into wire / terminal, ensure solder doesn't wick past terminal stem, venting fumes, not burning myself or car when working in compromising positions, etc.).

I'd also suggest that there's a reason you see almost no soldering connections on the vehicles from the factory. Many times I've seen salt and corrosion destroy a solder joint, where a crimp would have lasted a lot longer. And then there's the vibration, and I've had solder crack on more than one occasion. That's a failure of the solder itself, and has nothing to do with the preparation of the solder joint. The solder would have cracked whether it was on a joint or not, when exposed to those same vibrations.
 

Camar068

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The topic of soldering versus crimping is often debated. Those who prefer crimping are in the good company of aerospace, military, Forumla 1, and medical.

A key advantage of crimping over soldering is the ease and speed with which a properly formed connection can be consistently performed. I have seen far too many people get soldering wrong. With proper tooling crimping is nearly foolproof. I too can produce reliable soldered connections, but they are much more of a PITA to get right (getting heat into wire / terminal, ensure solder doesn't wick past terminal stem, venting fumes, not burning myself or car when working in compromising positions, etc.).

I'd also suggest that there's a reason you see almost no soldering connections on the vehicles from the factory. Many times I've seen salt and corrosion destroy a solder joint, where a crimp would have lasted a lot longer. And then there's the vibration, and I've had solder crack on more than one occasion. That's a failure of the solder itself, and has nothing to do with the preparation of the solder joint. The solder would have cracked whether it was on a joint or not, when exposed to those same vibrations.
agree totally. Flex on either is an issue, cold solder joints happen from soldering technique and/or from vibration. Most folks that use crimps use the standard type and half the time use them incorrectly and they aren't very pretty to be honest. Of course I'm talking about the type you'd find at any hardware store. When i have to use them I crimp the whole "crimp tube" not just one spot.
 

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I think crimps get a bad rap from being done incorrectly.
The seam of the connector should always be in the ditch of the crimper tool for a proper crimp.
I like the uninsulated variety that has a crimp for the exposed wire and a secondary crimp that holds onto the insulation. Remember to place the heat shrink before crimping :emotions33:
 

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I have bad luck with crimps so I tend to go for the solder+shrinkwrap approach. A good crimp is every bit as solid and reliable (and really better from a vibration perspective) - I just do not have the hand strength to get the kind of crimp you'd get at the factory and the handles on the tool don't take well to trying to use a C clamp to increase pressure. Even if I get one that doesn't immediately come back apart it doesn't feel solid. Almost seems like you need some kind of hydraulic press to really fuse the parts together.

In keeping with this whole thread though, I have not been able to find a usable set of replacement window switches either. Right now I have the switches hanging out of the door because if I squeeze on them "just right" I can get the window to go up and down. I've taken to using a walking stick to operate the passenger side. I know my motors and mechanisms are all good, each window does work from its individual switch and I had the connector on the back of the "master" switches replaced because the original fell apart. I can see the plastic of the switch housing flex and when I squeeze it to just the right position it works.
 

YakkoWarner

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I used to work for the phone company and that was still (at the time) a commonly used technique. It works better with solid core wire than stranded though, stranded doesn't tend to hold the shape of the wrap arounds very well....
 

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Y'all ever hear of a Western Union splice? Old school ancient knowledge stuff

I took Industrial Electricity in vocational school during my Junior and Senior yrs of high school, this was the late ‘70s. The two teachers were retired master electricians and they taught us that splice and several others, the classroom had many displays of them. It gave me the foundation for learning that got me my career.
 

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I'm convinced that the door switches were made just good enough to get past the warranty line. That was a long time ago.

I like the schematics out there using a relay to move power around to the motor vs making the light duty contacts on the OE switch do it. But plastic is only so good and OE has seen a lot of uv. I am considering going a different route with the window controls but not settled yet on what that will look like. It would be nice to stay on the doors, but who knows. I'm not above center off toggle switches
 

YakkoWarner

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My original door switches had fallen apart when I got the truck, along with the connector. I've got the Dorman ones that Rock Auto sells, but they are not holding up for me. I've considered a custom panel with center-off toggles, I'd like ones that return to off when released so theres no risk of bumping it and then burning out a motor or starting a fire by leaving it "on" in either position. All this is of course secondary though, not even going to worry about it until I get it to where I feel safe driving beyond my AAA towing coverage range...
 

AuroraGirl

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I have bad luck with crimps so I tend to go for the solder+shrinkwrap approach. A good crimp is every bit as solid and reliable (and really better from a vibration perspective) - I just do not have the hand strength to get the kind of crimp you'd get at the factory and the handles on the tool don't take well to trying to use a C clamp to increase pressure. Even if I get one that doesn't immediately come back apart it doesn't feel solid. Almost seems like you need some kind of hydraulic press to really fuse the parts together.

In keeping with this whole thread though, I have not been able to find a usable set of replacement window switches either. Right now I have the switches hanging out of the door because if I squeeze on them "just right" I can get the window to go up and down. I've taken to using a walking stick to operate the passenger side. I know my motors and mechanisms are all good, each window does work from its individual switch and I had the connector on the back of the "master" switches replaced because the original fell apart. I can see the plastic of the switch housing flex and when I squeeze it to just the right position it works.
You can get a ratcheting crimper, they are considered to be better and can provide the proper way to do it. the single step ones you get at the store are basically useless to the question of "proper" crimping. While I dont hesitate to use them , I want to get the proper tool and see how its done. You can definitel tell/feel the difference in the finished result, i compare wires done factory in bladed connectors vs a crimp blade or ring terminals since they are usually the same size as the factory kind you can compare a similar wire gauge/insulation combo and similar end fitting and the factory one is much more robust. Because of this i limit my crimps at this time to custom stuff im not worried about failure or i have other means of securing reliably.

From here on I just explain what is a good example i dont mind crimping the less reliable way with cheap crimpers

For example , I ran a spade-female off a random ass tab in the dome light of my f150 to the front to run a floor lamp (obs fords had no option for floor lighting, same as later GMT800 trucks.)to a wire which I tucked behind the trim that runs along the windows around the top of the windows to the pillar, then to the place where the dash bottom is, then just followed that along to where my lamp is. The wire isnt at risk of pulling the connector because its secured tightly in that trim and it makes several 90s on way to its destination, didint have a harness to tuck it in for most of its run but i didnt conduit it with the wires under dash that i followed just to retain it and protect a bit

the lamp is a squarebody harness for a ashtray/floor lamp from the 70s, lol. I didnt feed power to the ash tray lamp yet because the way squarebody does it feeds them separate because the doors feed power under different circumstances than the ashtray. Plus i dont have a way to hold the 194 bulb in the ford, i may just change it to be power feed to an LED strip or something to provide less intense but wider spread light or run it to behind the seat to light up that area when doors open or switch is turned.
 

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