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the_tool_man

Source for OEM electrical connectors

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Hi all:

I searched here for the answer, and I Googled a bit for a source.  But no luck so far, other than Ebay, which has connectors that don't look the same as mine.  I noticed on my '77 (that I just bought) that the AFM connector does not seem to have any retaining means in the AFM.  If I unbolt the AFM, the connector falls out as soon as I move it.  I'm concerned the connector will fall out while driving.  Is there a source for a replacement connector, aside from getting an entire harness?  I can't even tell what is supposed to retain it.  But I assume this is not an uncommon issue.  Before I shell out $300+ for a harness, I'll explore a home-made solution.  But I'd rather replace the plug (or whatever retains it if that can be retrofitted).

Thanks in advance,

John.

Edited by the_tool_man

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John

The AFM original connector is held in by one of the wire spring clips, similar to the injector one.  It was probably removed at some point & not replaced.

MSA sells a replacement with the improved clip.

 

AFM Conn.JPG

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Thanks S30driver.  That looks like the ones I saw on Ebay, too.  Not looking forward to soldering all those wires.  But that beats my current solution, which is wire ties wrapped around the AFM to hold the connector on.

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Sounds like someone ripped your piece of retaining wire out or it's just stuck in the open position.  The ends can get stuck open.  Actually that's the easy way to get the plug off, is to pry the wire ends out and get them stuck.  You have to put them back in to place before re-installing the plug.

I think that I've read that other brands of cars that used Bosch style air flow meters have plugs that can be interchanged.  Early Toyotas, BMW's, maybe Volvo or Mercedes.  

 

Forgot to say - the wire terminals can be pried out of the plug and reinserted in a new one.  No need to cut wire and solder.

Edited by Zed Head

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I'm not sure.  My connector has no wire, and doesn't appear to have any provision for one. I think it used some other retention method.  Good news about reusing the wires.  Thanks.

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There are two ways you can buy those connector kits on E-Bay. With or with out attached Pigtails. It actually may be easier to buy the kits without the attached pigtails. They come with all the metal connectors and rubber seals. You just cut you old wire off and crimp on the new terminal. juts like a Weatherpack terminal.  A good set of AMP/Weatherpack style crimpers is essential.

You also have to inspect how good the original wiring is and if you have enough slack left after cutting off the old terminal. As I recall, the AFM wiring doesn't have a lot of slack in it. Double check before you buy.

I have one 280Z that I'm repairing with the pigtails because the wiring is in poor shape. I'm going to solder new wires onto the pigtails, use heat shrink on all the joints, replace the horrible bullet connectors with Deutsch connectors and make new cover looms with TechFlex braided loom. A bit more work but will be a lot more tidy and reliable.

On another car, the owner wants to keep it looking as stock as possible and the wiring is in reasonable shape. With that one I will get the terminals without pigtails and just re-terminate all of the connectors.

The new style connectors with spring clips are a big improvement over those stoopid little wire clips that have to be pried off... then go flying into the Twilight Zone.

 

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4 hours ago, the_tool_man said:

I'm not sure.  My connector has no wire, and doesn't appear to have any provision for one. I think it used some other retention method.  Good news about reusing the wires.  Thanks.

It is not very easy getting the old terminals out of those connectors. Just be warned it can be a royal PITA. Personally, if I was replacing all the terminals, ( which is a good idea ), I would not even consider trying to remove the old terminals and re-populate the new connectors. Why use old corroded terminals ( that are difficult to properly clean ), when you can put in shiny new parts?  It can actually take you longer to properly clean corroded terminals than to crimp on brand new ones. This is one of those jobs you don't want to do twice.

Link to DIY on removal of old clips. It's a fiddly job at best. Side cutters, a crimper and new terminals are so much easier:

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/injectors/connectors/index.html

Link to complete terminal kit without pigtails. One of the members from HyBrid Z  ( FricFrac ) sells these kits. I've bought a kit from him and it's very nice quality.

http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/103849-wiring-harness-repair-kit-eliminate-your-electrical-gremlins/

https://www.facebook.com/mackay.power.products

 

Edited by Chickenman

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Another vendor:  Vintage Connections sells a pair of terminal removal tools (along with a full range of new terminals, shells, and crimping tools).  The terminal removal tools work very well -- much better than any DIY solution I could come up with.  Not expensive and highly recommended.  Same for their crimping tool (and don't try to do this job with regular pliers  -- the resulting mechanical and electrical connections be suspect and without a properly-formed crimp you won't be able to get the terminal to insert back into the plastic shell). 

As Chickenman says, it's better and easier to replace the old, corroded terminals than to try cleaning them up.

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On ‎2‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 8:52 AM, Namerow said:

Another vendor:  Vintage Connections sells a pair of terminal removal tools (along with a full range of new terminals, shells, and crimping tools).  The terminal removal tools work very well -- much better than any DIY solution I could come up with.  Not expensive and highly recommended.  Same for their crimping tool (and don't try to do this job with regular pliers  -- the resulting mechanical and electrical connections be suspect and without a properly-formed crimp you won't be able to get the terminal to insert back into the plastic shell). 

As Chickenman says, it's better and easier to replace the old, corroded terminals than to try cleaning them up.

So will the standard "Open Barrel" die set work on these terminals?  I just want to make sure I get the right thing.

I've contacted FricFrac about a connecter kit.

Now that I've read the terminal replacement tutorial, I see the difference in the connectors.  I also now recognize that at least one of mine (coolant temp sensor) has been replaced.  I noticed when I was debugging that circuit that the connector used the newer wire retainer, and that there was a bulge in the harness a few inches away.  I thought it might be a resistor installed to fool the ECU.  But it ohmed out with no resistance.  Now I realize the PO must have bought a replacement connector with pigtails and spliced it into the harness.

Thanks!

IMG_20160216_195311521.jpg

Edited by the_tool_man

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On 17-2-2016 at 3:22 AM, Zed Head said:

I think that I've read that other brands of cars that used Bosch style air flow meters have plugs that can be interchanged.  Early Toyotas, BMW's, maybe Volvo or Mercedes.

Check the number of pins carefully when you buy these conectors for the AFM or ask the E-bayer to quote the numbrr of pins. A lot of the ones I came across are the 6-pin version like the 300ZX (N62) MAF sensor or the 5-pin version on the Bosch AFM 0 280 202 066

http://www.tav-autoverwertung.de/shop/Air-flow-meter-Bosch-0-280-202-066-1-705-7219-13-62-1-705-721-BMW-E30-325e-E28-525e

I picked one up from the internet. The type with a quick release spring that you can sqeeze to release the connector. A lot less fiddling the get the connector off with it under the AFM.

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I bought a complete set off of Fric Frac to do my 280Z and I must say they are very nice. Very good quality, similar to my Audi terminals. Only thing lacking is rubber boots ( like Audi/VW, but that really doesn't matter as they have silicone seals on both the wire and the plug.

As for a Crimper, you need an AMP style. These are also called Molex or " W " style

Note the design of the crimping die:

AMP Crimpers-l1600.jpg

Edited by Chickenman

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+1 on the good crimper - a ratcheting style is even better because you can't release it without full throw, which helps ensure you get 'em good.

i got my crimpers from Vintage Connections http://vintageconnections.com/ click on the "tools" tab - makes electrical work soooo much nicer.

don't waste your time with the hardware store variety, unless you want to do the job over again...

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Crimper tool and pin extraction tools are ordered.  Made contact with Kurk about a connector kit.  Thanks for the help.

Edited by the_tool_man

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If it's not too late, you might want to order a couple extra of the crimp contacts in case you get a couple that you have to re-do. I don't know how much experience you have with that kind of work, but it often requires "the knack". Wouldn't be surprised if you got a couple crimps that don't turn out as nice as you wish until you Get The Knack.

I think I've got some of those kinds of parts in a box somewhere... If I can find that box, I'll take some pics of what I have.

Also, out of curiosity... If you're putting new crimp contacts on the wires, then what do you need the extractor tools for? The old contacts are all green and corroded anyway. Aren't you just going to clip them of the ends of the wires?  :)

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While all you electrical geniuses are changing terminal ends, pay attention to the corrosion on the strands of wire when you strip the wire insulation. If they aren't shiny copper color (and they rarely are in my experience for any under-hood wiring), then you have to clean the individual strands before re-crimping or you're not gaining much. Might just as well clean the existing terminals.

Separate the strands with an exacto knife and scrap them clean or use a good electrical cleaner such as "De-oxit" D series contact cleaner, not just IPA (and I'm not talking hoppie beer either). Vinegar and a rinse works too, just slower.

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Many of us use our cars as "reasons" to buy new tools/toys but really, cutting wires, stripping the ends, and reconnecting with naked butt connectors and shrink tubing would be a perfectly viable way to get it done, as far as functionality.  Makes some people queasy but the method has survived the test of time.  Once it's done and the AFM is plugged back in, you might never remove it again.

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Another tip, if you really want to make things neat and tidy, is to use a Nylon braided wire covering to bundle the new wires( or old wires ) I use products from TechFlex. Normally their " Clean Cut " sleeving as it can be cut with scissors and doesn't " unravel " like normal Nylon braid.

I normally use  https://www.wirecare.com/ They also have a large selection of specialty sleeving and foil sheeting  for extreme heat protection, Deutsch connectors ( Luv these ) Shrink wraps, Tools ( including crimpers and heat guns and all sorts of nifty products that can be used in Automotive applications. One of the cheaper places to get Volcano wrap for headers. . Shipping is a bit expensive from them though.

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Wirecare sure has some great products, thanks for that tip!

Chickenman, TechFlex Clean Cut can be purchased from B&E electronics in Calgary. http://www.be-electronics.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=techflex  Maybe a cheaper source for you. I have to stock up again, let me know if I can toss some in the mail for you. 

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Thanks Jim but I'm good. But I just found out that my local supplier ( MRO )  now carries TechFlex Clean Cut.  In fact I just picked some more up today. They don't carry the high heat or extreme heat stuff though. I normally order that through Wirecare. They do have some nice products...

Edited by Chickenman

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21 hours ago, zKars said:

While all you electrical geniuses are changing terminal ends, pay attention to the corrosion on the strands of wire when you strip the wire insulation. If they aren't shiny copper color (and they rarely are in my experience for any under-hood wiring), then you have to clean the individual strands before re-crimping or you're not gaining much. Might just as well clean the existing terminals.

Separate the strands with an exacto knife and scrap them clean or use a good electrical cleaner such as "De-oxit" D series contact cleaner, not just IPA (and I'm not talking hoppie beer either). Vinegar and a rinse works too, just slower.

What Jim said.  The forty-year-old copper wiring will often be coated with a hard black tarnish.  In fact, out of curiosity I completely stripped off all the insulation from one of my harness-to-headlight wires and found that the surface corrosion on the wire strands extended over pretty much the whole length of the wire.  Doesn't impair the actual conductivity of the strands, but it will create high resistance at a mechanical connection (and it won't take solder, either).

FWIW, I've had good results cleaning up the wire ends, pre-crimp, using a wire wheel (steel works faster than brass) in my Dremel rotary tool.  Orient the wire wheel so that it spins along (rather than across) the wire strands.

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I found my box of connectors and snapped a couple pics. Here's some options for AFM connectors.

Original brittle shell and cracked dry-rotted boot on top, and two new options below:
P1080780_zpsyjttonfy.jpg

The bottom left has a boot retaining feature similar to the OEM connector shell, and the one on the right has a redundant contact retaining hinged door to help hold the contacts in place:
P1080781_zpsdczlq3kf.jpg

Here's another shot so you can see how the hinged contact retaining lid works:
P1080782_zpsbbgxfw8j.jpg

 

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Do you know what cars they came from?  Nice shot of the slot in the Datsun connector, with no retaining wire in it.

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Yeah, that AFM connector without the retaining clip is probably why the OP's connector looks like. I did my harness rebuild two years ago maybe, and I don't think my AFM connector clip was missing, but I didn't put it back on for that pic. It's probably in the bag with the rest of the connectors I replaced.

As for which cars the connectors came from? It's a non sequitur. I bought those connector shells new, not from donor vehicles. I wasn't' sure which style I would like the best but in the end (since I didn't have a rubber boot that fit either of them) I used the style with the secondary retaining lid as insurance to help hold the contacts in place.

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