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Not good to pierce wires to test

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#1 Alc OFFLINE  



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Posted February 11, 2015 - 06:37 AM

There was a thread awhile ago but thought it should be brought up again   to members maybe just getting into electrical work on their tractors .  At our other garage the mechanics replaced a part on a work truck only to have it towed in the next day . Found out a small wire going to one of the controls was pierced at some point in it's 15 years on the road . Anyway they didn't see the small hole while removing the connector changing the part and the wire failed inside the insulation  after a few hours on the road . I was troubleshooting my wifes Blazer last night and was " back probing " the little electric connector which made me think to start a thread today . At work we have very nice Fluke ones but at home I use hat pins . The one picture does a good job explaining it better then I can lol

Attached Thumbnails

  • 10009pin.jpg
  • Back%20Probing%20.jpg

Edited by Alc, February 11, 2015 - 06:38 AM.

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#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted February 11, 2015 - 06:51 AM

Good point Al. One thing to remember is to shut the power off before using an ohmmeter to troubleshoot. Those long pins like that are a short waiting to happen with all that exposed steel.  I have a set of test probes with heat shrink applied to the probe ends except for the very tips. I use them whenever I am working on HV like tube amplifiers. You could take some small Heat shrink and do the same to your hatpin probes, reducing the amount of conductor that is exposed. It may make it possible to use them safely for powered equipment. Personally, I power down equipment and use an ohm meter as much as possible when troubleshooting, especially on something I'm not familiar with.  

  Having a well documented service manual is a big help when servicing any equipment. Unfortunately it's not always available. 

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Posted February 11, 2015 - 07:46 AM

In the rare circumstances I've had to pin a wire that lives outdoors, I have usually used silicone to repair the coating. It doesn't take much, but forgetting to do so can cause you much grief later.

Thanks Al, for the reminder to take the extra second to do it right. Also for the idea on an end-around to piercing.
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#4 Kurtee OFFLINE  


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Posted February 11, 2015 - 07:55 PM

Good advice for any type of equipment, even more so for something that is on the road in the winter time. The chemical that is used on the road is hell on wiring. Any wire that is exposed to this stuff will be gone in 24 hours. I see the corrosion damage just about every day at work. Take the precautions, no probing of wires, use corrosion inhibitor, protect the wiring or pay the price later. It won't be much later either.



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#5 Racinbob OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:23 AM

i agree with the others here. Don't do it. If it sealed back up 100% it should be OK but in nearly five decades I haven't run across a situation yet where I couldn't find a way without piercing the insulator. I have repaired countless wires that had been pierced and the corrosion under the insulator had it swolen up to about three times the origional diameter.

#6 Alc OFFLINE  



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Posted February 18, 2015 - 06:35 AM

Another mechanic here at work just told me he got call to work over the weekend for a fairly new 2012 Freightliner with no rear running lights , found the wires behind the rear axle area  were probed and corroded , when he mentioned it to our boss he said that was the 3rd truck we found so far that the people who put the bodies on pierced the wires there :(  :(  :(