Electrical Connector Repair
This howto will give you the basics of how to solder wires and repair a damaged electrical connector in the event a wire has broken off and it's too short for a splice.

Tools Needed:
*Wire Strippers
*Soldering Iron
*Pick Tool or a small nail.


This is a water-tight automotive style connector, this particular one has both wires intact, I didn't have one with a wire broken off in it so we're going to break it then repair it.

Whenever you cut a connector off it's wise to leave enough wire to work with even if you don't intend on using the connector again. That being said we are going to cut this one off very close to the connector which will make it hard to re-use.

Oh no, our wire is way to short to get a butt splice or even to solder back on now... Look's like we will have to dis-assemble the connector to fix it.

This particular style of connector has a plastic bit that has to be removed before we can actually get to the terminals, after a little work we can slide the plastic retainer off.

With the retainer removed we can see a bit of the wire, now we *COULD* possibly splice on to this, it might stay and it might be a royal pain to do. Besides if the wire broke off in this connector this bit wouldn't be here anyways.

Next we will turn the connector over, the terminals inside are designed to lock in once they're inserted into the plug at the factory so we will have to release them. If you look closely you can see a hole that goes down into the plug, this is where the other end or pin of whatever we're plugging in goes into. The clip is the silver part that is opposite the hole.

Use a pick tool or a really small screw driver or a finishing nail, to press the retaining clip down you will probably feel it un-latch.

Here you can see after I bent the retainer down, it now has a hole on the other side, you can use another pointy object to push the terminal out. It should come out VERY easily once released.

Here im using the pick tool or another pointy object to slide the pin out of the plastic plug, it may even just fall out once released.

Now we're left with the terminal as well as the rubber stopper that prevents water/dirt etc from getting inside the plug from the back. Use the pick tool/pliers to open up the little metal ring securing the rubber stopper, it can then be slid out and slipped down onto our repair wire ready for re-assembly.

What you should be left with is something similar to this. We will solder a new wire directly to the metal / leftover copper to repair this terminal.

Start by stripping back some insulation from a good wire, 1/2" is probably too much for this repair but you can always trim it back. Discard the bit of insulation on the end of the wire.

Here's where we will put the wire in the terminal to secure it, you'll likely need a small alligator clip or two or an extra hand to hold things while you work.

You want to heat the underside of the terminal, getting it hot which will in turn heat up the copper wire, touch the solder to the hot joint NOT the tip of the soldering iron. Once the joint is hot enough the solder will melt and bond the bare copper to the terminal.

Once it cools to the touch you can slide the little rubber stopper back up to the metal retainer and bend it back in place with a pair of pliers.

Using our pick tool/pin/nail etc you need to bend the locking tab back out so that when you slide the terminal back into the connector it will lock in place. Once it's bent up you can slide it back into the plastic plug and it should lock in place.

Slip the wire retainer back on and snap it in place if you had to remove one and your plug should be good as new!
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