Introduction to the 3M Scotchlok™ connectorsA number of our LED light boards and selected other motorcycle electrical products are now supplied with the new ‘3M Scotchlok™’ connectors to make the electrical connections really easy.
These connectors provide a secure electrical connection between the two wires, typically to join the wires coming from our LED light boards to those coming from your motorbike.
The great thing about these connectors is that they don’t require any soldering at all. They are also much neater and more secure than the old bullet and spade style connectors, plus they are moisture-resistant too.
I guess most people won’t have used them before, so this is a quick guide to help ensure that you make some good electrical connections for your new LED light board.
Preparing the wiringThis bit is really simple as there isn’t any preparation of the wiring needed as such. It is not necessary to strip back the insulation on the end of the wires before making the connection.
Where the wires have already been stripped back (for example, some of our LED board wires coming ready stripped and tinned ready for soldering), the bare ends of the wire should be cut off.
And that’s it, no more preparation is necessary!
Making the connectionPush the two wires for each connection firmly into the end of the 3M connector. The underside of the connector is clear so you should be able to see the wires inside; ensure that they are both pushed right to the end as shown in the photo on the right. Holding the wires in place with one hand, press the orange button of the connector down as hard as you can between you finger and thumb. It is quite stiff, but you should be able to push it down sufficiently for the metal blades inside to come into contact with and grip the wires, holding them in place whilst you complete the connection. A special tool is available for closing the connectors, but this isn’t worth buying to make only three connections! Instead, you can use a standard pair of pliers to squeeze the orange button right down into the connector.
The advantage of the proper tool is that it keeps the top of the orange button flat as it pushes it in, whereas standard pliers will tend to angle it because of the angle of the jaws.
This can be overcome by pressing the button in several stages, moving the pliers to different sides of the connector each time, to keep it as flat as possible.
An alternative method of pushing in the button to make the connection is to place the connector on a flat surface and use a hammer. Gently tap the button until it is full pressed in, rather than using a single blow.
These connectors are now available to buy separately in packs of 20 in our online store here.
Health and safety adviceThe 3M wiring connectors contain a sealant gel which makes the electrical connection moisture-resistant.
Some of this may sealant may get squeezed out of the holes where the wires go in as you push in the button to make the connection.
There is a mild health and safety warning on the box regarding this liquid which I don’t thin will be a major concern for anyone, but I’ll repeat here for your information just in case:
CAUTION! Sealant may cause minimal eye and skin irritation.
Sealant contains: white mineral oil, butane homopolymer, silane treated silica, hydrocarbon polymer. Precautions: Avoid eye contact. Avoid prolonger or repeated skin contact. First aid: In case of eye contact, flush eyes with plenty of water and call a physician. In case of skin contact, wash with soap and water.
So I guess that means avoid rubbing your eyes if you get any on your hands and wash your hands well after completing the job. Nothing that wouldn’t already apply to working on a motorbike anyway really!