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Cable repair
The following section describes the components and tools involved in cable repairs.
This section is sub-divided as follows:

Connectors, terminals and insulators


Seals and plugs
Butt splices
Disassembly tools, terminals out of insulators
Crimping tools, terminals and butt splices
Conductors
Earthing points
Soldered joints

Connectors, terminals and insulators


A connector is a joint between two cable harnesses which can be taken apart. The connector
consists of two connector halves, which are joined together and locked to each other. A connector
half consists in its turn of an insulator and terminals. One connector half contains blade or pin
terminals and the other connector half contains mating receptacles. Each terminal is connected to
a conductor, generally by crimping, and is intended to ensure transfer of electricity between the
two conductors in the best possible manner, please refer to Terminals for a detailed description.
The purpose of the insulator is to protect the terminal from unwanted electrical contact, ensure
that the correct terminals are joined together, and that the halves of the connector keep together,
please refer to Insulators for a detailed description.

Terminals
There are several designs of terminals, such as blades, bullet terminal and timer, please refer to
Terminals and crimping tools for the most common types. A general description of terminals is
given in this manual.

Construction
Mating section, crimping section and insulation strain relief
Most terminals consist of three sections:
Mating section (1), ensures electrical contact between the terminals.
Crimping section (2) is the electrical joint between the stripped section of the conductor (copper
conductor) and the terminal.

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Insulation strain relief (3), relieves the crimping section from mechanical stress. The insulation
strain relief is placed over the insulating sheath of the conductor. This is normally found on
terminals of the open, un-insulated type.
The crimping section of the terminal and the insulation strain relief are formed on the terminal by
the crimping tool at the same time. It is very important that the crimping process is correctly done,
please refer to Crimping tools, terminals and butt splices.

1. Mating section
2. Crimping section
3. Insulation strain relief

Appearance of the crimping section


There are two designs of crimping section for terminals, tubular with or without insulation, and
open un-insulated.

Insulated and un-insulated closed terminals


In the closed design, the terminal has a soldered, tubular neck into which the conductor can be
inserted.
The insulation on insulated terminals is colour coded for different cable areas.
Strain relief is not normally found on this type of terminal

Un-insulated open terminals


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The open type of terminal has a U-shaped neck in which the conductor can be put.
Strain relief is normally found on this type of terminal

Size
The size of a terminal either refers to the conductor area which the terminal is intended for, or the
size of the mating section between pin and terminal.
The size of the mating section is specified as the width or diameter of the blade section and the
receptacle.
The designation for a terminal is written with the size first, such as 2.8 blade terminal.
For eyelet terminals, it is the diameter of the hole which is the size. The size of the hole should suit
the screw which the terminal will be fixed to.

Size of terminals
1. Conductor area
2. Size, mating section

Lock tongue, primary locking


Most terminals have one or two tongues which serve as locking devices and hold the terminal in
place in the insulator.
The locking device is referred to as the primary locking device, and is individual for each terminal
where fitted. Primary locking is only found on the insulator in exceptional cases, please refer to
Insulators for a detailed description.

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It is important that the lock tongue is correctly angled outwards, so that the terminal seats
securely in the insulator.

Lock tongue

Single primary locking means terminals with one lock tongue.


Double primary locking means terminals with two lock tongues.

In some cases, there is a secondary locking device located on the insulator to give further security
in retaining the terminals, please refer to Insulators.
Both primary and secondary locking devices must be opened when the terminal is changed.
Please refer to Cable repair, example for the procedure for dis-assembling terminals.

1. Single primary locking


2. Double primary locking

Embossing
Some blade terminals and blade terminal receptacles can be provided with an embossed dimple.
The function of the dimple is to hold the mating sections of the terminals together, through
mechanical locking between the blade and the receptacle.
Receptacles with a dimple, but without a lock tongue, are intended to connect individual
conductors together, without an insulator.

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Receptacle with dimple

Insulators
General
When the blade and receptacle insulators are connected together, they are referred to as
connector halves.
The task of the insulator is to protect the terminal from unwanted contact and environmental
action and, in most cases, ensure that the correct terminals are connected together and to ensure
that the connector halves remain together.
An insulator for a blade is referred to as a blade insulator, and an insulator for a terminal is
referred to as a terminal insulator.

Coding
The connector halves are frequently coded to ensure that they only fit each other, to ensure that
the correct conductors are linked together at each joint. This can be done through coloration and
through mechanical coding.

Example of mechanical coding

Locking between connector halves


Insulators can frequently be locked against each other or against components.
There are two types of locking: active locking and passive locking.

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1. Active locking means that the lock must be actively released before the connector halves
can be divided.
2. Passive locking means that the connector halves must be pulled apart with a certain
amount of force.
When connector halves are divided, blade and receptacle insulators, the locking device must be
freed.

1. Example of active locking


2. Example of passive locking

Contact sides and conductor sides of insulators


The contact side is the side of the insulator which is joined together with the mating insulator. The
contact side is also referred to as the front of the connector.
The conductor side is the side where the conductors or cables go into the insulator. This is also
referred to as the rear of the connector.

1. Contact side
2. Conductor side

Insulator cavities and position numbers


Cavities are the hollow spaces in the insulator where the terminal is located, and where a
disassembly tool can be inserted. The cavity openings on the contact sides of the insulators have
easily identifiable shapes, which are each designed to suit a different type of terminal.
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Each cavity is numbered, and this number (pin number) is found on the wiring diagram as the
position number.
Example: designation SW3 means position 3 in connector SW.
In some insulators, there are cavity openings which are only intended to be used as disassembly
grooves. Cavity openings are found with up to four disassembly grooves.

1. Cavity
2. Position number

Reinforced moisture protection


Some insulators can have reinforced moisture protection, by means of gaskets, rubber sheaths on
cables, plugs in unpopulated cavities and seals around the crimped sections of the insulation
strain relief on the terminals.

Example of moisture-proof joint


1. DIN insulator
2. Volvo's moisture-proof joint

Locking of terminals in insulator


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The terminals are retained inside the insulator by various kinds of locking device, to prevent the
terminals from being pressed out backwards during connection.
The locking system can consist of primary locking or secondary locking devices
Primary locking: Primary locking devices are generally installed on the terminal, please refer to
Terminals for a more detailed description. In exceptional cases, primary locking can be provided on
the insulator.

Primary locking on insulator


Secondary locking: If secondary locking devices are provided, they are always installed on the
insulator and lock several terminals at once. Secondary locking protects, provides strain relief and
maintains the terminals in place.
There is a large number of different secondary locking devices. Some examples of secondary
locking devices are shown below:

Locking by means of a lid.


Cavity lock.
Mechanical locking.
Locking by means of the insulators' strain relief.

Secondary locking by means of a lid

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Secondary locking, cavity

Secondary locking by means of the insulators' strain relief

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Mechanical secondary locking


Both primary and secondary locking devices must be opened when terminals are changed.
Please refer to Cable repair, example for terminal disassembly.

Seals and plugs


Seal for terminals in insulator
Note: Always use a seal of the correct size
for the conductor.
Note: Always use the correct size of plug in
unpopulated cavities in the insulator.

Seals are used in places where the insulators are exposed to corrosive environments, which means
that there is a risk of water ingress into the insulator cavities.
The rubber-based seals prevent corrosion and maintain their sealing properties even when
subjected to strong vibration and temperature cycling.
The seals are crimped around the conductor by the insulation strain relief, and seal against the
cavity in the insulator.

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Seal
If there is a hole in the insulation strain relief, a seal should be used.

If there is a hole, a seal should be used


Seals are found in various colours and sizes. Please refer to Terminals and crimping tools to see
which seal fits where.

Plugs
Plugs are used to block empty (unpopulated) cavities in a moisture-proof insulator.
The plug should be inserted to its end position, or if there is no end position, about 3-5 millimeter.

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A plug is more or less the same as a seal, but without a hole for the conductor.
Plugs are found in various colours and sizes. Please refer to Terminals and crimping tools, to see
which seal fits where.

Plug

Butt splices
Butt splices have the function of mechanically joining conductor ends together, in the same way as
terminals. The difference is that it is not possible to undo the joint made by the butt splice. Butt
splices are crimped onto the end of the conductor, please refer to Cable repair, example for the
procedure.

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Butt splice
A butt splice consists of two sections:
Crimped section (1), the electrical link with the stripped section of the conductor (copper cable).
Centre stop (2), counterhold for the stripped conductors to rest on.
An insulated butt splice also has an insulating sheath (3) which protects the butt splice from
unwanted electrical contact. The sheath is shrunk onto the conductor insulation by means of a hot
air gun.

Note: Avoid breathing the vapour given off


during shrinking.

The crimped section of the butt splice is formed in the press tool. It is very important that crimping
is correctly done, please refer to Crimping tools, terminals and butt splices.

Butt splice
1. Crimped section
2. Centre stop
3. Insulating sheath
No more than two conductors can be connected to each end of a butt splice.

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Butt splice with three conductors connected

Disassembly tools, terminals out of insulators


It is important to use the correct disassembly tools for removal of terminals from insulators. The
most common tools are included in the repair kit.
The function of the disassembly tools is to hold down the primary locking (lock tongue) of the
terminal or insulator, so that the terminal can be pulled out.
Each insulator demands special disassembly tools. To select the correct tool, first check the
appearance of the disassembly groove in the insulator, please refer to Terminals, insulators and
disassembly tools to identify the disassembly tool which fits. For further information, please refer
to Cable repair, example for the procedure.

Function of disassembly tools


1.
2.
3.
4.

Insulator
Terminal
Lock tongue
Disassembly tool

Crimping tools, terminals and butt splices


General

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Crimping is a method for creating electrical connections. The crimping section of the terminal is
pressed around the conductor with such pressure that it forms a homogenous (gas-tight) seal with
the metal in the conductor.
Using the correct tools, it is a quick and easy task to fix a terminal onto a conductor, and makes a
more reliable and stronger joint than a soldered joint, for example.

Crimping of terminals
Do not use the simple type of tool shown in this illustration. The tool does not give provide the
force needed for reliable crimping.

Note: Do NOT use a so-called hobby tool, or


low-cost crimping tool!

Design
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A crimping tool is adjusted to suit each terminal, by means of both the design of its press jaws and
the press force it generates.
Each cutout on the press jaws has a letter or colour marking and the tool handle is uniquely colour
coded to suit the part number.
Terminals and crimping tools contains cross references between crimping tools, cutouts and
terminals.

Crimping tools
1.
2.
3.
4.

Press jaws
Cutout/Cutout marking
Coloured handle
Part number

The tools have a ratchet function, which means that crimping must be fully completed before the
tool can be opened again, in order to ensure correct crimping.
If crimping has to be interrupted for some reason, this can be done by lifting the brace upwards
and forwards, to release the ratchet.

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Brace which releases the ratchet

Crimping
The goal of using crimping tools is to create cold flow between the terminal and the conductor.
Crimping has to be carried out under extremely high pressure to generate cold flow. For this
reason, it is extremely important that the correct crimping tool is used for each terminal, please
refer to the Terminals and crimping tools section.

Cold flow between terminals and conductor.

Correct crimping of terminals


The conductor must be stripped and inserted into the terminal in the correct manner, to give a
correct crimp:
1. The stripped length of the conductor should only be compressed under the crimping section
of the terminal. It must not project too far in front of, or behind the crimping section.
2. The insulated section of the conductor should only be compressed under the strain relief
section of the terminal. It must not project too far in front of, or be displaced backwards in
the strain relief section.

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Correctly terminated terminals


1. Crimping section
2. Strain relief section

Examples of poor crimping


Incorrect dimension of crimping section on the terminal
A terminal with a crimping section which is too small can not surround the copper conductor in the
cable.
A terminal with a crimping section which is too large can not compress the copper conductor
sufficiently to cause cold flow.
Problems occur when crimping has been done incorrectly:

A terminal of incorrect size for the conductor area has been used.
The terminal has been crimped in the wrong cutout in the press tool jaws.
An incorrect tool has been used.

Note: Incorrect crimping causes poor


contact, which can cause contact failure, an
open circuit, or intermittent (irregular)
faults which can be difficult to localize and
discover.

Crimping section which surrounds:


1. too large conductor area.
2. too small conductor area.

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Twisted copper conductors


Do not twist the stripped end of a cable before crimping. When a copper conductor is twisted, it
increases in thickness. In other words, it assumes a greater conductor area in the twisted section.
As time passes, there is a risk that the copper conductors could be twisted straight again, and the
conductor area would fall again. This would lead in its turn to a loss of crimping force and a contact
fault could occur.

Note: Do not twist a copper cable before


crimping.

Incorrect matching of conductor to terminals


1 Conductor incorrectly inserted.
The conductor is not inserted far enough to ensure current transfer and strain relief.
2 Stripped end of conductor is too short.
In this case, the stripped end of the cable is too short to ensure current transfer, at the same time
as part of the insulation is trapped beneath the crimping section.
3 Cable too far back.
If the stripped section of the cable is too long, and the conductor is correctly aligned in relation to
the crimping section, the strain relief will not surround enough of the cable.
4 Cable too far forwards.
If the stripped section of the cable is too long, and the conductor is correctly aligned in relation to
the strain relief section, the copper conductor will project past the end of the crimping section.
5 Projecting copper conductor.
Projecting copper conductors can lead to short circuits with adjacent conductors.

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Terminal with:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

insufficiently inserted conductor.


stripped section of conductor too short.
conductor too far back.
conductor too far forwards.
projecting copper conductor.

Conductors
General
Introduction
It is important that the cables in a vehicle are dimensioned for the purpose, and installed in a
correct manner. It is also important that it should be easy to distinguish separate cables by means
of colours etc. to facilitate identification and fault-finding of conductors. Important points to
consider when a conductor is changed or extended are as follows:

That the conductor area is correct.


That the interference protection on cables which transmit signals, such as between control
units, is intact.
That the conductor colours are maintained.

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That the conductors are installed in a way which protects the conductors from mechanical
damage.

The electrical wiring diagrams are a considerable help when you change or repair any conductor,
please refer to the service information in group 37.

Note: When you replace any conductor,


always use the same type of cable as the
original, i.e. the correct length, insulation,
conductor area and preferably the same
colour.

Conductor area
It is important that the conductor area is at least as large after a repair as before, since the current
carrying capacity of the conductor depends on the area.
If the wiring diagram books can not give you any information about the area, it can be estimated
by measuring the diameter of the stripped section with a calliper gauge.
Then read the table to get an approximate estimation of the conductor area.

Note: The conductor area and diameter


always refer to the metallic conductor in a
cable.

Conductor diameter measurements


Diameter (mm)

Conductor area (mm)

0.6

0.3

0.8

0.5

1.0

0.75

1.1

1.0

1.4

1.5

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1.8

2.5

2.3

4.0

Signal transfer cables


Cables for signal transfer are frequently protected against interference by being arranged as a
twisted pair, or they have a protective shield. It is very important that the interference protection
of a cable is reinstated after replacement or repair.
A twisted pair must be twisted at the same pitch as the original conductors, to maintain
interference protection. For further information please refer to Cables for data communication.
On a shielded conductor, it is important that the shield does not come into contact with the
conductor it protects, that it is intact for the entire length of the conductor, and that the shield is
terminated at the same place and in the same way as the replaced cable.

1. Twisted pair signal conductor


2. shielded signal conductor

Conductor colour
Choose the same colour as the original conductor. Different colours must only be used in
exceptional cases.
The wiring schedules frequently contain the colour codes for each conductor.
Please refer to the table, to interpret the colour codes.
Two-tone conductors
If the colour code for a conductor consists of two colours, it is designated as follows
Y/R

Shall be read as YELLOW/RED. This means that the conductor has a YELLOW insulation sheath
with RED stripe.

Colour / Colour

Abbreviation

SVART / Black

SB

BRUN / Brown

BN
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RD / Red

ORANGE / Orange

OR

GUL / Yellow

GRN / Green

GN

BL / Blue

BL

VIOLETT / Violet

VO

GR / Grey

GR

VIT / White

ROSA / Pink

BENVIT / Ivory

LJUS BL / Light blue

LBL

LJUSBRUN / Light brown

LBN

Cable runs
When a conductor is installed, the original cable run shall be followed, and the conductor shall be
fixed in the same way. The conductor shall be installed in such a way that there is no risk of
mechanical damage. No sharp ends must be left projecting outside the tie wraps.
The conductor must be at least as long as the original conductor.

Cables for data communication


The information link (SAE J1587/SAE J1708) and control link (SAE J1939) are data communication
cables. Both types of cable have twisted pairs as the interference protection.
When the information or control links are repaired, the same twisting pitch must be maintained.
Repairs shall be done in the same way as other cables, in other respects.
The cables can be lengthened, but must not exceed a total length of 40 metre. The new cables
must be of the same type and the cables must have the same twist pitch as the old ones.

Note: It is important that the twist pitch is


maintained when data communication
cables are joined.
Note: Use cables with the same type of
cable area, colour and grade as the
originals.
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Note: The cables may be extended, but


must not exceed a total length of 40
metre.

Information link
SAE J1587/SAE J1708, is used for diagnosis in the vehicle and transmits data at 9600 bps.
The cables are twisted with a twist pitch of 30 turns/metre.

Note: SAE J1587/SAE J1708 has a twist pitch


of 30 turns/metre.

Lengthening of SAE J1587/SAE J1708 cables can be done at any point along the length.

Control link
SAE J1939 is mainly used when the vehicle is driven, and transmits data at 250 000 bps.
The cables are twisted with a twist pitch of 40 turns/metre
There is a resistor at each end of the control link, either on the cables themselves, or built into the
connected control unit.

Note: SAE J1939 is twisted with a twist pitch


of 40 turns/metre.

SAE J1939 cables must be lengthened at one end of the cable harness, and the resistors located
there must be moved to the end of the extension.
It is possible to join new control units onto the control link. There must be a distance of 0.3 metre
between each joint (stub) and the length of each stub must not exceed 1 metre. It is NOT
permissible to join one stub onto another stub. A stub must always be connected to the original
cable harness.

Note: A joint on the control link must


always be connected to the original cable
harness. It is NOT permissible to join one
stub onto another stub.

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Earthing points
The earthing points are very important components in the electrical system of a vehicle, since all
the voltage levels in the sub-systems are referred to the earthing points, as 0 Volt. If there is an
earthing point with suspect contact, the electrical system will be adversely affected.
Several conductors are frequently joined together at the same earthing point, which means that
several functions and systems will be affected by the quality of the earthing point.
It is thus very important that the electrical connection at each earthing point is correct, which
means that:

there is no paint or dirt on the contact surface between the terminal and the earthing point.
there is no corrosion on the contact surface between the terminal and the earthing point.
the connected terminals are correctly crimped.
nuts and screws are correctly tightened.

A faulty earthing point can lead to effects in systems and functions which would not at first appear
to be related to earthing faults. These faults can be very difficult to find.

Example of a threaded fastener as an earthing point.


Note: In each earthing point, it is very
important that:

there is no paint or dirt on the


contact surface between the
terminal and the earthing point.
there is no corrosion on the contact
surface between the terminal and
the earthing point.
the connected terminals are
correctly crimped.
nuts and screws are correctly
tightened.

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Soldered joints
General notes about soldering
Soldering is a method which is relatively easy to do. No expensive equipment is needed and the
conductor area is not so critical.
The disadvantage of soldering is uneven quality. Poor results can be obtained because of
contamination at the contact points.
If soldering is to give good contact and durability, it is important that the contact point is
completely free of dirt, oxidation, grease, paint etc.

Note: Because of its uneven quality,


soldering should only be done where other
alternatives are difficult to implement.
Note: Avoid soldering at points where there
is considerable current density.

Soldering quality
The factors affecting the quality of a soldered joint are the choice of solder, flux and soldering tool,
and how the joint is located and made.
It is common for the conductor to be heated so much that the insulation is damaged and melts. In
addition, the solder can flow too far up the conductor. If this happens, the conductor becomes hard
and brittle, and the risk of cable breakage increases.
At the same time as the conductor must not be heated up too much, it must be warm enough at
the soldering point to avoid creating a dry joint. If a dry joint is created, the electrical and
mechanical contact will be very poor, causing contact failure, open contact or intermittent faults.
These faults can be very difficult to discover and localize, since the soldered joint will be covered
by insulating shrink tubing afterwards.

Note: A dry joint means a poor electrical joint, causing contact failure, open contact or intermittent
faults, which can be difficult be very difficult to discover and localize.

Soldering tools
There are various kinds of soldering tools. The most common is the temperature regulated
soldering station, which allows the power and temperature of the soldering iron to be regulated.
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Solder wire
It is very important to use solder wire containing a good quality flux preparation.

Note: Do not use solder with aggressive


(acid-based) flux. This can cause oxidation
and contact problems.

Finishing
It is important that the soldered joint is insulated and protected from unwanted electrical contact
and mechanical damage once it is finished.
Use shrink tubing with part number 1095431

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