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Old 03-15-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default Soldering gun tip melted, WTF

http://www.harborfreight.com/180-wat...-gun-4328.html

I have the above posted solder gun and the U shaped tip it came with melted on the bottom bar and split in 2. Is this a flaw in this design of the equipment or should I chock it up to flaw in the metal? Or was I just keeping it on for to long as I was using some thick solder that I i had laying around.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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What are you soldering with that thing?

too cheap to weld?
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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I would say it is most likely a flaw in the design of the soldering gun. If you're buying something from Harbor Freight, you usually get 1-2 uses from it. It's a great store if you are only planning on using the tool once, but if you are planning on frequently using something I would get it from somewhere more reputable. Maybe they have some tools there that are decent, but I have purchased quite a few things from thing in the past and 90% of them have been complete garbage. I had to buy 3 different timing lights to get one that would actually work. But I only needed the thing for 10 minutes, and it was $12 compared to the $100 they charge at Auto Zone.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
I hate the ones with a base and box deal. Makes soldering under the hood or dash a pain in the ***.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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you shouldnt be soldering there.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
you shouldnt be soldering there.
So I should pull my whole harness to solder something into it?


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Old 03-16-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Shouldn't be soldering to harness in bay. Solder has a low melting point and susceptable to failing due to vibratings/heat. Crimps are best--then solder those connections to play it safe.

Last edited by Braineack; 03-16-2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Get some better tips and you'll be OK. I have a weller gun and a pencil. The pencil is great for bench work or fine wire/tight locations. The gun works good for heavy gauge wire (ignition switch wiring or other 8-12 gauge) or for some in-vehicle work. I used it a lot for car stereo work back in the day when I did that for a living. It heats and cools quickly so I can leave it on the ground by the car, etc. until I'm ready for it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Shouldn't be soldering to harness in bay. Solder has a low melting point and susceptable to failing due to vibratings/heat. Crimps are best--then solder those connections to play it safe.
I solder then shrink tub. They are not going anywhere.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_man View Post
I hate the ones with a base and box deal. Makes soldering under the hood or dash a pain in the ***.
?

You set the base on top of the valve cover. It makes a perfect work surface.

Of the 3 or 4 irons which I own, I only use one of them for 99.9% of my work. It's an old Weller analog adjustable iron with a base, similar to what FaeFauna posted.


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Shouldn't be soldering to harness in bay. Solder has a low melting point and susceptable to failing due to vibratings/heat. Crimps are best--then solder those connections to play it safe.
Not this argument again...

Mazda used solder inside the injector harness on the 1.6 cars. Peel yours open and look.

There's nothing wrong with soldering under the hood so long as you do it right and don't subject the soldered joint to a lot of flexing. My '92 had solder joints in the ignition harness, the crank sensor, the ECU harness, the water injection harness, and the sub-harness that serviced all of the temp sensors, knock sensor, aux grounds, and wastegate bypass solenoid.

If you own the correct tools and connectors to do a factory-style crimp then yes, they're awesome. But if your idea of a crimped connector is one of those plastic barrels that you squeeze with a pliers-like tool, then even if you have the fancy $50 ratcheting crimp tool like I do, I wouldn't even try to compare such a connection to a factory crimp. They're not in the same league. I'd solder a hundred connections under the hood before I used a single barrel connector in a critical application. Whenever I do need one (such a putting a ring onto a ground wire) I always solder it after crimping.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:39 PM   #12
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Why would you buy such a thing?

You dont need a fancy soldering station, just go get a radioshack pencil iron
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Shouldn't be soldering to harness in bay. Solder has a low melting point and susceptable to failing due to vibratings/heat. Crimps are best--then solder those connections to play it safe.
OEMs solder in bay.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full_Tilt_Boogie View Post
Why would you buy such a thing?

You dont need a fancy soldering station, just go get a radioshack pencil iron
Cuz I set them down and start a fire or burn my self.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:53 PM   #15
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FWIW, I always crimp, solder and then double shrink tube - one over he solder, and another over the whole connection, covering halfway up the terminal - and finally appropriate sized split sheathing.
Takes a few extra minutes, but it's safer that way. And, no headaches down the line.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:00 PM   #16
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oh my god, you commie. i cannot believe you'd suggest something so insane!

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #17
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My must humble apologies to you, sir..

I beg you to please refrain from reaching for the ban hammer.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full_Tilt_Boogie View Post
Why would you buy such a thing?

You dont need a fancy soldering station, just go get a radioshack pencil iron
Because it works.

Because it flows the damn solder in a way you expect every single time

Because it heats up quickly

Because it gets really ------- hot.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #19
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lol at thinking a penicl iron heats up faster than a base unit.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
Because it works.

Because it flows the damn solder in a way you expect every single time

Because it heats up quickly

Because it gets really ------- hot.
Yah, I know. Ive used a soldering station that makes that Weller look like a toy.
That doesnt mean that everybody needs that.

This was done with a 20/40 watt radioshack iron (not by me):
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