Soldering skillz

Hey guys,

Is there a trick to soldering things together? I seem to be good at making electrical connection that work great initally but fail after a hundred miles or so.

This is what I do:

  1. Strip a bit of the desired wire’s insulation


  1. Then take the wire I want to add and wrap it around the exposed bit:

… /

  1. Add a good blob of solder ove the junction bit:


  1. Wrap the whole shebang in electrical tape.

Is this like, fundamentally wrong or something?

I feel like a failure, I have to open my bike again to fix a dodgy connection I made, and I just wonder if there is a secret.

Kudos, Stefan.

Yes there is another way, whenever you strip wires always add a little solder to the wire ends or where you have to solder to before you even attempt to join the two ends together.Once both ends have a little solder then you can solder them together usually without adding any extra solder.

When doing soldering for audio I was taught that using too much solder isn’t a good thing and to just stick to the right amount and make it as tidy as possible, although our bike wiring is stressed by vibrations and the like.

Consider using nylon tie strips to make sure the wire is flush against something and doesn’t just dangle which in time would stress the weakest point.

Hope it helps.


sounds like you are melting the solder and putting it onto the wire, you should be heating the wire with the soldering iron then feeding the solder into the wire to melt it .The hot stranded cable should suck the melting solder deep into the strands. leave it to cool before moving it or dry joints can occur .

+1 with zeph11… you need to heat both parts being soldered with the iron, but in order to protect any delicate or heat sensitive components, a heat-shrink should be used. This is usually a metal item such as a crocodile clip placed between the soldered join and the next component. The heat shrink should dissipate the heat transmitted along the wire before reaching any components.

Yea , with you there iggy but will just point out that the term is heat ** sink** to save any confusion with heat shrink sleeving .

Yea , with you there iggy but will just point out that the term is heat ** sink** to save any confusion with heat shrink sleeving .

You may need 2 :wink: ( fkin computer !)

Yep… got heat-shink into my head for some reason… :blink:

Er… did I miss the mention of “flux” somewhere? I think that’s the stage your probably missing out.

Once exposed to the open air, most metals pretty instantly take on a fine layer of oxide. Or they became oily during manufacture. Neither is going to help make a sound joint.

O.K. I know you can buy solder wire with a flux core but it’s pretty second hand fix sh*t.

Flux is an acidic etching liquid/paste that gets rid of the oxide/grease and allows the solder to bind to the metal, so flux both ends, tin both ends with solder, then holding both tinned ends together, melt the soldered ends together.

That’s the shorthand. For the full novel I’m sure there is a better description on line somewhere, probably with pictures.

Last. Read the directions on the back of the flux product. This is pretty evil stuff and needs some common sense in use.

Tonight I redid the whole shebang, and it seems to work great. What I did different this time:

  • Used a hotter soldering iron (100W vs 40W)
  • Better solder (w/flux core)
  • Heated the wire instead and fed the solder onto it, as described above, vs. just heating the solder

The joints I made now should probably outlast my bike :stuck_out_tongue: