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Earlier today Sean extolled the virtues of keeping extra bolts around the shop.  Not only do I wholeheartedly agree — I’d like to also recommend that you pick up a similar set of electrical crimp terminals like the one pictured above.

If you’re doing any kind of automotive work, you won’t believe how often you end up needing a ring, butt, or spade terminal.  Having a couple is good.  Having 1,012 is better.  You’re way more likely to find what you need without a trip to the hardware store.

I speak from experience.  Sean and I were in the process of installing a set of aftermarket paddle shifters the day before yesterday when we discovered that because of the unusual shape of the (sweet looking machined, polished aluminum) shifters the horn’s actuator would no longer work.  Thankfully we were able to create a new one out of  leftover parts from the steering wheel adapters (don’t ask why we needed two), some springs and spare junk we had around the shop, and two female spade terminals and a ring terminal.  Thankfully we had some extras around in various sizes, including one the fit perfectly.

The pictured set is currently for sale on eBay (via an eBay store) for $30, though you can find these all over.  Harbor Freight sells some from time to time as well, and though the boxes are usually crappy — they’re also cheap, and the terminals work fine.

1012 Electrical Terminal Crimp Connector Assortment Set [eBay]



4 Responses to Finds: A Crimp Terminal Assortment Set

  1. Myself says:

    The terminals work fine at first, but they have poor pull-out resistance because the insides of the barrels are smooth, not scored like in the good brands. If you have a full-cycle ratchet crimper that’ll really smash these things, or if you plan to solder them afterward, you can get away with cheap connectors. But if you’re using the pliers-style cheapies, expect bad crimps from good terminals, and terrible crimps from cheap terminals.

    A numer of industry specifications define various values for the expected pull-out strength of a crimped contact, and they vary with wire size and material. As a rough guideline, a 12ga tinned copper crimp should withstand between 65 and 110 pounds of tension, depending on who you ask.

    Try this: Get some good ring terminals (Alpha or T&B would be nice), and some Harbor Freight brand. Crimp them onto opposite ends of a short piece of wire, then hang heavy things from it and see which end separates first. You get what you pay for.

  2. Chuck Cage says:

    Myself: Good info — and sounds like something we ought to do here on TM and publish. Who would you recommend as a good supplier of a bulk kit like the one here? We didn’t pay squat for our cheapie HF, and maybe we’ll pick up a better one as well.

  3. Myself says:

    Look no further than Thomas and Betts. Tyco/Amp is another old reliable name, as is 3M. None of the big boys are known for variety packs though; you’re generally expected to order thousand-count boxes of the specific parts you need.

    Digi-Key sells a 650-piece kit of assorted 3M connectors and wire ties for $155, comes in a kickass metal box and includes wire markers. It’s on page 294 of the 2007 catalog, or just search for “terminal kit” on their site.

    Also handy to have on hand are “scotchlok” self-crimping splices. They’re for smaller wire, and can be crimped with regular pliers because they work by insulation displacement. Telephone installers have a love-hate relationship with these “beans”, and they’re not appropriate for carrying much current, just signals. Not for high-speed data use. 🙂

  4. Lorraine Mcbride says:


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