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I'm putting 14in junior kong bars on my 07 vstar 1100 classic. Now, I've had absolutely no mechanical experience before I bought the bike last year. I've gotten to the point where I can't put off extending the wiring any more. I've replaced all the lines and cables, and even the front brake pads, so the only thing left is the wiring. Ive practiced soldering a bit but this is the part that I'm most nervous about. So, I was wondering if anybody had any advice, tricks or tips that you wish you knew before you started your own projects???? I've posted before and I really appreciate the help I have gotten so far, and I thank you all in advance for anything you can give me.
 

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While soldering is easy it takes practice to make it smooth. I recommend getting some wire and testing what works for you. Make sure you have a good soldering tool. Cheap ones will melt solder but will not heat the wire enough to let solder flow. Make sure to use heat shrink not tape. Use tape just to hold bundles of wire together. Watch you tube vids on good ways to solder wires. The biggest thing is keeping the tip of the soldering tool clean and well tinned. Makes sure to flow the solder through the wires. An outside wire solder will not hold up. I personally put a little RTV on my solder joints to make them water tight too. Good luck.
 

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Is there a way to know for absolutely sure that solder has flowed all the way through? I generally keep the tip on the bottom and solder through the top but could the solder just flow around to the bottom? Or if it's on the bottom is it because it went through??
 

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You can tell if the solder flowed thru vs sitting on the outside. If the solder iron and wire are hot it will kind of suck the solder into the joint. Visibly you'll see the coper wires in the joint with solder in between them and it really shouldn't flex much if at all. If it's on the outside u see all silver, like it was dabbed or smeared on if that makes sense. If prefer butane to electric personally and if i have the room i pulled the tip off and use the hot air torch as it gets hot quicker and easier to heat the wires.
 

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NGM advice on practice is correct. Practice on some old wire. You will be able to tell a good solder by pulling on the wire. Almost as important is the shrink wrap. Many times I've made the best solder joint only to take it apart because I forgot the shrink wrap. Good luck and post your results.
 

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you can always extend wiring by buying more wire. just head down to a local Lowe's or Home Depot or whatnot. if you're not sure of the size of the wire to get, just clip off a small section of your current wire and take with you. also, it's a good idea to label each wire as you go along by writing what it is (power, ground, left, right, etc.) on a piece of tape and wrap it around the wire in some place.

as for soldering, consult youtube. there are bound to be short instructional videos on there. i recommend adding some shrink wrap tubing to each piece of wiring you solder together. here's one:

 

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They type of solder is important too. I like to use a good silver solder and I use the smallest I can get. I feel I can control it better. Bevo posted a good video. They guy in the video says not to use silver solder. He is kinda correct. Do not use acid core silver solder. Use a rosin core something like this. Clicky The thumbnail in the video is how a good joint will look. I will usually smooth down the point you can see in the bottom of that thumbnail, just so it will not push through. There are all kinds of tricks and ways to do it.. Again practice and find what is comfortable for you. If you do not have help a soldering clamping tool is invaluable. Clicky Something like that. There are a lot of them out there too.. That was just the first one. Trying to hold a roll of solder, hold the wire together, hold the soldering tool, try not to drip solder on you or your bike and make a good joint can be a PITA alone.
 

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For typical wiring I like using at least a 40 watt iron. Too low a wattage will take too long to heat the joint and while waiting for the joint to get to the proper temp to melt the solder, excess heat will travel along the wires and start melting the insulation. And as mentioned, keep the iron tinned and clean of slag.
 

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If you're not already planning it, I'd recommend feeding the wiring through the bars...much cleaner look. Make sure to stagger your splices enough so they feed easier through the bars. Also, give a few extra inches of slack in case you ever decide to go with taller apes.
 

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If you're not already planning it, I'd recommend feeding the wiring through the bars...much cleaner look. Make sure to stagger your splices enough so they feed easier through the bars. Also, give a few extra inches of slack in case you ever decide to go with taller apes.
That is where I have a question, if the controls already have external wiring how do you wire them to the inside of the controls?
 

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That is where I have a question, if the controls already have external wiring how do you wire them to the inside of the controls?

The bars have to be designed for internal wiring like the Kong bars. There is an opening in the bars on the left grip near the controls. From where the wires come out of the controls you feed/fish the wiring from the controls through this opening to the bottom of the bars(bottom hole is usually in the center between where the risers would be spaced). I think this is what you're asking. If not, let me know.
 

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1. solder is not a mechanical connection like brazing or welding. You must twist the wires together for the mechanical strength. The solder is only there to keep the copper from oxidizing.

2. Put a little bit of solder on the tip of the iron and use that to conduct the heat from the tip into the wires. A very clean tip by itself will have very little surface area contact onto the curved surface of the wires. A little blob of solder on the tip makes a huge difference.

3. You have to fight you reflex instincts on this one: If you drop the soldering iron or pull it off the bench or table DONT TRY TO CATCH IT! Let it fall to the floor.
 

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1. solder is not a mechanical connection like brazing or welding...
When it comes to wiring connections you're correct, the solder shouldn't be treated primarily as a mechanical connector. However it is a mechanical connector the same as brazing and welding, it's just done at a lower temp... such as in copper plumbing connections or sliver soldering in jewelry making.
 

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Diogenes, I agree that soldering can be used for other things. In the contexts of wiring there are very specific guidelines for connecting wires together, for power connections inside a building, for wires on power and phone poles, and for splicing wires in a vehicle. For a splice to code you need to wrap the two wires around each other with 7 turns, and then the solder is just for corrosion. Even in a house a connection made by twisting wires together and putting a wire-nut on it might only last several years. Solder connections will last forever.

I was going to mention that silver soldering is an excellent way to do auto body work. Ive done it several times to cover rust holes in body work - its much easier than brazing, use a regular propane torch and clean steel sheet metal, then grind the edges and fill with body putty. Also like you said for copper plumbing. People also use silver solder for similar connections on custom bicycle frames, where you do not want to heat up chrome alloy steel parts and weaken the alloy by brazing or welding.
 

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The caveat for metal work is you can rip off soldered on repairs with a screw driver and a pair of vise grips.

For strength solder is close to the "white metal" they used on old hood ornaments, mirrors and for some reason door handles and hood hinges. I can understand wanting the mirrors and hood ornaments to break off easily, but not the handles and hinges.. for example: 1960 Morris Mini...

A lot of electronics use surface mount components - for cheap stuff its just held on with solder. For rugged and military applications the parts are also either glued to the board, or entirely covered with potting material like a brick.

this is one of those mechanical things you can get an actual feel for: take a steel welding rod and try to pull it apart, and a brazing rod... then try it with a thick piece of solder. Tensile strength testing is one of the first things they teach engineering students in college.
 
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