View Full Version : Soldering audio connections

03-12-2011, 08:45 PM
So I just wired up the Pioneer deck wiring harness to the harness I had sitting in the garage for the Celica. Last time I did a radio, I used butt connections and electrical tape. It was ugly as hell.

Now I'm gonna have this radio in Storm Trooper, but I want to be able to quickly move it to Jasmine when needed. Should I use some quick connects to wire the stock harness plug into the harness (It was cut out by myself a few months ago) or solder all the connections under the dash as well?

And I need a heat gun (lighters suck to activate shrink wrap) and a new soldering iron. Using a gun type style and it sucks. Need to pickup a Pen style.

03-12-2011, 08:53 PM
Why not get a spare stereo plug for the stereo and solder one into both? I think most aftermarket stereo's now use the same style plug. Worth a look anyway.

But, if it's just a temp, I wouldn't bother soldering.

03-12-2011, 09:03 PM
1) Lighters work JUST FINE for shrink wrap if you do it right (been doing it for YEARS).

2) properly crimped butt connectors are every bit as good or better than solder and heat shrink.

3) quick disconnects are a pain in the ass to deal with, might as well just get another celica harness and radio harness and have it PNP in both cars and just use butt connectors.

Im all about soldering in places where water can get, etc like engine harness wires, but for car audio? No reason to waste your time with that shit. Just use a butt connector. If you have a good set of crimpers, they work great, and honestly, who gives a fuck what it looks like? How often do you plan to be looking behind your head unit anyway?

03-12-2011, 09:26 PM
Well fuck I just spent 45 minutes cleaning the wires and soldering the harness adapter to the pioneer wires :argh:

Think I'll go with butt connectors then just cuz I have so f*cking many of them lmao.

03-12-2011, 09:28 PM
But it was good practice though. I suck at soldering and this just gave me more practice soldering and making clean connections.

03-12-2011, 09:35 PM
I've only ever used a gun style iron. You can use the legs of the tip to shrink the heat shrink. Works perfect, I've got a few thousand joints as proof.

Crimped connections can be really good (remember, all OEM connections are crimped). *BUT*, it requires a good crimper, and to be honest I would only use non-insulated joints and then add heat shrink or electrical tape over. (the crimp style for a non insulated is different)

Personally I solder everything. But lately I've been really thinking about getting a quality crimper and supplies. It's a heck of a lot faster that way too.

03-12-2011, 09:38 PM
Yeah I just did the starter relay mod as well and I did the same thing. Used the insulated connectors, and soldered them onto the relay with some heat wrap just to make sure they don't fall off. My gun solder iron gets fucking HOT in my hand though. It's time for a new one for sure.

03-12-2011, 10:31 PM
And I need a heat gun (lighters suck to activate shrink wrap) and a new soldering iron.

Use a Zippo, not a Bic lighter. You can better control the heat by not having to hold down the trigger. Takes a little skill to not melt wires, but you pick it up after 3 wraps.

03-12-2011, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I was using a Bic.

Didn't melt anything, just turned it from red to black (the heat wrap lolz). Shit the soldering iron melted more insulation than the lighter did.

03-12-2011, 10:38 PM
Wow, yours must have a shit tonne of power or is going out or something. Mine controls it perfectly, can shrink the tubing with no issues at all.

03-12-2011, 11:13 PM
I was using a lighter Chris, I didn't use the tubes from the soldering iron.

03-13-2011, 06:26 AM
Even if you couldn't find another Toyota to cut the stock harness out and solder it to your car, they sell them (http://www.amazon.com/Metra-71-1761-87-Vehicle-Harness/dp/B00029X1KA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299997361&sr=8-1). You could just solder in a new one, and then use aftermarket harnesses as normal. That's what I would do. And solder, just because I solder pretty much everything.

03-13-2011, 06:36 AM
If you have a good set of crimpers, they work great, and honestly, who gives a fuck what it looks like? How often do you plan to be looking behind your head unit anyway?

I'll agree to a point. I've seen some stereos put together with wire nuts. There is no excuse for that.

03-13-2011, 04:01 PM
Speaker wires= Quality solder joints only.
All joints must be covered properly and secured so they cant wiggle around. I take pride in quality HU installs. My friends never care how I do it tho, they just like that I do it free :(

03-14-2011, 12:01 AM
Everyones got their own way. Mine works for me. I do what I do.

Solder for harness connections that see the outside. Crimped connections for inside the cabin (unless space is at a premium and its easier to tuck a wire without having a butt connector on).