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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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  #1  
Old 11 Oct 2007
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How Do You Clean Those Electrical Connectors?

I am part way through a semi rebuild of a 1989 XT600 2KF Model.
As I was refitting the horn I decided to test it and it would not work, neither was there high and low beam. After much "connector jiggling" I had intermittent Low beam, and Intermittent indicators (turn signals for our American Friends), side-lights work ok though, as did brake lights.
I Removed the headlamp and pulled every 'Multi-Connector' apart to check them..... What a mess!

The pins and sockets are covered in a green verdigris type stuff and there is no wonder that I am having problems.
I have tried squirting with WD40 and then working them in and out a few times, but this was not enough to clean them sufficiently, THE PROBLEM STILL PERSISTS I am loathe to "tug about" on the loom too much as it is after all 17 years old!
Basically, the question is this......
"How do I remove the verdigris?, and prevent build up in future? and if there is Verdigris in there would it stop the lights working?

I am pretty sure it is this that is giving me the problem anyhow.

Any help/feedback will be much appreciated!




Last edited by Martynbiker; 11 Oct 2007 at 10:06. Reason: additional info
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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It is almost impossible to clean the contacts by chemical means alone, the toothbrush will help. In really grotty cases I use a small "swiss" file, you can buy small file kits relatively cheaply. If you are tempted to chop the connector off and resolder a new one on, be careful, because you may find the wire itself has a small amount of oxidation and will not solder easily, although a bit of fine sandpaper may suffice to clean it.
To prevent vergris in the 1st place, i reckon the spray silicon grease that plumbers use is as good as anything, because it doesn't dry, doesn't rot plastics, is water repellent and you can really lather it on.
It is also possible to buy switch contact cleaner, it does help, but not in the really grotty connectors.
I find WD40 a tad overrated IMO, discuss.....
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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contact cleaner...

Thanks Joe........ Im gonna have a go with that.
My local ferretaria (hardware shop) sells "limpia de contactos electricos" (electrical contact cleaner) which should help clean up some of the snot.....

I take on board your idea of the toothbrush but also have another idea of my own.....( LISTEN UP>>>> THESE DONT HAPPEN OFTEN) you know those funny little "brushes" for cleaning between your teeth that you can buy in a chemist? they look like a rat tail file and have little bristles on em? come in packs of about 50 for 3 quid or so........ well one of those soaked in contact cleaner will fit inside the 'female' part of the plug.

Nice one on the silicone grease...but im gonna go for Vaseline.. it tried n tested in my book and I have loads of it already..... I had forgotten all about Vaseline.untill you mentioned silicone grease.
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martynbiker View Post
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][B]"How do I remove the verdigris?, and prevent build up in future?
You could try the self cleaning flux used for soldering plumbing joints.
Smear it on and then use a *small* gas flame to heat it and all that crap may disappear... worth a try on a test sample.

J
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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the flame idea may have one snag, too hot, the metal ferrules will become sloppy fitting in the plastic housing. Little tooth cleaning thing sounds good!
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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The verdegris is the result of contact metal corrosion. Regardless of what chemicals you use (electrical contact cleaner is better but any good penetrating oil should also work), you need to scrub off the corrosion to bare metal. The bullet ends are no problem - use a small brass brush. The "female" receptacles are a different story. If you can find a very small cylindrical brush (think microscopic baby bottle brush - maybe jewelry or fine machinery supply?) that would fit, you would be good. In mild cases, just inserting the plug into the socket repeatedly cleans it up (but it sounds like you have a severe case). Trick is to liberally coat the connectors after cleaning to ensure future connection. I use Vaseline petrolium jelly; others use No-Ox jelly or the grease that you can find in an electrical parts supply - should keep the moisture out of the connectors.
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Old 11 Oct 2007
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It's called a proxa brush

But it is not stiff enough to remove the really adherent stuff. You could use a 320 grit sandpaper cut into strips and folded to increase stiffness, then add the vaseline/silicone grease/spray to prevent further problems AFTER using compressed air to get rid of all the particles detached while cleaning.
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Old 12 Oct 2007
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Something else that might work with the "female" contacts - I just came across a BMX bicycle forum thread pertaining to the use of an oxialic acid/water mix that cleans rust off chrome and other metals without harming the metal (except aluminum) by soaking. No more scratching chrome with steel wool. There are some forms of this oxialic acid/water available in spray bottles (look for wood bleach in the household cleaning or paint departments - or make up your own mix from crystals) that might work - you could surround the area with paper towels, spray some on the contacts and let it soak for 30 minutes or so, rinse off, blow dry, add Vaseline and re-assemble.
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Old 13 Oct 2007
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Heres something I have tried a few times with good success.

Works wonders with car switches too. Especially electric windows switches..

Soak they components in soluable degreaser, the longer the better.

Then boil them in a pan of hot water for about 20 minutes. This dislodges all the crap and dirt.

Obviously you need to use common sense with what you can boil or not.

Most switches and connectors are perfectly fine but I wouldnt boil an ECU etc

Remember to dry thoroughly !!
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Old 13 Oct 2007
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Build your own dissasembling thingy... I built one of my own so I could put a yamaha DT125R "lights, blinkers and horn control" that has an OFF smitch so I could turn off the lights Of course I had to work around with the cables..but you only have to use some logic and it will work 100% perfect!
you just need a scalpel blade... you have to work on the blade so it gets small enough and long enough to go in the plug on the smallest part of that cable you want to take off....

Follow as the numbers on the images:

#1-> In this one you can see the smallest part of the plug were you'll have to put the scalpel blade in.

#2 and 3-> Put the scalpel on the front of the plug on the smallest part and push in about 6 or 7 mm or what it takes so you can pull the cable easily.

#4-> cable pulled out.....

the last picture is of two equal scalpel blades.. see how it looks like...

Hope this helps

Happy riding!
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Old 13 Oct 2007
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Don't laugh, I've had good success with vinegar !! Just plain old vinegar. Everything smells like a chipshop, but it's cheap, so you can use lots. It works great on copper connections. Put loads of it in a jam jar seal the top around the wiring loom with gaffer tape and shake it.
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Old 13 Oct 2007
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Oh... and if the plug doesn't plug into the plug after you're done cleaning it just lift the little metal tip so it looks as it follows:
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Old 13 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
Don't laugh, I've had good success with vinegar !! Just plain old vinegar. Everything smells like a chipshop, but it's cheap, so you can use lots. It works great on copper connections. Put loads of it in a jam jar seal the top around the wiring loom with gaffer tape and shake it.
You think that's weird? haha when my dad was young he lived in another island and he had a 2stroke suzuki...a boat had to go there every week to supply the whole island... one day...my father went to buy oil for the bike and there was none available...do you know what he put on it? cocking oil.. the one used to frie pottatoes... one thing was sure... it smelled like potatoes

Last edited by bacardi23; 13 Oct 2007 at 19:47. Reason: OFF TOPIC
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Old 14 Oct 2007
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We had problems with this on temp probes on MTU diesel engines at work (rail vehicles). It is also known as "Black Wire" corrosion.

A lot of the wiring looms we had actually had the corrosion work it's way back up the loom.

Our final fix was a hard wired sensor.

In the mean time we tried Silicon Grease, but... Silicon is a semi conductor, so in warm environment of a temp sensor this was not such a good idea, and did actually make things worse(engines shutting down in service). So as a short term measure we made sure they were cleaned regularly and kept clear of moisture. As the moisture is a requirement for the corrosion.

I would say your best bet is to get it clean then keep it dry. I would be cautious, about silicon grease, perhaps there is a more suitable product?

Anyway, just thought I would share my experience in this matter.
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Old 14 Oct 2007
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Hey bacardi23 - can you give us a few more words about that "cocking oil" you used. It sounds useful.
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