BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/13/22 1:18 p.m.

I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I'm not a fan of the automotive insulated crimp connectors that are prevalent everywhere. My main gripe is that with the insulated ones, you can't see the quality of the crimp well even when you have a good crimping tool (which I do) and while the regular uninsulated barrel style is better, it only grabs the wire.

While I knew there was a better style of connector out there and I had actually used them in the UK but lost the kit in the move, I didn't know what to search for in the Googlez or Amazon.

Behold, on Friday I finally figured out what they're called over here - meet the open barrel crimp connectors:

If you look at how they're being crimped on, you notice that there are two crimps - one that goes over the wire itself, and the small one at the back that grabs the insulation. This is actually the style used by a lot of European manufacturers, at least in the 70s and 80s.

Now all I have to do is find decent quality ones as the main/only source I can find in the US appears to be Amazon, as least for assortments. Either that or my Google-Fu just isn't that good.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/13/22 1:22 p.m.

That's a pretty standard crimp style, it's used in terminal connectors all over the place and I'm pretty sure every OE uses it. I haven't seen the style with a slip-on heat shrink jacket before. If I had a higher failure rate with the typical ones, I'd look at them. They're a little more fiddly to use.

For stuff like this, look to Mouser or Digikey. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/13/22 1:33 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'll check both of them out. I also found FerrulesDirect who seem to have a pretty good selection.

I agree, it's a pretty standard crimp style that I had very little problem finding in the UK. Given the number of old Italian bikes I fiddled with there, they were a necessity . They don't really seem to have a special name in the UK, so in the spirit of "two countries divided by a common language", I had no idea what I needed to look for.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
3/13/22 3:32 p.m.

I much prefer the open ones.  Most places have them available, but they sometimes take a worthwhile counter guy to track them down.  Don't really need the magic sleeves, some bulk 4:1 shrink tube will do the job nicely.

Definitely gone now
Definitely gone now SuperDork
3/13/22 4:10 p.m.

You need the crimp tool for it. It's tits man. Tits. I love my crimp tool. Did entire engine swaps with it and never had a connector issue. You can swing from the wire like Tarzan after crimping properly. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
3/13/22 8:31 p.m.

Agreed on heat shrink vs. those sleeves.  Hammer Store sells some adhesive lined heat shrink that is decent to work with and readily available last time I was messing with wiring.  There's better stuff elsewhere but for the price the Hammer stuff is good enough for me.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
3/14/22 10:09 a.m.

You and I seem to be on similar timelines...I've been looking for better terminals for about 15 years and I've only recently had some success.  British Wiring sells some pretty decent terminals like the ones you've pictured and has the clear sleeves that go over them.  I believe British Wiring gets a lot of their components from AutoSparks in England, and I've used them too.   I  have also recently found the Rhode Island Wiring sells the Lucas-style terminals (clear and black covers, too) and GM terminals with the double-crimp.  Rhode Island Wiring told me they buy these terminals from Wurth, but I haven't jumped into the Wurth catalog yet to find the whole selection.  As mentioned above, Mouser must sell this stuff too.  Maybe someone will jump in with part numbers so we don't have to.

I just bought a Delphi 12085271 two-step crimper from Mouser and really like it.  I've tried multiple one-step crimpers and didn't like them as much.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
3/14/22 10:22 a.m.

I just did a little googling and it looks like Goodspeed Motoring has the uninsulated German-style connectors for older VWs, BMWs, etc..  Goodspeed looks like a small, internet-only business.  I'm going to order some terminals and will report back.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/16/22 12:49 p.m.

Thanks Carl, those are really helpful links. I used to use Vehicle Wiring Products in the UK and their products were pretty good. Unfortunately when I contacted them a few years back about US shipping, I never received a reply. That said, they now do list shipping costs to the US to I'm guessing they do ship to the US as well.

FieroReinke New Reader
3/16/22 2:22 p.m.
Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
3/18/22 12:24 p.m.

Here's my report back on the German-style terminals from Goodspeed Motoring:  I like them.

Sample crimp went very well.

I used my aforementioned Delphi tool.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/18/22 1:06 p.m.

I've got a ratcheting crimper with interchangeable jaws, it can handle this kind of terminal as well as others. You want the tools that look like an M :)

Not the one I have, but one of many similar options on the market.

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