Can-Am ATV Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend I spent the majority of my time removing all the plastic on my Max and applying Di-electric grease to every electrical connector. I'm trying to preserve and protect now in hopes to prevent later...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yup just did mine last weekend too!
My fingers were sore by the time I was done....and I don't thing I had a knuckle on my hand that wasn't bleeding
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Using Dielectric Grease on connectors.

A lot of people use dielectric grease on connectors. Some people mistakenly believe that dieletric grease is a conductor. In fact, it is just the opposite; it is an insulator. Dielectric grease is typically made of silicone grease.

As an insulator, dielectric grease is good for use on spark plug boots. This was one of the original applications on vehicles when the high-energy ignition systems came out. It can help insulate the connector and, in particular on a motorcycle where it can get wet, it waterproofs the spark plug boot. And, because it is silicone, it is fairly stable at high temperatures and won't affect the rubber and plastics.

So why would you put an insulator on a connector? The idea is that you use a thin layer. When you push the connector together the grease is pushed out of the way enough to get a connection and the surrounding grease then keeps out water and oxygen. The connector will be protected from the environment and less likely to corrode. Plus, the silicone is safe for the plastics and PVC insulation.

That sounds good, so far; so why not smear it on everything? Well there are a number of good reasons.

First, silicone grease outgases constantly. If the silicone gas gets near a connector or a contact, such as a relay, and there is a spark, the spark at the contact can create silicon dioxide. Some people even suggest that the silicone gas from dielectric grease can travel many feet through the unsulation on a wire and damage a contact on the other end. Omron states that even their sealed switches can be damaged by nearby silicone grease outgassing. Reference the following links for more info:

http://www.omron.com/ecb/products/pdf/en-d2vw.pdf

http://machinedesign.com/article/lubricating-electrical-switches-1025

Second, it is an insulator. It can prevent contacts from touching. If you do use it, use a very thin layer.

Third, if you have a corroded connection, silicone grease will not help. In fact, it may make it worse. It can never improve anything. Dielectric grease will never make a poor connection better.

Fourth, it attracts dust and dirt and it hardens over time. This means that if you smear a lot of silicone grease on connectors you may see nearby relays, switches, or points fail later on. Since silicone grease does nothing at all to improve the connection and, in fact, may insulate the contacts in the connector increasing the resistance the connector may still fail.

So what do you do? Look for a contact enhancer/lube. While most contact cleaners are simple solvents that just wash the connector off there are contact enhancers that deoxidize the contact surface and actually work to lower the contact resistance (make a better connection). Most contact enhancers leave a lubricant behind that protects the metal and continue to deoxidize the metal and improve the connection. They can work to lower the resistance and make a better contact as time goes by. The best you can hope for from dielectric grease is that it seals it enough to not get worse. I have used Caig Deoxit on my bikes for a few years now. I first found out about this on my job when I had to correct an issue in a connector system that could not tolerate even 5 thousandths of an ohm of resistance drift. We had a connector in the field that had been improperly plated and was starting to drift, mostly in warm humid areas like Florida. Our testing showed that the Caig Deoxit could be a good long-term fix. We ended up using the Deoxit to stabilize the bad units until we could get corrected wiring harnesses built with the correct connectors. We also put a layer of Deoxit on the new parts to protect and keep them clean over their lifetime. This solved the drift issue that we had.

I still use a small amount of silicone grease on my spark plug caps, and to seal my connections. It helps to waterproof them and makes it easier to pull the cap off, but I use it in very small amounts and never near a relay or switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Only time I use dielectric grease is on the rubber seals around a connector. Never ON the actual terminal. As stated above, it's an insulator. You relying on it smashing out of the way where the metal contacts to make a good connection. You can potentially increase the resistance of a connection by using dialectic grease on the terminal itself.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk so please excuse my fat finger syndrome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm pretty sure I screwed up...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Unless you absolutely caked every electrical connector full, you're not going to hurt much.

2006 Outlander 800
2007 Honda FourTrax 450 Trail Edition
2007 GMC Canyon 3.7 4 inch lift on 33s
2002 Yamaha TTR125
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
You can use electrical connector cleaner if you want to clean it out. Make sure it's connector cleaner, not just terminal cleaner. Terminal cleaner will melt the plastic connectors. Then if you insist on using dialectic grease, just put a thin bead on the seals to make a nice watertight seal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk so please excuse my fat finger syndrome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
I'm pretty sure I screwed up...
I don't think so, even BRP puts it on some factory connections.

It's a bit counter intuitive to put an insulator on a connection, but remember that as long as the connection has a good fit, the electricity will easily overcome the dielectric strength.

And meanwhile you've eliminated the possibility of leakage to ground through moisture.

All good. :th_smiliethumbsup:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top