View Full Version : Quick solder question

05-25-2006, 05:28 PM
I just got the pigtails for my taillights and need to attach the little copper (or brass?) contacts to the end of the wire in the socket. Is there a certain type of solder I should or shouldn't use? Rosin vs acid?


1951 Commander Starlight Coupe (aka "Stella")

05-25-2006, 06:20 PM
Use rosin core. Acid core will work against electrical applications over time! Use some good flux too.;)

Soldering isn't as easy as it looks (done right anyway). I was NASA spec certified for soldering, back in my aircraft electrician days. Anyone can do a passable job of soldering with a little practice. The biggest mistake made is cold soldering. If the solder has a "rough" look to it once it cools, it's not a good joint. It must have a shiny appearance to it once it cools.
Get the pieces to be soldered thoroughly up to temp, apply just enough solder to make a good bond and then be EXTRA careful NOT to move the joint until it sets. Moving the joint before it sets up is the PRIMARY cause of cold solder joints.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

05-25-2006, 06:43 PM
Use rosin core solder with wire. Acid core and flux are for metal and plumbing. Acid will corrode the wire.
I use small diameter rosin core from Radio Shack, .032 60/40, #64-009. Their 40W pencil iron is great for the price, and has replacable tips, #64-2071. A stand and an assortment of tips for the iron are a good idea.
Mike M.

05-25-2006, 07:00 PM
Thanks again guys!

1951 Commander Starlight Coupe (aka "Stella")

05-25-2006, 09:32 PM
High tin content,lower lead content in the solder,is excellent. Also, a mechanical lock is most desirable, then the solder holds the joint and the solder is not the total joint. Make sure all contacts are bright shiney metal , then flux heavy and heat as discussed above.

05-26-2006, 06:56 PM
If you find some and have a choice, get some 63/37 "eutectic" solder. Unlike the 60/40, it does not have a "soft" state, its either liquid or solid. A lot less likely you will get a cold solder joint trying to hold things still with shaky hands waiting for it to cool ;)

Jeff in ND

'53 Champion Hardtop