Tech Tips Header
This is a new section of the NTNOA
web site where we'll share tips on
motorcycle maintenance, repair and
improvement plus good old and new
"wrenching" techniques. We encourage
your tips, comments and suggestions so
please send them to Bob Cox (Subject:
"Tech Tips" please) at...
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Duct tape to the rescue for securing a nut in a wrench in a tight spot
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Problem: You've got a nut that
needs to be held in place while
you thread in a bolt but it's in a
tight, blind spot with just enough
room to get your box-end
wrench in there. However the
nut keeps falling out when you
attempt to start the bolt.
Solution: Take some duct tape
(cheap stuff works fine for this)
and tear a strip the width of the
wrench hole and long enough to
wrap over the nut and both
sides of the wrench head. Insert
nut into the wrench and apply
tape making sure it's stuck well
to wrench and nut. (cont'd below left)
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Here's a new version
of "Gorilla" duct tape in a
scaled down size (about
7/8" wide) - perfect for a
motorcycle tool kit
New Product
Old Product
"Tinning" copper wire before soldering or crimping to connectors
nce the bolt is secure, the wrench can be
withdrawn with the tape still stuck to the head. If
your space is even more restricted, this technique
also works with an open-end wrench.
hen soldering a multi-strand wire to a connector it's
considered good practice to "tin" the newly bared
wire end first. This coats about two-thirds of the
exposed copper strands with a thin layer of solder. It
has to be kept thin in order to fit into the connector in
use so you definitely don't want excess solder here.
It's also best to elevate the other end of the wire so
gravity keeps the solder from wicking up past the
insulation which can cause vibration-induced fatigue
breakage of the wire there later down the road.
o get the solder to flow properly, I heat the bare wire end with the hottest
(chiseled) tip of the gun and feed the solder into the area where the two meet.
The resulting ball of liquid solder will conduct heat to the wire and start the
solder flowing. Finish by melting the solder directly onto the wire with gun tip
still in place and keeping the insulated end elevated. Less solder is best here.
If you get too much, reheat the wire then quickly sling off the excess while it's
still molten but not on the kitchen floor please.
I like to tin my
wires before
crimping them
to British bullet
though they
may have to be
drilled out a bit
larger /BC
How to spot the good "old"
soldering guns from the
newer crappy ones
"L" bends in the soldering
tips secured by locking
bolts are the signs of a
good old Weller soldering
gun - avoid the later ones
that use grub screws
The PRE everything-made-in-China
Weller soldering guns are way better
than ones made later. To spot a good
"old" one, look for the earlier style of
hard-plastic housing. Most importantly,
it should have the ends of the soldering tips
bent into an "L"and held by hollow locking bolts.
Be sure to install the locking bolts on a new tip BEFORE you
bend the ends.
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Gorilla brand tape has been around for a while and
has twice the adhesive as regular decent quality duct tape. Just be careful what you stick it to if you
plan on removing it later (like painted surfaces,
pitted chrome, facial hair and so on). Also good for
removing small cactus stickers from your hand.
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soldering tip
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good gun bad gun
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For more on this article text or call Bob 214-636-7368 • visit
Suggestions and opinions presented in "Tech Tips" are provided for the benefit of clubmembers and guests. If you're not completely comfortable with performing your own mechanicing please hire a qualified shop or independent mechanic. Bob Cox and the NTNOA are not responsible for accidents, property damage, injury or fatalities resulting
from any information contained in "Tech Tips." • Unless otherwise stated, all graphics, photos, illustrations and copy in "Tech Tips" are the exclusive property of Bob Cox/Custom Classic Cycles • Copyright © 2014