1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Help! Soldering aluminum wires

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Caligula, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:10 AM
    #1
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
    Can someone help me out, I can get the solder to tin on the terminals im using, but it avoids even touching the copper clad aluminum wires im using in my audio build.

    Its the wire in this kit:
    http://amzn.com/B0050I6KII

    Im using 63/37 lead solder, rosin flux, ive tried a butane torch as well as a soldering iron.

    Different solder, different flux? Im aware of the aluminum oxide issue and that it needs to be removed to tin, it flux enough to do this?

    The wires are already all laid out, and im not looking to replace everything. It never occurred that this would be an issue, ive always used pure copper cables until now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  2. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:21 AM
    #2
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Member:
    #139537
    Messages:
    5,259
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    karl
    louisiana
    Vehicle:
    2006 4runner sport 4.7L V8 (white)
    used to have - 99 2.4L I4 5 lug & 04 prerunner v6
    I would just go with regular wires instead of fancy new "oxygen free coated wire" crap like that which is probably your whole problem. maybe its designed for screw lugs and not supposed to be soldered?

    all I can suggest is a call to the manufacturer to see what "special" soldering it needs
     
  3. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:37 AM
    #3
    98 Taco Max

    98 Taco Max Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Member:
    #118446
    Messages:
    262
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Max
    Calgary, AB
    Vehicle:
    v6 Tacoma 4x4
    get some good quality crimpers and heatshrink and call er a day?
     
  4. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:40 AM
    #4
    ArcherTaco

    ArcherTaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Member:
    #109406
    Messages:
    1,330
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Riley
    Greeley/Windsor, CO
    Vehicle:
    '13 DCLB TRD Sport
    Toy-Tec Kit, Tool box fit to bed, Dipped badges, cab lights, running boards, Flowmaster exhaust
    My vote is Crimpers and heatshrink as well. Easy enough to do just don't use the fork connectors...Get some good ring terminal connectors and it'll be a cinch
     
  5. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:44 AM
    #5
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Member:
    #102169
    Messages:
    1,594
    Gender:
    Male
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prerunner TRD AccessCab
    Pretty much stock for now. New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers added so far.
    It ain't easy, but here are a couple of tips, you need low temperature solder made specifically for aluminum and you must use a flux that is, again, made specifically for aluminum, if you are joining aluminum to copper, then you have to get flux and solder made to join the two different metals...aluminum melts at a lower temperature than copper...

    it sounds like you are trying regular solder and flux, it will not work that way...do some research and get the proper materials to pull this off, or use crimps and shrink wrap...

    good luck...
     
  6. Jul 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM
    #6
    98 Taco Max

    98 Taco Max Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Member:
    #118446
    Messages:
    262
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Max
    Calgary, AB
    Vehicle:
    v6 Tacoma 4x4
    i crimp pretty much all my wiring connections nowadays. i buy the regular crimp connectors then use some pliers to remove the shitty plastic covering on the connectors so they're bare metal, crimp it together and then slide some good heatshrink tubing over them. sealed nice and tight and you can pull as hard as you want on the wires without them coming apart. the crimping pliers i use cost $20 or $30 bucks iirc
     
  7. Jul 22, 2015 at 1:32 PM
    #7
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
  8. Jul 22, 2015 at 1:33 PM
    #8
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
    Unfortunately my OCD wont let me simply crimp electrical terminals.
     
    ramonortiz55 likes this.
  9. Jul 22, 2015 at 3:24 PM
    #9
    98 Taco Max

    98 Taco Max Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Member:
    #118446
    Messages:
    262
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Max
    Calgary, AB
    Vehicle:
    v6 Tacoma 4x4
    meh. they both accomplish the same thing and there's nothing wrong with a good quality crimp, at least for a stereo job and most other standard applications. your call though, good luck
     
  10. Jul 22, 2015 at 4:55 PM
    #10
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Member:
    #102169
    Messages:
    1,594
    Gender:
    Male
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prerunner TRD AccessCab
    Pretty much stock for now. New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers added so far.
    To help alleviate your OCD, check the terminals on your battery, starter and ground connections.. If crimping is good enough for high amp battery electron flow, it certainly will suffice for stereo connections...the most important tool in this whole operation would be a very high quality crimping tool...

    Just sayin'
     
  11. Jul 22, 2015 at 5:19 PM
    #11
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
    Still prefer crimping + soldering.

    The Al-solder 500 is no good. It will bond with the wire, but there is no capillary action that you would expect. The solder is just melting where you place it.
     
  12. Jul 23, 2015 at 8:40 AM
    #12
    ArcherTaco

    ArcherTaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Member:
    #109406
    Messages:
    1,330
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Riley
    Greeley/Windsor, CO
    Vehicle:
    '13 DCLB TRD Sport
    Toy-Tec Kit, Tool box fit to bed, Dipped badges, cab lights, running boards, Flowmaster exhaust
    I work in Circuit Breaker Bays carrying enough amperage to burn me to a crisp and all we use are crimp connectors and heat shrink. I understand the OCD aspect of it but IMO a well done crimp connector is very clean and professional looking. Just my .02. I hope you can find something that works I know it's frustrating! Good luck!
     
  13. Jul 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM
    #13
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Member:
    #102169
    Messages:
    1,594
    Gender:
    Male
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prerunner TRD AccessCab
    Pretty much stock for now. New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers added so far.
    Sometimes the message doesn't register, he will figure it out sooner or later....hoping he figures it out, the time and extra coin spent could have gone to copper wiring, problem instantly solved....
     
  14. Jul 23, 2015 at 9:24 AM
    #14
    kgw

    kgw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Member:
    #82260
    Messages:
    296
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    kgw
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    99 PreRunner
    140 amp alternator, Big 3 upgrade, Ultimate Headlight Mod, Trans Cooler
    On marine work, crimping rules...The soldered connections do not like the movement, and tend towards cracking. A ratcheting crimper is the key.
     
    ArcherTaco likes this.
  15. Jul 23, 2015 at 10:52 AM
    #15
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
    I know this. It never occurred to me until everything was installed that aluminum doesn't solder like copper. It was never asked, it was never pointed out until now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  16. Jul 25, 2015 at 9:50 PM
    #16
    Caligula

    Caligula [OP] It's the COVFEFE

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Member:
    #43228
    Messages:
    2,079
    Gender:
    Male
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Ext. Cab Prerunner 2.7L
    Update: Fuck it.

    Using the aluminum flux and silver solder, i was able to get the large gauge wire for the cable and ground to solder properly. In my research, im glad that my amp only puts out 300 watts, as the CCA wires do not conduct at the same level as pure copper.

    2015-07-23 15.17.54.jpg

    Otherwise the terminals that were barely soldering to the CCA speaker wire, will not solder to the smaller terminals im using for the the speaker connections. So fuckit, im ordering a spool of pure copper wire. Its been about $80 down the drain trying to make this work.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top