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Re: type3-d Digest V2006 #77

On 4 Mar 2006 at 9:33, BOB2TYPE3S@aol.com wrote:

> Jim, I've run across the problem several times where one side of the push on 
> terminal has actually cracked and or broken off. This can be a real annoyance 
> when reattaching a connection (parking or tail light removeal for painting). 
> It seems to me that the brass terminals can and do get brittle, and maybe this 
> causes a loss of tension. just a thought.

I certainly see this, too, but I think it's due to work hardening. I 
tend to see it only in connections which could have been disconnected 
numerous times, so my guess is that these connectors got manhandled 
occasionally. They don't hold up to this, and they break from work 
hardening and fatigue.

I'm really just guessing at this, but the guess is based on the fact 
that we find single broken connectors on cars which have numerous 
connectors which are just as old, but are still fine. I also find 
that some cars come with LOTs of these bad connectors, all in places 
where they might have been disconnected frequently, while other cars 
of the same vintage have all their connectors still good.

My thinking is that someone who is in not careful, or is in a hurry, 
may pull a connector apart roughly, thus bending the female half. To 
make it good again they squeeze the part tight again, perhaps too 
far. Then they force it back on. A few cycles of this, on brass which 
is already half hard, will cause fractures.

I'm guessing here, but I still think it's a reasonable guess.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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