Author Topic: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX / Molex / TE / AMP  (Read 1539 times)

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Offline iroc86

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I use KNIPEX Crimp System pliers for most of my crimping needs and ran into an unexpected issue with Molex Insulkrimp terminals. When crimping female quick disconnect (QD) terminals, the crimps are rather mediocre and the wire tends to pull out. Any other Insulkrimp terminal is very secure and reliable. Have any of you experienced this before?

It appears that the insulated sleeve on QD terminals has a slightly smaller outside diameter compared to everything else. I measured a ~.030" (0.8 mm) difference between a 14-16 AWG female QD and ring terminal. I'm not sure why Molex would mold a completely different insulation sleeve for just the QD stuff when the wire cavity geometry underneath is surely the same for the rings, spades, and splices.

Molex actually sells a completely different crimper just for Insulkrimp quick disconnect terminals. My KNIPEX crimper die matches their "everything else" crimper, which explains the poor performance on the QD stuff.

Short of buying a different crimper, do other manufacturers of insulated terminals use larger ODs on their quick disconnect crimp terminals? I've looked at 3M, Panduit, and TE, but they don't provide dimensions of the insulation sleeves in their engineering drawings. Maybe someone would be willing to measure the terminals in their junk bin? I only have Molex stuff here. For reference, the two diameters are .189/.206" (4.8/5.2 mm) for the female QD and .217/.235" (5.5/6.0 mm) for the ring.









« Last Edit: February 25, 2020, 02:29:04 pm by iroc86 »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 10:33:33 pm »
I have given up looking at the color codes a long time ago. I make a test crimp and if I can pull the wire out then I use the smaller opening.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline wraper

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 11:04:43 pm »
Seem to be perfect match for red die. I don't have quick disconnect terminals where I'm right now but I don't remember any size difference with other connectors. Although I did not buy any Molex branded connectors of this type.
 
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Offline wraper

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 11:13:53 pm »
Your connector probably use thin insulation, this is what I usually use.

 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 11:32:15 pm »
... I make a test crimp and if I can pull the wire out then I use the smaller opening.

Seem to be perfect match for red die. ...

I tend to make test crimps myself, and the red die does work fairly well on the blue terminals... but I have some red ones to crimp next and I can't go any smaller :P.

wraper, would you be able to measure the diameter of those terminals with the thicker insulation? I think I had a few of those in the past, but I was using a different crimper at the time.
 

Online mzzj

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 08:49:33 pm »
Maybe you get better luck if you look for "double sleeve" terminals.

From my own stashes the  Taiwanese K.S. terminals are 5.0mm,  Abico double sleeve (swedish brand) are ~5.8mm.
K.S. ring terminals are 5.8mm 

It looks like Molex Avicrimps have larger gage measure(based on some pdf that I'm not able to find again..)
Avikrimp is also double sleeve unlike insulkrimp
 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 01:47:18 pm »
Thanks for those measurements, mzzj. Can you clarify if the Abiko terminals that measure 5.8 mm OD are "quick disconnect" or just ring/spade? I ask because Abiko appears to make the various Molex crimpers that are required across these different diameters. It'd be interesting to know if Abiko has the same such variation among their own terminals. (Compare Abiko's KSAC0760 with Molex's 64001-0100, -200, and -400. Looks identical to me, save for the dies. All are made in Sweden, too.)

After researching the crimp die dimensions among Molex, Panduit, and TE, I came up with a compromise without having to buy a bunch of dedicated tools. I'll use my KNIPEX crimper for Molex Insulkrimp ring, spade, and splices, as its die geometry matches the Molex 64001-0100 application spec [PDF]. For the quick disconnect terminals, I picked up a used AMP/TE 59824-1 crimper which is supposedly compatible with all insulated TE FASTON terminals, as well as some of their other PIDG and PLASTI-GRIP terminals and splices. The AMP tool may also work with a few Panduit terminals that specify their CT-1525 tool, notably the nylon DNFR-B insulated flag terminals (those are nice because they have an extended crimp barrel and don't require a dedicated flag terminal crimping tool).

One could probably make a full-time job out of understanding the application guidelines for crimp terminals! I can report back when I receive the AMP crimper and new terminals. In the meantime, I'd still be interested in hearing any input and experiences from you all.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 01:52:35 pm »

I have also been disappointed that my "better quality" crimper often fails to do a good job.

When all else fails, the cheapest/crudest type of crimper usually gets the job done...



 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 02:48:22 pm »
When all else fails, the cheapest/crudest type of crimper usually gets the job done...

You mean teeth? :) I knew a guy who used to do that...
 
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Online mzzj

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 08:03:15 pm »
Thanks for those measurements, mzzj. Can you clarify if the Abiko terminals that measure 5.8 mm OD are "quick disconnect" or just ring/spade? I ask because Abiko appears to make the various Molex crimpers that are required across these different diameters. It'd be interesting to know if Abiko has the same such variation among their own terminals. (Compare Abiko's KSAC0760 with Molex's 64001-0100, -200, and -400. Looks identical to me, save for the dies. All are made in Sweden, too.)

After researching the crimp die dimensions among Molex, Panduit, and TE, I came up with a compromise without having to buy a bunch of dedicated tools. I'll use my KNIPEX crimper for Molex Insulkrimp ring, spade, and splices, as its die geometry matches the Molex 64001-0100 application spec [PDF]. For the quick disconnect terminals, I picked up a used AMP/TE 59824-1 crimper which is supposedly compatible with all insulated TE FASTON terminals, as well as some of their other PIDG and PLASTI-GRIP terminals and splices. The AMP tool may also work with a few Panduit terminals that specify their CT-1525 tool, notably the nylon DNFR-B insulated flag terminals (those are nice because they have an extended crimp barrel and don't require a dedicated flag terminal crimping tool).

One could probably make a full-time job out of understanding the application guidelines for crimp terminals! I can report back when I receive the AMP crimper and new terminals. In the meantime, I'd still be interested in hearing any input and experiences from you all.
Abikos were female quick disconnects.

Crimp terminals are real pain in the butt to do properly.. specs are spread across dozen of pdf or not specified at all 🙈
 

Offline Benta

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 08:10:43 pm »
I tried those connectors out 25 years ago. They were useless then and they're useless now, no matter which brand or crimp tool you use.
The idea/design is faulty from the start and no serious engineer would ever use them.

Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design, like these:

Insulation is done with tailored sleeves or heat-shrink tubing.
 

Online mzzj

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2020, 08:42:51 pm »
I tried those connectors out 25 years ago. They were useless then and they're useless now, no matter which brand or crimp tool you use.
The idea/design is faulty from the start and no serious engineer would ever use them.

Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design, like these:

Insulation is done with tailored sleeves or heat-shrink tubing.
Bollocks. Proper combination has higher strenght than the cable itself.
Been there, measured on pull-out force tester..
 
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Online Yansi

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 08:46:28 pm »
I second that I have never had any problems with the color plastic coded crimp terminals.  I have used both the rings, forks and fastons. Never had any issue. 

Even the whole power electronics lab in the university where I have studied runs on these style of crimp terminals on almost all test jigs.

And you can rest assured you are not going to pull the wire out of the crimp when properly crimped.
 

Offline Benta

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 09:02:33 pm »

Bollocks. Proper combination has higher strenght than the cable itself.
Been there, measured on pull-out force tester..

Watch your language.

Apart from that, I've yet to see professionals using those "DIY-Supermarket" insulated connectors.
Automotive? Nope.
Industrial? Nope.
Consumer? Nope.
...

Please tell me in which professional equipment they're to be found.

 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 09:07:10 pm »
"DIY-Supermarket" -> $400 crimp tool. Errr..

IME they're mostly seen in retrofit and small volume as they're less labour intensive and don't require you to remember to slip an extra shroud over the cable. Mass production does usually use discrete terminals and shrouds, presumably they're cheaper.

Proper matching of tool, crimp, and cable and insulation size results in perfectly acceptable crimps. Less proper matching can work well, can also backfire immensely. And apparently, Molex need a cluebat application.
 
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Online mzzj

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2020, 09:23:43 pm »

Bollocks. Proper combination has higher strenght than the cable itself.
Been there, measured on pull-out force tester..

Watch your language.

Apart from that, I've yet to see professionals using those "DIY-Supermarket" insulated connectors.
Automotive? Nope.
Industrial? Nope.
Consumer? Nope.
...

Please tell me in which professional equipment they're to be found.
Military? Aerospace? Does that count as professional?


Fold tab(F-crimp) connectors are for LOW COST mass production.
 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2020, 11:46:32 pm »
Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design...

I would tend to agree. I haven’t had the best luck with the “4-tab” terminals (probably wrong crimper), but I’ve historically used the non-insulated F-crimp Molex Krimptite terminal with separate heat shrinking. Partly because I have a strange attachment to my ancient Molex/ETC crimper :), and partly because the joints are really reliable.

I haven’t started using the insulated terminals until relatively recently (see last paragraph below).

Proper combination has higher strenght than the cable itself.
Been there, measured on pull-out force tester..

And you can rest assured you are not going to pull the wire out of the crimp when properly crimped.

I also agree. Though hardly a scientific test, I tried pulling off each of those terminals in my original post. The smaller QD terminal slid right off, but I could absolutely not get the ring terminal to budge using pliers and pulling as hard as I could. Per Molex, the Insulkrimp terminals are rated for 50 pounds tensile strength with 14 AWG wire—it’s likely much greater in practice. I’ve gotta think that makes a secure electrical connection.

IME they're mostly seen in retrofit and small volume...

Military? Aerospace? Does that count as professional?

This is just one data point, but I work for a “you definitely know them” research institution and my group often builds custom electromechanical systems for data collection and measurement. Everything has to be approved by our electrical safety officers prior to leaving the R&D lab. We almost exclusively use insulated crimp terminals on these one-off projects, and I’ve never seen one rig rejected due to the type of crimp terminal.

Considering that insulated terminals are widely used in our specialized applications at work, I decided to give them another try with a proper controlled-force crimp tool. The tricky part seems to matching the terminal to the correct crimper—not all are created equal, even though they look awfully similar.
 

Offline WattsThat

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2020, 02:28:45 am »
Measured a bunch of vintage Amp and T&B blue terminals, QD, ring and spades. All were 0.220 to 0.225.

The Amp terminals had matte blue bodies like the photo in reply #3, the T&B’s somewhat translucent blue, probably nylon.

All my red terminals measured all about 0.190.

Based on those diameters, I’d be crimping your blue QD’s in the red die.

Of course YMMV.
 

Offline Benta

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2020, 07:30:45 pm »

Fold tab(F-crimp) connectors are for LOW COST mass production.

Allow me to correct your statement:

Fold tab(F-crimp) connectors are for LOW COST, RELIABLE mass production (eg, think 40-year old cars).

 

Online mikerj

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2020, 07:39:37 pm »
I tried those connectors out 25 years ago. They were useless then and they're useless now, no matter which brand or crimp tool you use.
The idea/design is faulty from the start and no serious engineer would ever use them.

Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design, like these:

Insulation is done with tailored sleeves or heat-shrink tubing.

There are millions of these terminations in track side railway signalling equipment all over the world.  I spent several years working for a company building these racks, and sectioned test crimps and wire pull tests were performed daily for each tool used.
 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2020, 03:51:29 am »
Thanks for those measurements, WattsThat.

Here's a quick update with some AMP/TE insulated terminals and a different crimping tool. These are Pre-Insulated Diamond Grip (PIDG) quick disconnects. They're a bit larger than the Molex Insulkrimp and have a copper lined insulation sleeve, similar to the Molex Avikrimp. I've used about two dozen of these so far--they seem to make an extremely secure crimp. As shown below, the tabs form a symmetric F-crimp and the metal insulation sleeve bulges out around the insulation, gripping the insulation better than the plastic alone.

The PIDG terminals are definitely a step up from the cheaper insulated terminals, but I think the quality shows. I wouldn't hesitate to use these in place of non-insulated terminals with heat shrink tubing. Of course, finding a crimp tool with the proper geometry is also the other half of the coin!





 

Offline Benta

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2020, 05:47:51 pm »
I tried those connectors out 25 years ago. They were useless then and they're useless now, no matter which brand or crimp tool you use.
The idea/design is faulty from the start and no serious engineer would ever use them.

Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design, like these:

Insulation is done with tailored sleeves or heat-shrink tubing.

There are millions of these terminations in track side railway signalling equipment all over the world.  I spent several years working for a company building these racks, and sectioned test crimps and wire pull tests were performed daily for each tool used.

I'm sure you're right. But that's a static installation with no mechanical stress.

 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2020, 06:44:44 pm »
[...]  These are Pre-Insulated Diamond Grip (PIDG) quick disconnects. They're a bit larger than the Molex Insulkrimp and have a copper lined insulation sleeve, similar to the Molex Avikrimp.

[...]
 Of course, finding a crimp tool with the proper geometry is also the other half of the coin!


So, which crimping tool do you like for the PIDGs? 
 

Offline iroc86

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2020, 12:30:38 am »
So, which crimping tool do you like for the PIDGs?

I'm using an older version of the TE 59824-1, which is one of the "approved" crimpers. The forming dies are shaped like a diamond and operate a little differently than the KNIPEX tool I posted earlier. I've included some stock photos below.

Last week, I reached out to KNIPEX to see if they have any input or recommended product lines for their crimping dies. They just wrote back today:

We do not have a Go/No-Go gauge for our crimping tools. We do not have a specific manufacturer of crimp terminals that work with our dies. What we can offer is that if the customer sends us the wire and terminals they are using, we can have our engineers in Germany test those to make sure the die provides the perfect crimp.

The direct testing service in Germany is pretty cool, and I suspect a lot of their industrial/production clients go that route. However, I'm disappointed that they can't provide some basic guidelines as to application--I mean, what criteria are they using to design the dies in the first place?

The KNIPEX crimp die for insulated terminals is not terribly expensive at about $100, but others can be quite a bit more costly. It's tough to rationalize that kind of investment when they don't provide gaging specifications to ensure crimp quality. That being said, I own a number of other dies for their Crimp System and have seen excellent performance with ferrules, butt splices, and those "4-tab" F-crimp terminals discussed earlier.



 
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Offline wizard69

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Re: Insulated crimp terminal diameter issue, KNIPEX & Molex
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2020, 02:54:19 am »
I tried those connectors out 25 years ago. They were useless then and they're useless now, no matter which brand or crimp tool you use.
The idea/design is faulty from the start and no serious engineer would ever use them.

Functioning crimp connections use the "4-tab fold-in" design, like these:

Insulation is done with tailored sleeves or heat-shrink tubing.
Bollocks. Proper combination has higher strenght than the cable itself.
Been there, measured on pull-out force tester..

I'm with Bent on this one, this based on a long career in industry.   The crimps that even brand new crimpers, for insulated terminals, produce are terrible.If yu have to use crimp terminals you are far better off with non insulated ones and a crimper designed for them.
 


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