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Old 07-08-2018, 01:16 PM   #1
D13
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Rust and ground wires

I pulled out my trailer to go pick up my next project and discovered the tail / brake lamps were dim and intermittent. I happened to have a set of LED tails and a new trailer harness laying around. The harness grounds to the frame and does not have enough wire to reach the lamp grounds. Easy, right? Use the frame as the ground.
But, since the trailer has lived in Michigan all its almost 30 years, every surface is covered with rust. No big deal, I'll solder a loop on each ground wire, drill and tap a hole for a screw with a toothed washer at each location, grind off the rust in the area, and run it down. All will be good.
As I;'m doing this I got to thinking. What happens when it starts to rust under the loops?

I have a couple options - I have liquid tape, grease, dielectric grease, non-conductive anti-seize, silicone, battery terminal protector, and enamel paint. Any recommendations on what to to do over the screws and loops?

By the way, this will also be the solution I will use use on my truck project - once I get that far...
Thanks!
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1987 C10 6.2 oil burner
1987 2 ton
1982 250/TH350 beater in progress
Dad's 1981 3/4 L6 3 on tree posi and no options, awaiting restoration or scrapping
77 1/2 ton 250, 3OTT, and hokey aftermarket AC
Plus a mess o' tractors
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
dmjlambert
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Re: Rust and ground wires

Since you're going through all the trouble of drilling, tapping, and grinding down to clean metal at that connection, I suggest go ahead and attach the loop with the screw and then solder it. That seems like it would last forever.

On another note, I bought a POR15 starter kit for $20, and that stuff is just amazing. I found a little goes a very long way. It is strange stuff to work with, it seems to be really thin when dipping the brush, but the paint layer that you brush on seems thick. And the higher the humidity is, the faster it dries. It would probably completely stop the rust on the whole frame. Mist it with some primer while it is still tacky from the POR15 coat, and then you can paint it with a color coat of your choice later.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:48 PM   #3
damnyankee36
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Re: Rust and ground wires

A common trick in the aircraft industry is to thoroughly coat the terminal, lock washer and screw with paint and assemble everything wet. This encapsulates the connection. You don't have to worry about the paint insulating the connection as it will squeeze out where necessary. You can also add additional paint over the screw for added protection.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:00 AM   #4
D13
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Re: Rust and ground wires

I've used POR15 for certain things. It's just a thin urethane, basically the same goo used to mount windshields nowdays. It works good, but this trailer isn't worth the price of a coat. My truck frame will be blasted and painted os the only issue is at the actual connections.

I like the wet paint and secure idea. That probably will work well given then use of toothed washers. I'm going to give that a try.

Thanks for the ideas!
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1987 C10 6.2 oil burner
1987 2 ton
1982 250/TH350 beater in progress
Dad's 1981 3/4 L6 3 on tree posi and no options, awaiting restoration or scrapping
77 1/2 ton 250, 3OTT, and hokey aftermarket AC
Plus a mess o' tractors
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:49 PM   #5
68c10airstream
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Re: Rust and ground wires

d13, been there done that living in the upper peninsula. I use axle grease over the connections. This allows easy service if it needs to be removed/changed in the future. Salt and rust can't get under the grease because it stays "wet" all the time. And it stands out from the norm and makes people ask "why"??
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:44 AM   #6
D13
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Re: Rust and ground wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68c10airstream View Post
d13, been there done that living in the upper peninsula. I use axle grease over the connections. This allows easy service if it needs to be removed/changed in the future. Salt and rust can't get under the grease because it stays "wet" all the time. And it stands out from the norm and makes people ask "why"??
Hmm. I've got some clear silicone grease laying around that oruhgt to be real waterproof...

By odd chance I'm going to be in Marquette in a couple of weeks. Going up to Hoton to visit the daughter at da Tech and we're going to overnight in Marquette instead of just driving thru. I just love it up there but the wife says it's too cold in the winter for a retirement home...
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1987 C10 6.2 oil burner
1987 2 ton
1982 250/TH350 beater in progress
Dad's 1981 3/4 L6 3 on tree posi and no options, awaiting restoration or scrapping
77 1/2 ton 250, 3OTT, and hokey aftermarket AC
Plus a mess o' tractors
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