How do you connect multiple wires together for a harness?

If you are creating an automotive type wire harness and need to connect the same ground to say six switches or relays, what's the best way to connect 6 short wires together to one longer wire that runs to GND or +?  I've tried multiple methods using soldering and butt connectors, but all have poor results.

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DannyH351 month ago

The easiest way that I know, especially if you need environmental protection, is a 'bussed feedback receptacle'. That is what they're called in the Deutsch product line. I don't know if there are other names.

http://www.deutschconnector.com/products/deutsch_connectors/deutsch_bussed_feedback_receptacles/deutsch_dt_series_bussed_feedback_receptacles/deutsch_dt_12-way_bussed_feedback_receptacles/DT04-12PA-P021/

seandogue2 years ago

They would be brought back through the firewall to a suitable buss bar, running separate ground lines along with the local power and/or data lines, where large ground loops are unacceptable, or by using the chassis for a local ground for bulk loads that are insensitive to ground loop noise like electric window motors or other bulk loads with no onboard electronics. However, the use of local grounds as one might see in a 1960s car seems to be tapering off with the adherence to modern low noise techniques.

Vyger2 years ago

Use what is called a split bolt connector. Put all the ends together and put them in the lug and screw it tight.

http://www.grainger.com/category/split-bolt-connec...

Vyger Vyger2 years ago
iceng Vyger2 years ago

Superb split bolt page..... See step two of my ible

https://www.instructables.com/id/STYRO-ROBOT-HEAD-L...

which uses such a bolt to make a stable peak 40 amp styrofoam heated rod electrical connection.

BTW ..... Whiskeymike didn't want a 1/4" wide bump in his harness.

splitBolt.jpgstyrofoamCutter.jpg
iceng2 years ago

Pick a node and run each individual ground wire from the node.

Whiskeymike (author)  iceng2 years ago

What do you mean by node?

For instance, if I bring all six together, 6 16ga wires makes a large bulk about a 1/4 inch wide that won't fit into a spade. Or if I strip 3 inches of wire and stagger them every 1/2 inch, then I have 3 inches of inflexible soldered connections. None of which is very clean or desirable. Is there a connector or technique to bringing them together?

A node refers to a point on a wiring circuit where two or more circuit elements meet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Node_%28circuits%29

You have discovered the annoying reality of making a harness.

The 3 inches of wire may be your best bet, just pick it to end-up in a straight segment. Some time the wires may be resistance welded allowing for smaller joints and unlike solder seepage immediately flexible beyond the joint.

I am curious, that single ground wire had to start somewhere. I would use that start point as the ground node, that is why automotive fuse multiple spade lug expanders exist.

The one thing you DO-NOT want do is point to point wiring on a power bus wire.

Good wiring :)

rickharris2 years ago

The chassis (body) of a car is usually ground.

Most electrical items will be connected locally to a convenient nut/bolt and spade connector.