Introduction: The Best Electronics/Automotive Connector Tool /Prison Shiv. Ever! (for Less Than 25cents Each!)

Picture of The Best Electronics/Automotive Connector Tool /Prison Shiv. Ever! (for Less Than 25cents Each!)

Here I'll show you how to make a simple multi tool that can be used for repairing or disassembling electronics connectors,repairing automotive connectors ,replacing connector terminals, back probing connectors with the use of alligator clips. It will release most terminals from most automotive connectors and they can then be used as inexpensive test clips. It also proves useful for frontal lobotomies or Prison Shivalry . This Instructable also includes step by step instructions on how to take an import vehicle injector connector apart as an example.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Picture of Tools and Supplies

1. A drill
2. Small drill bits (1/16") at least.
3. A Rotary multi tool. with various accessories.*see the second picture for the 3 most important*
4. A saw (The rotary tool with the right cut off wheel works fine)
5. A small metal ruler or a tape measure.
6. Glue

1. Wooden Dowel. I used 1/2 inch ( under $2 for 3ft)
2. Construction Flags. ($2.99 for 30)

Step 2: Lets Get Started!

Picture of Lets Get Started!

1. Cut the wooden dowel to the desired length.
I used the hacksaw you see in the tools photo but it's not critical. Cut it as long or as short as you want.
2. Select a drill bit that closely matches the diameter of the construction flag steel.
Note that the metal used in construction flags seems to be spring steel and is highly durable! It's rigid and cheap. In the past I've tried using all types of small diameter rods and this seems to be the least expensive,the easiest to find and the most durable.
The rod is very close to 1/16" so a drill bit that size or slightly smaller will work.

Step 3: Last Week of School F It, I'm Just Drillin Holes.

Picture of Last Week of School F It, I'm Just Drillin Holes.

1. Drill a hole into one end of the wooden dowel handle.
Drill all the way through if you want to attach an alligator clip and use this as a back probe for electronic testing.
2. Fit the steel rod into the hole you just drilled (DRY) to check for fit.
3. Determine how long you want the metal portion to be and trim it.
I used the abrasive cut off wheel for the rotary tool but you can use heavy duty angle pliers , linesman pliers or tin snips etc.....

Step 4: Shape the Handle..... or Not.

Picture of Shape the Handle..... or Not.

1. Take the cut portion of steel "wire" out of the handle and approximate where your thumb will land.
2. Roughly mark the area around your thumb.
3. Use the barrel sanding attachment for your rotary tool to shave an indent in the wooden handle.
4. Round off all sharp edges and check to see how it fits in your hand.

Step 5: Shaping the Tip

Picture of Shaping the Tip

1. Glue the cut metal rod into the hole you drilled, turn it so if it points one way or another, it will point down in relation to where your thumb lands on the shaped dowel.
2..This is the hardest part of the build. Basically you want to turn the last 1/4 inch of the round rod into a square.
Slope the top side down but not to a completely sharp point.
If the tip isn't sharp enough, you will find it difficult to release the connectors locking tabs.
If the tip is too sharp, you risk cutting the locking tabs off completely rendering the connector useless.
If you feel that the tip is too sharp, grind it flat somewhat, or grind it flat completely and start again.
see the attached photos.

Step 6: Done and Done , Now for an Example.

Picture of Done and Done , Now for an Example.

This is an example of how to use this tool to work on Asian imports electrical connectors. It's similar to some Domestic electronic connectors. I have not tested it to work on European connectors in which case you can use it to "Shiv" someone.
Lets say a wire gets cut off too close to an automotive connector to solder a wire on. You can replace the single terminal in a connector with one that the dealer supplies or with a used one from the auto wrecker. Alternatively, you may want to harvest some of these terminals to use for testing. Some of the smaller male pins will fit into a breadboard for..... whatever!
All of the connectors I've seen have a locking device. In this Toyota Fuel injector connector it's the white piece I removed in the first four pictures /steps. The fifth picture is of the connector with the locking device removed but the terminals still in place, held by the locking tabs.
In the sixth picture, Im using the tool to pry the locking tab up while pulling on the wire. you may need a helper or a vice /clamp that you can use as a third hand. In this picture you can see the locking tab on the left as I pry the right one up.
In the seventh picture you can see the terminal partially released.
In the eighth picture the female terminal is fully released. The Ninth picture is of both terminals out. To reassemble it is as easy as pushing the terminals back in until they click and then re-installing the locking device.

Now, for the Lobotomy/Shiving instructions.....     1. Don't ........