Botched my first DIY install & need advice


jva_2348

CarAudio.com Newbie
Apr 3, 2020
5
1
Central NJ
Good day! While trying to plug an ill-fitting Metra wiring harness into to the terminal of my focal coaxial speaker, I applied too much pressure and busted the whole wiring structure... one wire disconnected from where it was soldered into the terminal, and the plastic piece that attaches to the body of the speaker snapped. I’ve attached a picture with the problematic parts circled.

I’m thinking I can just use some gorilla glue and attach the plastic piece back on, then take the speaker to a local car audio shop and have them re-solder the wire. Am I on the right track here? The speaker is fine and I really don’t want to mess around with soldering, as I don’t have any experience and don’t have the tools. Shouldn’t be more than $50 to have them do it right?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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huberoy123

Member
Nov 6, 2013
264
36
Delaware
Good idea if you don't have any experience with soldering. However, $50 is too much to pay. Call a few places to ask them about the price. Another suggestion is to attach the loose wire to an alligator clip and attach the alligator clip to the solder terminal.
 

krisfnbz

CarAudio.com Veteran
10+ year member
Sep 13, 2006
4,768
7
Frederick MD
On the right track. $50 is far far far too much to pay. Could buy a $10 solidering kit from walmart and watch a youtube video. Shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. A shop would legitimately be able to fix this in 2 minutes.
 
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jva_2348

CarAudio.com Newbie
Apr 3, 2020
5
1
Central NJ
I figured $50 would be too much but that a shop wouldn’t want to bother doing it for less. Thank you both for the reply, much appreciated!
 

Lasherž

CarAudio.com Elite
Apr 27, 2020
1,016
233
United States
Cheap soldering kits will get you through the job and there's a million great videos about electrical soldering. Some things to keep in mind from someone who's been doing it a while..

Don't use solder without a rosin flux core and the thinner the solder wire the better. It doesn't add to cost much and the thinner gives you way more control over how much you add.

Don't invest in tools that **** the solder up unless you're doing through-hole components, just use solder wick if you want to get rid of it.

If you want to do it regularly (not just once) I'd recommend a cheap Yihua soldering station or similar. They're Hakko clones from China, but compared to a plug-in basic Walmart model it's the bee's knees. Having temperature adjustments and a ceramic heating element is a lot cheaper than it used to be. You can upgrade one of those stations with a Hakko tip for much better performance as well. I'd recommend a chisel tip more so than the pointier ones, you get better heat transfer.

Most importantly, heat the thing you're soldering, not the solder. Solder will "wick" to where the heat is, but if you try and use the iron to melt it you'll get cold joints with piss-poor electrical conductivity and structure.

Edit: lol that word was censored. Don't invest in tools that form a vacuum to pull solder up into them?...
 
OP
J

jva_2348

CarAudio.com Newbie
Apr 3, 2020
5
1
Central NJ
Cheap soldering kits will get you through the job and there's a million great videos about electrical soldering. Some things to keep in mind from someone who's been doing it a while..

Don't use solder without a rosin flux core and the thinner the solder wire the better. It doesn't add to cost much and the thinner gives you way more control over how much you add.

Don't invest in tools that **** the solder up unless you're doing through-hole components, just use solder wick if you want to get rid of it.

If you want to do it regularly (not just once) I'd recommend a cheap Yihua soldering station or similar. They're Hakko clones from China, but compared to a plug-in basic Walmart model it's the bee's knees. Having temperature adjustments and a ceramic heating element is a lot cheaper than it used to be. You can upgrade one of those stations with a Hakko tip for much better performance as well. I'd recommend a chisel tip more so than the pointier ones, you get better heat transfer.

Most importantly, heat the thing you're soldering, not the solder. Solder will "wick" to where the heat is, but if you try and use the iron to melt it you'll get cold joints with piss-poor electrical conductivity and structure.

Edit: lol that word was censored. Don't invest in tools that form a vacuum to pull solder up into them?...
I’ve been reading about soldering and watching videos, and cold joints seem to be the most common problem. If I decide to do it myself I’ll definitely heed your advice. Great info, thanks!
 

Berryman250

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 18, 2020
2
1
Brantford
Just use glue then heat up the wires and the solder that's already on the terminal. Solder goes towards the heat. So try putting them together and use a heat gun. If you were to resolder you'd have to use get rid of the old solder first anyways. You should strip, tint the wires with solder, heat up and use a tool to **** the old solder up after heating it. Then curve the wire with needle nose pliers to hook the wire then solder on the joint. Just add a little bit of solder and make sure it's hot enough and the solder is shiny after. You want to hook the terminal to avoid it just breaking off. Avoid bending the wires after soldering. Looks like you broke the hook that was soldered on. So when you get rid of the old solder you'll have broken wire strains in there. Make sure you clean it off.
 
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