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Uses of di-electric grease.....where?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by henryk, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    479
    Door County, WI
    I would like to know some of the uses, where one applies this grease to. I know it is for things like connectors.

    While doing my major service, in my 88TR, I decided to replace the plug wires, and distributor caps.......car has almost 70K miles. I am applying the grease to the holes, in the distributor cap, where the small screw goes into the wire. I will also apply some at both ends of the extender.......going to the spark plug.

    Should I coat the brass terminals, inside the distributor, where the rotors goes by?........or should I leave this dry?

    Could this be used for battery terminals?........ground wire connections?, etc.
     
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  3. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    Henryk,
    The purpose of dielectric grease is to seal an electrical connection with an insulating material that's less conductive than air. It also excludes air, thus reducing the chances a connector will corrode.

    Everything you mentioned is a reasonable application, EXCEPT the brass contacts the rotor swings past. Just keep them clean. The high voltage won't have any problems jumping the gap, even if the brass is a little tarnished.

    For the ignition wiring, be generous when applying it so it excludes air from the general area of the connection.

    For things like battery terminals, grounds, & spade connectors, I use a small quantity of anti-oxidant grease sold in the electrical dept of most HW stores. It's the stuff that always s/b used when connecting old AL house wiring to outlets.
     
  4. jm3

    jm3 F1 Rookie

    Oct 3, 2002
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    United States
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    (what an appropriate icon)
    Everytime you change a light bulb, use a little bit of this grease. In fact I cured every light related electrical problem I had by taking out every bulb, cleaning the socket with scotchbrite, and reassembling with a light coating.

    Jay
     
  5. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
    19,136
    socal
    IMHO do not use dielectric grease for anything! Wow! That will piss some people off. Dielectric grease is non-conductive. It is used to lubricate as in people use in in distributor advance weights when they should be using distributor grease. Also, its main purpose is to prevent corrosion around good connections. That sounds like a good thing on all Ferarris but it is not. The reason is because Ferraris do not have good connections. They have 1) poor connectors, poor connection of wire to terminals in connectors, poor wiring design concept example those window switch system, and low strand numbers in wires not good for vibration life, and even their sealed connectors get dirt in them. Personally, I see a huge % of problems on this board seem to revolve around ellectrical systems looking like mechanical issues. The key is to 1st enhance connections. Then use a "contact enhancer corrosion inhibitor" like stabilant-22 from DW electrochemical in Canada. I actually don't even like stabilant-22 anymore because all greasy type materials attract dirt and grit into leaking Ferrari connectors. Therfore, my personal choice is straight clean contact cleaner used on a regualr basis. In the process of my oil changes etc. I routinely unclip, spray out and let dry for hours every connector. Only, If I can seal a connection will I use stabliant-22. Thus in a Ferrari there are few if any uses. In a BMW I would use it liberally. No cleaner, no contact enhancer, no dielectric grease will save you from crappy electricals. You will only be fooled for a short time before you start guessing at the next failed system.
     
  6. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    Sorry, I must quibble, there is one important application for dielectric grease:
    Dielectric grease should be used to prevent high voltage arcing by ensuring all air, humidity & moisture is excluded from the ends of the HV wires going into the distributor caps, the coil, and both ends of the extenders. In a 308 these areas need all the help they can get.

    That's what it's designed & recommended for.

    Using an insulating grease anywhere else is subject to religious discussion.
     
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  8. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    There there now boys, your both right.
    Dielectric grease is a floor wax, And a great desert topping!
     
  9. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Verrell,

    You are right if the systems was designed properly. You see all you do is help inhibit the flow of charge when the contacts between these systems are designed with flaws. Arcing is not an issue with a properly designed system. Contact enhancers are part of a properly designed system. Look at a BMW connector it is dry inside. Contact enhacers and Dielectric grease are from an era of bad elctronics...IMHO
     
  10. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    I concur that modern connectors keep the air & moisture out. Even my '82 Rx7 has connectors with little silicone perimeter seals that have keept the interior mint after 22 years. Unfortunately as you say, Ferrari's engineers used 1960's vintage connector designs that we're stuck with.
     
  11. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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    Nov 5, 2002
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    By the way, a great alternative to Stabilant 22 is DeoxIT, by Caig industries (http://www.caig.com). I learned about this stuff from the Alfa digest, alfa owners being notoriously cheap. It is way cheaper than Stabilant (~$15 for a 25ml bottle), and supposedly even more effective, according to the product literature on their website. I've been using it on my alfa and GT4 with great results.

    Not affiliated in any way, just a happy user.

    Dom
     
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  13. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Great info Dom! When are we going to see you on the track? Byron's Ferrari is dead and I need someone else to play with.
     
  14. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 5, 2002
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    Hey Fatbillybob,

    I am hoping sometime in April. I am trying to get my sister-in-law to come down and visit, and help the wife with the kids, so that I can get away to the track.

    Dom
     

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