Wiring Basics – Connectors

At some point a Jeeper decides to install a new gadget or modify an electrical component.  Often these electrical items are a CB radio, auxillary lights, or a piece of audio equipment..the list goes on.  So many times we see poor wiring techniques it’s amazing there isn’t more failures and fires.

In this section we explore connectors.

To start out there are many different kinds of connectors that can be used and sometimes there are more than one option to do the job.  Many things need to be considered like heat, vibration, and moisture (yes, mud).  A failed connection can cause something to stop working and worse, could cause a fire.


Twist-on connectors a no-no

Number 1 connector to never use in a Jeep (or any other automotive application) is house twist on connectors. Don’t do it.

Modern Jeeps come equipped with super reliable wiring connectors that are perfectly made for the application.  Almost all the connections are weather proof and vibration proof.  Unfortunately when we add on to our Jeeps we need to use a more universal method.

Crimp Style

Probably the most common used connector for the DIY crowd.  Crimp connectors come in various sizes and shapes.  Inexpensive and requires simple electrical tools.  Proper crimping will ensure the life of these connectors.  Minimal weather protection.

Weatherpak Connector

The weatherpak connector has been around many years.  It is weatherproof and provides a tight and reliable connection.  Available in many configurations.  Easy to use.  Expensive and can require special tools.


Deutsch Connector

Modern connector that can offer easy connect/disconnect.  Weather resistant.  Available in many configurations.  Easy to use.  Expensive and can require special tools.


Packard Connector

Older style connector found on many early model CJ’s.  Some connectors offer lock tabs to secure connections.  Easy to use with simple electrical tools.

Self Crimp Connectors

These connectors are convenient but can damage an existing wire during crimping since the crimp blades can cut into strands of the existing wire.  Use sparingly and use proper connector to the gauge of wire.  Handy for an in-line junction.

SolderWireSplice Solder/Shrink Wrap

Soldering two wires together will provide the ultimate in electrical connection.  A good solder will make the connection nearly as strong as the wire itself.  Cover with good quality shrink wrap and forget about it.

A Jeeper’s garage can never have too many connectors on hand.  Many kits are available that offer a variety of components.  Keep a small supply in your Jeep in case you need them on the trail.

Next – Fuses, Fuse Blocks, and Circuit Breakers