Application Note 26 - Farm Machinery and Trucks
- What is Stabilant 22?
- Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer which when used in a thin film
between metal contacts becomes conductive under the effect of an electrical field. This occurs
at an electric field gradient such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent
contacts in a multiple pin environment. In addition, Stabilant 22 exhibits surfactant action,
as well as lubrication ability providing a single component resident solution to virtually all
When applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 can provide the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact surfaces.
- Where can it be used on farm machinery, truck, and automobiles?
- While the types of electrical and electronic systems vary substantially between farm machinery, trucks. and automobiles, etc. there is a
fundamental similarity in that they all rely on connectors of one form or another to connect the various lights, sensors, modules, and
such together. In general it is the connectors which are the weakest link in the system, and many electronic component failures within
an electronic package can often be traced to the prior failure of a connector within the system. As connector failures are notorious for
their unpredictability and intermittent nature, many service people find it quite difficult to isolate this type of problem and have to
resort, under the pressure of cost and time, to replacement of major component which themselves, may not be at fault.
The result is substantial increases in the cost of a service job as well as a degree of uncertainty whether the problem has been cured to the satisfaction of the customer. In those applications where a farmer is absolutely reliant upon a piece of equipment, such as his use of a combine during a harvest period, the failure of a connector can be very expensive. Manufacturers are aware of these problems and spend a disproportionate amount of time in the selection and testing of connectors, but the extreme environmental conditions and problems of field contamination together with the number and diversity of connector types and the need for manufacturing cost effectiveness have made perfect reliability almost impossible to achieve. Even in the most expensive equipment used for biomedical electronics where cost is no object, connector reliability is still considerably less than the reliability of the other election components.
The use of a material such as Stabilant 22 or 22A, which provide a tenfold to one hundred-fold connector reliability increase can make an even greater difference in the reliability of a system employing hundreds of contacts.
Let's consider some of the potential uses for Stabilant 22 and 22A:
- Electronic Ignition Systems:
- Both the main power connectors as well as the individual sensor connections can be treated with the Stabilants. Often a "sensor malfunction" error message on a diagnostic computer will occur because of a faulty connection to the sensor. We're sure that if you service this type of equipment that you've replaced sensors only to have the same error message re-occur. In cases where a heavy grease has been used to try and waterproof the connection this should be removed with kerosene, isopropyl alcohol and/or cleaner before applying the Stabilant.
- Instrument Clusters:
- Malfunctioning lights or instruments on/in an instrument cluster are often caused by poor contacts, and this can be cured by the use of the Stabilants. Uncoupling the tab type connectors sometimes breaks the wire crimped to the connector, especially on old equipment. You can use Stabilant 22A to penetrate the connector without having to uncouple it in these cases. In farm machinery there is an increasing degree of consolidation of engine read-outs into one electronic monitoring system and the Stabilants provide a solution to erratic operation of this system when caused by connectors.
- While the new blade type fuses are more reliable than the older 3AG/AGC types, the use of the Stabilants will reduce the possibility of fuse contact heating which can cause an fuse to blow below its rated current on a circuit that is O.K.
- Head Lights, Dome Lights & Indicator Lights:
- Again it's good practice to use Stabilant 22A when replacing light bulbs, as well as using it on the wiring harness connectors. Poor contact in the latter will result in a voltage drop at the connector that can rob the lights of some of their brightness. On older equipment, poor grounding of the light fixture (due to rusting of the attachment point) can often result in dim lights. Stabilant 22A applied to the mount can often restore the circuit to peak performance. Whenever quartz-halogen bulbs are used be sure not to handle the bulb itself or get any Stabilant on the quartz bulb. Ignition switch lights are often quite difficult to get to, and the time involved in changing a light in an older car often makes it a job where the cost of the work is not appreciated by the customer especially if the new light fails due to a bad contact.
- Sensor Connectors:
- Frequently, sensors for electronic controls appear to malfunction. This is probably the most common reason for the type of intermittence that causes dealers problems. Customers do not understand why a dealer cannot make a problem occur "on the bench". Often, replacement of the sensor appears to cure the problem only to have the same problem occur hours, days, or even weeks later. The difficulty is that quite often the problem is the connector itself rather than the sensor. Replacing the sensor "cured' the problem only because the vary act of replacement simply 'Wiped" the connector. Stabilant 22A provides an improvement in the connector contact and will usually eliminate this problem at a cost in time and parts much lower than replacement of a sensor. A drop in the connector is normally all that is required.
- Heater & Air conditioning Controls, Thermostats and Electric motor Switches:
- Caution should be used when using Stabilants on any switch contacts which switch an inductive load! A good rule of thumb is, if there's enough inductive kick to make the switch spark,- don't use the Stabilants as they would increase the sparking! However it is OK to use the Stabilants in the wiring harness connectors in these circuits.
- Electric Rear-view Mirrors:
- The tab connectors inside the doors are susceptible to contamination from some o the oil/wax rust preventative sprays as well as from road dirt and salt. Usually a drop of Stabilant 22A per contact is all that's needed to restore reliability.
- Solenoid Door & Trunk Locks, and Power Windows:
- The same problem as above occurs with Solenoid-operated lock and power-window mechanisms. Some cars rely on the hinge/door latch to provide a ground return for these circuits (which is why on many older cars the power windows only work perfectly when the doors are open and on the "detent") and it may be necessary to run a separate ground wire to restore proper function.
- Horn circuits:
- Nobody likes servicing these because of the possibility of recurring problems. Use Stabilant 22 to prevent having to do the job a second time.
- Tail Lights, Parking Lights and Headlights (including Trailer connections):
- Although the currents involved might be high enough to "punch-thru" some of this contamination on contacts in these circuits, not only can't that be relied upon, but there is often a voltage drop that causes the connectors to over-heat. A little salt contamination with this high-heat condition hastens the corrosion process. Us Stabilant 22 to stop this and increase the lighting level by the elimination of voltage drops. On trailers, it is not uncommon to have both the tail lights and clearance lights fail because of a bad connector and the Stabilants can prevent this problem. Don't forget to treat the external Tab™ connectors on the headlight relays. (Don' use it on the relay contacts themselves if there's any sign of a spark when they open 1)
- Door Activated Switches:
- Everyone has run across automobiles and trucks where the dome-light won't function when the doors are opened. Stabilants on the switch connectors will usually cure these problems.
- Radios, Cassette Decks & Speakers:
- It's tough to fix stereo speakers when they start to go out of balance because often it's not the fault of the radio or power amplifier, but the interconnects or speaker leads. Several hundred thousand dollars of the Stabilant concentrate is used each year in the home audio industry just to ensure reliability and reduce distortion. A drop on the speaker contacts and on the connections to the radio will usually eliminate this out-of-balance condition.
- Battery Terminals and Starter Lugs & Terminals:
- While it is an unusual application, many automotive electricians prefer to "Seat" the battery connections using Stabilant 22 rather than petroleum jelly or electrical grease. A much better contact results and there's no reason you can't cover the completed connection with grease to protect it against battery-fume corrosion.
- Voltage Regulators , Alternators, and Generators:
- Again, Stabilant 22 is very useful on these devices contacts. Often alternators with bolt-on voltage regulators suffer because of their close proximity to the exhaust manifold, additional heating due to localized contact problems can lead to erratic regulation or premature failure of the voltage regulator. Stabilant 22/22A applied to the lug type and Tab™ connectors can result in better regulation and will help prevent dead or dying batteries due to insufficient charging current from the alternator or generator.
- Diagnostic Equipment:
- One of the first uses for Stabilants was in the maintenance of electronic test equipment where it has been employed since 1983 in Military, Civilian, not to mention Avionics and Bio-Medical electronics.
- Isn't it expensive to use?
- Not when you consider the time it saves! How long does it take you to take off a door panel to get to the contacts inside, or pull an instrument cluster for that matter? How much time have you had to spend trying to diagnose an erratic piece of electronics and how often have you had to repeat a job where you thought you had it fixed? The material is easy enough to apply that all the connectors in a system can often be treated in less time than it takes to isolate the problem to one connector! There are about 3000 drops in a 50 ml Bottle kit of Stabilant 22A and each drop could save you 5 minutes.
- In what forms is Stabilant available?
- The Stabilants are available in several forms. As a concentrate (Stabilant 22), an isopropyl
alcohol-diluted form (Stabilant 22A), and an ethyl alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22E).
For example, a given size container of Stabilant 22A will cost about one-fifth the amount of a
container of Stabilant 22 as it contains only one-fifth the amount of the concentrate. Another form
of packaging is available. Stabilant 22S packages the concentrate such that it occupies one-fifth the
volume of an otherwise empty container. This allows the end-user to add his own diluent, and thus saves the
added costs of shipping the diluent (e.g.: isopropyl alcohol), as well as allowing the end-user to use an
alternate diluent such as one of the Freon-based solvents.
In addition a 0.5 ml vial of Stabilant 22A is available for manufacturers to include with plug-in circuit boards
- Is it available in a spray can?
- No. Why waste the material? We would like to think we are environmentally responsible and safety conscious. This ruled out
the use of either a chlorofluorocarbon or highly inflammable mixture of butane and propane as a propellant.
In addition even Stabilant 22A for example, has only about 71200th the solvent impact as conventional contact cleaning solvents, over a three year time span. As Stabilant 22 contains no solvent it has absolutely minimal environmental impact and is, therefore, becoming the treatment of choice for many service organizations!
- Is Stabilant 22 just another contact cleaner?
- No, Stabilant 22 is a resident potentially electrically active material which through a synergistic combination of effects enhances conductivity within a contact without causing leakage between adjacent contacts. Thus large quantities of the material do not have to be "hosed" on, as is the case with cleaners.
- How much should be used and how do I apply it?
- Normally, a film thickness of about 0.5 to 1 mil of the concentrate is more than enough. In other words, you need just enough to fill up
the minute gaps within the contacts. But when time is important, you can flood the connector pins with Stabilant 22A. The
dropper-bottle allows it to be dribbled onto the pins, or in the case of a plastic shielded tab connector, you can flood the plastic
sleeve. On the rectangular automotive type multiple-pin plastic-bodied connectors, a connector which is free of grease cam be treated
by applying a enough Stabilant 22A to each wire entry in the back of a coupled connector so that it will run down into the contact
area. When in doubt, unplug the connector and apply Stabilants to the pins or the sockets. If the connector is full of grease or oil,
flush it clean before applying Stabilants. Avoid using gasoline, penetrating oils or light machine oils on connectors as they can damage
the plastic or rubber materials.
- Is Stabilant hazardous to use?
- Stabilants have very low oral toxicity. Under normal workplace conditions no skin sensitization effects have been noted. In the undiluted form, it is non-flammable although if heated above 200° Celsius the decomposition products would burn. And Stabilants are environmentally friendly materials.
- Can Stabilant be used by untrained personnel?
- Thousands of applications of the consumer version of Stabilant 22 have been made over a period of several years now without any reported problems.
- Does the action of Stabilant deteriorate with age?
- In some field trial applications lasting over fifteen years Stabilant 22 has shown no sign of reduced effectiveness. With a high molecular weight and a very low vapor pressure, little is lost by evaporation. Unlike some other contact protection oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link when exposed to free machining materials such as high sulfur brass, or when used on contacts where agents used to promote cross linking of thermosets or elastomers are present in the environment or in the actual connector components. Unlike non-saturated oils, Stabilant 22 does not "varnish".
Stabilants™ are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada
NATO Supply Code 38948
15 ml of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937