Types of Electrical Connections: Crimp Connectors

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on December 28, 2011
Last Updated on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 3:23 PM
Total Updates: 6

When installing a sound system in your vehicle, the most common electrical connectors are crimp connectors. They're available to make almost any type of connection for any type of wire.

Some of the different crimp connectors include:

  • Spades
  • Rings
  • Male Disconnects
  • Female Disconnects
  • Bullet Plugs
  • Bullet Receptacles
  • Butt Splices
  • Close Ends

When attaching the connectors, use the appropriate gauge wire and connector size. If you use a connector that is too large for the wire gauge, it will not make a good connection and is likely to slide off.

To attach your crimp connectors, strip ΒΌ inch of insulation from the end of the wire, insert into the crimp terminal, and crimp with a terminal crimping tool. Then finally, give your wire a firm pull while holding the terminal. This verifies a good connection.

Terminals are generally color coded to match up with the correct wire gauge. Here is a table displaying color codes for crimp connectors.

Wire Gauge Standard Crimp Connector Color
22-18 Red
16-14 Blue
12-10 Yellow

If you don't know what your wire's gauge size is, use a crimper/stripper tool to help you. Strip the insulation and determine the wire gauge. If you're still not sure about the exact wire gauge, use the smallest size crimp connector that fits the wire. Don't forget to pull on the wire and terminal to see if you made the connection correctly.

If the wire is too small for the connector, you can wrap strands of wire around it to make it thicker. This works great for thin wire and butt connections between two different gauge wires.

The disconnectable terminals mentioned are useful when disassembly is expected. Take the time to choose the right connectors for your task at hand.