Electrical connectors — general information

1. Most electrical connection on these vehicles are made with multiwire plastic con­nectors. The mating halves of many connectors are secured with locking clips molded into the plastic connector shells. The mating halves of some large connectors, such as some of those under the instrument panel, are held together by a bolt through the center of the connector.

2. To separate a connector with locking clips, use a small screwdriver to pry the clips apart carefully, then separate the connector halves. Pull only on the shell, never pull on the wiring harness, as you may damage the individual wires and terminals inside the con­nectors. Look at the connector closely before trying to separate the halves. Often the lock­ing clips are engaged in a way that is not immediately clear. Additionally, many connectors have more than one set of clips.

3. Each pair of connector terminals has a male half and a female half. When you look at the end view of a connector in a diagram, be sure to understand whether the view shows the harness side or the component side of the connector. Connector halves are mirror images of each other, and a terminal shown on the right-side end-view of one half will be on the left side end-view of the other half.

4. It is often necessary to take circuit volt­age measurements with a connector con­nected. Whenever possible, carefully insert a small straight pin (not your meter probe) into the rear of the connector shell to con­tact the terminal inside, then clip your meter led to the pin. This kind of connection is called «back probing.» When inserting a test probe into a terminal, be careful not to distort the terminal opening. Doing so can lead to a poor connection and corrosion at that terminal later. Using the small straight pin instead of a meter probe results in less chance of deform­ing the terminal connector.

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