App. Note 26 - Farm Machinery & Trucks
What is Stabilant 22?
Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer
that when used in a thin film within contacts switches to a conductive
state under the effect of the electrical field. The field gradient
at which this occurs is set such that the material will remain non-conductive
adjacent contacts in a multiple pin connector environment.
Thus, when applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 provides
the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contacting
Contacts are generally the weakest link in any piece of electrical-electronic
equipment whether it be an electronic ignition module, an automotive computer,
power door locks, or even headlights. The use of Stabilant 22 or
its isopropanol-diluted form, Stabilant 22A, will make contacts
from 10 to 100 times more reliable, eliminating costly call-backs and ensuring
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 t 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Nobody likes servicing these because of the possibility of recurring
problems. Us Stabilant 22 to prevent having to do the job a second
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 TabTm 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 cur 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
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 TabTm connectors can result in better regulation and will help prevent
dead or dying batteries due to insufficient charging current from the alternator
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 it available?
The Stabilants are available in both a isopropanol-diluted (Stabilant
22A) and a Concentrated (Stabilant 22) versions. Because of
the 4:1 dilution of the former, it will generally cost about 1/5 the amount
of the concentrate, although, obviously, it is the concentrate that remains
that does the job. The isopropanol is just there as a solvent to "carry"
the concentrate into place, once its there the isopropanol evaporates.
The concentrate is used whenever lubrication is as important as contact
It is also produced as Stabilant 22E, diluted with ethanol.
Is it available in a spray can?
No, for the reason that users found that they were wasting 60% to 70%
of the material on overspray, and existing propellant systems are either
highly inflammable or ozone-layer depleaters.
Is Stabilant just another contact cleaner?
No, Stabilant 22 is an electrically active material which
enhances conductivity within a contact without causing electrical leakage
between adjacent contacts. Thus large quantities of the material do not
have to be "hosed on" as is the case with cleaners. Stabilant 22 does
have a detergent action but it is not sold as a cleaner. It is used and
in place, forming a resident enhancement system.
Just how much should be used and how do / apply it?
Normally, a film thickness of about 0.5to 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
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 the material hazardous?
No skin reactions have ever been observed. In the undiluted form at
room temperature it is non-flammable, however if the temperature of the
material is raised above 200'C the resulting decomposition products will
support combustion. The concentrate is non-toxic. As such the concentrate
itself (Stabilant 22) is considered Non-Hazardous material. When
diluted with isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) a Stabilant 22a the
material is flammable. Please note that comprehensive Material Safety Data
Sheets are available for both forms of the material.
Can it be used by untrained personnel?
Yes, because it does not short circuit adjacent contacts, a connector
body can be flooded with the material. And even the dilute version is virtually
Does the action of the Stabilants deteriorate with age?
It has been in use is field trial applications in excess of twelve
years now without showing any sign of reduced effectiveness. The material
has a high molecular weigh and a very low vapor pressure. Thus it is not
prone to losses to evaporation. Unlike some other contact protection oils,
22 will not cross-link when exposed to certain material such as high-sulfur
(free-machining) brass alloys, cutting oil or sour crude-based lubricants,
neither will it cross-link when contact with thermoset/catalyzed plastics
or elastomers containing ultra-accelerators, curing agents o other cross-linking
agents. Thus the phenomenon of "varnishing", so common wit some of the
oil-based protective films will not occur with the Stabilants.
will the Stabilants adversely affect elastomers or plastics used