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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes

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 between 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 surfaces together!

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 customer satisfaction.

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 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. Us 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 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 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 TabTm 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 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 performance.

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 left 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 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 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 non-toxic.

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, Stabilant 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. Nor will the Stabilants adversely affect elastomers or plastics used in connectors.

Revision 4

Stabilants are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada

NSCM/Cage Code - NATO Supply Code 38948

15 mL of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937

The Stabilants are patented in Canada - 1987; US Patent number 4696832. World-wide patents pending. Because the patents cover contacts treated with the material, a Point-of-sale License is granted with each sale of the material.


Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd.

Copyright 2003 - D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. This note may be reproduced or copied, provided its content is not altered. The term "contact enhancer", 1983 Wright Electroacoustics.

NOTICE: This Application Note is based on customer-supplied information, and D.W. Electrochemicals is publishing it for information purposes only. In the event of a conflict between the instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the equipment on which the Stabilant material was used, and the service procedure employed by our customer, we recommend that the manufacturer be contacted to make sure that warranties will not be voided by the procedures.

While to our knowledge the information is accurate, prospective users of the material should determine the suitability of the Stabilant materials for their application by running their own tests. Neither D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or any consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.

Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W Electrochemicals Ltd.

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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.
Stabilant 22
1. Electronic Equipment
2. Computer cards
3. Schadow switches
4. Mic connectors
5. RTS & Dual plug patch bays
6. Biomedical Electronics
7. Computing & Peripherals
8. Cable TV
9. Robotics
10. Environmental Impact
11. Recording studios
12. Broadcast equipment
13. Mobile Radio
14. Educational computing
15. Stereo systems
16. Aid to IC insertion
17. Navigational equipment
18. Card edge conn. problems
19. Complex process control
20. Automotive service
21. Gold plating/solder alloy
22. Very high humidity
23. High current thermal runaway
24. Car stereo systems
25. Plastic element pots.
26. Farm machinery & trucks
27. Model & hobby
28. RF case seals
29. Outdoor environments
30. Computer crashes
31. Relays & switches
32. Silicone problems
33. Tin-plated contacts
34. Solder flux & resin residue
35. Post application color tinting
36. Aircraft connectors w/ flurosilicones
37. Avoiding unsafe solvents
38. S22 R&D Design Goals
39. Stabilant use on PLCC's
40. Sensor problem solution
41. Repair of flood damage
42. Marine electrical & electronics
43. All Cameras & Video Equipment
44. SCSI removable SCA drives, caddies & connections
45. Home Theater & Computer Connectors

Some of these application notes are repetitive of material in other application notes. We realize this. But some were written as a reference to a contact problem in a particular field or application.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
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Stabilant 22
Over the years, Stabilant 22 has been highly parsed in publications that target a wide range of electronics applications including:
* Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide
* BYTE Magazine (7 articles)
* Windows Magazine
* Q.S.T. Amateur Radio
* Model Railroads (2 articles)
* Motor Magazine
Stabilant 22
1. MSDS - Stabilant 22
2. General Information
4. MSDS - Stabilant 22A
5. MSDS - Stabilant 22E
9. MSDS - Stabilant 22L
20. Military Applications
21. Elastomer Compatibility
22. Effectiveness of Stabilants
24. Connector Harmonic Distortion
39. Signal rise time

There are gaps in the sequence numbers below because some Technical Note s were written by the manufacturer for specific companies and are confidential.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.

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