In today’s world, anytime a switch or other electrical component goes bad, we just toss it in the trash and buy a new one. This applies to just about everything we use, including our cars; but when it comes to classic cars, more often than not, you can’t just replace every component. They simply are not being reproduced, or they are cost-prohibitive for the average guy, especially if the car is a driver.
Take this 1951 Mercury for example. The factory turn signal switch was in usable condition, but the original wiring was wasted. Considering that the factory used cloth-covered wire, this is a common issue with most 50s and older vehicles. The wiring is readily available; however unlike even slightly newer vehicles from the 1960s, this era requires de-soldering the wires from the switch and re-soldering the new ones in place. While soldering two wires together is a simple task most gearheads have done before, de-soldering may not be. Don’t fret, it is not complicated, and there is a really neat tool that makes it a whole lot easier–it is called a solder sucker.
No more complicated than a spring-actuated vacuum pump, the solder sucker is designed to remove old molten solder from a joint. While you could leave the old solder on the terminals, it usually gets in the way of installing the new wires. By removing the old stuff, you are left with a clean terminal ready for new solder.
This process also eliminates any contamination or cold-solder joints left over from the original install. With the old solder off, the new wires are installed and soldered into place. A recent customer brought this kit to Red Dirt Rodz for assembly. The entire process took about 20 minutes from start to finish.