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Loving my Deeres
1,696 Posts
Removing wiring connector terminals for cleaning

I've had some issues with wiring on my tractors like many of you've had. Many times it is a connector with 1/4" spade such as on a control board that isn't making a solid connection with the female portion in the plastic connector. They are actually removable without much trouble and you can adjust them and clean them a lot better once they are removed.
A little warning here. Before you start on this, disconnect the battery.

This is the right bottom connector from the main board on my 445 tractor. It is a low hour machine and I haven't had any issues with it (knock on wood).

It was the easiest to reach for taking a few photos. I'm also showing the screwdriver that I use to remove them for size comparison. I'll be removing the yellow wire from the plastic connector.

On the other end of the connector, you'll see a gap that you will be inserting the screwdriver into. It's the backside of the female terminal that you need to push the screwdriver into, not where the male spade terminal would go.

Push in the blade of the screwdriver about a quarter of an inch with the flat portion parallel to the back of the terminal. Once you have reached the bottom, you turn the screwdriver a quarter turn.
When the screwdriver is turned, it pushes in this little tab that is holding in the terminal.

I am showing the screwdriver up against it so you can see how deep you need to go in and the orientation. In this photo, I am about half way down to where it would need to go. You have to go to the tip of the tab.

This is the side that you will need to inspect and clean. I used some NpB solvent and a small stainless steel wire brush when I did the ones that needed it.

There is a tongue like tab that does most of the power transfer. It needs to be clean and have some interference when pushed onto the male terminal. You can try it with the mating terminal to make sure that it is strong enough before you reassemble it. If it is too badly corroded, you'll need to put a new one on the end of the wire. A standard 1/4" female spade terminal should work but it won't lock in like the original. You might be able to find exact replacements online if you feel ambitious

This is the back side of the terminal that has the tab that locks it in the plastic connector.

Bend it up since it has been pushed in when you removed the terminal. Give it a good bit of lift as it needs to lock when pushed back into the plastic connector.

Once you've done that and found out that it is pretty easy to do (and have a good feel for it), you might want to check the others. Do them one at a time so you don't mix them up and make sure you know where it came out of since some plastic connectors will have empty sockets. Since I always have my phone with me, I take photos before taking them apart.

Since there are two sides to every connection, you should also inspect the male portion. If it is a tab on a board. it will be easy to clean with a scraper some steel wool or a toothbrush. Get creative here. Be careful when doing this. There also might be capacitors involved and they store power even with the battery disconnected.

When you reassemble the connector, you can put some dialectric grease on the terminals to both keep a better connection and protect it from further corrosion. I have actually used conductive grease on some but you have to be careful not to contaminate the connector and cause a short between connectors.
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