Proper use of Dielectric Grease - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-31-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Proper use of Dielectric Grease

I read on another thread that riders are putting dielectric grease on their bulbs. I think most people use Dielectric Grease WRONG! It is a electrically insulating material and should not be used on electrical contacts as it can cause interruptions in current flow.

Would you wrap a bulbs contacts in electrical tape and expect it to work? Electrical tape is electrically insulating. Same properties!

Dielectric grease "is not recommended to be applied to the actual electrical conductive contacts of the connector because it could interfere with the electrical signals passing through the connector in cases where the contact pressure is very low."

Such as where your bulbs get a ground.

Where to use it properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuKAmaIkA-U

I've stated that before (on other forums) and been blasted for the statement and before you argue "you've been doing it for years" don't make it right!

SO......

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-31-2015, 11:23 AM
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Apparently, Toney, you have uttered what some consider, "an inconvenient truth!"

You stated a fact, "dielectrics" inhibit the passage of electrons; they are more-or-less the opposite of conductors; rather, dielectrics are insulators.

Further, ALL greases are to some extent, "dielectric." The primary purpose of "dielectric" grease where electrical contacts are present, essentially (in my belief system), is: preventing CORROSION where electrical contact has been made.

The physical facts regarding the nature of things dielectric apparently threaten and offend some. Science, historically, often offends; true since the time of Copernicus and Galileo.

From Google:
Quote:
A dielectric material (dielectric for short) is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field.

Last edited by Damocles; 01-31-2015 at 11:30 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-31-2015, 05:00 PM
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The use of grease on bulbs, battery terminals, and other items is to help prevent corrosion. It is not to make the item more conductive even though some of it is marketed as Conductive Grease. Its purpose is to help keep air and water away from the electrical connection.

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post #4 of 15 Old 02-02-2015, 07:52 AM
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I'm guessing the spring pressure of the bulb and or connector contacts forces the grease out of the way allowing a metal to metal conductive path. The remaining grease around the metal to metal contact point serves to prevent corrosion by keep water away. So using a dielectric grease shouldn't be a problem.

If the contact spring pressure is really weak, a drop of motor oil accomplishes pretty much the same thing as a dab of grease.

Last edited by twinjet; 02-02-2015 at 08:01 AM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-02-2015, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinjet View Post
I'm guessing the spring pressure of the bulb and or connector contacts forces the grease out of the way allowing a metal to metal conductive path. The remaining grease around the metal to metal contact point serves to prevent corrosion by keep water away. So using a dielectric grease shouldn't be a problem.

If the contact spring pressure is really weak, a drop of motor oil accomplishes pretty much the same thing as a dab of grease.
You are correct that the spring pressure CAN (and most of the time does) push the grease away and allow contact but why would you want an insulating material present at all? If used it should be put on a connector after it's plugged in and not between the contacts. The only place I could see a benefit on a KLR is using it to seal the plug wire for creek crossing.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-02-2015, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toney View Post
You are correct that the spring pressure CAN (and most of the time does) push the grease away and allow contact but why would you want an insulating material present at all? If used it should be put on a connector after it's plugged in and not between the contacts. The only place I could see a benefit on a KLR is using it to seal the plug wire for creek crossing.
Yeah, I have to agree with you that using an insulator as a contact dressing is counter intuitive. But like so many other counter intuitive things and practices, it does exist in reality.

And so we have jumbo shrimp, military intelligence (maybe not a good example) and dielectric grease in bulb sockets (maybe not the greatest thing either).


Last edited by twinjet; 02-02-2015 at 12:11 PM. Reason: speling
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-03-2015, 06:30 AM
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As mentioned above, grease keeps out water and prevents corrosion. Dielectric grease allows for conductivity where pins/contacts touch under pressure with their mating ones BUT the fact that the grease is dielectric keeps the grease from shorting between pins/contacts.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-24-2015, 11:31 AM
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I can only speak from experience but I packed all my elec connections with dielectric grease per my Clymer manual for 08+ klr's page 170 and have had no issues.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-24-2015, 01:42 PM
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One might substitute, "non-conducting," or, "insulating," for the descriptive word, "dielectric," in most contexts, seems to me. Of course, given enough voltage, EVERYTHING conducts, to some extent . . .
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-25-2015, 07:52 AM
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We might also consider that air is an insulator also. To date no one questions the wisdom of surrounding the space between the light bulb and its socket with air.
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