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Problem

I was trying to replace my shift solenoids, and when I pulled the electrical connector off of one of the solenoids, the plastic tab on the connector broke off. I'm concerned that if I leave it that way, it will rattle its way back out. I have searched everywhere and I cannot find a replacement connector. I would leave it as-is, since it does fit snug into the solenoid, but I am concerned about the constant heat and vibrations it will be subject to inside the transaxle. Also, if it does rattle out, it would mean draining and opening the transaxle case again.

Question

How should I ensure that the broken connector doesn't work its way off the solenoid?

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  • Could a zip/cable tie have been wrapped around the connector and the solenoid?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 9:16
  • @HandyHowie Thank you for the idea. I don't think that would work because the connector disappears almost entirely inside the port on the solenoid when it's connected. I don't think there would be anything to wrap the zip tie around. I would also be a bit concerned about the zip tie coming loose and damaging the transaxle. If you know of a way, though, I would be interested to see what other solutions are out there! The third picture in my answer shows the solenoid with the connector in it, hopefully that shows what I mean by the connector disappearing inside the solenoid. Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 15:04

1 Answer 1

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Here's what I did. Since both the connector and the port on the solenoid are plastic, I sort of plastic welded the two pieces together. Here's how I did it:

  1. I took an allen wrench I didn't care about too much and clamped it into a pair of vice grips:

Allen wrench in vice grips

  1. I heated the tip of the allen wrench using a butane torch:

Heating allen wrench with butane torch

  1. I quickly took the vice grips and used them to touch the tip of the allen wrench, while it was still hot, to the connector. I moved the tip of the allen wrench back and forth so as to melt the solenoid and the connector together, forming a sort of makeshift plastic weld. I had to repeat this process several times because the allen wrench cools pretty fast.

Plastic welded connector

If you have a soldering iron, I would probably use that instead because then you don't have to keep heating the tip of the allen wrench. Similar to the allen wrench, though, you should use a tip that you don't care about too much because some of the melted plastic will stick to the tip. I hope this helps someone else who finds themselves with a broken connector inside the transaxle!

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    If you go the soldering iron route, I'd definitely recommend using an old or sacrificial tip on plastic if possible (especially if it's a nicer iron).
    – nanofarad
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 16:25
  • @nanofarad That's a good point, thanks! I'll add that to my answer. Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 17:23

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