Paleontology is our favorite science here in Grande Prairie, isn’t it? I have to do some of it every day too.What’s common between me and guy on this picture? I use similar tools, carefully dig dirt taking utmost care not to damage specimens and have the same expression on my face while doing it. Only instead of dinosaur bones I dig out fossilized connectors on the underbelly of working trucks.
Those won’t disconnect without getting broken until you carefully remove all the mud that gets stuck in every gap and crevice! If you try and force it with screwdriver or by pulling by wires – you’ll brake it, that’s for sure. If you don’t want future troubles use small thin pick and blow gun with compressed air to remove all the petrified mud, pay special attention to the latch area. If you break connector latch (it is very easy to brake) you won’t be able to ensure reliable connection and sealing of the weathertight connector.
After you got removed as much mud as you could (do your best!), spray it over with penetrating fluid, than push it in first, push the latch tab to release connector latch, then pull it out. Repeat blowing with compressed air and spraying with penetrating fluid if needed.
Disconnected connector needs to be blown with compressed air again to remove every little grain of dirt, otherwise it could be very difficult or impossible to reconnect properly. It helps to spray it again with silicone spray so rubber seal on the connector would slide in easier.
Repeat this procedure on every connector you need to disconnect for doing checks or for replacing parts. Try not to get frustrated blaming engineers for “bad design”.
P.S. When got removed and washed the same part looks like this:
Also this one was the easy one, I even managed to take pictures. Oftentimes the same work needs to be done where you can’t even see the connector, by touch and feel only.