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I have a old PCB board and there are some connectors on it that I would like to use again.

Is there any possible method to remove the connector with plastic parts (say molex 53398-0271) without melting it? The PCB could be destroyed, but would like to save the connector.

The temperature rating for the connector is -40° to +85°C, for molex 53398-0271. So I guess hot air gun would simply melt the connector.

It may be best and most simple to buy a new connector. Just curious if the is possible as it might be handy at times when you just ran out of parts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If that's the connector you want to save, that's a lot of work for it \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Scott. A 53398-0271 connector will set you back about 20 cents each tops. You can recover them but it depends on how much your time is worth. \$\endgroup\$
    – HighInBC
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 22:04

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First, is that the temperature rating is the continuous temperature rating of the connector. Just think about that for a second. The melting point of solder is in the 200ish C temperature. The component survived that because it was only for a relatively short duration.

If you use a hot air gun, and you dont evenly distribute the the heat (meaning you hold the iron in one place too long near the plastic, you could damage it. But if you are careful, you can do it.

Another approach if you are worried about damaging the connector is to use chip quik It's a low melting solder that remains molten for much longer than solder. You glob some on, on all the pads, and keep it in its liquid state, and the connector will come right off.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the chip-quik! (but it's really expensive...) \$\endgroup\$
    – MW_hk
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 2:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does heating the PCB from the other side work? There won't be hot air going over the connector, and the first thing to be heated will be the solder. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 19:16
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It can be done with a hot air gun - I've done it.
I didn't always manage without toasting the connector, though. And I wouldn't want to use the connector for any kind of critical system after removing and resoldering it that way - it won't be as reliable and may make bad contact.

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