Molex Cable: How to Install and Remove Molex Connectors?

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

In the late 1950s, the Molex Company revealed its pin and socket design for connectors. That became popular in no time, and to date, this easy-to-use and configured I/O connector is an industry-standard.

Thus, Molex connectors are necessary to configure high-tech computers, home appliances, or automobiles. These connectors make assembling and reconfiguration a smooth and reliable process. Moreover, Molex has been producing under the name of Kleenex and Xerox, etc., by other companies as well.

Let’s see what a Molex cable is and how to assemble one.

What is a Molex Cable?

Typically, we refer to cables with Molex connectors as Molex cables. The most common example is the 4-pin connector used for personal computer power, especially pre-SATA disk drives.

In addition, the term “Molex connector” refers to a two-piece pin and socket interconnection. Cylindrical spring-metal pins slide into cylindrical spring-metal sockets in this kind of connection. Moreover, the plugs and sockets are housed in a rectangular matrix inside a nylon shell.

Such connectors usually have two to twenty-four contacts and are polarised or keyed to assure proper alignment. Also, in a single housing, you may place pins and sockets in any configuration. Yet, the housing can be male or female.

The pin sizes that you can commonly find are 1.57 mm (0.062 in), 2.13 mm (0.084 in), and 2.36 mm (0.093 in). Here, the 1.57 mm pin can handle up to 5A, while the 2.36 mm pin can handle 8.5A. Therefore, you can often use connectors for power since the pins have a wide contact surface and fit firmly.

Caption: Molex connector in automotive parts

Common types of Molex Connectors 

You will need the one that suits you best from multiple types of connectors. Thus, when it comes to choosing the suitable Molex connector to link hardware 1 to hardware 2, it is often not that simple. Still, let’s see what popular connectors are available across the market.

Four-Pin Molex Connector

Since it can take many forms according to the industry, the Four-Pin version is the most popular Molex connector configuration. It is suitable for a wide range of power and IO connector applications.

In particular, the right angle wire-to-board 5569 series connector, which can accommodate 16 AWG wires with a 4.20mm pitch and deliver 13A of power, is one of the most widely used Molex connectors today. Its 2×2 receptacle matrix has a tiny footprint, so it is an excellent choice for the primary power source on a small printed circuit board (PCB). Thus, it is necessary to use crimp pins to connect your wires to this four-pin Molex receptacle, a 5557 series four-pin plug connector of similar capacity, as the mating connector for this Molex receptacle. Moreover, it is possible to quickly prototype connectivity applications if you have the resources and prolonged power solutions in virtually any industry and sector because of this versatility.

Caption: A 4-pin Molex connector

Molex Two Pin Connector

Another widespread Molex connector is the two-position pin and socket connector design. Also, it is recommended for applications where you want to fit the wires into the plug properly.  

Molex Cable: What is the use of Molex Connector in Desktop PC?

Several different connection types are now standard for connecting electricity to desktop computers due to the Molex design’s simplicity, dependability, versatility, and low cost. Not only Desktop, but you can also use the Molex connectors to supply power to various devices.

The devices include the motherboard, fans, floppy disc driveCD/DVD drivevideo card, and the older complex drive models. Additionally, it is not only Molex and AMP that make compatible connectors; there are other manufacturers.

How to Install and Remove Molex Connectors?

Molex installation is not complicated if you have the right components and skills on hand. That is why you can find Molex connectors on every other device. Here is the complete guide on installing and removing Molex connectors from a system.

Molex Cable: What you will need

Following is the list of components that you will require for the process.

  1. Connecting wires
  2. Female Molex connector
  3. Male Molex connector
  4. Receptacle Housing
  5. Plug Housing 
  6. Crimp Tool of Molex or General one
  7. Header Pins
Molex power cable 30cm dual

Caption: Molex power cable 30cm dual

In this guide, we have used all the rated components with 18 – 24 AWG. However, these part numbers are not applicable if you use a thick wire (more than 18 AWG). Instead, you can use Molex accessories of a similar design in that case.

 In addition, the usage of male pins and female connectors is required for the housing of the connector. You will contain the female pins within the receptacle housing and the male power pins within the plug housing.

Molex Cable: Procedure

Here are a few simple steps to successfully connect and remove the Molex connectors.

Stripping the wires and adding connectors

Start by stripping the wires from the ends to reveal the inner conductors. Remove the insulation up to enough length so that you can bind it properly later on. It should be around 2.5mm on each end.

Insert the power connector to the stripped point of the wire. Now, please insert it into the crimping tool and cramp it down. Once you know it’s attached, release the wire. Repeat it for the other end as well. Also, ensure that you have added the male and female connector to the correct wire.

Molex Cable: Adding wires into the housing

Now, feed the connector-attached wires to the connector housing. Note that you will decide the direction of the cables based on the machine. For example, you need the orientation to support the wireless remote controls up and down the activation button for a primary control box.

Keep in mind that if the wires are coming out o the housing or the connector is loose, the crimping is not done correctly. In that case, you should try crimping the cables again and inspect them before the connection. Also, if you want to disconnect the Molex connectors, press the outer clip and pull the connectors apart.

Additionally, the hooks of power connectors allow them to latch to the housing. But, if you have inserted a crimped wire in the housing, it will be difficult to disconnect. Yet, there is a method to remove the wiring from the housing without any damage.

Molex Cable: Removing crimped wires from a housing

You can observe two hooks keeping the connector in place as you have the cable in your hand. To release the wire from the housing, you have to push these hooks back using flat header pins.

Thus, insert the pin into the small gap between the power connector and the plastic housing while pushing the hooks. After this step, the wire automatically comes out of the housing, and you don’t need to damage the power connector.

In this way, you can switch the polarity of the actuator wires without the need to use additional Molex connectors or housing.

Caption: Isolated Molex power connector

Caption: Isolated Molex power connector

Conclusion

Molex connectors are famous for their ease of installation and removal. Hence, many industries use them as a standard for regulating the power supply to different components. Moreover, the user must ensure that each element of a single Molex connector has the correct part number matched to it, irrespective of how many terminals it contains. 

Here at Bloom, we offer wiring harnesses with Molex connectors, so your connection is made with attention to detail.

Get a free Cable Assembly Quote.