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Re: [T3] Engine Area Wiring....

On 16 Jul 2005 at 10:54, J. Jonik wrote:

>    With the extreme difficulty in getting, not to
> mention installing, a new Type 3  FI wiring harness,
> what is the consensus on what to do about OLD WIRES?  

In most cases, the wires age pretty well, and the insulation on them is pretty 
high quality stuff. I find that oil doesn't bother them at all, and normal heat 
is only a small problem. Excessive heat, like that from exhaust leaks, will 
burn thru them, but this is rare, mostly confined to the 72-3 cars with EGR.

The worst problems I see are from trying to bend the wires when they are very 
cold and brittle, and from people who treat the wires roughly.

Your best defense is to treat them gently.

>    So many times I've fixed mystery problems just by a
> thorough check and cleaning and tightening and taping
> of wires that I'd like to just pick up a collection of
> NEW wires of matching gauges and splice new sections
> from as far back on the harness as I can get.

If your old wires are in really bad shape, you should ask around for a good 
used harness. You'll have to be specific about what you need, because there are 
5-6 different FI wiring harness versions. NOS ones are going to be extremely 
hard to find. If you want to replace just sections of wire, you can buy white, 
Teflon-insulated 20 AWG stranded hookup wire to replace your old wire, but keep 
in mind that you'll lose the little wire numbers that come on the OE wire ends.

>    I only just heard about High Temperature electrical tape. Will look
> that up.  Is soldering the wires, and maybe using Shrink Wrap tubes (if
> they can take the heat and oil) recommended over the usual twist and
> plastic connectors?     Then...what about the PLUGS? It's right at the
> plugs where most wire damage is seen. 

The only way to make a long-term reliable splice is with solder and heat shrink 
tubing. Practice your soldering skills elsewhere; don't do this job until 
you're skilled at soldering. Don't use tape because it will unwind and short 
out. Just twisting the wires together simply postpones the problem to a time 
which is guaranteed to be more inconvenient.

Keith Park has replacement plug end connectors; the plastic connector bodies 
are completely reusable.

>  AND....I don't remember seeing rubber plug covers in
> any catalogues. Available somewhere?
> ( I've been using a section of old bike inner-tube to
> as best possible cover the plug at the Throttle Valve
> Switch...but haven't found anything narrow enough for
> the other plugs.)

WCM used to carry the black 2=pin covers, as well as some of the larger ones. 
They may all be NLA by now however. Some of these parts were used on later 
cars, so a trip to the junkyard is sometimes productive. 

Inner tubes of any kind might seem better than nothing, but they are made of 
Butyl rubber, which absorbs oil and swells up. You won't be happy with it in 
the long term. Most of these connections actually survive just fine with no 

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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