[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index] [New Search]

Re: [T3] Wires...

<x-flowed>JJonik=> dried, hard wires at the engine end. What to do?

I think it's important to avoid making assumptions, particularly this one: 'It's old, so it's probably bad.'

The quality of Type 3 wiring is actually quite high, relatively speaking. You'll always find insulation cracking off in the engine bays of '80s Volvos and Saabs, but it's not common in VWs.

The thing to do is inspect, clean and test. Every old car can benefit from careful cleaning of connectors, and corrosion in connectors is the second-most common source of electrical faults. (The most common source is owners screwing around with the wiring, trying to 'improve' it.) Bear in mind that cracked insulation says nothing about the copper inside other than it could be getting some air, which could lead to corrosion. But if the lead tests good, it's good and you need not mess with it. Copper doesn't 'dry out.' Clean up dirty insulation with a little solvent and it looks good as new.

It's not unusual to have crimped connectors come off because of flexing at the joint. These can be fixed by crimping on new connectors, although you're unlikely to get as good a crimp as they did at the factory, so don't go wild replacing what ain't broke. Shrink tubing strengthens the joint a bit, and is a good idea where vibration can matter.

All that said, if you're doing a major resto I think that a new, professionally built wiring harness is the cheapest and easiest big fix you can do. It eliminates a lot of uncertainties and saves time over laboriously going over every connection and possible kink looking for faults and previous-owner improvisations. The bright colors and fresh plasticizers really make the car feel and even smell new.

High-quality wiring *is* available and not as expensive as you might think. (I completely refit my car for about $250, and that was a custom job.) As for fitting it, assuming you're organized and up to the job, there's essentially only one point of hassle in the procedure, that is poking the loom along the door channel and making the sharp bend up to the fuse box. Everything else is pretty much plug and play.

Steven Ayres, Prescott AZ
'66 KG1600

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

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index] [New Search]