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Re: [T3] Wires...

On 2 Mar 2006 at 22:36, J. Jonik wrote:

> *  Even a low mileage T-3 has dried, hard wires at
> the engine end. What to do?  (Even if a T-3 has never
> been driven, it and the wires are over 30 yrs old.)

I don't find much problem with the wiring except in places that get 
exceptionally hot. The wires in my like-new '71 are also like-new. 
Most of the problems I see are with connectors which have been 
replaced, as the quality of replacement ends and crimps is NEVER as 
good as the originals.

>   Since Brand New wire harnesses are impossible to find, and dang
> difficult to install anyhow, what is the routine for, maybe, trimming
> the exposed ends of the wires to inside the heavy wrappings, then
> soldering and shrink-wrapping the ends that go to engine contacts?  
> Are we nearing New Car levels by doing this? 

It's hard for me to imagine a wiring harness in such bad shape that 
you had to trim back all the engine compartment wires this far. I see 
an occasional frayed end that needs to be replaced, however. If you 
really need to do this, then trim back the minimum necessary, solder, 
and heat shrink would be the best way to go.

>  Then...what about the (usually dried, rotted) rubber covers where the
> wires plug in to sensors, injectors, etc.?  Is there some new high-tech
> heat/oil resistant stuff to use as make-do wraps?  Some kind of tape
> perhaps? I use narrow bike tire tube cuttings to cover plugs at fuel
> pump and throttle valve switch but....have to keep an eye on them. 

Those are called boots, and they DO have short lifetimes compared to 
the wire insulation. In most cases, they are actually only cosmetic, 
so the car, and the connection will survive just fine without them. 
Many of them can be replaced with ones from newer cars at the 
junkyard, while some are still available new from the dealer or West 
Coast Metric.

Installing new boots generally requires that you learn the technique 
of extracting the pins from the connector bodies, slip the new boot 
over the pins and wires, then snap the pins back into the bodies. 
It's not hard, but it's a useful skill to learn. You need a small 
tool that you can stick in the front of the connector to depress the 
locking tang while you gently pull on the wire. When the tang is 
depressed far enough the pin & wire will pull right out the back.

If you want to keep the connectors from corroding, as in the front 
turn signal housings, smear them with grease. The rubber boots may 
actually do more harm than good here, because they tend to hold 
moisture in.

Actually, the front TS housing connectors are the only place where I 
tend to see wire connection problems caused by aging or corrosion. 
Most of the rest are caused by careless mechanics or owners.

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

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