Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wire Nightmare

Finally dived into the one thing I really hate working on in cars, wiring. I had been trying to source the cause of a short in the wiring circuit of the Rover. For some reason, whenever I hit the brakes, my parking lights would come on. This short also worked the other way as when ever I turned my lights on the brake lights came on. This is not a real good thing to have happening when trying to drive the Rover at night as I effectively had no brake lights. Anyway, I started by pulling the steering wheel off and getting to the back of the instrument panel. What do I spy but a wire with the insulation falling off that is not connected to anything. What the? Start pulling the harness apart and it appears that I had found the original culprit behind the non-functioning spot lights. My guess? Who ever wired the spots wired them direct, left them on for a loooong time and the wire melted and shorted out. At this point I figure that this wire has melted the insulation of a few of the other wires and that is the reason for the brake light short. Get through inspecting the harness and repair a few spots in a few other wires but do not find the short.

On to the back of the car where all the rear wires are tied together up under the rear bumper, boy that is a fun place to work on wiring. I pull off all the vampire connectors and replace them all with wire nuts. Once done with this I fire the car up and what do you know the problem seems fixed. Excellent. I use some of the self bonding electrical tape my company sells and wrap all the wires up making everything look neat and tidy. A few days later I notice the the short is back. What the heck! Pull the front harness apart again and reinspect, nope nothing wrong there. Pull the rear harness apart and start testing individual lights and wires. I isolate the short to somewhere in the left rear wiring. I test right at the bulb connections. Turns out there was some kind of short in the left rear brake light. Sometimes it would short and other times it would not, I think it was heat related. So, I go buy new bulbs all around and the short problem was fixed. A damn $1 bulb. Isn't electrical work fun? I did manage to get my CB hardwired in along with running new wire to the rear work light and wiring it up to spare switch on the dash. Works well as a reversing light at night.