09-09-2013, 07:14 PM #1Member
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Thermostat Power Wiring Harness Stripped! What to do? Please help!
Hey sorry for the dumb thread but needed some community help...
I just finished changing my water pump and thermostat on my car...Everything went well with the exception of one thing...When I was buttoning everything back together I noticed the power cable/connection to the thermostat (2-wire plug) was stripped and exposed....One of the wires was barely holding on and seems to be a hazard...The metal wiring was exposed and pretty much is about cut....
Is there a way I could buy a new end connector for the thermostat and somehow splice it in? Please let me know as I am not looking forward to tracing the wires all the way back if thats what I have to do....that will mean uninstalling water pump/thermostat and working backwards...
Someone help! Not even sure if there is a part number for just the thermostat harness that I could cut and splice...Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
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09-09-2013, 07:52 PM #2
replace connector and splice it in. twist/hook wires, solder, heatshrink a layer or two and call it a day.
I am not sure what is on the other side of that connector but you could potentially get rid of the connector all together and splice correctly or put your own connectors o from radiocrap unless you have some handy. make sure to use the right crimping tool no crushed contacts.
You can always hack it and solder two leads to the contacts that connector fits in to. Best if you could drill a hole or somehow increase the strength of the physical connection past the solder. Then fill the connector with RTV or Epoxy. It's a 1 time fix that gives you pigtails to splice onto and a connector that is still waterproof and leads that should be stock firmly to their contacts.
Given you are posting this it all depends how much time you have and how comfortable you are splicing/soldering etc.
09-09-2013, 08:31 PM #3Member
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09-10-2013, 09:05 AM #4
These types of connectors always have small plastic tabs that retain the contacts. Use a small flat screwdriver to release the contacts from the housing, but be careful not to bend the tabs too far and break them. I don't see just the housing available on RealOEM. There is probably a small silicon rubber grommet that fits over the wire inside the housing to provide an environmental seal where the wire enters the housing.
BMW sells contacts which are already crimped to wire, and you should try to use those because you are assured the crimp was done properly. If you don't have the right tool with the right die, it's almost impossible to get the crimp perfect, and you don't want to solder the wire to the crimp terminal because the insulation barrel on the terminal will not be crimped over the wire's insulation which will cause the solder joint to take all of the mechanical stress and inevitably fail from fatigue.
You don't want to try to make a repair right where the wire is broken in your picture because the wire will be under the most stress right as it exits the connector. You may have to remove some of the plastic tube covering the wire. I would try to make the repair 3 or 4 inches from the connector if possible. If you remove some of the plastic tube, just wrap electrical tape around the wires once the repair is complete.
I really like to use adhesive lined shrink tube for repairs like this because it has hot melt adhesive on the inside which melts and seals the splice when heated with a heat gun. It also adds more strain relief than non-adhesive lined shrink tube. You don't want the solder joint itself to have to support any mechanical stress. The adhesive lined shrink tube will carry the stress from one wire's insulation to the other.
Something like this would be good for the wire:
As for the actual soldering process, strip about 1/2 inch of insulation from each wire and make sure the strands are tightly twisted together.
Tin the wires by applying heat from the soldering iron and some solder. Then add the shrink tube (about 3 inches) to one wire and slide it back up the wire so you can solder the two wires together. You want to only use rosin core solder on stranded wire.
If you've tinned the wires properly, just heat one up, and lay the other over it while still applying heat with the soldering iron. Don't let the iron rest on the wires too long or the insulation will melt. If you screw up, separate the wires, let them cool, then try again. Inspect the joint after soldering to ensure the entire joint was heated properly. The solder will show evidence of being sucked into the joint from capillary action while it was liquid. You may even see a meniscus formed in the solder from surface tension. This is called "wetting". You want your solder joints to look wet.
Once both wires have been soldered, slide the shrink tube down the wire so that it is centered over the joint, then heat it up. Here you can see the hot melt adhesive after it has oozed out and cooled. It will provide an environmental seal.
You don't need a soldering gun for work like this, in fact it provides too much heat. A soldering iron around 30 or 40 watts will work fine. As I said above, only use rosin core solder on strained wire. Also you can twist the wires together as Torgus suggests before soldering them. In that case don't tin the wires first. However, I've never found this to be necessary, especially when providing proper strain relief using adhesive lined shrink tube. If the wire breaks, it will be at the point where the solder stopped wicking up the strands, which will not be prevented if you twist the wires together first. If the joint breaks, you didn't get it hot enough for the solder to properly "wet" the joint, aka a "cold" solder joint.Eppur si muove.
09-10-2013, 09:32 AM #5
great post ajm8127
That adhesive filled shrink tube is awesome stuff, I highly recommend it.
As AJM said do it a few inches away from the connector. Whenever you do a fix like this make sure there is room to work on it and that you can REDO the work a few times. Nothing like cutting leads too short and the next time you go in you really have to get creative.