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Where does the wire go??
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:12 am    Post subject: Where does the wire go?? Reply with quote

I detached the cabin light when I pulled the headliner to do some insulation work beneath it, and I taped the ends off (thinking I'd not use it anymore). Then I found out there are LED bulbs I could get, so I put the light back & dug the wires out. Unfortunately I was only able to find two of the original 3 wires, and I think digging around for them somehow pulled the tape off the 3rd one and it's now shorting out. (I'm guessing that, because the horn fuse blows immediately each time I replace it)

I want to unplug the other end of the wire to stop the short, but I don't see any of the the three wires behind the fuse box. Any idea where they lead... or do they change colors?

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Gordo_89
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:41 am    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

On mine it runs down the door pillar and comes out under the instrument cluster.
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

Gordo_89 wrote:
On mine it runs down the door pillar and comes out under the instrument cluster.


Thanks, I'll try pulling the cluster!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

You are missing the brown wire which grounds the bulb when you move the switch all the way to the one side thus causing the light to come on with the door closed.

Don't know why you are blowing the fuse.
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sjbartnik
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

The ground wires aren't causing the fuse to blow.

The red wire at the light is hot all the time. That's what's causing the fuse to blow.

Is it touching the insulation when installed? Is the insulation electrically conductive? (it looks mylarized) If so that might be your short to ground right there.

Does the light work without blowing the fuse when it's hanging free from its hole like in the photo?

You may have to bend down the tab where the red wire connects or wrap it with electrical tape to keep it from touching the insulation.
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

sjbartnik wrote:
The ground wires aren't causing the fuse to blow.

The red wire at the light is hot all the time. That's what's causing the fuse to blow.

Is it touching the insulation when installed? Is the insulation electrically conductive? (it looks mylarized) If so that might be your short to ground right there.

Does the light work without blowing the fuse when it's hanging free from its hole like in the photo?

You may have to bend down the tab where the red wire connects or wrap it with electrical tape to keep it from touching the insulation.



Thanks, you were totally right. It actually had nothing to do with the light whatsoever. I finally found the wire & got the light hooked up right again, but the problem turned out to be my aftermarket horn. for some bizarre reason Vanagons are wired with opposite polarity from what aftermarket horns expect. The vanagon switches the ground line instead of the positive line, and that means you can't ground the horn—an odd decision, since horns are typically bolted onto the chassis. I just had to insulate the horn metal and zip-tie it on to get the fuse to stop blowing
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

tobloyd wrote:
sjbartnik wrote:
The ground wires aren't causing the fuse to blow.

The red wire at the light is hot all the time. That's what's causing the fuse to blow.

Is it touching the insulation when installed? Is the insulation electrically conductive? (it looks mylarized) If so that might be your short to ground right there.

Does the light work without blowing the fuse when it's hanging free from its hole like in the photo?

You may have to bend down the tab where the red wire connects or wrap it with electrical tape to keep it from touching the insulation.



Thanks, you were totally right. It actually had nothing to do with the light whatsoever. I finally found the wire & got the light hooked up right again, but the problem turned out to be my aftermarket horn. for some bizarre reason Vanagons are wired with opposite polarity from what aftermarket horns expect. The vanagon switches the ground line instead of the positive line, and that means you can't ground the horn—an odd decision, since horns are typically bolted onto the chassis. I just had to insulate the horn metal and zip-tie it on to get the fuse to stop blowing


Add yourself a relay to the horn wiring and enjoy a horn that actually works.
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sjbartnik
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

tobloyd wrote:
for some bizarre reason Vanagons are wired with opposite polarity from what aftermarket horns expect. The vanagon switches the ground line instead of the positive line, and that means you can't ground the horn—an odd decision, since horns are typically bolted onto the chassis. I just had to insulate the horn metal and zip-tie it on to get the fuse to stop blowing


All VWs from time immemorial are wired so that the horn button at the steering wheel switches the ground for the horn.

I don't know if they've since changed this practice in the modern years but it's the way it's always been at least up until the Vanagon years as you found out Very Happy
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

sjbartnik wrote:
All VWs from time immemorial are wired so that the horn button at the steering wheel switches the ground for the horn...


Not just VWs, all my cars are wired that way. Further, I have never encountered a horn that was polarity sensitive.

The relay suggested is a good idea for any horn but everything still needs to be wired correctly.
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dgbeatty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Where does the wire go?? Reply with quote

I suspect the wire is still there hidden behind the insulation at the bottom.
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

[quote="Ahwahnee"]
sjbartnik wrote:
Not just VWs, all my cars are wired that way.



Mind blown. Any idea why they do it that way? Horns are usually made of metal and bolted to the (grounded) chassis with a metal bolt, so there must be a really good reason that makes up for the obvious increase in shorting risks


[quote="Ahwahnee"]
sjbartnik wrote:
Further, I have never encountered a horn that was polarity sensitive.


True the horn electronics aren't but they are metal bolting onto metal, and they even come with a grounding wire that connects one lead to the bolt that screws it to the chassis. Why do they come with a chassis grounding wire if the assumption is that they switch on the ground line? (not being argumentative, genuinely curious)
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Where does the wire go?? Reply with quote

dgbeatty wrote:
I suspect the wire is still there hidden behind the insulation at the bottom.


Yeah, I finally managed to dig it out and get the light hooked up again. Thanks
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

tobloyd wrote:
Mind blown. Any idea why they do it that way? Horns are usually made of metal and bolted to the (grounded) chassis with a metal bolt, so there must be a really good reason that makes up for the obvious increase in shorting risks


VW was the low cost car of its day and certain corners were cut to make it thus. Relays cost money and when new the horn slip ring and contact worked well enough. With dirty, corrosion and wear from use adding a relay will give a more dependable horn and the cost is minimal.
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tobloyd
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the wire go?? Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
VW was the low cost car of its day and certain corners were cut to make it thus. Relays cost money and when new the horn slip ring and contact worked well enough. With dirty, corrosion and wear from use adding a relay will give a more dependable horn and the cost is minimal.


Great, thanks
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dgbeatty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Where does the wire go?? Reply with quote

It was possible to specify a relay when ordered. It came with the dual horn option.
As to why they were wired that way it was because there is greater risk of something falling into the slip ring as opposed to a wire fraying.
BTW many new cars control function via the grounding circuit.
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