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Power Steering Switch Wiring Short
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dart330
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Power Steering Switch Wiring Short Reply with quote

boroko wrote:
It may not be common, but I have had one of these switches fail and short to ground. It did a number on the engine compartment wiring harness in the process. It's fed with a small wire, but the wire connects directly (with others), to a larger feeder wire in the black box. I splice a fuse in that wire now. YMMV
Mark


I was just reading about this issue and was wondering what size fuse should be installed on this wire? Or is there another solution? Sounds like this is occurring more and more as the vehicles age and needs to be addressed before your engine harness is fried.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

I know this isn't directly answering your question, but when my PS switch shorted out moons ago, I just trimmed the fried wires back to the harness and added liquid tape to the ends. My switch was also leaking, so I just removed that and threaded a cap into the hole. Frankly, I've never had a problem with the engine losing RPMs when the steering rack is at full crank on either side.
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boroko
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

The challenge in my harness was that when the switch failed, it melted the wire all the way back to the black box, really messing with most of the engine compartment harness.

In answer to your question about fuse size, the wire is quite small, 16ga, or 18ga if I remember (mine's now a Subi) I believe I used a 5 amp, but you could put a amp meter inline with the switch and have someone bottom the steering to see how much it normally draws. Even a 10 amp should blow before it smokes the harness under a hard short. Mine was put in near the black box right after the splice that goes from heavy to light wire inside some heatshrink, and I used a common inline fuse holder.

Fuses (and breakers, for that matter), are always sized to protect the wire based on gauge.

Hope that helps,
Bo
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

Did you have the black plastic covers that clip over the connectors in place or were they unprotected?
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

This very topic came up on the Vanagon List today. The electical expert there suggested a 7.5 amp fuse, in the black wiring box, between the power stud and the red wire that powers the injection harness.

That fuse size seems small to me but it has been a while since I measured the current in that circuit. The fuel pump is powered by it too.

Mark
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boroko
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

Again, from memory, but it seems that the main supply was fused pretty heavily. The issue was that there was a welded crimp that branched off to a number of smaller wires in the black box that were not individually fused. The small wire was not up to the task of taking out the fuse. It seemed that the branch that went to the switch was dedicated to it on mine.
Bo
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Kombi///M3
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

I'm interested to know about the fuse solution. Before parking my camper van for the winter I noticed my battery start dying over night. Then found out the ps pump switch wire were all burnt fused about 2 feet in.. Replaced my engine harness since then and everything is good..just want to prevent it from happening again.
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campism
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

Kombi///M3 wrote:
I'm interested to know about the fuse solution. Before parking my camper van for the winter I noticed my battery start dying over night. Then found out the ps pump switch wire were all burnt fused about 2 feet in.. Replaced my engine harness since then and everything is good..just want to prevent it from happening again.

This, from a fellow named David in a current thread on the Yahoo Vanagon list:

"Add a 7.5 amp fuse in the engine wiring box, in the red wire that goes from the B+ post inside the box to the relay box. That will keep your harness from smoking."

For anyone interested, the thread is actually titled Fuel Pressure and began with a post by a fellow whose van died in traffic and would not restart. The burned harness due to the shorted PS wire was the cause and the rest is followup troubleshooting. The quote above was from a very recent post as part of the after-action, how-do-I-prevent-this-in-the-future kind of thing.
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dart330
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

Thanks for the good info. I will crack open the box this weekend and see what I need to buy to make it work. I already spliced in a trailer wiring harness, hope there is room for a fuse too.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wriring Short Reply with quote

You can hang the fuse holder outside of the wiring box. Just run the 2 fuse holder wires in through 2 different existing grommets. I'd think about using one of the "glows when it blows" fuses that has an led that turns on when the fuse has blown. If that fuse ever blows the van will be dead in the water and it might make it easier to quickly figure out that you need to replace it.

Mark

dart330 wrote:
Thanks for the good info. I will crack open the box this weekend and see what I need to buy to make it work. I already spliced in a trailer wiring harness, hope there is room for a fuse too.
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campism
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wiring Short Reply with quote

Box and wire in question.

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teej
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wiring Short Reply with quote

When I looked at this I thought the small guage (18?) hot for the ps switch came from the Idle Control Module behind the R tailight. This seemed like the spot to fuse just that wire, right after the module. I didn't end up doing it after inspecting everything.

Fusing that other circuit as described could be a good idea, too.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wiring Short Reply with quote

this is an old thread but still relevant... i swapped engine wiring harnesses with my rebuild and was puzzled at the burned section of harness by the passenger tail light. this explains what happened... switch short to ground. the harness was quite melted, had to replace wires, and is definitely a fire hazard to add to the list.

i'm re-using the pump from my old engine, no cooked harness, but i'll check the switch on the donor engine's pump to confirm the short. given the propensity for this particular switch to short to ground and cause a harness meltdown, i'm leaving the switch contacts off. might put in an SPST to get a fast idle effect when it is cold out. or just fuse it.

-dan
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Power Steering Switch Wiring Short Reply with quote

Just to aid those who follow in our footsteps trouble shooting these units, I'm linking this thread to the starting without ignition thread.......

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=663228

Dave
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