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ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!!
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:38 pm    Post subject: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

so i edited the title of this thread to reflect what i found (or you might say, i was lead to). if you find damage like this, it was most likely caused by a similar situation. check the tightness of the connections on your power steering switch, make sure they are insulated and install an inline fuse near the power lug in the engine junction box.

Moderator Edit: and..... FUSE your EFI /Fuel Pump feed!!

***************

driving highway speed, all good, smell electrical. shut down & coast to stop. checking out the usual suspects around the dash, i notice smoke from the rear vent. frantically disconnect the battery and open the engine lid to find this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


so i know a guy (me) whos good with wiring and a guy (me) who has a replacement engine harness and im really not too worried about making the needed repairs. my question to those more knowledgeable than me is: what caused this? i dont want to make the repairs and end up with this same result.

obviously, a dead short caused this, but where? fuel pump relay? ECU failure? alternator? or is it simply some chafed wires that finally wore too thin?

there is evidence of heat inside the loom about halfway across the engine to about the throttle cable and everything is normal, as it should be.

i have some driving lights wired into the fuel pump + lead, but it just powers a relay which gets its power direct from the fuse box. also, this relay was not hot, nor damaged. coincidence? im guessing not. also, there is no evidence of damage or heat where the relay splices into the fuel pump. i will be investigating as you read this.
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Last edited by borninabus on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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E1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

Was the relay out like that, or did you pull it afterwards?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

Unfused fuel injection / fuel pump wiring.

Member dhaavers had similar problems tgat stemmed from the Power Steering idle switch wires,

As a result of his experience I (and hopefully others) put a fuse in the circuit.

Dave
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

E1 wrote:
Was the relay out like that, or did you pull it afterwards?

i pulled it out. thanks
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Unfused fuel injection / fuel pump wiring.

Member dhaavers had similar problems tgat stemmed from the Power Steering idle switch wires,

As a result of his experience I (and hopefully others) put a fuse in the circuit.

Dave

you dont say?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

Check the power steering pump pressure switch wiring. That is the usual cause of cooking that fuel injection harness power wire so look at it carefully.

Mark
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

so, where does the fuse go?
funny stuff. Laughing
you guys are good, thanks a ton!
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

its interesting to see which wire in the black box failed.

I redid one of your images.

Likely not related but are the wires arrows point to damaged?

edit: I see the image of PS connector now.

Neil.

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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

ill put the fuse close to the lug in the (already crowded) junction box and edit this thread title to serve as warning to future vanagon owners.
guess i should have used insulated spades, huh.
live and learn Rolling Eyes
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

the left arrow is the same smoked wire and the right arrow is just dusty with a clean spot where i was handling it.
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

on the plus side (get it Laughing) i should be back in action by tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

Here is the thread about Dave's wiring woes........ the fix and the fuse installation.......

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=20

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

check your wiring loom on the passenger side by the tail light also.... mine had melted there because the PS switch is tied into the idle stabilizer relay.

-dan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
check your wiring loom on the passenger side by the tail light also.... mine had melted there because the PS switch is tied into the idle stabilizer relay.

-dan


Yeah, if you look at Dave's posts in the linked thread, he had to rebuild his harness.

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

Wow...seeing this post brought back a WHOLE lot of memories...& frustrations...Evil or Very Mad Rolling Eyes Wink

OP, good on you for making a clear, insistent post title.

This issue NEEDS to be consistently mentioned in the same breath as fuel lines!!!

But for some aware rear seat passengers, my situation could've gone on for another
several minutes & I could've easily been just another guy with a burned van...a statistic.

DON'T WAIT...DO THIS, PEOPLE!!! Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

BARE MINIMUM: Insulate your (unfused) power steering pressure switch connectors.
SUPER SAFE: Add a (7.5a - 10a) fuse in the black connector box for the entire FI harness.

- Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

PS/FWIW...related previous posts:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=647443

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=592438

- Dave
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Electrical Meltdown! What Happened? Reply with quote

borninabus wrote:
the left arrow is the same smoked wire and the right arrow is just dusty with a clean spot where i was handling it.


Ok. Thanks.

Pure "dumb luck" on my part but upon list advice, one of the first things I did after buying my '88 was fuse that B+ wire.

Assuming the PS wire was causing the short, I have to wonder why that PS wire didn't fail first?

Neil.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

I already replaced my PS switch ends with weatherproof connectors a while ago because mine looked like such garbage...but I'd really appreciate a photo of where the inline fuse should go. I went through dhaavers linked thread and it still wasn't clear to me, mostly because I hate wiring diagrams I guess.

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

mikemtnbike wrote:
I already replaced my PS switch ends with weatherproof connectors a while ago because mine looked like such garbage...but I'd really appreciate a photo of where the inline fuse should go. I went through dhaavers linked thread and it still wasn't clear to me, mostly because I hate wiring diagrams I guess.

Thanks!


Others are more expert than me but seeing this pic would make me put the fuse right on this burnt wire at the connection to the hot stud.Typically you want the fuse as close to the power source as you can.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: ATTN: Check Your Power Steering Switch Wiring!!! Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
I already replaced my PS switch ends with weatherproof connectors a while ago because mine looked like such garbage...but I'd really appreciate a photo of where the inline fuse should go. I went through dhaavers linked thread and it still wasn't clear to me, mostly because I hate wiring diagrams I guess.
i will post one once installed.
repairs are under way!

mikemtnbike wrote:
Others are more expert than me but seeing this pic would make me put the fuse right on this burnt wire at the connection to the hot stud.Typically you want the fuse as close to the power source as you can.
indeed, this is where it will be.
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