How to... repair boot wiring harness - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 09:41 Thread Starter
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How to... repair boot wiring harness

The boot light on the TF wasn't working and a quick look showed that the wires had split where the boot wiring loom went into the main wiring loom - usual and common fault on F and TF's. The problem occurs because the boot loom doesnt bend easily, therefore when you open the boot and close it the bending is done by the actual wires as they enter the main loom.
To fix it properly you need to add extra wire to the loom which will flex. I used 2mm wire, 2.4mm shrink sleeving and Self-Amalgamating Tape. You also need wire strippers, soldering iron and solder, and sharp knife. This is what the wiring looked like at the start:



You can see 2 broken wires - both are for the boot light. Also there were signs that a previous repair had been attempted using electrical insulating tape. Problem with that is the heat from the engine melts the glue and it falls off!
Disconnect the battery - I didnt but it is safer if you do!
Next prepare the wire extensions - I used 2mm wire. The boot wire looks like 1mm but using 2mm adds to the strength of the flexing. Cut 6 (MGF) or 7 (MGTF) lengths of about 4". Bare the ends:



and then add solder:



Now cut same number of heat shrink tubing but make them 5-6" long;



Now we move to the car! I used some pieces of wood to make a bench to work on. BE CAREFUL! The hot soldering iron or solder will damage paint, carpet, etc!



Now cut the nylon ties attaching the harness to the boot hinge, and peel back the outer plastic cover. This is split along its length so it should be easy to do. Mine had plastic tape around it which could have come from previous repair so I used a knife to split it;



Also expose the wires in the main loom, use the knife carefully and cut along the length to reduce chances of damaging wires. You can see on mine the previous repairs:



If you check along each wire you could find that every one has a kink or exposed part just waiting to break. It is at these points the extension wires are fitted. To reduce errors do each wire one at a time; and check that the colours match after adding the extension piece. Cut the wire at the kinked/exposed part, if the wire is solid cut it at the length from the main loom that other wires are split; or as in my case the wires were already broken. This is the purple wire from the boot:



Before soldering the end slide the heat shrink sleeve over the wire and push it well pass the end. Add solder to the bare wires. It was at the point I noticed the solder wasnt taking too well, possibly due to the glue from the insulating tape so I used switch cleaner to clean the bare wires before soldering which improved things.



Now add the extension wire by soldering the new 4" wire to the original wire. Because we have pre soldered the wires this should be easy. I used a piece of wood to lay the wires on to prevent any accidents:



Now do the same at the other end. This is more difficult because you are in the confined space of the engine bay. Move other wires out of the way and becareful not melt anything with the soldering iron! Here's the extension wire added:



And here it is with the sleeving pulled over the soldered joints;





Now repeat this for all the other wires. Remember to find the weak point of the wire and cut at this point. Here is an example of a wire on its way to breaking:



Do them one at a time. Wait until the solder has cooled before sliding the heat shrink sleeve over or it will shrink and you wont be able to move it! When all are done it should look like this;



Now check that it all works - reconnect the battery and test boot light; brake light; alarm. If all is well we can shrink the sleeving onto the wires. This will make it waterproof. You need a hot air gun - I used a paint stripper heat gun. BEWARE - it does what it says on the tin - strips paint! I used wood to protect the surrounding areas. You only need short bursts of heat and you will see the sleeving shrink.



Now replace the wires into the boot outer sleeving and tie wrap to the hinge. There should be 3 plastic lugs on the hinge where the tie wraps pass through - on mine these were missing so I tied them direct to the hinge. I will order some new mounting points to finish the job (and also black tie wraps instead of fluorescent white!)



Finally use the self-amalgamating tape on the main loom to secure the wires at the other end. This tape is elastic so wrap it tight over the loom from one end to the other, make sure that only the new wires come out of the loom as it is these that will do the flexing. This tape will 'melt' into itself over time to form a waterproof seal:



Job Done! You can cut the boot outer sleeve back which will expose more wire and easier flexing.

Warning: The fuel filter is below the main loom so be careful when using the soldering iron and heat gun! This is how I did it - if you try it it is at your own risk! Dont do it if you are not confident enough!
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 10:18
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Now that's a good how to, should come in really handy for a lot of people as it's a really common problem.

Good job!
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 10:22
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Very tidy great job well done!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 10:23
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excellent that man
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 10:34
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Looks fabulous but Im lazy... I suspect the inline crimps will make an appearance when I get round to fixing mine

As for cable... I'll pilfer a bit off the roll of T&E I have, Should be more than ample
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 11:11
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I've now added this to my web site - http://www.mgf-tf-central.co.uk/sear...arch+this+site
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 15:06
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Excuse my ignorance but why does the MG TF have an extra wire to the bootlid versus the MGF?

Lancsman
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 15:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxy View Post
Looks fabulous but Im lazy... I suspect the inline crimps will make an appearance when I get round to fixing mine

As for cable... I'll pilfer a bit off the roll of T&E I have, Should be more than ample
T&E is solid so will break quicker than stranded. +1 for the crimps. I was always told not to solder on cars as vibration causes joint to break where solder ends on the joint.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 17:07 Thread Starter
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T&E is solid so will break quicker than stranded. +1 for the crimps. I was always told not to solder on cars as vibration causes joint to break where solder ends on the joint.
The wire I used was multi-stranded automotive not T&E (twin and earth mains wire) - loads of items soldered on cars (ECU, sensors, etc) plus the shrink tubing keeps the wires tight and waterproof.

Quote:
Excuse my ignorance but why does the MG TF have an extra wire to the bootlid versus the MGF?
The extra wire appears to be another earth wire.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 18:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemartin View Post
The wire I used was multi-stranded automotive not T&E (twin and earth mains wire) - loads of items soldered on cars (ECU, sensors, etc) plus the shrink tubing keeps the wires tight and waterproof.




The extra wire appears to be another earth wire.

I know you used stranded wire I was refering to another poster saying they would use T&E. Re the soldering part I was taught by MOD that solder was a no no, although I too have soldered connections on cars lol. Not in any way knocking what you did.
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 18:33
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not to do solder joints on cars ???????????????????????

if you strip an harness down you wiill find that wires are joined with frerrels and solder

if younheat the wire up to mutch (above 80 deg c ) then the insulation will become brittal and will cause the wire to brake there
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 19:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGF MARK View Post
not to do solder joints on cars ???????????????????????

if you strip an harness down you wiill find that wires are joined with frerrels and solder

if younheat the wire up to mutch (above 80 deg c ) then the insulation will become brittal and will cause the wire to brake there

Just saying that was what I was told many too many years ago. As I said I have soldered and not had problems but still remember my tutor telling me not to solder lol.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 19:23
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Think the problem is that the solder does make the stranded wire more brittle and concentrates any stress at the joint where the solder begins . The wire either needs to be well supported or has to be allowed to move freely over its length - which I think will happen in the boot loom.

Usual problem was wires soldered to instruments or similar where you had a length of unsupported cable joined to an unyielding component .

damned if you do or damned if you dont in cars as most crimp connections you find have not been made well but still better than just twisting the wires together and covering in a mile of insulation tape - seen them all !

Last edited by Ian M; 04-09-2011 at 19:25. Reason: Flailing fickle finger failure
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 19:45
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Should have been more specific, T&E Flex is what I would use obviously

As for crimping, its not failed me in the last 15yrs or so
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 22:20
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Great how to
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post #16 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 18:00
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After seeing the how to I finally got round to doing my smeggy boot wires.

Followed most of the how to but I finished off with some 13mm cable cover from fleebay.

Thanks Peter.




Last edited by Bobert; 13-01-2015 at 18:09.
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post #17 of 47 (permalink) Old 29-09-2011, 16:09
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petemartin

I just want to say a very BIG THANK YOU

this happened to me a few years ago and I disconnected the alarm for the boot and did nothing more, then i came across your post and you showed how simple it could be done

so today I got out my tools and a few hours later job done

many thanks, its things like this that I'm pleased to be a part of the MG-Rover forum, in our family we also have an MR2 mk3 and a lotus Elise, I belong to all three user groups, for me this forum is by far the beast, its the one with more of how to do thing and every one's so helpful in every way


many thanks

cesare
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post #18 of 47 (permalink) Old 27-03-2012, 00:56
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How to pictures are not displaying on my PC. Tried IE9 and Chrome but neither are displaying. Pictures are displayed from later posts.

I need to repair my loom so would appreciate if this can be corrected.

Thanks

Alan
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post #19 of 47 (permalink) Old 27-03-2012, 02:45
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There working on my Laptop mate on Firefox.
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post #20 of 47 (permalink) Old 16-04-2012, 13:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanrt View Post
How to pictures are not displaying on my PC. Tried IE9 and Chrome but neither are displaying. Pictures are displayed from later posts.

I need to repair my loom so would appreciate if this can be corrected.

Thanks

Alan

In the same position IE & Firefox dont display piccies. Really feed up with alarm going off on my son's F, disconnected horns while parked at home.

Alarm goes off when boot is opened, stopped that by releasing lower cable tie on hinge. Boot light doesn't work (changed bulb ) also found that bonnet microswitch (near horns) is missing.

Indicator lights dont 'flash' on locking car either.
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