Trunk Wiring Harness Redux

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Box134, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    Last spring my trunk light went out and I traced it to broken wires in the
    trunk just where connectors join. Thanks to good advice from Kirk I decided
    to buy the repair kit and fix it myself. The dealership said it wasn't
    economical to repair the wires, replacing the harness would be $140,
    including labour, I think.

    The wires set me back $60 and after sitting in the glove compartment all
    summer I thought I'd better do it before it's too cold again. The patient
    made a full recovery. The other half of my license plate light and trunk
    light work again!

    The whole thing went fairly well considering I've never mucked around with
    terminals and crimped connectors. For some reason one pin didn't want to
    come out so I had to muscle it out. Another one had no wire showing at all
    and I thought it'd be a bitch to remove, but it literally fell out. All
    that's left to do is to reinforce the wires with tape to make sure it
    doesn't happen again. When you watch the harness as you close the trunk you
    know why the wires break. The damn thing has to flex a lot.

    Thanks to all who helped with advice.
    Box134, Sep 17, 2003
  2. Box134

    Kirk Kohnen Guest


    Glad I could help!

    To prevent it from failing again, consider wrapping the whole dam thing with
    about a roll of electrical tape.
    Kirk Kohnen, Sep 18, 2003
  3. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    Yes, did that, not a roll of tape but strategically placed. I thought the
    wires needed the most support right at the connector, on both sides. After
    that I wrapped the new wires to keep it all together. The crimped connectors
    make it all rather bulky.

    I figured the harness should flex most in the middle so it can make a nice
    large radius. I guess time will tell how well I succeeded. It all worked out
    well; I made the red wire a little too long and I fudged up one crimp
    connector. Not easy using visegrips!

    Thanks again.
    Box134, Sep 18, 2003
  4. Box134

    Buster Guest

    I've just encountered the same problem on my '96 SL-1. What 'repair
    kit' did you purchase to fix this problem? What was Kirk's good
    advice? (The original post doesn't show up)
    Buster, Nov 9, 2003
  5. Box134

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    My original advice was:
    Don't overlook the possibility that the cable running from the car to the
    trunk lid has broken.

    Saturn, in a blaze of sub-optimal engineering, put the connector that joins
    the trunk lid harness to the body harness in a place that it gets flexed
    every time you open or shut the trunk.

    Open the trunk, look to the left near the left support for the trunk lid.
    You'll see a black cable with an 8 pin connector. Inspect those wires - I
    bet one or more are broken.

    The replacement wires are Saturn part number 12112304.

    If you're handy, you can do the repair yourself.
    Kirk Kohnen, Nov 11, 2003
  6. Box134

    Buster Guest

    Thanks for the quick response! When I was at the dealer a couple of
    weeks ago, I asked if they had anything I could buy instead of
    replacing the entire harness. They said 'no'. Is the part number you
    list the harness, or a repair kit? My wires are broken on the body
    side, not the trunk end. Can't I just use 3M quick splices and some
    new wire and jump over the connector?
    Buster, Nov 11, 2003
  7. You bet!

    I don't particularly like the 3m quick splices; I prefer stripping,
    wrapping, and heat shrinking the replacement and original wire together.
    Maybe even soldering if I'm going nuts. 3Ms are bulky and not too
    weathertight. But, hey, if they work for you...

    The dealer is replicating a part that was chiefly designed to be quick to
    assemble down in Spring Hill. For you to make your own repair would put
    your car out of the hands of the Saturn engineers, oh gasp!
    Jeff McDonald, Nov 11, 2003
  8. Box134

    Dan Hicks Guest

    Sure, it's just wire. No need to use the stuff Saturn sells.
    Dan Hicks, Nov 12, 2003
  9. Box134

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    It is the repair kit. It is a connector pin pre-crimped onto a teflon
    insulated wire. You remove the pin attached to the broken wire, put the new
    pin into the connector, and then you splice the wire.
    Hmmm... The part number that I cited is for the trunk lid side of the
    connector. I imagine that there is a similar wire for the body side, but I
    don't have that number off hand.
    Sure! You can also solder in new wires, and use heat shrink tubing to
    insulate things. There are LOTS of ways to repair this one.

    And, unless you get in a wreck that "requires" the harness to be unplugged
    for replacement, it shouldn't be a big deal making the repair permanent.
    Kirk Kohnen, Nov 12, 2003
  10. Box134

    Box134 Guest

    I just happen to have it in my hand..... it's called a Lead Kit. Not
    surprising the dealer said 'no' they're not likely to know every part in the

    No reason why you can't go around the connector, it's only there to make the
    car easy to assemble. I thought of doing that but decided it was safer and
    tidier to use the kit.
    Box134, Nov 15, 2003
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