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Replace wiring harness: Priceless! (Or very nearly so)


Old 06-24-2011, 12:51 PM
Dan400Man is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Saginaw, MI
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Default Replace wiring harness: Priceless! (Or very nearly so)

After replacing the original starter for a new one in the hopes that it resolve the "One click, no start" problem (and having that hope crushed mercilessly), and having temporarily resolved it by cleaning as much of the corrosion on the positive battery cable as possible, I took the vehicle into a local trusted shop to see what to do about the cable.

Because the corrosion "leached" down past the splice on the cable that attaches to the battery, I got two estimates. The first, which replaces the harness with a brand new one, was for just over $1,900; the harness itself was $1,700!!! The second estimate was to fabricate a new cable to extend from the battery into the harness, and that came in at just over $400; the owner called this a "permanent fix". He said that once he pulled the cable off of the harness, he would assess whether corrosion had gotten into the harness itself and call before doing anything else.

When I asked whether pulling a harness from a junkyard was an option, he said there was too much risk that I'd inherit the same problem; he estimated that costs to buy it from the junkyard and have him install it would be in the same ballpark as the $400 estimate to have him fabricate a cable and install that. Also, he wouldn't warranty any work done with the junkyard harness, but his cable fabrication would be covered for 12 months/12,000 miles.

I'm leaning towards the cable fabrication.

Any advice, comments, miracle salves would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:26 PM
Tizzy1's Avatar
Tizzy1 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,026

That's how we fix em. Cut down about a foot into the harness until you get to clean wire and install new cable. I don't think we get $400 but I guess we could raise our price....

If you could find an '08 minivan in the junk yard, get the possitive cable from that. Those work so great for replacement.......but hard to find.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:47 PM
Dan400Man is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Saginaw, MI
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Originally Posted by Tizzy1 View Post
I don't think we get $400 but I guess we could raise our price....
Must be the ritzy part of Michigan I live in. <BIG sarcastic grin>

I already put a feeler on and got two responses; both want $500 for a used wiring harness. No idea how old these are. (I feel like I'm in the wrong business!)

Anyway, I think I'll have the cable fab done.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:38 AM
peshewa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids Iowa
Posts: 437

I have a 96 T&C with a 3.3, and am having tons of electrical issues. I recently tore into the engine harness and had a large amount of white powdered corrosion come falling out of it, and there were 6 wires burnt in 2. My dealership told me that a new harness can be 3-4 hundred if I have a neutral start safety switch, otherwise the other option costs the same as your quote. If your harness is like mine & goes under the radiator, it is easier to reach, but some of them go back behind the top of the engine & are a bear to get to. I think your guy is charging a little high. A second opinion is worth the time. If it was me, I would just replace the positive cable.
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