Broke down today

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  edsnova 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    I was about half way to work, rolling to a red light, when I looked down and noticed the tach drop to zero. A couple of seconds later the engine stalled and wouldn’t start.

    With the help of the panhandler on that corner, I pushed Bridget to the gas station two lanes to my right. Checked fuses. Tried to restart, looked for burnt wires, tried to restart, strained to hear if the fuel pump was turning when I turned the key. Couldn’t tell with all the trucks going through. Finally called AAA.

    Kept scratching my head and looking about, Finally saw this.

    That’s the plastic wire plug for my rear O2 sensor. It was sitting on the cat.

    So I guess that could be the culprit, but I’m not sure, as a bad O2 signal usually would just set a code.

    Tow guy showed up soon after and took us home, and I drove the truck in to work.





    Rough luck. You’re right, that burnt connector “should” have only tripped the light. First things first, fix that and go from there. Good luck. Hope it’s something simple.

    (Thank the heavens for AAA)

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"




    Update: So I turned the key on in the nice quiet garage and got no fuel pump whirr. Checked the fuses there, the connections, and finally wired it direct to the battery to make sure it would whirr if so energized.

    It did.

    Had a closer look at my burnt O2 connector and noticed a bare wire. A-HA! Something hot got grounded to the cat, and that must have tripped a fuse. Since I’d already checked the ones under the hood, and all the ones under the dash, that left the several hanging like meatballs in the spaghetti that is my ECU hookup under the driver’s seat. Checked one; it was good. Checked another, marked B+.

    And bingo: 15 amps of incomplete circuitry. 

    Popped in a new fuse, then cut the burnt wires to the O2 sensor. She fired right up.

    Now it’s down to reconnected those four wires. Turns out the connector is unneeded, as there is another clip-connector pig-tailed to the sensor itself. But nothing’s as easy as it seems. Took about an hour trying to determine what color wire on one side of the melted piece connects to what on the other, and then when I stripped a couple inches down I got a weird wire that seems to have another bare wire wrapped around its insulation.

    Getting all this rigged back up with butt connectors and heat shrink wrap—which is diabolically incompatible with the butt connectors?!—ate up half the afternoon. But that’s life in TDr-land. She’ll be better than new by sundown.





    And done.

    Shrunk it down, wrapped in ‘lectric tape and zip-tied to the main wiring loom to keep it from falling back down to where it got burned. Test-drive and all seems to be in order.






    Hey Ed,


    Great troubleshooting (look for the burned connector and/or singes wires).  I just went through a self-induced episode on the Bugeye getting ready for Va Beach.  The original car wiring had 2 fuses under the hood.  The prior owner went above and beyond when he rewired the car back in 1966 and removed the 2 fuses from under the hood and put 4 fuses under the dash (where you needed to be a contortionist to get to the Buss glass fuses to see which one was blown).

    Well, I rewired the car and went from 4 buss glass fuses to 15 spade fuses (don’t ask — I was trying to emulate my wiring loom hero who has a complete  wiring drawer under his dash  — “Bill-in-Parts.”)  But unlike Bill, I hooked up all 15 fuses and told myself that I would make up a wiring diagram and label the fuses later.

    Well you guessed it — when I shorted out the 12 volts going to the fuel gauge the other day, it took quite a while contorting under the dash trying to see which fuse blew — since I never labeled the fuses or made up a wiring list…..My BAD!

    So I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with some spaghetti wiring in my car.

    Glad you got it all fixed.  Looking forward to catching up when we all get to Va Beach in October.


    Happy Jack

    Happy Jack
    "EMMA" Red BCW TDr on 1971 VW w/ rebuilt 1641cc
    Dual Kadron, mild street SCAT cam and lifters Hide away exhaust and headers
    "MANYPENNY" White CMC TDr '78 Ford Pinto components w/ 1988 Mustang II 4 cyl w/ Weber




    When I did the restoration of Sabine last year I bench wired the new dash gauges and switches. When it came to wiring to the original wiring harness it was a challenge what with multiple loads connecting to one circuit. This is what my fuse block and relays looks like on the firewall on the passenger side    The block on the left contains switched loads (4-way flasher, horn etc) and block on right switched (controlled by the ignition switch) loads (fuel pump, blower etc)  I used relays instead of the switches to power the heavier loads  Every circuit/fuse is labeled and I wrote my own wiring diagram using the original numbering sequence used by VW   Troubleshooting electrical problems in the future should be pretty simple

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA




    You boys are singing my song.

    When I put the Subie in Bridget I promised myself I’d go back through the wiring and neaten things up/correct some mistakes (mine and the PO’s). But so far I ain’t saw fit to do it. Signal lights stop when I hit the brakes. Brake lights with the headlights on don’t seem to get any brighter. All kinds of Lucas-like gremlins need attention…

    I have to wire the spyder from scratch, and I do plan to draw a diagram, then bench wire it on a board, then install it all neat. I want to put the fuses on the passenger side under the dash as per original, but I may use a couple more than the original car had. Or maybe not! It’s only got headlights, signals, license plate light, maybe an electric fan for the oil cooler, horns, gauges and gauge lights.

    Oh yeah: and a reverse light. Gotta get one of those.

    After that’s all squared away I’ll either be ready to re-wire Bridget or ready to kill someone. I guess we’ll find out.

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