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Wiring Causes Constant Problems

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sdgengineer
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Iron
Re: If it flexes- get SUPER-TREX!
sdgengineer   9/12/2014 5:18:15 PM
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2000-2004 GMC and Chevrolet trucks have a similar issue.  They have an overdrive off /on switch in the shift lever on the column, after about 70000 miles the wires fail. and the button does not work.  Fairly easy to repair, but why? The replacement part is identical so it will fail also afte a few hundred shifts into drive, park and reverse.

 

Ninifikit
User Rank
Iron
Flexible wire
Ninifikit   9/8/2014 4:59:35 PM
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I have found the wire used for test leads for your Voltmeter, to be an excellent substitute. Very fine wire strands.
I bought a spool of it at Radio Shack or the like.

Found the same problem on the wires between the car frame and the trunk lid on my BMW.

Also, "Clockspring" wires, between the steering column and steering wheel suffer the same fate. The result being various controls, Volume, Cruise, etc quit working and/or your Air Bag warning light illuminates.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: If it flexes- get SUPER-TREX!
William K.   9/7/2014 7:40:17 PM
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I have used some wire called "super-flex" with similar results. It lasts a long time. We used it for the test cables hooking up to cars on the assembly line, which the cables were constantly flexing, one job a minute for two 8 hour shifts five days a week. Mostly the cables would last for a model year if they were made correctly and not abused. A whole lot of strands of #34 or #36 wire in a urethane plasic jacket for each conductor. I grabbed scraps of the wire for test leads because they never wear out.

Now the super-flex cables are offered for robot arm wiring, an even more brutal application. 

Of course, the stuff does cost a lot more thanb the junk wire used in appliances.

bobjengr
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Platinum
WIRING AND CONSTANT PROBLEMS
bobjengr   9/6/2014 11:04:08 AM
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Excellent post John.  I retired from GE appliances and I can attest to the fact that the top two field problems experienced by GE remain: 1.) Wiring and 2.) Electronics. I suspect that situation exists with Whirlpool, Electrolux, etc etc.  I know we were very aware of pinch-points and the damage those points can do to wiring in general. I think another huge issue is the need to be cost effective when designing a component or assembly.  Sometimes an excellent design is sacrificed due to cost pressures and the need for "good enough".  This appears to be a problem with automotive also; i.e. GM and ignition switch recall. 

 

gmelton
User Rank
Iron
Repair the flex break
gmelton   9/5/2014 11:27:38 AM
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Duct tape is not very flexible nor water tight and it gets brittle with time.  Wrap your wire harnes in the self sitcking electrical tape (any electrical supply house) using a 50% overlap.  This will remain flexible and water tight with time. Use Scotch-Kote on top of the self stick tape and cover with standard vinyl electrical tape for abraision resistance.  I have used this technique on electrical cable splices that have spent years on equipment that has been to 3000 feet in the ocean without any issues.  By the way when one wire breaks and in your case, replace them all a the same time.  It will saves repeating the process over and over.  Cheers.

 

WV1800es
User Rank
Bronze
If it flexes- get SUPER-TREX!
WV1800es   9/5/2014 9:12:14 AM
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For many years, I drove a Volvo 245 wagon with a manual transmission.  A great car, but in that model year they decided to move the overdrive switch from the steering column to the top of the shifter knob.  Very handy, right there, just click it into overdrive.....

The wires ran down thru a hollow shaft below the shifter knob, an out thru a small hole in the side.  And they FLEXED every time you changed gears!  After about the first couple years, I lost overdrive.  Pulling up the shifter boot, the problem was obvious- the wire was broken in two!  I fixed it, I replaced it, it became an odessey of innovation, trying to find a solution that could cope with Michigan weather and the constant stirring of the shifter mechanism.

My buddy who worked for GM eventually -and is probably still- tired of my tales of failed attempts and quick fixes in the snow.  He appeared one day, bearing a piece of Super-Trex ac cable.  It was 14/3, bound, sheathed, looking quite durable.  The entire cable would not fit in the wiring space I had, so I removed 2 conductors and fished them thru. 

This was the solution to my problem.  The extremely flexible 34 gauge wires that make up the conductors in this cable WORKED.  From then on, every time I clicked the switch, we were in overdrive!!

I'd suggest this material without reservation for any flex-ing wiring problem.

sdc695
User Rank
Iron
Dishwashers...aaakk
sdc695   9/5/2014 6:44:38 AM
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Well I have a Bosch washer as well.  The problem I had was that the relay that is used for the heating element is soldered into a PC board.  Over time the heat burns out one of the traces.  It happened  the first time under warranty and I observed the repair and got to keep the "defective" board.  Fast forward a couple of more years, and the new board failed as well.  Out came the soldering iron and a jumper wire were quickly installed.

The sad part is that there was no error code, only a wash cycle that waits forever for the water to be up to temp.  Thankfully the experience of the first repair allowed me to solve  the second.

Unfortunately, I had a friend that had the same problem (infinite wash) and their solution was to replace the washer with a new one.  Not a very cost effective (for the friend) repair.

For those of you that have a Bosch washer the circuit board is in the door and it takes lots of screws.  It is the part that has the buttons (that control the cycles) on it.

MARKESys
User Rank
Iron
Re: Car doors, too.
MARKESys   9/4/2014 6:00:52 PM
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If I were to do it today, I'd use butt splices too.  That was an unknown technology back then to my Dad and I...

~~

jhankwitz
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hinge Conduit
jhankwitz   9/4/2014 5:43:56 PM
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Off the shelf motors tend to be very efficient.  Oster started rating their appliances using watts instead of hp back in the '60s.  Their 600W motors eventually ran so poorly that they had to remove the stir-bars from inside their containers to enable the motors to move the contents. You consume 600W of energy, but the motor does next to nothing, similar to most fans and other appliances you buy from walmart.  They spin real fast, but they move very little air.  

jhankwitz
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hinge Conduit
jhankwitz   9/4/2014 5:33:33 PM
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Thinner wire results in lost efficiency resulting in more heat.  Likewise, reduction in core metal will reduce efficiency.  You might save on size and weight, but you will loose on efficiency

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