Reatta Owners Journal

Corrosion of the wire splices under the seats is a common problem on Reattas.

Any water or spilled liquids that gets into the interior of the car will gravitate to the lower part of the floorboard where the plastic wiring harness raceway is located - [see photos]. Once water infiltrates the wiring harness it can corrode the steel, crimp-on, splices that were used at the factory to join wires together. The wires that are spliced together in this location power or control the interior lights, power door locks and many other accessories. This tutorial will instruct you on how to inspect and repair the splices.

Follow the instructions below to solve your wire splice problems.

CAUTION: Remove the battery cable before opening the raceway or performing any work on the wires!
Some of the wires in the raceway are hot anytime the battery is connected.

This tutorial assumes you have already removed the seats and carpeting. If you just need to check the splices on one side, it should be possible to just remove one seat and pull the carpet back enough to do the job.

1. Expose Wires

Below is what you will see on the passenger side when you remove the carpet. The drivers side is similar.

wire splice-A

Next you will need to pull back the cover on the raceway to expose the wires inside.
The wires on the left, running vertically, are the wires that run along the door sill.

wire splice-B

2. Examine Wires

Once you have the wires uncovered, look for signs of water ever being present inside the raceway. If it is completely dry and clean you should still remove the tape and check the condition of at least one or two splices to determine their condition. It is recommended that you replace the old tape on all the splices to insure against problems in the future.

This is a definite sign that water has been in the floorboard. It is likely that all the splices need to be inspected and repaired. The orange wires shown are the wires that supply power to interior lights and other accessories.

wire splice-C

Below is what you are looking for. The steel splice has lost it's hold on the wires and they have came apart. Sometimes just removing the tape will allow the wires to fall apart.

wire splice-E

Below is what a good splice should look like.

wire splice-D

If the wire splices are badly corroded, or you detect any looseness in the wires, go on to step 3, "Repair Splices".

3. Repair Splices

To repair the splices you should cut each wire loose from the metal crimp-on splice and repair as shown below. It is highly recommended that you solder the wire connections and cover them with heat shrink tubing to ensure the repair will last for the life of the car. It is possble to repair the splice with another crimp-on splice similar to the one used by the factory but if you leave your car sitting outside, exposed to water, you run the risk of having to redo your work in the future.

  • Start by clipping a small amount of wire off the end of each wire to ensure any corrosion is removed.
  • Next slide a short section of heat shrink tubing over the wires as shown in the photo below.
  • Strip about 3/8" of insulation off each wire.

wire splice-F

 Next you will need to solder the wires together. The scope of this tutorial doen't cover the skills needed to solder the wires.

Here is a good tutorial on soldering if you need it.

The photo below shows a solder connection completed.

wire splice-G

Once you have the wire soldered, slide the shrink tubing over the soldered connection and apply heat to shrink it around the wire.

wire splice-H

After you complete repairing each wire splice, use plastic wire ties to bundle the wires together as neatly as possible taking care not to get the wires in a bind or to not position them where they could rub a sharp edge if they move around.

wire splice-10

Congratulations! You have successfully repaired your wire splices. They should be trouble-free for years to come!

Thanks to ReattaFan1, member of the Reatta forums, for this information.


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