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Re: quattro-digest V3 #1269

jpmahala@juno.com (John P Mahala) asks:

> Upon opening the driver's door I am horrified by the macabre scene in
> front of me.  The rubber boot that protects all the wires running from
> the car to the door is pulled back to expose wires.  These are no
> ordinary wires though.  These wires are almost all cracked and peeling. 
> Little flecks of copper are glistening everywhere.  Some wires are
> completely exposed and/or broken!  I had heard rumors that Audi cot cheap
> with the quality of wire in some of their cars, but this is atrocious.  (
> And she wonders why her windows don't work proper )

The problem here is NOT the quality of the wire, but the absence of a 
protective rubber boot through which all the wires should run!!  If 
the boot deteriorates, the wires can rub against metal surfaces.  
When you fix the wires, replace the boot, too!

OK - here are some thoughts.  My suggestion is NOT going to be easy, 
so I welcome others comments.....

1)  Don't depend on electrical or friction tape.  It might serve as 
an emergency mesaure, but it may leave goop on the wires, and it will 
definitely not last.

My idea involves a kind of tubing called "heat-shrink", which is 
available at electronics parts stores in different sizes.  This stuff 
looks just like the insulation on wires, and is just as tough, but 
it's just a tube.   When HEATED to the proper temperature, it shrinks 
to about 50% of its former diameter.  It is commonly used 
in electronics to cover soldered joints and prevent shorting to 
adjacent wires or metal areas.  Heat is properly provided by a VERY 
hot air gun, but can also be applied with a match.  (I have seen 
propane torches used, but it's eacy to get too much heat and melt the 

Here's my idea - and it wouldn't be fun.   

The idea would be to pull the door panel and see if you can get at 
all the wires where they pass from the door to the body.  If so, the 
goal is to free each wire, slide some heat-shrink over it, heat the 
tubing, then re-connect each wire.  This would provide a durable, 
permanent insulation over the exposed area on each wire.

The BAD part - to free up the wires, you'd have to clip each one 
short of the connector (to window switch, etc...) in order to be able 
to slide the heat-shrink on. After completing the heat-shrink 
process, you'd have to re-connect each wire.  I'd probably use 
butt-splices for this, as they crimp on quickly.  Solder and more 
heat-shrink is cleaner and more permanent.

Anyone have better advice for this gent???

Al Powell                        Voice:  409/845-2807
107 Reed McDonald Bldg.          Fax:    409/862-1202
College Station, TX 77843      

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