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For all of you planks that gave saltshaker a hard time take a look below at my E26 320 coupe,


Its lucky I was parking up or I'd have been in it!

people really should take this problem seriously!
HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After reading this thread, I will aslo be checking the harness in the boot and rewiring it on a different route or getting it replaced.....:D
 

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I will go and check my wiring today, good to know. this can be very serius if a spark starts and can realy start a fire. thanks for the info man
 

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rear trunk wiring harness

I will go and check my wiring today, good to know. this can be very serius if a spark starts and can realy start a fire. thanks for the info man
I can only encourage EVERYBODY with an older E36 to do this. I just bought a 1994 BMW325i, and started reading on this site.
However, I did not "feel" like cutting into that beautiful rubber-insulated piece between the opening in the rear end an the trunk lid.

However, I noticed one of my license plate lights was out.... bulb OK, measured for voltage, none.
Now it got interesting. Looking at this thread, I decided to rub the insulation of that wire before that nice rubber piece inside the driver side trunk, and there was voltage there.

I immediately started checking I found out it is actually several piece rubber insulation connectors; after pulling from the top end down, I saw the problems:
1 wire completely cut
2 larger ones (blue and white) about to be cut; just hanging on threads
several of the smaller wires had burn marks and were exposing the copper




Happy hunting

I would really want to exchange that entire wiring loom; however, I can not seem to remove the plastic cover inside the trunk (like 4 black plastic push-in lock buttons....
Any help/ideas about this?

Thanks for making us aware of this issue, and for making it "sticky" so it's easy to find for the noob's in the BMW world!
 

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Do you really need to replace the trunk lid to trunk cable that far into the trunk? I just spliced new wiring from inside the trunk lid to the trunk left wall near the left tail light:



You can see the white heatshrink over my splices as the wiring apexes along the top right.
 

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i have a 95 320 auto. ive had no problems with it untill i came out the shop and it wont start, no crank spark or feul. ive done alot of checks on battery, starter and all electrical wirein. ive got fuse box out and all carpets fiding no faults with any wiring except 1 thin red n green wire which is in d boot lid. i cant lock centrally anymore and so i fink immobilizer, any 1 have any ideas before i go any further.
 

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Trunk Lamp and wiring harness

I had a fun time diagnosing this issue:
Bought a new battery for my 98 328i last June. New battery was defective and returned. After about two months, I would leave the car for 48 + hours and come back to a dead battery. Battery had been recharged and problem still occurred. I read this post and checked wiring harness in trunk... Wires appeared to be ok.

But I noticed that at different heights (that the trunk rotated along its mounts) the luggage lamp would illuminate or shut off. For instance, the light was off when the trunk was fully opened, and would illuminate when the trunk was rotated towards the latch. I thought the lamp may still be illuminated while the trunk was closed, and pulled the bulb for a test. FINALLY, I have found success. Not sure if this is very common, but those having issues diagnosing battery issues might want to check this out!
 

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hey guys i checked my wires and i can see some wiring sticking out of the tubing which might explain my speakers, dome lights not working and obc lights being dim.

I cant solder it so I was gonna crimp them and heat wrap them did you guys add any wiring to it to increase its length so it doesnt fold up like that? sounds like most of you guys just kept it the same length but wouldnt it just happen again? thanks guys for the info its really helpful
 

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Thanks so much for bringing this to attention. Our '92 325i was having repeated/intermittent problems with the tail, brake, reverse, trunk, license plate illumination either not turning off or not turning on, bulbs burning out, etc. and also things blinking in the dash as though the computer had gone wonky. Recently, the battery has been draining overnight unless my husband performed a bizarre ritual order of locking/unlocking things or leaving the trunk open, but he couldn't seem to locate the culprit.

He was beginning to consider parting it out since we just replaced the radiator due to the plastic inlet breaking off where the hose attaches (stupid design, btw, and another common issue) and also repairing a relay switch under the dash for the window controls which we never would have diagnosed were it not for forums like this. Today, I stumbled on this thread while researching a part number and fairly went RUNNING out to the garage excitedly yelling "Hey! I think I know what's wrong!" and made a bee-line right to the left trunk hinge - BINGO! One of the wires was actually severed and almost all were exposed at a bend which was not detectable under the black casing. I'm off for a bit of electrical solder and some heatshrink now. If it doesn't actially solve the entire issue, it should at least make diagnosing it less compllicated without things contacting where they shouldn't...

Thanks for the heads up, OP! Even though the referenced original thread was seven years old, I am sure the information is even more pertinent now that the wiring in the vehicles is aged to such a degree. Most of the plastic components in our household cars (all over 10 years old) is brittle to the point of it crumbling by hand. My 95 civic is holding up well =], but Mom's 96 Nissan and Dad's 96 Impala are turning to dust along with the Bimmer. Does anyone know how to keep the plastic components from becoming so brittle with time or is this just inevitable?
 

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Haha I had this same problem on my mercedes 300d same spot and everything took me forever to trace it down. When I finally cuaght it I felt dumb.
 

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hey guys, my rear window defogger had stopped working completely after working on and off for a few days and my passenger side door lock also did the same, you think it might be related to this problem? please let me know
 

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I have a 1997 318is E36. The other day i drove about 100 meters and the engine just died out of no where. My music was still playing, all the lights were working and the engine would turn over but not start. Could the wiring problem you are speaking of be the cause for this?
 

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Engine stopping without warning

Oh, yes. I have had this problem for a long time. The problem was, everything it did this in a while it would run again, so finding the problem was impossible. But now that it has gotten worse I have found the problem...:)

Under the back seat are two access panels to the interior fuel pumps. The connectors on these are not friction fit plugs. The pins are small diameter and the plug has a spring mounted metal plate that connects on the top of the pins by spring pressure. Therefore, there is very little surface contact to make the connection.

With time, the tips of the pins and the middle of the metal plates became pitted and a good connection was getting harder to get. Therefore, the fuel pumps stop working and the engine dies while everything else works. Any kind of movement would jar the plugs and contact was remade. It took it getting so bad that contact did not get remade until I unplugged and re-plugged the connectors. A friend and I found that the engine was having a fuel issue. Moreover, every time it stopped, all I had to do was unplug and re-plug the connectors and I would be on my way again. This verified our conclusions.

To fix this problem would mean that both the pumps and the connectors would have to be replaced or the problem would continue. Replacing one or the other meant that partial connection was still being made, and this would burn the connection points again. Sanding the contacts will open the terminal to corrosion since connectors are usually coated with a metal to made good connections. A very expensive fix!

I found that I could use the crimp type of inline wire connectors as a plug. This allow for a friction type of connection and a much larger surface area to make the connection. A simple fix, and a much better connection ratio for carrying this current...

Chris
 
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