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where to find electrical wire sections?

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by tjrinaldi, Apr 13, 2011.

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    This is going to be a weird post....so here it goes:

    Due to corrosion, previous owners' tampering, and age I will need to re-wire the headlights and fogs for my e36. It's now to the point where everything looks great on the outside, but then inside the wires need to be held in place just right for the lighting to actually work....the whole front end wiring is mottled with issues. Add in the fact that my //M is now 16 years old, it's painfully obvious we need some freshening up:)

    I have not had luck through penskeparts.com or dealers in obtaining just these pieces of the harness. Aside from finding used parts (which also may involve corrosion issues) are there some other places I may check into?
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    My experience with older cars than yours is that the corrosion is right there by the headlamp connectors - where the wire is exposed to air. If you replace the connectors about a half inch up the wires (cutting off the corroded part), things should work just fine. While I've been quite successful at removing the connector and then reconnecting it, it is rather fussy detail work. Most would recommend that you buy new spade connectors from BMW or a foreign parts house (They're slightly smaller than US spades.). You need to learn how to remove the spade from the plastic connector housing (there's a small tang you press in with something like a pick or a jeweler's screwdriver) and how to properly connect the wires. It isn't all that hard.
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    sounds easy enough....let's try that
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    John in VA

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    cwbiii guest

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    Wiring for a lasting impression...

    I have re-wired a lot of car/truck electrical systems. I can tell you from experience.
    Use only a very good grade connector. Crimp and solder your connections whenever possible. Use the heat shrink with heat glue to properly guard against further corrosion issues. Dress off connections well and use wire tie's or flex conduit for added protection. Make sure you run the wires in the "ways" and use tie points provided to keep the wires/harness from moving around and having abrasion issues.
    It should look very neat if it is done right.

    You need: Quality crimping pliers with wire stripper. Soldering iron or a solder gun which is my preference. I also carry a butane powered soldering iron for emergency repairs. Plain solder-able crimp connectors in various sizes. Heat shrink tubing with hot glue in various sizes. Heat shrink gun. Electrical solder (rosin core). Wire assortment. A volt meter/tester. Safety glasses. A new tool box to keep all of this stuff in. Time and patience to do the job right.

    There are a number of online stores that have these for reasonable prices...
    just search for automotive electric supplies.


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