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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow enthusiasts,
I recently purchased a P38, at a discount price, and one of the problems with the vehicle is that 20A fuse F15 fuse blows as soon as it is inserted. With the aid of the Electronic repair manual (page 7 of Y2 very relevant), I have traced the problem to C325, then S302, (which is adjacent to the RH rear seat latch assembly). Closer inspection shows that one of the three purple wires which run up the C pillar to power the front interior lamps, and the right interior lamps, and tailgate lock acuator, has clearly overheated and the insulation has melted into the other wires running up the pillar.
By elimination I have found that the overheated purple wire is the one providing power for the tailgate lock actuator.
I separated the wire up to the top of the pillar, however the wire still shows .25 ohm resistance to earth. It looks like a short circuit exists between the the top of the pillar and the tailgate lock actuator, but I am loathe to remove the headlining to trace further.
  • Has anyone else had similar problems?
  • Does anyone know of likely wiring loom pinch points in the wiring loom to the rear tailgate lock actuator?
  • Is the headlining easy to remove?
I am also unable to open the rear tailgate, due the above problem. I have seen several posts on opening the tailgate when 12V power is not available.
  • What is the easiest method of opening the rear tailgate when 12V power is unavailable?
Best regards, Ian
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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4,225 Posts
Hi Ian,

There is another connector in the loadspace, which you can try tracing the fault to..

C0679/C0789 is in the RH rear behind the trim.

If you fold the rear seats down and get into the rear of the vehicle, you should see an access hatch on the left (as you're looking at the rear of the vehicle). In there is the connector - on one side there are a whole bunch of white wires (these go into the lower tailgate itself) and the other half of the connector has wires that carry on from the splice that you have mentioned.

You could possibly disconnect that, and then meter out the pin from there to confirm that is the one which is damaged.

The only thing I am confused about - which direction is the wire with the .25 ohm to ground going? The tailgate actuator wire doesn't go up into the headlining, rather it carries along the rear right side up over the wheel arch to arrive at the C0679 connector mentioned above.

The only thing I can think of that goes up into the headlining and back towards the tailgate is the loadspace lamp in the upper tailgate (which also comes off that splice S302).

The actuator is in the lower tailgate, and comes from the C0789 connector, on Pin 11 (the +12V feed) The grounding for this is through the tailgate switch, and that ends up back through C0789, on Pin 10.

If it is the loadspace lamp that is causing the issues (if the wire does indeed go over the headliner) then it might be possible that you can jumper the 2 pins 10 & 11 together with +12V and push the tailgate switch to open the tailgate (I would put a fuse inline anyway just to be sure).

However, I could expect to see a bit of resistance (from the filament in the lamp) on the loadspace lamp. I think it's a 5w lamp, which rated at 12V would give a resistance of about 28 ohms (ish)

Regarding your other points.. the headliner needs to come out via the tailgate, so you won't be able to get that out with the tailgate shut...
Getting the tailgate open... there are a couple of threads about for getting the tailgate open once the actuator/switch has failed.

The basic process is: Get in the back, and lift the spare wheel cover, so you have access to the screws that hold the spring loaded plastic flap in place.
Undo all the screws holding the flap, and remove the flap carefully
Undo the 2 plastic 1/4 turn fasteners that hold the lower tailgate carpet in place
Remove lower tailgate carpet (you may need to drop it down a bit as it tucks under the top plastic finisher on the lower tailgate and it might need a bit of bending to get around the tailgate seal)
Once you have access to the insides of the lower tailgate, you can manually operate the linkages to unlatch the taligate. operating the linkages once should unlatch the top tailgate section. Operating them a second time should unlatch the lower tailgate.

I can't remember if you can still manually unlatch them if the motor has seized solid... I think you can, but if the linkages don't move, then you may need to unscrew/remove the motor, before manually moving the linkages.

I hope this helps.... Could you post a couple more pictures of the damaged wiring... might be able to help trace it a bit better with the pics..

Cheers,
Marty
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Marty,
Thanks for your help, and apologies for my tardiness in reply.
I have not progressed very far due some other commitments. However this morning I did apply fused 12V & earth to C806 pins 11 and 10 as you suggested. However pushing the Tailgate unlock switch, with the power applied did nothing - not even a click. It looks like I will have to manually unlatch the tailgate as per your post. Thanks for correcting me on the unlock mechanism location. Somehow my brain had wrongly concluded the actuator and switch was in the upper tailgate.
I took a couple of photo's on my phone of the burnt purple wire leading up into the hood lining. Strangely I can't see a loadspace lamp in the rear of the vehicle. I have really looked hard and can not see it - maybe that explains the short circuit purple wire.
I seem to have lots of electrical problems with this vehicle - I hope I have not bought myself a lemon! I have also just fitted a second hand transfer case drive motor - after finding that the armature was absent from the motor supplied with the vehicle! I guess the previous owner must have removed the armature for a rewind, and then lost interest.

Patching into C806 12V & earth.png Purple wire burnt into headlining.png
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Secco,

If you have the +12V & Earth across those pins and the motor doesn't activate, then there is an issue either with a) the actuator, or b) the tailgate switch (probably more likely!) or a break in the wiring somewhere in the lower tailgate.

The loadspace lamp is built into the top half of the tailgate section, and turns on when the tailgate is lifted. It is not visible when the tailgate is closed up. It could be possible that the loadspace lamp is missing still (mine was) and of the wires is shorting to the chassis.. from memory they are single wire spade connectors in a black plastic housing.

I think the best course of action is to try and get into the lower tailgate manually, and then once the tailgate is open, you'll have more space and access to everything to be able to troubleshoot better..

I have wondered about running a parallel set of wires from the tailgate actuator into the loadspace, with a momentary contact push button switch, mounted so that the tailgate can be always opened (as long as the motor hasn't burnt out) from inside the vehicle..

Keep us updated with your progress..

Cheers,
Marty
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Hi,

I ahve exactly the same problem F15 keep blowing the minute you change it. I climbed into the back and took the tailgate panel off then opened the latch manually. it took aroung 10 mins.. I've disconnected all connectore on the purple wire from C325 and still have a short... Out with the cutters and crimps next....


andy
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Marty, Location of the load space lamp had me really scratching my head. Yes, I'll keep you updated with my progress. Thanks very much for your help.

Best regards, Ian
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Andy, I will do the same and attempt to manually unlock the tailgate hatch. Good luck tracing the short circuit. I hope that you find it in an easy and accessible location.

Best regards, Ian
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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My short is in a purple wire that feeds across the roof lining to the rear load space lights. Unfortunately a previous owner had tried to fix the problems by replacing the 20a fuse with a 30a.. Anyway, the result one melted wiring loom in the c pillar. After I had separated the 10 melted wires, I had to replace 7 of them! I didn't take the roof lining down as the loom seemed to be ok as it disappeared under it. Because I'm not sure where the shot actually is, I've left the purple disconnected. Fuse back in and we're in business. Now I have fuse 17 blowing, gut feeling is its the brake switch, as it seems to blow when I brake. My rangy had been standing for 15 months , so now I'm using it, things are beginning to come out of the woodwork.. Andy
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Fuse 17 was due to the grn/blu wire that feeds the high level stop light ( that I don't have) shorting with the burnt purple further own the loom. Had head lining out again, when I put everything back the stop lights were permanently on, the grn/blu was picking up a voltage from inside the tail gate. It doesn't appear to be earthing anywhere now, but I suspect there is something to be inside the tailgate frame at a later date...

Andy
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #10
Andy,
It seems that we have encountered the similar problems. One of the previous owners of my P38 must have used a high rated fuse in F15 also, and melted the C pillar loom. I now strongly suspect the load space light purple wire also. I have finally opened my tailgate, and found that the connectors to the switch and latch were disconnected. After putting the connectors back on, the latch operates. Did you have much trouble getting the headlining out?
Cheers, Ian
 

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I didn't't take it out, just pulled it down into right hand corner, a bit awkward but still workable. Had a message from a neighbour saying that my number plate light was on all night... So this evening I took the upper tailgate paneling and finally found the source. The purple has a black plastic connected on it close to the number plate lights, the copper spade connection had slid forward and was earthing. It had melted the loom inside the tail gate as well, so I threw together a 2ft 6 wire loom and cut out the bad parts. Everything appears to be ok, I suspect that its been earthing since new..

Andy
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #12
Andy,
My vehicle has the same problem. The loom in the upper tailgate is fused together. The loadspace lamp was the initial problem in my case. The male spade connector on the lamp appears to have fatigued and dropped from the lamp onto the frame. The resulting high currents and temperatures have made a mess of the loom. I'll be making a new loom also. Thanks for your help on this one. I plan to remove my headlining completely and replace the saggy stapled lining.
Marty,
If you are still following this thread - thanks for your help also.

cheers, Ian
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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No worries Ian,

Glad you have found out the source of the problem!

Cheers,
Marty

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