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That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
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userSteve928
Posted: 3 December 2013 3:12 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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An update for anyone who's interested: getting closer but sadly no cigar as yet

Firstly with the fusebox removed all the wiring and connectors are dry and clean and look as good as new with no outward signs of any corrosion at all.
Secondly, as Nick notes, the looms do seem to be of poor quality: cables bunched loosely together with scant protection other than their own insulation and free to rattle about in oversize cable clips. Multiplugs without cable grips so that any strain is taken by the individual terminals. Cables free to chafe on chassis members etc. It doesn't inspire confidence in the least.

The joint between ECU and injector looms tested OK but the fault seems to be within the loom itself about 6" below the fusebox at the point where the cables from the 3 multiplugs join to form one loom of about 30 wires. The engine management relays can be engaged/disengaged simply by twisting the loom at this point but finding the exact problem wire is proving difficult to say the least.

A possible reason why renewing the engine earth strap masked this problem for a while is that the relay coils have a permanent +12v but are switched by earth. To quote the manual: "This relay is energized by an (earth) control signal from pin G1 of connector B of the engine management control unit M010 and then forwards a power supply". So I plan to concentrate on the earth switching wires in the loom tomorrow..

usereuroserv
Posted: 3 December 2013 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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Hi Steve,

You will probably end up stripping most of the insulation from the looms in order to find the problem which I would expect to be nearer the nearside connector for the ECU. There are 2 or 3 joints that were made by the loom manufacturer and are not particularly good because the joined part is heat shrunk and this makes that part less flexible and the wires break at one end or both of the joints. Definitely start at that end and work back to the really fat part under the headlamp.

Before anyone starts Fiat bashing I should remind you that this is a Peugeot vehicle and Pug, Citroen and Fiat all signed off these designs! Seriously though; it's crap.

Nick
userSteve928
Posted: 3 December 2013 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Thanks Nick for the further useful pointers which I'll follow up on tomorrow.

What's keeping me going here is that this is definately a binary on/off stop/go break/make kind of problem: once the connection is made the engine runs just fine. Hopefully I'll get there in the end.

userspospe
Posted: 3 December 2013 7:33 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Nick

Not trying to hijack this thread, but you do keep on giving us tantalising insights to the wiring of X250's and I wonder if you have any suggestions as to fault prevention? For example would you recommend spraying WD40 over the connectors, tying the looms up more tightly with cable ties / using cable wrap to keep the wires together etc.?
usercolin
Posted: 3 December 2013 8:33 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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spospe - 2013-12-03 7:33 PM

Nick

Not trying to hijack this thread, but you do keep on giving us tantalising insights to the wiring of X250's and I wonder if you have any suggestions as to fault prevention? For example would you recommend spraying WD40 over the connectors, tying the looms up more tightly with cable ties / using cable wrap to keep the wires together etc.?


One thing that was posted some time back and confirmed by Nick, was the chaffing of loom as it goes to door, There are two body panels that the loom goes throu on the pillar, one is protected but 'inner' one isn't which causes problems, I've fitted a split grommet on mine.
userSteve928
Posted: 4 December 2013 9:50 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Found it! - presuming there's only one fault of course..
The earth control wire between ECU and fuesbox corroded through and burst out of its insulation deep in a clean and dry section of the loom.
Seems a very fragile wire for such an important function.

Very hard to pin down because the slightest movement of even an individual wire in the loom 30cm away would make and break the connection, sending me on many wild goose chases.

Edited by Steve928 2013-12-04 9:53 AM




(PC040070.JPG)



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Attachments PC040070.JPG (49KB - 615 downloads)
usereuroserv
Posted: 4 December 2013 10:01 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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Well done Steve,

Perseverance is key and you have it in spades. Welcome to the Fiat loom repair club.

Spospe;

I will get back to you about preventative measures, but in the meantime..... never spray WD40 on anything!
It's garbage and contains too much water to protect anything.
userspospe
Posted: 4 December 2013 10:37 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Well done to Steve indeed!

I am personally amazed that a wire can seemingly corrode in the middle of a run, unless the insulation was damaged enough to allow contact with either water, or another metal surface?

I have 32 years experience of telecommunications work and have never seen middle-of-a run corrosion of a wire without some other agency being involved.

So my question to Steve is, was there any sign of damage to the insulation from rubbing on any adjacent surface, or other wire, pipe etc.?
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 4 December 2013 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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I don't think that damage can be the result of corrosion. Copper is generally highly resiststant to corrosion from water, hence its use for roofing, and water pipes. Corroded copper does not expand like rusty steel, and the corrosion is generally held to be protective.

That disruption to the insulation seems to me more likely to have been from mechanical damage, that had possibly also affected the copper strands within. That may have resulted in localised arcing and overheating, as the remaining strands carried the full current, possibly becoming brittle and eventually breaking as a consequence.

It is interesting that the other wires in the loom look undamaged, pointing to that individual wire having been defective before, or damaged during, the loom assembly.

However, a great bit of detective work and, on the face of it, relatively easily repaired into the bargain. Well done indeed, Steve!
usereuroserv
Posted: 4 December 2013 11:46 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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While Brian is right about the decorative qualities of copper when used for roofing, and the lovely bronze and green colours that ensue; but when it comes to wires, the green stuff turns to dust as the oxidisation is accelerated due to the current flowing and you are left with a white powder that won't conduct anything and breaks.
I dare say if a copper roof was used to transmit power or was used to earth anything; it would fare just about as well as the wiring! The plating industry relies on such reactions.
The insulation must have been compromised at some point by either testing probes or abrasion and the end result is but a matter of time.

I am looking for a broken wire on one of mine right now and it's going to be a long day.....
userspospe
Posted: 4 December 2013 12:18 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Brian Kirby - 2013-12-04 11:39 AM

I don't think that damage can be the result of corrosion. Copper is generally highly resiststant to corrosion from water, hence its use for roofing, and water pipes. Corroded copper does not expand like rusty steel, and the corrosion is generally held to be protective.



Copper on its own is resistant to corrosion, but as Nick says, pass a current through it, especially when it is in contact with other metals and things go bad, fast. I have helped out on numerous occasions with corroded caravan plug and socket wiring, where the wires (not the terminals which were of brass) had corroded badly at the point of connection. The effect was to turn the (un-tinned) copper into a crumbly mess which could not be soldered and which had to be cut out (the cable shortened).

I am handicapped by not having seen one of the infamous X250 earth straps in the flesh, but they seem in photographs to be made of untinned copper and my first reaction would have been to replace it with a tinned version and furthermore to solder the ends where they terminate into the crimped lugs (i.e. run solder into the lug to ensure that there was no possibility of micro-corrosion taking place out of sight).
userSteve928
Posted: 4 December 2013 12:20 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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There was no sign of abrasion, spospe - nothing for it to rub on at this point, plus the wire wasn't even on the outside of the loom until I pulled it there (because I was tracing that particular wire as prime suspect).

Clearly water has found its way past the wire's insulation somehow whether it be damage during construction of the loom, porous insulation, manufacturing fault etc., but I'm confident the only added ingredient in use has been a bit of dampness. This was at a low point in the loom so would have stayed wet the longest I guess.

The conductor had turned to verdigris/dust at the very point of the break and was blackened about 10mm back in each direction. The photo probably makes the wire look more substantial than it is: it measures 1.3mm in diameter and the conductor comprises just 5 tiny strands of copper.
userT8LEY
Posted: 4 December 2013 11:09 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Steve928 - 2013-12-04 1:20 PM

There was no sign of abrasion, spospe - nothing for it to rub on at this point, plus the wire wasn't even on the outside of the loom until I pulled it there (because I was tracing that particular wire as prime suspect).

Clearly water has found its way past the wire's insulation somehow whether it be damage during construction of the loom, porous insulation, manufacturing fault etc., but I'm confident the only added ingredient in use has been a bit of dampness. This was at a low point in the loom so would have stayed wet the longest I guess.

The conductor had turned to verdigris/dust at the very point of the break and was blackened about 10mm back in each direction. The photo probably makes the wire look more substantial than it is: it measures 1.3mm in diameter and the conductor comprises just 5 tiny strands of copper.


Looks like you've been the victim of a poor manufacturing joint. Conductor winding machines are limited by the size of wire spool they use for the length of core they can produce. When a spool runs out of conductor the manufacturer has to make a joint to a new one. As for the insulation, that can go on forever, if the hoppers are constantly topped up.

I suspect the insulation damage was caused by the slow failure of the conductor joint ie heat. Once the insulation was broken moisture would be allowed in, causing oxidisation.

Excellent work finding the break.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 5 December 2013 12:05 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Thanks for the extra information, chaps. I'll take a more guarded approach to copper wiring henceforth, having hitherto assumed it would be be "bomb-proof". Only 5 strands as well - no built-in redundancy there! Bet mine's the same, as well.
userPeter James
Posted: 5 December 2013 2:28 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


Very Interesting Thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.
userBrianBW
Posted: 5 December 2013 4:07 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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The earth strap relies on making contact with every strand on the strap to pass the starting current. When the strands get corroded the strands do not make contact to each other. This in turn stops the maximum current required for the starter motor. Even though if you do a resistive meter check it looks good.
userSteve928
Posted: 6 December 2013 10:01 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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T8LEY - 2013-12-04 11:09 PM
Looks like you've been the victim of a poor manufacturing joint. Conductor winding machines are limited by the size of wire spool they use for the length of core they can produce. When a spool runs out of conductor the manufacturer has to make a joint to a new one.


How do they make the join?
Would each separate strand of the conductor run out at different times so that you would get, say, an overlap and an extra strand for a short distance?

Please don't say that all 5 strands would run out at once and they would then join the new spool of conductor with a granny knot.
userspospe
Posted: 6 December 2013 5:51 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Steve928 - 2013-12-06 10:01 AM

T8LEY - 2013-12-04 11:09 PM
Looks like you've been the victim of a poor manufacturing joint. Conductor winding machines are limited by the size of wire spool they use for the length of core they can produce. When a spool runs out of conductor the manufacturer has to make a joint to a new one.


How do they make the join?
Would each separate strand of the conductor run out at different times so that you would get, say, an overlap and an extra strand for a short distance?

Please don't say that all 5 strands would run out at once and they would then join the new spool of conductor with a granny knot.


Only one strand needs to be involved. If the joint of just one strand is high(ish) resistance, that can lead to a heat build-up which can lead to the insulation bubbling, which can lead to moisture ingress, which can lead to failure.

What I am 100% confident about, is that there is no way at all that a continuous copper wire in the middle of a run can corrode, without the intervention of some disturbing chemical, or (more likely) electrolytic action.

From Steve's description and photograph, I would go for the high resistance / heat build-up / insulation break-down / moisture ingress / wire joint, type of scenario. This will be quite a rare fault and possibly Steve will be the only person to suffer from it (I wait to be proved wrong!).

userSteve928
Posted: 24 September 2014 3:48 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Sadly it's time to revisit this thread almost one year on as the same symptoms have reared their ugly head one again on our old Elddis (which now lives next door).

About six weeks ago it cut out completely then restarted again after about 5 minutes and completed a 500 mile journey.
Then it had a trouble-free summer holiday covering 3500 miles.
Then last week at the first sign of a cold morning there it was again: imobiliser light on and no pumps running, then all normal about a minute later.
It's been slowly getting worse since then and today no luck at all: imobiliser light permanently on..

So today out with the headlight, cut open the spaghetti again looking for a wiring fault as it seemed to fit with resistance in a wire slowly getting greater.

This time I found a corroded section in the same earth control wire as before, but about 500mm away.
Again the conductor had turned to verdigris although this time the insulation was intact but a little lumpy and discoloured.

Pic 1 is the corroded wire.
Pic 2 is the location in the loom: right where the wire is clipped down into the inner wing and where the dirt and moisture tends to sit (beneath the ABS unit).
Replaced the entire run of that wire and so far all seems OK.

On my current van I'll be cutting that clip and raising that section of the loom up off the inner wing in the hope that it'll keep drier and cleaner..


Edited by Steve928 2014-09-24 3:51 PM




(wire.JPG)



(loom.JPG)



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Attachments wire.JPG (18KB - 298 downloads)
Attachments loom.JPG (56KB - 451 downloads)
usereuroserv
Posted: 24 September 2014 4:43 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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I am not surprised at all Steve.
While our 2007 vehicles were under warranty we had several go in for investigation of strange faults and were always told that a 'wiring repair' had been done. Since 2010 we have been doing our own repairs and have become pretty good at finding faults and fixing them but I have to say that these wiring issues are very common. At a guess I would say that all of the vans from 2007 to 2011 have had at least one repair. The later 2011 vans have been much better, but at the same time; the winters have been milder so maybe that has something to do with it!

The blue connector under the fuse box is known by the manufacturer as D004 but by our local dealer and ourselves it is referred to as 'rusty junction'. I had to repair one last week. We had a couple of injection faults coming up and it occasionally ran like a dog. I went straight to rusty junction and found corrosion in the plug joint between two cables; one of which just pulled straight out of the plug. A couple of new sections of wire were spliced in and the vehicle was fine.

When you drive in wet conditions, there is a constant mist of water circulating in the engine bay. Much of it evaporates from hot parts of the engine and under the bonnet lid but some of it lingers in out of the way places and exploits any and every weakness there is. There are many.

As for you Steve; your training has served you well and you too are becoming a master repairer. Well done.

N
userartheytrate
Posted: 24 September 2014 5:47 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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All this is excellent information, my Peugeot boxer 2014 should be ok for awhile.
Thanks Steve and Euroserve.

John.
userBIFFO
Posted: 24 September 2014 11:49 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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Have been glued to the screen reading this thread, as many others have been I suspect. Have an A class on a ducato and suspect the wiring is all the same..........but........because of the type of body build, would the loom be in a different position compared to a low profile/ cab van and would this make a difference to the problem occurring. The earth strap will probably warrant a look as I presume this is in the same location on all chassis.
userpkc
Posted: 25 September 2014 11:35 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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Well said that man,
userSteve928
Posted: 25 September 2014 12:14 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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euroserv - 2014-09-24 4:43 PM
As for you Steve; your training has served you well and you too are becoming a master repairer.


Not quite, but it was certainly easier the second time around, knowing what to look for

The part that scares me though is what would happen if you broke one the wires at the point of entry to one of the big ECU or fusebox multi-plugs. You have to be quite forceful at times and if a wire came away from the connector I've no idea what I'd do. Can these plugs be opened up and connections re-made?
useraandncaravan
Posted: 1 January 2016 5:15 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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As well as Motorhome repairs and servicing, we restore Citroen vans that were made from 1947 to 1981, so corrosion is not an unknown problem. One issue that crops up again and again is with a cable that has a crimped connector over the end of the cable. Corrosion takes place where the crimp bites down on the cable and the Copper cable corrodes.

We had a Fiat Motorhome in with an Earth cable issue on Wednesday and replaced the strap with a new one and fitted a second strap higher up the Engine out of the worst of the road Salt/Spray.

It struck me that the Fiat Earth cable problem may have related issues to our Citroen vans. So I have just cut open the crimp connector at one end of the old Fiat Earth strap I removed.
Where the Copper Braid is 'clamped' by the Steel connector, it is really badly corroded. A mixture of Green and white mess. The Steel crimp is also badly corroded on the inside.

If you look really carefully at the photo in the link below (sorry can't post a photo here so stuck it at the bottom of one of the Citroen pages), there is no way that the design of the cable is going to stop Water/Salt getting down the cable strands and deep into the joint where the connector is crimped on.

All of the Earth straps may fail at some point, even the replacements from Halfords and the like, as they seem to use the same construction, except the possibly solution in the link below? The tinned braid type might last longer if the connector is quality?

See bottom of this page for pictures and more text : http://www.citroenhyonline.co.uk/6volt-to-12volt-conversion.php

I think we will get some of this braid in to fit in the workshop see how it handles?



Edited by aandncaravan 2016-01-01 5:19 PM
usermarkgc65
Posted: 3 January 2020 3:17 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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hi Steve i know this is old but where about was this pic taken. as its hard to tell i have dead imobilised van at the moment had ecu checked earth strap replaced etc fuse box all looks like new om mine 2
userSteve928
Posted: 7 January 2020 10:50 AM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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markgc65 - 2020-01-03 3:17 PM

hi Steve i know this is old but where about was this pic taken. as its hard to tell i have dead imobilised van at the moment had ecu checked earth strap replaced etc fuse box all looks like new om mine 2


If you're referring to the first picture that you encounter when scrolling up this thread then it was taken behind the N/S headlamp with headlamp removed. Good luck in tracing your problem.
usertonyishuk
Posted: 7 January 2020 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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Another effect of dirty contacts, or rubbing abraded wire, is the spurious changes in voltage and resistance.

These in turn can effect data signals carried on the wires, Drop a couple of zeros and ones, the ecu ends up with a different message to that intended. The ecu is usually intelligent to drop the sign, but can be fooled, if there is a constant faulty repetition of faulty information.

Rgds
usertward_uk
Posted: 29 July 2020 2:10 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 
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Hi there. I’ve been reading this thread with great interest and was wondering if I could ask some advice please. I’m posting on behalf of my parents who have recently bought a Fiat Ducato motorhome. It’s their first venture into the world of motorhomes and they were having a great time until they’ve hit immobiliser issues. They drove for 4 hours on Saturday with no issues, arrived at a campsite just outside of Nailsea in the West Country, filled up the Fresh water tank and the engine wouldn’t start again. Just getting the immobiliser light and beep but no ticking over of the engine at all. After reading this thread I would love to try replacing the Earth cable and looking for corrosion on the cables but none of us are mechanically talented in any way and we don’t want to make it worse! I was wondering if anyone could recommend any garage or auto electrician in the are which might be able to help?

Thanks in advance
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 29 July 2020 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: That X2/50 engine/gearbox earth strap - again..
 


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I assume they don't have a breakdown service?
If not, according to the Fiat Professional website (which is not always completely reliable ) the two nearest Fiat Professional workshops are:
Motus Commercials of Bristol. Days Rd, St Philips BS2 0QP Bristol: Tel: 08433939279, and
Huttons (Fiat Camper) Bridgewater Rd, Bleadon, BS24 0AW Weston Super Mare, Somerset: Tel:01934 812244.

Alternatively, the AA say: "You can join the AA now. Call 0800 88 77 66 and we’ll come and rescue you today. We'll provide instant cover for anyone broken down in the UK who's not already with us. Just so you know, you can’t buy cover online if you’ve already broken down – so please call instead and we'll help you."
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