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Old 09-21-2012, 11:24 PM
is thinning the herd
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,273
190D W201 Headlight Wiring Fire

So, I was doing injector crush washers and return lines on my 1988 190D 2.5 in my shop because its about to go back on the road as winter approaches.

Next to the car my friend was helping our mutual friend do a radiator in his BMW, the bleeding system on a BMW is tricky and they can be tough to bleed.

After the car was fully up to temp and the heat was blowing scalding hot, owner of the car, goes, "I wonder if the level dropped in the reservoir" and took off the expansion tank cap, for those of you who know BMW, know that BMWs run at a very high cooling system pressures. Well a geyser of nearly a gallon and a half of boiling water shot out of the top of radiator. My friend who was there to help got some pretty good burns, we took him to the doctor later on and got him some ointment.

The vast majority of the water went into the passenger side of the 190D engine bay. About a minute after the initial WTF!, electrical smoke was rolling out of the 190D. The headlight wiring was smoldering. Something shorted and one of the grounds got super hot and ruined the wires in the sheathing from the headlight to at least the klima relay. The sheathing around the wires had a lot of water in it, either a wire was already chaffed or the hot water damaged one of the wires that is hot all the time and shorted it to ground. The only wire that has all the sheathing burned off of it is a ground so hopefully no hardware was damaged in the fiasco.

The net effect is:

This wiring appears to run under the cowl, can anyone tell me where it ends? Does it end in a connector? If so I have access to 3 190E parts cars and I'd rather take the cowl apart and replace the whole sub-harness for the passenger headlight and washer fluid pump if possible rather than cut the sheathing apart and replace up to like 11 wires. This is the wire that runs from the headlight/turn signal/washer pump on the passenger side, up the fender, behind the battery, in front of the Klima, and under the wiper motor to the passenger side.
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