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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0
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Discussion Starter #1
So when I first bought My 05 LL bean wagon everything was great! After about 3 months or so the radio stopped working. Just AM/FM. Eventually I ran it down to the wires in the boot between the body and rear hatch. There are two wires that were completely broken. Long story short I spliced in a length of equal gauge wire. Everything has been hunky dory since (at least with the radio). recently I looked at wires in the passenger side boot, the insulation is cracked on a bunch of the wires. The problem is that there really isn't a whole lot of room to work on these wires and im wondering if, as a preventative measure, I should do the same. Or if this is a case of if it aint broke dont fix it?
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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What you can do (and I have done it quite a few times) get a corrugated plastic protective wire sleeve (available at any auto supply store) and wrap replaced/fixed wires into that sleeve.

Recently I have added a rear view camera (bluetooth synced with my Garmin GPS) and I had to tap into some live wire running from inside the rear deck (from rear view camera/lens) to any live wire inside the cabin. I ran a wire from the deck using one of these sleeves into to the cargo area dome light switch wires under the (rear) headliner.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0
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Discussion Starter #3
What you can do (and I have done it quite a few times) get a corrugated plastic protective wire sleeve (available at any auto supply store) and wrap replaced/fixed wires into that sleeve.

Recently I have added a rear view camera (bluetooth synced with my Garmin GPS) and I had to tap into some live wire running from inside the rear deck (from rear view camera/lens) to any live wire inside the cabin. I ran a wire from the deck using one of these sleeves into to the cargo area dome light switch wires under the (rear) headliner.
I havnt fixed any of the wiring yet. Wondering if I should bother.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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I havnt fixed any of the wiring yet. Wondering if I should bother.
Yes, you should. There are quite a few wires there and some other pesky electrical issues may pop up later, if you don't fix it now!
Make sure you disconnect the battery, if you do so. Some wires are "live" even if the ignition switch isn't on!
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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Well, some of the wires that are going to be in that bundle also include the rear window defogger, wiper, antenna amplifier and the third brake light. It appears that since the rubber boot is not seated in to the body panel there is a pinch-point forming and it has cut through the insulation on several of the wires.

Unless you fix it you are going to end up with a combination of where a wire is shorted out that handles a large amount of current (like the defogger or rear window wiper, those can handle up to 20 amps of current). Also depending upon how the wires may short to each other you can end up pumping 12 volts back in to something like the antenna where it will burn out the amplifier and/or the AM/FM receiver.

Your third brake light may stop working or it may just stay on all the time. The same thing with our wiper or the in-glass rear window defogger. You may also start blowing fuses that may affect things like ALL of your brake lights.

To fix it someone is going to need to pull the skin off of the inside of the rear hatch and unsnap the electrical connectors and feed the wires back to the opening so they can get enough working space to re-insulate each one of those spots where the insulation is damaged. Then the boot will need to be (properly) attached so it is not flopping around like that and latches in to the chassis opening in the steel. Then everything can be plugged back in.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0
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Discussion Starter #6
Well, some of the wires that are going to be in that bundle also include the rear window defogger, wiper, antenna amplifier and the third brake light. It appears that since the rubber boot is not seated in to the body panel there is a pinch-point forming and it has cut through the insulation on several of the wires.

Unless you fix it you are going to end up with a combination of where a wire is shorted out that handles a large amount of current (like the defogger or rear window wiper, those can handle up to 20 amps of current). Also depending upon how the wires may short to each other you can end up pumping 12 volts back in to something like the antenna where it will burn out the amplifier and/or the AM/FM receiver.

Your third brake light may stop working or it may just stay on all the time. The same thing with our wiper or the in-glass rear window defogger. You may also start blowing fuses that may affect things like ALL of your brake lights.

To fix it someone is going to need to pull the skin off of the inside of the rear hatch and unsnap the electrical connectors and feed the wires back to the opening so they can get enough working space to re-insulate each one of those spots where the insulation is damaged. Then the boot will need to be (properly) attached so it is not flopping around like that and latches in to the chassis opening in the steel. Then everything can be plugged back in.
The boot was removed for inspection and photo purposes. I had inspected this side when i originally repaired the driver side and just came back to take a look. I suspect that opening and closing the hatch frequently has cause the failure of the insulation. I keep tools in the back and I'm in and out at least a couple times per day. You bring up very valid points and I will be addressing this sooner than later. Thanks for taking the time.
 

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Two videos will give you an idea of what's involved, from repairing/splicing a single wire to dealing with the whole wiring harness.


In my case, the rear wiper stopped working and the break in the very flimsy wire was really obvious. Spliced in a 6" patch. The bad one to have break would be for the rear hatch solenoid to be stuck in the locked position. Given the age of the my car and the hassle of removing all kinds of trim, I might opt to make a neat slice in the grommet/housing to give some working room, and then seal it with silicone. Opinions?


 

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Two videos will give you an idea of what's involved, from repairing/splicing a single wire to dealing with the whole wiring harness.


In my case, the rear wiper stopped working and the break in the very flimsy wire was really obvious. Spliced in a 6" patch. The bad one to have break would be for the rear hatch solenoid to be stuck in the locked position. Given the age of the my car and the hassle of removing all kinds of trim, I might opt to make a neat slice in the grommet/housing to give some working room, and then seal it with silicone. Opinions?. . .
Thanks for posting the videos.

In regard to slicing the flexible boot, it might be a challenge to establish, and maintain, a long-lasting, water tight, seal along the length of the slice, given the zig-zag shape and the need for the boot to flex.

The loss of control of the rear gate latch lock solenoid would indeed be problematic (although it can still be unlocked manually from inside). However, there might be other wires that could lead to equally if not more serious issues. For example, the wire to the back up lights. When that breaks and shorts to ground (when the transmission is put into Reverse or even as moving the select lever between P and N with the AT) it blows fuse #18 in the cabin fuse panel (2005-2009). When fuse #18 is blown, the headlights don't work!

Similarly, if the wire going to the high-mount stop light shorts to ground, the stop light fuse can be blown, not only disabling all the stop lights at the rear, but also the shift lock solenoid (AT) which limits movement of the gear select lever into and out of Park.

There's quite a few threads here related to breaks in the wiring to the boot in the 2005-9 model years.
 
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