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Thread: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

  1. #1
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    Default Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    See thread here for how this started:

    http://forums.focaljet.com/team-tech...umination.html

    Pit Stop Mods/Admins, feel free to move this if necessary. Figured I'd throw it here since Team Tech doesn't get much traffic and this applies to all 00-07 Focus Hatches.

    First off, I noticed the hatch light would no longer come on and soon after, the electronic pop for the hatch stopped working. Figured it would be a good idea to check the harness coming from the hatch and this is what I found...

    Tools Required:

    • T20 Torx
    • Flathead and Phillips Screw Drivers
    • Pliers
    • 8mm, 10mm, and 13mm sockets
    • Wiring Supplies


    First, remove the 3rd brake light. It's held on with two T20 torx bits. It will take some work to get it to come out. After it's out, pull off the washer fluid line from the sprayer and unplug the clip



    Next is to remove the wiper from the outside of the car with a 13mm socket. Lift up the cover, remove the nut and pull the wiper off. It's on a tapered shaft so it takes some wiggling, but it comes off pretty easily.





    The license plate needs to come off as well if you have a plate frame as it will interfere with removal of the hatch strip.

    Open the hatch and begin to remove all the plastic trim. The largest piece at the bottom is held on with four screw clips and other pressure clips. Remove the screw from the center:



    They are all plastic so be careful, especially when putting them back in. The clips just pop out with a small flathead:



    Start pulling around the edges until the remaining clips release. The next piece to come off is the one at the top of the hatch. It just pulls straight off.



    The side pieces come off when you give the pivots for the privacy cover a quarter turn and pull the panels off.

    It should look like this now:



    Unplug the wiper motor, unbolt the ground strap and remove the wiper motor. The ground bolt and motor bolts are all 8mm.



    The reason for removing the wiper and motor is to access the hatch strip. This needs to be removed to unplug the festoon bulbs. The strip is held on with 5 10mm nuts on BRASS studs. If your car has seen winter, these will snap guaranteed. I broke all of mine. I ended up replacing it with the one from the old WW WRC replica. Double-sided tape should work fine if you can't replace the studs.

    Pull out the strip and unplug the bulbs. When re-connecting, the black wire goes to the smaller contact and the hot lead goes to the larger.



    Unplug the hatch popper which also integrates the door-open switch and being removing the clips which hold the loom. Pull on the ties with pliers and they pop right out. Be careful to not pull from the wiring.

    Work your way around and unplug the defrost when you get to it.



    Pull the rubber boot free from the hatch and body. It's a huge PITA. The headliner should be removed to unclip the body-side retaining ring, but it can be pried up from the top. Just be aware it will break after doing this a few times.



    Snake the entire harness back through the hatch and pull it out to make it easier to work with. This is what I found inside the boot:



    Slide the boot up to expose the area you need to work on:



    Cut out the bad sections and splice in new wiring. I use 14-16ga and 18-22ga non-insulated connectors with heatshrink. Quick, looks decent and was easier than removing the harness from the car so I could solder it.

    Here is a proper crimp before heatshrink:



    Completed harness before I re-wrapped it in tape:



    Unfortunately, the boot is too tight to wrap the harness in foam tape to help prevent this from happening again, but the extra length to the wire should help.

    From here, everything is the reverse of install. The harness is actually fairly easy to route back through the hatch, but take your time and it should go easily. Verify everything works before you button it up.
    Joe

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  2. #2
    Ray
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Nice post Joe.
    I used to have a focus like you. Then I took an arrow to the knee.
    Intelligence is largely at the mercy of self-control

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    This problem fried the entire harness in my 01, wish this write up was around back when i was chasing down wiring problems for months and ultimately replacing all the wiring in the car!
    2009 VW Jetta SE

  4. #4
    Senior TEAM Member bluebyutoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    This write up was around a long time ago. I know because I did it. Its a very common problem with the ZX3

  5. #5
    Senior TEAM Member bluebyutoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebyutoo View Post
    This write up was around a long time ago. I know because I did it. Its a very common problem with the ZX3
    I believe it's become a common problem in all Focus models, including the sedan and wagon. My sedan was afflicted a while back. I first kept blowing the fuse for the license plate lights. Then, the trunk release stopped working, followed by the door locks.
    Richard
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  7. #7
    baker of shartmuffinz hyprshart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    archived to my desktop incase this ever happens to me and so i dont lose the pics if they are unhosted

    awesome how to, should be a sticky somewhere

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    FWIW, you can remove the hatch strip W/O removing any wiper components.
    Also you're better off using an adhesive lined heat shrink. It will ensure no air/moisture gets in and corrodes the connections.

  9. #9
    Cantankerous Quacker Dukman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    I was looking for the original thread a week ago as I also experienced several failures due to the cracking wires.

    Thanks to both of you for the write ups. Now I know exactly what I need to do. Though I'll have to order a new boot from Steve.
    2001 ZX3, Rainforest Green - Somewhat un-modified.
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  10. #10
    goldsex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Nice Job !
    Resident AEM, K&N and Spectre Performance guy.

  11. #11
    Senior TEAM Member bluebyutoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Still can't believe that Ford never saw fit to address this obvious defect.

    I hnow that i'll check wiring in any hatch I own in the future.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Mine has always been my headlight.

    However, my trunk has never latched "properly" so I'll guess I'll take a look at mine.

    This is a neat-o write up. Thanks!
    '02 SE SPI engine aprox. 170k....work in progress....

    I've decided that I'm buying a new Focus; one replacement piece at a time. It should be completely new in 3 years.

  13. #13
    Official [FJ] Distinguished Advisor Z63R's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    bluebyutoo

    Still can't believe that Ford never saw fit to address this obvious defect.

    Happens to BMWs, too. See it all the time at a buddy's shop. Even if a higher quality, more pliable, more-fatigue-resistant wire insulation were used, the copper would still work harden and break.

    A possible design solution might have exposing a much longer wiring run to the torsional flexing from opening and closing these hatch/trunk doors.

    Thanks to everyone who posted repair pics and text in these threads.

    A major to all (or just both?) of you!
    FORDSVTPARTS likes this.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    I came across this piece of info while researching wires... apparently most (if not all) automotive wire is called Class 2 for fixed installation (most auto wiring stays where it's installed), but there is a Class 5 "flexible conductor" wire that's intended for wires that move often. Basically it has smaller strands; just more of them. That could be something to look into for a longer-lasting replacement.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Check Your Hatch Wiring! (With How-To)

    Old thread but the topic still applies. A very common problem I hear.

    I had the same issue with my '05 Ford Focus wagon, 190k km. Trunk button & rear windshield washer intermittent, even rear door locks had a very occasional problem. (Can't tell if that's a separate issue or an issue due to improper trunk latch locking voltages in the central locking module.)

    I just spliced all 10 wires, since so many were damaged, with a few completely separated.

    I spliced in 2 ft long pieces of wire so I had easy access and could completely cut out any possibly damaged section. Just used crimp connectors with the plastic on them -- not as well sealed as what the original poster did. It was tough pushing the temporarily taped up bundle of 10 wires up through the rubber boot between car body and hatch lid.

    Used a multimeter continuity buzzer to check the right wires connected up.

    At the top end, the new wiring & splices hide under the trim piece at the top of the rear window.
    At the bottom end, they hide behind the headliner. Bit tricky trying to pry that downwards without cracking it -- there's one plastic plug holding the headliner to the car roof in that area and it takes some force to pop it out.

    Used 18 gauge for the 7 thinnest wires (bigger than any of them), and 16 ga. for the 3 thickest. Properly, I should have had a slightly bigger wire for the largest wire, the one for the rear window defrost - that's a thick wire.






 

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