1999 Plymouth Voyager SE 3.3L:Wire Harness Battery Acid/Transmission Overhaul

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by nnicolasjr, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. nnicolasjr

    nnicolasjr Guest

    Hi All : I would appreciate any and all answers or comment regarding my

    I've got a 1999Plymouth Voyager SE 3.3L, I initially took the van in
    for a transmission problem...Tranny guy said I needed to rebuild tranny
    because codes said some thing internal was wrong + it did not go into
    reverse. So I said OK...but the thing is I had tranny rebuilt 2 year
    prior and I only put less than 25K in miles since. While Tranny guy
    yanks out Transmission he says that there is major acid damage to the
    wire harness underneath the battery...He recommends me take it to his
    electrical guy for more specific diagnosis...So tranny guy completes
    his rebuild and says he puts 5 quarts of tranny fluid and does not
    connect battery until his guy looks at van. What I do is have my
    mobile electrical guy look at it cleans the outside of it and opens it
    up....he says wires look fine no internal damage to all the connections
    including the 2 wire harnesses and the other connectors going to the
    transmission...he says everything looks like it should be for a van
    this old. Wires look intact and pulling at the wire and pin show no
    signs of wire corrotion are powdered wire. He shows me the harnesses
    and connectors and they look like none of the acid has eaten away any
    of the wires. It just looks as though the acid has dripped on the
    outside of the harness...So the next thing I do is talk with the Tranny
    guy...Tranny guy insists on having his electrical guy look at van and
    says something about voiding the warranty he is giving me for tranny
    job he did if his guy does not look at...so i'm between a rock and a
    hard place....So I have the van towed to the Tranny guys electrical
    shop and he looks at it...he says major damage to harness... and it
    will need replacing....ouch....I don't know what to say or do...
    But I hold of on fixing.

    I've spent $1800 for this tranny rebuild, 2 years ago $2300 for tranny
    rebuild. I'm expecting maybe another $1300 or $2000 for wire harness.
    I know the dealers don't sell just the connectors but the whole
    loom...so i'm looking at a very expensive fix.

    If anyone could shed some light on how do identify if I need a new wire
    harness or if it is even worth putting more money into the harness...Do
    I junk the car or have the tranny guy top it off and I drive it home
    with no warranty?

    Can Tranny guy void his warranty because of "ugly wire harness"?

    I'm ready to tell the guy to top it off and I drive it.

    Thank you in advance for any advise or comments.

    nnicolasjr, Jun 30, 2006
  2. nnicolasjr

    Ace Guest

    My first thought is that you are being taken like Grant took Richmond.

    Without a shot.

    Bob AZ
    Ace, Jul 1, 2006
  3. If it won't go ito reverse then you have a stripped gear or some such.
    OK, so what happened is the previous rebuilder used cheapo Asian
    parts instead of the good quality Mopar parts, the cheap Asian junk
    wasn't up to snuff, and it broke.
    Here's what you do.

    Call a local wrecking yard and get a harness quote from them. The tranny
    guy is
    talking about the wiring harness that is going from the selonoid pack to the
    transmission computer. This is not a very long harness, it is true it has a
    of wires in it, though, but it really only has a big fat connector going
    the transmission computer to a big fat connector going to the selonoid
    pack plus a few other connectors on it. You probably do have a lot of
    dripped down battery acid on it, but there is no reason that you need a
    brand new harness, a clean one from a wrecker will work just as well.

    If I were the tranny guy I would probably recommend the harness to be
    replaced, because battery acid has a way of wicking all over the place.
    Cleaning it off is not really a solution, because all it takes it more water
    (rainwater or otherwise) to fall on the dried acid and it starts corroding
    the connectors again To really clean it properly you would need to take
    the harness off the car, unwrap the covering over the harness, immerse the
    entire harness in water and baking soda mixture, slosh it around really
    rinse it really good, use a heatgun and dry it really good, then use contact
    to clean all contacts, and rewrap it with a fresh wrap.

    It was your fault, frankly, for not maintaining your battery, it wasn't the
    tranny guy's fault that acid got on the harness. And this trans proper
    operation is
    critical to having good solid electrical connectivity between the trans
    and the selonoid pack.
    Your kind of between a rock and a hard place here. Your mobile electrical
    guy did confirm that you had acid on the harness, so if you decide to not
    replace the harness, and something happens, then you would need a
    sworn statement from the mobile wiring guy, and probably from some other
    auto electrical shop, that the harness wasn't damaged by the battery acid
    otherwise the tranny guy is going to try to get out of the warranty.

    It is very likely of course that the tranny guy and his electrical guy are
    to take your money and split it between themselves. I would under no
    circumstances pay to have the tranny guy's electrical guy do the work.
    Even if the tranny guy is completely on the level, and his electrical guy is
    completely on the level, all your doing by letting them work on it is to
    encourage an environment for this kind of sweetheart kickbacks.

    Legally, you gain nothing by having the tranny guy's electrical guy
    do the work UNLESS YOU PAY THE TRANNY GUY and he
    subcontracts the work out to his electrical guy. Why - because a year
    from now your tranny guy and his electrical guy could have a falling
    out, and if a problem happens you could bring it to your tranny guy and
    he could then claim the electrical guy botched the work.

    If you pay the trannny guy then he is warrantying the entire job - not just
    the transmission part of the job. If you pay his friend for the wiring job,
    him for the transmission job, and a problem happens, then the two of them
    could spend the next year sending you back and forth between them,
    blaming the other for the problem.
    I would not leave it like this unless your willing to forgo a warranty -
    is what it sounds like the tranny guy wants. Now, on the other hand, if
    suspecting the tranny guy of being dishonest, then a warranty from a
    person is pretty worthless so nothing is lost by doing this.

    What does your gut instinct tell you? I would suggest that if the tranny
    is being honest, that if you were to tell him your mobile electrical guy
    have a wrecking yard harness swapped in there, that he would say fine, go
    with it. If the tranny guy starts protesting over this, then tell the
    tranny guy
    that your only willing to go with his electrical guy if the tranny guy
    the entire job - transmission plus electrical work - and you only pay the
    tranny guy a set amount for the entire job and he pays his electrical guy
    of that - and see what he says. If he
    says he won't do it this way, then tell him that your not willing to be
    between 2 different vendors, and if he isn't going to warranty his work then
    your going to go to the local district attorney and have a discussion about
    fraud and false advertising. If he will do this, then get a quote and if
    it's not
    too much, then do it. $1200 is definitely too much.

    I suspect, though, that your tranny guy won't agree to this. If he really
    was interested in subbing the work out, he wouldn't have made you pay
    for a tow. That right there is already a big warning sign.

    Keep in mind that if you do pay the tranny guy and he subs the work to
    his electrical guy, that his electrical guy will not know how much you
    have paid to the tranny guy, and it sets up a condition where the tranny
    guy gets more money if he can screw over his electrical guy (ie: get
    his electrical guy to do the job for cheap then overbill you) rather than
    a condition where both of them benefit by working together to screw
    you over. Nothing then would prevent you from later on comparing notes
    with the electrical guy to see if his tranny guy friend really did pass
    everything he billed you. If you find a big discrepancy it might cause
    problems between the electrical guy and the tranny guy and thus you would
    have your revenge.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Jul 4, 2006
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