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Old 11-15-2005, 09:49 PM   #1
John Callahan
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Question Question: Reparing engine block heater cord

So as I noted a few threads back, I was puttin in a new battery the other day. While doing that, I remembered something I had forgotten since last winter -- somehow, the cord to the block heater got cut in two.

So now I got two options.

1. Buy a new block heater w/attached cord. I'm not inclined to do this, because (in addition to the $$) upon inspection, it looks like it would be tough to install it and route the cord up through the engine compartment, because you've got to get under the car, which is about a foot off the ground. I don't have tire ramps or anything like that -- I can barely wedge my head under there to inspect, much less do any actual work.

So, since the block heater presumably still works, I think it would be easier to just ...

2. Splice on a new cord, with a plug.

Here's what I'm wondering, though (maybe a stupid question -- I don't know much 'bout dem der 'lectronick doo-dads). The cord is a flat cord, with three separate wires. I don't know which is which! Don't I at least have to know which is the ground?

It's a 10-minute job to strip off an inch of rubber, splice the three wires to three wires from another cord, and tape the whole job up. But don't I have to be able to figure out which wire is which?! How do I do that?

I have a road trip to Fairbanks coming up, to visit the mother-in-law. Let me just say I'd hate to get stranded up there.

- jc
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:58 PM   #2
xplcitcustmz
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did you lose the original plug that was there??
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:04 PM   #3
AWDBST
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One side of the cord will have little ribs on it. Your new cord will have that also if you get the same flat cord. Ground should be in the middle. So just wire to wire.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:17 PM   #4
John Callahan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xplcitcustmz
did you lose the original plug that was there??
Yeah, I don't even know how the thing got severed. My wife rear-ended a guy (hmm, that that doesn't quite sound right) while driving the car -- it may have gotten severed at that point.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:18 PM   #5
John Callahan
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Really? That's very helpful! I'm going to check that right now!
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:21 PM   #6
xplcitcustmz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Callahan
Yeah, I don't even know how the thing got severed. My wife rear-ended a guy (hmm, that that doesn't quite sound right) while driving the car -- it may have gotten severed at that point.

yea that doesnt sound right it should state, " A guy rear-ended my wife"
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:07 AM   #7
John Callahan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDBST
One side of the cord will have little ribs on it. Your new cord will have that also if you get the same flat cord. Ground should be in the middle. So just wire to wire.
I'll be darned, you're right -- it is ribbed along one side. And the middle wire is wrapped in green, so it is obviously the ground. Thanks! Should be no problem now to fix. I appreciate it!


- jc
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:58 AM   #8
00Maddog
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i have a crapload of new cords...let me know if you want one. when block heaters leak, i warranty them. the cord never fails. so hence me having a bunch...
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Old 11-16-2005, 02:54 AM   #9
John Callahan
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Hmm, kind of followup to all this:

While checking it out, I realized that the cord, even though severed, was still long enough to poke through my front grill. "Great!" I thought. "I don't even need to splice a wire -- all I need is a plug!"

On reflection, though, I started to wonder if that would be wise. The cord could get wet -- from snow melting off my hood, for example, and running down the cord. And the juncture between the cord and the plug wouldn't be sealed. I'd hate to electrocute myself plugging in or unplugging my car! Maybe it would be safer to splice on another cord, so that the splice is inside the engine compartment. Any thoughts?

- jc
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:20 AM   #10
xplcitcustmz
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i would recomend getting one from 00maddog, i think he would even install it for like 25 bucks probably
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:33 AM   #11
WRXnFX
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I thought the cord detached from the block heater?

Winslow
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:34 AM   #12
AWDBST
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You can do either. If you get a cord cap for flat cable, it will have the correct grommet in it to seal properly.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:51 PM   #13
Getagrip
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FYI the cord is available by itself as a subaru part. It's like 27 buck (almost as much a s a blockheater w/cord). The cord does unplug from the actual heater.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:40 AM   #14
00Maddog
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i have free cords, they take less then 1 minute to install, plug in at the heater, and people would consider patching it???

o and i would not charge to install it
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:32 AM   #15
John Callahan
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Default Sounds good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Maddog
i have free cords, they take less then 1 minute to install, plug in at the heater, and people would consider patching it???

o and i would not charge to install it
Sorry I didn't asnwer this right away -- I was in Girdwood for a couple of days.

If you've got an extra cord, I'd gladly take it off your hands for you! How should I get it from you?

- jc
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