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Old 07-12-2003, 06:18 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 448
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: San Diego, CA.
1999 Legacy GT

Default Rat chewed on a wire, now car won't start ! Help !

hi All,

It's been a long time, is this the same forum as before? They have changed it a lot!

anyways, yesterday I was going to go to school and my Legacy would not start, so I had to drive another car.
Today I wanted to find out what was the problem, so I oppened the hood and saw a rat chewing on a wire (look at the pics), we just moved to this beautiful big house in the outskirts of San Diego, you can say this is a Rural small town, so there's a bunch of animal activity at night, not like in the city. I've seen snakes, rabbits, coyotes, roadrunners, etc. so it's no surprise that we also have rats eating on our peach trees, and hidding in under the hoods of cars to eat, and chew on things, but this thing has made me mad!
The wire it chewed on is almost cut and it is under the intake manifold! so either I'll have to remove the intake to get to it and replace it or to undo the wiring harness, disconnecting a lot of the connectores and try to partialy remove the harness from under the intake so that I can mend it.

ok by looking at the pics below (you can click to enlarge), can you help me finding the best way to do this? Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-12-2003, 09:33 PM   #2
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT


My thoughts.
That is the crank trigger for the ignition.
IIRC, it goes to the middle of three connectors where the trans and engine meet on the passengers side.
If it were me, I would cut the 2 wires near the chew area and tie a string or 2 new wires to the end going towards the rear connector.
Pull on the 2 wires at the rear connector (black and white?) and feed the new ones (or string) back.
Now you can work on splicing at the rear (REMOVE THE AIRBOX) and to what is left going to the plug for the crank trigger.
Wrap up well with electrical tape and away you go.
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:18 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 12588
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Down by the sea
Four Count 'em


We've been thinking about and looking at houses in rural Alpine and all I can say is, your experience may cause me to rethink this proposition. I couldn't imagine dealing with this kind of a headache on a regular basis. Back on topic though...

I think Charlie-III has identified your problem wire and this would be a "non-starter" no pun intended. If it's severed she's not going to fire because there's no crank angle sensor signal to the ECU. I'd suggest taking out the alternator to make it easier to get to this wire, particularly since everything is tucked back and underneath this area. Is that whole wire chewed, and why just that one, or is/are there other wires that need to be replaced?

If possible try to solder and heat shrink your repair connections and then electrical tape over everything to restore water resistent integrity to that circuit.

I wish I had caught up with this sooner, I would have volunteered to give you a hand. Keep us posted on how it all comes out.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:16 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 448
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: San Diego, CA.
1999 Legacy GT


Dale, Charlie,

Thanks guys for replying.

I pushed the Car in the Garage and have done nothing to it yet, I'm going to decide what to do in the next days, I have several other cars to drive so this was no problem, but it needs to get fixed.
What Charlie suggests in not doable, the thing is that the wiring harness is wedged under the intake with wires going in different ways tying it in under the intake, that day I've started cutting the electric tape that has the wire bundle wrapped up in the back of the intake but I'm taking it easy, I'm also affraid that I'll cut the wire that the rodent chewed if I tie a string and pull as Charlie suggested. I've already removed the air box, the air filter housing and stuff from the back to have better access to the bundles. In another forum someone said that I'll have to replace the whole wiring harness because that wire is shielded and it will be imposible to fix, so anyways I'll wait and see what are my options.

Dale (Subietonic):
Don't let this event make a dent in your quest for a house in Alpine (this is where we live), it's beautiful over here, quite and it's not that far from the big city, it is just one rodent that we've seen at night coming out to get on our peach tree to eat, then it was carrying the fruits under the hood of the Subaru which was parked for a few days in a convenient place for it to store food and stay safe, it seems that the valley under the intake manifold is a cozy place to lay down and chew on the soy-based plastic wire wrapping.

Next time you are out here in Alpine House hunting let me know so that you can stop by our place and tell me what you think of the Subaru Situation!
It's amazing how this community has grown since I first joined, if you notice I'm member # 448 ! wow! that makes me feel old!

Thanks again guys!
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