Fiat Ducato Wiring Harness Burn-outm

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by SueBaz, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. SueBaz

    SueBaz Funster

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    Hello motorhomers

    We are Barry and Sue, signed up since February, regular readers but not yet posted *mainly because we couldn't hope to compete with the wealth of humour and, being very recent owners of a motorhome, hadn't very much in the way of useful experience to contribute. *.........but if you have a Fiat Ducato based motorhome you may wish to read on *or at least skip to the penultimate paragraph (apologies this ended up longer than I intended).

    Our purchase of a Burstner 747 in February of this year is the culmination of a 10 year dream - we've wanted one since we first saw one. *It's proved to be everything we had thought it might be and we love it. * I retired a couple of years ago and now free of commitments elsewhere *we plan to spend most of next year (and hopefully longer) exploring Europe - so *a big thank you from us to all the site's contributors for insights into all sorts of things we had hardly thought about. *Geordie's tale, and the support from members of the forum, has however now prompted me to drop a line - not for help but to share and ask for information.*

    Our problem is a bit different to Geordie's. *Our van is a 10 year old left hooker of German origin brought into the UK, as far as I can gather, at the start of the 747production run. We bought it privately from it's previous owners, it's covered 43000 miles, very clean and tidy and apparently well looked after. *We used it in the UK *for weekend trips in the spring and then took it to France for a week in May as a shakedown *for long trip planned for August. *No problems at all until on the way back, quite out of the blue, we had electrical problems, cause unknown, which resulted in a burn-out of the underdash wiring loom.*

    Long story short - it's still there in France at the garage the RAC recovered it to at the end of May. *Why? Because FIAT can no longer provide a replacement wiring loom.

    The garage, the RAC and I have spent a great deal of time and effort looking without success - Fiat, Burstner, short run wiring manufacturers, breakers and their sites etc, etc, *we've seemingly tried them all.

    Burstner have taken an interest but it's not a Burstner part (their wiring loom still works and the van electrics remain 100%) - they e-mailed a couple of weeks ago to tell me they are still waiting for an answer from Fiat.

    We have had great support from our local FIAT dealer, Fiat Direct at Hayes, whose service manager spent a considerable amount of time looking at the technical spec of the looms that are still available trying to find one that might be adapted, albeit in the end none can be. *

    FIAT themselves however have proved particularly evasive and unhelpful and here is where we are looking for some possible information from you guys. *Any info you guys might have on the whereabouts of a loom ( part no. 1334740080 ) might be too much to hope for but we do have very real problem now in getting the vehicle repaired so suggestions on specialists who might be able to help would be very welcome.*

    Understanding why Fiat have been so unhelpful would also perhaps relieve or confirm my growing suspicions. *Is anyone out there aware of problems with Ducato wiring?

    It seems that back in 2003 there was a recall on certain Fiat Ducatos for a wiring loom chaffing problem on the heater motor (yep, that's under the dash ..........). Fiat are adamant that it doesn't effect our vehicle but I'm a tad suspicious both because I can't quite see what the difference is between different Ducatos and their heater motors and secondly because wiring looms aren't a fast mover in parts sale terms (normally). *Intriguingly it seems Fiat exhausted their stock of looms for our vehicle back in the beginning half of 2010 and haven't had any since so I can't but wonder whether this was because they didn't bother to lay many down in stock or because the demand was higher than might normally be anticipated?

    As Heyupluv has pointed out this week the Ducato platform and it's Citroen and Peugeot clones provide an incredibly large proportion of the base for motorhomes, something Fiat seem very proud of. *They know that our motorhomes last many years longer than the donor delivery vans they are derived from and you would expect that, having such a large share of this market, they would be keen to be seen to support it. *It seems not however. *They would not respond without considerable pressure and it took over a month culminating in week of ringing every day to solicit a final answer - which was to say they couldn't help and to provide me with the email address of a website for finding breakers!*

    Those of you with motorhomes built on Fiat Ducato chassis made between*May *2001 and *April 2002 having a chassis number between 6133293 & 6227258 please do check that your vehicle isn't subject to recall number R/2003/027. *If it is please make sure it has been modified by Fiat. *A nice man at VOSA has told me that the recall captured 83% of the vehicle parc which means that something like 1 in 5 vehicles got missed. *Whilst most of these will now be dead or dying delivery vans one might just be your motorhome.

    Again my apologies for this long tale of woe. *I love Monty Python and we do always try to look on the bright side of life - sometimes you do have to look a bit harder than one might hope! *I spoke to the RAC this morning and we are now *getting the vehicle shipped home, whilst the last vehicle I made a wiring loom for was a BSA C15 many years ago it looks like I may be building on that experience. *Will we still be going to Europe in our motorhome next year? *Of course - The pleasure we had from our short trips proved to us how good Burstner make a motorhome. *Will we be taking extraordinary precautionary measures and worrying about the Fiat chassis it sits on? *Without doubt!

    Regards

    SueBaz,
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Wires are easy.

    Getting at them and the connectors will be your problem.

    But it's doable if you plod away logically refusing to give up.
     
  3. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

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  4. SueBaz

    SueBaz Funster

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    Fiat Ducato Wiring Harness Burn-out

    Thanks Catherine. Parts Gateway unfortunately came up blank. Of interest perhaps to Ducato owners looking for 'new' but dated parts for Fiats might be a company called Autodem in Italy - they hold obsolete pars for Fiats and whilst they weren't able to help me they were very prompt and businesslike to deal with. They are apparently linked to Fiat in some way.

    Their contact details are:
    Autodem Motori Sri,
    via Caduti di Sabbiuno, 63
    40053 Bazzano (BO)
    Italia

    Tel: +39 051 830118
    Fax: +39 051 832804

    http:/www.autodem-motori.it

     
  5. John and Cheryl

    John and Cheryl Read Only Funster

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    Hi SueBaz
    Mine is a Fiat Ducato based motorhome 2002 so I looked at the chassis number is guess what is starts with 8618 so falls in between 6133293 & 6227258 :Sad: I have no idea if its subject to a recall.
    Thanks for the warning though.
    John
     
  6. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    Maybe I am looking at this too simplify but you could obtain the wiring specs from FIAT I'm sure a competent auto electrician could make the harness. Another option for this would be classic car enthusiasts who often have to make up harnesses.

    Worst case as Brian said wire for wire replacement on the existing harness replacing the burnt out connectors and cables. This obviously assumes it is possible to still trace them amongst the mess.

    Where there is a will, there is a way. :Smile:

    Hope you get sorted. :thumb:
     
  7. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    Recall info here.

    http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosa/apps/re...8AC84E664000256CC5002CB3FC&freeText=Blank&tx=
    Vehicle Details
    Reference : R/2003/027
    Manufacturer Ref : 4517
    Make: FIAT
    Model : DUCATO Launch Date : 05/02/2003
    Numbers Involved : 1634
    Build Start Date : 01/05/2001 Build End Date : 30/04/2002

    Recall Details
    Concern : INTERIOR FAN WIRING MAY CHAFE ON DASHBOARD SUPPORT Description : The interior fan wiring may chafe on a dashboard support. This could result in a short circuit and a fire in the fan unit.
    Remedial Action : Fit additional insulation and protection to the fan electrical wiring.
    Vehicle Id : ZFA2301200006133293 to ZFA2301200006227258
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  8. SueBaz

    SueBaz Funster

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    Thanks Pablomc

    You are correct Fiat have agreed they will make the technical info available (they have it web based and available for a fee). Finding a harness maker or auto electrician game to take it on has proved more difficult. The sports/vintage specialists seem to be geared for their specific target customers and general auto-electricians put this sort of job into the high risk/too complicated/not profitable/not interested category. We have looked so if anyone knows one we'd be very much obliged.
    There are however component suppliers out there with a huge range of bits (absolutely critical to make the loom properly compatible) and in the end I've reached the conclusion that to get the vehicle fixed I'm going to have to do it myself.

    Very sobering experience however - not something I expected problems with and certainly not one I thought would leave us unsupported with parts from Fiat.

    p
     
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  9. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

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  10. electricscott

    electricscott Funster

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    thanks for the heads -up just checked our bessacar 2002 and chassis no starts 5647 so it must be an earlier version, it is a manual diesel pre ECU models.
    hope you get it sorted soon
     
  11. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    Find a damaged unrepairable Ducato van or chassis cab from that year and salvage a loom or part of it ?
    Ebay or start here --
    http://www.find-a-part.com/
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I presume you have fully comp insurance !

    why didnt you make an insurance claim and let them sort it out.

    you have lost 6 months use and possibly another 6 months use before it is rewired...surely that is worth losing a years no claim bonus for if you aint NCB protected.

    chances are they would write it off as unrepairable due to the lack of parts, but you would at least be able to buy something else.
     
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  13. SueBaz

    SueBaz Funster

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    Ah Pappajohn - we went there !

    A man at Aviva and I had a a very interesting discussion around the subject of wear and tear, mechanical failure and consequential loss......

    We took out Goldstar Plus which included European breakdown cover through Frank Pickles, who were incredibly good, and thought we had everything covered, so to speak.

    Bottom line (for Aviva) seems to be that the harness burn-out is a 'mechanical failure'. Take the point said I but the 'mechanical failure' was the short circuit/stuck relay or whatever and the loom burn-out occurred as a result of that. 'No' said the man from Aviva it's part of the mechanical failure. Well said I if I hadn't got to the battery in time and the vehicle had gone up in smoke would that have been a mechanical failure? No that would have been a fire, a consequential loss covered by the policy. So I have a vehicle that can't be readily repaired because we can't get a loom (same result). No we won't pay out.

    So should I have let it burn....(once I'd got Sue out of course!)?

    Clearly we could take on Aviva but I suspect they would fight this very hard and we aren't rich enough.

     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    To be honest i was having a senior moment when i wrote that reply :Blush:

    Of course it was a mechanical failure, and not covered under compulsory road insurance. :Doh:

    on the other hand, had the harness fire been due to a minor collision and trapped the wiring it would have been covered.

    Maybe you should have let it burn !
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  15. SueBaz

    SueBaz Funster

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    Absolutely. When we get it back and fixed I'll get an ejector seat fitted for Sue.........:thumb:
     
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