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Old 11-12-2006, 11:22 PM   #1
v8volvo
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Default Fixing busted 245 tailgate wiring

I'm about to score a pretty nice '87 245 for very cheap. It needs to have the license plate lighting fixed to pass inspection, and the reason the lights don't work is the tailgate wiring is broken where it passes through the hinges (duh). Seen it myself. Is there any way to fix this without replacing the whole hinge assemblies? I assume I can just take the hinges off and butt-connect the broken wires together, right?
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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ive never seen what the tailgate looks like without the cover on the back of it off, but just fuggin hot-wire the thing man.

Two wires wired to ignition, 15 minutes worth of work, just disconnect them when youre done and do it correctly, later.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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my girlfriend actually pulled all the wires out of her hinges with a pair of needlenose pliers and spliced them together. She pulled about an inch from each end, them stripped them, twisted them together and wrapped them in electrical tape. Been like that for almost six months and things work still. If she was here she could tell me what color wires went where. Man, I love her
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:37 PM   #4
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I fully repaired my tailgate hinge wiring a number of years ago, even made a write-up about it... However, said writeup is unfortunately long gone. I'm sure others have made similar write-ups...it's really not that hard of a job - you might need two people to pull the tailgate off and set it down on a couple of sawhorses and again when you put it back together, but other than that it's an easy one-man job done in a couple of hours.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:39 PM   #5
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ha! I just called her and she's not sure of the wire colors but told me she's almost 100% sure that the license plate wires are under the left side hinges. Also, I think IPD or FCP Groton sells a kit to replace the wires up there. That would probably be the "right" way to do it.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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My parents had it replaced about 4 year ago and it went bad on them again after a year. The 3rd brake light stopped working and the rear defogger stopped working. I basically pulled all the wires out and spliced in new longer pieces. But, this time I didn't route them through the hinge. I just routed it from the top headliner to the top of the door fabric, doesn't look too bad but it works without problems now and I don't have to worry about it breaking again.

The easiest way would just to buy the replacement harness and plug it in...but I was cheap and had tons of wire and solder so did it myself.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:50 AM   #7
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Great, sounds easy enough. The seller told me I needed all new hinge assemblies for $300, which would make the whole purchase not worth it. Thanks! I'll post pics when it becomes mine...
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
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I need to do that. The brake light and wiper work, but the defrogger and power lock don't.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:38 AM   #9
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I was just going to ask this question. One of the wires in the pass. side of my 245 winter-wagons' tailgate harness caught fire! I don't know which one it is, because the whole thing is melted and mangled now, but now my stereo fuse keeps blowing (like, the second I put the fuse in) and nothing in my tailgate works electronically. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for the tailgate? How can I take the headliner down back there?
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:52 AM   #10
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its pretty easy.
volvo used thick grey silicone cable. Only the piece that passes through the hinge breaks, there is at least a feet of good wire inside the tailgate itself. solder the broken piece, use tape or even better shrink-tubing, and position a 'fresh' piece of wiring inside the hinge.

removing the headliner is easy, just pull off the thick black trim thats around the tailgate opening where its needed and you can remove a little bit of the headliner to acces the bolts etc.
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:12 PM   #11
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http://www.swedishbricks.net/faq/tailgate.html
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:01 PM   #12
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if you have a bentley that will tell you how... relatively easy... i recommend going through FCPGroton for a brand new harness they're like ten bucks
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:21 PM   #13
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I would not recommend putting a new harness THROUGH the hinges if you want them to last long. It's easier to buy a new harness and route them outside the hinge, exposed, with plenty of slack because in the hinge they break in no time.

Replacements are available from IPD or FCPGroton. Having used both, if you're going through the hinge, I'd buy the IPD harness. They're of better quality, but a little more expensive. If you're going outside the hinge, go with FCPGroton...they're cheaper and quality doesn't matter outside the hinge.

I've never heard of actually having to REPLACE the whole hinge because of the wiring...maybe I'm not reading that correctly?
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:31 PM   #14
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I would not recommend putting a new harness THROUGH the hinges if you want them to last long. It's easier to buy a new harness and route them outside the hinge, exposed, with plenty of slack because in the hinge they break in no time.

I've never heard of actually having to REPLACE the whole hinge because of the wiring...maybe I'm not reading that correctly?
I had a cheap (read $200) old 245 that needed this fix and I just went direct as noted above, eliminate the hinge wiring, it's not a great design, get some accordian rubber to put over the wires and splice and you're set. I did it on mine with less than $5 in parts and less than 20 minutes of time and it lasted a good 50K with no trouble.

On the whole hinge needing replacement, the hinges do wear the holes become too oblonge with too much play. A really worn hinge will pinch the wires off in one open/close.
Personally unless this is a concourse car just go outside the hinges with the wire and forget replacing the hinges.

Anyway that's my $.02 your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:44 PM   #15
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Aw crap...the guy sold it out from under me. Thanks for the help, though, this will come in handy on my '76 245 as well, since it doubtless needs the same repair.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:37 AM   #16
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Make sure to check that the ground wire it still connected as well. Otherwise it won't function correctly.
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:09 AM   #17
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Been there. Done that.

I pulled some new wire thru the hinges using the old wires as a leader. I did one side at a time.

Lasted almost 5 years before those crapped out.

Next time I am doing something different. I think I can run from the headliner to the tailgate.
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