The wiring harness that goes around the Sportsmobile-installed slider window on the driver side was shredded by jagged exposed metal. Five wires were abraded and exposed, causing multiple short circuits and creating a fire risk.
Early this year, I got into my van to discover I had no instrument panel lights, no hazards, no brake lights, and the gear shift lock wouldn’t unlock. This all seemed fuse related so I started checking and replaced whatever blown fuses I found. My hazards came back and my shifter unlocked but I still had no instrument panel lights or rear running lights (the brake lights were fine). The vanity lights (behind the sun visors) and the dome lights had also never worked since I purchased the van over a year before. I thought those issues were unrelated.
Turns out everything was related.
I was able to use the van during the day. At night, I would duct tape bike lights to the tail lights
. I identified that if I replaced fuse 10, I could intermittently regain instrument cluster and tail lights. However, the fuse would eventually blow and I’d be in the dark again.
I took the van to a mechanic and we started a process of elimination. We disconnected the headlights and taillights, took apart the trim and looked for striped wires. We weren't able to find anything.
I met up with Ray
and he suggested that I start to take apart the paneling behind the couch on the driver side. The wiring harness in there likely had an issue it was just a matter of where.
It turned out to be a good hunch and luckily I found the problem quickly. I did not have to remove all the cabinetry in this walk through floor plan. Behind the top of the driver side seatbelt, where it connects to the frame, the wiring harness was sitting against jagged metal that had been cut away to accommodate the sliding glass window. The unfinished sharp metal edge had abraded away the harness’ outer wrapping and was about half way through 5 separate wires. A few of the wires also showed signs of smoldering.
Soldering new lengths of wire, wrapping the solder in shrink tube, and rebuilding the wiring harness fixed all my issues: tail lights, instrument panel, vanity mirror lights, and dome lights. I also think the door lock switch on the back door started working again too.
I've attached pictures highlighting the location of the issue and the condition of the harness and wires before and after the repairs. I've also included a PDF of the relevant wiring schematics:
- 60-3 Instrument Cluster
- 90-1 - Turn/Stop/Hazard Lamps
- 90-2 - Turn/Stop/Hazard Lamps
- 90-3 - Turn/Stop/Hazard Lamps
- 90-4 - Turn/Stop/Hazard Lamps
- 90-5 - Turn/Stop/Hazard Lamps
- 92-1 - Exterior Lamps
- 92-2 - Exterior Lamps
- 92-3 - Exterior Lamps
I hope this post helps someone in the future. Shout out again to Ray for helping me with the diagnosis and repairs. I also hope that Sportsmobile takes note: unfinished jagged metal edges are a fire risk.