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The T3sk3y Defenestrator

Whitewater Restoration – The Wiring Harness Gets It!

WARNING:  The following image is not for the easily offended.

Whitewater’s wiring harness in the dishwasher

I’ll admit – this isn’t a standard cleaning tactic.  The ‘normal’ way to clean a wiring harness is to soak it in Bleche-Wite and blast it with a pressure washer in the driveway; then leave it out to dry in the sun.

It’s March in Minnesota.  It would have rested in a melty slushpuddle and been snowed upon.

So, while Heather was out of the house on Saturday afternoon, I dragged it upstairs to the dishwasher and threw it in.  I made extra sure none of the parts would droop through and get bashed by the sprayer – and I turned off the high-heat dry cycle.

After about 10 minutes, I opened the door to take a peek – and saw 2″ of what looked like motor oil in the bottom.  It was amazing how much black gunk came off!  When the cycle was done, I hauled it back down the basement and blasted out all of the connectors, sockets, and switches with compressed air to displace any sediment or residue.

How did it turn out?  I’m 90% happy with the results.  It isn’t perfectly clean – hand scrubbing would still remove more tough gunk.  There’s also a little bit of soap blech on the sockets and switches.  I should have used liquid instead of powdered soap – but that’s all we had.  It wipes right off, so I’m not anticipating issues.   On the bright side, it’s pretty darn clean – and it was a whole lot easier than the hand method!   I’d do it again.

Now it’s time to start replacing the harness:

Now, where does all this crap go?

As I was trying to disentangle the harness, I realized it was actually three completely separate harnesses: one for the switches, one for the lamps, and one for the high power (solenoids & flashers).  This means I could re-run one at a time to keep everything straight.

The switch harness replaced with the wiring risers in place

The next painful step?  Replacing 50 corroded light sockets, one at a time.  No – the dishwasher wasn’t to blame, I suspect it was the container trip back from China.

Follow the pictoral progress over at my SmugMug account: (link)

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