ECU wiring harness

Tiny
RAKKY
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 225,000 MILES
My 1998 honda civic dx coupe ecu harness has been cut, some of the wires are the same colour, how can I find out which one goes to which location on my new connector I got from the scrap yard? I was told by a friend that I have to change the whole car's complete wiring harness
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 12:57 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hondas normally use three things to tell them apart. The main wire color, a different colored dashed stripe, and a few different colored dots every inch.

If the connector you got is the same, sometimes they change wire colors during different years. In that case, you can go by the locations in the plugs if you still have the old one, otherwise you'll need service manuals for your car and for the car the connector came from so you can determine which wire is for which function. The alternative is to find a different connector with the same color wires.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 1:04 AM
Tiny
RAKKY
  • MEMBER
Would a regular mechanic be able to do this for me?
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 1:10 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
They would have to go through the same steps I listed. The advantage to taking it to a shop is they will have people who are good at soldering, but the disadvantage is this is not the type of thing they normally do so your car might sit on the back burner for a while until they have the time to work on it, OR, they are going to have to charge you for the mechanic's time to figure it out. At around 100 bucks per hour, you might be better off learning to do it yourself, assuming you have time to do that.

If you have a community college nearby, there are two possibilities. You might be able to enroll in just their automotive electrical class, or the students might take it on as a project. We were always looking for live work for the students to gain experience, but my class was only 8 weeks long, 22 hours per week, and we had all we could handle to get through the required stuff. That left us with just one week per year at the end of the course for things like this.

Some schools have night classes for anyone in the community to attend. There are no grades or homework. Just bring in your projects and have the instructor help you.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 1:31 AM
Tiny
RAKKY
  • MEMBER
One last question, what do you mean by dots, on the wires, I the wires have a solid colour, a stripe, and then I see some silver marks, ? For example I see 2 wires that are yellow and both have a black stripe, will there be circles on them too? Also where can I get a service manual.
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 1:38 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Those silver marks are the dots. Look for different color dots on the two yellow / black wires. If both wires are exactly the same, they both might have gone into the same terminal in the connector.

By far the best service manuals come from the dealer. You can also look on eBay. I bought a lot of manuals from "lorieandjeff" out of Tennessee, but I think they go by a different name now. They always have thousands of car dealer items listed and most are service manuals.

There is a service online called AllData but it is very expensive. They have wiring diagrams but they are kind of hard to follow. Our community college paid over a thousand dollars per year to rent it for five computers. One of them was in the library and was made available to everyone in the community. Another one is called "Mitchel On Demand", but it is expensive too. Their wiring diagrams are a little better but nothing is as good as a paper book.

You might consider asking the dealer if you could photocopy some pages out of their service manuals. Often when they get to be more than ten years old they will donate them to schools with automotive programs. You can ask there too.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 2:08 AM
Tiny
RAKKY
  • MEMBER
Ok, thanks alot for your help, I am glad I talked to you or I would have bought a whole wiring harness and wasted alot of time and money. I am gonna take your advice and tackle this thing on thursday when I have alot of time.
Thanks alot
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 2:12 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What's your age and experience with electrical? I have a lot of "Notes Pages" handouts I produced for my students. I'm working on making that stuff available on a web site. The most important thing with what you're attempting is to be good at soldering. First you need a good mechanical connection between the spliced wires, then soldering provides the good electrical connection. Heat the wires on one side and apply the solder to the other side. When it melts, it will flow toward the heat source and encompass all of the wires. You don't want to just build up a pile of solder around the outside of the joint. There should be no sharp points sticking up from the wires because next you'll slide a piece of heat-shrink tubing over the joint. Sharp wires could work their way out and lead to corrosion of the connection. Don't use electrical tape. It will unravel in a sticky mess when it gets hot. Heat-shrink tubing seals when you warm it with a lit match, but don't overdo it. It will melt and split open from too much heat. Chrysler and some auto parts stores even have heat-shrink tubing with hot-melt glue inside to seal the connection against moisture. It is real smart to use that stuff under the hood.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 AT 2:29 AM

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