FAQs about Tailgates

  • The short and easy way out to fix broken wires.
  • How to replace the wiring harness.
  • How to replace the left side tailgate wiring.
  • Problems with the hinge ground wires.

  • The short and easy way out to fix broken wires.

    To: stessel@sunburn.ec.usf.edu
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: 245 tailgate wires
    Date: Tue, 2 Feb 93 09:44:22 EST

    Rich, [ and other wagon owners ]

    Roman Ford has done the "propper" repair of broken wires in his tailgate ('78 wagon). This involved getting "Atlas" or someone else suitable to stand idly with the open tailgate over his/her head while the other person wiggles and squiggles the new wire through the loosened hinge. I think Roman now recommends the short and easy way out...

    THE Short and Easy Way Out..

    Sit Indian-style in the back of your beloved Volvo wagon.. Remove rear door lever cover plate and carpeted door panel...Open rear tailgate... Pull down the roof liner edge at the corners.. Unhook the connectors and determine which color wires have been broken... (see wire table below)

    Driver's Side Hinge Passenger Side Hinge
    1 lead for tail light 2 leads for power door lock (up/down)
    1 lead for rear defrost 2 leads for rear wiper (12V/intermittent)

    Remove a portion of the weather stripping surrounding the door frame.

    Run new 12-14 gague wire from connector under head liner, through convenient holes in the metal, accross the "hinge zone," and into the convenient hole at the top of the tailgate..

    Run wire down the interior of the tailgate and scrape your fingers all to hell trying to retrieve them at the other end.

    Finish connections and test..

    Tell the beloved Volvo that it has been cured.. without the use of garlic.


    BTW, my wagon finally broke the passenger side wires after 10 years. I think the passenger side goes first because there are four wires going through that side wile the other side has only two wires.

    Herman L.N. Wiegman -> wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com
    General Electric - Corporate R&D, Schenectady NY
    - the Flying Dutchman in the DSP Swedish Brick -

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    How to replace the wiring harness.

    Date: Wed, 30 Mar 94 19:08 EST
    From: "James Lindley" <JML12@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
    Subject: Re: Questions on 240 wagons
    To: tech@cs.athabascau.ca

    This is some info I send to a fellow netter a while back. Hope it helps.


    - - The original note follows - -

    Date: Mon, 17 Jan 94 23:19 EST
    From: <JML12@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
    Subject: Re: Questions on 240 wagons
    To: LEEP@wsuvm1.csc.wsu.edu
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    In-Reply-To: LEEP AT wsuvm1.csc.wsu.edu -- Sat, 15 Jan 94 15:51:16 PST

    Repairing the wires running through the hinge on a 2X5 series is pretty straightforward. There are two basic options:

    1. Purchase a new harness from Volvo. Unless you have access to the special braided wire used by Volvo, any common multistrand wire substitutes will break even faster. A used harness is a possibility, but if you're doing the job it's probably worth it to use a new harness.

    2. Use wire from the existing harness that is in the tailgate to repair the hinge area. There is a little extra wire in the tailgate running to the license plate light and wiper assembly, but to get enough you have to fabricate extensions for most of the wire. This is easy to do with commonly available 14/16 gauge stranded wire since inside the tailgate the wire is not subject to the constant flexing of the hinge. I used this method and the repair has lasted 4 years on my 84.

    For the actual repair, you need to pull off the remove the tailgate inside panel (pretty straighforward, no hidden fasteners) and prefabricate the extension wires. 12-18 inch extensions will give you plenty of wire to work with. Next you need to remove the headliner closest to the hinge. All you have to do is bend down the flexible metal tabs to release the headliner at the corner closest to the hinge. It helps to have an assistant for the next step. You have to loosen the hinge and pull a good section of the old harness through the hinge, making sure you bring enough inside the car from the tailgate to accomplish the necessary splices. You also need to make sure that the wire running through the hinge has adequate slack. Pulling it tight only will put additional stress on the wire in the hinge. (IMHO I believe poor factory installation through the hinge hastens the demise of the wire) Make the necessary splices, soldering them if possible (taking care not to drop hot solder on the vinyl headliner) insulating the repairs, check everything out and reassemble.Be careful to get the the little rubber gasket back in place under the hinge before tightening.

    There are other methods that have been discussed on the net like running the wires in the car to the tailgate. Messy and too much hole drilling for me.

    By the way, most new cars have spring loaded contacts that make the electrical connections when the tailgate is closed. I wonder if the 855 is so equipped.

    Hope this helps.


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    How to replace the left side tailgate wiring.

    Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 13:45:54 EDT
    From: 04-Apr-1994 1344 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Subject: Tailgate wiring R&R tips for the net

    I did the left side tailgate wiring on my '90 245 this weekend and wanted to pass along a couple of tips to the net for anyone who might be doing this in the future.

    First, I tried doing this with just a loosened hinge. Forget it. Volvo puts some of that black non-drying stickum goop in the hinge to hold the harness in place. It's so tenacious you can't pull the wire out. I ended up removing the hinge. I proped the gate up with a large 4X4 cut a length that would apply a little upward tension on the open gate. Remove the little top clips for the gas struts and let them hang down to avoid twisting them as the gate moves around on the one hinge. I was told if you twist them from moving the hinge around, they'll lose their charge shortly after. Once the hinge bolts were removed, I placed a block of wood wrapped in my chamois under the rear corner and lip of the gate on this side (left) to keep in propped up. If keeps the gate from moving around and possibly dinging up the rear edge of it or the roof. Once the hinge is free, it is easy to remove the gasket, wires, washers, etc.

    Finally everything goes a lot easier if you remove all the the plastic connectors at the end of the wires. These are easy to remove with one of those small electronics screwdrivers; just bend down the little tabs which hold the metal terminals in the connectors. With them removed, it makes it much easier remove/replace the wires through the gate. The plastic connectors kept hanging up on things until I removed them.

    For the new harness, fish the wires through the hinge and down into the gate. I first tried to push them from the gate cavity up toward the hinge, and the wire would not take the proper route and ended up in the wrong spot. Fishing it through the from the hinge down avoids this.

    This is a job anyone should be able to do. It took me about three hours because of all the time I wasted trying to do things without removing the hinge. I figure the other side will take me about 1.5 hours now that I have some experience. I got the harnesses from George at Keene Toyota-Volvo for $20 each, about a 20% discount from what everyone else wanted around these parts.

    _-Chris Corey

    From: Marcel Chichak <chichm@tibalt.supernet.ab.ca>
    Subject: 245 gate hinges
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 21:36:59 MDT

    I first noticed the broken wires in the harness a year ago in the spring when I was washing the winter guck off. There it was, the little wee ground strap sticking straight up in the air. I took it back to the dealer for a new hinge on warranty. Not long after that I noticed the other side was broken too, and also, every time I hit a bump with the brakes on the rear defrost would start up!!? Turns out that neither hinge was grounded properly. The tail gate was pulling ground through the catch and on bumps it would momentarily disconnect and send a ground pulse through to the defrost and start a cycle. WEIRD.

    Anyway, since mine is a '92 and the first set of hinges was on new-car warranty, the set I just had installed (yes they were broken again this spring!) were warrenty replacements of the last set. I asked the dealer and they said yes, I can bring the car back EVERY SPRING and have a new set of hinges installed at their expense. Yea, that's OK, but it's a pain in the butt for me to bring the car back each year. So I might just pull these off next year and put in a proper braided ground and leave a loop....just the way it should have been done in the first place.

    Marcel Chichak CHICHM@tibalt.supernet.ab.ca
    92 245 33K Km (and just broken in)

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    Problems with the hinge ground wires.

    Date: Tue, 5 Apr 94 08:53:31 EDT
    From: 05-Apr-1994 0845 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Subject: Re: tailgate hinge ground(s)

    Marcel mentioned the problems he is having with the hinge ground wires on his '92 245. I didn't mention that the one on my left hinge was also broken and I repaired it while I had the hinge out of the car. I soldered a longer piece of heavy wire between the broken ends and left lots of slack. It is obvious that these wires break because they are too short. This strains the insulation to the point that it cracks and with copper wires break soon after.

    If these grounds break again (the passenger side is ready to let go as well) I'm not going to fix them with splices or new hinges. Many new cars have braided ground straps running between the hood and body. They have press connectors with point that bite into the metal to make a connection. (I think Volvo uses these too on the 240 hood...I'll have to look at it.) Anyway, I'll run one of these straps from the body lip around the tailgate opening to one of the access holes for the tailgate hinge bolts. This will eliminate these lousy hinge-body ground wires.


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