I am working on my mother in laws 96 windstar. Its shifting erratically
and the codes were scanned and returned VSS signal problem. The VSS was
changed (not by me) and there was no change. I have heard discussion
about the plug having a problem.
(especially after a trannie change or major motor work)
So if the VSS itself is good, that leaves the plug and wiring to the
computer (or bad computer?) The cruise is out too which could
indicate the VSS signal is not intact.
I went to ford and they have a pig tail harness with VSS plug for
this application. It has about 6 inches or so of pigtail. Has anyone
actually spliced one of these on and done a successful repair?
You should measure and see if you have voltage at the plug (when the
engine is running). Also try scratching the leads (in case of
corrosion), and/or wriggling the wires to see if you get a signal. This
will help you find out where the fault is.
The fault may not be at the lower 6 inches. You will need to trace the
wires back up till you find out where it is (look for wires that feel
brittle and burnt, or that feel very bendable at one point indicating a
break). If it's higher up you may be able to just fix the wires there.
If you get a normal signal at the plug (I think 1.5V but I'm not sure)
then it's possible that the new VSS is a dud. Jack up the car and let
the wheels spin and look for a varying resistance and/or voltage from
Most likely though is corrosion at the plug leads which just needs
cleaning not replacment.
If you do splice, make sure you do it correctly. Strip a couple of
inches of wire, wrap them around each other, in a straight line, not a
pigtail. Or strip one wire twice as long as the other, make a pigtail
then wrap it around the bare section of the longer stip. Solder it.
For insulation you have to make sure it's waterproof. The best is to put
shrink tube on the wire before you start, then once the solder cools
coat the wire in rubber or silicone, waterproof, and heat resistant!
glue, make sure you connect to the existing insulation. Then put the
shrink tube around that and shrink it. The glue alone w/o shrink tube
should be OK, just wrap it with waterproof heat resistant electical
tape. However tape or tube alone w/o the glue is not enough.
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