This technical tip comes from TRW’s Brian Newell:
Q. A garage recently called me with a problem on the electric/hydraulic steering on a 2005 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi.The customer had previously had a new pump fitted by another garage some three months previous, but it had failed again.The garage that phoned me was concerned, because to them it looked like the previous job had been done incorrectly.
A. As this was one I couldn’t resolve over the phone I decided to take a trip out and look at the problem first hand. When I got to the garage the following day, they had removed the old pump, ready to replace with another see image below.
Firstly I examined the old pump, and it soon became evident what the problem was. Ford made a design change to the connector which mates with the Motor Pump Unit (MPU), in what the OEM’s refer to as a ‘running change’. This new connector is not compatible with the old one. All pumps with the old connector were withdrawn, and only pumps with the new connector are available in service either from TRW or Ford Aftersales. The pictures below show the difference between the two connectors – the old connector is on the left and the new connector is on the right.
In this instance the previous garage had modified the connector housing on the MPU, to allow it to fit the old vehicle harness connector to the new MPU unit. The pictures below show the new housing (pictured right), and the modification done to allow the connector to fit (pictured left). What the previous garage should have done was make some enquiries about why the connector wouldn’t fit, and this would have led them to purchase an adapter cable from their local Ford dealer with part number 1440414.
But what they had actually done was damage the integrity of the electrical connection, and as a result of it not fitting correctly, left it open to water ingress and therefore corrosion. But worse still, corroded connectors result in increased resistance in the connector which can lead to overheating, deformation of the plastic moulding and ultimately could lead to a fire!
The moral of this story: Don’t modify any part to make it fit. If it doesn’t fit as it is supposed to, then it is the wrong part. At least check to see if there have been any modifications or running changes and whether the manufacturer has issued a bulletin or fix.