They said it was easy
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Posts
    234

    Default They said it was easy

    Hi all,

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    I'm starting this new thread in the place where I think it 'best fits.' My intent is to get people to report on those repair activities they've undertaken after being reassured that "it's easy" and then finding out things are a bit different. I'm sure we've all got a few tales to tell In fact I have so many it's difficult to pick which one to start
    may all your plans be cunning ones,
    Baldrick,

    fleet: 1989 Peugeot 505 GTi Wagon
    1969 Peugeot 404 Sedan
    2003 Smart 452 Roadster
    2005 MG ZR160
    1988 Mercedes 300E
    1953 Citroen 15CV (under Restoration)
    1953 Bristol 401 (under Restoration)
    That's one for each day of the week - I really should stop

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Posts
    234

    Default

    OK I'll start the ball rolling - I've lost count of the number of times I've read (by posters on AF & elsewhere) that rewiring a car is "easy" When I actually attempted this with my 52 Light 15 (hardly the most electrically complex machine ever invented) the reality was very different. Having suffered an electrical short highlighting the need for the process I ordered my brand new period-correct wiring harness with the fabric cable overlay and sat back. It duly arrived and I tipped the contents out onto the lounge room carpet to find not one shred of paper / contents list / instructions. Ah well, why would you need that - it's "easy" after all.


    Starting to pull off the old wires I worked out (mostly) which bit was which, at least the long section from firewall to rear of car was obvious so maybe start there! First thing was to remove 'trim' to get at the path for the new cables. Prior to my efforts the headlining was one of the few bits of the interior that was passable - after I'd tried to put it back? sad, sad, SAD. I'd tied a bit of string to the old harness section before hauling it through the shell so hoping to reverse the process like rescuing Rapunzel from the tower tied string around new and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and cursed, and applied copious amounts of baby powder. And eventually completed the process of 'dragging a zeppelin through a cat's bum' to quote the amusing Mr Elton.


    Having eventually run the new cabling where the old stuff used to be and barked my knuckles replacing interminable rubber grommets each time it passed through a metal section I was ready to connect up - what could be easier? What I found was that EVERY fitting at the end of each cable was corroded / encrusted / loose / had internal wiring / springs / weird bits of metal / broken bakelite that needed replacement or fettling. In short I spent about three times as long on the fitments as on the wiring, maybe four times if you count all the seized bolts that held each fitting in place.


    One other thing that became apparent was that either the old wiring in the boot area was 'non-standard' or the loom makers had put their own interpretation on how things should go. There was no way of matching old to new so I ended up guessing the layout (wiring 'diagrams' no help at all in this scenario). This also meant supplementing the 'as supplied' kit & I was fortunate to find an old school car accessory shop whose stock of 'bullet' connectors, and more importantly 'bullet' block connectors (for 3 way or 4 way junctions) I more or less cleaned out.


    The glorious day arrived after about four months of working every weekend on the thing when all was complete. Hooked up the battery, checked lights, wipers, indicators. Thus encouraged started up and yes, dynamo was feeding battery, nothing was getting hot or sparking - all good. Until that is I enlisted help to check the stoplights, NAH, they stubbornly refused to work. They still refused to work at the end of one more weekend where I'd pulled off all the connectors, put the multimeter over the feed cable, put the multimeter over the pressure switch as it was operated, Hell I even checked the globes hadn't blown.


    Needing to get the thing back on the road (no matter the tatty headlining & baby powder encrusted carpet) I took it to my favourite repairer, told the sad tale and left with instructions to fix the stoplights & MoT (Rego check) the thing. Returned a day or two later, all was working and legalised for an expenditure that wasn't excessive. Wasn't until several weeks later I discovered how this had been achieved - there was a brand new (& period incorrect) section of cable connected to a live feed on the fusebox, paralleling my new loom all the way back to the pressure switch. C'est la vie I suppose
    may all your plans be cunning ones,
    Baldrick,

    fleet: 1989 Peugeot 505 GTi Wagon
    1969 Peugeot 404 Sedan
    2003 Smart 452 Roadster
    2005 MG ZR160
    1988 Mercedes 300E
    1953 Citroen 15CV (under Restoration)
    1953 Bristol 401 (under Restoration)
    That's one for each day of the week - I really should stop

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