Vulgalour's Vehicles - 10/03 Ignition Switch Woe

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vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 28/02 Princess

#931 Post by vulgalour » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:40 pm

You can tell how modern a car is by how many cup holders it has. The Princess has three cup holding locations, it is therefore very modern.
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Mike and I have been trying to get to the bottom of the problem of the weird electrical issue that has manifested. It's probably the car demonstrating pre-MoT nerves. Or a problem with the earth. Anyway, we got the fog lights working today after I dismantled the dashboard and the switch bank and cleaned it all up. Thing is, they only worked with the heated rear screen switch, not the fog light switch. Thinking I'd just got the connectors muddled I swapped them around and now they don't work at all, the fog light switch won't even illuminate where before both HRS and fog switches illuminated as normal. I do not understand this at all.
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The high level brake light was installed too and tested. It works very nicely. Then the main brake lights wouldn't work.
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Then only two brake lights wanted to work.
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So we took the backs off the inner light clusters and all the brake lights work normally. The indicators are working properly again too. The hazards won't work because the relay appears to have died. The only loose wire found anywhere was the earth wire that connects between the bulkhead and the back of the radio. It's still blowing fuse #5. The wiring seems to check out but clearly something, somewhere, is wrong. I'm putting this down to it being sat doing very little for three years because the problem seems to be wandering around the car and affecting different items seemingly randomly.

I have had problems with the electrics on this car in the past, just never to this degree. Fuse #5 blowing is a complete mystery, there appears to be no cause for it though obviously there must be. The bulbs in the dashboard that aren't illuminating are perfectly fine, so it's odd that they won't light up. The rear lights do and have all worked so it's odd that occasionally they don't and not always in the same way. Normally you'd expect a loose connection or some corrosion to cause an issue like this but as far as we can find there's nothing of the sort and there aren't that many places to check as the wiring is, for a car, pretty simple. I do know it's not because some things have been modified from standard as we have had everything working without a problem, there's even photographs to prove things are working as they should. The fuse blowing has only started happening after this push to get the car MoT ready too, which is what makes that one extra odd.

I don't know, it's all very strange and mysterious because electrics. Mike's determined to figure out what the problem is and I'm going to try again to learn how to interpret the arcane symbols known as wiring diagrams and how they translate what you see in the physical plane.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 01/03 Princess

#932 Post by vulgalour » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:53 pm

Today the gearbox selector rod seal kit arrived so I can hopefully resolve that issue. Didn't fit it today as Mike and I have been trying to get to the bottom of this wiring problem.
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After consulting the wiring diagram Mike tried to explain to me what was what and I understood a bit of it. He could tell me what coloured wires to look for at least and we started the laborious process of going through the items that should be running from fuse #5. We discovered that the first way around I put the foglight and HRS switch plugs was correct, so corrected that, tried the HRS switch and promptly blew its fuse. That was new.
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A check in the boot revealed that at some point one of the plugs for the HRS had been mistakenly plugged into the boot light switch. This was corrected and a new lead run for the boot light switch, the original having vanished. Not fantastically tidy at the moment, that can come later. I'm also missing the switch bracket that operates it with the boot rams, this is because I switched to the earlier boot rams and didn't have a switch bracket to swap over. Not a big problem, the switch is currently always off, so I shan't be draining the battery or anything like that.
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We then started tracing the items for fuse #5. It controls interior lights, door switches, cigar lighters, boot light and hazards. These are all the things that aren't currently working, unsurprisingly. One by one we disconnected items to try and find which one was blowing the fuse until everything was disconnected. The fuse still blows. The car is gradually being dismantled. This is very annoying.
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We could find no poor earths, no damaged wires, no incorrectly routed components and no signs of damage. So far, I have a car in pieces blowing one fuse and no apparent reason for it. We'll just have to dismantle things further until we uncover all of the wiring and eliminate items. A little job I could do was refitting the wing mirror that was off the car.
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The tyres had also been fitted so the wheels and trims could go back on the car too.
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There's not really anything I can do to help now so Mike is going to plod away at this wiring to try and get to the bottom of the issue. The next thing is to work through every connector and isolate every component until something is found that, when disconnected or moved, stops fuse #5 blowing. We know it's going to be something simple and we know it's going to be difficult to find. Earths, connectors, and all wiring is being examined thoroughly including original wiring, new repairs and new modifications for items such as the headlights. It will take time. Even if I have to take the whole wiring loom out of the car and rebuild it from scratch, we will get to the bottom of this bizarre problem.

Oh, and just to pre-empt the question, nothing was done to the car that triggered this. The fuse started blowing of its own accord, not in conjunction with any work done to the car. No other fault manifested to trigger this issue, it's something that has just started happening. At this point I'm not seeking suggestions, we are just methodically working through the entirety of the electrical systems until the fault is found. We'll get there.

Penguin45
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 02/03 Princess

#933 Post by Penguin45 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:02 am

The ali support bit will not fot your gearbox, Angyl. There isn't room. I tried that one some years ago. You share your gearbox with the venerable 'Crab in its 4 and 6 cylimnder guises. You can only replace the outer oil seal and the corrugated seal.

For your fuse issue, check the plastic multi core loom very carefully. It gets scuffed and can fracture at stress points.

P45.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 02/03 Princess

#934 Post by vulgalour » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:10 pm

That saves me fighting with it later I guess. There isn't one listed specifically for the Princess so I got the best looking kit I could for the Mini, which quite a few people have told me is the same fitment. I thought the gearbox on the 4 (o series) and 6 (e series) engines was different, perhaps I'm confusing it with the fact that most 6s are on autos and most 4s are on manuals.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 02/03 Princess

#935 Post by vulgalour » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:36 pm

Success! Mike and I went to the unit today and did some more fault finding on the Princess. The last thing on the circuit that uses fuse #5, the seatbelt stalks, were checked and found not to be the problem. So, Mike had another look in the fuse box and noticed a small piece of metal that was loose on the fuse side which we hadn't spotted before. Turns out, an old piece of blown fuse had been rattling around in the fuse box and shorting them out. It was well hidden as it looked like part of the fuse holders and the box had been inspected several times and this was completed missed. With the loose bit out, the fuses stayed intact until the horn was tried and then we found one of the horns had failed and it blew the horn fuse, looks like it was shorting out internally.
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Horns removed, nice fresh fuses installed, and one of the captive bolts for the original horns sheared off the battery tray without any real force being applied. That can't have been helping the horns out.
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No bother, I had some twin-tone, MoT friendly air horns to fit which once tested were found to be perfectly fine. Installed quite neatly in the big empty space behind the passenger headlights. The sound of these Italian made horns suits the Princess much more than the factory snails too.
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All systems checked, fuses fine, everything normal, we could get on with reinstalling the interior. Only got as far as reconnecting and refitting the centre console when Mike asked if maybe it would be best to run the wires for the speakers I want to install now while everything is out of the car before we finish installation. Sounds sensible to me, since I'm not in a rush to get things done.
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The boot compartment could finally get tidied out, the spare wheel put back in its place and all of that cleaned up. Was nice to finally see this all empty and tidy again, it's been a while. I've yet to construct the new trim boards, that's a job for the summer I think.
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I sorted out the latch component I'd got wrong, cleaned up the mechanism and gave it some fresh grease and now the boot latch works better than it ever has all the while I've owned the car. Mike helped me put the boot lid back on the car and, astonishingly, I got the latch to work perfectly on the first try. Panel alignment is not the Princess' strong point and it looks like the hinge bolt holes need easing out a little so I can get a slightly snugger fit. The previous restorer's solution to this issue was to load the panels with filler and I don't want to go down that route. I'm really pleased with how much cleaner the back end looks in uniform colour now. Still lots and lots of bodywork finishing and paint to do, I'm just happy it's tidier than it was.
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Finally, a little gift arrived from a nearby island in the form of this nice chunky grille badge. Not normally my sort of thing but it really does look at home on the Princess. Had a little trouble with one of the bolts that hold it on so I'll need to fettle that a bit before this is a permanent arrangement. I like it.
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MoT list update:
> tune the carb
> identify insecure CV joint fail from previous MoT

> make hazard switch work - DONE
> identify why fuse #5 is blowing - DONE
> connect fog lights - DONE
> connect number plate lights - DONE
> stick number plates on - DONE
> make the indicator lights work - DONE
> pump up the suspension - DONE
> fit the new tyres - DONE
> fit a new washer jet pump - DONE
> find the loose steering component - DONE

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 04/03 Princess FIXED

#936 Post by vulgalour » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:02 pm

Here is a little update on the little car.

The main problem identified is that I wasn't setting things up on the compression stroke. I'd got so confused with all the information thrown at me I'd got muddled. This is now resolved, it is now set up on the compression stroke.

The other problem is that the valve clearances had tightened up and were not letting the valves operate properly. I haven't got my feeler gauges at home so I set them to as near as I could without. I will reset these properly.

Sorting those two issues out in turn showed me that the distributor drive cog was in fact in 180 degrees out. When I put it in with the engine out of the car I'd actually done it right so it had to go back to how it was. I had definitely been overthinking this bit! With that back in properly the rotor arm now points at #1 when it should.

Here is a little video demonstrating what it's doing. The video is a bit crappy, apparently I used a potato instead of a camera.
https://youtu.be/zcLYIVFDFGc

You can see it's not quite right. My understanding is that this is down to incorrect valve clearances. Three of four bangs are going down the exhaust like they should, one is coming back through the carburettor, hence the little plume of flames. I'm hoping when I set the valve clearances properly, all the bangs will go down the exhaust and the car will run. That is what I'm going to try and I will see what happens.

One thing I did do was compare my brand new early R5 radiator with my old late R6 radiator properly. I knew the new rad probably would fit as I'd seen videos of cars running with them fitted. It's surprising how similar they are in size and should be able to be modified to fit without too much grief.
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Both hoses line up exactly, the temperature sender looks to be the same (didn't have a big enough spanner/socket to find out exactly) and the only issue really is having the one long bolt sticking out the bottom that I need to chop off or drop in the bolt hole it lines up with. To fix to the 6 I'll make some little clamp type brackets for the top and bolt it securely in that way.
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It's not much, but it's progress at least. When I've got tools and time next week I'll do a bit more, hopefully even get it running properly.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 05/03 Renner Update

#937 Post by vulgalour » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:22 pm

Rover MoT happened yesterday. Drove over to a chap I know from another forum since he's weird old car friendly and willing to let me see what's going on underneath the Rover. End result?

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BIG FAT PASS

Advisories on:
1 - exhaust back box - I took a replacement with me but it wasn't even close to fitting so we couldn't do that.
2 - Suspension bush worn (see below)
3 - Rear tyre is really old and crap - I sort of did know about this, it's the ancient spare, I was planning on fitting new tyres in a few weeks when I thought the MoT was due.

So all in all, that's quite a result. My suspicion that the headlight aim was low as sort of right too as the passenger side one was and would only just come up to the height needed for a pass as the adjusters are a bit seized. Emissions highlighted that I really need a catalytic converter on it too, but again that's on my shopping list and will get done at the same time as the backbox. I did think the head gasket failure would have took the cat with it, I just haven't the means to check that myself.

For that rear bush, the play has only just started and it's one of the rear suspension items I didn't do when the back end was renewed as I'd run out of money and they were okay at the time. By next MoT it may still only be an advisory but I'd rather it be right before then. I want MoT #3 to be a clean sheet if possible. Here is the bush, handily pointed out by the chap doing the testing.
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Other than that, the underside is still remarkably clean, I was expecting to see some problems surfacing but it's all nice under there. Well, as nice as the underside of a daily driver gets, at any rate. I've only put on about 3,000 miles this year too, it's not a huge amount, and mostly the same the year before. I've not been out visiting people or shows or that sort of thing which has kept the mileage down, that and it having a couple of periods of being in bits while I used another car.

With the success of the Rover passing its MoT yesterday, today attention turned again to the Princess to see if we could get to the bottom of this fuse-blowing problem. First, I got some new screws for the rear speakers (originally front door speakers) just so they weren't rattling around.
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Mike then patiently tried to help me understand how the wiring was doing what it was doing. I struggled with that, managed to accidentally pull a spade connector off one of the fog light wires when disconnecting them and eventually we plodded through until we found the fault. Not a fun job, and not, as it happens, anything to do with the fog lights. The issue was definitely in here.
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After figuring out what wires went where and did what we had it down to 3 light bulbs and the front cigar lighter as being the source of the problem. It seemed to take forever getting to this point and for a time we did think it was to do with the wiring to, or the black plug itself on the main dashboard loom connection piece. It wasn't. In the end it came back to the cigar lighter shorting out internally. I did have another that had done this and replaced it with this one which had been fine until we were preparing the car for MoT.
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Thankfully, that's an easy replacement and I wanted to upgrade the two cigar lighters in the car at some point anyway so we'll do that now and eliminate two issues. Halfords had generic ones at something like £4 each that are suitable for Sat Nav connectors which is all I use the cigar lighter for. I also picked up a windscreen tint since I spotted it and remembered how unpleasant the untinted glass in the Princess can be on a really sunny day. Hooray for Mike's Halfords discount card too, I'm not going to grumble at the additional 15% discount on these bits.
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Tomorrow, hopefully, we'll have the car back in one piece and ready for final MoT checks just to catch anything that's been missed. Once I've shuffled funds around I'll be looking at MoT and insurance options, sadly not VED exempt for a few more years yet.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 09/03 Update

#938 Post by vulgalour » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:33 pm

Another day of mixed results with the old lump today. Mike got both of the new cigarette lighters wired in and they work a treat, quite nice that they have green illumination rings to match the dashboard. I've managed to misplace one of the dials for my old Panasonic radio-casette, it works well enough and you can just swap the one dial onto whichever post you want to operate. I've got my eye on a couple of period replacement units, they're just all very expensive for what they are.
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Happily got the passenger front seat and the dashboard lower half reinstalled. Today is the first day the car has felt genuinely close to going for a new MoT, I feel like we've crossed a bridge in terms of the work put in and now it's just desnagging. Tested the dashboard and things were working quite well too...
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...were... past tense. The ignition switch I'd repaired recently has failed completely. This is why the car won't idle. I've tried to repair it but it's completely dead. Most annoying of all is that the spare switch I've got from a 1979 car is different and won't fit, the piece the key goes into on it is a completely different design and 10mm smaller diameter.
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There are other minor jobs that can be done without the switch, it just stops me driving the car since I'm disinclined to hotwire it just so I can wobble around the yard until the MoT is booked.

Penguin45
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 10/03 Ignition Switch Woe

#939 Post by Penguin45 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:35 am

Those ignition switches are available from Somerfords. Fitted to some of the later Minis. Come on, you're nearly there.

P45.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Vulgalour's Vehicles - 10/03 Ignition Switch Woe

#940 Post by vulgalour » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:51 pm

It's not a race. I'll get there when I get there. I've ordered a new switch at any rate, hopefully it's the correct one.

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