Cars


Mini Rebuild

 

Step 63 - More Wiring

 

Let's start off this latest installment with a fun photo:

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

What is that? It's a cement mixer with a Mini fuel tank strapped to it, of course. And this should make perfect sense to anyone who has followed this build for any length of time. I am attempting to clean up one of my prior mistakes - installing a tank liner product to the inside of the lefthand tank. The idea was to prevent rust inside the tank but the sealer never did adhere to all surfaces consistently. Sadly, it also wouldn't dislodge completely either.

 

Rather than allowing pieces of the liner to eventually clog my fuel system at random times, I decided to try and remove it comletely. I asked the powder coaters to sandblast the inside of the tank but they really couldn't access every nook and cranny. I then tried pouring MEK (methyl ethyl ketone - nasty stuff!) into the tank and letting it dissolve the liner but even it couldn't remove all of it. I then turned to physical abrasion. I found that I could get my arm inside of the tank through the fuel pump opening. With a long brush in hand I spent hours scraping away. I removed a considerable amount of liner but a lot remained. Next idea - I poured a box of large screws inside the tank, sealed it up and shook the tank as hard as I could. It worked but it was hard work and was going to take years. I then wrapped the tank in a couple of moving quilts and wedged the thing into the clothes drier. This was noisy but it worked...for a few minutes. At that point the drier would trip the thermal breaker and give up for a half hour.

 

It was at this point that I decided not to waste any time on this problem. I purchased an inexpensive cement mixer from Harbor Freight, assembled it with the top half of the lid off and strapped the tank to it. Now I can spin the tank as long as I'd like non-stop. I've poked a flashlight down the filler neck a couple times and the results are good. Another few hours and I think I will have a working fuel tank.

 

The end result of all this is a great lesson - just use the fuel tank. If and when it rusts, deal with it then. Or "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

After much debate and research I finally purchased a set of GoJaks. These things are great and I should have bought them a long time ago. As you step down on the grey foot pedal the sides of the jack ratchet inwards, picking the wheel and tire up off the ground. With all four wheels in the air you can roll the car around the garage quickly and easily.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Whichever end of the car that I will be working on will get rotated closest to the work bench.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

This is a 14-pin connector I picked up for the upper instrument panel.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

I've been trying to follow best-practices when wiring these connectors. Installers will put a service loop, a small coil in the wire, before inserting the wire into the back of the connector. This acts as a strain relief and leaves some spare wire should you have to go back later and correct a crimp. As you can see above I havne't quite got it down yet. I will keep at it.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here you can see the completed wiring exiting the rear of the upper instrument console. I really want to re-make the entire console and clean it up but that will have to wait. For now I just want to get the Mini running on the street.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here is another issue that just seems to have no end. I've installed a brake light switch next to the rear brake pressure limiter valve. I have carefully matched the various threads and plumbing standards but I keep getting leaks. I'll figure it out in another 2 or 3 gallons of brake fluid, I'm sure.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here are the sub-harnesses for the RH headlight and the RH turn signal. Other than being aimed, the headlights are basically done now.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here is where the headlight/turn signal wiring enters the engine bay.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

What a mess! It only gets more crowded every day. I've got to find a place to install two relay/fuse boxes somewhere in here.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

In studying up about car wiring I found numerous mentions of the problems created by poor grounds. It is easy to overlook the ground side of the circuit since so much focus is placed on the power side but they are equally important. ThereforeI decided to install a few dedicated ground points throughout the car. Here is one in the engine bay.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

From another perspective.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here you can see another ground point I've attached to the front wall of the boot. I will be using this to ground the battery. You can also see some of the other wires I've installed to finish out the taillights, brake lights, license plate light, fuel pump, and fuel level sender. It will all be routed nicely once I can test fit the fuel tanks.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

I finally started routing wires from the boot, up the C-pillar and along the roof gutter towards the front of the car.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

Here is where the wiring exits the A-pillar. This RH side of the dash is where I will be locating two more relay/fuse boxes, hence the wires all ending up here.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

After relocating the blipper controller I was able to finally install the relay/fuse boxes on the firewall. This should keep them out of trouble but keep them reasonably accessible once the bonnet is installed.

 

Mini Rebuild - Step 63

In this photo you can also see how the ignition coil and sensor wiring turned out.

 

Still lots to do....

 

Continue to Rebuild Step 64

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