woensdag 27 juli 2011

The electrics

Some of the switches on the instrument panel weren't in their place as solidly as should be. Some of the plastic rims that hold the switches had broken off, but there was a spare switch holder between the salvage parts I'd got with the car. It took little under an hour to replace the whole thing, starting with carefully noting which wire went where.

The switch panel is out.

And this is the replacement one. Apparently the pieces of white tape on the green foil are there because the little lamps are right behind those places and the light has to be more or less the same across the indication strip.

Then I've tackeled another problem which the previous owner's mechanic couldn't quite figure out: neither the boot light nor the reversing lights worked. The man had spent some time with the wires in the boot, but it turns out the wiring wasn't the problem.

The boot light seemed to be getting power but even with a new bulb it didn't light up. I've dismantled the socket and here are the components:

The orange thing is a tilt switch that's supposed to switch on the light when the boot lid is opened. This switch doesn't make contact anymore. It's no longer available - probably because it contains mercury. I've been looking around for a (non-mercury) tilt switch that can handle 1 Amp - most of them seem to be for small electronics applications and can hardly switch any power. I may have found a source, but I'll update once I'm sure it works.

As for the reversing lights: the switch was the culprit. The switch is depressed by a piece of plastic on the selector lever. Apparently the switch wasn't sensitive enough.

These switches are relatively easy to open. I've cleaned the contacts and elevated them a little. Works like a charm now. The switch is still available new as well, but this is the cheapest solution.

As you may have noticed in the previous pictures, the selector light about which I've posted earlier (the repair with the ball point pen) has been removed again. It broke down very easily. After a couple of hours of cursing and trying, I've found the final solution.

This requires a white high-intensity led. Available from any electronics store. In one of the heat shrinkable tubes (doesn't matter which one) is a 1k resistor. Observe the led's polarity!

This finely threaded hollow rod is used in certain lighting fixtures to screw sockets on. I suppose it's available in DIY shops.

An exact and easy fit.

Oh, a sidenote: I've replaced both flasher units (there's one for "normal" and one for hazard warning). The Haynes manual says there's one on the right and one on the left of the steering column, but I suppose that's for RHD cars since on mine both were to the left of the steering column. Here they are, indicated with the circles. The arrows point to a couple of inline fuses that are easily overlooked. One of them is for the selector light and cigar lighter light.

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