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New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:20 am
by Jamiet
Hello I am new to the forum so apologies if this is in the wrong group but electrical seems to closed.
I just bought a Morris yesterday from Spinning Wheel Classic Cars in Dronfield. Took it out for a spin and unlike the test drive it died 3 times. Upon stopping at a junction all electrics just stopped and on turning the key nothing. After it had a rest it agreed to spring into life again so is now in a friends garage waiting for the RAC man. Looking under the bonnet although the car generally has been looked after the wiring is neat but old and knackered. Considering a new harness and electrical ancillaries but the wiring is beyond my capabilities. It seems I can get a harness for around £200. Anyone now how much I should pay to have this fitted? And can anyone recommend a good auto electrician near Ashbourne in the Peak District. Thanks in advance for any help.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:58 am
by Murrayminor
I too am considering a replacement wiring harness and have looked at various ways to fit it.
The general consensus is the Morris Minor wiring harness is fairly straightforward, Google a view of an extended wiring harness and you can see how simple it is.
The way I'm going about it as follows:
My car will be stripped out leaving the interior clear, I will then lay the new harness in the vehicle and roughly place it where it should be going, following the routing of the original.
I will then cut off all the actual plugs etc from the old harness, leaving enough length to identify the wiring colours.
I will then feed the new harness through the bulkhead and feed the dashboard etc.
Then simply follow the wiring harness and unplug the old connectors and plug the new ones in, keep going until all the connectors have found their new home.
A word of warning though, make sure you buy the correct harness as there are various changes which may not be compatible with your particular model.
Also consider how your existing electrical items will tie into the new harness (radio, power sockets ,spot lamps etc etc).

My harness is looking very hard and brittle hence my reason to replace mine.
I'm only in Manchester if you get stuck contact me, two heads are sometimes better than one.


Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:04 am
by ianmack
Hello and welcome, sorry to hear you’ve had a problematic start with your Minor.

If the electrics all went at once you are looking at a connection in a main part of the system and if I were you I would start by checking, cleaning and tightening the battery terminals. If that doesn’t do the trick you should check connections at the solenoid. The RAC man can do this for you. Always look for the simple solutions before diving in for major work like rewiring.

If you go for a rewire this is quite labour intensive and thus expensive. It took me a month to rewire mine but that included some modifications and a garage should be quicker. If the insulation is damaged on exposed sections of wire you could just add some locallised sleeving.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:16 am
by Jamiet
This is what I love about the Morris, the owners are lovely helpful people. I like the sound of the method to replace the harness and it sounds really logical and straightforward. On the other hand I would like to use it a bit more first so will probably do some repairs for now. RAC has just phoned and will be here in an hour. I will post an update after, thanks again.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:33 am
by Murrayminor
The fact the original wiring harness has been on your car for years doesn't necessarily mean its goosed, as mentioned it is more than likely a loose earth or bad connection, my post was to say how I intend to replace my harness.
Let us know what the RAC says.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:13 am
by simmitc
If you bought the car from a trader then it is covered by consumer rights and you should ask the supplier to repair the car, there is no need for you to seek to make the repairs. That said, as others have suggested, it probably is not anythig too serious, and should be simple to fix.

What year is the car? Does it have a key to start, or do you pull a knob to operate the starter? Do you know if any modifications have been made - does it have a dynamo or an alternator? When it died, did the starter turn the engine and it not start, or was there just a click with no other activity, or literally nothing whatsoever? Were the lgihts, indicartos and fuel gauge working? We have to ask these questions as people sometimes say that it was completely dead when ini reality some things worked, and this can point to where the trouble is. There were different wiring arrangements in different years, so we need to know what is fitted to your car.

It is most likely that it is a simple loose connection, and it's just a question of working out where. Check the battery terminals. Check the earth connection. Check the solenoid connections. Check the connection to the starter motor. Look under the car (take appropriate safety precautions) and check that the earth strap is secure between the chassis and the gearbox.

Once this little teething problem is sorted you should enjoy the car.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:43 am
by Jamiet
RAC man has found that the fuse carrier unit that has the two main fuses for the car had naff fuses and also needed “fettling” with some wet and dry. Two new fuses and a rub down later all seems to be working fingers crossed. He was surprised that he had two old glass fuses in his van - they were in a dusty box!
He said forget the new harness and just fix the other crap connections that are for the temperature gauge and the headlight flasher. These were added but are a poor quality install.

As regards the symptoms the car really died. On the turn of the key there was nothing, no lights, no noise, nothing at all.
One thing the RAC commented on was he thought converting to electronic ignition whilst not related to this fault was a good cheap upgrade and well worth considering.
Cheers Jamie

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:28 pm
by simmitc
Interesting in that the fuses do not affect ignition or starter or headlights; but a little cleaning is always a good idea - coat contacts with a thin coating of vaseline to avoid future corrosion. Good result, hopefully you will now have many many miles of trouble free driving.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:05 pm
by SteveClem
Electronic ignition has been a great success on my minors, but didn’t work well on my beetle or my A30.

Re: New wiring harness

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:43 pm
by BrianHawley
SteveClem wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:05 pm
Electronic ignition has been a great success on my minors, but didn’t work well on my beetle or my A30.
Mixed opinions on electronic ignition. Some swear by it and others swear at it.

Depends on what you buy and your luck I suppose. But has always worked fine for me.