More Progress – Start of Wiring

An update on the progress made today, Today’s tasks are to have the remaining hardware items mounted and the cars wiring loom sorted out.

I’ve always been suspicious of the quality of workmanship performed by the Mini business that installed the rebuilt engine and gearbox into my car. Removing the miles of black insulation tape revealed badly crimped connectors, redundant wires, and wires changing colour a couple of times throughout the loom. Suspicions warranted. I understand that the average mechanic is not an auto electrician, but the joker who did this has demonstrated that he had no pride in his workmanship. It might also explain the occasional random engine hiccup just like the power had been removed for a few milliseconds. I also found one of the 35A fuses had a dry solder joint, when it was removed one of the end caps came of the glass tube.

I got the combined fuse and relay box mounted using 8mm nut inserts and aluminium spacers to lift it up enough so the wiring looms can enter from beneath, and removed all of the crappy insulation from the loom. I identified surplus wires to be removed e.g. wires to the original coil and distributor. Had to purchase mini blade fuses as I had purchased the wrong ones a while ago… more money wasted.

Today’s effort is marked as  ‘Day 9‘.

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  • Remove existing MegaSquirt relay board, and existing wiring for EFI sensors.
    Day 1  – done.
  • Fit EFI fuel filter under the car and connect hoses.
    Day 1done.
    Day 2 – removed and painted the filter housing as it was crappy.
    Day 4 – refitted all done.
  • Remove standard engine driven fuel pump and fit blanking plate
  • Fit new 30PSI fuel pressure sensor (for PWM control of fuel pressure).
    Day 3 – sort of done.
    Day 6 – fitted barbs and 30PSI sensor using Loctite 567 Thread Sealant.
  • Fit new injector to throttle body.
  • Day 1done.
    Day 2 – removed it to make sure bottom ‘O’ ring was sealing, had problems with this in the past causing erratic fuelling as it was dribbling all the time. I’ll perform a leak test when I get fuel pressure up.
  • Fit new solid state relays (SSR) for PWM control of injection fuel pump and radiator electric fan.
    Day 8 – found location above fuel sensor ‘T’ piece, haven’t fixed them yet.
  • Clean and paint corner of bulkhead where brake fluid has removed paint and caused surface rust.
    Day 2 – have obtained correct ‘Indigo’ blue paint in a can.
    Day 5 – removed Brake master cylinder so as to gain access to damaged paint. Wire wheeled and sanded area and treated it to rust converter.
    Day 6 – seam sealed, primed, sanded and top coated with Indigo blue acrylic paint. Done.
  • Finish fitting new Bluetooth radio.
    Day 1done.
    Day 2 – played many tunes on it today!
  • Fit new relay and fuse block,
    Day 6 – will locate fuse/relay block over the black plate in above picture using alloy spacers so as to allow access for wiring loom. I will also be getting rid of the original 2 fuse (35A each!) block and using individual circuit fuses along with relays for some of the high current items e.g. lights etc.
    Wiring loom will come through firewall near black  plate using 1 or 2 cable glands. I’m not sure yet on number, my thoughts being to separate high current/noisy wires from the low current and analogue signals. Will it make any difference?
    Day 9 – Fitted the combined fuse relay box to bulkhead, used two 8mm cap head screws and made some spacers out of aluminium round stock to space it sufficiently for underneath cable access.

    Relay fuse box
    Relay fuse box

  • Wire new EFI harnesses to relay/fuse blocks and to sensors
    Day 7 Created new wiring harness for the two D-Sub 37 pin ECU connectors. I used two pre-made cables that I obtained from DIYAutoTune previously. I removed all of the wires from the MS3 connector not relevant to my installation using an extractor tool, but for some reason the tool would not remove the pins from the MS3X connector. So I cut the unneeded wires on this connector a few inches  away, so that if I need them in the future I can join them up easily.
    I used the following self-closing braided wire wrap as I believe it offers superior protection and functionality to the loom tubing as originally supplied by DIYAutoTune. It comes in various sizes as well as fully enclosed and split versions
    All of the wires I will feed through a bulkhead cable gland and then to the end destination.
  • Sort and clean existing cars wiring loom. Combine EFI wires to this loom and re-loom using better quality loom tubing.
    Day 9 – Removed insulation tape from existing car loom and identified wires that need re-terminating. What a mess I found!
    A tip for anyone else tidying their loom, you can use acetone on a rag to wipe each cable clean, just keep it well away from your cars duco!

    Car loom
    Car loom – lots of connectors and wires coming loose
    Car loom
    Car loom – more connectors
    Car loom
    Car loom – hey lets just join all these wires together! 


  • Fit MS to bottom of dash rail using nut inserts (more secure).
    Day 6 – have looked into this,  and will use 3 4mm allen cap head screws into 3 4mm nut inserts into dash panel tray on right side of car. Can only fit 3 fastners, as there is a great big hole where the right one would go, plus the screw head is partly obscured by the DB37 connectors.
  • Test and set-up PWM for both fuel pump and radiator fan control
  • Need to adjust tappets, as I have re-torqued the cylinder head.
  • Fit new windscreen washer bag to hang under the R/H fender and connect it up.
    Day 8 – Used two bolts and wing nuts to hold it on to the inside of the engine bay. There seems to be enough room to fit it and the forthcoming MAF sensor and its air filter etc. Done.
  • Relocate power brake booster backwards by ~ 2″ to allow for a cold air/filter box to feed the MAF sensor that will be fitted at a later date.
    Day 2 – removed, waiting for me to make new 3/16″ pipes and new brackets.
    Day 5 – not happy with the VH44 brake booster, so have ordered a MK3 Cooper ‘S’ booster, should be here by the end of the week.
    Day 6 – booster has arrived along with new brake master cylinder.
  • Replace the Cooper ‘S’ discs and pads.
    Day 4 – removed discs and ultrasonic cleaned callipers.
  • Fit 1 Bosch knock sensor to the engine steady bracket bolt near cylinder number 4. Anecdotal evidence is that number 4 cylinder runs the hottest and leanest in the ‘A’ series engine, so this location is the closest I can get the sensor to the cylinder without drilling and tapping a hole in the block. Bonus also is it’s the furthest away from the timing chain, water pump etc.
    Day 8done.
  • Install a common earthing bar for the MegaSquirt ECU analogue earths. This is required to be connected on the engine as closes as possible (electrically) so as to minimise earth loops and voltage offsets.
    I used a brass earthing bar which I have connected to two unused bolt holes on the aluminium clutch bellhousing. I used some copper grease on the holes/bolts for corrosion resistance. I connected a ring terminal to a nearby bolt and the other end I terminated using a blue crimp ferrule. I always if I can solder my crimps.
  • Replace with new and paint both L/H & R/H top suspension arms.
    Day 1 – 1 done.
    Day 2done.
  • Replace rear competition bump stops with standard bump stops.
    Day 1done.
  • Check rear wheel brake cylinders for leaks and also that they are 5/8″ bore.
    Day 1 – found one cylinder seized, replaced both sides, as well as brake shoe springs and adjusters.
  • Fit new brake hoses.
    Day 1 – 1/2 done.
    Day 5 – removed R/H/F hose… what a PITA that was… Hamish swore at me and said I should get an American car as they are easier to work on!
  • Fit the new heater.
    Day 2 – bench tested to make sure it works… it does
  • Fit the new boot brackets and make a boot board to fit on top of these brackets.
    Day 2 – bought marine ply and carpet to make it. Also trial fitted brackets.
    Day 4 – brackets painted car colour (indigo) and made cardboard pattern of required boot board size and transferred this to 12mm ply and cut-out with jigsaw. Fits like a finger up a b**.
  • Get wheel balance and alignment
  • Day 2 – fitted new roof mount aerial… what a PITA! Done
  • Day 2 – continued to feed my ultrasonic cleaner various greasy/dirty bits… ongoing
  • Day 4 – fitted new black accelerator cable, so as to get rid of crappy yellow one
  • Day 4 – I couldn’t sell the NGK spark plug leads so I obtained some genuine NGK 90 degree plug ends and fitted them  to the shortened NGK leads. Looks a lot better as leads are closer to engine.
    Day 5 – obtained new BPR6ES NGK plugs and fitted them. Done.
  • Day 5 – discovered that brake master cylinder was a little weepy, they cost so little, so I ordered a new one instead of fitting a kit.
    Day 6 – fitted new brake master cylinder. Need to do the pivot pin and its split pin though!
  • Day 6 – painted one of the front disk callipers a nice bright red… I used old pistons, top seals, inlet pipe and a set bolt to fill/cover all important openings from the paint.

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