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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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16 December 2023

The Continuing Saga...

... of the electrics, whilst educational, has become tedious.

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In a bid to settle the instrument light conundrum once and for all, I turned up some top hat section sleeves to totally isolate the bulb holders from the instrument body and panel - something I could have done in the first place instead of messing about with insulating tape.

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Eureka! The lights worked at last. No, they didn't - they worked occasionally and the rest of the time the supply indicated a fault. I got Wings (an ex-Buccaneer pilot and electrics whizz) in from the village to come and have a look. He quickly pinpointed the problem - an intermittent fault in a bulb holder. Further research on an MG forum flagged up that internal corrosion resulting in springs shorting out, was not uncommon in original equipment.

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I've obtained a set of new holders.

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Wings also recommended that I strip down the original switches and give the contacts a good clean.

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That operation allowed me to reset the starter button so that the 'S' was the right way up - something which had irritated me every time I looked at it.

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I installed the wheel speed sensor that controls the amount of help you get with the steering at slow speeds. The position of the sensor in relation to the Hardy-Spicer joint on the propshaft had to allow for some flex of the engine mountings. It's further away than I would like, but my experiments with the ignition Hall sensor showed that even at 10mm distance, the system worked. As this is not quite as critical as the ignition timing, I'll start there and make adjustments as required.

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To hook up the sensor, I went back to the manual. It described the function of each of the three wires, +12v, Signal, and Ground. Excellent. But which colour wire did what was helpfully omitted. At the other end of the lead was an equally helpful label which allocated the colours but didn't describe the function in a language I could understand. On it goes.

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Whilst doing the wiring, I've started to make up diagrams. I'll show these to Wings before I turn everything on. They've actually been the fun part, although I have got in a muddle once or twice and had to go and hook up the meter to confirm my jottings. Each of my revisions shows up a new clanger, so don't take these 'illustrations' too seriously.

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The wiper motor wiring which goes from the relay to a five-pin switch and then a five-pin plug on the motor, has caused the most confusion.

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I found on the internet, a picture of the Buick as sold. I learnt two things in my research: the first was that this was not a 1913 Model 25, but a 1911 Model 27 'Baby Tourer'. Secondly, some manufacturers of the period would fashion the bodywork so that it was easily converted from say a four-seat tourer, to a flat-bed truck or van. In fact, I gather that this was the original meaning of 'convertible'. The buck on this car opens up to reveal a generous stowage space which lid even has what appears to be its factory-fitted lock. Judging by the new bits of wood under the back seat, this may be a 'convertible'.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mr Laken has got the manifold back from the welder's...

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... and is setting about the front pulley mounting plates, fashioning them from ΒΌ" steel. To be continued...

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next post Getting Things Straight.

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