Monday, June 27, 2016

Rewire is DONE!

Dateline - 06/26/2016 - Spent Friday, early Saturday and most of the day Sunday finishing up the wiring.  Surprisingly few problems after moving the relays.  Once I got everything hooked up correctly, it all work.  Go figure!

Here are before and after pictures.

Relays prior to wire cleanup
Before wire cleanup - Driver side
Before wire cleanup
After wire cleanup
Relays with temp labels
After wire cleanup - Driver side
After wire cleanup
After I got the wiring done, I reinstalled the center console and the right hand dash.  I can't installed the driver side until I get the new information center made.  Once that is done, all I have left to do is finish the center console fascia and the the dash will be done!

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Car and Rewire

Dateline - 06/18-2016 - This weekend saw the XK-8 leave my stable.  I had a lot of fun with that car, but was starting to have more and more problems and I was getting tired of having two project cars.  112K miles was a good haul, but now it's time for someone else to deal with it. 

In it's place is a brand new 2017 Subaru WRX.  Let me tell you, this thing is scary fast and I've been taking it easy to break in the engine!  Wow!  What a different car than the Jag!

Here are some pictures:

2017 Subaru WRX in WR Blue Pearl

As for the XJ-6, I sent a full day Sunday working on a rewire of all the relays.  I first marked each wire and cut then so that I had a matching number on each end.  Then I pulled the two banks 6of relays out and started mounting them under the dash pad.  I have a good area to mount them, so I started with the heater relays, moved to the two wiper relays, then the side-markers, headlights, transmission lockout, rear window defroster and auxiliary.  Two good things came of this rewire.  All but one relay are under the dash pad, and I removed a hole much of splices that could have worked lose and caused a failure.  I even ended up removing a great deal of extra wire because it no longer had to run down to the switches, but just up to a relay.

The last part of the day I spent rewiring the switches into the system.  I didn't finish it yesterday because I was getting tired and my back started to hurt.  So I called it a day with just the fuel select switch to wire and some grounds/hot from ignition to figure out.  After those are done, I need to retest everything, but if it works, then I can button everything back up and call it good.

Monday, June 13, 2016

No Panel Hanging, But Lots Of Troubleshooting

Dateline – 06/11 and 06/12, 2016 – I got all but the fenders back from the paint shop this week and was planning on having a panel hanging party on Saturday, but yours truly forgot to get the stainless steel hardware needed to put everything together.  I went to the local McClendons, but they didn’t have anything with the thread pattern I needed.  They sell the nuts, but not the bolts! I didn’t have enough time to go to Tacoma Screw, which is only open during the week until 5:00pm, so the party has been delayed.

I did get a chance to continue troubleshooting the wiring in the car.  Boy was that a challenge and I ended up cutting almost all the wire wrapping to do it.  Heavy sigh! 
Saturday morning, I started looking at the heater controls which were not working at all.  I figured out that I was not getting power to the #3 fuse and had to trace that back to a bad connection.  Once I get that figured out, both the heater fans and the temperature controls worked like a champ, but that was three hours of work!

Next was the windshield washer.  Guess what.  It worked right out of the box! 
How about the wipers?  Not so lucky.  The low speed and park functions were working fine but the high speed did not work.  There was no reason for it not to since all the wiring looked correct.  So I pulled the wiper motor out, which is a real PITA, then opened the motor to find the high speed brush was stuck.  After a bit of soldering and cleaning it started working fine.

My final item of the day was to get the side markers and headlights working.  Of course, neither worked out the box.  My original goal was to install a daytime running light and auto headlight module.  I thought it would be cool to have something like that.  Well, that was the first thing I took out!  Too much complication.  After rewiring with that out the system, I tried the side makers, which worked fine.  Then the headlights, which did not work!  Troubleshot this for about two hours before I discovered a bad ground on the left headlight!  Of course, I didn’t think of trying it on the right to see if they work!  So, both headlights working, high and low beam.  That was a full Saturday and I was done.

Sunday I decided to attack some of the accessories.  I noticed the interior lights were not coming on, but after trying a different switch, they worked fine.  Next I tried the new switch I installed on the dash to turn on the lights.  Not so good.  Blew a 20 amp fuse.  After looking at how I wired it, I can see why.  Battery direct to ground!  Okay, rewired that one and now the interior lights work.
Next was to try the map lights, which are mounted on the new rear view mirror I purchased.  Worked great!

How about the radio?  It worked too!  

Now I’m feeling pretty cocky!  So, I have a few switches that are blank right now.  The radiator fan unit I bought has a manual override that can be used to turn the fans on when you turn on the A/C or if you just want to have a switch in the car to turn them on.  So, I wired in one of the unused switches to power the fan.  And the fan worked great!

My final thing was to wire in the “starter kill” switch.  After taking out the keyless start system I originally put in, I didn’t have a starter lockout and still wanted one.  I have a space in the center console for the original start switch which was going to be a momentary on type since it was going to be used to turn over the engine.  I bought a new switch that is on/off and wired that in with a relay.  So now, without that button pressed, the starter will not engage.

Now, everything appears to be working except for the center indicator cluster which I need to etch a new circuit board for so it was time to put all the wiring back together.  I spent four hours trying to re-bundle the wires and the more I worked on it, the more I disliked how it was coming together.  I’ve always been worried about the relay position inside the center console.  If any of these relays goes bad, I have to take the entire thing apart to get to them.  Plus, there is a lot of wire going in a very tight space.  I’m just thinking this is going to be a place for failure. 

So I’m going to rewire it again.  I know!  I’ve rewired this three times now.  But I just don’t feel comfortable with it and I don’t want to have a breakdown on the freeway because of my wiring.  I’ve spent too much time working on this car to leave something in which I not at all comfortable.   So, time to get out the wire crimpers and do this again. 

Looking at the complexity I took out of the system over the weekend, I’m really thinking I can make it even simpler by removing a lot of the relays.  I think I’ve been over protective of my switches by using so many relays.  Also, I think I can move the relays up under the dash pad instead of having them inside the center console.  This will make them easier to get to if I need to troubleshot and will remove a great deal of the wiring out of the center console. 

Can I ever leave well enough alone?  Probably not.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Getting the Kinks Out

Dateline - 06/04/2016 - This weekend was dedicated to getting some of the electrical kinks out.  First I noticed the speedometer was not working.  After some troubleshooting I found that it was not getting hot from ignition.  Probably something I modified cut the power to the gauge, so I ran a hot from the tach and now it works, or at least, it is zeroing out and it shows 2 miles on the odometer!

Next I was worried that the electric fans were not coming on for engine cooling.  I did some initial troubleshooting then decided to check the instructions to see if they were supposed to come on.  Sure enough, RTFM!  The fans come on at about 160 degrees.  I never ran the engine long enough get it that hot, so of course the fans didn't come on  I do need to test that before we put the hood back on because it will be a real pain to work on after that if there is a problem.

Now it was time to wire in the new battery cutoff switch that I got from Amazon during the week.  I took out the solenoid that I had in place first, then I needed to make some brackets for the switch, which is designed to mount into a dash or bulkhead.  After making the brackets, sand blasting, tin plating and polishing them, I installed them in the same place as the solenoid.  I did not have the hardware to mount the switch on the brackets, so I used a couple of zip ties to hold it in place.

Next started troubleshooting a light that was coming on in my new "info center".  It was the oil pressure light and it stayed on all the time.  After doing some review, I realized that I have it wired backward.  For the oil pressure light, I need hot going through the bulb to the sender which goes to ground.  I have it wired so that the hot comes from the sender through the bulb to ground.  So, the hot being send to the sender from the gauge is going through the bulb to ground, keeping it lit.  I need to reverse that.  This means I need to etch a new circuit board!  Oh well.  A new board will allow me to be able to make a few changes that I wanted to do anyway (e.g. put a low brake fluid warning and hazard light indicator) and put tabs on the board that I can use to secure it via screws to the back of the dash board.

Next I tried the hazard and turn signals which were not working.  But it was getting hot in the garage (we broke temperature records this weekend) and decided to call it a day of actually working in the garage, but did spend time on the computer redrawing the circuit board so that I can etch a new one.

Dateline - 06/05/2016 - Sunday was going to be a day to figure out why the blinkers and hazard doesn't work as well as try the climate control.  First I needed to deal with a few things under the hood.  There were two ground wires, one from the speedo sending unit and one from the block to the body that needed to be attached.  I took care of that.

Next I installed the climate control box, but it did not work at all.  No fans, no temperature control.  I was going to dive into that, but decided to work on the blinkers instead.

Wow!  The blinkers.  What PITA.  Of course, I was making it more complicated then it needed to be by trying to use the hazard switch that was part of the GM blinker switch.  I must of spent three hours just trying to remember what I did three years ago and re-figuring out how the car was originally wired.  I know this worked when I first wired it, but it sure wasn't working now.  So, I decided to go back to the way the car was originally wired, with a separate hazard switch.  Now that the battery cutoff switch is no longer being used, I decided to use that as my hazard switch.  So after four hours of troubleshooting and rewiring, I now have hazard and blinkers that work.  What this means is that all that work I did to create that switch with my 3D printer was for nought!  "Best laid plans" I guess.

By the time I stopped working on the car is was 90 degrees outside and I needed to stop.  I plan to spend some time this week after work to get the climate controls working and test out the rest of the electrical work.  I'm hoping to have the rest of the body panels back this week and I'm planning to have a panel hanging party on Saturday so I really would like to have all the electrical work done before then!