Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Talk about E-Types here
User avatar

Topic author
AshM
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:59 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Great Britain

#1 Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by AshM » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:18 am

I would value opinions please.

While my engine is away for a rebuild I am completely restoring the front of the car. Bulkhead forward - everything.

Am now at the point where the bulkhead is bare and I have removed windscreen and dashtop as the water transfer pipes need to be replaced.

So I have the rare ability of standing in front of the car and have the complete dash wiring below me. As good access as I am ever going to get in a FHC. It got me thinking should I go the whole way and replace the dash loom? I am definitely replacing the loom Into the engine bay.

Everything electrical works but it’s 48 year old wiring!! Should I leave well alone or change it?

Any experiences or views appreciated as always.

Thanks
Ash
Series 2 FHC 1970
1R 20607

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


christopher storey
Posts: 4404
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: cheshire , england
Great Britain

#2 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by christopher storey » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:34 am

Ash : if you keep a cool head and take lots of photos before you dismantle anything, it is a job worth doing. However, it is essential to clean up and possibly replace the fuse blocks which are one of the prime sources of trouble . Another thing to consider however, is that the behind the dash wiring is, really, just that, and it connects at the lower end of the dash/footwell junction with body looms on either side and with the engine/alternator looms. It is those connectors rather than the wire itself which are often defective, and once you pull it apart you may find that a fair amount of work is needed on the connectors. One tip I would give is that it is well worth buying a professional grade crimping tool and proper bullet connectors etc - the cheap imitation tools just won't hack it even with those dreadful Halfords type blue red and yellow connectors ( fitting those is a sure sign of a really substandard job!! ) The Coventry Motor Components wiring diagrams are another very worthwhile investment

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Jeremy
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:16 pm
Location: West London
Great Britain

#3 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Jeremy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:03 am

:yeahthat:
Agree 100 percent with Christopher. Grasp the nettle Ash and replace it, and take a thousand photos before you start. Once that windscreen goes back in you will NEVER do it ! Get the loom from Autosparks, but don't ditch the old one until the new one is satisfactorily installed and working. And they sell the proper crimpers, and pliers for squeezing bullets together (the latter are abs essential). I did find some of the new Autosparks bulbholders were not as good quality as the originals so I cut them off and inserted the old ones.. You will prob find, as I did, that the end to end resistance in the new loom, with all new connectors, is significantly lower than the old one, which indicates how things will have degraded and could imply local hot spots. Of course, once you start down this route you will want to tear out the whole loom...how do you feel about a retrim too? ;-)
Jeremy
1967 S1 4.2 FHC

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


cactusman
Posts: 1779
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:09 pm
Location: Hertfordshire
Great Britain

#4 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by cactusman » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:18 pm

Wise words from both . If you are going to do it now is the time. Arm yourself with the wiring diagram for your model. They are in the knowledge base I think. Also a good quality continuity meter.of a multimeter with a bleep continuity setting will be very useful. Take pictures. Make notes. Problems will usually be bad connections to earth or errors. When you first reconnect the battery do so via a ten amp fuse :bigrin:
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


1954Etype
Moderator
Posts: 2347
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:32 pm
Contact:
Great Britain

#5 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by 1954Etype » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:21 pm

I wouldn't grasp any nettles Jeremy, perhaps a mettle though!

Ash, easy job to do as others have said, take your time and if not sure, re -read the diagram. Note carefully the route of the old loom and don't forget to fit the P clips. We also change the fuse holders as they give the most problem.
Angus 65 OTS 1E11497. 67 FHC 1E33656

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


Gfhug
Posts: 1720
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Near Andover, Hampshire,in D.O. Blighty
Great Britain

#6 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Gfhug » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:06 pm

Ash, one word of warning for the S2, the wires to the wiper switch seem to be at odds with the diagrams.
As you'll see here: http://forum.etypeuk.com/viewtopic.php? ... 8&start=40

Cheers
Geoff
S2 FHC Light Blue

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


64etype
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:07 pm
Location: Texas, USA
United States of America

#7 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by 64etype » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:38 pm

I have to wonder about replacing a functional loom for one from a vendor that is known to have bad connectors, and then cutting out sections from the old loom to repair the new one. I had all of the looms out for a rotisserie restoration. The dash and smaller looms all looked excellent and passed a continuity check. The engine loom was junk and it was the only one replaced (along with the fuse holders). That said, the car was in the American Southwest since new and was off the road since about 1982. There have been no wiring loom related issues since the car was completed last year.
Eric

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


christopher storey
Posts: 4404
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: cheshire , england
Great Britain

#8 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by christopher storey » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:59 pm

64etype wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:38 pm
I have to wonder about replacing a functional loom for one from a vendor that is known to have bad connectors, and then cutting out sections from the old loom to repair the new one.
The autosparks looms are without doubt the best available , and I know of no instance of bad connectors . What I think some people have seen is that modern bulbs and holders are not quite the same as the originals and thus the fit/ earthing may be compromised . AFAIK This is why some people have changed the bulb holders back to the originals

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Topic author
AshM
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:59 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Great Britain

#9 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by AshM » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:32 pm

Thanks all; some valued feedback and advice as always.

I shall take the plunge and add the dash loom to my Autosparks order (along with fuse holders, crimping tool and bullets).

And Jeremy, interior is the plan for next winter then it’s done for another decade or so. Although I shall have the dash top done whilst it is off.

Look out for wiring queries on here in a few months time!!

Thanks again.

Ash
Series 2 FHC 1970
1R 20607

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Topic author
AshM
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:59 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Great Britain

#10 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by AshM » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:24 pm

One further question for those that have done the job.

Do I get the fuse holders from Autosparks or another supplier? They look slightly different to the originals.

I have no problem with that as long as they are considered a good quality part?

Presumably I could source via SNGB too?

Thanks
Ash
Series 2 FHC 1970
1R 20607

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


Gfhug
Posts: 1720
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Near Andover, Hampshire,in D.O. Blighty
Great Britain

#11 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Gfhug » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:21 pm

Ash, not wishing to make your job more complicated but you might wish to take a look at this topic:
http://forum.etypeuk.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10289
And how about other electrical upgrades, relays for the ignition switch, hidden cut off switches, etc?

Geoff
S2 FHC Light Blue

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Series1 Stu
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:26 pm
Location: Shropshire
Great Britain

#12 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Series1 Stu » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:13 pm

I got my fuse holders etc. here.

www.vintagemotorspares.com

Great service and better prices than the usual suspects.

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

'62 FHC - Work In (slow) Progress
'69 Daimler 420 Sovereign
'94 X300 XJR basket case

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

abowie
Posts: 2085
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:
Australia

#13 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by abowie » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:57 pm

Yes, replace it.

Cut the old loom connectors off with half an inch of original wiring left and leave them on the switches etc.

Autosparks are the best choice. I've used maybe a dozen of their looms and only seen a few mistakes.

Be prepared to reuse your old bonnet plug. The repro ones are just crappy trailer plugs. The rubber boot is hard to get; I believe XKs are about the only place that sell them ATM.

You will need the miscellaneous wires package as well; it might be economic to just buy a complete loom kit.

Don't replace fuse holders unless they are clearly broken; the thermoplastic on the new ones isn't as good. You can lightly bead blast them to clean them up.
Andrew.
881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops
http://www.projectetype.com/index.php/the-blog.html
Adelaide, Australia

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

mark10337
Posts: 741
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:11 am
Location: Switzerland
Switzerland

#14 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by mark10337 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:04 pm

a small polishing attachment on a dremmel cleans up the fuse holders absolutely fine. squeeze the prongs a little that holds the fuse so it is tight again and I use a touch of dielectric grease on all terminals, switches, spades, bullets etc when connecting them up.
-Mark

1969 Series 2 OTS, Regency Red
'Life's to short to drive a boring car'

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Jeremy
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:16 pm
Location: West London
Great Britain

#15 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Jeremy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:15 pm

Yes, I cleaned up my original fuse holders, and reused them. Just like the switches, much better to keep the originals if you can. As yours is an S2 I think you don't have the S1 light switch do you? but if you did, don't even think about buying a replacement:
- spring loaded plunger didn't fit into the knob cos the plunger diameter was too large;
- loom terminals didn't fit cos spaces between the shoulders were too narrow;
- and finally, after fettling those 2 issues, the switch wouldn't sit vertical when installed as the mounting slots were cocked round - as that was unfixable I sent it back and overhauled the original.
Jeremy
1967 S1 4.2 FHC

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar

Series1 Stu
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:26 pm
Location: Shropshire
Great Britain

#16 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by Series1 Stu » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:23 pm

A recurring theme in aftermarket Jaguar spares but still we get ostracised for suggesting that they're not up to standard.

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

'62 FHC - Work In (slow) Progress
'69 Daimler 420 Sovereign
'94 X300 XJR basket case

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links


johnetype
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:54 pm
Location: Worcestershire
Great Britain

#17 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

Post by johnetype » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:11 am

Whilst I can understand wanting to change the engine loom with its cotton braiding soaked in oil and wire insulation embrittled by heat, I think the case for changing the dashboard loom in a S2 is much more finely balanced and as it's had little support so far I'll list some pointers in favour of keeping it:
    It is the most complex loom to replace on the car and yet it is the best preserved as it's spent its life out of the sun and excess heat.
      Yes lots of photos help but it's difficult to replicate the quirky different types of insulation used in the original and replace the wires in the way of the original to give that authentic look of originality.
        The loom connects to many items and many of these are themselves fragile so you run the risk of breaking them and then having to resort to replacements parts which can be of dubious quality and certainly expensive. Rocker switches, fuse boards, ignition switch, indicator switch and dash panel indictor lights all come to mind here.
          In terms of replacing the dashboard loom whilst the windscreen is out, I don't think having the windscreen in place significantly alters the work, it's just a lot of work. Clearly though, the dash top does have to be removed.

          On my car, even though I had to change the loom from LHD to RHD, I thought long and hard about replacing it. In the end I kept the loom and was pleasantly surprised just how good a condition the wiring was in for those parts where I was changing or extending it.

          Electrical safety and fires are often mentioned in the same breath as new looms and I considered that too. The dash loom per se does not have a hard life or handle large unfused currents like the alternator loom, it's the components attached to it like the fuses that give potential problems and the potential problems inherent in the original design of unfused ignition, lights and petrol pump feeds are still there when you fit a new loom. I chose to fit additional protection in addition to the standard wiring in the form of a 40 Amp resettable fuse on the whole supply going into the dash loom.

          I admit I'm comfortable and experienced with electrics but there's also a head and heart argument here. I like to keep originality wherever possible and avoid the temptation to spend lots of money and time on replacing anything because our cars are now worth a lot of money and some folks can.
          John

          1969 Series 2 FHC

          Link:
          BBcode:
          HTML:
          Hide post links
          Show post links

          User avatar

          politeperson
          Posts: 823
          Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:26 pm
          Location: Boston UK
          Great Britain

          #18 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

          Post by politeperson » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:06 am

          I agree with John but I think each car has to be considered individually.

          I depends on the history of the car and therefore the condition of it now.

          On an S2 Coupe I looked at a couple of months ago, everything behind the dash was trashed as the car had been left outside for years and damp had got in. Definitely Autosparks time.

          On my slightly older silver S2 coupe, the condition of everyting is almost as it left the factory, as the car has been looked after. When my mobile auto electrician shortened the dash loom to convert from LHD to RHD it was all tested as he re terminated everything. It has been perfect for the last few years.

          The only problem I have had was down to not changing the ignition switch, fuse holders and fuses. The fuses "looked" ok but caused some intermittent electrical problems. Once I change the whole lot (an easy job, the dash does not have to be disassembled), all the problems went away.

          The ignition switch failed after 49 years of service, probably because I was drawing too much current through with the Hp fuel pump and ECU. Luckily, the replacement S2 Lucas switch was fitted to loads of cars and is still available for £30. So I replaced that and switched the offending circuits to relays. All good now.

          By the way, all the LHD conversion work was done with the screen in place. No problems there.
          James

          L.J.K. Setright was right.
          "You just cant beat a good E-type"

          Link:
          BBcode:
          HTML:
          Hide post links
          Show post links

          User avatar

          Topic author
          AshM
          Posts: 231
          Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:59 pm
          Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
          Great Britain

          #19 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

          Post by AshM » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:31 am

          Thanks for the further posts; some incredibly helpful and wise words here.

          The car has been in the family for 45 of its 48 years so it’s provenance is completely understood. The dash has never been touched other than the odd fuse obviously.

          So now I am considering the very balanced and alternative views. My quandary is that trusted advice from people on here I 100% respect are opposing.

          Maybe I should offer to sort Brexit, probably an easier decision!!

          Cheers
          Ash
          Series 2 FHC 1970
          1R 20607

          Link:
          BBcode:
          HTML:
          Hide post links
          Show post links

          User avatar

          abowie
          Posts: 2085
          Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:15 pm
          Location: Australia
          Contact:
          Australia

          #20 Re: Dashboard wiring loom - should I?

          Post by abowie » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:43 pm

          AshM wrote:
          Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:31 am
          My quandary is that trusted advice from people on here I 100% respect are opposing.
          Cheers
          Ash
          Having encouraged you, I would quote the First Law of most things which is "If it works don't stuff around with it".
          Andrew.
          881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops
          http://www.projectetype.com/index.php/the-blog.html
          Adelaide, Australia

          Link:
          BBcode:
          HTML:
          Hide post links
          Show post links

          Post Reply Previous topicNext topic