Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simplifying Things

What with all the chaos going on at our house over the last few months, my MGB restoration project has languished. Now that things have stabilized, I'm back at it.

When last we left our little car, I was completely rewiring it from scratch. I managed to change all of the connectors in the car from the old bullet-style ones to modern blades and Molex pins, but the sheer scale of the project was overwhelming. To be perfectly honest, I lost heart.

I don't know about you, but I hate complicated jobs. I don't do well when there are too many things going on. I need simplicity to concentrate. A few weeks back, I started wondering just what I'd need to get the little car started. What electrical system would it need if it were a go-kart? Well, all you'd need would be the charging, starting and ignition systems. No need for horn, lights, fans, blinkers, gauges or anything else.

If I could just get the car started the excitement of driving it around would motivate me to complete the restoration.

Off I went to the schematics. I pulled out just the systems I needed and when I was done, I was shocked at how trivial the problem was. Hurrah! Here's all it is (you'll need to click on the image for a clear view):
The dashed lines are low power, everything else is substantial. In the MGB, the starter is used as the tie-in point for all power. I'll improve the original design by fusing everything off of that point and adding the relay for the starter circuit. The connection on the bottom of the starter is the control feed that pushes the solenoid into the gears of the flywheel to get the car started. To start with, I won't even wire the switches to the key in the steering column, I'll put them both in the engine compartment. It's all about starting the car right now.

Excited by the prospect of driving the thing, I got right to work. I ended up have to pull the starter, one of the only difficult items to remove in the car, to work on some bent connectors on it. I've got all the wires and connectors, so finishing this wiring is not that big of a job. Yay!


tim eisele said...

Go, go, go!

Just don't make the mistake my brother did - he was driving a minimalist stripped-down pickup truck[1] on the road, and got a ticket for not having turn signals or brake lights.

[1] Our old Ford F150 was rusting out so bad that the cab had settled and sheared off the steering column. So after I welded the steering wheel shaft back together, he stripped off all the body panels, took off the cab, attached the seat straight to the frame, replaced the bed with a sheet of plywood, and made fenders out of old tractor tires that he'd cut in half. So he was basically driving around a truck frame with a seat, engine, transmission, and not a lot else. It was a pretty useful farm vehicle like that, but boy, was it ever not road-legal.

Mostly Nothing said...

The MGB is a pretty simple car, electrically. And everyone says, be slow and methodical on wiring, as it can easily and quickly go wrong. Sounds like you might have the right idea.

I just read last week about the Porsche 928 in Autoweek. All of it's wires were grey. So thank the British for be so much more logical than the Germans!