Apr 122013

The separate wiring loom for the starter solenoid relay was sent off to Autosparks so they could have a look and use it as a pattern to make up a new loom.

In the meantime, I’d posted my wiring dilemma on the E-Type forum to see if others could shed light on the relay wiring. A fellow S2 owner kindly pointed out that there was a change to this area of the wiring during the S2 production run. As it happens, at exactly the same time my car was passing through the factory. I guess that it hadn’t been reflected in the service manuals because the modification had been made mid-production run.

Around the end of ’69, a ballast resistor was introduced into the ignition circuit with the aim of improving cold starting. The original 3 ohm coil was replaced by a ballast resistor and coil wired in series, both being around 1.5 ohms. When the ignition switch is turned to start the engine, the starter relay activates, delivering power to the starter solenoid but also bypassing the ballast resistor.

Therefore when starting, the full 12 volts is applied to the coil. The spark energy is increased over the original setup as the current flowing into the coil is greater due to the lower coil resistance.

Once running, the ballast resistor is introduced back into the circuit. As the coil and ballast resistor have a similar impedance of around 1.5 ohms, the voltage drop across each is roughly the same. Therefore a voltage of 6v is applied to the coil during normal running.

I found the wiring diagram above on one of the American Jaguar sites which shows the wiring connections for ballasted cars. Autosparks also confirmed that they stock this ‘ballast resistor’ loom. Although I think I’ll get the car running before I cut and tape the unused wires in the main loom!

It was a good opportunity to get Autosparks to make up the additional wiring, using the correct colour coding, that I needed for the few upgrades I’d planned – the mechanical brake light switch to supplement the hydraulic switch and the boot light.

There was also a number of wires that I believe are missing from the sundries wiring pack, such as earthing wires for the rear light clusters and a beefier jumper wire between the two brown fuses. Touch wood, I’ve now got everything to complete the wiring.

Alas, it was again a case of one step forward and two back. Very early on in the work on the bodyshell, the LH outer pedal side panel had been replaced where the main loom comes out behind the voltage regulator bracket. The panel was from one of the main suppliers of panels so I foolishly assumed it would be spot on.

It was only once I came to fit the voltage regulator bracket that I found out that its mounting holes had been punched in the wrong place. They were about 5-6mm too close to the sill closing panel so that the bracket doesn’t fit. The bracket did change for the S2 cars so it might be that the panel also changed and I was supplied the wrong part.

Either way – not happy! I should have checked it well before it had reached the paint shop. It’s not the end of the world but it will always niggle me as I’ll know it’s not correct on the car. The annoying thing was I’d spent ages sourcing and refurbishing a replacement bracket, as the studs on the original had all sheared trying to remove it.

The first replacement was purchased from SNG but the fitting was incorrect, using bolts rather than attached studs. Some time later, I managed to get a rather tatty one on eBay which was covered in a mixture of black and green paint. It took several applications of Nitromors and wire brushing before it was good enough to be re-plated.

The problem I find with zinc plating is it’s too blingy (although I’m sure the brightness would dull slightly once exposed to the elements). I decided to experiment and sprayed it with a two-pack clear satin lacquer. The results were even better than I had hoped/expected. The satin finish obviously tones down the brightness but it also has a softer, smoother to the touch feel and a more uniform metallic finish.

After all that effort I didn’t really want to start butchering a perfectly good original part to fit. instead I planned to trim the original bracket to fit and then repair the welded studs but SNG Barratt now supply the brackets with the correct studs relatively cheaply. So I’ll adapt one of their repro parts rather than an original part.

I think I’ll also spray most of the plated parts in the engine bay with the clear satin lacquer. Hopefully it will also provide a more durable finish.

Jan 012013

The backlighting of the dash gauges is provided by incandescent bulbs inserted into the rear of the gauges and is fairly poor by modern standards. The green hue of the backlighting is achieved by coloured plastic covers within the gauges and green plastic tape behind the switch legend strip. However the heat produced by the bulbs had melted several of the covers.

The backlighting can also be set to Bright, Dim or Off via the 3-way Panel Switch. The light produced by these bulbs is almost linear to the applied voltage. When bright is selected, 12 volts is applied across the bulb terminals. While switching to Dim introduces a resistor in series with the bulb. This produces a voltage drop across the resistor and therefore the voltage applied to the bulb and the emitted light is reduced.

One popular ‘upgrade’ is to replace the bulbs by LED strips mounted around the perimeter of the inside of the gauges. LED strips are available either containing a single LED colour group (eg white, red, green, blue, yellow) or all three of the additive primary colours; red, green and blue.

The latter, for obvious reasons referred to as RGB LED strips, can output different light colours by adjusting the relative intensity of each LED colour group. The LED strips also have the advantage that they are more efficient and do not generate a large amount of heat.

The upgrade is well documented in Stéphane’s guide on the E-Type forum. One of the members had tried the upgrade with blue LEDs and I thought this would suit my car, being Opalescent Dark Blue, but I was undecided whether I wanted to lose the original green.

I couldn’t decide which I preferred so I investigated the possibility of being able to switch between the two. In the end I decided to use the RGB LED strips and somehow try to use the spare dash switch (used for the heated rear window on the FHC) to toggle between green and blue. This would lead to numerous problems that would only become apparent as work progressed.

The LED strips currently on offer vary in the number of LEDs per metre; typically 15, 30 or 60 LEDs per metre but also in the strip width; either 8mm (3528 chipset) or 10mm (5050 chipset) and with or without waterproof covering. The aim was to increase the brightness of the backlighting but with the constraint of space within the gauges. So I thought the thinner strips with the waterproof option would be sensible, so I ordered the following:

  • 2 metres (min order) of 3528 Pure White 60 LEDs/m – for the dash map light
  • 5 metres of 3528 RGB 60 LEDs/m – for the gauges

The strips with 60 LEDs per metre can be cut every three LEDs, ie every 5cm. This was ideal as the inner circumference of the smaller gauges would allow a 10cm strip. However the first problem came to light, excuse the pun, when I tested the 3528 RGB strip. This chipset used has one LED for each of the three primary colours in a 5cm strip. When either blue or green is selected, only one of the three LEDs was illuminated. So in the 10cm strip possible, lighting would only be provided by two LEDs – hardly an improvement!

After a few calls to suppliers, it became clear that I needed the wider 10mm strips for the multi-colour option. Each LED in the 5050 chipset is effectively made up of three LEDS; one for each of the red, green and blue colours. So all six LEDs in the 10cm strip would provide light. If the additional width caused a problem I would give up on being able to switch colours and revert back to a single coloured 8mm strip.

While I was planning how to incorporate the upgrade into the existing switch layout I noticed something really odd in the wiring diagrams which I couldn’t understand. The power for the dash illumination is only provided when either the side or main headlights are on. This made perfect sense – if it’s dark enough to need lights then you’d always want to illuminate the gauges. So why did the Panel switch have three settings: Bright, Dim and Off? Why on earth would you ever want to have the side/head lights on and not the dash?

I started to doubt the wiring diagram and so posted the question on the forum. Apparently in the 60s it was a legal requirement when parking at night to have the side lights on. In which case the dash illumination was turned off to conserve the battery. I don’t think I’ll ever need his feature so I’m considering swapping to a two state Panel switch – Bright and Dim.

With the planning done, the next step was to start to dismantle the gauges ….

Apr 242012

As with all the other electrical units, the alloy parts were was ultrasonically cleaned and then sprayed with Gtechniq S1 SmartMetal while the other steel parts were zinc-nickel plated. The next two tasks were to sort out the gearbox lid which had been distorted and also to strip and paint the yoke.

The offending motor gearbox lid after several attempts at heat shrinkingThe centre area of the gearbox lid has been stretched at some point. Therefore its outer perimeter no longer made a continuous seal and so would allow water into the gearbox housing.

The suggested solution was to heat shrink the centre section of the lid to reverse the deformation – heating the centre of the lid to near red heat and then rapidly cooling. After several attempts of heating the lid with a gas blow torch and cooling using a can of compressed CO2, all I succeeded in doing was to work harden it in exactly the same shape as before. Aaaaaaargh!

It probably needs to be heated to a much higher temperature using oxy acetylene. In the end I cheated to avoid holding up the rebuild and obtained a replacement lid. When I get time I’ll give it a proper go at flattening the lid, as I would like to keep the original with the correct stampings.

The wiper motor yoke painted in silver hammerite .... at some point I'll repaint in the correct colourNext up was the yoke which contains the two permanent magnets. The magnets can be removed by lifting the retaining clips so the yoke could then be shot blasted before being painted in silver hammerite. I was quite pleased with the finished article even though the silver hammerite was not quite the correct colour.

During the refurbishing of the cooling fan motors I had found a dark silver hammered paint from Rust-oleum, which is very similar to the orginal colour. At some stage I will re-paint the round bodied yoke but decided to put it off for now. Mainly because of the difficulty I’d had getting a good finish with the Rust-oleum product.

Fortunately the armature wasn’t in such a bad state as those in the cooling fan motors and so all that was required was some light wire brushing and polishing before the S1 SmartMetal coating. I had investigated the availability of new brushes and parking switch units but these seemed to be rather difficult to get hold of. Therefore when I spotted a ‘new, old stock’ brush unit for sale I thought I’d get it as a spare for the future. However I’ve not yet found anyone who can supply the parking switch units.

Cleaned armature Triple Brushes Wiper Motor Parts

The armature was wired brushed to remove the worse of the rust. It was then polished and finally sprayed with Gtechniq S1

The armature brushes and parking switch unit

The wiper motor compentent ready for the rebuild, including the spare armature brushes unit

The rebuild starts with installing the armature brushes and parking switch unit, as these are wired together. The brushes are secured by three small setscrews and the connecting wiring passes through a notch in the motor gearbox housing.

The parking switch is secured by two setscrews from the inside of the gearbox compartment, as shown in the middle photo below. This also shows the protruding parking switch plunger which is activated by a cam on the underside of the gear wheel. The cam positioning is such that it operates the switch when the wiper blades return to their normal rest position.

First fit the brushes Parking switch attachment ACF50 applied to Yoke

The brushes and the parking switch unit are the first to be fitted

The parking switch is attached by two setscrews from inside the gearbox housing. Note the switch plunge which operates when the wipers return to their normal rest position

The interior of the yoke was sprayed with ACF50 which provides a good protection from moisture

After several attempts at fitting the armature and yoke, I found it easier to first fit the armature into the brushes and motor gearbox and then fit the yoke. With this approach its was necessary to hold the armature’s worm drive from within the gearbox so that, when fitting the yoke, the yoke’s magnets didn’t pull the armature out of the brushes. Also don’t do what I did and forget to fit the plain washer between the armature and motor gearbox housing!

Care was also needed in making sure that the thrust and fibre washers were correctly seated in the yoke bearing housing. The easiest way to do this was to join the two with yoke positioned so the ‘bearing’ housing was facing downwards.

Initially I tried to put the armature into the yoke and then attach them both to the motor gearbox. However the problem was it was then difficult to withdraw the three sprung brushes at the same time as inserting the armature, because the yoke restricted access to the brushes.

The middle photo below shows the arrow head marking on the motor gearbox and a corresponding line on the yoke. These need to be aligned when refitting. Also shown is the threaded armature stop. This was then screwed into the gearbox housing until it touched the nylon cap on the armature shaft, before being backed off a 1/4 of a turn.

Next fit the armature Alignment markings Belleville washer goes here

The brushes were then withdrawn to allow the armature to be inserted

The markings on the motor gearbox housing and the yoke must be aligned when re-fitting

The Belleville washer provides pre-load for the armature shaft

The Belleville washers is then positioned within the gearbox before inserting the geared output shaft. The rest of the gearbox was then filled with grease before the output rotatry link and gearbox lid were refitted. The rubber moulding sealing the output shaft area had hardened and split.

At the time I dismantled the motor, it was one of the few parts that wasn’t being remanufactured. Probably because it was only used on the Series 2. However by the time I has started the rebuild, one of the suppliers had made a small batch so I decided to grab one while still available.

Re-packed with grease Output rotary link Motor rebuild completed!

The geared output shaft (just about visible) was inserted and then the remaining space packed with grease

The output rotry link was refitted which also secures the geared output shaft. Although I'd forgotten to insert the rubber seal first .... so I'll have to refit it

The completed wiper motor

The only thing that remains is to adjust the various wiper motor & rack linkages which can only be done once they’re installed in the car. People usually leave the installation of the windscreen until the latter stages of a rebuild. I guess this is because it would restrict access to dash area. However I’m tempted to install the windscreen as soon as the dash wiring looms and dash panels are in place. Therefore I’ll be able to adjust the linkages before the bulkhead access become restricted.