Thursday, 28 December 2006

More Electrical Fun!

The light switch does fit, but isn't the original. The shaft has been fastened to one that fits the switch. There's no circuit breaker or fuse in the switch - according to the shop manual there should be.

There's also no apparent provision for the dome light and/or panel light dimmer. There was a separate dimmer (badged Ford) fitted over to the lower right of the dash, but the knob and shaft have broken off.

There are four courtesy lights fitted - the front ones use a SB (dual contact) 12.8v 1.04A (13.3w) bulb (number 94) and the rears use an 89 - single contact SB (single contact) 13v .58A (7.54w) The rears are on all the time if the ignition is off - need to sort this.

I had a worse problem - once reconnected, turning the key to ACC or RUN would result in a huge current drain - I suspected a short but couldn't find it. I was concerned that it would melt some wiring somehow. Eventually traced it to a circuit breaker which had dropped out of its metal case and was contacting earth (neg) - the bi-metal strip was being burnt away (see above) - lucky this was the case rather than a direct (and cable melting) short.

Nothing in the shop manual indicates that the breaker was present at this point in the circuit (or this location in the car). I also cannot locate the fuse box - I am starting to suspect that there isn't one (but I don't know if there ever was).

Monday, 25 December 2006

More On Indicators and Other Stuff

Found the US/UK switch - just hanging under the dash. Tested the amber ones - they are nothing special and when fastened on they look really weird. They are 18w 12v for some reason (never seen anything but 21w before - maybe they really are motorbike ones) - festoon bulbs.

Removed dash - heater problems are caused by:

1) "Air" cable to fresh air flap broken (at heater end), allowing flap to open/close at random.
2) "Temp" cable not attached to back of heater controls.

Also noticed that where the heater meets the fresh air inlet there's a large gap - pulled out some rotten sound insulation from here.

Another Flat Battery

After the RAC man on the journey home who gave me a jump start told me the battery was from a Nissan Micra, first job was to fit a new battery. I did this and it's been handy, given the car's propensity to splutter to a halt when trying to pull away on occasion.

Was going to go out in the car, but battery was flat - put it on charge but when I connected it all up there was a big power drain - about 4/5 amps at least. Eventually traced to the driver's door electric window switch which was jammed on.

Light Switch

Light switch is not the original - the shaft from the switch has been butchered to fit a different switch, but this doesn't seem to support the panel lamp dimmer or the courtesy light switching - could this be why the battery drains in "off" instead of "acc" (according to previous owner)?

Purple Wire

Amongst so very many bad wiring jobs is the purple cable to the dash (it has been disconnected and wired into a red one instead) - must find out what it did/does.

Update - It's the water temp sender


Someone's made a real mess of revarnishing this at some point. Tested gauges (fuel and temp) - they work so looks like sender problems - no surprise.

Fiddled until high beam light made contact - don't imagine this will work when I put it all back but was interesting to see.

Speedo cable looks odd - square end , but the end of the head isn't square - don't get that although it may explain why the speedo isn't working!

Found a lamp above the heater controls - bulb fine but suspect holder too rusty to make a good earth.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

New Battery

New battery sized and fitted - already good news as car spluttered to a halt for no apparent reason again, but having extra cranking power got it going again.

Heating and Cooling

Changed Top and bottom hoses. Had to reseat and retighten the top one at the connection with the rad. Wonder if the (seemingly intermittent) leak from the fuel pump bowl was what rotted the old bottom hose - whatever - need to attend to this (or fit electric pump or something).

Cable to heater control valve is faulty - operating the lever doesn't give the full range. I have turned valve to max temp, but at some point a flap in the system seems to drop/close and cut off the air supply to the interior, which limits the amount of warm air, seemingly just at the point where it was going to start being some good!

Update - The temp contol cable wasn't fastened properly at the heater control end. The air flow control cable was broken - and when the "floor" setting was used on the "def" control it seemed to set up a vacuum in the unit that pulled the air flap closed and restricted airflow to almost nothing.

Parts I would Like

Dash panel (complete)
Light switch
Heater cables

Saturday, 9 December 2006

More Pictures

Bought A "New" Car

This is quite a rarity - a US manufactured car sold new in the UK with Right-Hand-Drive. As Steve Miles points out in his excellent book "Over Here", American cars used to be much more commonplace in the UK than they are now. One reason is that since we joined the EU, the type approval regulations have made it more difficult for US cars to be sold here (although many still are, both officially and as personal imports).

From time to time, US manufacturers put a toe in the water, but they either relied on the strength of the products to sell with the steering wheel on the "wrong" side, or bit the bullet of engineering a Right Hand Drive Model. Cadillac sold a RHD STS/Seville here in the late 90s, and Chevy sold a version of the Blazer, but it seems they didn't sell enough to warrant the costs of moving all the controls to the other side of the car.

This car shares a garage with my 1956 Chevrolet 210, also a Right Hand Drive imported here new, but enough of that - what about the Rambler?

I'm still investigating, but it seems the interior was different from the US version. The dashboard has a wood finish - I'm not sure if this was fitted to the US versions at all, it doesn't appear in the handbook. The car has a power roof, electric windows and a 290 V8 with auto transmission.