Ok so we are a day early with our round up this week but we have a good reason. Friday is to be spent removing the dashboard from our off road Land Rover and repairing the wiring loom, we estimate a good 30% of it has been melted together!
How did this happen? Well a good reminder to all car owners and Classic Car home maintenance fans… Disconnect The Battery!! It does not matter how trivial the job you are about to do is, disconnect it.
Turning A Simple Job Into A Nightmare
All we were doing was swapping a broken interior light door switch for a working one from a rear door. Simple job with one screw and out it comes. Rear one removed no problem but upon removing the front one it sparked against the body as it came out.
Looking back this was the time to have the “oh crap” moment and disconnect the battery but no, trying to get the working one in through the hole without touching the body was the order of the day. Never was very good at that operation game.
However in it went and the screw tightened up fine.
Another job expertly handled and completed.
Walking away from the car something made me look back, car filling up with smoke really quite badly. We carry a fire extinguisher in the car so ran back and proceeded to point it at the dash and spray. Nothing happened! Nothing came out!
So blind panic sets in and the run to the garage to get the 13mil spanner to disconnect the battery begins. My wife later commented how funny I had looked running up and down the drive whilst the car was on fire. Strange sense of humour these women have some times.
Spanner in hand battery soon disconnected. So now it’s time to check out the damage. Only thing is there is nothing to see. Big problem though is the wire to the door push switch is inside the body with no way of getting to it to see if it is bare and a fire hazard.
Only one thing for it, remove the fuse for that circuit to be sure there is no live current flowing through a bare wire. So we have gone from fixing an interior light switch to no interior lights and no radio as thats on the same fuse. But the car is working and all seems ok so it’s off to KFC for some food.
Car Fires Always Spread!
About a mile down the road the drivers (same side as fire) window suddenly moves all on its own and then will not respond to the button. A quick debate about returning home or going for KFC see’s the fuse for the electric windows removed, but KFC successfully bought and eaten.
The next day it was time to get the lower dash panels off and have a proper look and the results were not good. Out of maybe 40 wires in a loom going from the left of the car to the right and behind the dash there were a good 9 or 10 that had completely melted together, it is a complete mess and impossible to even have a good look let alone repair with the dash in place.
So that’s why our round up is on a Thursday not Friday as that is dash day. Then we will find and replace all the damaged wires in the loom. All this to replace a broken door switch. Remember….Disconnect The Battery.
We Are Classic Cars Are Coming Home
One other thing has happened recently and that is we have decided to move from Southern Spain back to the UK. Perthshire in Scotland is our chosen new home and the move will happen in the new year. This left us the issue of our cars.
Now our MK2 will of course be coming back and will I fear have to be converted from left to right hand drive but this thankfully is a fairly straight forward job.
The Land Rover was a more difficult choice. It would seem that after all the work we have done she would be great for very snowy days in Scotland and some gentle off roading in the UK. The latest re-wire has sealed her fate. She will be coming home with us to the UK. I know this is one of those emotional moves that does not stack up financially but when you have a connection to a car they are hard to part with.
We have also secured our first project car for when we arrive back, but for now we shall keep that a secret.
Have a great weekend and think of us soldering iron in hand all bloody weekend.
Remember Disconnect Your Battery!