TOOLMAN'S  RELIANT   SCIMITAR SE5a SITE

Front Suspension Chassis Rear Suspension Interior Bodywork Engine Bay Electrics

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Site Last Updated 06/12/2016

Toolmanweb 2003-2016

Electrics
29 June 2003
Decided to take a look at the wiring in the engine bay as there is lots of extra cable tied to the existing loom. Removed the clips and started teasing it out. I have no idea what its for but there is a bank of 5 flick switches fitted to the right hand side of the steering wheel under the dashboard and I assume that it's connected to these. I think that previous problems with the electrics have been sorted by installing these switches and wiring. I hope that I will be able to return the electrics to their original state with a few extra relays here and there for the headlights, cooling fan etc.
 
08 November 2003
Due to the well known electrical problems associated with the Scimitar I have decided to renew all of the body earth points with larger diameter nuts and bolts. I also intend to run a heavy duty cable the full length of the car from the battery negative to all of the existing earth points. I have purchased a new ratchet crimping tool for this job and tried this today on a scrap piece of wire. Did an excellent job crimping the metal and insulation side of the connection at the same time. It is a Lazer tool and was quite reasonably priced.
 
12 November 2003
Using the trusty grinder I managed to remove the rusty fog lights fitted to the rear of the car. This is OK as prior to 1980 they were not compulsory. I also removed the cluster of earth connections from the rearmost outrigger in the same way. I intend to move the Earth connection to the rear diagonal chassis brace as there are already holes drilled in it for the now removed tow bar. This means that it will be more exposed than before so protecting it will be important. To ensure a good earth I intend to actually fit a large nut and bolt to the brace and weld it in position. As previously mentioned I will then connect the earth cables to this bolt together with my heavy duty cable run from the battery. Once tightened up this will be given a coat of hammerite and then greased to help protect it from the elements. The rear drivers side will be done in the same way.
 
16 November 2003
Welded in the 3/8" X 35mm bolts to the chassis diagonal struts on both sides of the car. Fitted new crimped ring ends to the existing earth wires and bolted them in nice and tight. Ran an 8mm domestic earth wire from each of these points to the front of the car along the existing loom. Eventually this will be connected to the battery earth where it joins the chassis. Gave the whole thing a good coat of hammerite.
 
14 January 2004
Finished running the earth wire to the front of the car and clipped it in place with some tie wraps. Fitted a crimp end to the wire and bolted it to the point where the battery earth is fixed.
 
16 January 2004
I had previously removed the headlights from the car when repairing the front chassis extension. I have now decided to repair them. On closer inspection I discovered that the outer headlights were not in fact the same. One was a dipped only unit with a 55w bulb and the other was a sealed beam unit with dipped and main beam. The inner lights were the same i.e 55w main beam units. I managed to strip them down without breaking them and from the component parts salvaged the following :-
 
Rear bowls, 2 out of 4 chrome bezels, all of the fixing and adjusting plates, all of the rubber seals & gaskets and the inner lenses and bulbs.
This means that all I need to obtain to completely restore the headlights are 2 outer lenses, bulbs, wiring loom and chrome bezels.
My brother in law John took the rusty metal parts to work with him and cleaned them up with a bead blaster.
I have given them 2 coats of zinc based grey primer.
then 2 coats of black topcoat. They have come up quite well.
 
24 January 2004
Managed to build the 2 inner main beam headlights from all of the reconditioned bits and had to buy the 2 outer lights (main Dip and sidelight). Brought them from Stafford Vehicle Products and they are an excellent match. They are Wipac items although this is not printed on the lens. They come with the wiring loom attached and all the fixing screws which were stainless items. Fitted them and the reconditioned ones and then the fibreglass trim.
Removed the indicator units and found them to be in poor condition. One of the studs snapped off and the rear rubber boot disintegrated. Brought 2 new fittings from Adrian at Southwest Scimparts and fitted them. I already had 2 good second hand lenses so I cleaned them up and fitted them also. The units earth connection was modified by drilling a small hole in the fitting and pop riveting a crimp eyelet to it under the rubber boot. Hopefully this should mean that it keeps dry and therefore corrodes less. All of the front lights were fitted with multi plug connectors so that removing them in the future should be much easier.
Rewired and refitted the engine cooling fan and car horns. These were fitted with multi plugs also.
Refitted the windscreen wash reservoir and pumps. One of them is not working so I have decided to order 2 new pumps (cant have a nice shiny one next to an old scruffy one). Got them from Classic Car Accessories. They match the originals very well but don't say 'Lucas' on them. Guess that's the concourse events out then!
 
29 January 2004
Started the car and let it run until the thermostat opened and the radiator got hot. The water pump was noisy (squeaking) so I gave it a good dose of WD40. The bearings may be on the way out so I will have to keep an eye on it. As a temperature reading of around 80 degrees the cooling fan cut in for about 5 seconds then off again. It then cycled like this at around 1 minute intervals. Seems the fan is more than up to the job of keeping the engine cool. This may be due to the re cored radiator I had done some time ago. I was pleased that there were no leaks from the cooling system at all.
 
30 January 2004
Started to examine the wiring to the rear lights. There was lots of extra wiring (the car had a tow bar fitted) which I hacked out. Surprisingly most of the rear lights worked apart from the reversing light on one side - I had previously redone the earths when refitting the back axle. The reversing lamp problem was traced to the bulb and holder. There was'nt one! After a lot of searching on the net I found a suitable replacement from MOSS the Triumph specialist. The part was meant for a TR6 but it fits fine. The only difference is that I need to run a separate earth wire to it as it is made of plastic.
 
01 February 2004
Fitted new multi plugs to the rear lights as the old bullet and spade connections were badly corroded. Managed to snap off the earth connection to one of the rear light clusters but fixed this by drilling a hole in the metal body and fitting a crimp ring and wire with a pop rivet. The rear interior light was not working but I found two wires in the rear passenger side light cluster that had obviously been connected at some point but had corroded away. Redid the ends on them and joined them together with a crimp. Hey presto - let there be light. It does seem to have a mind of its own though and I cant switch it off at the moment. I suspect a duff switch on the fitting.
 
03 February 2004
Whilst testing the rear lights I discovered that the drivers side tail light was not working. Using my test meter I discovered that there was no voltage at the bulb, or at the multi plug in the rear well (thick red and orange wire). However there was 12v in the multi plug in the engine bay. This pointed to a broken wire in the loom that runs the full length of the chassis under the car. This was confirmed following a post on the Yahoo Scimitar group.
 
04 February 2004
Jacked up the whole of the car on one side and rested it on axle stands. Followed the loom from front to back and found the problem. Under the front gearbox support plate the loom had been chafing and had worn through the sidelight wire and halfway through the heated rear window wire. Opened up the loom and connected the wires back together with heavy duty wire crimps. I only use the sort that have shrink sleeving with glue. I then taped up the 2 wire crimps as extra protection and then re taped the loom. As a protection against future problems I also cut a piece of plastic tubing and threaded the loom through it. This was then also taped in place. The result - rear lights are now ok.
 
22 February 2003
The electric window on the drivers side has never worked since I got the car so I decided to take a look at it. I removed the door panel to find that the actuating arm had been cut through with an angle grinder and the window was held up with a piece of 2x2 ! Removed the motor and mounting plate from the car and tested it straight on the battery. It worked fine. I then removed the rest of the arm from the bottom of the window and welded it back together. I will hammerite the bracket and give it all a good grease before refitting.
WARNING: if you have to remove the motor from the arm watch out for the spring. I did not notice it and have the scar on my finger to prove it!
 
28 February 2004
Tried to refit the window motor and it proved a little difficult as if it is bolted to the mounting plate before installation the plate cannot be fitted. I found the following sequence works:
  1. Slide the motor into the hole in the door where the plate fits.
  2. Move it to the right and engage the roller in the window lifting bracket
  3. Connect the wiring to the motor
  4. Fit the top left hand bolt to the plate and nip it up nice and tight (pushing your arm up through the hole in the door under the motor area.
  5. Fit the cap headed screws to the motor through the mounting plate (take care that you fit a washer and spring washer to the ones on the right or they will foul the lifting arm and the window will not go fully up or down)
  6. Fit the rest of the mounting plates nuts and bolts.
I fitted it all up and when I tried the window it went down fine but refused to come back up again. I changed the switch over to the one from the passenger side that worked ok and the window wound up fine. Stripped the switch and the contacts were corroded. A little switch cleaner and a touch with some emery paper and it was working fine. I took the opportunity to lubricate the glass channels with some silicon spray and this made the windows slide much easier.
 
30 March 2004
Fitted a new heavy duty cable between the main chassis earth from the battery and the engine. It now seems to turn over much faster on the starter.
 
25 April 2004
Fitted new battery post terminals as the old ones were quite worn and corroded.
 
30 April 2004
The wiring and switch for the bonnet light were badly corroded so I decided to replace them. I fitted new multi plug connectors to the wires and made a new switch mounting bracket from stainless steel. I then fitted the new pin switch to the bracket. This was fixed under the bonnet with new stainless screws. I tidied up the wiring to the brake fluid low level warning float switch at the same time with new multi plug connectors.
 
02 May 2004
Decided it was time to sort out the interior lights. I brought 2 new lights from Nigel at Queensbury Road Garage and removed the lenses ready to fit them as complete units. The ones in my car looked shot. However when I removed the lenses the fitting itself was in excellent condition. I therefore just fitted the bulbs and new lenses. The pin switch for the drivers door was missing and despite calling all of the suppliers the original type is no longer available (2 spade connections negating the need to earth the switch) so I purchased a metal type switch from Vehicle Wiring Products. To make this work correctly I had to cut off the spade containing the 2 black wires and replace it with a crimp small ring connector. This was carefully bent through 90 degrees and passed through the hole for the switch. The ring was then trapped under the metal body of the switch by a new stainless steel screw. This appears to work OK at the moment.
 
15 Jan 2005
Due to problems with non cancelling indicators I decided to purchase a new flasher unit with built in buzzer. I will see if it gets on my nerves at a later date!
More wiring nightmares appeared when I removed the dash to refurb it. The indicator switch has been replaced in the past and instead of using the standard bullet connectors it has been soldered in place. This would not be a problem however the new insulation left a lot to be desired.
 
3 Dec 2005
I decided that it was time to grab the bull by the horns and fit the new fuse box that I brought about a year ago from Vehicle Wiring Products. This uses the large blade style modern fuses and also incorporates 4 plug in relays. I obtained some fitting instructions for Tony Idle on the Scimitar Yahoo group site and using these together with the Reliant wiring diagram I replaced the box. As it is a different shape to the original I fabricated a replacement mounting from stainless steel using a cardboard template (see picture).
This was fitted in roughly the same place on the car using stainless self tappers and the original bolt from the live feed junction box. I feel a lot safer with this compared to the original box as I did have problems with the fuse holders melting due to poor connections causing resistance and therefore hot spots.
Note that I have a large grommet around the hole cut in the mounting plate to stop the wires chafing (super glued in place). This is essential as the plate is earthed.