Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some Nice Bits

I started off by trying to clean up the interior trim, and it just kind of snowballed. The wiring loom needed to be replaced, the fuel tank had to come out and then I discovered that the fuel tank sender unit was burnt out.

The old wiring loom had faded very badly and the cotton braiding had lost almost all of its colour coding, it also had a few nasty amateur repairs, so it had to go. After a bit of discussion on the Early Mini Forum I contacted Autosparks in the UK for a new loom. There was a bit of mucking around (partly my fault for not stressing that this was a rare internal tanked Traveller) but I now have a lovely looking bespoke wiring loom.

I'm really pleased with the cotton braiding of the loom. The main loom is black with a yellow fleck and the rear loom is black with two blue flecks. This seems to have been standard for Travellers, I think the blue fleck is a kind of colour coding to make it clear that the rear loom is a Traveller one. The sedans had a yellow fleck at the back.

I'm not quite ready to re-fit it yet but I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to fit a flexible new wiring loom with clear colour coding.

BEFORE: The charred resistance coil. It can't be a good thing
for something submerged in petrol to be getting that hot!
The fuel sender unit is also looking pretty good too. When I tested it with a multimeter it was open circuit inside, so I carefully opened it to see if there was anything I could repair - not a hope. The resistance coil was badly burnt and I don't have the patience to try to repair it.So I sent it off to Roger Howard at Howard Instruments. Roger specialises in Smiths instruments (amongst many others) and collects old Minis - the ideal combination!

The sender has come back with a new 80 ohm resistor coil (even the phenolic core of the coil was charred) and the outer plate has been re-plated, just as it would have been when first fitted. Its ready to do another 50 years now! I think Roger might have looked after me a little bit price-wise too. His price was very reasonable, for the work he's done.

AFTER: the original gauge, now looking as good as it would have in 1961.
I'm so glad that there are businesses like Austosparks and Howard Instruments that can take the time to repair or re-manufacture parts like these. For most modern cars you wouldn't bother, just chuck it and use a modern replacement.


  1. I used Howard Instruments to repair my Messerschmitt clock - Top job, especially after I was told by another repairer that "It could not be fixed"

  2. hi. nice car. i'm restoring one exactly the same ( belgium car though) i'm second owner of the car. just wondering what wood that is on that car. mini had ach wood on it but do not thinck its original.


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