My goal here was to :-
- simplify the existing loom by removing any redundant wires
- integrate various CA18DET items
- add relays for higher current components / take the load off the original loom & switches
- have more than 2 fuses !!
I carefully completed and tested only one modification at a time so that I could be sure that the modification had worked. Overall, this probably took longer, but if I had modified everything in one go, it would have been more difficult to identify any problems. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve removed the loom, made a change and reinstalled it.
In no particular order, here goes :-
I removed a few metres of wire that didn’t seem to go anywhere. I reasoned that with less wires, there’s less to go wrong.
- Long loop of red wire under the heater believed to be for fog lights. Can always retrofit later.
- Removed white & pink auxiliary heater and choke warning light wires.
- Shortened the long earth wire that runs behind the dashboard. This goes out of the passenger compartment and is earthed / bolted to the suspension turret. Every time I removed the loom to modify it, I had to unbolt the earth and feed the wires back through the bulkhead aperture. In the end, I shortened it, added a plug connector and earthed it using one of the heater matrix to bulkhead bolts. This cut out about 2m of wire and made it easier to get the loom in and out.
- I also cut the long wires to the seats belt warning switches and added another connector. Again, this made getting the loom in and out much easier.
I added a few extra components too :-
- Original Kenlowe fan over-ride switch and thermostatic switch.
- Digital turbo boost and oil pressure gauges. I looked for dial gauges but couldn’t find 2 that looked the same that were in the measurement range I wanted. I’m going to run fairly low turbo boost and with most of the dial gauges, the needle would hardly move when I’m giving it full beans, which would look rubbish on the dial gauge. Digital gauges are also a good contrast to the other gauges.
- To get the tacho to work, I had to buy a convertor from Spidya to convert the Nissan ECU output signal to the Dolomite tacho input signal. This needed power, earth, input from the Nissan ECU and output to the Dolomite tacho.
- I swapped the old instrument lights for LEDs, but they are a little bright !
I used self-tapping screws to fix a busbar to the underside of the heater matrix, just behind the vents. This has 6 rows of 3 x 6.3mm male spade connectors. I used 4 x 3 rows (1 input 11 output) for positive and 2 x 3 rows (1 input 5 output) for earth. In hindsight, I could have used my old fuse box instead ! This powered other components like the boost guage, oil pressure gauge, Nissan ECU, Kenlowe fan switch, tacho convertor etc.
The battery has been relocated to the boot. The thick positive cable goes straight to a 175A fuse for safety. When everything is running, I’ll measure the current with all lights on etc while cranking the motor and reduce the amp rating accordingly – 175A is probably way too high. The thick cable is connected to the starter terminal which spurs off to the alternator and an ignition side inhibitor switch.
I’ve now got 10 fuses in the engine compartment for battery side power and 6 fuses in the passenger compartment for ignition side power. I also moved the club voltage regulator next to the ignition fuse box to reduce wire length again and to keep it dry.
Close to the engine compartment fuse box, I’ve got 4 relays connected to the battery side fuses :-
- Twin Kenlowe fan 9 inch fans
- Both dipped beam lights
- Both main beam lights
I’ve got 3 additional fused relays in the boot where the battery is :-
- Facet fuel pump that feeds the swirl pot
- Bosch 044 fuel pump that fuels the engine
- Heated rear windscreen
The time clock is luckily the West German quartz clock. Seems to work ok and ticks nicely, though I did add a shroud to the positive terminal.
The lights are BMW E30 projector / Smiley units which have been cut down to fit into the Dolomite headlamp bracket, which also needed some adjustment. To wire these up, I spliced the blue/red wire in the steering nacelle into the blue wire that goes to the headlamp selector switch. Doing this makes all 4 lights come on when I select full beam.
My CA18DET engine loom had been cut and spliced in the past, so I took the plunge and bought a universal / plug and play loom from Wiring Specialities. This was expensive but probably saved me hours of trouble shooting. I just needed to connect up this loom to :-
- battery feed on the starter
- chassis earth
- Triumph temperature gauge
- Triumph oil pressure light
- Triumph ignition light
- Tacho as above
The loom incorporated the same spark plugs / coil packs as used on Audi R8s / Lambo Gallardos. Apparently the difference between these and standard parts is incredible.
The CA18DET needed a completely new fueling set-up. The fuel flow is as follows :-
- Standard fuel tank with banjo output
- Fuel filter
- Facet fuel pump
- Swirl pot
- Gravity fed Bosch 044 high pressure fuel pump
- Fuel injectors
- Return to swirl pot
- Swirl pot overflow to fuel tank via a T piece
All seems to work well, though if I did this again, I’d probably try installing a modern fuel pump into the tank.
I gave the engine a bit of a refresh – new water pump, oil pump, timing belt and tensioner. After all of the work above, the engine fired up first time !!
Thanks to James, Carledo, Alun, Dave, Dan and Rob for assisting me with this conversion. More to follow…
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