|The MGA With An Attitude
Intermittent Wipers Tech -- ET-210 - Pg 9 of 9
Ah, so now we finally get down to where the other five new wires get connected. This is a view looking up behind the dash from the right side foot well. With no radio in the way, visibility and access here is very good, and I had no problem installing the new remote control unit in the dash and connecting all the wires.
The perforated strap in the upper right corner of the picture is (was) the tail support for the radio that has since been removed. The cylindrical canister at the bottom of the picture is the original dealer installed windscreen washer (manual) pump. The funky plumbing attached to it is three small check valves (from aquarium supply) that have served to make the manual washer pump work flawlessly for many years. Bear in mind that reliability is one of the hallmarks of this particular vehicle. I have no mercy for gadgets that give trouble (which is why the radio is gone), so this new wiper control module has to work perfectly for a long time, as the results will be posted right here as they happen.
At upper left in the picture is the new remote control module installed in the dash with the fabricated indexing plate. Immediately beside that is the original (44+ year old) wiper switch with those nice reliable screw post connectors. And beside that is the replacement type ignition switch with the Lucar (man I hate those things) push-on connectors. Below all this is the fuel gauge which serves as a terminal location for green power wires and black ground wires. The new wires are all tie-wrapped together at the base of the circle loop (didn't want to cut the remote control wires) including the two wires originally attached to the wiper switch. This new mini harness comes from the main control module and loops upwards over the top of the original wiring attached to the ignition switch.
Starting at the top of the picture and working downward, the first four wires twisted together are for the new remote control unit. Next is the original black ground wire on the wiper switch. After the tie wrap this wire makes a small loop to the right and goes into the cloth covered harness. From there it emerges again to be attached to the mounting bracket on the back of the fuel gauge with other original black ground wires. Next down from the top is the new black ground wire for the main control module, which is connected to the ground terminal on the wiper switch along with the original black wire. Below that is the new yellow wire that is connected to the other (switched) terminal of the wiper switch. Next below that is the red wire from the main control module. This red wire is attached with a butt connector to the black/green wire (looks gray here) which was removed from the (switched terminal) of the wiper switch. Next down is the new green wire from the main module. To this I added a small crimp-on ring lug, and it is attached to the threaded post connection on the fuel gauge along with some original green wires.
Next down is the bright red wire from the new in-line fuse (a continuation from one of the blue wires from the main control module), which I connected to the always hot side of the ignition switch (with the brown/blue wires). On the original ignition switch with screw post terminals you can just install the new wire in the screw post along with the original brown/blue wires. The aftermarket ignition switch provides a bit of a problem with only two male spade connectors on each side, as all of them are occupied with original harness wires (with Lucar connectors added to the originally plain-end wires). With the replacement type ignition switch you may use a terminal splitter to attach two wire connectors to a single spade. In my case I opted to cut the terminal from one of the (originally bare end) wires and install a new Lucar connector with the new wire sharing the new terminal with the original wire. I just happened to use the heavier brown/blue supply wire because I thought that wire terminal was ailing and needed replacement. Otherwise it would probably be easier to connect the new wire along with the smaller brown/blue wire, in which case you can use a smaller gauge Lucar wire terminal.
If you happen to notice another red butt connector at the right side of the picture, that one is a prior connection for a radio power wire from the ignition switch.
And that's it. Final tally is just two original wires disconnected from their screw terminals and connected to new control wires with butt connectors, and four more new wires connected. A third butt connector was used to spice in the in-line fuse (which might not be necessary if the fuse was included with the original module), the green wire got a ring lug (which it wouldn't need if connected directly to the fuse block), and the live power wire got a Lucar connector (but only because of the aftermarket ignition switch. Just one day after installation I'm happy to report that it works like a charm. I have already had a run in light rain on the way to a club meeting, and it was truly delightful to be zipping along in expressway traffic without having to manually modulate the wiper switch to get intermittent operation. Now give it some more years for a really good workout, and if there are no more notes after this sentence, all is still well with a reliable electronic control for intermittent windscreen wipers on the MGA.
Best regards from the MGA with an attitude (and a nifty new safety feature).
Addendum November 2011:
Someone just asked me for a follow up review. It has been 9-1/2 years and 66,000 miles since installation of this module, and it still works, so it must be time to remove the "probationary test" status. I had only one small problem with it in July 2008. During body sill restoration and repainting I had the body stripped to the bare shell including repainting the dash panel. I was slightly hurried during reassembly and forgot to install enough tie-wraps for proper strain relief of the small wires. Two days down the road (several hundred miles on) a power wire broke of from the ignition switch terminal. It was easy enough to reattach in a few minutes, and with a new tie wrap it has been secure. The problem was due to my own oversight and negligence, another good lesson from the School Of Hard Knocks (and something I predicted at time of first installation due to the small size wires).