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What's the expert opinion on no lights/radio when engine turned off?


Colin Lindsay
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Went out to the GT6 and replaced the fuel pipes last weekend, got into the car and... no interior light, no CD/radio, no lights or instrument illumination. If I toggle the light switch the interior roof light flashes momentarily each time. I have good power to ignition and oil pressure lights and on turning the key the car starts, and then all the lights come on including main lights, interior roof light and CD player. Stop the engine and all go out again. Before I start tearing things apart, does this seem like an obvious symptom to anyone? The battery is fully charged and the contacts clean, and everything works as it should with the engine running. 

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I would suspect the fuse box. The jaws that hold the fuses are four separate contacts which are only connected together by the fuse. I occasionally get odd electrical faults where one of the contact isn't connecting to the fuse. One of my "to dos" is replace the fuse box with something more modern and with more fuses, three ain't enough!.

 

A lot of people don't realize the headlights aren't fused at all! All the current for the headlights goes from battery to switch to lights.

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Even if this turns out not to be the culprit I've often thought of replacing it with a more modern version, or even just a good original one. The problem with THAT is that I can't work out how to get it slid along the wiring loom to where it should be without having to remove a huge number of components or connections first.

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I would say this is one of those occasions when good original ain't good enough, it's just got to go!  I'm not sure if your mk1 s the same as my mk3.  My fuse box is behind and above the battery on the bulkhead. Two screws and you can pull out the box and attached loom by two or three inches, enough to attach labels and disconnect.

 

I bought this off Ebay earlier this year http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/H4-9003-Headlight-Booster-Wire-Harness-Connector-Relay-Fuse-Socket-/390938014554?hash=item5b05b8b35a

 

It's ridiculously cheap but seem robust enough. It needs slight modification but I will be installing it shortly to put my headlights on fuses and relays. 

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Hello ... As the power can get from alternator to the various bits but not from battery I would suspect the connections around the starter solenoid where the myriad of these wires join.

Looking at the wiring diagram power from battery, power from alternator and feed to light switch and fuse all join at the starter solenoid. I'm guessing something isn't making good connection. If the alternator wire is connected through to the light switch and fuse but not the battery it would give the symptoms described.

If it was the fuse box itself I would expect it not to work when the car is running either.

Having said that no idea why the interior light would just flash, so I could be wrong.

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The problem with THAT is that I can't work out how to get it slid along the wiring loom to where it should be without having to remove a huge number of components or connections first.

Aha - just checked and it's nowhere nearly as bad as I imagined; I remembered the Herald and the problem of sliding the rubber grommet right the way along the loom; the GT6 is nowhere near as bad.

I checked the fuses - none blown - and changed them around just in case it was moisture or corrosion from the long layup - the interior light came on when the battery was reconnected, but went out as soon as I operated the main light switch. 

Back to the drawing board... but I too suspect the solenoid.

Incidentally replacement fuse boxes are amazingly expensive, for all they really are....

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Tht sounds like corroded connections, probably in teh fusebox. It was OK carrying the 1/2amp to teh interior light, but ask for 10amps and the connection gives up the ghost.

 

A good clean with a scourer/fine abrasive etc may help.

 

If you are after a period fusebox that uses spade connectors to the loom and the same fuses as original, Minis use a 4 fuse box. 

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Ok - went to the garage last night, in the freezing cold (old bones feel it more!) and cleaned the solenoid connections; I also noticed the Cd player sitting out of the housing as though straining against something. I removed it and disconnected the plugs and on restarting all the electrics worked perfectly, so it's either the solenoid or the Cd player has dislodged something when slid back into the housing. I'll have to check the routing of the cables behind it. I don't think it's anything more serious than that.

I'd still like a new / better condition / modern fuse box though.

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