Thursday, 2 February 2017

MGB Speedo cable curse, electric trickery and handbrake ratchet rubbish

Sometime in the past someone had robbed the correct dasboard from our Orange GT to replace it with the later plastic contraption. Of course the loom in the car didn't match the switches and gauges, so the loom was cut and the almost matching parts were connected by various means. I knew this when I bought the car, so I can't complain, but of course this means trouble every time I need to be behind the dash. So I was delighted when the speedometer stopped working. 
After some digging around I found that this "right angle adapter" had lost integrity. I think this adapter is a left over from the old dashboard. The later one seems to have more space, so I could fit the speedometer cable without it.  The speedo worked fine, but a test run left me without indicators and brake lights. A fuse had blown. Clearly I had disturbed some weak connections, causing an ugly short.
Time to find those dodgy connections and try to replace them with better ones. There's not much space behind the dashboard as you know.
Using a test light on the fuse box I could locate the short between the voltage stabilizer and one of the gauges. replacing the stabilizer and the wires to the gauges fixed the short.
 While the console was out I replaced the "modern" radio with an older AM-FM set and the non-funcional cigarette lighter with a live socket to be able charge phones and satnav. Satisfied all was well I took the MG for an errand. When I wanted to use the handbrake I found the ratchet mechanism would not ratchet or hold the parking brake.
What's this then? I couldn't get a good view of the mechanism, so the passenger seat needed to come out and the handbrake unbolted.What I found was that the (spotwelded?)pivot pin had come out and the ratchet was no where close to the teeth. Above, in the photo on the left photo is what I found and the right one shows where it should be.
Of course it wouldn't stay in place without some form of fixation, but I couldn't get a welder behind the plate, so I decided to use a split pin.

I drilled a hole in the pin. In this hole I fitted a split pin to fix it in place. The smaller split pin is the one that fixes the ratchet to the pivot.
I could just get the new pin in place and bend the ends. After this the one on top was really easy and I could re-assemble. 

All done. I even found an old tin of Hammerite to cover the floor panel. Yes, I'll wipe that grease off the console before I refit the seat.