All revved up

My intentions to do lots of work today failed miserably.  That’s not to say I sat around not doing anything, I was actually very busy, just in the garage rather than in front of my computer.  I thought it was about time I sorted out the rev counter I’ve had lying around in my garage, and set about trying (again) to fit it to my Mini.

The easy bit was finding the wires that go to the coil, which is what drives the tachometer (that’s the technical name for a rev counter, btw).  Although my Mini didn’t come with a rev counter as standard, all the wiring was already there in the loom ready to be used, so a little poking around behind the dashboard unearthed those very quickly.  The problem, however, was the earth.

Having read all about installing tachos on the Mini Forum, I had realised that it needed to be earthed to work, and there wasn’t an earth wire in the loom like there was for the other connections.  This is mainly because connecting it to any bare metal is effectively an earth, but I didn’t really have any way of connecting a wire to the bodywork, and I wanted a nice neat way of wiring it all up without a soldering iron (which I don’t have).  The earth would normally be provided by the circuit board on the back, but I don’t have one for the tacho so I’m having to improvise.
The solution finally came when someone on one of the forums I was reading said about the earth connection and one side of the tacho light bulb could be connected together.  Which means that one side of the light bulbs is effectively an earth point.  Bingo.  A short piece of wire was sourced and I simply connected one end to the earth screw on the tacho and the other to a screw on the earth track on the speedo.  After connecting everything up round the back I tested it, and it works!!  Yay!!  I still have to sort out the light bulb wiring, as in the dark I can’t see the rev counter at all, but at least it’s working now – I can come back and bodge fit some wires to the bulb at a later date.

So all’s ready now for me to drive to the Mini Club meet tonight.  Hopefully I’ll be able to book a date with Billy when I can go round and get my ball joints and track rod ends done, and also see if I can persuade someone to help me replace my upper engine steady bushes (the engine is rocking something terrible at the moment, so I’m having to go easy on it for the moment and avoid knocking it around too much).

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