Saturday, October 20, 2012

The best and worst of it

One of the best things about TR7s are the ace cool pop up headlamps.

Unfortunately, they are also one of the worst things on the car as they are so temperamental and having them work as they should in all the ways they should is a TR7 owner's dream.

On UNJ they have always come up and gone down as well as actually lit up properly. They have even worked when "flashed" but only when the sidelights are on.

This isn't ideal as normally during the day people don't/didn't drive with side lights on; they just drove with lights off and then "flashed" when needed. Well, this couldn't happen with UNJ because the pods wouldn't come up although the tarmac below the front of the car would be lit up by the flashed headlamps!

Running on sidelights as modern cars now run with driving lights was sort of OK but I was terrified of not remembering to turn the lights off and coming back to a flat battery.

So, today was the day to sort things out.

Luckily I not only have a Haynes manual but also an original Triumph workshop manual which clearly showed the location of the prime suspect I had identified, the headlamp flash relay. OK, relatively easy to pull this off and disconnect. Then I replaced it with one from BRP wich has the lamps bolted up all the time anyway so doesn't need a relay.

Made no difference, hmm.

Could be the "Pertronix" component? Swapped one over from BRP and still no difference.


OK, let's look at a wiring diagram. "Why does this relay not have the right coloured wires going to it?" I wondered. Carefully checking I found another relay did have the correct wires.

Great, some-one else had been here before and put the relays in the wrong location!

Grrr rather tham hmmm this time.

Now I swapped the correct relay over and still no difference.

OK - clean all the contacts with switch cleaner and surely that would do it - NO!!!

Then I looked at the wiring diagram some more and thought "There's clearly no power getting to the relay when the lights are switched off and yet the diagram shows it going through the main light switch". Right then, main light switch next.

So I took the light switch out of the panel, carefully took it apart and cleaned the contacts up with a combination of emery cloth and switch cleaner again. It worked - OH YES!!!

Yes, it even worked under all possible combinations including flashing the lights complete with the pods rising (and going back down!) without the sidelights on.

Then just a simple case or reassembly of the switch panel which of course wasn't simple at all but was finally achieved.

Now, will those pop up headlamps keep working as they should?

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