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Speeduino – Stripping The Loom

I’m slowly getting there, work is finally starting on my Speeduino Project. Checking the spare standard loom was my first job

The other day I received the Jaguar ECU. Unfortunately it’s not quite the one I was after, the housing is shorter, but it appears to have the same sort of mounting points on the front edge as my Rover ECU. With some tweaking I should be able to use it.

The Rover and Jaguar ECUs have a fairly standard locking mechanism for the main harness connection, it’s a big 35-pin plug and locks into the ECU housing. Standard for “Jetronic” ECUs.

Yeah, this one has seen some shit; looks like its been left in the ocean for a bit, but will clean up nicely. The circuit boards inside are useless to me, so I opened the ECU up and “removed” them, forcefully.

I also removed and saved the connector off the board, in case I decide to reuse the 35 pin connector, I can solder onto this and use it as my main connector.

With that in mind, I decided to check my spare Rover loom over and see if I might be able to repurpose it for Speeduino. The first mission was to remove all the braided loom wrap off the wires. It was already falling off, and mostly soaked in oil.

It came off easy enough though, with a sharp knife. I was left with a nice toupee of wrap.

In order to fully check the loom over, I also removed all the boots off the electrical connectors, as these cover and hide the wiring. What I was mainly looking for was cracked and broken insulation. When the wiring ages, and when it’s subjected to the horrible conditions in a car engine bay, it turns very brittle and can crack. When it cracks it exposes the copper wiring, which can cause oxidation, breakage, or can even short the wires together.

The main parts of the loom were OK, nothing obvious, but as soon as I started removing the boots at the extremities, I started to see slight cracking. All the plugs are stuffed, but that’s not an issue, I intended to crimp new plugs on anyway.

Upon further digging it got a little worse. One of the injector wires had a break in the insulation

And the wires for what I believe is the Extra Air Valve has both wires with broken insulation in the same spot.

This is enough that I will not re-use this loom and will stick to my original plan of making a completely new loom from new wire. I have all the wire, I just need to put it all together now. This loom does give me a good idea of the length, and the layout of the connectors though.

After the British Car Day show this weekend, I’ll be pushing forward, hard, with Speeduino. Stay tuned.

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