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Nick’s Vitesse, Wire Tracing

Yesterday we spent another day knocking items off the list of things that Nick’s Vitesse needs fixed.

The first thing we needed to look at was why the wipers didn’t work. They did previously work but Nick picked up a better set of linkages and motor from the cars we raided up north, stripped it down, refurbished and thoroughly greased everything. We tested the replacement motor and everything worked off the car but when fitted there was just nothing.

It turns out there were two issues. The first was that Nick had connected a different set of column switches to the loom to test, and for some reason this was causing issues with the dash wiring (no dash lights, blower etc). Once the original column switches were connected again everything, except the wipers, came back to life. The second issue was that the wiper fuse had blown. We aren’t sure why, but once replaced it didn’t blow again and the wiper motor worked perfectly on all speeds. Nick did a great job of refurbishing the linkages, the motor sounds nice and strong and everything moves freely. I’ll need to remove and refurbish mine at some point to get them working as good. My Wife likes to poke fun at my wipers, saying they’re like an old man slowly trying to stand up from a chair with each wipe.

With the wipers going, Nick started to reassemble everything in the cowling, and install the bonnet catch assembly. Whilst he did this I had a look at the other major item that wasn’t working, the electric windows.

They did previously work, but now they are all dead from the master control. None of the other door cards or switches are with the car currently, but when the terminals for the window switch were shorted there was no clicking from the relays or moving of the window.

I had Nick remove the driver’s door card (I let him have this job as I didn’t want to risk damage to his rare mint condition door card) so I could check the wiring in the door.

The first thing we noticed was that there appeared to be no power to the door at all. The door light wasnt lit, and the power mirrors werent operating either. I started by testing the main power feed for the window system, which is the Dark Green wire in the door. I had 0 Volts with the ignition set to Run.

This wasnt promising, as this meant the door wasnt getting power from inside the car. Next was to remove the kick panel trim in the drivers foot well, and find the wire from the door in there and check it. I traced it to this big red plug inside the car. No volts there either, on either side.

And then I got confused. So Nick’s Vitesse is a 1983 model, but being made in December (I didn’t know the build month at the time) it obviously has some slight changes.

The door switch wiring is easy, the dark green (G on the diagram) comes from E3 for the front and E4 for the rear. That seems to be universal.

And on the 82-83 car, this should be the wiring diagram here. I have highlighted in green, the path the wiring takes from E3 and E4 on the Right, to the initial point of power, which is the ignition switch, on the Left. So when I looked at the red plug above, I expected to see dark green on both sides of the plug…. but that’s not what it had. On the door side of the plug was dark green, on the body side of the plug I had brown with a green trace.

I checked all the fuses just in case, as the diagram indicates that the window power goes through one (which I thought was weird, I was sure they weren’t fused on S2 cars), and all were OK. So then I decided to check the 1984 wiring diagram as I had that on hand also, and BAM, there it was. Nick’s late 83 car has an 84 harness.

Once again highlighted in green, you can see the windows are fed power directly from the ignition switch, via an NG (Brown with Green Trace; B was already taken by Black, hence N) wire. E2 is also highlighted as this is a secondary feed for the front windows, not shown in the above diagram.

This made it easier, all I had to do was check for power at the ignition switch, and if I had power there, I had a break in the wiring between the two. If I didn’t, it was a faulty ignition switch.

I removed the column covers

and this is what greeted me

You probably didn’t spot it straight away, but the brown with green trace wire on the right has become detached from the terminal on the ignition switch

Well there’s our issue. No wonder we have no power. We didn’t have a soldering iron on us, so we will need to fix that next time.

So that was the bulk of it. Nick also removed the old inhibitor switch from his transmission, as he has a refurbished replacement to fit. Turns out the old switch had a broken wire, which I suspect, looking at the wiring diagram, is for the reverse lights. He had a lot more trouble than i did when I¬†removed mine¬†because he still has the original exhaust headers with heat shields. They run hard up against the transmission pan, and didn’t allow any room at all for access, whilst my car had aftermarket pipes. You couldn’t even see his switch, whilst i had a clear view of mine.

We ended up removing one the RH downpipe from the car to make it easier to remove the switch. Thankfully all the nuts and bolts came off easily, but we did have to loosen the flange on the exhaust further down the car to give us room to remove the pipe.

All in all it was a good day of Rovering, and a few more of the big jobs ticked off the list. The car has turned a corner now, and is getting to a point where it’s only smaller things, and then cosmetic things that need to be done. Very exciting!

Credit to Ramon Alban and Dave Plowman for the wiring diagrams above as they reproduced the originals with full labels (Ramon) and in colour (Dave), making life a lot easier.

Update – A quick two minute job with a soldering iron, and sure enough we have power to all the windows again.

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