Works style rally car preperation for the clubman budget

The Electrics

         If you can remember the striped out pic's from the beginning of this project you might remember the enourmous amount of wireing loom removed from the car, well with everything else pretty much done there was no avoiding it any longer, we had to wire the car up. We decided that we were going to dump the standard loom and wire from scratch on every thing except the engine management  loom. The reason for this was it was going to be a very tedious job to picking out the wires to save and those to loose, plus the standard loom all stems from a fuse box out in the engine bay and we had decided to replace this with a fuse board in the center of the dash where fuses could easily be changed from the drivers seat. The engine management loom was pretty much left as standard, as all the wires in it were being used again, all that was required here was to tee out the power feed wires and feed them from the new masterswitch rather than the now removed ignition switch. The picture below shows the new fuse board.


          What you can see above is a fairly straight forwoard switch/fuse board fitted where the heater controls and clock used to be. At the bottom left of the board is an FIA masterswitch which all competing cars must have and for anyone not familiar with these it's basically a big switch on the main battery positive lead which when turned off kills all power out of the battery to the car. The main switch with it's heavy duty contacts to handle the amount of current everything in the car can draw also has two smaller switches built into it which take care of another little problem. When the engine is running above idle the alternator can sometimes produce enough power to keep everything going even when the main switch is turned off and the battery is effectively removed from the circuit. The smaller two switches built into the cut-off swicth take care of this and also prevent the alternator being damaged when shutting down.

     What you might also be able to see is the little cable connected to the lever on the cut-out switch, this cable travels up to the panel below the windscreen on the outside of the car which allows you to flick the switch by pulling the cable and kill the power in the car, again all to comply with safety regulations.  As the main power coming from the battery has to first come to the cut-out switch it made sence to then route it to the fuseboard before it heads out to everything else, as such you can see the fuse board beside the cut-out switch. All the fuse's should have been labeled by now, but murphy's law dictates that we'll wait till a fuse blow's on an event and then spend 10 minutes curseing while searching each one to see what it is, before finally labeling them! Next up is the 3 flick switches in the bottom right, one is for the pair of fuel pumps the other powers up the engine ECU and the last is a spare, which is soon to be used for the conversion from viscous fan to electric radiator fan, all of which will be documented as soon as it happens. The last thing on the board is that lovely big red switch which is lovingly reffered to as the "reset button" for when things get badly out of shape, but it is in fact the start button.

      Next up was the relay board. There wasn't a great amount of relays needed due to the small amount of electric's being fitted to the car so six relays holders were sourced from a Nissan in a scrapyard and fitted where the glovebox used to be as can be seen below.


       We've used these relay holders on all our cars now and have found them very handy to fit, they take standard brass female pins and all 6 come in a plastic holder which makes it easy to mount them. The one above came from a '96 Nissan Sunny, but we've got them in Micra's and Almera's before aswell.
         Next up was the wipers and we kept the standard wiper motor after fixing the common problem of sticking intermitant wipe ( more info of which can be found at
but we decided to go with a Ford Escort mark 5  wiper stalk for two reasons 1) we had just recently wired up another car with this stalk and knew all the pin out's for the different feed's and 2) the Ford indicator stalk is a really sweet piece of kit, It controls all the wiper speeds and window wash and does the indicators and headlights and also has the hazard light switch and relay built in which saves a lot of running wire's all over the dash to different switches and relays. The downside was it took a few hours headscratching to merge the stalks wiper controls with the bm's intermittant relay and wiper motor. But we got there in the end and on the bright side if the wiper electric's ever do go up in flames at least it should be raining which should keep the fire down.


          The last item I can think of that might include a mention was the battery itself, to comply with regulations it must be a sealed battery placed inside a sealed container. So as the picture below shows (sorry about the poor quality pic, I ain't a photographer) we found a suitable sealed plastic box and fitted the battery in it and bolted the whole lot solid to the floor. Ideally we probably should have put the battery in the boot to help the front to rear weight balance of the car but we didn't fancy the possibility of sparks back there beside the new fuel thank and pumps.


          And thats about it really, what it took to change this car to a mighty Cosworth beating beast , well we can dream can't we?

            Over the next few weeks I hope to post up a few pic's and details of the brilliant track in the quarry where this car is to be pounded and also a few details of how we got on with our first few events including our first retirement , our first finish and the few fantastic modifications we have planed to improve the car .

                                          Click the link below to follow the progress