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Post Info TOPIC: Wiring questions and instrument panel switches.

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Wiring questions and instrument panel switches.

As can be seen by the frequency of my recent posts, I've managed to get a bit of Peerless time in and hope to do a bit more before my workshop becomes too cold to spend more than 5 minutes in. To that end, I've been considering trying to fathom our the wiring situation. A number of years ago (how time flies) I purchased a new wiring loom from Autosparks and put it aside for a rainy day. That rainy day has arrived and I've dug out the new loom and made a start on labelling what I can easily identify. It has become immediately obvious that Autosparks were unaware that Peerless had 2 fuel tanks along with 2 fuel pumps and a reversing light. So far, I've got 1 fuel tank sender wire! I only mention this in case anyone else is contemplating getting a new loom made up by Autosparks. It might be worth pointing out to them. TBH, putting in the additional wiring myself isn't too much of an issue and I've left it far too long to take the matter up with Autosparks.

Anyway, moving on, I've come to the instrument panel which had been removed prior to my ownership and rather messed around with. It's apparent that at some stage, one of the 2 fuel pumps/tanks stopped working as the wires to one side of the tank switch have been removed. Another alteration is the inclusion of a 3-way toggle switch where the heater switch should be so question 1 is is the correct heater switch a push-pull type or rotary type and how many options does it provide?

Second question concerns the 2 2-way toggle switches to the right of the speedo (UK car, obviously). I originally assumed 1 would have been the overdrive switch but neither switch is wired with the correct colour wiring (at least according to the Peerless wiring diagram). One switch has 3 B/R wires out of each of the 3 terminals and the other switch has G out of 1 terminal and G/N and N out of one of the 2 other terminals. The last terminal doesn't have a wire. Anyone have any ideas what they might be for? I've not seen many Peerless instrument panels but those that I have don't appear to have any switches to the immediate right of the speedo so I'm wondering if these are later additions. They are very much the same style as the 3-way toggle switch that has replaced the heater switch. Am I also correct in thinking that the overdrive switch should be on the dashboard to the right of the instrument panel and not on the instrument panel itself?

Finally, where is the location of the dip/main beam switch?

As always, any guidance would be much appreciated.


-- Edited by mikerf on Tuesday 27th of November 2018 05:12:11 PM


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Heater switch (Peerless) is a push-pull, heater is single speed only.

Your spurious switches to the right are probably non-standard O/D and W/Wash.

The autosparks harness is a brave attempt to recreate an "original" spec item. All credit to them
but IMHO the original was less than great in several respects. The "Peerless" harness that I bought from
them in 2003 was actually for a Warwick, John Nolan has it now, and I made my own. I think they had
a Peerless version made later.

The Peerless originally had 2 fuses, one for the horn, and the other one for everything else. Using
30A fuses is just about OK, but the horn fuse won't last long, 50A is better. However this size fuse
will melt the harness before it blows if a short/fault occurs. A concealed fuseboard with properly
rated fuses to all services is a much better and safer arrangement.

The original earth return arrangements are inadequate for a GRP vehicle. Relying on a self tapper to
chassis, or a common low-rated return will not provide reliable electrics for very long.
A better plan is to include a over-specified earth return in the harness from all
fittings, right back to a common earth point at the battery. Anything with a motor (fuel pump, wipers,
washers, overdrive) requires special attention.

If you are fitting an alternator, the dash ammeter is redundant. Dynamos give 22 Amps or so, alternators
at least twice that, and the ammeter cabling is not rated that high. You can get 50/0/50 ammeters but
the wiring will need updating and it won't have that sexy curved glass front. I've abandoned the ammeter
and fitted 2 temperature gauges (oil and water) instead.

The original "Lucas" switches do not handle full current for very long, and were notorious for unreliability
in period. This applies to ignition, pull and toggle switches, and cheap sourced replicas will be worse.
A modern sealed relay is a much more reliable way of switching high currents, use the original switch
to control it by all means but it will be handling a fraction of the current and will last far longer.

If you want to fit any extra features (multi speed fan, spots, fogs, etc) then you are on your own. I think
screen washers were not standard original fit, but I could be wrong on that.

Good Luck!



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As usual, Frank. A very comprehensive answer. Many thanks.

I suspected the two toggle switches were later additions but I have no idea what they were for. I've seen a Lucas Heater switch on the net (push/pull) with a slightly serrated edge. Am I on the right track?

Years of Scimitar Se5a ownership has left me fully acquainted with the vagaries of earthing grp cars. I even went to the length of earthing each separate bulb holder in the rear lights to try and improve matters. Fitting an electronic flasher helped too.

The loom I got from Autosparks has additional wiring for rad fan, HFS, HRS, 12v socket, spots, rear fogs, hazards and an alternator harness built in. It also has a number of relays for the new circuits. I was fully aware that the original fusing arrangements would be totally inadequate so I intend to fit one of the ready made fuse boxes available through Car Builder Solutions. Obviously, it will be changed to - earth.

Thanks again, Frank.


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Here's one I did earlier (on the Warwick)



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Very neat (and convenient). Unfortunately that's where my speedo goes. I'll find somewhere else, possibly top of passenger footwell.


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Hi Mike, I fitted two 4 fuse box type units from Car builders and this makes great sense. I also made a little word doc of which each fuse does, printed it out, sealed it with clear tape and stuck it to the top covers of the boxes, invaluable

I have a 9th fuse fro the alternator.

heater switch is standard Lucas (TR) single pull switch.....but again, MR non original....I fitted a double pull switch (head light etc) first pull is heater fan, second pull is electric washer pump blankstare

on the matter of overdrive switch placement. I have mine in the bottom RH corner of the dash pod. the other hole I had around there was in the outer GRP dash which I decided was best used for the choke so you don't pull the central dash pod in and out everytime you use it.

Beam dip switch is down the foot well and is operated with...your foot! I had one of these on my first car and love using it at night when driving will need to practice a little with the smoothness of operation tho....sometimes you will forget which is which and you may loose a tooth or two on the steering wheel when dipping the clutch peddle with the same gusto as the dip switch!

If you get chance to attend any autojumbles keep an eye out for a smooth, well built switch. My first one slowly got harder to operate and I picked up an NOS item this year which is lovely and smooth and was a 4!

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