Our tech ex­perts an­swer all your Mini tech­ni­cal queries.

Mini Magazine - - Contents -

I’ve just bought a 1989 Mini 1000 with the two-clock bin­na­cle in front of the steer­ing wheel. On the first day the rear lights and re­vers­ing lights both failed. The front side lights and head­lights are work­ing fine, as well as all in­di­ca­tors and brake lights. As the brake lights are work­ing it sug­gests that it’s not the bulbs. All lights were work­ing when I took de­liv­ery of the Mini. My think­ing is that it could be a con­nec­tor some­where? There’s no ob­vi­ous link elec­tri­cally be­tween the rear lights and re­vers­ing lights, I don’t think. Maybe it’s a fuse? I could re-wire both cir­cuits, but any clues be­fore I do this it would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. Steven This could well be age-old cor­roded fuse box is­sue. On your 1989 car, the re­verse lights should be pow­ered from a feed com­ing from the top fuse in the fuse box via the re­verse light switch. The tail lights are pow­ered up by a feed from the bot­tom fuse in the fuse box. So if there is any is­sue with the fuse box, which is a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence on older Minis, then there will be is­sues with them work­ing.

What­ever fuse box you have, they are sub­ject to the same is­sues – cor­ro­sion and gen­eral degra­da­tion. A good clean may help, but if in any doubt, the whole thing is eas­ily re­placed. This is sim­ple enough; re­move each cable/con­nec­tor in turn, la­belling each one with a tag of mask­ing tape to mark its po­si­tion as you go and tak­ing note of what fuses go where ac­cord­ing to their rat­ing. A cam­era phone could also come in handy here but the pics will need to be clear. The fuse box on your car should be are held on by two self-tap­per type screws eas­ily vis­i­ble down the cen­tre­line of the body. Undo these and the box will come

“What­ever fuse box you have, they are sub­ject to the same is­sues – cor­ro­sion and gen­eral degra­da­tion”

away from the bulk­head.

While you’re at it, be sure to check all the cable ter­mi­nals/ fit­tings/con­nec­tors by hold­ing the cable and giv­ing the con­nec­tor a good tug to make sure it’s sound, free from cor­ro­sion, and the wires haven’t de­cayed/cor­roded into use­less­ness. If re­plac­ing the con­nec­tors en­sure they are fit­ted with a proper crimp­ing tool. Once fit­ted, re­peat the tug­ging test. Do it un­til you get it right and al­ways use con­nec­tors that achieve a fully-cov­ered con­nec­tion. The fuse box can then be fit­ted with ref­er­ence to your notes.

It’s rel­a­tively easy to re­place a fuse box.

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