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Instrument Panel fixing clock, tach, bulbs, wiring

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jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
I am into my latest project on my 1980 Triumph TR7. I took apart the instrument panel and did the following:

I replace the tachometer. The old one was so jumpy sometimes was unusable.
I replace all the bulbs with led. While I was in there I found the ground to the low fuel light bulb was disconnected so I fixed that.
I took out the clock which was not working. I followed the instructions from Vance here on the forum and lubricated it, hooked it up to a 9v battery and it worked right away! Thanks Vance!

Before I put it all back together I want to clean up some wiring issues. The previous owner made a mess of wiring no matter where I look on this car. He seems to have cut wiring for what reason I don't know and put them back together with electrical tape. Grrrrr. I have those nice pozi-lock connectors that I am using to clean it all up.

Question: So while I was in there I found a White wire not connected. It has a funny clip like connection on the end. (see photo). I am looking at the wiring diagram to try and figure out what it is and where I plug it in. I see that the wire loom plugged into the instrument panel has two open slots, facing the back of the panel the first one and the sixth one (see attached photo). I traced the first one on the blue plastic wire fabric back to two lights, the choke and oxygen sensor. I don't have either of those on the car. I traced the sixth slot back to the brake warning light (not the parking brake light). But I am confused because in the wire diagram (#23) it shows that wire as a Black/Purple wire. Does anyone have any idea where this White/Blue wire needs to be plugged in?

Update I traced all the wires on the loom to where they go in the panel and this is what I found.

Instrument Panel Main Wire Loom Plug
1 – Open This traces to the Choke and Oxygen sensor light which I don’t have on my car hence not in the wire diagram
2 – Green/Black This traces to the fuel gauge which matches the wire diagram
3 – White This appears to be a ground to many of the bulbs
4 – Light Green/Red This traces to the coolant warning light. The wire color does not match the wire diagram which says it should be light green/white
5 – Black / Purple This traces to the parking brake warning light. The wire diagram says this should be a Blue / White wire which is the one loose not connected.
6 – Open This traces to the brake warning light. The wire diagram says this should be a Black / Purple wire which is in the wrong slot (5).
7 – White This traces to the seat belt warning. I think this is the ground which matches the wire diagram
8 – Green / Orange This traces to the seat belt warning which matches the wire diagram
9 – White / Gray This traces to the illumination bulbs. Wire diagram says this is Red / White. I don’t see a white / gray in the diagram. I assume this is correct connection?
10 – White / Brown This traces to the Oil warning light which matches the wire diagram
11 – Brown / Yellow This traces to the Ignition light which matches the wire diagram
12 – Black This traces to the illumination bulbs which I assume is the hot power to those bulbs.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2017-10-29 03:21 PM by jkosturik.

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sbs Avatar
sbs Steve S
I have the dash apart on mine right now, but I'm out of town.

I took pictures as I disassembled it - maybe one of these will help.

If not, I can try to get something better for you next weekend.

This forum software is shrinking the images - do a right click / view image to see larger.






Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, Oregon, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1494752 by jkosturik I am into my latest project on my 1980 Triumph TR7. I took apart the instrument panel and did the following:

I replace the tachometer. The old one was so jumpy sometimes was unusable.
I replace all the bulbs with led. While I was in there I found the ground to the low fuel light bulb was disconnected so I fixed that.
I took out the clock which was not working. I followed the instructions from Vance here on the forum and lubricated it, hooked it up to a 9v battery and it worked right away! Thanks Vance!

Before I put it all back together I want to clean up some wiring issues. The previous owner made a mess of wiring no matter where I look on this car. He seems to have cut wiring for what reason I don't know and put them back together with electrical tape. Grrrrr. I have those nice pozi-lock connectors that I am using to clean it all up.

Question: So while I was in there I found a White wire not connected. It has a funny clip like connection on the end. (see photo). I am looking at the wiring diagram to try and figure out what it is and where I plug it in. I see that the wire loom plugged into the instrument panel has two open slots, facing the back of the panel the first one and the sixth one (see attached photo). I traced the first one on the blue plastic wire fabric back to two lights, the choke and oxygen sensor. I don't have either of those on the car. I traced the sixth slot back to the brake warning light (not the parking brake light). But I am confused because in the wire diagram (#23) it shows that wire as a Black/Purple wire. Does anyone have any idea where this White/Blue wire needs to be plugged in?

Update I traced all the wires on the loom to where they go in the panel and this is what I found.

Instrument Panel Main Wire Loom Plug
1 – Open This traces to the Choke and Oxygen sensor light which I don’t have on my car hence not in the wire diagram
2 – Green/Black This traces to the fuel gauge which matches the wire diagram
3 – White This appears to be a ground to many of the bulbs
4 – Light Green/Red This traces to the coolant warning light. The wire color does not match the wire diagram which says it should be light green/white
5 – Black / Purple This traces to the parking brake warning light. The wire diagram says this should be a Blue / White wire which is the one loose not connected.
6 – Open This traces to the brake warning light. The wire diagram says this should be a Black / Purple wire which is in the wrong slot (5).
7 – White This traces to the seat belt warning. I think this is the ground which matches the wire diagram
8 – Green / Orange This traces to the seat belt warning which matches the wire diagram
9 – White / Gray This traces to the illumination bulbs. Wire diagram says this is Red / White. I don’t see a white / gray in the diagram. I assume this is correct connection?
10 – White / Brown This traces to the Oil warning light which matches the wire diagram
11 – Brown / Yellow This traces to the Ignition light which matches the wire diagram
12 – Black This traces to the illumination bulbs which I assume is the hot power to those bulbs.

Jamie:

White is normally a switched HOT (+12v) black is normally GROUND (-12v). Your instrument illumination will normally be red/white. Pink is always hot, and will be the supply for the clock. Anything else is a sender (e.g. water temp sender, oil pressure switch). The wire with the funny pin on the end belongs in one of the multi-pin connectors. It got pushed out of the connector shell at some point.

White blue is the choke warning light sender. I would imagine it terminates in the engine compartment somewhere, but would not be connected to anything unless your car has a manual choke, but I think the 1980 cars got water chokes, yes?

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

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jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
Vance,

Thanks for your response, it is John.

I wanted to post an update where I am at. This has been a frustrating task overall. I am a novice at this electrical stuff.

Here is what works, temp gauge, fuel gauge, tachometer (I fixed it), speedometer, turn signal lights (I fixed it), ignition light, oil light, high beam light (I fixed it), all illumination bulbs (I fixed it).

Here is what does not work, clock, parking brake light.

Not sure if these work, low fuel, coolant level.

I had the clock working outside the car on a battery, had it working in the car for a while. It stopped and I can't get it going again. I think I am giving up on it and going to get a new one (new old stock).

The wire for the coolant level does not match the wire diagram and I am not sure why. It is green/red, wire diagram says it should be light green/white. I can't find the unit inside the engine compartment. I don't really care about this light because in my mind it will never go off because I will never let coolant get low.

According to the wiring diagram the brake warning light was not in the correct slot in the plug, it was in slot 5 and should have been in slot 6 so I moved it.

The choke sensor was not connected to the plug so I put it in slot 1 where it belongs according to the wiring diagram.

The parking brake light, slot 5, is supposed to be a Black/White. There is no Black/White in the loom and I don't know why! I traced the loom back to the connection under the grill in the middle of the dash. I found a Black/White on the other side of the connection. I was excited that I might have found the correct wire. I disconnected the connector and used a meter to test the Black/White for power while the hand brake was up. It did not show power. So I am not sure now if is that is the correct wire and if it is why I get no power. I would have liked the parking brake light to work so I am disappointed about that.

One last thing, while doing this work I found a Blue/White wire with one of those rectangular connectors not connected to anything. I found it in the wire looms near the clutch pedal (see picture). I tested it for power while I turned on various things in the car and could not detect any. It bothers me when there are loose wires about because then I wonder what is not working because they are not connected to something.

John


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darrellwalker Darrell Walker
Vancouver, Washington, USA   USA
1966 Triumph TR4A "Christy"
1981 Triumph TR8 "Kate"
In reply to # 1495367 by jkosturik
The parking brake light, slot 5, is supposed to be a Black/White. There is no Black/White in the loom and I don't know why! I traced the loom back to the connection under the grill in the middle of the dash. I found a Black/White on the other side of the connection. I was excited that I might have found the correct wire. I disconnected the connector and used a meter to test the Black/White for power while the hand brake was up. It did not show power. So I am not sure now if is that is the correct wire and if it is why I get no power. I would have liked the parking brake light to work so I am disappointed about that.

I would expect the parking brake switch would connect to ground. So you need to check for continuity between the wire and ground.



Darrell Walker
66 TR4A IRS-SC CTC67956L
81 TR8 SATPZ458XBA406206
Vancouver, WA, USA

HowardB Avatar
HowardB Howard Brissenden
Potton, Bedfordshire, UK   GBR
On a UK car white is the switched feed from the ignition switch to the instrument panel. While there are differences between US 7 UK models you can download a set of drawings from the following link.1981 UK TR7 Wiring Diagram

I have split the circuits into sections so that you can see exactly what goes to each components & added some notes on how the more obscure parts work

Cheers

Howard

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, Oregon, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1495367 by jkosturik Vance,


I wanted to post an update where I am at. This has been a frustrating task overall. I am a novice at this electrical stuff.

Here is what works, temp gauge, fuel gauge, tachometer (I fixed it), speedometer, turn signal lights (I fixed it), ignition light, oil light, high beam light (I fixed it), all illumination bulbs (I fixed it).

Here is what does not work, clock, parking brake light.

Not sure if these work, low fuel, coolant level.


John

John:

Clocks are very problematic. Look at them cross eyed and they stall. I have found that a drop of sewing machine oil on each of the bearings for the balance wheel will cure about 80-90% of them. You need to pull the clock from the cluster, then remove the metal shell. You will probably need a hypodermic needle to get the oil onto the bearings as they are tucked up in the clock and difficult to get at.
The balance wheel is powered electrically and uses very little power, so any resistance to motion will cause the clock to stall eventually. For the same reason, they can take 10 to 20 seconds to start when power is initially applied. They are very delicate and finely balanced and thus stall very easily.

The parking brake switch connects to ground, not +12 so I would not expect to see any power on that wire as Darrell mentioned above.

The sensor for the coolant level is in the coolant header tank. It consists of a simple metal probe that is immersed in coolant (or not, in which case the coolant really is low). That probe goes to a small electronic module, about the size of a 35 mm film can (does anyone make those anymore?) and from there to the cluster. You didn't say if the coolant lamp is always on, or always off. If it is always on then it MAY be due to old coolant. Coolant has corrosion inhibitors in it, which wear out - 2 years is about the limit, no matter how much or how little you drive your car. When the inhibitors wear out, the electric resistance of the coolant goes up, and the low coolant lamp will illuminate even if there is plenty of coolant covering the probe. The electronic module can also fail (they can be easily repaired if you can solder). You test for old coolant by disconnecting the sensor wire at the header tank, and touching it to ground. The lamp should be out when the wire is grounded, and on when the wire is not grounded. Any other result means that the module is bad, or there is a wiring problem. There will be a small delay before the lamp goes on or turns off - that is normal and is built into the electronic module.

Low fuel is similar to low coolant. The sensor is in the fuel tank, and consists of a switch that connects to ground when the fuel is low. Test the lamp by grounding the wire that goes to the tank, and the lamp should illuminate. That should be a light green/red wire if my wiring diagram is correct. FYI, the connection at the tank itself is exposed to water, grime, road salt, etc. So if the lamp illuminates when you test it, but never illuminates when the fuel is actually low, then suspect that the connection at the tank needs to be cleaned up.


And sorry I got your name wrong. I am getting old, and I can't even remember my own name. eye rolling smiley

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

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old guy Avatar
old guy bob k
sparta, tn., USA   USA
HowardB thanks for the drawings , my 77 TR may not be exactly like an 80,yet the same basic wires are there. I had wondered what the 50 amp fuse was for and now I know.

jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
I have given up on the clock. I found a guy that has NOS clocks but I figure those have been sitting around 40 years too, so why would they be any better than the problem clock I have. I found a guy in Denver Colorado that reconditions them for $60. So I am going to send off to get it reconditioned. I will report back how that goes.

I tested the parking brake wire for continuity. I tested it to the Black/Purple in the instrument panel wire plug and it tested positive when brake up and negative when the brake down so that’s the correct wire. However, I did the same with the brake fluid sensor and that tests positive to the same Black/Purple wire! So even though there are separate lights in the column for brake warning and parking brake, there are not two separate wires to accommodate. The wiring diagram implies to be there should have been a separate black/white wire. So be it, I can live with the one light. I mean I am 57 and I have never had a brake warning light go on in a car. If it does and I have the parking brake off I know it is the fluid. I want the use of the parking brake warning light.

I tested the Blue/white wire that was not connected to the instrument panel wire plug for continuity with the loose Blue/white wire that I found near the grommet to the engine compartment near the clutch pedal and it tested positive. I agree this is for manual choke which I don’t have on my car so nothing left to do with that.

Many of the lights in the column are not going on. I tested the bulbs, even though all new, in and out of the sockets to make sure no socket issues. I realize now there is damage in the circuit board causing problems with those lights. I am in contact with the guy in Oregon for a NOS circuit board.

As for the coolant light, I see the connection tab on the side of the coolant tank where the probe is at, however, there is no wire Black/Pink connected and I don’t see the wire anywhere. I also don’t see the small electronic module, about the size of a 35 mm film can. I have looked in the area of the dash inside the car behind the instrument panel on the driver’s side, and I have looked in the engine compartment firewall area especially near the hood latch and I just don’t see it. Maybe they did not put this back in when the car was restored? They sell replacements at Rimmer Bros but then my question is where does this unit connect to the cluster? Any help on this area is appreciated.

I have not tried the low fuel to ground yet.

John

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jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
In reply to # 1495815 by old guy HowardB thanks for the drawings , my 77 TR may not be exactly like an 80,yet the same basic wires are there. I had wondered what the 50 amp fuse was for and now I know.

Howard,

These wire diagrams you did are really nice. I am a novice with these diagrams. The legend of the symbols really helps. I struggle with the diagrams in the manuals because I don't know what are all the symbols. Would be nice to have your for my year car. I have seen wire diagrams for newer cars and they have pictures that tie back to the wire diagram so you can see where in the car is the connections you are looking at in the diagram. Boy would that help on our Triumphs!

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, Oregon, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1496138 by jkosturik
As for the coolant light, I see the connection tab on the side of the coolant tank where the probe is at, however, there is no wire Black/Pink connected and I don’t see the wire anywhere. I also don’t see the small electronic module, about the size of a 35 mm film can. I have looked in the area of the dash inside the car behind the instrument panel on the driver’s side, and I have looked in the engine compartment firewall area especially near the hood latch and I just don’t see it. Maybe they did not put this back in when the car was restored? They sell replacements at Rimmer Bros but then my question is where does this unit connect to the cluster? Any help on this area is appreciated.

John:

The low coolant module is part number RKC5259.

There will a be a plug in the wiring harness for it, as you can see in the photo. Mine is under the instrument cluster, clipped to the frame that supports the cluster. I had to ask on this list as to what it was. Didn't have my shop manual yet, so I hadn't a clue as to what it was for.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore


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HowardB Avatar
HowardB Howard Brissenden
Potton, Bedfordshire, UK   GBR
In reply to # 1496140 by jkosturik
Howard,

These wire diagrams you did are really nice. I am a novice with these diagrams. The legend of the symbols really helps. I struggle with the diagrams in the manuals because I don't know what are all the symbols. Would be nice to have your for my year car. I have seen wire diagrams for newer cars and they have pictures that tie back to the wire diagram so you can see where in the car is the connections you are looking at in the diagram. Boy would that help on our Triumphs!

John

Glad they helped and if anyone feels inclined to modify these drawings for another model, I will email them the AutoCad file if they PM me. I prepared these drawings for my own use because my '81 7 has been modified over the years and there are to many mods to remember so I wanted a drawing I could modify easily.

Some areas like the headlights took considerable work to establish out how they functioned & I was helped here by others who had already worked out much of these details but others could only be found by checking the original Lucas switches & components catalogs.

On the first sheet I included a plan showing where most of the components are located, but I like your idea of adding photos & will do this eventually for my reference.

Cheers

Howard

dursley Russ Cooper
Dursley, Gloucestershire, UK   GBR
Not sure if these pictures will help at all, but first one shows where those 4 small separate wires go on the back of the instrment cluster and the second one shows the connections on the low fuel warning unit.

Good luck.


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jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
Russ,

I was working on this repair today and these pictures did help. On that silver relay looking thing (what is it anyway?) I only have one green wire coming out yours has two. And on the instrument panel instead of one of these green going into the low fuel light the DPO tapped a ground wire and has that plugged in the low fuel bulb socket opposite the green/orange. I have no idea if this is going to cause the low fuel light to not work when I am in a low fuel scenario. I also found that light green/red that comes out of the silver relay looking thing goes into the wire loom not too far and loops right back out then to the 12-pin connector that plugs into the instrument panel circuit board. It is in the forth slot which is where the light green/white wire is supposed to go for the low coolant (see picture). I have no idea why this light green/red is in the low coolant slot and what damage could occur if I get to a low fuel scenario. Do you have a picture of the 12-pin connector ? I am curious what your wiring looks like there.

In addition on the low coolant I also don’t see the small electronic module, about the size of a 35 mm film can. I have looked where Vance and others have said I should find it. Not only is that not there I don't see any empty harness plug so I can't even buy the replacement part as I do not see a place to plug it in!

Add the issue of the missing black/white wire for the parking brake light. The black/purple is sharing the parking brake with the brake fluid level.

This sums up my wiring issues. I am going to live with the brake fluid, parking brake shared wire. For now I guess I have to live with no low coolant. I am looking for any suggestions on what I found with the low fuel wires.

John


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jkosturik John Kosturik
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA   USA
Vance,

You are a wealth of knowledge. Any opinions on my last post (#14) would be appreciated!

Thanks
John

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