Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

OH! nearly lost the Sierra today, I was finishing the wiring all working well. Then somehow when I moved the the heater fan quadrant there was instant smoke then flame, and I was sitting there watching it happen. Brain in gear and snips at hand I cut the main power line to the heater quadant, but it was still burning, I had to dive under the bonnet and disconnect the battery which meant un-fastening the clamps.

After the smoke had cleared I could check the damaged, and someone up there must have been looking after the Sierra, because the damaged was only the main power cable to the quadrant and 3 earth cables. I managed to strip the main wire out of the loom, because it was sat on top of the loom along with the earth wires the flame burnt up so only caused damage to those wires. Lucky or what? this is the second time I have had a loom burn and luckily last time was on the Phaeton with the same superficial damage. You can understand how quick a kit car can be destoryed by a wiring fault, it happens so quick and so much smoke, the first thing to do is panic.

I am racking my brains now to understand what caused it, as before I had connected the battery I had checked all the connections with a meter, and the main cable was fused. Its dark now so will check it all through in the day light.

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Comment by Dave Taylor on September 27, 2011 at 21:18
Sussed it tonight, the heater fan works, its 3 speed plus boost. Very impressive for a Dutton.
Comment by Dave Taylor on September 26, 2011 at 23:05

I checked out the wiring loom tonight, and after splitting the loom open was surprised to find little major damage see photo.

I realised now that I had connected a live feed to the heater fan speed quadrant, which when it was moved shorted straight to earth, because it is an earth return switch. Stupid mistake that could have ended with a pile of dust and ash.

Comment by Dave Adams on September 26, 2011 at 12:43
The switch should not make any difference. remember my article on rewiring cars? might be worth a look now.
Comment by Dave Taylor on September 26, 2011 at 8:27
This was brand new Premier loom, the short looks to have been throught the heater.
Comment by Dave Taylor on September 25, 2011 at 21:49
Now thats even more scary, I work for a Forklift parts supplier and the ignition switch is on the Sierra is off a Jungheinrich electric forklift. But its only an on / off switch with high amp rating.
Comment by Dave Price on September 25, 2011 at 21:38
That was a close call.  You were very lucky.  I know what you mean about wiring faults in kit cars.  I used drive a Citroen Mehari (Citroen plastic jeep with same chassis as 2CV).  One day I put my hand under the dash and there were sparks everywhere.  I quickly investigated and found that the previous owner had fitted a fork lift truck igintion switch and used wiring of too smaller gauge, all the insulation had melted away leaving a series of bare conductors.  That was in a plastic car.

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