Did You Know…..

…that if you turn the ‘P’ upside down and rearrange the other letters, your Fiat Punto becomes a Fiat donut.


The Company hack is having a bit of a touch-up here and there and I was fiddling about with the letters whilst waiting for the Company kettle to boil; it kept us amused for most of the day up in Norfolk.

Fuse box

I was pleased to receive my new and clever fuse box. I had some repairs to do to one of the seat backs and while I was waiting for some paint to dry, I fitted the box under the dash. I’m delighted with it and don’t mind a bit the modern blade type fuses – they may not look right but they’re out of sight to the casual observer and I’m more likely to find a replacement blade fuse than a ceramic fuse in the middle of nowhere.


After a couple of days and 10 miles of wire – the colours and gauges are not significant; it’s just what I happened to have left over from the Austin – I’d completed everything but the lighting circuit.

Wiring diagram

And it looks a bit like this. I have to say that I struggled on one or two if the items. The problems I had were largely to do with my comprehensive lack of understanding of electricity. The information was available on the internet but most of it assumed a basic knowledge. For instance, wiring up the rev counter (from a Rover P5) was not easy because there were several instruments available at the time, each differing in some tiny but significant way. The voltmeter (what could be simpler?) presented me with a host of unknowns and, as I was hooking it up to the alternator, several people had what I imagined were differing views but which in reality were the same. When someone who knows all about something describes it to you, they often miss out the basic stuff on the assumption that you can’t be that stupid. Well, guess what.

Speedo cable

Anyway, the fuses are in the post (I’ve ordered them on-line as I was horrified by the prices in my local motor spares shop) and Learned Counsel tells me that I must hook the battery up and put each fuse in separately, wait a while to see if there’s any smoke or flames and then proceed to the next one (provided there’s no smoke or flames). If not quite a vote of confidence it seems a sensible way to proceed.

Wood protection

I’ve stripped out the back of the Hillman and have applied bituminous paint to all the wood that is likely to be exposed to the weather or is never to be seen again once the panelling is on. The underside of all the floorboards have also had a coat. So all I’ve got to do now is put it all back together again, hook up the battery and we have a driveable car. The seats I’ve decided to have covered professionally (gulp) because, having looked at a rather nice Bentley with similar seats, if they were to be a bit wrong, they’d be very wrong and would spoil the ship – although for slightly more than a ha’porth of tar, don’cha know.


12 comments on “Did You Know…..

  1. renaud says:

    Stop! Stop! Stop! I had a quick look at the diagram and (at least) you’ve got the wiring of the coil cum distributor wrong Nigel. The +coil goes to the battery the – coil to the distributor which provides the ground return itself (if that makes any sense to you of course). I’ll look later for the rest.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Renaud, What a splendid fellow you are! Thank you. I’ve just been out and swopped the wire over – I thought it may have been my diagram but it wasn’t.

  3. Simon says:

    I was going to mention that too. The distributor switches the negative of the coil. The wire to the tachometer goes between the coil and the distributor (so on the negative of the coil). At least that’s how it’s done on MGBs and on A7s! Also don’t forget there is a condensor (capacitor) needed between the distributor and earth (on the negative of the coil again, across the points). The capacitor is probably inside your distributor already but you might want to check! This is assuming everything is negative earth of course which it seems you are.


  4. renaud says:

    Yes Simon I too saw that wrong tacho connection late tonight but just too late to mention it. I don’t currently have the info right now but it should be easy to find out the tacho’s wiring Nigel. One of the wires is only for the lamp that you can wire from the key switched + or alternately what I do is to wire it with the rear lights so it’s only lighted by night. One is the key switched + and the last is to the coil (minus) to distributor as Simon said of course. Finding the lamp connection should be easy enough and then, if you reverse the last two I can’t see how it would do any damage to the internals? Simon? (Simon & I are both electronicians Nigel, it helps!)

    Cheers to you both and keep doing the best!

    • renaud says:

      Nigel, after more attention to your diagram I would like to point you to other things I don’t like. I could send you my version of it if you don’t mind? I don’t currently have email here but later tomorrow?

      • Renaud, Any help is most gratefully received! The tacho wiring is a bit of a poser because most of what I’ve read on the internet is not 100% clear – to me at least. There’s no light in my tacho, just a +input, the induction coil and a ground through one of the screws on the case. Every time I look at the internet I read something different. It’s from a Rover P5 if that’s any help?
        I won’t connect the battery until I’ve heard what you have to say!

  5. renaud says:

    Fine Nigel I’ll get back to you.
    About the Rover’s tacho I’ll be of no help, a P5 is quite an exotic beast here… Sorry!

  6. renaud says:

    I answered your email Nigel but for some reason Orange sent it back. What do you plan about the lights?

  7. Hello Renaud, I haven’t even thought about the lights yet!

  8. Tim Green says:

    Hello Nigel,
    Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your blog to date and also how nice it has been to see another’s efforts so closely mirroring my own. I am in the process of building an Aero Minx streamlined saloon with all the bits of a far more common ’34 tourer. I have all but completed the ash frame and recently realised that I had bypassed small things like a fuel system and shock absorbers, all made pretty bloody difficult with the frame on. However, three weeks of getting these matters resolved and we are back on the frame – doors next!
    I look forward so much to the next instalment(s)
    Kind regards,

    • Thank you Tim, it’s always a pleasure to receive a pat on the back! I think your job might be a jolly sight more difficult than mine and I’m sure you could have taught me a lot about making an ash frame. It’s so easy to forget important stuff as things take shape and get exciting – I’d forgotten about the exhaust until last week!
      All the best,

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