THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.2
  February 2000

Vol.2 Home Page | Index Page

Home Restoration.


When tracing your way through that spaghetti pile of a wiring harness, have you ever wondered what the colours represent? Believe it or not, there actually is an explanation for the colour code. Each major circuit of the electric system has a basic colour code which represents its function. The feed or source wires of a particular circuit have a solid colour; the switched wires of that circuit have the identifying main colour with a second colour tracer which identifies the sub-circuit. Ground wires are almost always black. Circuits which are switched on the ground side of the load such as the horn usually have a black tracer colour.

Brown - Battery and charging circuits
White - Ignition circuit
Blue - Headlamp circuit
Red - Side and tail light circuit
Green - Auxiliary circuits supplied through the ignition switch
Purple - Circuits supplied directly from the fuse block
Black - Earth circuits
Light Green - Turn signal circuit, instrument circuits

As an example, suppose that you want to know which coil wire is connected to the points. Upon examination you will find that' there is a solid white wire and a white wire with a black tracer. The white wire, by definition, is the ignition source wire. The black tracer indicates that the wire is in a switched circuit to ground. Therefore the white wire with black tracer is the one connected to the points. This is quite useful on Minis with the plastic insulated wires. But if you have one of the early models with the braided fabric insulation that inevitably fades beyond recognition, you will have to depend on the trusty ohm or continuity meter.

Sliding Window Channel

Sooner or later all you owners of Minis with sliding door windows are going to have to replace the black double channel that the glass slides in. Those who have done it before will appreciate how difficult it can be to remove the screws holding the lower channel in place. The heads have usually rusted away, and the glass prevents easy access.

I’m afraid that you are still going to have to get those screws out, but, if you follow this tip, it should be the last time.

Basically, dismantle as usual, clean everything up, and re-assemble, but leave the double channel out! You will need to use screws with as flat a head as possible for this technique to work. Then, with the glass pushed near the back, feed the new flexi channel in from the front. It should slide under the glass without too much trouble. The glass will make sure that it doesn’t need fixing down.

Anytime that you wish to replace it in the future, just open the windows, prise up the front edge of the channel, and haul it out. Slide in the new one and the job’s done! No excuse for having moss growing in your window channels now!

Please note that this only works if you use the flexible type of window channel. It obviously won’t work with the rigid type.