Back into the swing of things! I fired up the heat in the garage, watched the oil in the tank start to drop and heated up the garage even though it was below zero outside yesterday! I spent three or four hours in the garage. While a good bit of that was spent continuing to clean up some stuff, I did manage to make some progress on both the wiring and fuel lines.
I started off the day planning on buying a battery and starting to power up the wiring on the car from the battery outwards, rather than worrying about the rest of the dash wiring right now. With power to the car, I can test the dash progressively rather than testing just with a meter and hoping it all works once its in the car.
After visiting both Autozone and Pepboys I was unable to find the battery I needed: an Optima red-top or yellow-top with top terminals but no side terminals. The stores all carried generic Optima batteries that have both top and side terminals for fitment into more vehicle types. Its not safe, even with caps, to have side terminals on a battery in a metal battery box, so those weren’t options. I went to a local battery store, Batteries Plus, and found one. The one they had was slightly low on volts so they ordered one from another store — I’ll pick it up tomorrow.
While I was at Batteries Plus, though, I did find the trickle charger I’ve been looking at for the car.
This is the same tender I had hardwired into my old Porsche 911. Its a handy unit — it won’t charge a battery, but will maintain it and I used it to plug the 911 in during the winters. I wanted to do a similar thing on the Cobra. This will allow me to just plug the car in when I’m not driving it and not worry about the battery draining.
I spent some time trying to figure out the best place to mount it. The charger leads will either be attached to the battery directly or to the back side of the remote terminals. I don’t want to have to run an extension cord into the trunk and leave it open, so it’ll go somewhere under the trunk floor. That may mean jacking the car up to plug it in, but it’ll be out of the way and odds are I’ll store the car on wheel dollies anyway. One location I considered for it was to mount it to the drivers side, or front side of the battery box.
While I didn’t actually mount the tender yet, that did get me thinking about the placement of the fuel filter and the rubber line from it to the hardline. I have been unhappy with it because the rubber line ran above the rear passenger side upper shock mount. While I’m sure it never would’ve been an issue as long as the top bolt didn’t shear off, if that happened it could’ve torn open the fuel line.
The bracket was riveted to the side 2×3″ steel tube on the passenger side rear of the car immediately under the upper trunk floor. I realized that the battery box would actually be a solid, and more conveniently located spot for it, and would keep the fuel lines away from the suspension.
I drilled out the rivets. I’ll need to do something to protect the steel here — I’ll probably pop rivets into the holes and caulk or paint over them.
I positioned the filter mount on the side of the battery box, and drilled and riveted it to the box. This is definitely a better location for it — it’ll be slightly harder to reach without getting under the car, but its better protected.
After this work I decided to start wiring up the power side of the push button starter and alarm system. The system consists of a controller the size of a relay. Two wiring harnesses connect to it — a control and alarm side, and a power side. The power harness is used to trigger three relays — accessories, “run” power, and the starter circuit. These match up to the positions on the ignition switch I am not using.
I started wiring the power harness to the three relay harnesses. I had some issues with having the right connectors, and I think I need a better unswitched power distribution setup for behind the dash, but I did get some wiring done.
The harneses are labeled, but once I have the rest of the wiring connected to the relays, I will bundle and tidy up this part of the harness. The PBS unit (the blue unit to the left of the above photo) is not mounted because the casing is fairly poorly made and the mounting bracket broke off. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do to mount it, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. I’m imagining double sided tape and a aluminum bracket in front to secure it.
I picked up some of the wiring bits I needed today, as well as a new 30 watt soldering iron. The one I’ve been using I believe is 20 watt and is at least twenty years old, so this should help with wiring some of these bigger wires. I had a lot of trouble getting the wire itself hot enough to flow the solder well.
My hope is to finish up these bits of the harness tomorrow. If I wire up a push button, that should be sufficient to power on the car with the battery I’ll also be picking up tomorrow. Now, that power won’t be going anywhere, but its a start.