Project ARJ...Part 2

Is there wear inthe handbrake lever ? Shouldn't be able to become misaligned in normal service .I'd say the light should stay on until almost the first notch on the ratchet


Well-Known Member
Did you check the fluid cap?

The are known for flickering light problems when the cork swells, I could let you borrow mine to try it out if you like.

Thanks for the offer but I've already swapped it. From my understanding of the wiring diagram the light will go on if the circuit is broken anywhere along the line. The cable runs through the brake pads and my money is on a bad connection at one of the corners.



Active Member
No, it's the other way round. When it's functioning correctly the light will come on when the pads are worn down by earthing the wire against the disc. If the circuit has a break in it the light won't illuminate at all unless the live bit of broken wire is touching the bodyshell.

The low fluid level indicator in the reservoir cap is on a seperate circuit controlled by the cork float in the cap. If it sinks it will bob up and down with the motion of the car making the light flicker causing partial insanity whilst driving. You can pull the old cork off and push a new one on easily enough so it's worth doing anyway.


Well-Known Member

***Apologies for a long post hopefully a read through might help you to get to the bottom of the flickering light.***

I have redrawn the diagram to help me understand how it all ties together with the wear sensors.

You will see the +12v comes to the bulb, the bulb is then ground by the low fluid switch or a ground from the handbrake switch or one of the wear sensors.

On top of the fluid reservoir you have 3 wires. one goes to ground, one to the bulb and one the the wear sensors/handbrake switch. You should have the ground on its own as this is only for the fluid level switch. The other 2 wires are piggy back connected. So you can isolate the two parts ie. remove the connector for the wear/handbrake would only leave the fluid level switch operating the warning lamp and if you remove the piggybacked connectors from the lid but connected to each other the other part of the system will operate the warning lamp.

Fluid level is simple, the cork float drops and makes a connection illuminating the warning lamp.

Handbrake switch, operate handbrake and the switch grounds completing the loop through the wear sensors to the bulb via the piggy back connector.

Wear sensors, inside each pad there is a wire which loops back to the plug which connects to the loom. when the pad wears the wire gets worn through and when in contact with disc completes the circuit to the lamp via the piggy back connector.

That is how the system basically works. This brings a couple of things to mind. If there is a brake pad missing or not connect then the link to the handbrake switch is missing. Does the handbrake bring the lamp on? I remember that at least one of the pad plugs in the loom had a terminal corroded (not sure if you sorted them) . If the handbrake works the lamp correctly then I suspect there may be a bypass of the wear sensor side.

I would pull the wires off at the fluid cap, drive about if there is no flicker with just the handbrake/wear circuit connected then it is the fluid switch. If it does flicker there could be a chaffed wire. Going by the diagram the handbrake switch is at the end of the line so if you then disconnect the brake pads rear to front and see if there is a flicker or not you will at least have an idea of which section of the wiring to look at. The P6 has a pretty simple loom so shouldn't be to bad.You may also have the old crust snap connector problem, I would think that there is some behind the rear seat as the wires drop under the petrol tank just above the diff.




Well-Known Member
The Diagram notes the wires from the lamp to the lid is BW and to the handbrake switch is BW, the ground is B. That means that you don't have the correct wires on. Might have been a previous owner who did that?

Take each BW wire and connect to ground to see which one lights the warning lamp then mark them. You can then go through the fault process.

Based on the photo, you either have the lamp connected to the ground all the time so would expect the lamp to be on all the time or the handbrake/wear sensor so one of them could be the problem.

What is the extra black wire with the red crimp on ?

Diagram with added wiring colours.



Active Member
That's a good diagram Colin. Looking at it, I reckon the design was simple and clever. If the you loose continuity in the brake pad sensor circuit, then, when you pull the handbrake on, you won't see the dash brake warning light come on. This way (assuming the handbarke switch is OK), you get a warning that there is a fault in the brake pad sensors. Clever old school wiring :D .
No idea what the extra wire is. Everything is connected as it was when I got the car. The red crimps are just a quick bodge to get round some broken wires.


Well-Known Member
My theory of the extra wire is that it has probably been ran to the handbrake switch to by pass the wear sensors. If this is the case then your theory on the handbrake wiring could be correct.

I can't remember what ARJ was like other than soldering a connector or 2. I do remember that at least one of the brake pad connectors had a broken/corroded pin but as that would be a break and not ground it wouldn't bring the lamp on. You could bridge the loom plugs to test.

I think you need to identify all the wires and take it from there. The twin blacks are earths, I couldn't see it on the diagram i copied from but on some p6 one of the blacks is a ground and the other goes off to the ignition circuit, worth knowing because if the wires break or are disconnected then the car wont start. :wink:

There is probably a few things going on but you will get there. Just work out what the 4 wires are on the lid and then test each part on its own.

call me if you want more info.
Had a couple of minutes today so I swapped the cables over so that only the black earth cables are on one terminal and the BW on the other. Left the other black cable disconnected. That didn't put the light off but I have confirmed that the additional black cable is an add on and not original. It feeds through the bulkhead along side the loom. Will try and get some time next weekend to follow it through and see where it goes.


Well-Known Member
Lift the carpet from the drivers side of the tunnel it may run along there. You could connect the extra black to the BW wires in turn and operate the handbrake see if it works the lamp.

Just to eliminate the cap you should put a multi meter accross the terminals with nothing connected and make sure it tests open circuit.

Now I know the pro's and con's of Almond have been debated on here more than once but ARJ was born Almond so I'm keeping it. Beside's I think it looks good when the paintwork is shiny and clean.

I have had a lot of trouble getting paint. The problem is that Almond is not a common colour these days so in order to use a modern paint product I would have to use far to much tinter and that makes a match impossible.

Good news is I have managed to source the colour but the bad is that it is a high solids two pack mix that uses isocyanite hardener. It will give a good finish but rules out me painting it at home as it is very nasty stuff.

I've loaded the sample paint I had into a spray can to see how close it is and I'm pleased with the results. If you look at this link ... 2.jpg.html

you can see the Black paint on the front valance stopping the rust.

I've rubbed it down, primed and then painted it again just to see how it looks. ... 0.jpg.html

Pretty good I think for a quick bodge not taking the panel off. I'll have to strip it properly but I think we have a winner here. From a distance the car is looks much better. Just need to get past the SARR and then start the welding and prep.



Active Member
Certainly looks good from the pic Paul. Good for you sticking with Almond which I quite like.
Hope to see you and car at SARR (I should be there on the Sunday).
Headlights....what to do?

I have sealed beams and one of the dipped lights is gone. Should I convert to halogens or get another sealed unit.

Very tempted to convert but I would love some feedback in the pros and cons.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Paul,

From where I am sitting, converting from the original sealed beams to halogens is all positive. The only con if you like is that it is more expensive initially and the conversion takes longer than just replacing a single blown light. If you do convert, I can say without reservation that you will be loving the result and you'll wonder why you waited so long to change over. :wink:

I'm sure that I've read somewhere that the halogen bulbs draw a different current, and take a shorter amount of time to warm up etc (although this may actually be LED's) - the result of this being something along the lines of burnt out switches and fuse boxes (on most series 2's).

The remedy here is to have relays for the lights fitted.

Anyone to correct me/confirm?

It's best to have relays on the headlamps anyhow as the fuse box seems to be a weak link and can melt/burn whatever headlamps you use
Halogens are a massive improvement over sealed beams