Speaker grilles

Alec Issigonis didn’t listen to the radio, so Minis didn’t have speakers. We’ve corrected that oversight, but the speaker grilles that came with the new speakers are kinda gross and modern.

Why does no-one make lovely gold mesh speaker grilles any more? Because they’re so easy to make yourself that there’s no point? Oh, right.

Take mesh
Make formers
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Perfect first time. (Yeah right. There were one or two test runs.)
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Grille fitment- and a decision.

While Brian’sĀ getting tangled inĀ the wiring loom, I’m fitting the grilles. We have a choice of grilles: either the original Super Deluxe pressed steel grille (painted in white to match the wheels), or a stainless 7-slat Cooper grille.

In the end the white Super Deluxe grille won. It’s rarer than the Cooper grille, correct for the car (UK Super Deluxe models only had white painted grilles in 1962, but this is a New Zealand assembled car so 1963 is ok), and much cuter. Besides, we can fit the Cooper grille later if we change our minds.

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The number plate and bracket are painted too, so I refitted them as well:

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The number plate hangs down when the boot is open, intended so you can use the open boot lid as additional luggage space. Unfortunately it was discovered that exhaust fumes are drawn into the car when the boot lid is open, so the swing-down functionality was removed in later models.


The Mini’s original wiring diagram looked something like this:


After a good 4 months of planning, our replacement wiring diagram looks like this:

Mini Wiring Diagram

We printed it out at the smallest scale possible while still being able to read the text, and it took 16 sheets of A4 paper. We might have gone a tiny bit insane, but it’s *gorgeous*. We incorporated the upgraded lighting circuit as described by Daniel Stern, along with a number of other modern concepts like fuses, relays, corrosion resistance, and adequately sized switches.

Enough planning. Time to actually build the damned thing. Vehicle Wiring Products in the UK sell colour coded wires by the metre, as well as connectors, modular fuse boxes, a vast range of switches and electrical components, and they ship overseas. They also have a lot of our money now.

The fuse box is the hub of our wiring loom, so Brian started there.



Then came the actual installation, building the loom in situ. It looks like a mess, but the wiring diagram we designed also specified the layout and routing of the loom segments, so it wasn’t that tricky to sort out.







The loom is held together with about a billion cable ties. Once it’s completed and tested, we’ll extract it from the car and wrap it on the workbench.