The Warminster Bug Restoration 3...
Reliant used various Moulds over the bugs production run and all varied to some degree- Thus its common to own a car with the canopy from one Bug and the body from another. Lining the 2 up and getting a good shut line will then be a problem. Fortunately this Bug looks like it has the original roof so there was not that much of a problem getting the 2 to marry up. The plates inside both the body and the canopy were replaced and then the holes were re drilled. After completing this task I wasn't very happy with the result so decided to have another go this necessitated re drilling and filling the old holes until the desired position was obtained.
THE RE WIRE
New wiring rooms are available from Bond spares but I decided as the old one was not beyond repair to reuse it. The first job was to give it a good wash and then replace the bits that had fallen off. You can check the wiring as you go either with a test bulb or if you have one- a multimeter. Obviously you will need a wiring diagram for this job and these can be found on the last page of the Bug Hand Book.
Before replacing the loom its wise to purchase a new set of plastic clips so you can reclamp it to the body its also worth having electrical fastenings and insulating tape. You can replace the loom with the body off but I replaced mine while it sat on the chassis. To replace the loom start from under the driver seat and feed the two sets of wires up through the holes under the dash cluster. Make sure before you start the loom is the right way up. You will then have a set of wires that head of in the direction of the dynamo/nearside lights/horn, 1 set that goes to the rear lights and another that goes to the regulator/off side lights and temp/brake/oil sender units. Clamp the loom in place along with the starter solenoid (this will need to be connected to the battery with the thick black heavy duty cable). The next step is to work through connecting each circuit and then testing. Bad earths are a common problem to Bugs so check this area and clean up the crappy connections you will undoubtedly find. When it comes to the lighting circuit, there are numbers on the back of the switch and these relate to different wires-If you look very closely on the wiring diagram in the Hand book you can just about make out where they go. Both on this restoration and 2 previous restorations I have found if you connect the wires to the fuel gauge in the wrong order the gauge flies up to full- So you may have to experiment until you get the sequence right on this (the green wire goes on the Battery tab).
The plan of action for this bugs restoration was to replace the trim, seats, switch gear etc before the respray this will make sure when it comes to refitting they will all go on with no hassle and without the risk of scratching the paint job. At the time of writing all the seats are in place including the engine cover and the head rests. At one point during the proceedings I was drilling holes for the seat poppers when I could suddenly smell petrol- I had drilled straight through the body into the pipe below (What a Pillock). The car has now been laid up for the winter and the restoration will continue in the spring of 2003.