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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - ZT Headlamp wires

Just a warning to prevent anybody else having worse problems!!

It started as an intermittent warning on the dash telling me the sidelamp bulb had gone. On inspection it appeared still to be working. After 3 - 4 weeks it started staying on so I changed the bulb only to find that it would go on and off if you pushed on the whole headlamp unit. Looking at the manual there is an earth point under the RH headlamp unit so I suspected this was the problem as the headlamp also became intermittent. Anyway the car was due a service at a new garage I was trying the following day (usual dealers Edwards of Stratford had gone bust unfortunately, so had to try somebody else!)so, as it was a front end off job to get at it, I thought I'd leave it to them. Anyway it came back just the same in spite of them charging me 20 on top of the service cost and yet another new bulb.

That night I took the plunge and removed the front bumper/grill assembly and took the headlamp out. I found that a rubber edge trim (it was present on the LH side) was missing on the top of the seam weld along the main front chassis beam, which had resulted in the wiring loom to the headlamp rubbing through and shorting out(over 30,000 miles). Two of the wires had fused together and it was definitely a potential fire hazard as most of the insulation on the other wires had also melted and become blackened. Anyway once spotted it was easy to fix (seemingly not for a garage though!!) by chopping out the damaged section and soldering in new wires and I also split a rubber tube and fitted it over the seam to prevent further problems.

So worth a check to prevent possible major damage - you can see the seam weld to see if it has a rubber/plastic protector on just behind the headlamp unit although you probably can't where the wires cross. If it's there you should be OK - if not (and presumably mine was left out on the prod line) it might be worth checking the wires underneath.

This is the first trouble I've had (apart from the Sat Nav being replaced under warranty - but that was German!!). I really like the car and now that it has become a classic I'll just have to keep it! However I will be doing the servicing from now on - I might not get a stamp in the book but at least I know it'll be safe!!


G Calvert

This thread was discussed on 19/08/2005

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