In this social media based economy, with these hyper funded and polished influencers driving the content on every platform, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to be your authentic self … And I am an idiot.
I’ve been putting off a part of the project I started last summer, I have plenty of excuses if you need any. A critical part of having a trailer is wiring up a harness so that the lights work. Electric work is like my least favorite thing to do, across the spectrum. I don’t like installing light fixtures or ceiling fans, connecting wires on computer motherboards, let alone working with the mess of electronics that come on a car. But.. this had to get done.
Now, being a BMW Mini meant this task wasn’t straight forward. Honestly, I don’t know if it could have been done with simple splicing, but I do know that Outmotoring sells a specific kit to connect a trailer harness to the R53. Being that this kit exists tells me that it solves some issue; I figured best to do it right rather than the pain and suffering on doing wrong and fighting through that to only end up back at this harness kit.
With all of the excuses out of the way, the rain stopping, and having the wiring kit sitting in my office, it was time to suck it up and get it done. Outmotoring was kind enough to send pre-printed instructions, and enough spare wires that you have options on how you want to complete the install. With the back of my Mini already stripped, half the was already done. The rest of the instructions were pretty easy to follow… right up to the point were I had to connect wires. This too, should be a straight forward process, unless you’re colorblind. I am and became immediately befuddled trying to discern the difference between the green wire with blue strip and blue wire with brown stripe. Ugh. I called in reinforcements from my wife, who was surprisingly in good spirits helping with a car project. She too thought the wiring offered by BMW was a bit ridiculous. I called out patterns and she carefully picked out the correct wire for me, a few connector snaps later and we were done with that step. I ran the remaining wires, connected everything and then went for the test. Crap… nothing.
It was getting late, dark and I was done with wires for the night.
The next morning I decided to fix / finish it. What was frustrating was that I didn’t have any feedback to work from at all. Car lights worked fine, just as before. Trailer was nothing at all. It wasn’t that I got wires crossed or anything like that, it was as if there was no power at all getting to the lights. And that’s when it hit me, I thought I saw a fuse in the bag of connectors included in the kit. I went digging and sure enough there it was a nice blue fuse in amongst the blue wire connectors. I popped open the little yellow thing connected to the auxiliary power post, and there was a spot for the exact fuse in my hand. Modern technology is amazing.
Connecting up the trailer and testing, this time with power, and everything worked exactly as it should. Outmotoring tried to create an idiot proof kit, I proved them wrong.
With the trailer all ready to go, I loaded it up and took it for a test drive. I even made the rest of the family follow me on the short drive. Not only did I want to make sure the lights worked, I wanted to test the trailer’s road manners. The test drive proved that it tracked straight, the wheels were square with no perceivable wobble, and it didn’t cause a significant impact on the drivability of the Mini. All good. Ready to go for the Autocross season and One Lap of America 2023!