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Practical Wiring - Professional Motorsport: Step 8 - Continuity Testing

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Step 8 - Continuity Testing

04.45

00:00 - The eighth step of our 10 step professional motorsport wiring harness construction process is our continuity testing.
00:06 At this stage we've terminated all of our wires and crimped them to the correct pins, which have then been inserted into the correct bodies in the correct locations.
00:15 However to verify this, we are going to go through with our multimeter and do a pin to pin confirmation.
00:22 This is simply going to be a continuity test following our design documentation ensuring that each pin connection between two points on the harness is correct as we intended.
00:34 This isn't going to be a complete test of every possible pin connection configuration there could be for our harness here, but it is going to give us the confidence that we've done a good correct job of building the harness and let us know that connection wise it is ready to be installed in the vehicle.
00:50 A testing method that you might have heard of when it comes to a professional motorsport level harness is that of high pot testing or high potential testing.
00:58 Now this method of testing is the reverse of the continuity testing that we're going to do here.
01:04 It's actually testing that there's not a connection between two pins and it does this by applying a very high voltage between two points on the harness, typically the working voltage of the harness times two plus 1000 volts.
01:17 And testing that there's no current leakage between those two points.
01:22 What this tests is the di electric strength of the insulation materials in our harness that it has been assembled correctly, and that there aren't any stray wire strands or a crushed piece of wire possibly making a partial connection.
01:35 However high pot testers are very expensive and if you're building a harness to this level for your own vehicle it's not likely to be a piece of equipment that you'll have access to.
01:45 This is a job that you would sub out to a contractor to have done.
01:51 However the continuity test that we're going to do with our multimeter is still a really valid test to undertake and mark off on your documentation as you're progressing through it.
02:01 It's going to let you know that those connections that we can test are correct and that the harness is suitable to be installed in the vehicle.
02:07 We've covered this process in good detail in our practical club level course and the procedure doesn't really differ at all.
02:15 We're simply going to refer to our documentation and test with our multimeter in the continuity checking mode that each pin connection is making a connection as we expect it to.
02:25 The tools I've got on hand for this are of course my multimeter set to continuity test mode here and I've got my couple of custom multimeter probes or test leads set up.
02:37 One's got a size 20 Autosport connector pin on the end there and the other has a size 22 and they're gonna be really handy as we will be making connections to the pins in our bulkhead connectors here and that's actually quite tricky to do with a multimeter, a standard multimeter probe that is.
02:57 Quite often you find the probe would errantly actually bridge two of these pins in here and you might not be getting the test result you expected, however with our test leads here, everything's nicely insulated so I can make a solid connection to any one of these pins that I desire.
03:13 And the heat shrink's giving us good insulation from the other pins around that.
03:17 So to start this test, I'm simply going to get this lead in my multimeter here, just do a quick test that we're in the continuity mode and there's no issues with our probes.
03:30 So that's all good, we've got our tone there.
03:32 Referring to our documentation I can see here that pin one of our sensor interface connector, which is this connector here, is meant to be making a connection to pin one of our gearbox interface connector.
03:46 So I'll go ahead and just test between those two points.
03:50 Need to be really careful when you're connecting up your multimeter probe that you are getting it onto the correct pin in these quite dense Autosport connectors.
03:58 The pin numbers are actually marked down on that neoprene seal in there so you can get a good idea of where you are.
04:06 So we'll connect that into pin one there.
04:11 And get our other multimeter probe and get our gearbox interface connector here, and see if we're making a connection to pin one here.
04:22 Which we are so that's really good.
04:25 The rest of the process is simply going to be followed through in exactly the same way, just heading through our documentation, marking off all those connections as we test them.