View Full Version : Wiring Harness

10-01-2006, 08:33 PM
Any thoughts on where to puchase a new wiring harness. My 1955 President State Y body needs one, 51 0ne years is too long for a harness. Does one remove the dash to rewire? Any suggestions.

10-01-2006, 08:58 PM
If you have another reason to have the dash out, it does make it easier. If you're contemplating removing it just to rewire I'd guess it's six of one half a dozen of the other.
Studebaker West makes good harnesses from new wire if you're not concerned with lacquered/braided originality; and a reproduction lacquered/braided harness will cost about three times as much.

Brad Johnson
Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
33 Rockne 10
51 Commander Starlight
53 Commander Starlight
previously: 63 Cruiser, 62 Regal VI, 60 VI convertible, 50 LandCruiser

10-01-2006, 09:20 PM
I'll second the suggestion that having the dash out is the best way to replace the main wiring harness; very ugly if you have to do it lying on the floor of the car with the dash in place.

Some places for wiring harnesses in addition to Studebakers West [excellent quality and good support but modern vinyl-insulated wires]:

Rhode Island Wiring: http://www.riwire.com

Y 'n Z : http://www.ynzyesterdaysparts.com/

And for old Stude trucks, Jeeps, miltary vehicles, etc.
Vintage Wiring of Maine: http://www.vintagewiringofmaine.com/

You have to decide whether "functional" is OK or whether you want "show quality". SDC show judges deduct lots of points for non-original style wiring, both in the main harness and for the rear lighting, etc. The vendors who do not use cotton-braided over-coats do produce excellent quality and safe, easy-to-install products, but you will lose points in a show. If this doesn't matter to you now (or if/when you sell your car), then save your money and get plain vinyl-insulated wires. Note that even the cotton-covered wires sold now are just braided cotton covers on vinyl-insulated wire, so there is no safety/durability difference, as far as I know. On the other hand, getting a generic wiring harness for a street rod set-up, when that isn't what you have, is just an exercise in frustration. Many vendors can supply a correct Studebaker harness with the right number of wires, exact length, etc.

[img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
Dartmouth, Mass.
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
web site at http://www.studegarage.com

10-02-2006, 09:42 AM
When you order a harness 'for your car', try to be sure its for YOUR car. Ask exactly what's included-- tranny circuits, turn signal, back-up lights, whatever. If it's not included, you'll have to make up your own 'auxiliaries' or tear the new one apart. I've done both over the years, and neither is a pretty way to go.... In the future, if I have an old-but-intact harness to start with, I'm making my own...

51 Commander State Sedan
Worthington PA

10-02-2006, 09:31 PM
I got my harness from Studebaker International. It was good quality, but it is non authentic plastic coated wire. I wired my car wit the dash in it. The job was not very fun, but I have done worse jobs. Just take your time, and make sure you have a wiring diagram for your car. The diagram really helps when replacing that old wire because the color coding fades after 50 plus years.

10-02-2006, 09:48 PM
plastic coated wire should not be an issue on a '55, they had plastic almost universally by then. I think only the dome light and maybe clock were still cloth covered.


55 Commander Starlight

10-03-2006, 03:13 AM
quote:Originally posted by garyash

I'll second the suggestion that having the dash out is the best way to replace the main wiring harness; very ugly if you have to do it lying on the floor of the car with the dash in place.

I think I figured out a way around this. When you pull the speedometer out of a Lark, you leave a 6" hole. Pull the clock blanking plate out and you have two. You can see a lot through there! And my son's 11-year-old arms get in much tighter places than mine ;)


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard