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  • Wiring colors...

    Hi, I recently purchased a 1948 Champion Regal Deluxe (4 Door). I'm in the process of - one, getting the thing cleaned out, because its very, very dirty. Its not poorly cared for, its simply dirty, because I think this car came from a farm location where there was a lot of red clay dust in the air. One of the dirtiest areas is the engine compartment. There is grease and muck all over and its all over the wiring harnesses. I've decided to redo as much of the wiring harnesses as possible to the extent that grime is visible and the wires need to be changed out. The one issue I ran into is these cars are all "cloth cover wire", which is VERY cool, but that presented the question of...what was the original wiring color scheme on these cars? My wires all fall into a range of what I believe must have been off-white or beige to wires that are black or dark grey. I don't see a lot of red or different colors other than the off-white and the black.

    The actual re-wiring is not an issue for me. I'm an Electrical Engineer and I worked as a automotive electrician for many years, while working my way through college (yes...I'm from the days that kids worked so they could go to college). So, the electrical part is the easy part for me, but what is an issue is what color patterns were standard or typical in 1948? I want to remain as original as possible, so I don't want to go into the modern color sets. Nor do I want to use - say, yellow wires with purple tracers, which would be far from original. - Today, everything is plastic covered, so telling the color schemes is easy. We also have a lot of multiple colored wires with multiple tracer marking in today's cars. However, it doesn't seem that was the case back in 1948. Unfortunately, I never did much work (if any) on 1940s and 1950s cars...at least not that I can remember (the memory is the first thing to go... ).

    If anyone has tackled a "harness rewiring" project and can share some advice on what color schemes were used back in the day, that would be great! I'm sure Studebacker had some standardized scheme, but as much as I've researched it, I can't seem to find anywhere where they call out the colors on the wiring.

    Thanks for your help as always!
    Best Regards,
    Sergio
    1948 Champion Regal Deluxe

  • #2
    Long story MUCH shorter... it is actually VERY Simple. All the cloth over rubber covered old style wires HAD Color Stripes in the cloth, sometimes they can be read in a clean area under the outside wrap, but do get faded.

    I understand the New Cloth covered wires from Larkworks have the Color thread in them to match the Shop Manual Wiring Diagrams for each year of Studebaker. Problem solved!
    Last edited by StudeRich; 02-28-2017, 01:47 AM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Here is a link to Larkworks wiring for Studebakers. If you want the wiring to look correct with the cloth wrap on the wires, it takes a special machine to weave the threads around the wires, so this is something a person can't do himself. Also it's very hard to find correct cloth covered wires with the correct colors and tracer colors.

      http://www.larkworks.com/how-to-order.html

      Comment


      • #4
        https://www.studebakerparts.com/stud...ediagrams.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's an ebay link to a nice color wiring chart.
          I took my shop manual to the local copy store, and had the wiring and the lubrication pages blown up to poster size for a wall hanging.

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-51-1952...hWXarb&vxp=mtr

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SergioG View Post
            Hi, I recently purchased a 1948 Champion Regal Deluxe (4 Door). I'm in the process of - one, getting the thing cleaned out, because its very, very dirty. Its not poorly cared for, its simply dirty, because I think this car came from a farm location where there was a lot of red clay dust in the air. One of the dirtiest areas is the engine compartment. There is grease and muck all over and its all over the wiring harnesses. I've decided to redo as much of the wiring harnesses as possible to the extent that grime is visible and the wires need to be changed out. The one issue I ran into is these cars are all "cloth cover wire", which is VERY cool, but that presented the question of...what was the original wiring color scheme on these cars? My wires all fall into a range of what I believe must have been off-white or beige to wires that are black or dark grey. I don't see a lot of red or different colors other than the off-white and the black.

            The actual re-wiring is not an issue for me. I'm an Electrical Engineer and I worked as a automotive electrician for many years, while working my way through college (yes...I'm from the days that kids worked so they could go to college). So, the electrical part is the easy part for me, but what is an issue is what color patterns were standard or typical in 1948? I want to remain as original as possible, so I don't want to go into the modern color sets. Nor do I want to use - say, yellow wires with purple tracers, which would be far from original. - Today, everything is plastic covered, so telling the color schemes is easy. We also have a lot of multiple colored wires with multiple tracer marking in today's cars. However, it doesn't seem that was the case back in 1948. Unfortunately, I never did much work (if any) on 1940s and 1950s cars...at least not that I can remember (the memory is the first thing to go... ).

            If anyone has tackled a "harness rewiring" project and can share some advice on what color schemes were used back in the day, that would be great! I'm sure Studebacker had some standardized scheme, but as much as I've researched it, I can't seem to find anywhere where they call out the colors on the wiring.

            Thanks for your help as always!
            I don't have the technical credentials you do (Electrical Engineer), but I am an incurable tinkerer. I have rewired several vehicles and built two wiring harnesses myself. Although I am very familiar with the professional books of wiring labels available for marking wires in a circuit, I chose to use a rather crude method of identifying wires using common string tie cardboard labels purchased from an office supply (Staples). Instead of schematic terms, I used a fine writing permanent marking pen and used terms like, "passenger side terminal block-middle lug." Using abbreviations I understand when possible. The string type labels work good on the old harness because the glue on the professional type markers don't stick well to an old dirty harness and fall off.

            After labeling & removing the old harness, you take a piece of plywood (or OSB) and tack the old harness on to the board. Using wire ties, you keep the harness bundled as it was in the car, making notes where the wire loom bundled & branched off to different locations. Once the harness is laid out on the board, You build the new one over the old one. I chose to use different sizes of "heat shrink" tubing instead of electrical tape for wire loom (bundling). This requires a bit of calculating to allow for the tubing shrinkage. It also calls for lots of patience, as you cut your individual wires, thread them through the various heat shrink pieces, attach the terminals and transfer the labels from the old harness to the new.

            I chose to use modern wire, but used appropriate wire sizes and colors. When using a wire color other than the schematic color, I used strips of appropriate colored heat shrink tubing at the terminal ends. Once the harness was completed, I used the small cloth stick on labels where appropriate and removed the goofy string cardboard labels.

            I make no apologies for not using "original" cloth covered wire. I still win trophies. I think most folks who knew what the original wire looked like are either dead, or (like me), would rather see the car, than a smoldering heap from an electrical fire. You can buy an original looking cloth wire harness that has modern wire under the cloth insulation. They are expensive. After building my own harnesses, I have a good understanding why they are expensive.

            The harnesses I built fit like a glove. They were simpler to build than I thought, once I got into the project. However, it was still one of the most tedious, time consuming jobs I've taken on. It requires more concentration and patience than many jobs encountered when doing your own restoration/maintenance work. If you don't like tinkering, lack patience, or have a hand full of thumbs...buy a ready made harness, or better yet, pay someone else to do it.

            Here's a pic of an old harness labeled & removed. sorry I don't have a good pic of a completed one.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              Hi John, listen...my degree is nothing but a piece of paper on the "I Love Me" wall and a bunch of circuit design mush in my head, so we're even Steven on that aspect. As for your harness....VERY, VERY nice Sir!!! Excellent work and quite an interesting technique I have to say. Very cool.

              BTW, I have land in Lyman where I plan to retire in a couple of years. We're going to be neighbors soon!
              Best Regards,
              Sergio
              1948 Champion Regal Deluxe

              Comment


              • #8
                To ALL, very, very good information. I hadn't come across Larkworks.com. Some of the other links are VERY helpful. Thank you ALL!
                Best Regards,
                Sergio
                1948 Champion Regal Deluxe

                Comment

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