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    I have a 55 e series pickup. I am rewiring it with original style wiring. What kind of covering did they use to bundle the wiring together, tape, cloth, etc? Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Friction tape. Not the same stuff as electricians tape in that it has no sticky side to it. It adheres strictly by stetching it as you wrap the wires into a loom. It is available from resto supply places such as Eastwood. It is vinyl. I do not know when Studebaker started using it though instead of the cloth stuff.
    Last edited by 41 Frank; 11-01-2012, 11:42 AM.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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    • #3
      56 was the primary year. That's when Studes went 12 volt. And when they went 12 volt, that change called for lesser gage wiring. The new gage wiring was also the main debut of plastic insulation on wires and THAT made it practical to use the vinyl tape instead of the woven sheathing that had been prevalent. The tape would've stuck to and discolored the old style, cloth-covered wiring
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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      • #4
        I hope your original type wiring only looks like original type but is built better than the original. For insulated "bundling" the wires were a combination of a tape like wrap and a textile loom impregnated with a rubberized asphalt type substance.

        I have a 55 that is about as original as any I have ever encountered. However, I built my own wiring harness using modern wire. Instead of using any wrapping tape or cloth loom...I used various sizes of heat shrink tubing for bundling the different wires as required to match the original branching of the harness. Once I had all the wires in place, I used a heat gun to shrink the tubing. In my opinion, it is better than the original, looks better than any commercial rig I have seen and if I were to show it for trophy judging...I will gladly accept any deducted points.

        I have no more room for new trophy's. My ego is not as invested in competing in shows as it used to be. I take comfort in knowing the truck is less likely to burn down due to that lousy insulation originally installed from the low bidding supplier to Studebaker over half a century ago.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          The S.I. wiring harnesses I bought for the 55K were the new plastic wiring with plastic electrician's tape to bind them. Mine's a driver, and my auto electric guy commented on how well they fit and were put together. Worth consideration if you're not stuck on originality.
          Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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          • #6
            I thought all 55's came with the plastic coated wires rather than cloth. I have never seen an original 55 with cloth.

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            • #7
              If I remember correctly, 1955 was the start of plastic insulation on Studebaker wiring. All of the 55's Ive worked on have the plastic insulation. Bud

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              • #8
                You folks gotta realize that the trucks were the "Stepchild" of production. Usually the last to get upgrades in equipment and supplies. My 55 truck had cloth insulated wires. It still has the original spare, and it still had the original Willard soft top battery in it when I got it.

                In addition to my 55 truck, I also have an un-restored 55 President coupe in the man cave. It has a combination of plastic insulated and cloth insulated wires. Most of the main harness is plastic. However, branch wires like the ones from the headlights to the relay, and some gauge connecting wires are cloth insulated. We have had these discussions before. Studebaker probably phased in all plastic as they exhausted their supply of cloth insulated component wiring.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

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                • #9
                  Mine is a -55 & has cloth wiring.

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                  • #10
                    John is correct -- we've had these discussions before. I have a 59 4E40, and while the main wiring harness is plastic coated, many of the stand-alone pieces (map light, two-speed axle) are still cloth coated. My 54 3R6 is 100% cloth-coated.
                    Skip Lackie

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                    • #11
                      I don't know about the trucks, but my '57 Packard wagon had mixed wires, some cloth, mostly plastic.
                      Chip
                      '63 Cruiser
                      '57 Packard wagon
                      '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
                      '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gnaar1 View Post
                        I have a 55 e series pickup. I am rewiring it with original style wiring. What kind of covering did they use to bundle the wiring together, tape, cloth, etc? Thanks for any help.
                        NOT$$, but then you will be dealing with documented facts, not noses!

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