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Wiring Harness for '64 Daytona

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  • Electrical: Wiring Harness for '64 Daytona

    I think the issue with my Daytona may be electrical rather than carb related. Basically my issue is as follows: I'm driving along (usually in 2nd or 3rd gear) and the car just stops.....like you turned the key off. No sputtering. Just dies. Often I can put it in neutral and crank it to start again before it ever stops rolling.

    Car has electric fuel pump. That doesn't seem to be the issue. Also has a Mallory electronic distributor. We changed out the ignition but the problem persists....but not all the time. You could go three or four days without it acting up. No apparent lose wires or poor grounds found so far.

    Looking under the dash it appears this car has had some electrical stuff done to it along the way. Another issue has been that while driving at night, (which I rarely do) the headlights will go off and on intermittently. Frankly, I think all the wiring looks a bit crinkly. Our guess is that the car is intermittently shorting out somewhere in the ignition system. A worn wire occasionally shorting out against something metal under the dash perhaps.

    To my question: How big a job is it to install a brand new wiring harness? Look like the harness (front and back) would run me about $400 but I think installing it is a bit beyond my skill level - although I've done basic electrical stuff on my own before. Has anyone done it? Am I better off having it done professionally?

    Note: When the car is running...it runs great. Purrs like a kitten. Plenty of power. But then suddenly it just turns off - but not always.

    Any thoughts/opinions/guidance is appreciated.
    David Daoust
    Stratham, NH
    '64 Daytona convertible

  • #2
    Weak headlight circuit breakers is a known issue. Your sudden stalling sounds to me like the ignition switch is one the way out.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by David Daoust View Post
      I think the issue with my Daytona may be electrical rather than carb related. Basically my issue is as follows: I'm driving along (usually in 2nd or 3rd gear) and the car just stops.....like you turned the key off. No sputtering. Just dies. Often I can put it in neutral and crank it to start again before it ever stops rolling.

      Car has electric fuel pump. That doesn't seem to be the issue. Also has a Mallory electronic distributor. We changed out the ignition but the problem persists....but not all the time. You could go three or four days without it acting up. No apparent lose wires or poor grounds found so far.

      Looking under the dash it appears this car has had some electrical stuff done to it along the way. Another issue has been that while driving at night, (which I rarely do) the headlights will go off and on intermittently. Frankly, I think all the wiring looks a bit crinkly. Our guess is that the car is intermittently shorting out somewhere in the ignition system. A worn wire occasionally shorting out against something metal under the dash perhaps.

      To my question: How big a job is it to install a brand new wiring harness? Look like the harness (front and back) would run me about $400 but I think installing it is a bit beyond my skill level - although I've done basic electrical stuff on my own before. Has anyone done it? Am I better off having it done professionally?

      Note: When the car is running...it runs great. Purrs like a kitten. Plenty of power. But then suddenly it just turns off - but not always.

      Any thoughts/opinions/guidance is appreciated.
      Remember, the first rule in troubleshooting is to look for the simplest answer first.

      Your problem isn't a short circuit, it's an open one. A short circuit will blow a fuse or melt your wiring. With the headlights presenting the same behavior, it sounds like you're losing main buss power and/or ignition power. Do the lights and the engine quit at the same time? As another poster suggested, I'd check everything in the main power coming into the dash. While parked and idling, jiggle wire around under the dash and hood that are in the ignition circuitry. Flex the main harness coming through the firewall - if you have a loose connection or a compromised wire, the engine will quit when you do this. Two questions: Is the wiring in bad condition generally and does everything else electrical still work when the engine had quit on you?

      Changing a harness can be challenging but if you proceed slowly, have the car's schematic and pull the dash, it isn't that bad. Trying to do it with the dash in place is not fun because of the trouble with access and being unable to easily get to all of the things you have to disconnect and reconnect. Pulling the dash may sound intimidating but if you follow factory manual procedures, it's not that difficult. If you have a friend with electrical experience that would be a big help.

      If you re-wire it, when you connect battery make sure all of the electrical systems are turned off - if you see a spark at the battery, stop and investigate what's drawing current - could be courtesy lights, the clock or some other small circuit that still turned on; if you get a large arc, disconnect immediately and investigate. I did a '60 Lark this way very successfully and am about to rewire a "48 Commander but I wouldn't consider doing it without pulling the dash. This is one of the few areas where a mistake can turn the car into a fire so you've got to proceed carefully and take your time.

      Comment


      • #4
        During the time that the engine is dead, can you operate the Turn Signals, Heater Fan, Wipers?
        All these are Powered by the "ON or Run" position of the Ignition Switch, if all are dead, it's the switch or a loose wire to it or the Solenoid where all Power comes from.

        My other thought because of the intermittent issue, is the Ignition COIL heating up and failing, has that been replaced?
        If it's a Pertronix, the 40,000 Volt ones are from China, and are known to fail, the Flamethrower II, 45,000 are from USA.

        Not likely a short (it's an "Open") and not likely needing a Harness.
        But if you are up for removing the dash, installing a Harness is a piece of Cake!

        The flashing Headlights is usually poor connections at the Floor mounted Dimmer Switch (Moisture in a Convertible?) or a failing Dimmer Switch, that high resistance triggers the Circuit Breaker, turning Lights off.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all.
          David Daoust
          Stratham, NH
          '64 Daytona convertible

          Comment


          • #6
            The headlight were going on and off on my '64 Daytona. One of the connectors on the headlight switch was loose.

            Comment


            • #7
              My Champ would stop dead suddenly-I had a loose connection at the ammeter! On the headlights- make sure your circuit breaker is properly grounded in its holder attached to the metal dash support.
              Rob in PA.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gordr View Post
                Weak headlight circuit breakers is a known issue. Your sudden stalling sounds to me like the ignition switch is one the way out.
                Replaced the ignition switch.....issue persists. Thank you.
                David Daoust
                Stratham, NH
                '64 Daytona convertible

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you ran the simple test in Post #4 even after the New Ign. Sw., and do we know that the CURRENT Ignition Coil is good?
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If the car still has a pink resistor wire going to coil + it would be suspect. One other item, rare, but I've seen this caused by a starter solenoid shorting internally.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well....it appears we've solved the problem. My mechanic found a rusty/crusty ground as well as a few loose wire-to-wire connectors under the dash. Took it for a shake-down run last night to a local car cruise and she ran without issue. Also got hemmed-in at the show and had to stay later than I had planned which forced me to drive home at near dark. Headlights also performed without issue. I'll run it some more this weekend but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks all for the input and advice.

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                      David Daoust
                      Stratham, NH
                      '64 Daytona convertible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Glad you solved it. Just for general knowledge, for those (like me) who are at the point of needing wiring harness for total rebuild, LarkWorks in Kansas has been GREAT to work with so far. I got Dawn's name from Brent Hagan, who's gotten a lot of work done there and has high praise for the quality and originality of EVERYTHING. She graduated with a 4-yr degree in auto restoration (only 4yr program in America?! Where was that when I went to school?). And used to do aircraft wiring, so knows her stuff. She is building my '57 Golden Hawk harnesses (ALL wiring, not just 'main harness') directly from Studebaker drawings, and recently in chatting about my '28 President (languishing up on the farm at Dad's yet, a 'survivor'), she is eagerly getting prints for the '28 FB and building THAT harness for me too. So, just passing on a good reference. Only thing she does. Website Larkworks.com, and email is info@larkworks.com and name is Dawn.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bsrosell View Post
                          Glad you solved it. Just for general knowledge, for those (like me) who are at the point of needing wiring harness for total rebuild, LarkWorks in Kansas has been GREAT to work with so far. I got Dawn's name from Brent Hagan, who's gotten a lot of work done there and has high praise for the quality and originality of EVERYTHING. She graduated with a 4-yr degree in auto restoration (only 4yr program in America?! Where was that when I went to school?). And used to do aircraft wiring, so knows her stuff. She is building my '57 Golden Hawk harnesses (ALL wiring, not just 'main harness') directly from Studebaker drawings, and recently in chatting about my '28 President (languishing up on the farm at Dad's yet, a 'survivor'), she is eagerly getting prints for the '28 FB and building THAT harness for me too. So, just passing on a good reference. Only thing she does. Website Larkworks.com, and email is info@larkworks.com and name is Dawn.
                          Thank you. I'll keep that in mind.
                          David Daoust
                          Stratham, NH
                          '64 Daytona convertible

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