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  • Electrical: Wiring troubleshooting advice

    I need some advice for troubleshooting and fixing the wiring on my dad’s ’64 GT since I’m not very confident in my skills in this area.
    I think that in the process of reinstalling the correct parking brake handle assembly that my dad had completely removed earlier, I think I may have inadvertently disturbed some wiring under the dash and now the car is completely dead. No brake lights, headlights, nothing.
    Confirmed that the battery is indeed fully charged.
    First thing, my dad converted from an ammeter to a voltmeter.
    There is a wire hanging down that is just bare stranded wire that is just loosely wrapped with red electrical tape.
    I’m guessing that in the process of converting to the voltmeter he had something connected wrong and fried the wire. I can follow it up to going into the large, original tape wrapped wiring harness.
    The loose end I don’t know where it should go.
    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    does it start and run? did it run after the voltmeter mod? send a picture or 2 of this loose wire
    multi-meter or test light to battery terminal on ignition switch and ground it, then you know power is getting into the cockpit

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    • #3
      Almost all the electrical power for the car ran thru the amp gauge , I would start your search for the problem at the amp gauge wiring or the former amp gauge wiring , Ed

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      • #4
        I don't think there is any advantage to having a voltmeter rather than an ammeter. It does, however, necessitate changes in the wiring as jts359 points out in #3 above. Maybe change it back to original? (Automotive wiring always confuses me.)
        -Dwight

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        • #5
          My dad changed it to a voltmeter because many, many years ago I gave him a chromed Powermaster Chrysler type alternator for Christmas, and in the instructions it says that they recommend converting to a voltmeter.
          The car of course has started and run for many years after he did this. The problem is my dad didn’t always do things the proper way. He would bubblegum and baling wire things to get them to work, and I would like to correct it.
          Only problem converting back to an ammeter is that he mangled the light box that the gauge goes into to make the voltmeter fit.

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          • #6
            and the journey begins, pictures dude, and someone will nail it

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            • #7
              All you can do is 1) get a diagram. Just google '1964 Studebaker wiring diagram. Take your pick and print. There is one in the shop manual which you MUST have. 2) start tracing wires. Be sure the battery is grounded to the engine and connections are clean. Be sure engine is grounded to the frame of the car. Start tracing wires. Begin with the big fat wire that is the hot lead from solenoid to the ign switch. Everything is dependant on it for power. Trace your mystery wire back to where it comes from. Color coding is helpful but over the years colors fade a traces vanish. The worst case is a system that has been molested by some doofus with no knowledge and no concern for safety. Just go thru it systematically and you'll find it! Put the ammeter back. You should be able to find one on line or use a new SW--the look almost the same as original--there's just a little "SW" on the face. Good luck (It'll be a great learning experience---you might even broaden your vocabulary) (and you must get a VOM--they're cheap and tou don't need a spendy one)

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              • #8
                I’ve determined that the bare, stranded wire that was loosely wrapped in electrical tape goes to the gas gauge.
                I’ve burned up that same wire on my ‘63 Hawk when I had it connected wrong.

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                • #9
                  Chances are the light box can be repaired,a 12 ga red wire feeds the - side of the amp gauge. find it and start looking at your Dads work. the + side of the gauge feeds/fed the rest. if a wire is loose /fried you found a good place to start. Kinko,s blew up a wiring diagram to 36x36 for a few bucks, life saver!!! keep at it and you will win out in the end. Luck Doofus

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                  • #10
                    I'm no Tesla but I do know voltmeters and ammeters are different and are wired differently. So, like doofus says start there. I think you can find a nice diagram at Studebaker parts online. I'd still replace the voltmeter

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                    • #11
                      I am also working on a 64 GT. 2 things I can offer. # 1. take your wiring diagram page out of the book and get it enlarged at your local copy shop. get extra copies!!!! I removed 2 complete dashes from 64 Hawks and took plenty of pictures of all the connections if that will help you. PM me for e mail.

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                      • #12
                        Yes label everything but with the all important caveat-- the wires may very well be hooked up wrong. Consider it a starting point only and check every circuit for correctness before powering it! ( I speak from smokey , melted insulation experience!)

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the advice.
                          I have a nice big wiring diagram (in color and laminated).
                          As I was starting, I discovered the ignition bezel was just barely being held on by one of the retaining hooks, and have ordered a new one from SI. Unfortunately it’s on back order. So until that shows up, I’m not connecting the battery. I hate to say it, but I’m not going to change out the voltmeter. That’s going to be the next owners project, since once I have this problem fixed and the car running I’ll be putting it up for sale.

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