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wiring harness

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  • wiring harness

    I just got a 53 Commander hardtop that has been converted to 12V but not sure how well. I was going to get a new wiring harness for a 1953 ( dash forward from Studebaker International ) and use it and wire as 12 v. Would I be better getting a wiring harness from a later model year that was a standard 12V. Not sure what year the change was made.

    You guys are great at answers.

    Mike DeLapp

  • #2
    The change in Studebakers from 6 volt to 12 volt was between the 1955 and 1956 model years. Since your car is not stock, I would not go with original cloth covered wires as used in 1953. Go with modern wires, no matter where you buy them (SI, Studebakers West or ?) or if you decide to re-wire it yourself.

    Gary L.
    1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
    1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer


    • #3
      I would not be afraid to use a '53 wiring harness on 12V, the wires will actually be larger gauge on that harness as 6V systems require more current for the same power (i.e. if the wiper motor draws 5A on 12V, a 6V motor of similar design and equivalent power would draw 10A.)

      I do agree that cloth covered wires are bad from a durability standpoint however. I would stay away from NOS unless it's been well stored and is still supple. I wouldn't spend the money for a repro cloth covered harness, I'd rather have one made with modern wire instead, even though it won't be "show correct."


      55 Commander Starlight
      62 Daytona hardtop
      55 Commander Starlight


      • #4
        If you decide to wire with aftermarket I can give you recommendations.
        I have an EZ-Wire 12 circuit kit in my 55 Commander Coupe, it was a piece of cake to install.

        If you are a novice I used a Painless wiring kit once and the
        instructions are excellent as well as the phone in tech support.

        Good luck


        • #5
          There are freshly made harnesses available for your '53 that are accurate down to the color codes and various gages but are made from the vinyl-coated wiring of modern cars. I bought one such from Studebakers West for my '53. [8D]

          Miscreant at large.

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          1957 President 2-dr
          1955 President State
          1951 Champion Biz cpe
          1963 Daytona project FS
          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


          • #6
            The good thing about a newer aftermarket harness such as Painless, Ron Francis, E-Z, etc., is that it has a dedicated fuse panel with modern blade type fuses. Most of the OEM stuff is in-line glass fused. If the car isn't stock and originality isn't a concern, this would be the way to go.

            Tom - Lakeland, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona

            Michigan Speed -
            Club Hot Rod -
            LS1 Tech -
            Tom - Bradenton, FL

            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
            1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD