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rewire a 52 champion

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  • rewire a 52 champion

    how hard would it be to rewire a 52 champion?, can you buy replacement harness?, what do you think it would cost at a shop to have it done?

  • #2
    Just started rewiring my 52 Commander yesterday. I bought the wiring harnesses from Studebaker International for a cost of $314. These are the front, rear, overdrive, and front turn signals. They come with the correct color codes and connectors. This is plastic, not cloth covered wire. I've only rewired the rear so far, but it went well. After seeing the old wiring, I can't believe the tail lights worked at all.
    Terry

    1952 Commander Starlight

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    • #3
      I rewired my 51 a couple of years ago. Took about 6 - 8 hours altogether as I remember it. Unless you are an originality nut, use the plastic insulated wire. The trick is to rewire from the hole through the firewall foward, then from the hole through the firewall to the dash. All the dash gauges will come out forward (at least on the 51), and you can wire them while you sit up in the seat. It is not a hard job, especially if you get the harness with the labels printed on the wires. Also print out the wire schematic from the shop manual to refer to when you have questions. Do it yourself, you don't need a shop! Good luck!

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      • #4
        New wire harnesses are available from a number of Stude Vendors, as well as most harness specialists (expect to pay more).

        If authenticity (lacquer coated braided cloth) excites you, expect to be excited to the tune of $750. YnZ's makes a beautiful new braided wire harness.

        Then there's the labor of installing. Do it yourself (it's a satisfying experience) or pay someone $300-$500.
        Any good shop could rewire it but you won't be happy with the appearence and can pay at least twice what's already estimated here.

        Brad Johnson
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe I'm crazy, but I plan on making my own wiring harness for my '51. I figure I'll remove the old one, stretch it out on a sheet of plywood, drive two rows of nails for the main harness to lay between and then use nails to locate the wires branching off. Small finish nails or staples will be used to secure the ends in place and I'll identify on the board what they connect to. Then I'll start stringing out new wire of different colors, crimp and solder new connectors, use shrink tubing where needed and identify the color of wire next to the item it connected to. When that's all done, I'll tightly secure the bundles of wires with either zip ties or small hose clamps and start wrapping with black tape. Since I plan on converting to 12V and add AC, a good alternator and a buss ternimal or two, I will need to add additional wires and heavier wires where needed. That way, when it's all said and done, I won't have extra wires hanging around outside of the main harness. I'm sure there's folks out there that have done such stuff before, so am I missing something?

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

            Maybe I'm crazy, but I plan on making my own wiring harness for my '51. I figure I'll remove the old one, stretch it out on a sheet of plywood, drive two rows of nails for the main harness to lay between and then use nails to locate the wires branching off. Small finish nails or staples will be used to secure the ends in place and I'll identify on the board what they connect to. Then I'll start stringing out new wire of different colors, crimp and solder new connectors, use shrink tubing where needed and identify the color of wire next to the item it connected to. When that's all done, I'll tightly secure the bundles of wires with either zip ties or small hose clamps and start wrapping with black tape. Since I plan on converting to 12V and add AC, a good alternator and a buss ternimal or two, I will need to add additional wires and heavier wires where needed. That way, when it's all said and done, I won't have extra wires hanging around outside of the main harness. I'm sure there's folks out there that have done such stuff before, so am I missing something?
            John, that doesn't sound crazy to me. I think that's basically the way that the OEM harnesses were assembled on a jig. I was thinking of doing the same thing for a project of mine. I bought a roll of tubular gauze bandage from the drugstore, and figure I can slip the wire bundles through it, with multiple layers of gauze, and then spray-paint the gauze black to simulate the original braided jacket.

            Is there a scrapyard anywhere near you where they part out old transit buses? You can get lots of nice, un-weathered cloth/rubber insulated wire from interior harnesses in old coaches.

            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              would you have to tear out all the interior to do this job? the car is complete but the headlights/tail lights are not working, it has been patched together

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              • #8
                I haven't heard of a Beatnick for many a year. Welcome to the forum.

                No, you don't have to tear the interior apart. the wires for the rear can go under the car, or along the molding along the door-sills. It's not difficult, just time consuming. Whilst you have the wiring apart, you can convert to twelve volt, if it hasn't already been done.

                Be cool, dude. It's easy, man.


                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                Lotsa Larks!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                Ron Smith
                Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Spelling Beatnic with a k just makes me "HOWL". I can't wait to help Beatnic get his '52 "ON THE ROAD".
                  Maynard G. Krebs probably road in a Studebaker. If it was a '52, the rear harness did run along the frame, not under the carpet. The dome light harness would have run through the pillars and above the headliner.
                  My earlier estimate of the cost of a braided harness was a couple years old. Today I priced them and they run from $850 to $985.[:0]

                  Brad Johnson
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
                  "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                  Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    it has been converted to a 12 volt...


                    the speedometer is working... would i just unplug the gauges and plug them into the new wire under the dash?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Beg pardon? Beatnic is the proper spelling (if proper could be applied to such a person)? Sorry, my Mum always spelled it with a 'k'. So did I. My sister's boy friends didn't mind. So, I always thought it was Beatnick.[:I][)] Hopefully, Brad, you were howling in laughter, not anger.

                      quote:would i just unplug the gauges and plug them into the new wire under the dash?
                      Yes, exactly. When I did my Lark wagonaire, I didn't remove the original harness till each section was finished. I cut the original harness where it goes through the firewall and passed the engine compartment and lighting harness through, then I started swapping the wires new for old. I don't envy you as on my '52 the wires aren't as varied as on my Lark. This would make it more difficult. The trade off is, as has been previously mentioned, you may be able to just drop the instruments out of the dash toward you. Much easier than a Lark, let me tell you! Just take your time. Remember, these cars were assembled in such a way that each of these items had to be hooked up in a very short time. Therefore it has to be rather simple by nature.
                      Don't rush, take your time, and you will find it's not that difficult. It just looks daunting.

                      Oh! as to the dome light, attach a stout string to the end of it (or even a wire) and pull the old wire out. This threads the other in the old path. Attach the new wire (tie or twist) onto the thredding string or wire and just pull it through. Electricians like my father would have called this 'pulling wire'.


                      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                      Lotsa Larks!
                      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                      Ron Smith
                      Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
                      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                      Ron Smith
                      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Howl is a poem by poet Allen Ginsberg. It is considered to be one of the principal works of the Beat Generation along with Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Just a little subterranean humor.[}]
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We're mixing Kerouac, Ginsberg and Maynard G. Krebs all in the same thread? Wow! Add Ferlinghetti and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and it's no wonder Studebakers still live! I knew I would find lots of incredible info on this forum.

                          Las Vegas, NV
                          '51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

                            Maybe I'm crazy, but I plan on making my own wiring harness for my '51. I figure I'll remove the old one, stretch it out on a sheet of plywood, drive two rows of nails for the main harness to lay between and then use nails to locate the wires branching off. Small finish nails or staples will be used to secure the ends in place and I'll identify on the board what they connect to. Then I'll start stringing out new wire of different colors, crimp and solder new connectors, use shrink tubing where needed and identify the color of wire next to the item it connected to. When that's all done, I'll tightly secure the bundles of wires with either zip ties or small hose clamps and start wrapping with black tape. Since I plan on converting to 12V and add AC, a good alternator and a buss ternimal or two, I will need to add additional wires and heavier wires where needed. That way, when it's all said and done, I won't have extra wires hanging around outside of the main harness. I'm sure there's folks out there that have done such stuff before, so am I missing something?
                            John, many places like Ron Francis, American Auto Wire, etc., sell complete harness kits in varying styles. I won't say your crazy, but you may have too much time on your hands (j/k). Most of these are modular in nature and car be as basic as you'd want with the ability to add additional circuits. I've made a harness for a race car and this beats doing that by a country mile. Just my opinion.

                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Tom - Valrico, FL

                            1964 Studebaker Daytona

                            Tom - Bradenton, FL

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

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                            • #15
                              Oh this is great!!!

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