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  • Electrical: Rewire under dash

    How difficult is it to replace the wires under the dash? While changing out gauges I realized everything under the dash is a mess. There are loose wires hanging everywhere and some have power on them. One of the wires which I thought was from the cigar lighter shorted out when I bumped it against a ground source and the key was not even in the ignition. Can the dash be moved out enough to get to the wiring without disconnecting everything? Thanks

  • #2
    If it's your 57 Hawk, If you go far enough to get the dash loose, I would remove it and then wire. This is how I wired my 53

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    • #3
      I did my 51 with the dash in, but the guage pods out. It was tough, but doable. Make sure you keep track of things and mark wires clearly.
      1962 Champ

      51 Commander 4 door

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kurt View Post
        Make sure you keep track of things and mark wires clearly.
        Kurt's statement works very well as long as someone else has not been playing around hacking up and patching the wires before you.

        If you have a decent skill level, this is your opportunity to do it your way. Since you are not constrained with production schedules, cutting corners for profit reasons, and all the other stuff that manufacturers have to deal with, you can make it better than new. The great thing here is that once you finish, only you will know since it is neatly tucked away out of sight. When doing a re-wire, you can build in an updated fuse block, terminal blocks, modern wire, and bundle the wires through heat shrink as a wire loom instead of the old electrical tape, friction tape, and metal wire ties of the past.


        For under dash, you might want to bundle the wires using wire ties neatly to be able to easily follow and trace wires should future work be required. If you are fortunate to have a good electronics wholesale supply nearby, it is conceivable that you could reasonably buy enough color coded wire to keep the original factory color scheme intact.(That is if you have a copy of your car's wiring diagram.)


        Good luck with your project.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          Is there an underdash wiring harness available?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chucks Stude View Post
            Is there an underdash wiring harness available?
            Check with Studebakers West. I believe they do both standard and custom wiring harnesses. http://www.studebakerswest.net/
            Pat Dilling
            Olivehurst, CA
            Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


            LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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            • #7
              They don't show one. It would seem to me that might be a good seller. A lot of Studes have undesirable dash wiring. I got a wiring harness from them some years ago and it did not have underdash wiring.

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              • #8
                I just got a complete harness set from Studebakers West and it contained everything, including under-dash connections. Not only that, it's a work of art with all those colors ;-)

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                • #9
                  I have a 62 GT, and I do not think on that year that they have underdash wiring. I know it is not available as a seperate item.

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                  • #10
                    I did my 61 Hawk in the car, it's a pain in the ass. One suggestion, take out the front seat! -Jim

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                    • #11
                      Did my '63 Hawk w/ dash out of car - Much easier. Idea of removing the front seat is also great - will do that when i upgrade wiring for a larger capacity alternator; it is a real back-breaker otherwise.
                      Paul K

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                      • #12
                        Hi all..
                        High on my to do list is to "detail" the engine compartment.. The wiring harness looks to be in good shape but has 48 years of deterioration to the wrap and over spray etc. on it.. Can anyone tell me what is "proper" to wrap the harness with.. To freshen it up.. Plain old electricians tape looks to be too glossy..
                        Ron

                        Originally posted by jrlemke View Post
                        I did my 61 Hawk in the car, it's a pain in the ass. One suggestion, take out the front seat! -Jim
                        Ron Husak
                        Conifer, CO
                        Living at 9200 feet and lovin it!
                        63 avanti R2 63R-2648

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                        • #13
                          I got my replacement harness custom made from Studebakers West. I rewired the car with the dash in, gauges out. There's a three-part epic on my blog if you want to read it

                          Starts here --> http://studeblogger.blogspot.com/200...ent-day-1.html

                          Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ronhusak View Post
                            Hi all..
                            High on my to do list is to "detail" the engine compartment.. The wiring harness looks to be in good shape but has 48 years of deterioration to the wrap and over spray etc. on it.. Can anyone tell me what is "proper" to wrap the harness with.. To freshen it up.. Plain old electricians tape looks to be too glossy..
                            Ron
                            Friction tape is a possibility.
                            '53 Commander
                            Art Morrison chassis
                            LS6 ASA/4L60E

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                            • #15
                              I have built several wiring harnesses. I bought one, but have built the rest. The reason is I am a CASO, and I like the challenge. Instead of tape, I used different sizes of heat shrink tubing for the wire loom. It is neat, clean, and looks great. I am not sure how difficult it would be on an already made up wiring harness to disconnect wires and slip heat shrink over the assembly. It might be fairly complicated.

                              I think that heat shrink tape is now available, but I am not sure how that would work and have never attempted to use it. Depending on the shrink rate...it would take some skill to know how much overlap to use for it to be effective. It might be worth looking into.
                              John Clary
                              Greer, SC

                              SDC member since 1975

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