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  • #16
    Rewire under dash

    Studebakers West supplied a wiring harness for my '47 Champion several years ago. Every wire was exactly the correct length, exactly the correct gauge and colour, and with all the correct terminals. The wires for rare accessories such as direction signals and fog lights were included. If they produce a similar quality harness for your car, in my opinion it is the only way to go.
    Very carefully label every wire in your old harness before you remove it from where it is attached. Then you can lay the two harnesses side-by-side to figure out which wire is which on the new one.
    Bill Jarvis

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    • #17
      Correct 3/4" non-adhesive wrapping tape is available from a firm in Pennsylvania, I think. I'll have to look up the contact info when I'm back in the shop. Don't use friction or electrical tape as engine or under-dash heat will cause it to go sticky and create an awful mess. I've had to re-wrap harnesses that have been done that way - a real sticky mess. After unwrapping and then removing the adhesive from my hands, I had to clean the adhesive from all the wires with varsol before repairing and re-wrapping with the correct tape. Use a 50% overlap and figure 8 the wrap at the end thru the wires and then tie off.

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      • #18
        There is no such thing as a dash wiring only on a Stude....it is part of the main harness and there are no connectors that seperate between the firewall. In other words, the engine side and the dash side are one unit. (at least on post war cars I have seen)
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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        • #19
          WCP..
          If you wouldn't mind looking that up it would be a big help..
          Thanks
          Ron

          Originally posted by WCP View Post
          Correct 3/4" non-adhesive wrapping tape is available from a firm in Pennsylvania, I think. I'll have to look up the contact info when I'm back in the shop. Don't use friction or electrical tape as engine or under-dash heat will cause it to go sticky and create an awful mess. I've had to re-wrap harnesses that have been done that way - a real sticky mess. After unwrapping and then removing the adhesive from my hands, I had to clean the adhesive from all the wires with varsol before repairing and re-wrapping with the correct tape. Use a 50% overlap and figure 8 the wrap at the end thru the wires and then tie off.
          Ron Husak
          Conifer, CO
          Living at 9200 feet and lovin it!
          63 avanti R2 63R-2648

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          • #20
            On my '53, when changing to 12V, I discovered that the cloth-covered wires were so deteriorated that a rewire of the whole car was absolutely necessary. Not being a restoration, I did not concern myself with being absolutely factory-looking. My wife had bought me an 18-circuit wiring harness on eBay that I was going to use on my '40 Ford (will need to get another), so I used that. It was not a high-dollar Painless or Ron Francis, but, with some careful separating of the various bundles to parts of the car (rear, engine, front, dash, etc), I was able to make a good looking an practical rewire. The real nice thing about the aftermarket harnesses is the marking of the wires every 5" plus the color coding.

            I pulled the dash (easy) and made a bracket to mount the fuse panel in a mostly convenient position in front of the dash to the left of the steering column. To maintain access I moved all cable controls to the right side of the steering column.

            I bought rolls of shrink tubing at Harbor Freight and used those almost entirely to wrap the branches of the harness. Works great and looks very neat. Under the dash, I used tie wraps closely spaced.

            One main change I made was to add plugs so I could remove the dash in the future without having to disconnect wires. Locally, I bought a 6-wire plug and receptical set (waterproof but not needed) for the turn signals and bought connectors from a firm called Waytek (I now have enough connectors to make probably 30 harness plugs in the future) for the thru-the-firewall connection. It is just behind the firewall. (Contact me if you want to buy a set from me)

            With the '53, I had to make adjustment for such items as the clutch pedal starter switch, etc. I had a lot of extra wire from non-used circuits of the harness, so that was not a problem. I soldered most splices and shrink wrapped. I crimped most of the connections. I had to buy a lot of end connectors because the particular kit did not contain them (as does Painless). That includes the plug connectors used by Studebaker on the switches instead of spade type connectors.

            The overall kit was about $125. I probably could have done the whole thing for less than $200, but I did spend about $75 on the special plugs, which I consider worth doing.

            In summary, I recommend a complete rewire, as >50-year old wiriing should be considered suspect at best. Don't be afraid of it, just take your time and make sure you understand what you are doing.
            Last edited by irishjr; 04-07-2011, 08:02 PM.
            sigpic
            Old Car Guy....New Stude Guy

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            • #21
              The correct wrapping tape is available from:
              Harnesses Unlimited,
              Division of Pantech Inc.,
              PO Box 435,
              Wayne, PA
              610-688-3998

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              • #22
                I recommend you order a new harness from Studebaker West. I just ordered mine. He said he had to make it for my 1951 Land cruiser. He told me it would take 4 to six weeks to receive it, and I got it within 4 days. WoW! I'm impressed. The quality of the harness is outstanding. Complete with the correct wire code and everything, it even included a starter wire that lead to the floor. I have the dash mounted one, but now I might put mine back on the floor.
                If you order through Studebaker West (which I recommend,) then I wouldn't worry about comparing your harnesses with the new one and try to remember the wiring set up on which you can't figure out anyway, just go to a good copy shop and take your shop manual down there and have them print you up a poster size version of your wiring diagram. Then tack it to your wall directly behind where you'll be working. Take out the dash, put in your gages, and take out the front seat, and rewire that thing. And you'll be done instead of trying to rewire it yourself. Good luck with the wiring. I've almost got all of my dash work behind me already.
                Glenn
                California City, CA
                Last edited by MyStude_51; 04-07-2011, 07:56 PM.

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                • #23
                  WCP..
                  THanks so much for the information..
                  Ron Husak


                  Originally posted by WCP View Post
                  The correct wrapping tape is available from:
                  Harnesses Unlimited,
                  Division of Pantech Inc.,
                  PO Box 435,
                  Wayne, PA
                  610-688-3998
                  Ron Husak
                  Conifer, CO
                  Living at 9200 feet and lovin it!
                  63 avanti R2 63R-2648

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Thanks for all of the great information.

                    Showbizkid, I enjoyed your three part story on your rewiring job.

                    I have spent a lot of time (and money) trying to get my 57 silver hawk on the road. I have replaced everything in the brake system except the backing plates. Pulled the gas tank, sealed and painted it along with new fuel line. I have installed a new fuel pump, rebuilt the carburetor, the generator and the starter. Also new points, plugs and plug wires. I was ready to get my insurance and tag it. The only things I had left to do was get the fuel and temp gauge working. I stuck my head under the dash and realized what A mess I had. There is one place where about six inches of the wiring harness has melted. There are bare wires everywhere. It runs great but there is no way I can drive it like it is. I am not a mechanic but have managed to get to this point with help from this forum and my shop manual. Hopefully I can get this done as well. I have a friend who is restoring a 69 Camaro. He took it to a shop and had it rewired. They took two months and charged him $2,000. I think he was ripped off. However, even if that is the going price, I cannot afford it.

                    I have contacted Studebaker West about a wiring harness but as they do not list one for my car I doubt they will make one. I have not been able to find wire color coded like was used originally. Is this available? I have found ten different colors (including blue and pink) which I guess I can use if it comes to that.

                    Thanks again

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                    • #25
                      When we were restoring our '54 Commander Starliner, I replaced all the wiring with harnesses from Studebakers West. When I got them, I spent some time labeling each terminal by cross-referencing to the wiring diagram. I used masking tape so that when I was actually installing it, there were no large tags to get in the way. When I did the rewiring, all the old harnesses were out of the car, but I already had the dash in place. I did, however, have the instrument panel and toggle switch plate out of the dash so it was a bit easier to get all the wire ends in the right place.

                      Installing new harnesses is not rocket science; just work slowly and double check your work as you go along. By the way, when I said I labeled each wire, I did it based on the color coding. As far as I remember, all of the individual wires in the Studebakers West harnesses matched the color coding on the wiring diagram.
                      Kindest regards,

                      Alan Mende
                      Grantville, PA

                      I'm not a mechanic; I don't even play one on TV.

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                      • #26
                        Generally, the wire under the wrap is as good as new. If you remove the complete harness, it can be rebuilt by replacing sections of each wire with a comparable piece of same gauge wire removed from a position under the wrap and splicing that piece in at the exposed ends. The substituted pieces can be any color since they will be covered by the new wrap. However I try to match the colors if possible any don't worry about the color traces. The splices can be accomplished by feathering the stripped ends, merging them completely, and then using a single copper strand of fine wire, wrap 4 or 5 turns around the feathered section to bind it, and then solder the joint. Be sure to place the shrink tubing on the wire before making the splice. You may forget a few times, if you don't think about it. Splices of this type will disappear under the new wrap. It won't take long to get the hang of making splices this way. Before starting the rebuild, it is best to lay out the harness before unwrapping and record the position and length of branches and terminal details. I usually make a schematic sketch of the harness with lengths and details noted, to aid in the rewrapping. As you unwrap the harness you will see how the original was wrapped to avoid slacking off of the wrap. Good luck and have fun!

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                        • #27
                          I bet Studebakers West can do the harness for you. They have all the original specs and make them to order. My '63 is a one-year, unique harness. Took 'em about 2 weeks. Either way, I hope you can get your car licensed and on the road soon!

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

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                          • #28
                            We got a complete harness for our 56 Flight Hawk from SI. It was actually for a '57, but worked just fine! You might want to give them a call.
                            Call (317) 462-3124 or e-mail jim@studebaker-intl.com.
                            http://www.studebaker-intl.com/2010_catalog_.html pg 190 in the electrical section of the catalog.

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