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new to club, 49 businessman's coupe questions

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  • Electrical: new to club, 49 businessman's coupe questions

    I'm hoping someone with more Studebaker experience than I can help with this. I recently acquired a 49 Champion business coupe, a nice survivor with 59K, solid, original paint and fun to drive. One of the things I need to fix is the wiring, which is in poor shape; the old cloth insulation and coverings are badly deteriorated. For the moment, the car is operational with a lot of liquid electrical tape patches. I'll be ordering a replacement harness, at least for the front, very soon. Question - I'm thinking of cutting the old harness at the firewall, removing the dash and rewiring it on the bench, then reinstalling it, passing the new wiring into the engine compartment as I do. Does that sound workable? Is replacing the rear harness even feasible without removing the headliner? Another electrical issue is the absence of turn signals and heater defroster. Seems like I ought to be able to add those wires with the new harness. What Studebakers of that era had a turn signal switch compatible with my car?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    Ron
    Last edited by Ron Smith; 02-04-2015, 08:26 PM.

  • #2
    Liquid Tape is a very good product and should work fine until you get the new harness. I don't see where the headliner even enters the picture, other than a wire for a dome light. Laying on your back to work on the rear of the dash isn't much fun, especially when you get past 60, but if the remove the gauges, you should have good access the the switches.

    BTW, I also have a 49 Champ business coupe, and it was a great joy to drive until some jerk ran a stop sign and T boned me. I still have the car, but it needs a lot of work now.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to SDC and to the SDC forum, your first step if you have not yet is to join SDC and your local Chapter, possibly the Portland, OR area Chapter.

      Yes you can remove the old Main Chassis Wiring Harness by just disconnecting all of the connections under the hood and pulling it through, or if you prefer, cut it just outside of the firewall.

      It is a great idea to remove the dash, you will be able to do a much better job than laying on your back under it. Just make notes as where all the removed parts and especially FASTENERS GO! A few Pictures will help.

      You can install the New one the reverse method. The Accessories were not part of the Main Harness, so some Turn Signal, Def. and Heater wires will probably not be there because these were additional cost Options when new and in their own small harness.

      The New Original duplicate Harnesses from our Studebaker SDC supplier Studebakers West, are the same as Original in every way, including the original color codes to match the Diagram in the Shop Manual.

      I hope you avoided any "we do um all" Classic Car replacement Harnesses.

      The turn signal Switch Box that attaches to the column would be hard to find, but they are out there. It would likely fit '47-'49 Champions only, the Studebaker Parts Catalogs will be your best tool for owning, buying parts and working on your Studebaker.

      If it was never there, it is hard to believe the car was ordered with no heat and defrost, it sure could not have been delivered to the Northwest. Maybe someone removed the Climitizer System to repair it, and never put it back.

      The Rear Harness only contains a Tail Light Wire, a Stop Light Wire and a Fuel Gauge sending unit wire, I am not sure if they included the Left and Right Stop/Turn wires needed for Turn Signals, I believe they did as other provisions for them were there like the Left & Right Arrows on the Speedometer and the holes in the tail light housings for a second Bulb Socket.

      At any rate it will be easy to replace it because it plugs in under the hood near the steering gear and runs along the frame under the car, there are no Dome Light wires in it.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the helpful comments. Yes, I already joined the club. The closest chapter to me is in Tacoma, and I listed that on my new member form. Will they contact me, or do I have to join that separately?

        You are right about the origin of the car. It was from California, and the studs for the heater still have the factory cardboard protectors on them - definitely never had the parts. Also explains the complete absence of rust.

        I think I will go ahead and replace the whole harness. Is the Studebakers West product any different than the one from Studebaker International? SI told me they could include the wire for my electric fuel pump for a slight upcharge. I think they are both probably modern style plastic wires, hopefully at least cloth covered. I am debating those vs getting a more original style, but significantly more expensive one from Lark Works. I'm still figuring out the suppliers, and should try SW. FWIW, SI did recommend the SDC, and had them send me your (our) nice publication Turning Wheels.

        I made the comment about the headliner because I already found the wire for the interior lights in the right pillar while installing a windshield visor. Managed to ground it with a screw, but all is well now. Good to know that the rest of the harness is easy, and that provisions were there for a dealer upgrade on the turn signals.

        Comment


        • #5
          Stude West and SI harnesses are NOT cloth-covered. For that you have to go to YNZ or Rhode Island. They both have the braiding machines and put cloth covers on modern wire. But that is much more $$$...

          http://www.ynzyesterdaysparts.com/
          http://www.riwire.com/

          I am in this same boat myself. My wiring is in fairly good shape but I don't trust it. As a stop-gap measure I put a battery switch on the car and I just don't leave it unattended without disconnecting the battery. Someday I will have to change the harness but I hope to delay that until I can justify a cloth-covered harness to myself

          Nathan
          _______________
          http://stude.vonadatech.com
          https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nvonada View Post
            Stude West and SI harnesses are NOT cloth-covered. For that you have to go to YNZ or Rhode Island. They both have the braiding machines and put cloth covers on modern wire. But that is much more $$$...

            Nathan
            Lark Works, an SDC advertiser in TW, makes both cloth braid and vinyl wrap harnesses.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              As original, the StudeWest harnesses include provisions for the optional turn signals, both front and rear. Original switches are little hard to come by. Commonly found on Land Cruisers if someone is parting one out. The rear lights are easy as Rich said. Already built in. Just need standard socks and wiring to plug into the harness. Fronts are a different story if you want the original Factory Accessory turnsignals. They look very nice, because they don't look like add-ons. Study the parts manual or study some good pictures of 47-49 Champions. The parts are hard to find in good condition.
              KURTRUK
              (read it backwards)




              Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ron Smith View Post
                Thanks for the helpful comments. Yes, I already joined the club. The closest chapter to me is in Tacoma, and I listed that on my new member form. Will they contact me, or do I have to join that separately?/Cut/
                You need to go to the Home Page, ling on the Light Blue stripe at the top of the Page, then click on Resources, then Local Chapter, enter Washington on the clickdown arrow for the list of States and then in the list you will find the contact info for the Officers of the Tacoma Chapter, Membership Chairperson's email should work. You can get the address to send your check from emailing her.

                If you need help with that, send me a PM by clicking on my "Handle" and go to "Private Message".
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Has anyone ever tried running dome light wire through trunk and up the back window center divider post? My 49 has a nice older headliner and a rotten hot (all the time) going to dome light. The divider post is real close to dome light. I found if you ever have interior redone lube window and door mechanism and fix wiring that will be covered.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the all the help fellas. I'll catch up with the local club soon.

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