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  • Wiring Harness

    Any thoughts on where to puchase a new wiring harness. My 1955 President State Y body needs one, 51 0ne years is too long for a harness. Does one remove the dash to rewire? Any suggestions.

  • #2
    If you have another reason to have the dash out, it does make it easier. If you're contemplating removing it just to rewire I'd guess it's six of one half a dozen of the other.
    Studebaker West makes good harnesses from new wire if you're not concerned with lacquered/braided originality; and a reproduction lacquered/braided harness will cost about three times as much.

    Brad Johnson
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    33 Rockne 10
    51 Commander Starlight
    53 Commander Starlight

    previously: 63 Cruiser, 62 Regal VI, 60 VI convertible, 50 LandCruiser
    Brad Johnson,
    SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
    '56 Sky Hawk in process

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    • #3
      I'll second the suggestion that having the dash out is the best way to replace the main wiring harness; very ugly if you have to do it lying on the floor of the car with the dash in place.

      Some places for wiring harnesses in addition to Studebakers West [excellent quality and good support but modern vinyl-insulated wires]:

      Rhode Island Wiring: http://www.riwire.com

      Y 'n Z : http://www.ynzyesterdaysparts.com/

      And for old Stude trucks, Jeeps, miltary vehicles, etc.
      Vintage Wiring of Maine: http://www.vintagewiringofmaine.com/

      You have to decide whether "functional" is OK or whether you want "show quality". SDC show judges deduct lots of points for non-original style wiring, both in the main harness and for the rear lighting, etc. The vendors who do not use cotton-braided over-coats do produce excellent quality and safe, easy-to-install products, but you will lose points in a show. If this doesn't matter to you now (or if/when you sell your car), then save your money and get plain vinyl-insulated wires. Note that even the cotton-covered wires sold now are just braided cotton covers on vinyl-insulated wire, so there is no safety/durability difference, as far as I know. On the other hand, getting a generic wiring harness for a street rod set-up, when that isn't what you have, is just an exercise in frustration. Many vendors can supply a correct Studebaker harness with the right number of wires, exact length, etc.

      [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
      Dartmouth, Mass.
      '48 M5
      '65 Wagonaire Commander
      '63 Wagonaire Standard
      web site at http://www.studegarage.com
      Gary Ash
      Dartmouth, Mass.

      '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
      ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
      '48 M5
      '65 Wagonaire Commander
      '63 Wagonaire Standard
      web site at http://www.studegarage.com

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      • #4
        When you order a harness 'for your car', try to be sure its for YOUR car. Ask exactly what's included-- tranny circuits, turn signal, back-up lights, whatever. If it's not included, you'll have to make up your own 'auxiliaries' or tear the new one apart. I've done both over the years, and neither is a pretty way to go.... In the future, if I have an old-but-intact harness to start with, I'm making my own...


        51 Commander State Sedan
        Worthington PA

        51 Commander State Sedan
        Butler PA

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        • #5
          I got my harness from Studebaker International. It was good quality, but it is non authentic plastic coated wire. I wired my car wit the dash in it. The job was not very fun, but I have done worse jobs. Just take your time, and make sure you have a wiring diagram for your car. The diagram really helps when replacing that old wire because the color coding fades after 50 plus years.
          1962 Champ

          51 Commander 4 door

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          • #6
            plastic coated wire should not be an issue on a '55, they had plastic almost universally by then. I think only the dome light and maybe clock were still cloth covered.

            nate

            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by garyash

              I'll second the suggestion that having the dash out is the best way to replace the main wiring harness; very ugly if you have to do it lying on the floor of the car with the dash in place.
              I think I figured out a way around this. When you pull the speedometer out of a Lark, you leave a 6" hole. Pull the clock blanking plate out and you have two. You can see a lot through there! And my son's 11-year-old arms get in much tighter places than mine



              [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

              Clark in San Diego
              '63 F2/Lark Standard
              http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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

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