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Cloth/Rubber To Plastic

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  • Electrical: Cloth/Rubber To Plastic

    What year did Studebaker switch from cloth/rubber insulated wiring to plastic insulated wiring?...

  • #2
    1956, or mid 55. The dome light circuit was always cloth in C-K cars.
    Bez Auto Alchemy
    573-318-8948
    http://bezautoalchemy.com


    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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    • #3
      Yes, sometime in 1955 parts of the harness became plastic coated without the lacquered/braided wire; while other parts continued to use up the available harnesses already stocked. I don't know of any resource that delineates the transition by Serial Number.
      "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.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk

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      • #4
        Which brings forth the question......Which type of insulation has proven superior over the years?

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        • #5
          The mix of cloth to plastic in my 1955 President State Sedan built in November, 1954 was 33% cloth and 67% plastic. I bought the wiring and connectors from Donald Erickson of Lark Works.

          Charlie D.

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          • #6
            Charlie, did Lark Works supply You with the numbers "or did You already know this" ?

            Originally posted by Charlie D View Post
            The mix of cloth to plastic in my 1955 President State Sedan built in November, 1954 was 33% cloth and 67% plastic. I bought the wiring and connectors from Donald Erickson of Lark Works.

            Charlie D.
            Joseph R. Zeiger

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
              Which brings forth the question......Which type of insulation has proven superior over the years?
              The lacquered braid was applied over a covered wire. Later wires were capable of color coding the vinyl, and simply cut cost by eliminating the color coded braid cover. One is not superior to the other, other than the fact that the braid added a bit of protection, which was only an advantage if the vehicle lasted long enough to make that a difference. Now, it just makes it more expensive to show these restorations with an original appearing harness. Modern coatings on wires have been developed for more resistance to heat but, vehicles are now designed to rot before their wiring harnesses do.
              Companies that produce lacquered braided restoration harnesses, such as YnZ's or Rhode Island Wire, produce their braid around modern insulated wire, infinitely superior to the original.
              "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.
              '33 Rockne 10,
              '51 Commander Starlight,
              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
              '56 Sky Hawk

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              • #8
                I inventoried every wire on the car.

                Joseph,

                I took the body off the frame and put it on a rotisserie. After removing the dash I started accounting for every wire on the car. As each wire was removed from a component it was measured, determined to be cloth or plastic, what gauge, and color. It was further checked against the schematic in the shop manual. The ends were marked with a tag to make sure I could get the new, replacement wire back where the old one had gone.


                I created a spreadsheet of each of these wires. After some sorting, etc. I knew how many feet of Black, 14 gauge cloth wire I needed as well as how many feet of black 14 gauge plastic wire was needed. The types of connectors were noted for each application. It turned out to be quite an extensive project.

                I just got through looking up the spreadsheet and there was 116 feet of various sized and colored cloth covered wire and 238 feet of various sized and colored plastic wire. Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  On a 1956 most all Wire except the Dome Light Circuit would be Plastic and of course it is superior to rubber dipped, Cloth covered wire which gets brittle much sooner and cracks. I do not think you would want to go BACKWARD on a 1956.
                  StudeRich
                  Second Generation Stude Driver,
                  Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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