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1955-1959 Chevy Truck Wiring

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1959apache, May 10, 2010.

  1. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I was wondering if anyone can post some wiring diagrams for 1955 2nd series to 1959 ignition switch and light switch. I am trying to hook up my rebel wire harness to these switches (no I dont have the original harness to trace wires back) and these switches aren't labeled other than abbreviations, which I can figure out... but for the ignition switch it looks like I have a couple connections to the battery and was wondering why those would be there if I have power to IGN 1 on the ignition switch?

    Any help or advice would be great :D
     
  2. ol'chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,283

    ol'chevy
    Member

    Look up the old car manual project. In a shop manual they should have diagrams.
     
  3. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 859

    waldo53
    Member
    from ID

    I believe IGN 1 is your "run" terminal that goes to the resistor first, then to the coil, IGN 2 is the "bypass" terminal that goes to the coil side of the resistor and is only hot while your cranking. The IGN 2 terminal would only be needed if you're still running a points-type ignition.
    http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/electrical/wiring/images/55ctsm1202.jpg
    Check out this diagram, maybe it'll help:
     
  4. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    These should help, but they are kind of hard to see.
     

    Attached Files:


  5. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I am running a points ignition with coil... but this ignition switch doesnt have a spring loaded start on it... I suppose I need to use a button. Does anyone have a spring start on their ignition switch?
     
  6. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    Sounds like you've got a starter switch for a foot starter truck. I've got a repop switch from one of the catalogs for my '55 foot starter switch. It was supposed to be for 55-57 and has the spring start position. I guess it can be used for either.
     
  7. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    Okay, I will probably just wait to wire up the ignition switch then until I get the new one in. Did you use a rebel wiring harness or any kind of harness? Any info on what goes where? I will be calling rebel wire here in a while once they open to get some information, but any pointers would be great with either the ignition switch or light switch. Thanks dude :cool:
     
  8. SanDiegoJoe
    Joined: Apr 18, 2004
    Posts: 3,519

    SanDiegoJoe
    Member

    Yes - my '59 has a stomp starter.

    If you are not running a starter that uses one, you can use a starter button. The early 50's cars had dash mounted starter buttons.

    - Joe
     
  9. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    are the back of the ignition switches the same on both the spring loaded and the stomp starter?
     
  10. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    I used a stock type replacement harness. It was $190 from a local guy similar to all the catalog places. It was already routed and taped up. All terminals were already in place. All wires were numbered with a corresponding sheet telling where the numbers go. While the install was hard for me (because I'm an electrical moron and my truck had many extra relays and accessories at one time), it was much easier just having to plug and play the new harness.

    What do you need to know? What goes where on the ignition switch and light switch? I'll go check mine and see if I can come up with some help.
     
  11. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member


    That is exactly what I need, thank you for the help
     
  12. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    Here is the most absolute retarded drawing I came up with using my pal JeffreyJames as a most stunning model.

    [​IMG]

    Let's take the ignition switch first.
    SOL- goes to starter side terminal
    IGN 1- two terminals here, one goes to gas gauge "Empty" terminal, the other goes to the ignition resistor upper terminal
    IGN 2- goes to ignition resistor lower terminal
    ACC- two terminals here, I only used one, goes to temperature gauge "Cold" terminal
    BATT- two terminals here, one goes to ammeter "Charge" terminal, the other I used to power my aftermarket stereo


    Now the headlight switch. This will be a little trickier, it confuses me still. But everything works properly on mine.
    PK- goes to "main connector" (purple wire)
    H- goes to dimmer switch (blue wire)
    PL- goes to dash lamps (grey wire)
    BAT- (this may be confusing, but this is what my notes say) Ammeter (C terminal) to Headlight Switch (BAT terminal) to Horn Relay (B terminal) to Voltage Regulator (B terminal). (red wire)
    S- goes to stop light switch (orange wire)
    T- goes to tail lamps (black wire)
    GRD- goes to ground. This may or may not be needed. The swith is supposed to be grounded to the dash when mounted. To be safe, I ran a ground wire from this terminal to a clean shiny spot under the dash.



    I hope this helps and I haven't confused you more!:D I know the BAT terminal on the headlight switch sounds confusing. Check the two diagrams I posted and I think you can figure it out. Your wires may be different colors than mine. Your truck may be slightly different than mine by having a junction block (fuse block). I think those became standard on '58 trucks, just an option in '55.

    Good luck! If i can help (confuse) you more, just let me know! :eek: :D
     
  13. SanDiegoJoe
    Joined: Apr 18, 2004
    Posts: 3,519

    SanDiegoJoe
    Member

    Whole new level of RAD right there. Let me guess, you guys were hanging out after school in the Drama room? It looks like there were even jazz hands involved.

    _______________________

    One of the plans for my pickup involved a later model drivetrain. Now that I have my 235 freshened up that plan is ditched, but I was going to remove the choke and use that factory hole for a starter button like the one in my '52 Styleline.

    Maybe a button like this: http://www.thehotrodcompany.com/shopnow/show_item.asp?product_id=2987F

    - Joe
     
  14. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member


    Hahahaha! Even better, we were ANTIQUE SHOPPING! And eating ice cream cones!
     
  15. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I did have a question for you regarding your info that you posted... are you using the stock ignition and light switches and stuff like that? Your ignition switch repop is a spring start correct? Who did you go through that had the switches in stock.. thus far everyone has been out of stock and are on backorder.

    If I cant use my ammeter should I just wire my switches up regularly? (I dont think I can because I might burn them up) Are they going to burn up because I am pulling like 105A instead of the stock 30A?
     
  16. smiffy6four
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 333

    smiffy6four
    Member

    What's pulling the 105 Amps? Are you referring to the potential output of the alternator?
     
  17. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    I get most of my stuff through a local guy, Dixie Truckworks. He sells all the catalog stuff and has a bunch of good used parts. I'm using a stock headlight switch and a repop starter switch with the spring start. I just don't use the spring part with my foot starter. I just turn the key on and hit the foot starter.

    Why can't you use your ammeter? Not sure what to do if you can't. Maybe someone smarter than me will come along with a solution.
     
  18. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    105A is what the alternator is putting out... According to the wiring diagram for this Rebel Wiring harness I am supposed to connect the main power supply to the fuse box through the ammeter.. but I cant seeing that the ammeter is only rated for 30 amps... I dont want to risk burning it up because it will do exactly that. So I cant take the lines from the ammeter to the ignition switch or light switch. I do however have 1 power line for both the headlight switch and ignition switch on my harness... I would assume that they are connected with the battery posts on the back of each switch, but I think that is it... Do I need to route the power switch back out from there for any reason? Rebel Wire is out of the office for a couple days, so this is why I am asking on here.
     
  19. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    Does he have another spring start ignition switch on hand? I would be intersted in buying from you if you can pick it up for me and send it. Let me know
     
  20. smiffy6four
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 333

    smiffy6four
    Member


    Your accessories,etc, will be the only things going through the ammeter. Most of the output from the alternator will be directed through the heavy wires attached to the battery. I would say you can safely use the 30amp meter UNLESS you have a serious amount of electrical goodies going on.

    How many accessories do you have on your truck? Heater blower, wipers, radio, stereo amp(maybe), power seats, windows?
     
  21. THE-SYNDICATE
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 802

    THE-SYNDICATE
    Member

    Hmm... Good Data here. And I'm now worried about a spring return start switch. Mine was kinda toast so I better hunt something down.

    Thanks,

    Robert M.
     
  22. THE-SYNDICATE
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 802

    THE-SYNDICATE
    Member

    Grumpy's in AZ has the V8 switches in stock. I just ordered one from them.

    ~Robert M.
     
  23. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I dont have a radio in it yet (have a really old one that I just got), planning on just using a couple small speakers, and a wiper motor eventually... nothing special. I did call up the folks at Rebel Wire last week and how they have the harness designed is the main power wire going from the battery to the actual fuse box is supposed to be cut about a foot from the fuse box and routed to the ammeter then back out to the battery. That will burn up the ammeter for sure.. I know its probably not 105 amps coming to the box, that number is way too high.. but the ammeter is only rated for 30 amps.. I was told by them that it would catch that ammeter on fire for sure and that I shouldn't hook it up that way, so I didn't.
     
  24. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I just got my ignition switch from Grumpy's as well... 2 left in stock.. better get them while they are still there! Of course they are 12 bucks more expensive than everywhere else... but at least I dont have to wait 3 weeks or longer. I'd personally pay the 12 bucks to get it this week. Still no headway on the electrical until I get that switch, more questions more than likely will come shortly from my end once I get it in the mail. Thanks for the help so far guys, I appreciate it. Now on to install my gas tank until I can work on my ignition switch again.
     
  25. 57tailgater
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 687

    57tailgater
    Member
    from Georgia

    I did my own wiring harness using one of those "wiring your hot rod" books. Used new switches from NAPA too. I'm going to re-do some of it but didn't have any troubles other than having one circuit needing to be divided up. I just want to add some relays, make it look better, make a nice fuse panel, and use some of my acquired knowledge over time to improve it some and make it even more safe where I can. The area I most worry/think about is the ammeter so I am probably going to ditch going thru it in the cluster and install a volt meter. This is an area I am cautious on too as it needs to be done safely. :cool:
     
  26. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member


    I can't remember, do you have a 283 in yours? or the stock 6 cylinder? Are you running a coil? Are you using replacement stock switches from NAPA or universals?
     
  27. THE-SYNDICATE
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 802

    THE-SYNDICATE
    Member

    OK.... Dumb question for the day....

    Does the Alternator Charge at a rate of only whats needed or does it rail to its designed capacity each time it charges? If it only did what was required it would not load the gauge down too much right? but yes if if went full boat it would smoke a thing or two....

    Your thoughts?

    Robert M.
     
  28. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    Well it varies from RPM, once you get a high RPM you will actually pull exactly if not a smidgen more amperage than what the alternator is rated for. For the most part it just goes up to the 105A if it is a 105A alternator... But to answer your question, that 105A not only charges the battery, but connects to a fuse box (at least mine does) which means that not all of the 105A is being supplied to the fuse box, but enough for the ammeter to burn up (meaning more than 30A)

    Check this out, it may answer your question :)

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...t+105A+at+all+times?&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  29. 57tailgater
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 687

    57tailgater
    Member
    from Georgia

    Mine has a 350 sbc in it now with a coil - no HEI as I am eventually going to run a 283 w/tri-power and there's no room for that but it will someday have a Pertronix conversion. I have universal ignition and headlight switches I plan to swap out. I ran across an older style Chevy ignition switch tumbler I like the looks of (has the curved portion that comes up some on the key) which I will set up with the right switch. I also have a headlight switch, which incorporates a dome light switch, out of a '74 Blazer I am going to adapt in too with an original knob. The thought is to make them look old school/original. :cool:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  30. 57tailgater
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 687

    57tailgater
    Member
    from Georgia

    Note: I did my wiring way back when I had little $$ and there weren't too many wiring kits available. I'd really consider a complete qulaity new set-up nowadays but it was a good learning experience. :cool:
     

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