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Technical Another Stupid Move

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1great40, May 30, 2015.

  1. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from Walpole MA

    I'm not sure why I feel the need to admit this to the world. This is the third season of driving my '40 after about 16 years of off and on building. I'm not going to blame trying to do complex stuff in the wee hours of the morning but here's the latest brilliant move I have discovered in the shakedown of my project;
    Melted wiring. Nope, I'm not having any over current or short circuit problems. Those are the kind of things that you really can't plan for sometimes. No, this time, genius here decided that when I was wiring my truck, it would be a great idea to leave myself plenty of slack in the harness that went down to the starter. After all, why wrestle with the connections while holding the starter partially in place when, if you had enough slack in the harness, you would wire the freakin thing from the comfort of your living room.

    EXHAUST MANIFOLDS, that's why. I was flopping around under the truck looking for a rattle, actually more of a clunk, that has been evading diagnosis and I happened to glimpse up over the starter. What I saw was about 4 inches of perfectly welded together wire and convoluted sleeving. Fortunately, nothing was near the point of shorting but the big idiot bulb came on and a warning horn was blasting away in my head the second I saw it .
    I dropped the starter and decided that I could clip a good 4-5 inches out of this thing and still have slack. So, that's what I did. This time, I put the starter on a jack stand in about the right orientation and wired it up from there. I can't believe I was dumb enough to just stuff the extra harness up there and bolt that thing in last time.

    I really hope no one else is afflicted with the same level of brilliance that I have :)
    kiwijeff and Model T1 like this.
  2. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,151


    Welcome to da club! :rolleyes:
    (Having pinched an alt. wire in a header flange, just to drive it home.)
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  3. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    It takes a big man to admit he's wrong! But to post it on here?? Get ready for some fatherly advice!! At the same time, it's not like you decided one day to set your truck on fire- it was a mistake; I think you might be human! or as my Dad used to say " Just another Bozo on the bus". We all get to wear the pointed hat sometime.
    saltflats, volvobrynk, pitman and 2 others like this.
  4. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,054

    from Nicasio Ca

    This has the potential to be a long thread. Several days ago I got my heap running after a long illness (the heap), filled up the radiator and went for a test ride. Got back and it was steaming hot. Came back out after awhile to refill the radiator, no cap. Crap, must have left it off when I filled it up. Can't find it in the bowls of the engine bay, not on the work bench, not near the garden hose... Finally locate it about 200 yards down the street. Put it back on, go for another jaunt, overheats again! Take a better look at the cap, guess I ran it over the first time, post is bent. Let it cool off again, off to parts store for new cap. Total cost: $5. Elapsed time: half a day.
    Truck64, clem, kiwijeff and 2 others like this.

  5. bustedwrench
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 131


    If I had a nickel for every goofy mistake I've made working on cars, I could afford another project!!
  6. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    If you didn't make mistakes you weren't doing anything!
  7. It take's a good man to admit his mistakes, and learn from them.

    Bin there, done that !
    volvobrynk and mike bowling like this.
  8. chessterd5
    Joined: May 26, 2013
    Posts: 649

    from u.s.a.

    I knew this one was gonna fill up fast! Ask me how I know that...
    My first boss told me " Son, if you ain't breakin' anything, you ain't learnin' anything. wich means you ain't fixin' anything!"
    kiwijeff and volvobrynk like this.
  9. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from Walpole MA

    I guess that even though I have been wrenching for the better part of 50 years, 99% of my experience is on vehicles that have been designed and engineered by the guys in Detroit. That said, if a body was to simply replace worn or damaged stuff and put the car back together the way it was designed to go, there wouldn't be any problems with clearances, rattles, wire harness routing etc. Building a hot rod from scratch presents a whole 'nother set of issues where you have to think and behave like an engineer (or maybe even smarter than that). These are the things that come back to bite you. I guess all in all, I have done pretty well with the truck, everything works, and I've got a to do list but it's not stuff that's unsafe, or keeps me from enjoying it. I'm at the noise/vibration/harshness/aesthetics point in the project. But I'm a fussy guy and to me the truck represents my abilities to anyone who looks at it. That's why I felt like such a total doofus when I spotted the wiring gaffe.
    Model T1 likes this.
  10. Funny thing about learning. The only way to learn is to fail. Either you or someone else has to have something to fail so that they know the boundaries of the project.
    I got the failure part down pat. Now if I could just lock down that learning part.
  11. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,750

    from Buffalo NY

    try grounding a wrench to the hot lead on the starter with the wrench across your gold wedding ring.... 2 seconds of spark and that ring was so hot I had to pull it off and I blistered my finger all the way around where the ring was...good times
  12. Bonehead move for sure,but most of us have done something similar. HRP
    volvobrynk likes this.
  13. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    from N.E. PA

    Don't be so hard on least you discovered your blunder before the wires shorted, and started a fire. And I doubt that there are many on this forum that haven't done something similar. And I'll bet that you won't ever do that again!:eek:
  14. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,716

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    I look at it like this: When everything goes right there are few memories and it becomes kind of ho hum. Usually when things go wrong, eventually there is a great laugh along with bunches of memories.
    mike bowling and volvobrynk like this.
  15. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,773


    Use some steel tubing to route and shield your battery cables and wiring.

    This curved tubing shield is a factory piece from a mid-'70s Pontiac that was used to route the wiring at the rear of the driver's side cylinder head. I tweaked the mounting bracket a little and bolted it up to the front of the head using one of the header bolts.



    This one bolts to the motor mount, it's essentially a copy of a factory cable shield used on '67 Ram Air GTOs made from stainless steel tubing that I flared on the ends using a ball peen hammer. The Ram Air and HO cars used bigger free-flowing exhaust manifolds that required a different starter cable routing than the standard GTOs.

    These cable routing shields kept my starter cable from getting me into trouble.


    69fury, Model T1 and volvobrynk like this.
  16. I ain't sayin nuttin
    volvobrynk, pitman and belair like this.
  17. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire

    When I done my chevelle I put 2 blocks on the fire wall, 1 with a 3/8's stud and 1 small single post terminal block. Made 1 short battery cable, starter to 3/8's, and 1 for the small post. I run a insulated clamp on a bell housing bolt that they will both fit through to hold them away from the headers. I can take them loose and drop the starter and it gives me a place to hook my starter bump switch to adjust valves. As for the stupid stunts, I could write a best seller.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  18. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from Walpole MA

    Nice work! I have done similar stuff routing hoses, wires and such, I just totally spaced on the starter cables.
  19. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,030


    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
  20. COOL IDEA!
  21. Life holds two choices, either do things and make mistakes, or go sit on your hands in the corner. I tend to do things and try to keep up fixing my mistakes!
    volvobrynk and GeezersP15 like this.
  22. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,533


  23. what Model TI said......and don't get me started on my hiccups....
    Model T1 likes this.
  24. LWEL9226
    Joined: Jul 7, 2012
    Posts: 315

    from So. Oregon

    There are only two people in this world who don't make mistakes. One is GOD,
    and the other one is a Liar....
    Good to see you are learning and ,by your blunder, you are also teaching the rest of us....
    Thank You

    LW :D
    belair, leadfootloon and volvobrynk like this.
  25. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,195

    from Berry, AL

    I put a Ford solenoid on the fender or firewall, then run all the hot leads to it, with only a hot cable and starter solenoid activation wire actually running down to the Chevy starter. That way, all my electrical that would normally connect at the Chevy starter is now up on the fender or firewall, easy to get to, and not in danger of melting from exhaust heat.
    Model T1 likes this.
  26. Years ago when I learning carpentry my mentor told me, it is not that good carpenters don't make mistakes . They just know how to fix them.
    leadfootloon and volvobrynk like this.
  27. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,211

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Shit Happens....
    Model T1 and volvobrynk like this.
  28. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    When you've learned whch end to hold you graduate. Then you polish it.
  29. you know, the only people that don't make mistakes are the ones that don't do anything.....but that may be a mistake also..........
    volvobrynk likes this.
  30. You're not the only one. Sometimes when confronted with a problem, in a flash of brilliance I will come up with a solution and think "why not?" Later, I often discover "why not." When that happens I file it away in my head for future reference so that it wasn't a complete waste.
    Model T1 likes this.

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