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Hot Rods Best book on Auto Wiring ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BigO, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Money's tight and need to do some minor wiring on my '47, I'm so tired of having to buy this stuff each time I try to do it myself..... but really, I need a good book for beginners.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  2. Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    mad mikey, upspirate and BigO like this.
  3. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 862

    Dan in Pasadena

  4. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,013

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019

  5. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,135

    Bandit Billy

    A few of my "go-to" electrical tomes;

    Wiring Your Own Car by D. Ed Shortz ,
    Add An Accessory by Pops Afuze , and
    Resistance Isn't Futile by J.L. Picard...wait for it.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185


    I've found that buying a decent wiring kit is money and headaches ahead of trying to patch old wiring. Damned few guys are good at the buy rolls of wire and the panel and ends and make your own harness. That might work with a T bucket with few circuits but is a challenge on a lot of rigs. It isn't much if any cheaper in the long run either.
    I've got the Tex Smith book on the shelf behind me and like all of Tex's stuff it is easy to read and follow. Maybe a bit dated in some aspects now though.
    upspirate and BigO like this.
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,702

    Jalopy Joker

    for me, the best basic illustrated wiring book is "How to Wire Your StreetRod From Start to Finish" through and others - do not let title scare you away 20191226_115503.jpg
  8. 26hotrod
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 964

    from landis n c

    I like the Ron Frances wiring catalog as it has answered a lot of my wiring questions...……...
    ekimneirbo and BigO like this.
  9. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,677


    Big thread here on electrical from the guy at Rebel.
    BigO likes this.
  10. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 796


  11. :D hahaha.
    firstinsteele likes this.
  12. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,186

    from Brooks Ky

    Whut 26 said ^^^^^^^^^!

    Seriously though, order a copy of the Ron Francis catalog. Everybody ought to have one in their shop because it explains a lot and tells you how to avoid problems. ;)
    BigO likes this.
  13. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,460

    lumpy 63

    Best one hands down.And I have several.
    JeffB2 and Jalopy Joker like this.
  14. Thanks. BigO
  15. BigO likes this.
  16. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 913

    Curt Six

    Funny, I'm getting ready to dive into my first full wiring job myself. I got Motorbooks' "Automotive Wiring: Practical Guide to Wiring your Hot Rod or Custom" by Dennis Parks for Christmas and am about halfway through it. It's nicely laid out and well written.
    Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 10.06.38 AM.png
    BigO likes this.
  17. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,045


    Tex's book is very good, but if you are a beginner and are just looking for "meat and potatoes" how-to information, this one is the best. It is simple and has lots of easy to follow diagrams. My kind of instructions!
    Hudson31 and BigO like this.
  18. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,186

    from Brooks Ky

    Was looking thru my Ron Francis catalog again because of this thread. Here is why its so helpful. Since they obviously sell electrical parts, they have lots of pictures of the actual parts and info on their use. This is the kind of stuff you need for the "nuts and bolts"..........errr.......well you know what I mean. Making the actual connections requires you to have an idea what connectors needs to go on the ends of the wire, which is the kind of stuff you don't find in the wiring how-to books. Also has a ton of tips and why something is right or wrong. I have no affiliation with them, but they have a great catalog. Mines an older version.....gonna get a new one at the 2020 Nationals though.

    Having a problem downloading......
    BigO likes this.
  19. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,186

    from Brooks Ky

    try again
    Ron Francis 5 001.jpg

    Ron Francis 4 001.jpg
    Ron Francis 3 001.jpg

    Ron Francis 2 001.jpg

    Ron Francis 1 001.jpg

    for some reason it wouldn't add these to the original message...........
    BigO likes this.
  20. ekimneirbo likes this.
  21. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 152


    Thanks for all the recommendations in here. Being both clueless and knowing that anything worth doing is overdoing....

    ...I got the Ron Francis catalog, the Tex Smith book, and the Speedway guide.

    We'll see if I'm still teachable.
    Frankie47 likes this.
  22. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,186

    from Brooks Ky

    Since I'm an electrically challenged individual, I have several aftermarket books on wiring. Each has its plus and minus value for what you want to do. My recommendation is to get a good ratchet crimper (appx $25) rather than one of the little cheap bare bones ones. Get a cabinet where you can store all sorts of electrical stuff and your reference books.
    Before you crimp your harness, practice on a scrap piece of wire so you get a feel for what you are doing. Always err on the side of too big and too long.........;)
    BigO likes this.
  23. I have always liked the little yellow wiring book although it had a couple iffy areas...don’t remember what. Before that book came along R&C did a wiring series that was really great...almost like its simplicity. Some of the more learned wiring books tend to get carried away with theory instead of offering actual wiring diagrams for those of us who don’t actually design wiring.
    BigO likes this.
  24. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 152


    Well....I got this. I don't know a better way to put it than it ain't dumbed down enough for yours truly.

    The "how to"....probably works if you've ever done more than hook up a battery.

    IMO If you're a complete novice, this is not the book for you.

    I'll relay how the others go.
    Hudson31 and BigO like this.
  25. This is my work bench this evening...
    My first attempt at a full rewire... done plenty of repairs and sub assemblies (and let the smoke out of my share of wires...)
    The wiring in the car is a cobbled together rats nest by the PO so I am redoing it for piece of mind... and my OCD.
    I got the ron francis catalog and a book called Hot Rod Wiring by dennis oberholtzer (branded with Painless performance products) honestly the catalog was way more use to me. The book covered way more than I will be doing on my simple 30 coupe with a generator and flathead.... there is a whole chapter on EFI and one on LS3 in a Camaro, 95 mustang engine in a old ford truck, etc... way more advanced than i
    I went with the Rebel 8 circuit (2 more than i probably really need) the price was great for all that it comes with and Jeremy (rebel34 here on the HAMB) was a huge help with my pre order questions. Did I mention they are an Alliance Vendor?
    Anyway, I will be giving it a go over the next few days.
    Good luck with yours...
    safetythird and BigO like this.
  26. I wired my car using the Kwik Wire 14-circuit kit and their instructions were great. I also had a copy of the Ford schematic for when I had a question. I made notes on post-its and stapled them into the instruction book. I do a lot of wiring at work so I have access to tools if I need them.
    olscrounger and BigO like this.
  27. Thanks because a novice I am....
    safetythird likes this.
  28. Thanks for the info. I'm getting my ducks in a row before I start on the car in the spring and glad I'm starting this one out with a better plan than some in the past.

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