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How to start a wiring project by the FNG

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BonesFRCC, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. BonesFRCC
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 10


    About a week ago I got in my "Junk Truck" I call her Ophealia (see first pic) started her up, let her warm up for a few then went down the street to hop on Hwy 2 going into Everett, WA. As I went up the on ramp to merge into traffic I like to drop the hammer and make sure to "blow any carbon out" that may have accumulated since yesterday. The giant secondaries of my Quadra-puke wide open. It almost sounds like a gasoline filled toilet being flushed when they open up. All 8 cylinders of the Buick 455 bumbling around in time. Then merge into traffic like a low flying rocket ship. It puts a smile on my face everyday like a fat kid in a Hostess factory.

    Then "POP", "POW" and "SPUTTER"... in my head it really went like that. Like the old Batman TV show. That smile on my face had been replaced by confusion. I lost all power, as I continued to roll from the speed I had built up. The cab of the truck fills with thick white smoke. Not a little smoke wafting in the air, but completely fills the cab of my truck. Confusion has now been replaced by "Oh F*@K I am gonna die!" Choking and coughing I rolled down the window stuck my head out and barely getting any air from all the smoke coming around my head. Get the truck in neutral and pointed to the non-existent should of the 2 lane bridge that I am now on and come to a complete stop, right before the top of the bridge. I made a mental note of this as next time I need to be going faster just in case catastrophic failure happens again I can make it over the top of the hill.

    I call a Tow truck (my neighbor and his truck and a tow strap), as I pop the hood expecting to see oil or some sort of fluid all over or deformed parts strewn about the engine compartment. Confusion sets in again nothing like that at all (see second pic). While waiting for my neighbor somebody called the cops so the Fuzz showed up and pushed me over the bridge and into a parking lot with his push bumper. Neighbor shows up towed me back home.

    Upon further inspection either the alternator wire grounded out which is entirely possible since it was 4 different pieces of wire. Well I am pretty sure that was the problem. Smoked that wire through the firewall and into the wiring harness behind the dash.

    So out of catastrophe comes tremendous opportunity! I had done some wiring on the lights lately and realized how much of a pieced together job has been done behind the dash. So now I get to address that issue.

    After doing some research and read some of your'alls posts. I have ordered the Rebel Wire 8 Circuit harness. And figure I will share my experience.

    Attached Files:

  2. US_Marshall
    Joined: Oct 26, 2011
    Posts: 85


    Nice looking project truck. If you have an amp gauge, that would be the first thing I would yank out of the system. Solider and heat shrink as many joints as possible, crimp on connectors have an issue of coming back to haunt projects.
  3. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I just finished up wireing a 48 Chev. from scratch
    Lay out / seperate the wires in your kit "front" then "center " or interior then ""back"
    Then it's just one wire at a time until you have none left.
  4. make sure you order one of these as well. It's made for British cars, but should replace all that you lost

  5. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,878

    from omaha ne.

    The Mopar Gods let loose the smoke demons to punish the sinner....LOL:)
  6. BonesFRCC
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Thanks for the encouragement everybody!
    Marshal: I don't know if you noticed but I had OPEN crimp butt connectors in just about every pic.
    Don: That pic is funny! I am gonna have to order about a 100 of those jars to replace what I lost.
  7. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,852

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    Nothing like wiring a car with household twist wire nuts.
    My truck had some of them too...

    This weekend (hopefully) I'm rolling my unibody into the garage to rewire it BEFORE the smoke gets out
  8. repairmanrod
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 77

    from colorado

    US Marshall, I could not agree with you any more on that point!!!! To many people trust their lives to crimp connections. If you use them you better pony up for quality pieces.

  9. There's nothing wrong with crimped connections. Just use a good ratcheting crimper and quality connectors. The result is good gas tight joints that will tolerate vibration better than a soldered joint.

    Here is a link to good connectors and a crimper. Well worth the money even if you only ever do one project.

    An experts opinion on crimpers here if you're so inclined.
  10. eppster
    Joined: Jan 26, 2011
    Posts: 223


    I'm not very good at electrical things. Someone once told me that the flow of electricity was like water and I've been screwed up ever since ! I just buy a good kit , take my time and [ SHOCK!!! ] read the instructions. I haven't had a problem.
  11. BonesFRCC
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Got home this afternoon and all my hopes and dreams had arrived in a box from Rebel Wire! There is the 8 Circuit Harness I ordered and a 12 page Instruction Manual. The manual seems to be pretty straight forward and have plenty of pictures(fer us folks that don't have such gud imaginashuns). I have attached a few pics.

    So now its time to get OCD and do this right, just as soon as this Kung Fu marathon is over on TV and the cold snap we are having warms up a few degrees.

    But if the Girlfriend is going to do a Zombie Pin Up shoot this weekend and brave the cold I probably have no excuse to not get started....

    Attached Files:

  12. BonesFRCC
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Shamer thanks for the good input on crimping. I think I know a place to get the style of crimpers in that article. As I will be doing a lot... well all of the wiring in the driveway where the truck sits now soldering will be difficult. Also I plan on using shrink wrap and good ol' electrical tape at joins. I really appreciate everybodies support and input!
  13. creepjohnny
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 884

    from Sunland,CA

    Like the boys said, take your time and it will be fairly simple. I've used both solder and crimp ends, both work fine just make sure you have a good crimping tool. Harbor freight sells a mix kit of heat shrink tubes, cover up each end and splice with that stuff. I use a cheap heat gun. Plus you can call rebel wire and he will help you troubleshoot anything. Just take it a section at a time.
    I personally mount the block, run wires and wire up motor and ignition switch first. Cause sometimes you have to turn the key on to check certain things.
    Usually wire up but don't cut the wire short right away. I usually use a temporary crimped end, make sure the component works then will go back when everything is pretty much done and route all wires together, zip tie anything together, and finally cut to length, crimp and heat shrink and reattach.
    It's more tedious work than anything.
    Good luck!!!!
  14. 68vette
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 306


    I wire all mine from scratch....I match most of the wiring to the GM tilt column wiring....the power window, antenna, air, heater, etc wiring has a label on it that I put with a piece of masking tape as does all the fuse box wires...I usually use a mid 80's chevy fuse box....when I opened the fuse box for my 49 chevy after buying it on ebay a year ago...I discovered its a ford one...oh well....will work around that.
  15. Nothing wrong with crimp connections if they're done right and the wiring has strain relief. Under the hood or other exposed areas, I'll protect them with a piece of heat-shrink tubing.

  16. Most cars and trucks that have been through a few hands usually have had a lot of cut and spliced wires under the dash,,smart move to rewire. HRP
  17. Nothing wrong with crimp connections if they're done right and the wiring has strain relief.

    6 crimps in the same 24" of wire is not OK even if they are perfect.
    3 crimps and spade connectors in 6" for a wire stretchers is not OK no matter what.
    Having the main power wire laced into the throttle return spring for strain relief isn't a good idea either.

    I've used wire nuts for testing and trouble shooting, but if I ever see one wire nut on any vehicle, the entire harness is automatically suspect and guilty of EXTREME wiring issues until proven otherwise.

    When I see crimps, they are automatic suspects of causing issues.
    The the key word is IF , in the statement nothing wrong IF done correctly. There's an awful lot riding on those two little letters that spell IF.

    OK now where's the pics of the zombie photo shoot pin up style?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  18. I snagged up the rebel 9+3. Its still in the box and will be doing my F100 here soon.

    It seems simple enough
  19. Hey man, just a quick note. For safety, security and convenience get yourself a battery kill switch and rig it up somewhere in your cab. I can't emphasize how nice it is to kill the power when hooking something up, when parking over night etc. Also I'm sure Rebel states in their book, before hooking power up, connect pos terminals but leave neg un hooked. take your test light and put it between your neg terminal and battery, it should not light up, if it does, you have a hot wire grounding out. "IF" you do have a wire grounding out, the way to check is pull out each fuse one by one and keep checking your test light with the neg terminals, once it stops lighting up, you have found your wire that is hooked up wrong or faulty. Good luck, wiring takes a lot longer than you think, so take your time and be patient.
  20. 48fordor
    Joined: Jan 16, 2009
    Posts: 142

    from York, PA

    For any wiring project, electronics or other electrical, I like to take the drawing of what I want to wire and make a copy. I then hi-lite every wire/component as it is installed. That prevents missing a connection somewhere. If you don't have a drawing, take the time to make one. It will pay off later for troubleshooting.

    Get good crimp connectors, the ones that don't crack the plastic when you crimp them. Or, use the uninsulated crimp connectors and then heat shrink them.
  21. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,090

    from Oregon

    I'd have loved to see crimp connectors on some old cars I've owned! What always makes me cringe are those displacement connectors that cut into the insulation and allow a new wire to tap off an existing wire! I've seen cars where they not only used them as taps, but also cut wires and used them to splice!!!

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