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Wiring test table

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The37Kid, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,937


    If you are new to the HAMB you need to know I'd rather scrape the walls of a snake infested septic tank in my bare feet on a humid day than wire something. I'm clueless as to how it works and burning a car up also bothers me. I'm thinking of building an angle iron frame on a sheet of plywood and mocking up all my lights and whatever it takes to power them. This way I'll know if they work and how many wires are involved. The way I see it there are three wiring setups; lights, dash, and engine. I could test things till the battery goes dead, or the wire and plywood stops burning. Any help or opinions are welcome. Bob
  2. 60 Belair
    Joined: Feb 19, 2006
    Posts: 747

    60 Belair

    Wiring Is very simple just some basic circuits, what you are talking about doing will proably make you more comfortable with basic wiring. I dont suggest building the whole system but do a few diffrent circuits and play around with it, Mistakes are a great teacher
    later Andy
  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,937


    Thanks, that's the plan burning up a sheet of plywood in the yard is better than loosing the Roadster. Bob
  4. chrisser
    Joined: Mar 20, 2008
    Posts: 132


    If I remember right, in videos of WWII bomber production, the harnesses were built this way - on a board all laid out (and presumably pretested) and then were installed complete in the planes.
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  5. glad to see your going at it with a good positive attitude.:D
    911 on speed dial.
  6. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,276

    from texas

    Done a tour of Painless in Fort Worth. That's how they build the harness. On a big plywood board. I have no interest in Painless. Just talking.
  7. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    I used to have a TV:D...saw a clip of Mexican workers building GM harnesses on a "board" type deal. Pretty neat way of being able to get the lengths equal, and be able to wrap them up nice.

    You'd need to know where the wire looms will run on the car, then take those measurements,... then mark out the board. The board does not need to be as long as the car; you can run the longer wires in a zig-zag pattern for more length.
  8. I used to build some industrial harnesses that way.
    But you sort of need a pattern of a harness to do it.
    The first one gets built in place, then removed whole and you set the board up from that one for copies.

    Now wiring a 12 volt system isn't hard if you think about 1 wire at a time.
    If you think about the whole harness it can be over whelming but its still just one wire at a time.

    This mock up you are thinking about will help you control your apprehension about wiring.
    The how to wire your street rod book is pretty good.
  9. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid

    I think youll learn alot. Dont be disapointed when you find it difficult to light that board on fire.
  10. nathan
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 73

    from minnesota

    use clothes line rope and lay it all out, can cut and tape then put on bench and lay out curves with pegs(nails), you can leave the ends long and terminate in the car or if you trust yourself you can preterminate. I do alot of r&d work and this is the only way I can make harnesess
  11. nathan
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 73

    from minnesota

    pegboard works best. can use 1/4 bolts and zipties
  12. Man, I'm like you. Wiring and electricity are like black magic. But, I found myself in a situation where I had to replace the harness in my truck and the only one that was there to do it was me!

    I'm not sure if your starting from scratch, replacing a harness or using a kit. But in any case, you need to follow a schematic. I understand how laying everything out on plywood may help you visualize everything, but if it were me, I woudn't waste my time. I'd lay everything out in the actual vehicle so you can get all the lengths right and figure out the best way to route the wiring.

    Just follow the schematic, make sure every wire is marked or color coded, don't get in a hurry, and concentrate on one thing at a time. Also make sure all the connections are good and all your grounds are good.

    If I can do this shit, anybody can. It took me about a day and a half to replace my harness. When I got done I fired it up and everything worked. It was a freakin miracle.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  13. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,424


    Wiring made easy!

    Two things to remember:
    1. Electrons flow through wires just like water flows through pipes.
    2. It's just like eating an elephant, one bite at a time!

    If you look at a complete wiring diagram for a modern car it will scare you to death. But if you trace each circuit or find a diagram for one component you will see it is actually quite simple.

    Something I do to make life easier; I use color coding like the factory. (Since I had a lot of 50's Chevys I try to use the same wire colors as a '55 Chevy. My first complete rewire.)
  14. nathan
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 73

    from minnesota

    what he said!! different colors are good, bought a vw once that had been a rewired with red wire, every wire was red, hard to trace anything
  15. If you look at a complete wiring diagram for a modern car it will scare you to death

    OBD II wiring scematic is nothing like any wiring diagram ever produced.
    The MoFo that designed that BS either had a touch screen monitor and all the cells are links or was high on PCP.

    37kid this is a growing experience and you'll be fine. Theres only a few wires to run. That's compared to couple hundred or so under the hood of a 2012 or couple thousand in the space shuttle.
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,937


    Thanks for the input, but many of you are going way beyond what I'm trying to do. The steel frame is taking the place of the car chassis, I just want to screw the lights to it and make them work and add whatever is in between, wire it and make them work. Once I can see that I can draw a diagram. The chassis is many years in the future, in reallity I want to leave the finished wiring diagram and the project to my Grandson, I don't think I'll see it finished. It's a hobby. Bob
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  17. 32 hudson
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 695

    32 hudson

    Thanks for some great tips/ideas in this thread. I like the board idea as I have just rermoved a complete wiring harness from an 89 suburban for use in my hot rod. It is overwheming when you see it balled up in a pile on the ground. the board will be a good way to preplan and sort it all out. I know most guys say buy a kit but I am trying to go this way for now.
  18. That's a simple harness but the did some crazy stuff with the junction block and fusable links :eek:

    The fuse block is nice and small, great bulkhead connector.

    If you got one from a earlier 80s truck it would be much simpler.
  19. Ive always said that this little book is the best $7.99 you will ever spend.

    Best of luck with the project 37, you are going about it in a great way.

    Attached Files:

  20. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,184


    My opinion (everybody is entitled to it!!) Is that by the time you buy all the different color and gauge wires to color code a harness, you will have more wrapped up than buying a kit.

    I've done two (which makes me an expert by no means) and the pre-made harness/block/instructions are the way to go for a good amateur job

    Just my opinion!!
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,447

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    You picked the worse way possible to try to wire a project. It may seem to make sense, but really it does not.
  22. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    Wire a lite weight plug in line fuse off the positive terminal on the battery on to the main hot cable, that way it will blow before you let all the white smoke out of the wires.
  23. 1wrench
    Joined: Oct 20, 2012
    Posts: 30

    from Michigan

    Wiring is very easy if you just break it down and do one thing at a time. If building 3 separate harnesses is easier for you do it. Without wasting a bunch of wire sit down and draw out what you have then connect the parts. Keep it simple

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  24. Hemiman51
    Joined: Jun 25, 2012
    Posts: 346


    Bob I would go with a kit I used one from Its-A-Snap , and I am satisfied. Check them out. Its worth a look. i wired my first 32 the hard way. I think a kit is the way to go. Also sorry that i didn't touch when I was in Ct. I would have liked to see you and Alley Oop. Hope you weatherd the storm OK.
  25. sunsetdart
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 106


    The main thing to remember is GROUNDING. Ground the block to the frame and run another from one of the trans bolts to the frame. Use the same cable thickness as the battery cables are made from.
  26. Care to explain your self ?
    Not much different than a kit.

    Fuse box 3"x5" marked and firewall bulkhead 3"x3" in.
    Bulk head has 3 branches, 1 engine, 2 front lighting, 3 rear lighting.
    Fuse box has 3 branches, 1 dash, windows, interior.

    The gm steering column pug is already in.
    Headlights taillights, dashlights and blinkers and switches already in.
    Heater controls, in.
    Wiper controls in.
    All senders wired to instrument cluster plug.

    If you want or need to use it, just plug it in
    Power windows
    AC circuits.
    WS washer
    Tcc brake switch
    CIG lighter
    Aux power
    Courtesy lights.
    There's even a plug n play trailer light connection.

    The TBI computer harnnes is almost completely seperate.
    The power, ignition power, ground, mil or SES light and tcc switch are mixed into the dash branch.
  27. Dan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,367


    DC power supply, fuse block and terminal strip...

    great way to test components, build circuits, etc. fun and educational

    wired my '40 chevy pickup with a harness out of a '74 suburban, maybe not the "easiest" but I sure learned alot more figuring stuff out than using a kit, I think...

    Attached Files:

  28. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    One word answer...fuses.

    circuits with fuses and/or fuseable links will not burn a car down... the fuse blows and the current stops flowing. No fire. If you power up a new harness and the fuse blows there will be no fire and all you have to do is check what is wrong with the blown fuse circuit. No need to worry about the circuits that are not blown.

    Your fear is very real but irrational. With the safety devises in place there is nothing to fear. I had a friend that wore a clove of garlic around his neck. He said it was to ward off tigers. I said there are no tigers for 10,000 mile and he said...yeah works good huh? Maybe you'd feel better with a clove of garlic.:D
  29. Your fear is very real but irrational.

    Spontaneous Electropyromaniaphobic?
  30. AZbent
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 267


    You can do everthing with water/fuel,hydraulics that you can do with electricity. If you want to try and make a circuit (light/horn etc.) or two on a board, go ahead, it will make you more comfortable. I don't think making the entire harness on a board is an efficient use of time or funds, even if it is a hobby. I work with electricity everyday on airplanes and I am not really looking forward to laying on my back and crawling around rewiring my truck. Good luck and keep trying until you feel comfortable, whether it be wiring from scratch or using a kit. Mark

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