The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by shocker998md, Feb 4, 2011.
maybe these guys work on Morgans and corvettes?
What I've found over the years is that most old timers don't want to spend any more than they need to so they use what Evers in the barn, garage or shed.
but at least IHC puts little circuit numbers on them
I know its not a wiring issue like the rest of you guys, but check out the PO"s handy work on welding/fabricating mounts. This was how they swapped in the 351w for the ole 6. The one pictured here had been crushed, "re-aligned", and tacked back together.
It is really amazing what you will find. I have worked on a lot of cars, whether it is my own project or someone elses. I have also done a lot of bodywork, and if you get a car from someone that is "almost ready for paint" its usually a disaster. I would rather pull a car out of a barn, or out of a field that is untouched. 90% of the cars i have worked on that have had previous work done to them are completely hacked! whether its wiring, bodywork, patch panels etc. I painted a 72 Camaro about 2 years ago for a guy, said that he picked it up and the car was already in guide coat. I said to him, "that sucks man". He thought he was one up now that the car was almost ready for paint. I decided to knock down the primer and dig in to see that bodywork that was done to it. Lets just say, it went from a 2 week project, to 9 months that thing sat in my garage. Went from a $2500 job, to $8000 in a heartbeat. There were areas on the bottom of the doors where there was over 1" of body filler!!!! I put a new quarter on it, and 2 new door skins, and 1 new fender. The project was a disaster all because everything done to the car previously was half assed. This is only one of my many half assed stories!!!haha!
My '62 Falcon is in the garage right now so I can completely re-wire it for exactly these reasons.
The PO made so many bad "fixes" it came to the point that it was just easier to rip everything out and start over.
Most of the wiring "splices" were simply twisted together. Not even taped! Just the bare twisted ends.
There also were wires that weren't connected to anything. Just the bare end hanging out in the air.
Excess wire from long gone aftermarket stereos just looped around everywhere and I guess they hated using screws and bolts. Most of the added speakers were held in place with wire.
So was the radiator. It wasn't a Falcon radiator so it was wired in place.
The return spring on the throttle linkage was hooked on the wire off the back of the alternator.
Here's just some of what I ripped out:
One of them isn't named LUCAS is it?
....I found when I look at bad wiring....usually other things on the car have bad things happening too....like wire holding up the tail pipe,,,,battery cables that fit,lug nuts missing,head lights or taillights bulbs burned out...the list goes on and on...I often wonder if their car is screwed up.....what does their shop looks like?
I bought an old chevy truck from a guy that was blowing brake/tail light fuses. The short was an occasional thing so it was hard to pinpoint. This guy was so pissed off that he sold the truck real cheap. He had cut, spliced, and rerouted damn near every wire on the friggin truck trying to find the problem. So I checked all lightbulb sockets, front and rear. Ran new wiring to the tail lights. I cleaned up the under dash wiring. I checked everything and found myself getting a little ticked. Until I pulled the steering wheel. Aha, guess what I found. One of the metal springs in the turn signal mechanism had come loose and was shorting out on the steering column. Three years later and not a single fuse replaced. I hope I did'nt jinx myself. Knock on wood.
That is just way too funny....
Ive got a good one to add to the list.....
a customer brought me and Dad this car about a year ago (47 ford) and when we looked under the dash to "clean it up a bit" we found that EVERYTHING was wired "HOT" you turn on the key and it was a Fire waiting to happen...needless to say the entire wiring rat's nest came out and we rewired the whole car nice and safe now!!!!
This is what resulted from a previous owner adding a 3 gauge cluster!
Wirenuts WILL vibrate loose eventually. Electrical tape gets hot and loses it's grip, or gets old and brittle. Duct tape is for holding fenders on, not wrapping electrical connections. Think ahead and keep some heat shrink handy. Never run a power wire between the fender and door, spend a little time and find a rubber grommet to push it through. DO NOT crimp with flat crimpers, use the ones with the spike in it so your wires won't slip out. ALWAYS wire in a fuse, within 6" of a power source. Zip ties are your friend.
We've all used what we had to fix what we had to, but use some common sense when patching up. Make shure a temporary fix is just that!
My Dad was an industrial Electrician that did a lot of machine controls, quite often from scratch. He taught me a lot about wiring and how to do things the right way. He learned his trade as a young man wiring switch boards for Western Electric when the telephone system was also very young.
He set the bar very high and I have only met a few electricians that came close in the skill level. I'm not too suprised that you have problems training the guys that have only wired houses.
Anyway... I bought a well used Dodge RV a few years ago. The generator that was on board started itself one day and I had to look at the wiring... It was all clear speaker wire... all through the "house" and on every clearance light on the outside of the truck. I never did figure out how he wired the generator... It made no sense at all... It was a mess to straighten out.
When I bought my ride it was wired with speaker wire and cut extension cords, pulled all that shit out got a new harness in. Whata mess that shit was.
You mean like this
While not a boat gas tank it did the job. I always had a 5 gallon gas can handy in the back.
I'm with Phil Johnson...wire is wire...I don't know about you guys but I don't have any extra money sitting around and I don't enjoy running errands (especially if the wiring is to my brake lights or something like that) so if I need a wire, I might split an old electrical wire (from who knows where) down the middle to make a single wire...nice and flexible, lots of copper, and free. I'm diggin' it.
WIRE IS NOT JUST WIRE! it too has a tensile strength. Ever wonder why some is so "flexible" and others not? It's because it is meant for a certain purpose! Don't risk burning you projects up to save a few dollars. You may end up burning the garage that the project was siting in with it. Or worse, burn someone else's car up that your parked by.
This has turned into an electrical wiring thread, but here's a collection of "I fixed it" photos that will crack you up:
And why would using red wires on the ground make it smoke
Unless we are talking about a high amperage load how fine the wire is doesn't matter. Your car is not going to go up in smoke because you used an 18 gauge lamp cord instead of buying a roll of 18 gauge off the shelf.
how many cars i have looked under the dash and seen this, out of sight out of mind, and once you start looking at the wires more closely you see they are have holes poked in the coating everywhere from a test light, and if a wire is cut from a switch or other conection there way to short to reuse.
I can't believe some of you would just throw any kind of wire into your cars. There are different wire made for different purposes. Wire used in cars should be oil and gas resistant and flexible. Lamp cord is not oil and gas resistant, why would it be, it has to be the cheapest wire made so the lamp companies can sell lamps at the lowest price. Also, why would you want your ride to look like some hillbilly wired it? Take some pride in your ride.
Rule #1 of electricity, all electrical apparatus has smoke in it, DO NOT let the smoke out.
Other rules are never run wire though unprotected holes in metal or over sharp edges of metal. Use a grommet or some kind of wrap around the wires. In my work everything going through metal gets protection.
I don't use butt connectors, one they're ugly, butt ugly IMO, second I don't think they offer a good connection. I soldier connections covered by two layers of heat shrink tubing, the outer one slightly longer than the first. If a part has to be possibly removed in the future for repair or replacement I use crimp on wire connectors, I'm not thrilled with wire nuts but I'll use them if a customer requests them. I also use wire nuts for house hold wiring but I always wrap them with a good quality electrical tape, not the $1 a roll crap.
I also use a high quality crimper with a ratcheting action to insure the crimps are properly made. They won't release until the crimp is completely made. The ones I have meet all kinds of military specs. I don't like the $5 manual crimpers you get at the big box stores, I seen the crimps made by them come apart at the most inconvenient times.
When wiring a car I try to use the proper color wire if I have it. I'm luckier than most because of my business I have thousands of feet of different color and gauge wire, most people can't afford to have this assortment on hand. If I would wire with a limited assortment of color wire I would just use a good wire marking system. I have professional marking equipment but Brothers make inexpensive labelers that work just find for the DIY wirer you can find at most office supply stores.
Almost nothing drives me more nuts than a rats nest of wire.
Oh yes it will. I had my first car catch on fire because I used what I thought was good stranded wire.Hey, it was as big as the automotive stuff so I thought it would work,and it caught fire sitting at a red light.If I had not had a fire extinguisher on board and a loose battery cable to disconnect, I would have burned it to the ground.
I used lamp cord.It got hot and melted the insulation,burned through the oil gauge line and caught fire. Don't use ac wire for dc circuits.
There is no such thing as AC or DC wire, as far as I know, it all matters what the jacket or covering is rated for and the gauge of the wire. I use the same type of wire, MTW, machine tool wire to wire AC and DC ciruits in my control systems. There are many other types of jacket materials depending on the enviroment the wire is going to be in.
I do follow some industry color code standards when wiring, blue is DC, red is 120 VAC, black for AC above 120 VAC, green or green/yellow for ground and yellow for unknown voltage for circuits being supplied power from outside my panel. These are the basic colors, there are others for different applications.
Different wire, depending on the jacket, has different voltage ratings and chemical and moisture resistance. Any good wire will have this clearly printed on the jacket.
I work in a new car dealership. Whenever the techs there get out of their neat little "the computer told me to plug in THIS" world, they will use suitcase connectors, wire nuts, twisted strands, solid core wire, all one color, you name it.
It seems that our world and their world only j*u*s*t touch.
Copper is copper. A lamp cord is made out of the same copper a chunk of automotive wire is. I don't deny that the coating for automotive wire might be more temperature or solvent resistant but unless you were running that lamp cord next to an exhaust manifold or had gas dumping on it I don't think it magically burnt up your car just because it was for a lamp. My first car almost went up in smoke too, no jury-rigged wiring there, just factory wiring that had the insulation go brittle with age and shorted out. I've been rigging wiring in since I started driving and I've never had a wire that I wired in catch on fire no matter if it was speaker wire, extension cord wire, or even solid house wiring.
Take pride in this?
If I was building a nice rod sure I would use nice wire, but when I have a 300 dollar pile of crap and a lamp cord laying around I am going to use the lamp cord. I had a rusted out Chevy Nova (the lame FWD version) that was wired up using scrap wire. That clunker was literally falling apart. A lot of the old cars we cherish today were someone's beater back in the day.
I don't mind a certain amount of jerryrigging, but I draw the line at using solid wire in a vehicle, where things move around at a greater frequency.
A friend did have an old Travco that he rewired with house wire, and didn't burn it up. I still think it's bad practice verging on tempting fate.
Separate names with a comma.