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wtf do some people think when "fixing" things

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by shocker998md, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    Not everyone has the financial means ( $$$ ) to fix a vehicle to what we consider standard. :) There are LOTS of folks who just need the old ride to get them to work, school, church or whatever. To them a vehicle is just a necessary evil or tool.

    There are a lot of people now who are having a real difficult time just putting food on the table and having a place to stay. Unemployment is HIGH ... jobs are difficult to find.

    And some folks just do not give a royal d@&# about a vehicle :( :confused:
  2. SuddenDeath
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 186

    from Florida

    Experienced some of this just yesterday. Installing a trans cooler with a temp gauge, so pulled an old gauge plate off the dash and wa-la...rat's nest of old wiring. One piece had no less than 4 splices inside of 6-8 inches. Ended up pulling the entire top of the dash and now going through it all. Couldn't bear to just leave it that way.

    When I went through the engine compartment harness, I found some lamp cord spliced in there for a couple of feet. Its like a treasure hunt!
  3. just for fun
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 13

    just for fun

    Old VW's prior to 74 wiring was Polands revenge on Germany no two were wired the same! You study the wiring diagram, come up with a game plan, go out the the car and WTF is this!

  4. oh ya, can't get enough of them wire nuts. if i can get away with it, sometimes ill even throw a little cat5 in there just to mix things up lol

    i know what your saying though. my truck was done as a street rod in the late 90's and i cant believe some of the hack shit i've seen. i just wish bondo could be recycled
  5. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    We've all seen some hideous wiring. The worst I have found is in old wreckers. I have owned and worked on several and the wiring was a mess on every one of them. One was apparently wired with a whole roll of red 12 gauge and all the wires twisted together and taped.
    I also hate the electrician stuff with wire nuts, how hard is it to use crimp connectors?
    Also one of the reasons I lean more toward Ford trucks was because the high school hackers didn't favor them as much. Every old shortbed Chevy seemed to have had multiple sound systems installed with a fire ax and a roll of lamp cord and duct tape. Not to mention the fan shroud missing and spark plug wires wrapped around the master cylinder.
  6. We have a 37 Caddy in the shop right now that was wired up with an old aftermarket harness at another shop, it's a nightmare. Things grounded to the aluminum carb spacers, wires that start out one color and change halfway thru. Everytime you pulled the light switch the fuse would blow....traced the radio illumination wire straight to the radio GROUND wire. My boss told me that he repaired a wiring job a few years back and found a note attached to a wire under the console that said "this wire is not the same color at the other end"........go figure.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  7. 1/2done
    Joined: Oct 29, 2006
    Posts: 619

    from Ohio

    Back in the 90's I had an IROC Z come in to the shop I worked at with headlights inop. I started checking it out, dropped the hush panel and went to reach up under the dash and my hand hit something solid. I felt around and thought there was a second hush panel. So I slid under the dash and saw Great Stuff expanding foam. Solid. No airspace at all in the dash. Service writer called the customer, "Oh, I had a rattle in the dash so I put that in there to stop it".:rolleyes: 2hrs of digging later I got the headlight switch out that had overheated from no air circulation. The real home run is the guy was an engineer.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,551


    Trouble shooting one like that on the side of the road headed to a rod trot because your buddy's roadster doesn't have tail lights isn't fun for sure but I got it done. The builder got a real good on a couple of big spools of red wire though.
  9. gti3893
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 4


    I went to look at a truck a while back, and the guy had a light switch, that you would have in your house, mounted to the dash. I didn't stick around long enough to figure out what it did. I told my Dad not to bother getting out of the car and we left.
  10. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,191

    from red oak

    Worked on a guys Model A, The fuse pannel was under the dash. He added 3 indicator lights on the dash. I could stretch the wires he added 3 feet outside the car- each one changed colors 3 times each. At least he used the correct automotive wire. The gas tank(inside the car) was held in with one bolt and was settin on chunks of foam. It had a crack in the neck and was leakin a little onto the foam. A 65 year old man who drove it every where. The bolts hold`in the shocks on were 7 inches long, needed to be 7 and a half because the threads did`nt pass the locking part on the locknut.
  11. L7
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 131


    one of the previous owners of a car I had, must of had some carpentry experience. When he decided to fix the interior he did a fine job of laying down the carpet - tacked in place with about 50 nails and a good hammer!
  12. Nothing wrong with using a four-wire trailer wiring harness for the taillights and front running lights! Too damn easy! If you are fabbing a harness from scratch, or replacing old and crappy original wiring, how hard is yellow for left turn, green for right turn, black for taillights/tag light, and white for ground???
  13. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    from Inman, SC

    The PO did the 12 volt upgrade on my 54 F100 with house wire and didn't even bother to remove the original wire so it was like spaghetti everywhere.
  14. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    I have a 65 Corvette in the shop with rusted out windshield frame and drip rails, the window frame was "fixed" with bondo and windshield sealer, the drip rails were "fixed" with silicone caulking.... Drivers feet kept getting wet while driving.....

    IDK, there is a fine line, (maybe not so much with a Corvette), but so many of these cheap ass fixes kept these cars on the road and out of salvage yards long enough that we have had the chance to put our hands on them.

    At one time, most of the cars HAMB'ers dig were once just "old cars" judged not worthy of the money needed to make them right.
  15. Was this on the 75 Mustang? :eek:
  16. Ahhh yeas. One of my favorites! I LOVE going to the trouble of getting a schematic for a project, figuring out the circut in question, saying to myself "YES! It's the red wire." getting under the dash and finding 8 red wires where the schematic shows 2.
    Another that makes the list for me are the assbags that blow the speedometer grommet out of the firewall to pass a bunch of wires through. Nothing like making SURE something will fail.
  17. Danog
    Joined: Apr 26, 2007
    Posts: 110


    I am an Electrican and you are right. Most guys at work havn't got a clue how to wire a car. The colors you use are for Identifing what is what. (Ex. AC wiring the grounds are Green but DC in the car ground is black) If you use all the same color or the wrong colors it will work safely, but If you have to fix something.(WTF) NO SOILD WIRE IN A CAR. The Copper standed wire doesn't care if the Volts/Amps are AC/DC or where they go or what they do. The Jacket on the wire does care, It tells you where, what and How Safely the job is done. Wire with Voltage/amperage in your car Needs To be Correct size and Jacket. Speaker wire is just that SPEAKER WIRE.
  18. Ravenwood
    Joined: Feb 26, 2009
    Posts: 237

    from Texas

  19. luckyuhaul
    Joined: Jul 11, 2005
    Posts: 182


    You had good reason.
    And more.
  20. Funny, Pro's who get paid to repair complain about poor repairs, just more money in the bank to me. The guys complaining about previous owners, were not smart enough to look things over before buying, or should have looked better. I have rushed into buying things that turned out bad, but that was my fault.
  21. Almost bought a '58 Impala that had the entire rockers sculpted from chicken wire and bondo. Looked good from 20 feet.

    On a related note, I recently saw the original "Hot Rod Lincoln" in a local shop and talked to the owner of the shop who had been hired to fix it up a bit. He said the ENTIRE car was wired with lamp cord, and assembled with whatever mismatched nuts and bolts were in the coffee can at the time.

    They can't all be diamonds...some are just rocks.
  22. tanof
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 107

    from New Mexico

    You got black? What year was it? I have a 67 and everything under the dash from the factory was green!

    As for trailer wiring I used it to rewire my rear lights from a plug in the firewall and followed the proper code with the white, brown, yellow, and green wires. The four wires connected together in one ribbon really cleaned up the frame rails and rear of the truck. Instead of four individual wires that need zipties, this one ribbon is only held by the factory wiring hook and clamps that are on the frame under the cab and bed of the truck. The wire for the reverse lights is connected to the transmission. I then used the same wire color on the same ribbon to connect something from the firewall connector to the transmission.

    The PO had made a huge mess wiring two hitch plugs: one four and one seven (I think). All colors were used along with twistys and different types of tape. The bumper had three holes for hitches and two 2" receivers, one on top of the other. I could not tow the truck without scratching the ground.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  23. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,015

    26 roadster

    I have wired a few (several hundred) and have seen all the above and more.
    The tell is if it has a stereo in it, or, the wad of black tape near the steering column. This usually means trouble. I still wire cheap or for trade but after all the years nothing has changed. It ain't rocket science so if you can't do it find someone who can and trade em out of it.
    note: customer wanted just white and green wire to match paint. He never had a problem with the wiring but I freaked out doing it!
  24. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Some of the older Internationals used all green.

    Mack trucks use all white with numbers on them at intervals like aircraft wiring but oil cleans the numbers off. I believe the Internationals have numbers also.

    Back in the 70s, when I used to work at a dealership, I saw a lot of fancy wiring as my job was to troubleshoot electrical problems. Had a new Ford pickup that had been undercoated before it left the dealership that came back because the tail light fuse kept blowing. The service manager assumed that a wire was pinched when the tail lights were removed for undercoating. When they didn't find one, it became my problem. The tail light fuse also fed the dash lights and the owner had installed an aftermarket radio over the weekend. Ford used the case of the factory radio as a ground. There was a two prong plug for radio power and the light in the radio. The owner connected the aftermarket radio power and ground lead to them, grounding the dash lights.

    Another customer installed a CB radio and carefully wrapped a wire around the factory harness all the way out to the battery. Unfortunately he didn't install a fuse at the battery and drilled a hole through the firewall. When the wire shorted out on the hole, it melted into the harness and shorted everything out.
  25. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Where do you get aluminum butt connectors? Everything I've seen is tinned copper. The heat shrink style seal so no corrosion. Wire nuts allow moisture in and copper corrodes.
  26. GREASER815
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 973


    I think it is typical, I work on farm implements and tractors. We see tons of wire nuts, romex, solid core home wiring, etc.... People have no clue and think they can use anything they want because they have it laying around. What we always ask ourselves is why the hell are all of these people so lucky? If I tried half the stuff I have seen my stuff would burn up as soon as I hooked up the battery. I guess someone is always watching over the dumb ones.
  27. dirt slinger
    Joined: Jan 30, 2010
    Posts: 645

    dirt slinger

    Im an electrician and been around houses, commercial, and industrial electrical work. Ive also been around cars and hot rods all my life. Just because someone is an electrician doesnt mean they cant wire a vehicle. The problem is the jack leg electricians that think they can fix anything when half the time they dont even know what they're doing on the job. What matters is when someone takes pride in their work and understands the two different processes of buildings and cars. A car is one of the simplest things that an electrician could wire compared to alot of industrial machines and equipment. I guess what Im trying to say is have a little pride in what you are doing, understand what your doing and you MUST be smart that what you are working on.
  28. DMFB
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 545


    hahaha, do you know Stephen Redmon. Sorry, inside joke, just got me laughing. Terry Montgomery (Nailhead Terry) will prolly have a great chuckle at it too.
  29. Danog
    Joined: Apr 26, 2007
    Posts: 110


    Well said, and Thank You.
  30. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,719

    junk yard kid

    I hate people that "restore" cars with shit from home depot.

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