Big 15 wiring harness
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Big 15 wiring harness

    I desperately need to get some work done on the electrics. It's to the point of being dangerous, lots of the insulation has fallen off so I have bare wires in lots of places ( I won't even leave the battery on when parked in the garage for fear of fire ) As I don't have the time to fiddle with it myself it's going to the auto elec for evaluation soon. A new wiring harness is close to $600 plus fitting, question is, can it be reasonably easy to fit without stripping out the car ( does it run internally or under body?) Is it reasonably to assume the main front to rear part of the harness could be ok as it's not been subjected to the elements as much as the engine bay & lights etc therefore allowing for something less than full replacement. any advice appreciated, cheers Dave

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  2. #2
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    It would be false economy to try to retain the rear portion if the front is no good. Just because you can't see it to check it doesn't means it will be OK. Being a Slough car, it will have Lucas wiring and it might be a type of rubberised or cotton braided insulation that eventually fails. There probably isn't a lot of more durable PVC in the harness. Most of the wiring is behind the dash and forward, but you'd need to remove some trim to access parts like the trafficators. Think about a modern discreetly placed fuse box too.
    Last edited by David S; 6th May 2014 at 08:20 PM.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Dash board harness and the forward engine bay loom are easy to replace BUT to do the rear harness you will need to release the headlining. Depending on the year this is either cloth or vinyl. Cloth will be old and probably very fragile but is retained by a metal rail with small punched "teeth". Vinyl will have a cover strip that has to be removed, Hood bows are screwed in place. Be careful not to damage the cloth. A flat spatula will assist in releasing the cloth from the hooks.
    Cheers Gerry

  4. #4
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    Thanks David & Gerry, I'll see what the auto elec thinks about the situation as I don't want to play with the head lining ( vinyl) as it's original & I'm sure it won't be the same after being removed. cheers Dave

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    With the vinyl headlining you are probably in a better position to release it and change the loom than with the earlier flannel lining. Yours is either '54 or '55 ---Right?
    I made my own loom from 5mm black wire by replicating each wire one at a time once I had unwrapped the original. I then rewrapped the new loom in black bias binding tape --- a good period look but not strictly kosher! There was a fellow in Lilydale Vic. that had the Lucas binding machine to give the authentic finish to the loom.
    BTW I was able to use all of the original connectors and terminals!
    Mine is a 53 so I then had to sew up a new headlining. I searched for the original Macquarie flannel 9 earlier cars had a different material more like billiard table baize. I took me 15 years to track some down. I finally found it at the local Lincraft store believe it or not. They had an old stock bolt on the specials table -----very fortunate and exactly the right colour!
    Cheers Gerry

  6. #6
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    I could use a vacation to Murwillumbah right about now....

    Gerry, wasn't there some Swedish Traction site that had posted a goodly number of the diagrams? Might be of use to Halfbrick and his sparky.


    Edit: try this page. It looks interesting, and has a link to that Swedish traction wiring book from Svenska B11 Klubben. http://traction.valdesarre.fr/i.php?p=elect1
    Last edited by Hotrodelectric; 7th May 2014 at 06:55 PM. Reason: add link
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Hi Bill,
    The Lucas system is very different. For a start it is positive earth!
    I have a copy of the '49 Slough schematic for the layout! It is not hard to adapt this to the later cars as the principle is largely the same. Two tail lights instead of one, an extra junction box on the firewall and a separate fuse block instead of the integral fuse and regulator set up of the older models! Slight differences to allow for a double filament headlight globe instead of the solenoid dipping mechanism. Also slight change to the brake lamps switch position!
    Not at all hard to work out if you follow the original loom closely!
    Halfbrick! If you want I can print out the wiring diagram and send it to you. Just PM me with your address, or your email address if you want it as a PDF!
    Last edited by gerrypro; 7th May 2014 at 07:18 PM.
    Cheers Gerry

  8. #8
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrypro View Post
    Hi Bill,
    The Lucas system is very different. For a start it is positive earth!
    I have a copy of the '49 Slough schematic for the layout! It is not hard to adapt this to the later cars as the principle is largely the same. Two tail lights instead of one, an extra junction box on the firewall and a separate fuse block instead of the integral fuse and regulator set up of the older models! Slight differences to allow for a double filament headlight globe instead of the solenoid dipping mechanism. Also slight change to the brake lamps switch position!
    Not at all hard to work out if you follow the original loom closely!
    Oooops....

    That's what I get for staying up late and switching the brain off. Sorry 'bout that.
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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Is $600 for an accurate reproduction unreasonable considering the rest of the expenditure that you will probably face on the cars maintenance/ restoration?
    Cheers Gerry

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    No Gerry , it's not but considering our personal fallout from the financial crisis & corresponding " rebuilding" process there are limited funds for toys ( are they ever unlimited?) so just trying to keep it safe & usable. If I was going to do a full resto then a new harness would automatically be included as part of the job. So, just doing the basics on the wiring, minor , I hope , mechanical works & possibly a quick lick of paint so it looks presentable from a distance should see me get out of it for $1000/$1500. I would be a happy man & not ashamed to take it out in public. cheers Dave

  11. #11
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    It is possible to buy a paint on insulation / encapsulant and that may be a solution if the problem is only on exposed wires.

    Depending on what you actually have at present, you could certainly work your way through the loom and progressively replace whatever is defective. If you want a cheap source of modern wiring, while not the ideal solution, you could salvage the harness from something about the age of a Xantia, which has an enormous amount of wiring and some very long runs. A rainbow assortment of sleeves, possible heatshrink, could be a substitute for the Lucas colours.

    If you decide not to replace the rear wiring and it is suspect, add some in-line fuses to catch any fault if it shorts. It would also possible to re-route new wires to the rear of the car if you do not want to disturb the headlining. If there is a lot of this to do, then you might find the cost of all the bodgy workarounds adds up quickly and approaches the cost of the new loom.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    . A rainbow assortment of sleeves, possible heatshrink, could be a substitute for the Lucas colours.

    If you decide not to replace the rear wiring and it is suspect, add some in-line fuses to catch any fault if it shorts. It would also possible to re-route new wires to the rear of the car if you do not want to disturb the headlining. If there is a lot of this to do, then you might find the cost of all the bodgy workarounds adds up quickly and approaches the cost of the new loom.
    The rainbow sleeve coding method is the one I used. All my wiring is in black vinyl coated fine strand. 5 mm for the longer runs where there may be voltage drop and also for the charging circuit. The rest is in 3mm. Cost of the two rolls of wire from Truscotts radio supplies in Croydon and also the coloured lengths of heat shrink. The Bias binding from the haberdashery was dirt cheap. All up about $70 when I did it back in '94. Should not be much more today!
    The least deteriorated wiring will be the roof harness, as it has been protected from UV all of its life!
    Cheers Gerry

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