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I am moving right along with my 46'. The Body has been attached driveline is being made. I still need a few misc things for the engine like a carburetor, distributor, alternator, radiator w/brackets and hoses, battery and need to make mount and cables, plugs and wires, starter, headers, full exhaust system.
You know the little things
But outside of that I am on a roll...My question is the wiring harness, I am hearing that is the most difficult thing and just pay to have it done.
Youa'll helped so much before I was hoping you could offer some more great advice.
What is the level of difficulty? (Can I handle it?)
Where do I get one? how do I know it is a good one? What other questions do I need to ask/know on this?
If you go with the stock harness, then it's a fairly simple procedure. Your truck is modified though, right? If so then you have a bit more going on. Stock harnesses are made for use with a nearly stock original truck. You can make an original style harness work, you may have to shorten or extend wires, but you can make it work. An option is going with an aftermarket universal harness that most street rod vendors carry. Most are 12 or 18 circuit, depending on what your truck has options wise (heater, stereo, A/C, etc.). They are not a simple plug and play thing, however, if you take your time and follow the directions they give, you should be able to do it. Think ahead when you order your harness though. What kind of creature comforts do you want of the truck. You are much better to order a harness with circuits for things you will be adding, even if in the future. Wiring doesn't have to be as hard as some make it to be, just take your time, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
'46 Ford 1/2 ton
'07 Black F-150 XLT SuperCrew
plus a handful of other Fords
Sara, as with everything the wiring is just another thing that you will need to assess your own skill level. I would not think twice about doing my own wiring and will when I get to that point. Of course your wiring will be a little more complicated than mine but I still would do yours.
Do you have a wiring harness from the steering column to the engine? I think I have heard of aftermarket wiring harness for this application.
Whether or not you chose to do this yourself, you will want to think about some things before you start the wiring.
1. What type of igintion stystem will you use. I am not up on the Chevs but I do know that the more modern Fords had significantly different wiring if you did electronic ignition (and which elec ign) or the older points setup. Of course then you have all the other goodies that you can add like a magneto etc. -- I do know that the Chevs had a lot of their elctronic ignition stuff under the cap so it is a little easier to deal with than the Fords.
2. Alternator choice. Again having delt mostly with Fords, I can say that the choice you make for the alternator will determine what you need for wiring there also. Again though as I recall most Chevs had the voltage regulator built into the alternator making that wiring easier.
3. Guages. It looks like your Father-in-law was setting up to put some guages in the dash -- the big round holes to the right of the speedometer. If you do not have the guages, you will need to decide if you want electrical or mechanical guages to put there. But more important you have to decide if you are going to use any of the original gauges ie fuel? If you do want to use the originals you will have to do some reading on how to do this. The originals were run on 6V and your new Chev will give you 12V. Simply, since the guages do not maintain a constant resistance through the circuit, you cannot just put a known resitor in the circuit to reduce the voltage to 6. But I think I have seen some good posts in this forum talking about this issue and they do sell what you need to do the conversion correctly (of couse here is why I will never be a medical doctor I cannot remember what the thingy is called).
I think I got 3 big things for you to think about here, I am sure someone will catch something else that I have forgotten. Just remember this. If you are missing something on the truck now that is electronic, you should look into your choices, because each choice is going to likely have different wiring. The more things that you have finished like that, the less rewiring you will have to do later.
If I may - I have a two part question that has nothing to do with wiring but it has been a heated debate with me and the wrencher's at my work.
Is it really that big of a deal to have the frame sandblasted and/or sprayed? My take is that its a frame who's going to see it, but I am not a pro either.
So if it is a big deal (worth it) would one recommend having the drivetrain installed before it is sprayed and/or sand blasted or wait until after?
Alternator sizing is dependant on how much electricity you will use. If you are shooting for minimum, the smallest alternator will let you squeeze a little more horses out of your motor (I have worked with cars with basically no eletrical so they could run without an alternator for this reason) It would probably be mostly unnoticable with your setup. If you plan on running an electric radiator fan, AC blower motor, lots of lights, go with the higher AMP. In general it will not hurt too much to over amp.
Frame ??? Well where to start. I just got my cab off my frame. I posted a pict of the frame in my gallery. My truck was parked in 1967, and as you can see from the picts of the truck it sat on the frame. I would guess that it never saw the Minnesota winters that the new cars see though. We salt our roads such that they dry out very soon after a snowfall and that salt eats our cars like crazy. My frame is absolutely solid. Since my truck will never be driven in the salt I would guess that if I did nothing to my frame it would last my entire life. I will blast and spray mine though because I had to strip it down this far anyway to fix the floor of the cab. I am saving up for a good compressor and blaster right now for that purpose.
My guess is that your Cali truck has a pristine frame :-) If not it must be at least as nice as mine. You probably do not need to blast it, I found this site looking for gas tank sealer: http://www.stoprust.net/
Maybe something like that will be all that you need to do.
Sorry I forgot you might not have any of the original frame under your truck, and so the full frame is likely much newer than the original also. You do want to look for any welds that were made to the frame. For instance if it is mostly the original with the front suspension welded on, you do want to make sure all of those welds are clean. From my experience the metal surrounding the welds tends to rust out fast if it is not cleaned up and sealed fairly soon after welding.
Of course someone is going to say that it because I am an inexperienced welder and have been using the wrong rods/current :-)
I wired my 46 with an EZ Wiring kit and it was simple. They include diagrams for all types of alternators. I have a 302 Lincoln motor but I use a GM type steering column and a GM type 1-wire alternator and the kit had me covered.
SARAEZRA, a lot of the wiring harness makers such as Painless Performance Products and others will print on each wire, where it goes and what it does up and down the wire but the ready made harness are kind of expensive depending on where you buy it. As far as the frame goes, I used Por-15 on mine and Chassis-Coat black. It looks pretty good. I cleaned it good and painted right over the rust like the instructions said. It seemed to work. I didn't have any way to transport a frame to a sandblaster, so I did the next best thing.
Wirings only real challenge is PATIENCE., and having/using good quality tools, i.e. crimpers and strippers. I wired my '34 three different times and my '41 once already. I used Painless Performance on both until I used Ron Francis on the 34 the last time. I have a Painless kit in the '41 now, I will be removing it in favor of the Ron Francis kit on this rebuild. All the wires are printed., the instructions for both Painless and Ron Francis are complete, and both have EXCELLENT tech service after the sale to help find nay 'GREMLINS'.
My STRONGEST word of advice......be SURE you make good GROUNDS ! Nearly all problems track back to poor grounds.
The reason I prefer Ron Francis to the other pre-wired circuit blocks is just that. Painless, EZWire, Haywire etc etc all use a prewired terminal block so fishing wires around can some times be a challenge. I like be able to simply place the panel then route individual wires one at a time where it goes best. Instead of having to deal with bundles of wire all routed together from the outside in. Just a personl preference. Dont buy an all BLACK kit......some kit makers market kits where all the wires are black. not too bad on initial installation, but troubleshooting or adding to after the fact will drive you CRAZY without colored wires.
As for the frame. if it isn't too bad other than surface rust. consider sanding the loose stuff off and applying a product like POR-15 or similar rust converter/preventative. Then top coat that with your paint. Of course if you Powder Coat the frame, that step isn't needed.
Steve WV Chapter Member
1941 Ford 1/2 Ton Flathead - FTE 'Ride of the Week' 10/28-11/02 2008
1934 Chebby Sedan
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