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New Guy Needs Guidance
#1325504 Mon Sep 09 2019 08:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 23
New Guy
Just got back to the site after several years of life. I would greatly appreciate some guidance on how to go about a complete rewiring of a 1946 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup. I'll be change to a 235 12 volt system. Living in the Paci fic Northwest, a good defroster, heater and windshiled wipers are the top priorities. Wiring to pull a utility trailer is of course, a must.
ce a must.
I want this truck to be my get around town weekly driver for the rest of my life so I will to go a little extra to get thing right.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Ronnie Ray

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
Ronnie Ray #1325516 Mon Sep 09 2019 09:29 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,674
General Purpose
First thing to know is that it is pretty simple. Buy a wiring harness. I recommend one with prewired fuse panel. I like the ATO fuse panel. From there it's follow the instructions and use the original wiring diagram also, so you learn what you are doing. I don't know your expertise or experience, but don't at all be intimidated by wiring.

I don't know what "ce" is

Read the 12V conversion in our "TIP" section. You will need a ballast resistor.

There are three main bundles to route and tie. Care should be taken to make the route and bundle look good. If there are inner fender terminal boards, I would eliminate those.

There are VERY few wires on an old truck.

The defroster and heater are mechanical items for you to sort out/rebuild/buy. The wiring is just the blower motor.

The wipers are all mechanical if they are vacuum. Heater and wiper questions are for another post.

The three main bundles are:
1. Front lighting/gauge senders/horn
2. Rear lighting
3. Dash/switches/gauge/cab
There will be a few "ignition/charging" wires. Some may not be part of a harness.

Take pictures of all wiring as it exists. All the routing, inside and out. Under chassis and under hood. If this is your first time, those pics will help you as you go. save all the connectors and wiring accessories for ref.

Decide where you want the fuse panel. Firewall, inside cab, upper left is a good place if possible. Sort out/lay out the harness with a few tie wraps as a general layout.
When you get that far, you will have more questions or if stumped, Happy to help.
In general: Everything has a fuse or fusible link. Everything has a switch. If you have a turn signal switch, follow those instructions.

I would not worry about trailer wiring. I would "tap in" after finished with all wiring.

Sooner or later we will need to know your plans/upgrades, if other than 12V conversion.
1. Generator or alternator
2. Foot start or other
3. Ammeter or voltmeter
4. Turn signal switch or not (dual filament bulbs)
5. Pertronix or other than stock distributor.
6. Other upgrade accessories from original.

I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
Ronnie Ray #1325592 Tue Sep 10 2019 05:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,451
Shop Shark
Do not make the mistake of buying a 22 or 24 circuit wiring harness because the $140 12 circuit harness from Speedway is all you need. As was stated these trucks have very simple electrical systems. I would ditch the generator and go with an alternator mostly because I'm cheap and generator/regulator parts are way more expensive plus the alternator has way better output at low rpm. If connected to a trailer the extra electrical power output is handy. Electric wipers are a near must for trailer pulling. On high humidity days in the winter a defroster won't clear the windshield but turning the a/c on clears it instantly, something you might consider.

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
Ronnie Ray #1325627 Tue Sep 10 2019 03:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,391
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
I've rewired a few vehicles and repaired wiring on a lot of others.

The biggest problem I'm having on my current vehicle is that the previous owner (who used a nice Ron Francis harness) crimped the end connectors on with a cheap crimping tool. Several connectors have pulled loose. I usually crimp the connector, solder the end and cover it with shrink wrap (AFTER I"M SURE of what I'm doing). I sometimes leave a few loops of wire when I'm building something and have a temporary crimp only on the end..... just don't forget to go back and redo it when you get closer to the finish line.

He also cut pretty much every wire as short as he could. Some of the components are in so tight, that other components need to be removed to get at them. I wouldn't leave loops of wire everywhere, but leave enough slack to be able to move stuff around a little.

Another quality post.

Real Trucks Rattle

HELP! The Paranoids are after me!
Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
bartamos #1325636 Tue Sep 10 2019 04:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 23
New Guy
Thanks for the tips. They are greatly appreciated.

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
coilover #1325638 Tue Sep 10 2019 04:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 23
New Guy
Good to know. Thank you

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
Rusty Rod #1325640 Tue Sep 10 2019 04:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 23
New Guy
I will remember that technique. Thanks

Re: New Guy Needs Guidance
Ronnie Ray #1326137 Sat Sep 14 2019 02:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 159
Southern Soldier
all i gotta add is that the wiring can seem stressful and complicated, if this happens, straighten out all the wires on a table. believe me it helps alot

- The '51 Chevy 3100 Truck with 1,72?,??? + current miles

Moderated by  Rusty Rod 

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