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(1) 2 »

electrical wiring [again]
#1
Not too shy to talk
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hemlock
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As I pointed out in previous questions, I have 2- 56 Executive sedans, a parts car which has a regular column shift, and a restorable one with push button. Both have torsion level. The restorable car has under hood wiring stripped, wires cut, sections replaced, extra wires spliced in, and wires connected to nothing and is in terrible condition. I suspect there may have been a fire under the hood at some point. I've been trying to sort through it, but am ready to give up. The parts car wiring is all original taped up and looks to be in good condition. I have removed the push button harness and it is ready to go back in, but not until I sort out the rest. After removal of the push button harness, there are still wires attached to start and park relays. The parts car, of course, doesn't have these relays. Here comes my questions:
1: Are both harnesses the same or does the one for the restorable car which has push button contain extra wiring [or are these extra wires in a separate harness?] I'm wondering if I could use the parts car's harness in the other car, or do I need to look at buying a new harness. I see harnesses listed on Max Merritt's site, but no details included.
2: What is the best way to access under dash wiring? I'm 75 years old and don't enjoy laying on my back to get under the dash. Can the dash be tipped back toward the car's interior to get at things from above?
3. If the dash can be tipped back, I suspect the steering column would need to be removed. Does it separate at the rubber connection just above the steering box?
Probably will be more questions to follow, but I'll start with these. Thanks, Clifford

Posted on: 1/5 15:16
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#2
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HH56
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There is a bit of difference in the main harness between PB and non PB cars.. A couple of the differences are in regular Ultramatic cars there is a combination neutral safety switch/backup light switch mounted on the steering column inside the engine compt near the firewall so the starter wire from the ign sw to the solenoid and the backup light wires go to that location.

In a PB car the neutral safety interlock is done by a relay on the inner fender next to the shift relays. For the PB car the relay interrupts the wire from the ign sw to solenoid but is operated by a wire coming from the push buttons. Backup light power is provided directly from the push button assembly and the backup light wire is connected via an inline connector to another wire coming from the push buttons. Most of that wiring is in the main loom but exits in different spots.

As to working on the dash, at least in 56 the column is short and easy to remove. I have not done it but have read where people had removed all the upper dash screws that are under the windshield molding but left the two large bolts at the lower corners loosened but still installed. With the steering column removed they were able to pull the top out to rotate the dash slightly downward and support it in that position --- but there is a huge maybe it is not that easy involved.

In most cars the wire loom is positioned around and thru the steering column brace. In most cases without removing the brace the loom will not have enough slack to allow the dash to move much without putting a huge stress on the gauges and wiring. Removing the brace does involve getting under and depending on what else is in the way some bolts can be hard to access and if I remember two are 12 point that need a special socket. Even then the loom can still present a problem depending on how or if it is twisted thru the brace.

You also need to watch out for the Bowden cables that operate the wiper, heater, and vents and make sure they do not get pulled or kinked. I think the radio tuner section above the glovebox also has a strap that bolts to the firewall that would need to be disconnected.

Posted on: 1/5 16:12
Howard
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#3
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humanpotatohybrid
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Hemlock, disconnecting the wiring can be made a great deal easier by first removing the glovebox. The headlight switch is pretty much the only unavoidable pain in the rear. Don't be afraid to ask for help when the time comes to reinstall as I have some tips. Especially with a light and mirror it's not too hard to get most everything reaching thru the glovebox. For the power antenna, unscrew the switch from the dash, pull the slack and disconnect the bullet connectors.

Also Howard is correct in that the radio head unit attaches to the firewall.

Glovebox is trivial to remove but I also have instructions here
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=265708

Posted on: 1/5 16:24
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#4
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Packard Don
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If you decide you need them, you can buy brand new harnesses in excellent quality from YnZ's Yesterdays Parts. They are not the cheapest by far but have great quality and excellent pre and post purchase support.

Posted on: 1/5 20:21
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#5
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Mr.Pushbutton
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I second this heartily. I buy some of the components I use to make the pushbutton logic harness from YnZ's and I have seen cars with their reproduction wiring harnesses. After a car has been hacked on electrically for so long it's better to just start over and put it all back to factory, with a new harness. It's a huge job, and one that few local shops are going to want to take on.


Quote:

Packard Don wrote:
If you decide you need them, you can buy brand new harnesses in excellent quality from YnZ's Yesterdays Parts. They are not the cheapest by far but have great quality and excellent pre and post purchase support.

Posted on: 1/6 13:00
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#6
Not too shy to talk
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hemlock
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Thanks to those who replied to my questions. Reading the initial reply it looks like I could use the non PB parts cars main harness in the other PB car. BUT- are there other differences I'm going to run into other than the neutral safety / back-up light switch ? For example, there is a heavy orange wire from the round circuit breaker on the inner driver's side fender by the relays on the PB car. All the tape covering that was originally on the car's harness was removed before I got the car, and this orange wire runs to a big splice with 3 or 4 red wires [one of which has a butt connector, but the wire it attached is not there- perhaps it went to the starter solenoid??]. This splice becomes one single heavy red wire running along the inner pass. side fender to the voltage regulator. The parts car doesn't have this circuit breaker, so also no heavy orange wire. What else am I looking at running into? I'm wondering if I'm better off buying a new harness, but hate to if the one from the parts car is usable, as it has never been chopped and still has all its original tape covering.

Posted on: 1/6 13:57
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#7
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Packard Don
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Probably the parts book would answer your question but if I had to guess I would say that the harness would be the same if Ultramatic to Ultramatic but possibly different if one is manual.

Update: I just had a quick glance in the parts book and see that for 1955, the cars with pushbutton had a different harness than those with it so it would appear that the answer is no, they are not interchangeable. Probably if going from pushbutton to non-pushbutton you would have extra unneeded wires but the other way around as you are doing you wouldn’t have the wires you need.

Posted on: 1/6 14:23
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#8
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HH56
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I believe there may be a couple of more added wires in the main loom as part of the PB circuit that are not in a regular car loom. There is a run between the starter solenoid and the PB circuit breaker. It is an orange wire and, I think is 12 ga. There is a wire from the ballast resistor to the auto park relay or in very early cars that did not have a service fix done, the control relay. In early looms it will be a yellow wire or in later looms, a white wire. I believe it is a 16 ga wire. Those wires both are there to provide power to the PB circuitry and if not going to be used their ends can be taped off and tucked aside. The other power wire that MIGHT have a portion be in the main loom would be a 16 ga red wire for the start relay coil power. I think the wire is all in the PB loom but possibly a segment could be in the main loom and is connected to PB portion by the plastic plug or an inline connector. It can also be taped and tucked aside if not used. If you are going the other way and using the non PB loom in the PB car then those wires would need to be added.

If having PBs is the only difference between the two cars and looms I think except for the starter interlock and backup light wire loations, everything else will be the same.

Posted on: 1/6 15:44
Howard
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#9
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

hemlock
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Thanks Howard for your replies, and also to others who replied. This afternoon I removed the glove box & glove box door from the restorable Executive & had a look inside, as suggested by humanpotato [sorry, only name I know]. This is an excellent tip, as harness removal doesn't seem so daunting from there as it does laying on a 75 year old back. Since the 2 cars are identical except for one being PB [the restorable car] & the other being normal column shift [parts car], I think everything in the harnesses should be the same, except I'll have to add some wiring for the PB as Howard said. That said, I am going to try harness removal and installing the non-PB harness in the PB car and add wires for the PB. I checked price on new harness from YnZ as mentioned, but they are certainly not cheap- I am in Canada and would be looking at around 3000.00 by the time you add exchange, tax, shipping. That's more than I paid for the car. So, if anyone else has any suggestions on this project, or tips to make things easier, PLEASE add them to the post. Once I get farther into the project I will post on progress. It will be a while before I know any final results, as at this point engine, transmission and seats are out of the restorable car, and I don't work as fast as I used to.
Clifford

Posted on: 1/6 20:22
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Re: electrical wiring [again]
#10
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humanpotatohybrid
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I would swap in the good wiring harness and go from there. Bypassing the neutral reverse switch is trivial... just need a pair of connectors. Use insulated spade connectors because the reverse lights will at some point need to connect to the shift circuits. Make or buy just the shifting harness when the time comes. It can be wired nearly independently of the rest of the car wiring.

I would disconnect everything forward of the firewall before removing the headlight switch as you will get extra slack. But take a pic of how the wires are specifically oriented before you move it, as it will be helpful on reinstall.

You'll need to remove the driver door sill plate to remove the rear harness. I remember I think it's on the early 50's cars the rear body harness goes thru the A-pillar and roof instead! A real PITA to R&R. Fortunately these are easier.

To state the obvious, don't cut any wires for the sake of convenience if you can help it. If it went in as one piece it can come out as one piece.

Posted on: 1/6 23:44
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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