Monday, May 19, 2014

The long table: Wiring harness restoration Part 1

In previous blog installments we discussed how our car had the incorrect fuse panel fitted to it at some time in its life. As such we needed to source, restore, and (when unavailable) manufacture the missing components needed to replicate a new one. Some of the posts on this subject are here:

http://dino246blog.blogspot.ca/2011/12/little-help-from-sweeden-fuse-panel-is.html

http://dino246blog.blogspot.ca/2013/05/121-gigawatts-finishing-fuse-panel.html

http://dino246blog.blogspot.ca/2013/01/a-faint-rectangle-helps-dino-restorers.html

http://dino246blog.blogspot.ca/2013/12/original-vs-replacement-difference-in.html

With the fuse panel completed it was now on to the daunting task of restoring our wiring harness. In most instances the fastest and easiest route would be to buy a replacement harness however, in our case, certain nice original details of our harness allowed us to justify the massive extra work involved in restoring rather than replacing:

- Our original harness was still supple and the plastic on the wires had not dried out with time

- Despite 3 colour changes over the decades our harness had no paint overspray on it which is almost impossible to properly remove.

- The original harness has markings in Italian on them denoting the task of the individual wires. This in addition to wire colours that are not replicated with the reproduction harness' made keeping the original an easier decision.

- Reproduction wiring harnesses have different wire ends to original making them an immediate giveaway to the knowledgeable observer

With the decision to restore the process all started with getting the old and dirty wiring harness out of storage.


The next step was to lay everything out on a LONG table where the entire harness would be compared to period photos and the original wiring diagrams to ensure that everything is correct. Despite the few circuits involved this job took many days of concentrated effort to get right.




By this stage the harness has most of its cables identified. Once this is done each cable is tested for continuity and resistance to make sure that there are no unexpected problems. Inevitably a few bad wires are found and they are carefully removed whole and replaced. Where we got very lucky is that all of the bad wires were easy to replace colours rather than some of the more strange striped wires that the harness has for some of its circuits.


With the harness all mapped out the next step is full on restoration which we will cover in our next post. Stay tuned.





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