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Old 10-05-2010, 01:51 PM
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electrical fire chevy 350 need help rewiring

I just bought an old log truck with a chevy 350 in it and the truck ran fine but the transmission was shot. I just replaced the transmission today it worked great drove it to the store just down the road and got gas but as soon as i pulled into the yard it burst into flames. I was able to put it out but all the wiring on the passenger side under the hood is pretty burned up. Curious what might have caused the fire. im guessing i may have scraped a wire or something when i was taking out the top 2 bolts on the transmission but just a guess. Mostly i need help in figuring out what wires go where so i can replace them. Its an old log truck so im not concerned with rewiring AC or heater just need it to run. If you have any ideas or comments please hit me back im kind of clueless to this sort of stuff bc i just got out of the Marine after 8 years of service and im trying to get in on the old family business but i need my truck to run. Thx for your time.

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Old 10-05-2010, 04:10 PM
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Before we start guessing lets get some more info.
Disconnect the battery.
Is this truck a production vehicle or a custom built? For example, GMC 1 ton chassis with bla, bla, bla.? Or my daddy built it 1952 from a --- OK you know.
Did everything electrical work ok on the truck before the fire?
What condition was the wiring before the fire?
What burned? Just the wires?
Did fuel escape and burn first and the wires are now burned?
You need to carefully examine the wiring to determine if a wire shorted to the frame or engine. Clear out any tape to examine exactly what the extent of the damage is.
If you find a short that means the wiring NOT properly fused. Without proper fusing you risk another fire.
Don't start hacking at the wiring until we answer the above.
The more detail the better.

vicrod
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:13 PM
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already disconnected the battery as soon as the fire was out but yes it is a production truck 82' chevy with no modifications under the hood and all the electrical worked before the fire. i didnt really inspect the wiring before hand but at a glance just seemed aged like they where the original wires. Good thing is it was only the wiring on the passenger side under the hood so known of the actual wiring harness is damaged. After further looking it looks like it was a short in one of the two black boxes with electronic looking boards in them that are mounted on the fire wall halfway between the AC and distributor and all the wires that are burned come from those 2 boxes. Luckily it is only that wiring that is burned up except for 2 of the spark plug wires that wire laying next to that group of wires. oh and it looks like the fire was present first catching the breather filter on fire then exposing the fuel from the top of carb.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:59 PM
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We need to find out what the "two black boxes" are. Maybe others will know but it doesn't sound like factory stuff.
Go ahead and remove all the harness tape in the vicinity of the burned wires. We want to look at the state of the insulation. Is it discolored from smoke and heat OR is it melted. Remove harness tape until you see the original wire color.
Do you see any bare copper?
Using a mild solvent like denatured alcohol wipe the wires to see if the insulation is cracked or degraded and is no longer flexible.
Any melted or stiff wire will need to be replaced with the same size or larger wire.
Give us some wire colors going to the black boxes. Someone may be able ID them.
Post back with your findings and we can go from there.

vicrod
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:11 AM
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350 fire

Vicrod is right, I don't think those two black boxes are stock, unless one is a voltage regulator. I have wired a lot of street rods but never a stock truck so I don't know what they used back then that might be different than a car.
The one thing I would do is find the wire colors, I would guess that where the biggest part of the fire was it would be pretty well melted. If you can Get the wires apart, and hopefully they are only using each color once if you can't get them apart, I would just replace each wire. If you start putting splices in you are just asking for more trouble, the wire that is left is old and could have cracks in it you don't see, I have seen cars at night with old wire, light up like the forth of July, because of bad wire, and sparks would jump across to metal, if they are close enough, and they would not blow fuses.

Later 35terraplane
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