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Old 09-11-2006, 09:02 AM
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Information Rewiring Studebaker

Have a 1947 Studebaker landcruiser model. It needs to be rewire. What is the best rewiring harness you can buy? Looking for something easy to installed. Would like to convert over to 12 volt system, with a alternator. Plans at this time, is to keep the original engine, then at a later date switch over to a Chevy Conversion. I have been told, I will need to get new sockets for the lights, 12 volt coil, 12 volt alternator. How to I change all the lights to 12 volt? Has any one does a conversion like this, I would appreicate how you did it? Is there a kit that has everything in it? Thanks, for your help in this matter.

Jim Kelly----horsetrader
* Will trade a 1901 Olds Replica, for 55-57 Chevy Station Wagon, does not have to be a show car, just a driver. Thanks.

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Old 09-11-2006, 05:41 PM
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Doc here,

Welcome To the forum..

Your ad will draw more attention in Classifieds..

A good Kit , If price is not an object, is a full blown Ron Francis kit.. With everything included..

You can buy much $129..on Evil Bay, .. but what arrives is a box with an 8 Circuit fuse buss, 4 or five rolls of wire that mates to connectors on the fuse buss..and vacant device ends..

(you need to buy plugs/ sockets and at as much as $12 per, can run more than a new full top of the line kit..) And no instructions/Tech support..

There is a thread stuck to the top of this forum, titled "Wiring Harness" and is about 5 pages long of Guys that have bought, used and dealt with various harness company's..I suggest you read that before proceeding..Ron Francis and the owner of EZ~2 wire are also posting there..and will answer any TECH questions you have.

The Key to "happy Harnessing" Is this: What is included? What Will I need to buy? How is their Tech support line (call or email these questions to them, If they don't answer..or take their own sweet time, imagine how they will be AFTER you buy their product!) Is the Kit well Illustrated and in instructions I CAN FOLLOW?

To do the upgrade From 6 to 12 volts..

The following is needed:
  • All lamps (including dome, hood backup dimmer)
  • Horns
  • Horn relay
  • wiper motor (if electric , If not, think upgrade..or at best add a vacuum canister to the system to eliminate hill climbing "Bog" on the wipers)
  • Heater motor AND speed controls.
  • Solenoid
  • Starter motor (**see below)
  • If stock Gauge panel is to be used, a 12 to 6 volt REGULATOR should be used (not a resistor..a 3 Terminal op amp regulator.)
  • If stock radio is to be used, a dropping resistor or regulator must be used (depending on radio current draw..)
  • Alternator (suggest 3 wire INTERNAL regulated system)
  • all Lamp sockets or bayonet type inserts and tensioner springs to mate the 12 volt bulbs.
  • Flasher unit
  • 4 way flasher (if used)

In addition to that..Remove all switches..Clean and burnish all contacts and pins..Any that Show wear, replace or upgrade..

Guy's will tell you "Done this for years..never messed with a switch..don't waste your time"...and some oddly show up.."Have intermittent lamps..New harness..What is the problem?" and some NEVER have a problem..But why install a new harness on a switch that is 65 years old..without AT least cleaning it and inspecting it?

Also Some/ Most will tell you save a buck..a 6 volt starter will run JUST fine on 12 volts..leave it..Well, In fact a DC motor can run at 125 % it's rated Voltage..It shortens it's lifespan..And don't know about you..but I wouldn't want to be changing a starter in the middle of the desert , on my back..much less trying to FIND one for a 1949 .. Say, Kiaser..Do it now with a Common 12 volt upgrade that will interface to the it's at least an over the counter part, OR speed part..not 6 weeks out from Hemmings in the mail and $569 plus ship...

Also NO kits give you a ground buss system to do that..Set this system up (you can do this now , on your current system)

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

Hope this gives you some insight..

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