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Long Electrical Rant.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Iron_Weasel, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. Iron_Weasel

    Iron_Weasel Registered Member

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    [/rant]
    So here's the story...I bought a 1979 K10 about a month ago and one of the problems the seller told me of was that the fuel gauge on the dash didn't work. I deal with electrical stuff on a fairly frequent basis (I'm a service tech. for a Dodge dealership..yeah, I know.) and I wasn't terribly worried about fixing a non-working gauge.

    I've been slowly fixing the electrical in the engine bay, most of which was somewhat "repaired" at some point during the life of the truck. I found the usual "strip wires, twist together, wrap electrical tape around wire, call it done" wiring job done to some wires along with random colors spliced into other colors. So after getting all the correct color wire from work, I finally go out this afternoon and wire all the stuff in the engine bay with the factory correct colors and a more secure repair connection (crimp to hold in place, solder wire strands, shrinkwrap whole splice, then electrical tape over that), I move on to the wiring under the truck.

    This is where the fun begins.....
    Trusty dugital multi-meter in hand, I begin tracing wires to find out why the fuel tank selector valve and fuel gauge don't work. All the wires are good up to the crossmember between the cab and bed. I have continuity, low resistance, and voltage where it should be.
    Go and check the valve (which should have voltage) and find no voltage there. Turns out it's an open circuit.
    Start peeling back the crusty layers of electrical tape already there and what do I see?
    A wire that has come apart, no doubt from the excellent repair job by some backwoods redneck who has taken a 6" piece of electrical tape and tied - in a knot :confused: around the wire ends that were twisted together.

    What kind of f*****g genius ties a piece of electrical tape around a connection? :mad: Is it so hard to actually wrap it around the wire at least?!

    I won't even begin to describe the mess that I found when I started troubleshooting my non-working trailer wiring harness....just imagine a 2 year old with a pair of scissors and a roll of electrical tape turned loose and told to cut the wires and then put them back together. That's probably comparable.
    [/rant]
     
  2. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    PO's are strange people sometimes. When I got my first S10 Blazer, my seatbelt (Mechanism part) had the sewn cord gone from it and the PO decided to fix it with a RIVET instead of buying a new buckle. Guy's lucky he didn't get in a wreck.
     
  3. Fierospeeder

    Fierospeeder Banned

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    ive seen hack wiring jobs a lot. People hooking up their own stereo systems is one of them.

    You should see some of these backyard mechanics with ego trips because they know the "right" way to fix their vehicle. :rolleyes:
     
  4. spincast375

    spincast375 1/2 ton status

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    Son and I are going to rewire his 76 Blazer using a Painless wiring harness, just as soon as he earns the money this summer. I want him to learn the right way. I am not the best teacher. Any suggestions? reference books? videos? He wants to learn, but most places won't take him in until he is 18. He's 16+.

    How did you get started?

    He's going to develop habits working on his truck; better they be good habits.
     
  5. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    The painless harnesses are money well spent, IMHO. I bought a repro harness for my 69 camaro ( painless wasn't in business yet) and doing that was one of my smarter moves.. thankfully, both my K5's were electrically sound, or they would've gotten harnesses too. I don't enjoy electrical work at all. I admire guys who can do the work though..

    To answer your question, you're being a good teacher by having him solve a problem without hacking up his truck and compromising his safety. A smart man knows his limitations.

    Too many POs's get built because guys think they know everything and feel the need to prove it. Or they spend all their money on unimportant crap, and have nothing left over for important things, so they're forced to half ass stuff cuz they can't afford now to do it right.

    Helped a buddy once put a 440 into a 69 charger.. stopped helping him when he bought an 800.00 nitrous kit instead of investing in the wiring harnesses and brake lines the car needed. headlights didn't work, but damn, it was quick, lol.

    A good way for him to learn is to have him make friends with people who have quality rigs, so he can learn what or what not to do. being here is a great place to start with that.

    Tom
     
  6. Fierospeeder

    Fierospeeder Banned

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    I think Haynes has a manual on the topic of electrical system on a vehicle. Pepboys should have it in their book section. If you get cable tv, there are a lot of tv shows that show how to work on cars. Trucks is a really good one.

    The painless kit is very plug and play kit. But you can still get very sloppy with the installation. Aslong as your son wants to be neat, then the work he does will stand out.

    The only way to learn is reading about it and practicing. But if he wants to learn how the electricity works then that will take a lot of reading. I believe the electrical system is the hardest concept for people to understand next to automatic transmissions.
     

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