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Wednesday’s Wiring

Wednesday’s Wiring

March 23, 2011 12:20 pm3 comments

The rain is back this morning and when I went to have my wife’s car oil changed, the Express Lube facility was flooded with 7 inches of water.  Now I know we need rain, but give us a break, please.  I finally went to their other facility and had the work done.  A quick $50 was spent and I then stopped at the gas station to fill up with gas.  The tank of gas cost me $75 so in less than an hour I had spent $125 before arriving at the “Office” for coffee.  I had two bucks left so I was set for the day.  I think I have outlived my money in today’s economy.  Food, gas, electricity and basic staples required in life (like donuts) are increasing in price daily.  I don’t have the solution and as one of my old boss’s used to say, “If you don’t have a solution don’t complain.”  He was a good boss.

I have put together some wiring panel information that may be useful if you need to purchase a wiring harness kit or just a panel.  I prefer to stick to one manufacture for all the components and that way you only need to make one call when a problem occurs.  All of the manufactures have good tech lines and the reps are most helpful should you encounter a problem during the installation or later on down the road.  I have tried several and have never been disappointed with any of them.  I remember from school, when you wire,  you should think of water flowing through the wire and just make sure the water doesn’t end up going to the wrong place.  Easy enough even for me.

I wont’t quote prices as they vary depending on the source, but I budgeted around $500 for everything including the switches.  Some kits include the switches and some don’t which is reflected in the prices.  Make sure you obtain the correct panel for your installation.  Most important is the quality of the wire included in the kit.  If you purchase a less expensive kit the wiring may not be up to the requirements of the load placed on them.  Remember this is the brains of your hot rod and you want to be in the top 10% of your class not the bottom.  Fires burn hot rods real quickly and thousands of dollars worth of your time and effort can go up in smoke in a matter of minutes.  Do your research and take your time in doing everything as stated in the instructions.  In my opinion, if you did not receive good instructions you purchased the wrong kit.  I will do some more blogs on the actual installation when my package arrives.

Stay Tooned,

Lynn

The Ron Francis “Bare Bonz” unit is a premium kit that will do the job for most roadster builds.  The compact size and explicit instructions are excellent for the DIY builder.

The next step up in the RF line is the Express unit which will handle most of your requirements.  This is a complete kit and is at the middle of the range of their offerings.

This is a nice feature that is available from RF.  You can mount your panel then pull it down to work on it.  The unit is hinged for easy access and lists for about $65.  They also offer a 24/7 unit that is at the top of line for them.

A real popular kit is the Painless unit that is prewired and bundled for your convenience.  I hope it is painless.

The Enos “Black Box” has been around for years and is used by a lot of professionals and home builders.  In my experience they are very nice people to deal with.

This photo shows an Enos panel in a 40 coupe.  Note the use of relays to protect the switches and components from an overload.

Simplicity is what Jim does in all of his wiring projects.  The model 40 roadster has an ENOS panel and by the book wiring.  Nice!

Here is the Centech panel that I really like the looks of.  I couldn’t find anyone who has used one so I didn’t purchase the unit, but it sure is clean looking.

Sometimes you need instructions to continue on the job.  Larry fell asleep while doing his sedan and ended up with spaghetti under the dash.  He has this fixed now.

Thanks to Gary, I have the heater doors installed and with a little touch up paint on the inside after spot welding the doors to the case it will be a working case.  The color is Briarwood Brown a stock 40 Ford Std dash color.

I also worked on Lucy’s top yesterday while the rain subsided.  I need to finish welding the tubing and start with the aluminum covering.  John will help me as he is the top expert.

Todays Woody….dreaming about Packards!

A winner at the Portland Auto Show this super trick and rare 48 woody was standing tall.  A late model drivetrain made this a driver just like Ruby.  Thanks Tom for the photo.

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3 Comments

  • Wayne Rogan

    Lynn, the painless kit is not completely painless.. you can do it but the instructions are not the best on the market.. American auto wire has the best instructions hands down. good luck..

  • Rich Byman

    Lynn, the Centech panel / kit is a very good one. I used it on my 29 Closed Cab Model A pickup. I mounted it under the seat for ease of access, as the Glide seat base tilts forward. I wired my truck 7 years ago and have many trouble free miles on it. All the wires in the kit were well marked and fire resistant. Their tech. support was great. When I needed to adapt the Pinto steering column I used to their standard GM column connector, I gave them a call and they sent me the other half of the GM connector and a diagram for the color code and pin out of the Pinto column and I was able to hook it up easily.
    This is my first comment on you site…It is one site I visit daily…keep up the good work…very interesting and informative!! Thanks!

  • I also used the Centech in 1986, trouble free livin’ a good one.

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