After a few years of discussion; I had the pleasure to help in the development of the new 6-volt 8-fuse wiring kit. With surprise, I was given the honor to first install this item into a project to test its performance and ease.
Let’s get started:
I’m going to install this kit into an original 1940 Buick Limited 4-door. It’s powered by the original Straight Eight motor, 6v Generator for power, 3-speed on the column to the transmission.
Before installation of the kit; I sat down with the owner to verify what he was wanting; placement of fuse panel and any accessory items that might be added to the car. That was simple – wire it to operate in its stock original form; down to the gas pedal engine start switch. Now, the owners’ only concern was to have the fuse panel in a place where he did not have to get on his back just to look at the fuses. Seems like a tough call, but I came up with a simple solution for that.
Under the dash there is plenty of room for the new wiring. With very limited places to put a fuse panel, I had to get creative with the new placement and had to consider a location where the owner could easily see the panel. What I came up with was a swinging mount for the fuse panel so it can be dropped down for easy viewing. Get down on one knee, pull the quick release and swivel the panel down in front of you under the steering column. Check it out.
Now that the fuse panel is in place – Here we go!
~ Now comes the time consuming task of ‘combing’ the wires so that they can be run to their proper locations throughout the car. What is ‘Combing’ mean: Pull each wire where it needs to go, untangle and route as if you can see each color from one end to the other without having to move. A good wiring job is not only being able to turn the key and start it up; it also has everything to do with the aesthetics of the installation as well.
~ Once the wires are pulled to their prospective locations, now its time to form them into each area of the car. I normally start under the hood with the lighting system to get all the long wires out of the way so all the engine hookups are easily done without having spaghetti in the way. ‘Comb’ the wires and start placing them in stock wire pathway (using the manufacture provided clips on the fenders or firewall.) I was very lucky on this car, since it’s in great condition, all the clips were present. If they are not; get re-pop’ed clips or use the insulated/rubber wrapped wire/hose clips that you can pickup at your nearest auto parts store.
~ Now that the wires are in place, it’s time to start connecting. I prefer to use the stock screw terminal junction blocks or provide a new one on the inside of the fenders. Each wire should be cut to length to each terminal.
~ Strip back your wire approximately 3/8”, twist the copper, grab your terminal and crimp. I take it an extra step, and highly recommend it. Solder each terminal to the wire and place heat shrink to insulate the new soldered ends. It’s my opinion that any crimped red, blue or yellow plastic insulators look terrible. It ruins the look of a new install and most of the time serves no purpose because they fall off. How many times have you looked under the hood of a project and saw butt-spliced wires, poorly crimped terminals all over the car.
~ Let me reiterate, if you’re going to do it right, take your time and go through the steps.
~ Now that each wire is connected to the terminal strip, it’s time to pull to the other side to each part it is going to feed. If you look at the wire colors you have: Green – High Beam, Tan – Low Beam, Blue – Turn Signal, Brown – Parking Lights. (Since there are only (4) screw terminals, one wire will have to pass over or under the stock terminal strip to be routed to the other side of the engine compartment. This wire is the right side turn signal light.) Pull each; using matching colors, new wires to each location. This is the making of ‘tails’. One for each headlight, one for each turn signal, one for each parking light and one for the cross-over wiring to the passenger side. Just like Buick did in 1940. Because this car has the turn signal and parking light in the same bezel, both wires are run together.
~ An important note, a Black ground wire should be run for each headlight back to the terminal strip or ground location on the inner fender.
~ Where the wire passes through the fenders; I use heat shrink at each of those locations to protect the wires from being cut or exposed causing any future problems or short.
Stay tuned for Part II, Wiring of the Generator and Horn assemblies.