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Thread: New wiring harness

  1. #1

    New wiring harness

    I'm stripping the 3 down for paint and am rebuilding everything rebuildable. TRA has a sale on new wiring harnesses. I am sorely tempted, but also cautious. I've read stuff in the forum about this from time to time, but I'd like to hear the most recent skivvy on the subject. Everything electrical worked just fine on the car when I jacked it up, save the horn, which took to blowing all the time (disconnected at the horn). Any tips or references appreciated.
    WMR
    Present paddock:
    1959 TR3A, sorority house blue
    2000 Boxter S. White
    2002 ML 320, White
    2003 GMC Sierra 1500, White
    2006 Mini-Cooper S, Grey/silver
    1972 Chance Hop Rod. Red shaft w/ Yellow plastic grips

  2. #2

    Re: New wiring harness

    My position on wiring harnesses is this: if the insulation is undamaged and not hardened, cracking, or crumbling, the wiring is OK and you won't get much of an advantage in replacing it. Rewrapping, if necessary, and reusing it is fine. A better upgrade is to replace those crappy bullet connectors with something more modern, like Molex connectors. If the ends of the wire are badly tarnished, you can turn them back into bright copper with a little weak muriatic acid or even vinegar. Just splay the conductors, dip them minimally into the acid, and then, when it's bright, into some ammonia (or other base) to neutralize the acid.

    A lot of money is spent unnecessarily on new wiring harnesses.

    FWIW, I'm an electrical engineer, so I'm not a complete babe in the woods here.
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

  3. #3
    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: New wiring harness

    Really depends on how your old harness worked and looked. Mine was a nightmare - everything worked but a bother to deal with and the appearance bugged me:



    I got the PVC replacement loom from Moss. It was perfect. Much easier to work with and on the eyes:


  4. #4
    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: New wiring harness

    FWIW, I've been using "Tarn-X" to remove copper oxide for several years now. Seems to work very well, can be rinsed off with plain water or just wiped off with a paper towel. I'm not sure what the effect will be in 50 years, but I've not seen any bad effects in almost 10. And sure is a lot easier than spreading the strands out and scraping with a knife.

    As far as whether to replace or rebuild the harness; that seems like more of a philosophical question to me. I kind of like keeping the original components as much as possible, but I'm also much less worried about appearance than most. Which is why my TR3 still has it's original harness even though the colors are long since faded to invisibility, and most of the cloth has rotted and fallen off.

    Kind of reminds me of the old saw about George Washington's axe. If you replace every piece with a new one, is it still an original Triumph ?

    Along the same lines, replacing bullets with Molex connectors strikes me a lot like dropping in a complete Ford drivetrain. It's probably an improvement, but ...
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71 Stag LE2013LBW waiting gearbox rebuild

  5. #5
    Jedi Knight
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    Re: New wiring harness

    I pretty much agree with Randall on the old harness. Mine is old, original as far as I can tell, has a few add ons, dead ends, and hand made OD harnesses, a bit long in the tooth in general, but if I were to redo the engine compartment with shiny new paint , for which I have no plans, I'd have to think again about putting those old harnesses back in.
    +1 on the Molex also.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under restoration year 6, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
    1973 Buick Apollo (was Dad's car)
    1992 BMW325IC (fun to drive)

  6. #6
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New wiring harness

    My 1958 still has the original cloth and like said it is getting close to 60 years old. Anyways, on a new rebuild, I would go new and stock original and make sure you get the correct type of covering for your year. A stock 1957 is heavier covering or maybe wirer or at least it looks that way to me. At some point the factory stopped using cloth and I might be wrong about that, but I think the tr3B has black tape covering stock, and some these guys sell black type covering for all years of the TR3. I like the cloth and would tape my own.

    The sub harness like lights and generator do not come with the harness I have seen, but they are available. They just do not come with the initial harness. On a rebuild I did and Just in case British Wiring is reading, I am still waiting for that high beam socket you were going to send me. I used my old one and you lost a customer! Often it is best to go with one of the Big 3 for the warranty.
    Steve

  7. #7
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New wiring harness

    Hey Randall what is TarnX? Is it soldering flux or something? Does it stain the area?

  8. #8
    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: New wiring harness

    It's sold as "tarnish remover", which works on copper as well as silver, etc. I picked mine up at the grocery store.
    https://www.amazon.com/Tarn-X-Tarnis.../dp/B0716HLLNX

    Doesn't leave any stains that I've seen, but it is a fairly strong acid so you want to be careful with it. Promptly rinse with water if you get it on your hands or anywhere else it doesn't belong.

    This might give some idea of how it works. I just wiped it on with a cotton ball, then immediately wiped off with a paper towel. The dark areas are where I didn't apply the Tarn-X.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71 Stag LE2013LBW waiting gearbox rebuild

  9. #9
    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: New wiring harness

    We used it to shine our belt buckles in military school.

    Nothing beats a fresh wiring harness!



    John

    1955 TR2

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