Wrenchin’ Tips – Intro and Wiring 03/05/10

This is a new thread that I’ll post from time to time, similar to the Auto Factoid.  Wrench’in Tips will some help hint, short cuts and even some alternative ways to help finish the job. 

The key here is that these are coming from a guy with average skills and knowledge so to you ‘hardend’ professional they may seem lame or you’ll have a ‘well….duh, OMG, like everyone knows that!!!’  In which case…KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!!!! <GRIN>  Kidding of course, always let me know what you think.

So here is the first one.

I hate electricity, not the benefits of being able to use it, it’s super when it stays where it’s suppose to and goes where it’s suppose too.  What I hate is when it stops being or doing what is should.  I absolutely hate working on electrical problem anywhere, homes, appliances and cars. 

I can say that I once had a bad experience and that would be true, but the other problem I have (besides the physics of it all) is that I’m color blind.  Anyone who has looked at a wiring harness in a car will know what I’m talking about.  The are all kinds of colors, but unless they are only black and white – like the extension cord and light I made back in  4-H, 1.5 billion years ago, I’m stuck.

Now older cars like my ’70 Mustang aren’t too bad, they pretty much conform to black, white and one or two other color, but the ’84 C4 it has wires everywhere….hey…I’m not kidding EVERY WHERE!!!   There are no less that 10 pairs of wires you have to remove just to take the door panel off.  In the 84 Vette, the adjustable windshield wipers are on the drives door and if I remember correctly it has at least 6 wires.  Then the are the wires for the door lock  4 there and there are the wires for the electric window that might be 4 more.  Add to that the wires for the door courtesy light and the speaker and amp wires (the awesome BOSE stereo system  had  5 speakers with individual amps). errrk….here’s a factoid the 1984 Corvette and Cadillac were the first cars to have a custom BOSE stereo system.  The story goes that GM asked if they would put BOSE radios (back then just AM/FM and Cassette) in the cars and  label them Delco.  BOSE wasn’t crazy about the idea so instead offered to design a system for the cars….end of errkk.

So one of the first problems I had with the Corvette was the electric window stopped working on the driver’s side.  So I assumed that I would have to replace the motor. So I get home early from work one day and I decided that I’d knock this out real quick.  I began by taking the panel off and found all the pairs of wires and I sure I used a four-letter word didn’t start with a D or S. I noticed that a couple of the wires were a bit worse for wear and need some attention, I also noticed that the wires were short and you had to balance the door panel on something to be able to disconnect a couple components. Being the genius that I am, I figure that if I made the wires a bit longer I would haven’t to disconnect  the components every time I need to remove the panel, I’d only remove the screws and the door panel would rest on a towel or something on the floor.

NOTE: Don’t worry, not every one of my tips will be attached to a  long story….umm…I don’t think.

Of course the wires I needed to repair and additionally make longer weren’t your basic black and white, I’m not sure but I think one was sea-foam green and one was  burnt sienna (I don’t really know…but I remember that burnt sienna was a crayon color when I was a kid- before Microsoft Paint.

 Oh…so here is what I did. 

I took about 1/2″ strips of  white duck tape and a marker and folded one each side of the wire that I was going to splice to repair and lengthen.  I labeled the first  wire A and A and the second B and B (pretty sure you could have figured out the pattern).  Then I cut and spliced them with wire connectors. 

It worked out great and I left them labeled when  put the door back together.

Oh..just so you can have some closure, I did all that work and the problem wasn’t with electric window motor, was really just the switch on the middle console…4 screws and pop in the new $15.00 switch.  It’s that the way it always goes?  Seems like it.

Have a great weekend..spending mine doing taxes.

Thanks for reading.


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