Old wiring harnesses worth hanging onto? (1959 Cadillac)

Started by Eldovert, November 25, 2021, 01:49:42 PM

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Eldovert

Just wondering if there are parts of wiring harnesses that should be kept because they are not reproduced?
The harnesses in question are for 1959 Cadillac's.
Thank you,Pat MacPhail

Jon S

If you toss it out you will be sorry in about six months.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

smatarese

If you have the convertible top switch connector (white porcelain looking piece with 3 wires), I'll take that piece off your hands. No one is reproducing that.
1959 Eldorado Biarritz
1960 Eldorado Brougham

The Tassie Devil(le)

Whenever I recycle any old harnesses, I remove the plastic plug covers, and then the loom is separated into individual wires, which I collect for future use when either re-wiring or repairs.    Comes in handy when doing RHD Conversions, as GM and Ford use their own coloured wiring codes, and lengthening a loom using the correct coding makes life easier for future work.

As for complete wiring looms, if they were special, yes, I would save them, but, how much does one save.

The really old looms, like the cloth-covered ones like what Ford used in the Thunderbirds, these break down when coiling them up, as they weren't supposed to be coiled.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   Just because a part is not reproduced, doesn't mean that it cannot be made.   Wiring Looms are a case in point.   I would prefer to use new pliable wiring that old hard, brittle and corroded wiring.
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

fishnjim

If you go to have one made, they'll ask for the fuse block and maybe some of the connectors/covers.   They're no longer made, no stock.   You can still get some Packard connectors and covers like the 56, 59.   Delphi makes them.
If it's intact, it's only service left is to make a pattern and then scrap value.   
The wiring info is in the electrical diagram, but not the lengths/routing.   There should be an archive at Delphi from the old Packard days, but I do not know status.   They make a lot in MX, etc. now.   When it was Packard(Warren, OH), you could order an obsolete harness, as they had an "off-line" build area.   I know/knew people that worked there, as I'm from that area.   Some of those former guys formed a company to make harnesses under the M&H Reproduction Wiring Harness brand.   

Abe Lugo

I would say keep some of these parts until you are done with what you are fixing. 
Also not some of the dash light bulb holders, don't come with some of the generic wiring kits.  Also some of ways the female plugs are molded might be particular to you car.  Like the hi/lo switch female plug. 
Abe Lugo  CLC#31763  Sunny Los Angeles,CA @abelugo IG

wheikkila

I'm a firm believer in. Never throw anything away till the project is complete. I have learned the hard way. Nothing like having the original part for comparison.
                             Thanks Wayne   

Eldovert

Thanks for the responses
Just to give you an idea of what I am working with.
Cheers,Pat MacPhail

76eldo

Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

chrisntam

Keep it.  Don't discard any old parts, old parts are hard to come by.
1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

MaR

I always keep old harnesses. Time and time again, having a source for hard to find connectors and terminals has proven invaluable for many of my projects.

Jason Edge

#11
I have to agree with just about everything said. If the wire and/or connectors are in good shape save it. I am constantly removing connectors from old harnesses or taking sections out of one harness to make a good harness. Just this morning I had a good tested seat motor but the "one contact power wire connector" was crumbling apart and I reached into my misc wiring bin and matched a connector from a completely different part of the car.

I will say that that I learned way back to separate the harnesses and connectors, and bag, box or organize however is needed to find what you need. Having parted out 56 1963/64 Cadillacs I have many sub groupings such as trunk, door, body, dash, engine bay, seat, and those are intern sub divided by type, year, body styles, etc. where they are different.  If for example, I need a seat harness I don't have to hunt through literally dozens of bins of random wire thrown together, and instead know exactly where the seat harnesses are kept.  They in turn are broken down by bags, boxes, etc, by year, 2 way, 4 way, 6 way, bench, bucket, series 62, deVille, etc. So if you need that 1964 6 way, bench seat 2 piece seat harness, I'm going to get to it in less than 5 minutes.    Unless a harness is completely toast and connectors are almost all gone, I still keep the harness, bag it and mark it "For Parts" to remove connectors or wire from. I also, of course, have miscelaneous boxes of nothing but connectors and pigtail wire to pull from.
Jason Edge
Lifetime Member
Executive Vice President
CLC 1963/64 Cadillac Chapter Director - www.6364Cadillac.com
CLC Carolina Region Webmaster - www.CRCLC.org
CLC MRC Benefactor
email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
1964 Coupe DeVille - Sierra Gold - http://bit.ly/1WnOQRX
2002 Escalade EXT - Black
2012 SRX Performance Edition - Crystal Red
2013 Escalade EXT Premium Edition - Xenon Blue

59-in-pieces

Pat,

Having done more than a couple frame offs, how many cars worth of harnesses are in those buckets (or optical allusion as more than 1) - and are they all from 59's.
And in my own doings, I have bought harnesses from others because I focus my best I can OEM restorations on 59 - for my own cars - and glad I did.

If you yourself will be working on any other 59's, then I guarantee you will need to replace electrical connectors - or replace sections of the harness, say at the front door hinge and kick panel area , and match wire colors.
And even if you give the resto work to others, they will need them too.

Generally the harness rebuilders want your original connectors.

All my comments, and the others who posted here are valid, if you want to keep a car as OEM as built.
If you don't care - China knock offs - "fits all" approach, is fine - then dump the harnesses as a Buy It Now here or eBay, and the like.

Final point - "if they don't make it any more" - including harness connectors - and you have them, people want them, they are valuable and will keep getting more so over time.

Have fun,
Steve B.
S. Butcher

rwchatham CLC 21892

Cut off the fuse panel and connectors and throw all the old wiring itself  away .
Order new exact duplicates from rhode island wiring and done . Its foolish to reuse the brittle old wiring in any restoration.
R. Waligora

Jason Edge

#14
Quote from: rwchatham CLC 21892 on November 27, 2021, 07:07:18 PM
Cut off the fuse panel and connectors and throw all the old wiring itself  away .
Order new exact duplicates from rhode island wiring and done . Its foolish to reuse the brittle old wiring in any restoration.
My experience has been connectors from these parts cars range from dry, brittle and falling apart to like new (and much better quality than anything seen on a new car or being reproduced).
Also, given the fact there are about 20 main harnesses on the 63's and 64's I deal with (and assuming a similar # for the 59), and the fact several of these harnesses like the door & body harness will be very different just because of the body style, and the fact several harnesses such as the dash, forward lamp harness, and again door and body harnesses will be very different depending on options such as power equipment options, AC, etc., I estmate there are at least a couple hundred combinations for any particular car.   Given that fact, I would think even a company as good as Rhode Island Wiring, would find an old harness helpful as a pattern.  If they have all harnesses for all body styles, and can produce them correctly sight unseen (or have the patterns all on hand) I am more than impressed.   
Jason Edge
Lifetime Member
Executive Vice President
CLC 1963/64 Cadillac Chapter Director - www.6364Cadillac.com
CLC Carolina Region Webmaster - www.CRCLC.org
CLC MRC Benefactor
email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
1964 Coupe DeVille - Sierra Gold - http://bit.ly/1WnOQRX
2002 Escalade EXT - Black
2012 SRX Performance Edition - Crystal Red
2013 Escalade EXT Premium Edition - Xenon Blue

rwchatham CLC 21892

I am pretty sure gm did not make a couple of hundred different  wiring harnesses for any given year , a couple maybe , usually  there are ends that are not  used depending on options and Extra harness for door locks and windows etc .options Rhode island or a few others like them have the templates for most common cars , they even had one for my 1957 dual ghia a car they only made 100 of so im sure a cadillac of the 50s and 60s they would  pretty much have covered . Their new ends look just like factory   but  they are not cheap  8k or so to do a 59 but using 60 year old wiring is a poor choice for any full blown restoration .
R. Waligora

Jason Edge

#16
I stated "several hundred combinations", not "several hundred harnesses"; however, considering all dozen body styles and variations there probably are at least 100 total different harnesses, while there are at least 20 main type harnesses.  I've been selling these for a qtr century and need to at least have some understanding of the differences. Off the top of my head here are 20 harnesses for the 1964 Cadillac. Many of these again will be depending on body style and option. I have noted some variations... there are more ... and I probably forgot a couple of main harnesses. 

While this is from my perspective of 1964 harnesses, I believe it would be similar situation with the 1959 harnesses. Looking at the CLC Directory I see over a dozen body styles for 1959 and I see coupes, convertibles, sedans, limos, etc., and I see Series 62's, and deVilles, and Fleetwoods, and Eldorados and know the wiring harnesses, like in 1964, would have unique requirements depending on their application. Add the different body series level standard equipment and options, and the # of "combination" probably approaches that seen in 1964.

Here is a look at the 1964 main harness groups that come to mind.. again probalby missing a few, and forgetting a few variations:

 
-Main Dash harness
--> different depending on several options including AC, sentinel headlights, Guidematic auto dimming, cruise, power trunk etc. Most have extra wires branching off the dash harness. Order a plain harness without the correct connector you are SOL.
 
-Forward Lamp Harness
--> different between AC and non-AC car, different for Eldo with extra horn,
 
-Engine cranking harness --> different for Turbo Hydramatic equipped cars and Hydramatic equipped cars
 
-Alternator to regulator harness–
 
-Starter harness to engine cranking harness
--> different btween AC or non AC.
 
-left driver power window harness >
different between manual vent and power vent, different betrween series 62 and deVille, different for Fleetwood 60 Special with 4 power vents and 75 series
 
-right front passenger window harness --> different between manual vent and power vent, different betrween series 62 and deVille, different for Fleetwood 60 Special with 4 power vents and 75 series.
 
-left rear door or rear qtr feed harness
--> different between coupe and sedan and different between Series 62 and deVille Fleetwood (series 62 had not courtesy lights and different connectors)  In addition on the rear, some body styles used a direct to power window motor connector while others used a short jumper harness. It all depending and the body style.
 
-right rear door or rear qtr feed harness --> different between coupe and sedan and different between Series 62 and deVille Fleetwood (series 62 had not courtesy lights and different connectors).  In addition on the rear, some body styles used a direct to power window motor connector while others used a short jumper harness. It all depending and the body style.
 
-left body feed harness to trunk --> different between Series 62 (no courtesy lights) and deVilles and Fleetwoods.
 
-main trunk harness to tail lamps, license plate lights and gas tank
 
-trunk light harness
 
-right body feed harness including to speaker
 
-power seat harness --> different harness for 2 way, 6 way, and bucket seat options, completely different harness between Series 62 which had seat switch in base of seat, and deVilles and Fleetwoods which had switch in arm rest switch plate. Series 62 had 1 piece harness.. deVille/Fleetwood had 2 piece seat harness... again very different. Order the wrong one for your Series 62 Coupe .. and again SOL.
 
-rear courtesy light harness
--> different between 62/deVille series, Eldo, Fleetwood, 75 series
 
- power trunk release
 
- rear window defroster --> different between coupes and sedans
 
- cruise control
 

- sentinel headlight control
 
- Guidematic auto dimming -- different between factory installed and dealer installed

Jason Edge
Lifetime Member
Executive Vice President
CLC 1963/64 Cadillac Chapter Director - www.6364Cadillac.com
CLC Carolina Region Webmaster - www.CRCLC.org
CLC MRC Benefactor
email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
1964 Coupe DeVille - Sierra Gold - http://bit.ly/1WnOQRX
2002 Escalade EXT - Black
2012 SRX Performance Edition - Crystal Red
2013 Escalade EXT Premium Edition - Xenon Blue