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Thread: Need tips and tricks on tidying up engine wires.

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    Need tips and tricks on tidying up engine wires.

    Summer is here and i'm always paranoid about electrical fires. So, i'm planning to tidy up and do some preventative care.

    Planning to buy some high temperature looms to wrap as many wires as possible.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...5AJ7I755&psc=1


    Also taping connecting looms ends and any exposed wires with high temperature tapes.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016ZMXLEI...01_02_t_img_lh


    The high temperature tapes has mixed reviews. What do you guys think?

    Any tips and tricks?

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    1966 GMC / 292 ci / 700r4 / Air Suspension

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    The only time my van ever experienced an electrical fire was in the pink ignition wire that goes from the ignition switch in the dash to the coil. The factory wire is pretty small, for the amount of current it is tasked to carry. IIRC it’s a 16 gauge. It makes sense to replace this circuit with a heavier wire, such as a 12 gauge wire. A thicker wire can handle more current without overheating. Especially if you have upgraded to an HEI, it is a good idea to upgrade the pink ignition wire, since it is now carrying more current than the original points system.

    Beginning in 1967 the second gen vans, the factory added a fusible link in the main red power feed wire coming from off the positive post of the starter. This is an excellent safety upgrade to prevent an electrical fire in the van wiring harness. It is easy to add a fusible link to the first gen van in the same way that second gens had. The way the fusible link works is that in the event there is a short to ground somewhere in the van’s wiring, the fusible link will cook and break, thereby stopping the power flow from the battery, and preventing fire or further damage from a short to ground. You can also use an inline fuse or even a breaker. With a breaker, you can easily reset it. Fusible links work well, but if you do have a short and you cook one, you will need to rewire and install a new one before your van will run again.

    Wire loom is a good idea to use and also in conjunction with electrical tape. Wrapping up everything neat and tidy is a good idea to prevent shorts due to grounded out to metal.
    Last edited by kookykrispy; 06-14-2019 at 02:02 PM.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project
    '67 108" G10 "high roller" 350/th350 12 bolt rear, 31" tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    My 68 used to catch fire weekly, and this was when it was only 15 years old. The 'clips' that the wire loom hangs from are pretty flimsy, and the loom would pop out and fall on the exhaust manifold. I re-routed everything away from the exhaust and ran it in the split loom harness. It's currently a rat's nest again after 4 more engine swaps, and will be routed under the floor next time, with a single loom coming up the rear of the engine for all the electrics
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    I am a fan of heat shrink tubing. doesn't unravel and fall off like Chinese electrical tape. don't bother with the 8" pieces at your local parts store, just order rolls or 3' lengths. it is cheap so get some of every size. same on zip ties, 100 count packs of every size. if you have wires you don't need to lengthen or just don't want to cut, then use the looms but put lots of zip ties along the length. bolt wire/loom clamps where you can to secure the wires/harness instead of those bend over/vibrate loose tabs. leave a little slack on the wires but not so much that it falls on anything. del city has everything you would need. https://www.delcity.net/
    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

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    Hey KK, thanks for the advice.

    I like the inline fuse option. What amp do you recommend?

    I just ordered some 12 gauge wire, i'll replace the pink ignition wire too.

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    The only time my van ever experienced an electrical fire was in the pink ignition wire that goes from the ignition switch in the dash to the coil. The factory wire is pretty small, for the amount of current it is tasked to carry. IIRC itís a 16 gauge. It makes sense to replace this circuit with a heavier wire, such as a 12 gauge wire. A thicker wire can handle more current without overheating. Especially if you have upgraded to an HEI, it is a good idea to upgrade the pink ignition wire, since it is now carrying more current than the original points system.

    Beginning in 1967 the second gen vans, the factory added a fusible link in the main red power feed wire coming from off the positive post of the starter. This is an excellent safety upgrade to prevent an electrical fire in the van wiring harness. It is easy to add a fusible link to the first gen van in the same way that second gens had. The way the fusible link works is that in the event there is a short to ground somewhere in the vanís wiring, the fusible link will cook and break, thereby stopping the power flow from the battery, and preventing fire or further damage from a short to ground. You can also use an inline fuse or even a breaker. With a breaker, you can easily reset it. Fusible links work well, but if you do have a short and you cook one, you will need to rewire and install a new one before your van will run again.

    Wire loom is a good idea to use and also in conjunction with electrical tape. Wrapping up everything neat and tidy is a good idea to prevent shorts due to grounded out to metal.
    1966 GMC / 292 ci / 700r4 / Air Suspension

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    Heat shrink tubing requires me to cut all my wire and feed it thru the tube right?

    I don't think i'm ready for that kind of tidy up yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by jrinaman View Post
    I am a fan of heat shrink tubing. doesn't unravel and fall off like Chinese electrical tape. don't bother with the 8" pieces at your local parts store, just order rolls or 3' lengths. it is cheap so get some of every size. same on zip ties, 100 count packs of every size. if you have wires you don't need to lengthen or just don't want to cut, then use the looms but put lots of zip ties along the length. bolt wire/loom clamps where you can to secure the wires/harness instead of those bend over/vibrate loose tabs. leave a little slack on the wires but not so much that it falls on anything. del city has everything you would need. https://www.delcity.net/
    1966 GMC / 292 ci / 700r4 / Air Suspension

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeykongking View Post
    Hey KK, thanks for the advice.

    I like the inline fuse option. What amp do you recommend?

    I just ordered some 12 gauge wire, i'll replace the pink ignition wire too.

    Thanks!
    If you have just the same basic stuff the van had originally, a 30 amp fuse should be fine. If you have added electric fan, fog lights, big stereo, and other high - draw accessories, then I would go for a 50 amp



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project
    '67 108" G10 "high roller" 350/th350 12 bolt rear, 31" tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    Certifiable Vanatic Leroy Jackson's Avatar
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    http://content.aviation-safety-burea...c-43-13-1b.php

    Chapter 11..this will educate you for days on proper wiring.
    The Raped Ape
    1970 G-20 Krylon black
    Swing up cargo doors
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    Detroit trutrac rear limited slip

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    All great advice. If you follow those aviation wiring guidlines you can't go wrong. Problem with just tidying up wires is that just moving them around can cause issues. Same thing with tightly wrapping them. If you just want to get them tidy, maybe zip ties to just kind of collect them. It's hard to give informed advice without seeing what you've got going on. On the 69 WedgieVan, every time I've added an electrical device, I've run a dedicated circuit, bypassing the OE harness as much as possible.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    If you have any of these anywhere, GET RID OF THEM!



    They are just problems waiting to happen. Cut and splice the wire if absolutely necessary, or just run a new dedicated wire as stated above.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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