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Thread: Should I rewire the whole car?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DMC81's Avatar
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    Unhappy Should I rewire the whole car?

    Ok, I have been digging through my Delorean for that past couple of days and found many electrical problems like.... power windows not working, cooling fans not working, most dash lights not working like the open door lights, radio not working and the fuse box is melted and has had some hack job done to it. Should i consider buying the new wire harness and re wire the whole car and if so do I have to lift the car off the frame to do so? Any vids,links or advise will be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Wow, that's a tough one. Is there a wiring harness avail? The problem I have ran in to fixing multiple electrical problems with band aid repairs, is that it just becomes one big hack job. I guess that's fine if you are OK with as long as everything works no matter how bad it all looks but if you want to keep the car, id either find a new wiring harness, or get a very thorough wiring schematic and the matching type color coded wire and run a new color correct wire everywhere I find a problem in my wiring.
    1983 Delorean-auto, black/gray int. 38k miles

  3. #3
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    While you might not need to actually rewire the whole thing, it sounds like you might benefit from unattaching everything, testing each run and cleaning every connector. If you start yanking out, you will have to do a fair bit of pulling apart that won't be quick or easy.

    I personally find it easiest to "raze everything to the ground" and build back up so that I can ensure that each piece works as I go. One of the hardest things to do is troubleshoot electrics "half-assed" as you can never be sure what might be intermittent or what might be dependent on other things (like a voltage differential that makes currents flow the wrong way when something else is turned on). I had a 3 fuse 1977 Triumph Spitfire whose radio would crap out when I stepped on the brakes. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out for ages. Long story short, the fuse holder was corroded on the inside and the contact with the fuse was high resistance. When the brake was depressed, a shorter path to ground appeared and electricity, like water, found it!

    Take the opportunity to document any mods your car might have. Print out one of the big wiring diagrams...priceless help.
    Owen
    Neal Ventures LLC makes simple organization software to protect your financial, personal, medical and after-life!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DMC81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spittybug View Post
    While you might not need to actually rewire the whole thing, it sounds like you might benefit from unattaching everything, testing each run and cleaning every connector. If you start yanking out, you will have to do a fair bit of pulling apart that won't be quick or easy.

    I personally find it easiest to "raze everything to the ground" and build back up so that I can ensure that each piece works as I go. One of the hardest things to do is troubleshoot electrics "half-assed" as you can never be sure what might be intermittent or what might be dependent on other things (like a voltage differential that makes currents flow the wrong way when something else is turned on). I had a 3 fuse 1977 Triumph Spitfire whose radio would crap out when I stepped on the brakes. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out for ages. Long story short, the fuse holder was corroded on the inside and the contact with the fuse was high resistance. When the brake was depressed, a shorter path to ground appeared and electricity, like water, found it!

    Take the opportunity to document any mods your car might have. Print out one of the big wiring diagrams...priceless help.
    Where do I find the diagram at?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    It would be be expensive to get striped colored wire. What I would do is install a new fuse block and any wires that are to short, extend them. I would think you would need to pull everything apart to install a new harness.

    The wiring diagram I use is attached. It's great to keep copies everywhere printed 11x17.
    Attached Files
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member DMC81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    It would be be expensive to get striped colored wire. What I would do is install a new fuse block and any wires that are to short, extend them. I would think you would need to pull everything apart to install a new harness.

    The wiring diagram I use is attached. It's great to keep copies everywhere printed 11x17.
    Thank you so much! I hate being the new guy..lol :thankyou

  7. #7
    Mr. Pickles Chauffeur Shep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC81 View Post
    Ok, I have been digging through my Delorean for that past couple of days and found many electrical problems like.... power windows not working, cooling fans not working, most dash lights not working like the open door lights, radio not working and the fuse box is melted and has had some hack job done to it. Should i consider buying the new wire harness and re wire the whole car and if so do I have to lift the car off the frame to do so? Any vids,links or advise will be much appreciated.
    That fuse box has me wondering. If it melted and had a hack job done to it, then perhaps the connections inside the box itself are broken/fried/melted apart/etc., which might cause those kinds of issues. First thing I would do is replace the fuse box and then check all the fuses. It may not help, but even if it doesn't, at the very least you'll be safer driving it later on. I have a feeling it's causing at least a few of the issues you're describing, in whole or in part. Cheap, easy, and doesn't take long either.

    Of course, once you get the electrical issues sorted out, the next priority should be figuring out what made the fuse box melt in the first place. Obviously if the fuse box melted, the whole car is at risk of a fire, and that needs to be sorted out before you leave the vicinity of a fire extinguisher and/or department.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spittybug View Post

    I personally find it easiest to "raze everything to the ground" and build back up so that I can ensure that each piece works as I go. One of the hardest things to do is troubleshoot electrics "half-assed" as you can never be sure what might be intermittent or what might be dependent on other things (like a voltage differential that makes currents flow the wrong way when something else is turned on). I had a 3 fuse 1977 Triumph Spitfire whose radio would crap out when I stepped on the brakes. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out for ages. Long story short, the fuse holder was corroded on the inside and the contact with the fuse was high resistance. When the brake was depressed, a shorter path to ground appeared and electricity, like water, found it!

    .

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    Last edited by DMC5180; 08-04-2012 at 11:20 PM.
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  9. #9
    Aussie Member Tillsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    The wiring diagram I use is attached. It's great to keep copies everywhere printed 11x17.
    I can't remember where I found this, but I prefer this wiring diagram as it is colour coded to the wiring harness which I've found incredibly handy:
    Attached Files
    Chris

  10. #10
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC5180 View Post
    You do know the Lucas theory of smoke right? Wires are full of smoke and when you see some, it indicates a leak in the system.
    Owen
    Neal Ventures LLC makes simple organization software to protect your financial, personal, medical and after-life!

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