TheAMCForum.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > The Garage > Electrical - non engine
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - How to connect electrical in 1958 rambler
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Click for TheAMCForum Rules / Click for PDF version of Forum Rules
Your donations help keep this valuable resource free and growing. Thank you.

How to connect electrical in 1958 rambler

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 9>
Author
Message
1958 rambler super View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Dec/10/2020
Location: Victoria BC can
Status: Offline
Points: 290
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1958 rambler super Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How to connect electrical in 1958 rambler
    Posted: Dec/23/2020 at 4:16pm
Hi everybody, I've looked under the hood when I was wondering how to set up the electric connections in the rambler, and was wondering if I can simply put a new battery in there and connect a few wires (?) To see if the electric system will operate..... I don't know much about elec systems in cars, but I will get back to this thread and tell you if I notice the wiring harness isn't looking too hot or obviously not hooked up. But the main purpose of this thread was to get help activating the elec system even if there's no motor under the hood, just to check and see if it's in working or disabled condition to figure out if it's another thing for the "to do list"
Thanks guys!
Back to Top
KMag View Drop Down
AMC Apprentice
AMC Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Apr/05/2009
Location: Louisville, Ky
Status: Offline
Points: 63
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KMag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/23/2020 at 9:16pm
 I wouldn't just throw a battery in there if other wires are disconnected. You might fry everything. Although the wiring is fairly primitive compared to todays cars, if you don't understand it, I would at least get a AMC Technical Service Manual. There are wiring diagrams in it. If you can't read them, I would suggest you find someone who knows automotive wiring.
Back to Top
bigbad69 View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar

Joined: Jul/02/2007
Location: Ottawa, Ont.
Status: Offline
Points: 5199
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbad69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/23/2020 at 10:22pm
The two tools you absolutely need are a multimeter, and the wiring diagram.

The first thing to do is to visually inspect as much of the wires as you can. 62 years can leave the insulation on the conductors very brittle, especially under the hood. If you find any cracks or missing bits on the insulation, tape it up (use electrical tape, not masking tape) for now. If there are any cut wires, tape the end up for now. If you find connections twisted together, they need to be properly connected together with a crimp splice (good) or solder (better). Connections simply twisted together are not reliable.

Unplug all the connectors and check for corrosion on the contacts. Clean as required. If the car is originally from Victoria, you won't have to worry about salt corrosion too much.

Check the fuse panel. Do the fuses feel loose? AMC fuse panels are notorious for sprung retaining clips. You may need to clean them up and squeeze them together (with the fuse removed) to tighten the grip on the fuse. Check all the fuses are good with an ohmmeter.

After this is done, hook the battery up and start checking out the functions. Follow the circuit from the battery to the part you're checking. Use the voltmeter to verify the voltage at junction points and connectors. The body of the car is your ground (return) point. Be methodical and check each circuit individually.

A lot of hobbyists get intimidated by automotive electrical systems but, for vintage cars, the fear is really not warranted. Reading a wiring diagram is like reading a map. You start at point A and follow the road to point B. It's not that complicated. OK, if you're colour blind, that will make things more difficult.
Back to Top
1958 rambler super View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Dec/10/2020
Location: Victoria BC can
Status: Offline
Points: 290
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1958 rambler super Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/24/2020 at 11:22am
Ok, so this morning I lifted up the water proof tarp and knocked off the ice (it's Christmas Eve!!!! Merry Christmas everyone!!) And took a look in the empty engine compartment, there are some wires coming and going from here to there, what I saw didn't look like a wiring harness, just equipment of various types, alittle box fastened to the side of the engine compartment, wires going into what might be a ideal space for heater or fan near the underneath area of the bottom of the wind shield and other wires that I assume would connect to things like various pumps or the coil ect... I saw the other battery cable, the other one is with everything else that is goes on the engine on my kitchen floor. Some of the responses have mentioned very wisely having the aid of the wiring diagram, I have to ask, since the engine has been at the machine shop now for two days and they will phone me pretty soon to let me know what they discovered when they checked the block or head for cracks, but if they find cracks and I need another head and can't find one that's financially practical for me to aquire it, I may choose to use a different engine, if that's the case, I would probably have to use a different wiring diagram right?
Back to Top
KMag View Drop Down
AMC Apprentice
AMC Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: Apr/05/2009
Location: Louisville, Ky
Status: Offline
Points: 63
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KMag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/24/2020 at 11:54am
What engine is in it now? Again, depending on what engine is in there now, it would depend if you need to modify the wiring for a different one. Early engines required very little electronics, and most likely no modifications would be needed, but to know, you would have to provide more solid information.

But I wouldn't worry about it until you know if there is a problem. It would be unlikely that the head has developed a crack. Not impossible, but I would wait for an answer from your machine shop.
Back to Top
farna View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar
Moderator Lost Dealership Project

Joined: Jul/08/2007
Location: South Carolina
Status: Offline
Points: 17845
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/25/2020 at 2:51pm
Not necessarily, though changing the wiring harness to an aftermarket one might be a good idea.

The important thing if you just stick a battery in is that no "hot" terminals are toughing the body. You could tape up the terminals on ALL wires so they don't touch the body and ground (or ano0ther wire that might be grounded) and just stick a battery in, then pull the tape and test each terminal, put tape back on once tested (it may not be hot unless another wire is hot and connected first, so could be hot later).  

Wiring on these old cars is pretty darned simple. A fuse panel wasn't used until the 1963 Classic/Ambo was introduced (no fuse panel on the 63 American, but was on the newly engineered 65 models).  There was a main circuit breaker which was a self-resetting type (resets after it cools off), with a couple individual fuses -- on on the back of the light switch, one in-line to the radio, and if AC equipped one to the AC... I forget if it was in-line or on the AC unit somewhere. That's another reason you might just want to can the old wiring harness and go with a simple hot-rod aftermarket type... that an the over 50 year old wires.

You can get a cheap wiring harness kit. Most have what the wire is for printed on the wire, generally follow GM wiring colors. The cheap ones don't have much as far as instructions nor do they have all the needed connectors, such as headlight connectors. You can cut proprietary connectors from your harness and splice them in, but I don't think you will have any -- most are going to be common terminal ends. You can get new headlight connectors at any auto parts store. I'd recommend using relays to power the headlights if you are going to re-wire anyway (even if not... saves the life of the light switch and gives a little more power to the headlights).

Frank Swygert
Back to Top
bigbad69 View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar

Joined: Jul/02/2007
Location: Ottawa, Ont.
Status: Offline
Points: 5199
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbad69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/25/2020 at 4:36pm
I would second the idea of a replacement harness unless you plan on a concours restoration. It just removes 60 years of degradation.

I'm not that familiar with the 50s models, but the 60s AMCs used a resistance wire to power the coil. The specified resistance was different depending upon whether it was a 6 or V8. The 6 cyl cars also had the starter (and hence battery, solenoid, alternator) on the opposite side of the engine from the V8s. This would make the wiring harness different between 6 and V8.

Back to Top
1958 rambler super View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Dec/10/2020
Location: Victoria BC can
Status: Offline
Points: 290
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1958 rambler super Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/25/2020 at 10:21pm
The responses here are certainly sounding like they are coming from seasoned professionals who really know their stuff. I've never worked on electrical stuff in a car before, only changed out a heater core that's the closest I come to electrical work. The wiring diagram I was able to look at that farna posted looked really interesting, I can't wait to start learning about how it works. I'll look on the internet at what "proprietor" connectors are as well as other terms I should know to understand this work.... But I'll keep in mind the job that should have my attention right now is the engine because that's the job I started and I don't wanna get my fingers into too many jobs at once....

Back to Top
tomj View Drop Down
AMC Addicted
AMC Addicted
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2010
Location: los angeles
Status: Offline
Points: 6037
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/25/2020 at 10:54pm
So... maybe some more background information? Is the engine out now? Is this a strip down to bar chassis, rebuild project situation? Or just trying to make an old car go?

Context and goals matters a lot.

1960 Rambler Super two-door wagon, OHV auto
1961 Roadster American, 195.6 OHV, T5
1968 American, 199ci, T14
AMC pages: http://www.sr-ix.com/AMC/

Back to Top
1958 rambler super View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Dec/10/2020
Location: Victoria BC can
Status: Offline
Points: 290
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1958 rambler super Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2020 at 7:45pm
Yes! Sorry! The goal is to fix up my old car and use it as a daily driver, the engine is not in the engine compartment and I sure don't want to strip it down to the bare frame!! I wouldn't know why I would need to go that far anyhow.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 9>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.
All content of this site Copyright © 2018 TheAMCForum unless otherwise noted, all rights reserved.
PROBLEMS LOGGING IN or REGISTERING:
If you have problems logging in or registering, then please contact a Moderator or