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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 6:22 am 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
I posted this on another thread here on the forum, but as it applies to my build directly, and it will be important to others using EZ harnesses, it bears repeating.

A word to the wise on EZ harnesses - I got one of their 21-circuit harnesses (I, too, am using a GM tilt column, so I needed the column plug connectors), and can make the following observations:

1) The quality & gauge of the wiring is outstanding (wire cores & insulation are all much thicker than OEM wires usually are), as is the fuse panel etc.;

2) The provided connectors allow the harness to connect directly to a GM column, so signals, high/low beam, ignition switch, horn etc. are all provided for as "plug-'n-play";

BUT -

3) Make sure you lay out the harness & go through the ENTIRE thing, wire by wire, before starting to install the harness.

I laid out my harness on the floor, to check the length (the harness is long enough to accommodate a long-box, crew cab pickup, so there's LOTS of extra wire that will need to be trimmed) and noticed something strange. There was no wire for the right rear turn signal. There were, however, two left rear ones. And three backup light power wires (???)...one for the rear end (as required), plus another one included in the dashboard bundle, and yet a third in the front engine bundle of wires.

There are also no left or right brake light wires, although there is a wire for a 3rd (high) brake light, so I'll be running all the brake lights off it. It will have to do.

It seems that, while the quality of the components is beyond reproach, the bundling & grouping of wiring, as well as quality control as to what wires are actually there, is "sub-optimal".

Now, I suppose that it is possible that my harness is the only one, anywhere, that EZ messed up...but I doubt it. For the sake of peace of mind, double check that all the correct wires are there, and that they're bundled the way they should be. It's much harder to go back and fix these issues once installation has begun.

:cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 16, 2018, 3:44 pm 
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Well, I'm still in the process of sorting out my EZ harness, and it's coming together.

I finally located the missing rear turn signal wire, buried in the "forward section" bundle, and re-routed it to where it belongs. There are no left & right brake light wires for the rear, although they show in the instruction sheet as existing. It appears I'll just be using the "third brake light" wire. It's at least 12 gauge wire, so it's plenty heavy enough to service my two brake lights bulb filaments + my LED third brake light (which draws virtually no current at all) on the underside of the roll bar.

I'm currently lengthening the wires from my Britax taillight assemblies, converting them to the EZ color code in the process, to make finally wiring easier.

Interestingly, there IS a color-coded wire list in the instruction sheet. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the wires listed are supposedly multi-colored wires (with contrasting tracers)...yet not a single multi-colored or tracer wire exists anywhere in the entire actual harness.

I'm compiling my own color code list as I go, so I can eventually build an actual wiring diagram for future reference. My memory ain't what it used to be, so a simple wiring diagram could be a boon in the event (highly likely event, that is!) that I have electrical issues down the road. Those teeny, tiny identifiers printed on the wires are VERY hard to read (especially when it's black text on dark brown wire, for example), particularly for those of us whose eye's have less acuity than in past decades, but color is pretty easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 9:31 am 
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A couple suggestions on the wiring. Start with a LARGE sheet for the drawing of your wiring diagram. I ended up using a 20 x 30" (2nd try) to get all the wiring lines drawn in. You might be able to find some free schematic software. I would also add a couple spare heavy gage wires to the front harness and at a min, one to the rear harness or future use. Makes life a lot easier when start adding stuff. Added the spare wires [w/ color codes] to your schematic and in the log book. Save my butt lots of hrs!! when I added an air horn and relay. Dave W


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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 1:23 pm 
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Funny you should mention this... I did a 11x17 printout of my donor wiring diagrams.

First of all, my eyes decided to act like 50-something eyes a couple of years ago.

Second, I can't misplace these as easily.

Third, I can make notes 'cause there is lots of room that wasn't there in the smaller printout.

That large sheet of paper is a great idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 5:42 pm 
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Gentlemen, I agree wholeheartedly! My plan is to do it on the computer, then print it off in 4 sheets & put 'em together. That should make it roughly 17" X 22", big enough for even these old eyes to decipher!

Another thing of interest I've noted on the EZ harness - there is no labeled, dedicated wire to supply power to the fuse panel from the battery. :shock: :?: :shock:

There are only 2 possibles for providing fuse panel power, both of which are red.

As near as I can tell, the large (red, 10 gauge) power wire to the starter solenoid is expected to do double duty, both powering up the solenoid & supplying main power. Problem is, I can't conceive of how this is possible, as power to the solenoid has to be switched (via the ignition switch)...so how does power get to the fuse panel for this to happen, and at the same time provide power to the solenoid? Sounds like the juice would have to flow both directions at the same time which, if I understand it all, works okay in AC power, but not in DC power.

There is also a large (10 gauge) wire labeled "alternator power", though presumably this would only flow current when the engine is already running, so couldn't provide battery power for starting, etc.

The instruction sheet that comes with EZ harnesses is about 7 pages total, and black & white only, while those provided with other aftermarket harnesses seem to run around 40 pages, with color plates & diagrams. At this point, I'm trying to cross-pollinate diagrams & instructions (while hoping that the harnesses themselves are similar enough to translate back and forth) & decipher how the heck it's supposed to work.

I found a post on the Jalopy Journal from 12 years ago that seems to refer to this. The post advises that the fuse panel power does, presumably, come from the solenoid.

Guess I'll have to give that a try!

It's weird - the quality of the components from EZ are amazing, including the panel, wire, connectors, etc., yet their "instructions" are only about 7 pages of Xeroxed Xeroxes of Xeroxes & childishly crude line drawings, and specifically reference wire codes for wires that aren't included in any of their harnesses. The instructions appear to have been produced back in the '80's, and never updated. You'd think that with the cost of a full harness kit, an extra $.50' worth of instruction booklet wouldn't be too much to ask! :BH:

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 6:09 pm 
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Thick insulation doesn't necessarily mean better if it's of lower-grade material. What do they list it as?

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 7:24 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
It's listed as 10 gauge wire and, judging by the thickness of the conductor, it is. As near as I can tell, there's no wire in the entire harness that's less than 14 gauge. The original GM column wiring is mostly 18 gauge (and some 20 gauge), so the EZ is definitely an upgrade.

I've been giving this issue more thought, and I guess it does make sense for the panel's power to come from the solenoid. The pole on the solenoid is also connected directly to the battery, so it makes sense that it would also supply the panel at the same time.

In a Painless Harness diagram, I found a wire leading from the panel (coincidentally, the panel is identical to the EZ one I have) which is listed as "system power", and is shown as a red, 10-gauge wire leading to the solenoid. Another wire shows as going from the same pole of the solenoid directly to the (+) terminal of the battery.

I think I have it now. Decent instructions would have clarified this, but they don't exist with EZ.

For others choosing EZ, I'd recommend referring to the Painless 90501 Harness instructions for additional information. The two harnesses seem to be virtually identical (except in price - the Painless harness is roughly 3X the price of the EZ...), and when using a GM-based column in a build, the two are pretty much "apples-to-apples" - even the color coding seems to be identical. The main difference seems to be a much better (free, downloadable) manual, and possibly more understandable labeling on the wires themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 18, 2018, 9:17 am 
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Pay no attention to how EZ says to wire the car, especially the electrical supply. They are simply copying what was done 40 years ago, not necessarily what is best.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 18, 2018, 10:44 am 
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I am discovering that! Even their manual appears to have been written 40 years ago...

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 20, 2018, 4:12 pm 
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Okay - I think I have all that sorted out.

Now, onto my front signals!

I bought some really nice, small, rubber stalk-type turn/running lights (from the UK), which I plan to mount to either side of the nose. It's not ideal, appearance-wise, but there's really nowhere else I can realistically mount them, so I bought small ones so they'd be as unobtrusive as possible, while still being visible as front side marker lights (mandatory here).

Problem was, once I received them, I realized that they only have a single filament. So, they're not actually intended to perform both running & turn functions :BH:

I thought of various strategies to fix this, including trying to fit small LED's inside the housings to act as signal bulbs, but there's just not enough room.

Then, I had an epiphany - how about using relays to turn the front lights flash OFF when the rear signals flashed ON?

To make it all work, I purchased a pair of normally-closed, 5-pole Bosch-style relays. The plan is that, when the running lights are on, the front lights will be on. When the signals are activated, the front signal lights will go off as the rear ones light up, and vice-versa. This means that the front & rear signals will flash alternately (but at the same rate). As the signals on many GM vehicles operate that way, it's not a problem standards-wise.

So...here's the circuit I designed using relays, in case anyone else (who may be as woefully ignorant about wiring as I am!!) wants to be able to do this:

Attachment:
signal relay pinout amd color code small.jpg
signal relay pinout amd color code small.jpg [ 23.23 KiB | Viewed 1019 times ]


Note that it's actually a lot simpler than it looks - each relay has a total of 4 wires - two power wires in, one wire out to the lamp, and one ground wire. This diagram shows both the right & left sides, incorporated into the same diagram, which is why it looks more complex than it is.

The relays are "normally closed", 5 poles, and have the "87a" pole in the middle (this needs to be there).

By the way, the color code shown is standard GM, which matches my EZ harness (as well as Painless, Kwik-Wire, Jegs, etc.).

This took a lot of research, so I'm really hoping it will be of use to others here. I'd hate to see someone else have to so all that research! There's a LOT of misleading information out there, and a LOT of wrong, downright dangerous, diagrams for wiring relays (I found some that had power hooking directly to ground - imagine the smoke escaping when you fired up headlights & the power went directly to ground instead of the lights :shock: )

- Cheers, folks!

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 20, 2018, 10:14 pm 
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I had the same issue with my side marker lamp assemblies. Fortunately they're plastic mounted. I removed the grounding strap from the outside of the bulb socket that went to a mounting hole. I then soldered a wire to the ground socket. I now had 2 wires to use for signal/side markers, wiring it in series with the signal/marker light wiring. Done this with all 3 cars.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 20, 2018, 10:54 pm 
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I wonder how your inspectors might think of that. being that there is no marker lights during the off time. You never know about what they might pick on too earn their keep.

One possible alternative is to simply add a dropping resistor to get the low intensity of the marker light and then feed the turn signal wire to the lamp side of the resistor. That way you'll have lighting that acts like a dual filament bulb. No relay should be required. You might need to adda diode on front of the resistor if you get back-feed from the turn signal wires. Maybe not.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 21, 2018, 12:25 am 
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rx7locost wrote:
I wonder how your inspectors might think of that. being that there is no marker lights during the off time.


I guess I should clarify this a bit.
This is an amber side marker/signal light. The front dual filament signal/markers work as normal, signal light will flash while marker remains lit. The alternating amber side marker/signal light is what Chev used on the Chevette donor I used for build #1, I just used the same wiring routine for the rest of the builds. I believe OEM precedence has been set so there should be no worries at inspection time.

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 21, 2018, 12:46 am 
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Thanks, horchoha, that's the premise I'm working under. I've actually owned several GM vehicles with front signals/side markers that worked that way, so I suspect there's no issue with doing it that way myself. With a single filament bulb, the lamps really only have the options of on & off. They're bright enough to be effective as they are, but to try to make the filaments dimmer during side marker operation, by use of resistors or something, I don't think they'd be bright enough to be acceptable.

If I had to, it would be easy to swap in dual-filament bulb lights (albeit, considerably larger units), as I'll already have all the requisite wiring terminating inside the nose, but if I can use this method, it will be more...elegant. I have a set of chrome Yamaha dual-filament signal lights that I bought, used, years ago for this project, but they're about 3X the size of my new ones.

I rigged up a test mule of sorts today, using the diagram, and it worked beautifully. Didn't slow down the "host" signals at all, and my new front "signal/marker" lights were nice & bright, with a crisp flash.

I'm hoping others will find this useful!

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 Post subject: Re: Long-term +2 build
PostPosted: February 21, 2018, 1:36 am 
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Attachment:
File comment: Front side marker reworked
IMG_3415.JPG
IMG_3415.JPG [ 75.77 KiB | Viewed 980 times ]


This is what I did, ignore the red lens, it should be amber. This only works on single wire lights that have a plastic body so that its insulated from the frame/aluminum.
Remove the ground strap from the mounting hole (the x'd red box). Solder white wire (any colour you choose) to bulb socket ground, drill hole through plastic and run through like black wire. Connect one wire to signal light (right or left whichever side you're working on), connect the other wire to the marker lights (tail lights, running lights).
When the tail light switch (head light switch) is off the side lights will flash at the same time as the front and rear signals. With the tail light switch (head light switch) on the side lights light up, if a signal is initiated the lights will turn off as the signal turns on, hence flashing the opposite of the signal.
No need for relays, this has worked with the 80's Chev and Ford signal light switches. Very simple.
This is for the front side marker/signal light NOT the front signal light.
Attachment:
IMG_0805.JPG
IMG_0805.JPG [ 137.21 KiB | Viewed 977 times ]

As you can see, you can see the front side marker, signal light, but you can't see the front signal light.

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'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
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