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[oletrucks] TF rewiring--suggestions

To: Old Trucks List <oletrucks@autox.team.net>
Subject: [oletrucks] TF rewiring--suggestions
From: J Forbes <jforbes@primenet.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 14:16:02 -0700

I used a Painless kit in my 55 Chevy Belair.  I have
installed a Chevy Duty stock type kit in someone
else's 58 pickup.

The Painless non-GM column kit does require you to
add the appropriate connectors for your ignition
switch and turn signal switch.  I'm not sure about
the Ron Francis kit...I prefer the GM wiring method
that Painless uses, because I'm used to it, and I
understand it pretty well, and have the color code
memorized, etc.  The problem with the Painless kit
(and probably the Francis kit also) is that it's
designed mainly for street rods (48 and older
cars/trucks with later model running gear), and
doesn't fit 50s cars and trucks exactly
right...without doing some extra work.

I need to do the wiring on my 57 Suburban one of
these days, and what I really want is a Painless kit
that has the nice fuse block they use, but also has
stock connections for lights, gages, etc.  I think
to get what I want, I'd have to get both kits, and
do a lot of work...and it would cost a lot and keep
me busy for a week.  

Instead, I'll probably use the stock type harness,
and add fuses and extra wires as needed.  It takes
some work, but doesn't cost as much.

For you needs, I suggest you think carefully about
what your truck really needs.  ARe you planning on
adding several extra electrical accessories?  If so,
the Painless/Francis kits are nice because they have
fuses and wires for lots of extra things.  However,
if you are just going to add one or two extra
things, then the stock harness, with some add ons
(and some extra safety things such as a main fusible
link) will do the job.  Some wiring competency is
required when you make any modifications...so be

If you get a Painless kit for a non-GM column, it
will probably be easier to use...because it won't
have the funky connectors for the ignition switch
and turn signals that were used on 70s-80s vintage
GMs.  With the kit for GM column, you'd have to cut
the connectors off and use the older style
terminals, and the igntion switch wires may not be
long enough (just guessing, though).

You can buy the correct contacts to use in the
orignal older GM plastic connector housings...I
think real auto parts places have them, as well as
the GM dealers.  I have some of the part numbers out
in the shop...or look in the dealer's Standard Parts
Catalog, if they still use such a thing.

Hope this helps...

Jim F
59s in AZ

> I'm thinking about re-wiring my 59 TF and had a couple of questions:
> Will these aftermarket kits such as Ron Francis, Painless etc have provisions 
>for using the
> stock column and turnsignals etc...or will I need to splice them in myself?  
>What I meen is,
> will they have plugs for older GM non-keyed columns?
> I'm trying to decide wether to buy a kit for Gm or non-gm column.
> Have any of you guys used this type of kit on a fairly stock truck?
> Thanks, John Schulz
> Any suggestions, ideas, concerns?
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959

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