Electrical upgrades list

Nicad

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If one wanted to set the car up to be electrically reliable over the next twenty years, what items would top your list? Connectors, wiring, grounds, relays. I have the low wattage alternator. Perhaps I will get it rebuilt as It will probably suffice. I understand it can be upgraded? I doubt I would be operating it with much more draw than the basics it came with. My wiring is in pretty good shape, but it's hard to figure exactly when it won't be. Any electrical system revisions you are really happy with? Seems LED lights as much as possible would tax it the least.
Tia
 

Stevehose

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Low beam relays with fuse
Window relays with fuse
High amp alternator (for reserve on high wattage bulbs and if you have a/c)
High wattage bulbs for headlights
All lighting grounds cleaned and secure front and back
All lighting plugs and female connectors cleaned and squeezed a little so they slide on tight
4 watt regular dash bulbs. Not sure LED's are dimmable
Honda/Stanley brake light bulb upgrade (i did a thread on this a while ago)

My $.02
 

Bwana

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Cleaning all the grounds and spade connectors. I'm planning on doing this too but I haven't figured out how to clean the inside part of the spade connector. The blade is easy with sandpaper but how do you get the mating side cleaned? Any suggestions?

On my '78 Ducati, the wires had corroded inside the connectors (banana and socket). I ended up removing the whole harness, prying the connectors off the wires and dipping the wire ends into pool acid. Then a dip into a solution of baking soda and then clear water. Final step was to soldier the connector back on for a positive, corrosion proof connection. Don't want to have to do that to the Coupe harness!! But it would be a huge first step towards reliability. And also will make the turn signal flasher work!
 

Stevehose

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For the insides of female connectors I fold a small piece of sand paper in half (or 3 ways) so that it will just fit inside and then sand that way. Some WD40 can help on the sandpaper as well. Not perfect, but will restore enough surface area for a good connection.
 

Nicad

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I am assuming the overheated and soon to fail Yellow wire comes from the ignition switch. Anyone know if this harness is available by any chance? God I hate working under dashes.
 

rsporsche

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i think that would be a NO. either find one or replace the wire. yellow goes to the lights. goes from the light switch to the dip switch to the headlights
 
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Bwana

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Thanks guys

Jeff, How about a brass wire brush from Home Depot?
I'm not sure that will get inside the female part of the connector far enough to clean it out.

For the insides of female connectors I fold a small piece of sand paper in half (or 3 ways) so that it will just fit inside and then sand that way. Some WD40 can help on the sandpaper as well. Not perfect, but will restore enough surface area for a good connection.
Yes, I've done this, I guess I was trying to find a more robust (read easier/automatic) way of doing it.

What's Deoxit?
 

Nicad

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I have a spot bead blaster. Seems to me if you put everything in a large clear Bag, it would get it all and not leave a mess. It would remove any plating or coating if there is any left at this point.
 

rsporsche

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i have cleaned them years ago with an old fashioned points file ... very small + thin. it has been a while since i have done it ... and i no longer have one ... but it seems like they are about 1/4" wide and about 1/16" thick
 

bfeng

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Deoxit

This stuff is popular among guys who restore old electronic gear (radios, audio gear). At least out fuse box is INSIDE rather than under the hood like 2002's.

Alternative -gold plate the various contacts?
 

Gary Knox

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An alternative to Deoxit that I've used for several years on a P-car notorious for it's electrical issues (928) is Corrosion X. A drop of it on any connector I dis-connect before re-connecting.

Corrosion X also comes in an aerosol spray, and that P-car has a very large central electrical panel with about 50 fuses and dozens of relays. I turned the panel over, and sprayed the back side so some Corrosion X would flow down the wires and into any connectors. Let it set for a few days before re-attaching to it's mountings. In 10 years of driving that car, I never had a single electrical problem.

I have a friend who is a boat captain, and was delivering a sailboat from the Caribbean to Mid-Atlantic area. The light at the top of the mast stopped working the 2nd day out. He climbed the mast, sprayed the bulb connector and the receiver with Corrosion X and came back down the mast. About 30 minutes later the light came on and stayed on for the rest of the trip up the Atlantic seaboard. He became a strong advocate for the product!!
 

Layne

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The yellow wire is the low beam lights. White is high beam. Yellow is thick because there's no relay for the low beams. As you can see, that's a problem.

That's a pretty easy fix, remove the pin from the socket, cut the wire, splice new, add a new terminal that snaps into the socket. The male side is this thing shown below, an extended male spade terminal 'with tab' to lock it into the socket. The female side is even easier to find, typically called a 'relay terminal' for the location you most often find them. The whole assembly is known as a Packard 56 series connector. Used on old GM's. The male terminal also happens to be the same as what's in the side-by-side connectors you find all over the car, but the female side of those is just a plane spade since it does not lock in.

 

Nicad

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Thanks Layne, encouraged that my problem seems figured out. Wonder if this occurred because my bulbs draw too much, resistance in the circuit, etc? I will redo these with Relays as Steve suggested.
 
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