Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Mr Vaughan, Apr 19, 2021.
what about when it's folded down/off?
I would just buy a new harness from Walcks 4wd. Super easy to install and fits perfectly. That's what I did for Ted and as I add stuff, I add extra wires.
My wiring harness was a complete disaster. It had been hacked up over the years to install stuff and had caught fire a couple times.
I got the wiring diagram from the manual and colorized it based on the colors in my jeep which were mostly all stock. I replaced a couple of the harnesses that were wrecked (Dome light, bed (this is a pickup)) but behind the dash I just repaired and replaced melted wires. It's not perfect or all new but I know where all the wires go now and what color they are. I only had 4 colors to choose from (the factory apparently had dozens) but I altered my diagram to match.
It can be hard to find the OEM style connectors but it's worth finding new or "rebuilding" the old ones to replace harnesses one at a time. I know this chart doesn't help you, it's for a 65 Gladiator with a 327, but this is a vote for 1) Learn the stock wiring and 2) only replace what's busted.
Just as an FYI a welded dash would indicate your jeep came from the factory with a hard top. if you check with a mirror you'll undoubtedly find the weldnuts are there for a bolt on dash. I don't see any reason why you can't grind the welds down to pop the dash loose & then bolt it back on afterwards; it *will* make wiring a lot easier if it's loose.
I used the Walcks harness & I think it's great- you get a lot for your money.
But it's still a lot of money
I was kidding. I'll probably end up with all the gauges and the ignition switch wired up but piled in the passenger seat. I can see myself rooting around with one hand in-between shifts, tryin to find the temperature gauge or something. Also kidding. But I do wish I could unbolt my dash.
!!! ??? Did not know that.
i heard that somewhere. this also seems to indicate a factory hardtop
Could be a Clue yes...
What year is your jeep? The hardtop I was thinking of looked like this-
'61. i believe it's a kelly, but we were unable to pin down the exact model, as it was very close to a few different models.
I had one of those, but my dash was bolted on. Do I win a prize? Can I say mine is.....rare?
They were available through the aftermarket as well, IIRC there's a few minor differences , I think the factory version was a sliding door & aftermarket hinged.
That will do it, my doors hinged!
my dash might have been welded on by someone else as well, there was a lot of welding done on it.
If you build your own wiring harness. I would run a dedicated ground to what ever you run power to. Will use more wire but will pay off in the future. I would not depend on body grounds
I also ground off the welds holding my 61" dash on . The holes were in the cowl , so I marked and drilled the holes in the dash and attached it with bolts. All tubs were made with dash mounting holes for the CJ5 and M38A1. A good upgrade would be to weld nuts on each hole in the cowl., making it easier to remove bolt and dash without being a contortionist. Several of the early Cj5's I have own all had welded dashes with soft tops from factory.
The only welded dashes I have come across are from '60-'63, and a couple were hardtop CJ5s, but not all.
For what it's worth, I've been through the re-wiring process three times now...
'51 CJ3A - 20 years ago I rewired the entire rig myself using components I purchased at FLAPS and a couple online sites.
'52 M38 - 15 years ago, completely rewired the 24 volt system using a harness from Vintage Wiring of Maine (expensive but was everything I needed to go back to 24v military specs).
'56 CJ5 - rewired it in 2019 using a Walcks 6v harness. The Jeep was wired with about 90% of the original harness but the cloth was wearing so badly across the board that I opted to replace the entire thing rather than wrap with electrical tape or patch/splice. The extra cost comes in because the Walcks harness is plastic coated wiring for today's specs, with the colored cloth wrap/loom over that to look original. It also uses the original style connectors.
Regardless of the route you take, as mentioned by others go slowly and methodically. It's actually rewarding and fun when you get done and everything works! You'll run into some glitches here and there that you'll have to work around, but that's part of the process.
If I had to do it again I'd go with a Walcks, or similar, harness. It's just so easy to do that way and as I get older I'm willing to trade simplicity for the extra cost, unless its out of my budget.
With the CJ5 I used LED brake lights as the 6v incandescents were a bit dim for my liking and I may move towards LEDs for the cluster, headlights and front marker lights as they need replacement.
Today I organized the wiring harness in my jeep using my old cowl, which is pretty useless other than for this use. If you can find a rotten tub, I'd definitely recommend following in my footsteps. It was really nice working standing up at my workbench!
That's cool. I like that idea. The cowl is the last part to rot away, so extras should be out there.
I would ask myself how much effort could I expend to get a second cowl. If you just want a jig, you could make one from some scrap plywood or masonite and support it with scrap lumber. Be sure to ground the instruments before testing. It would still be valuable for getting your wire lengths right, neat bundling, and testing.
To Levi, you asked for schooling. What have you learned? Have you been studying?
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