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1971 Charger Repaint

Discussion in 'All other classic cars' started by 71Charger_fan, Dec 23, 2017.

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  1. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    So, I may still be a couple of months from getting the Charger into the shop. So, I decided to rip into the dash and figure out what was going on with my A/C-heater vacuum system. When I did finally get in there and trace things out using the FSM, I found the shop that I'd paid to work on the car had made a mess of it. Dodge made it modular and pretty much idiot proof. No need to remove individual vacuum lines. Alas, nothing is idiot proof. There should have been one hose pulling engine vacuum. They had hooked two lines to engine vacuum and left two vacuum ports open to the atmosphere. Explains why it never seemed to idle correctly after I got it back. Luckily, I had a complete heater-A/C box assembly from a parts car with its vacuum harness intact to use as a guide since there were two hoses marked with white stripes and two with red stripes.
    phpuCmLvVAM.jpg
     
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  2. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I also decided to install a new radio in my last uncut dash bezel. That's a tedious chore on this car. Mostly because the same shop that screwed up my vacuum harness installed the radio that was in it and had used half a pound of zip ties on its harness. Even with the cluster out, it still took what felt like forever to get the radio free.
    php9eUe58PM.jpg php774SQkAM.jpg phpJ1qZpeAM.jpg phpyzjdqjPM.jpg
     
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  3. saltydog

    saltydog Well-Known Member

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    Wow, sorry to hear that.
     
  4. saltydog

    saltydog Well-Known Member

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    That is nice there is a radio option that looks factory!
     
  5. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Today, I switched the dash bezels. I'm glad I bought the specialty socket to remove the chrome nuts that hold the wiper and light switches. I also installed an electronic voltage limiter while I was in there.
    Charger dash cluster.jpg Charger dash voltage limiter.jpg Charger dash voltage limiters.jpg Charger dash bezels.jpg Charger dash cluster new bezel.jpg
     
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  6. saltydog

    saltydog Well-Known Member

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    Looking good!
     
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  7. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Since my dash cluster is out, I've been tracing out the dash wiring and back checking the shop that I paid way too much money to do things wrong. I had to cut a lot of zip ties and unwrap a lot of electrical tape. It gives meaning to the word tedious, but it needs to be done. For some reason, instead of just plugging the harness's built-in plug into the back of the lighter, they made their own wire and plugged it into the accessory circuit. So, it's a slow process checking all those wires but a process I feel I have to suffer through. Today, I continued tracing the wiring. I found a bit of mess where the modular plug for the dome lamp should have been. So, here are photos of what I found and what the modular plug should look like. I was going to cut out the factory modular plug from extra wiring I have in the garage and splice it in. Instead of creating four splices, I'm going to use a Weatherpack terminal.
    php1lQzYNPM.jpg phpJXfGDLPM.jpg
     
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  8. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Yesterday, with the iffy weather, I skipped taking the '55 Plymouth to the Mason Dixon Mopar show and stayed home and continued to work on the Charger's wiring. I put a weatherpack terminal into the dome light circuit to replace the missing factory modular plug. No idea why that was missing. I also cut the tach wire and put a weatherpack terminal on that inside the engine compartment. I even finally figured out where the console shift indicator light should have been connected. I found in the factory wiring diagrams, hidden at the back of the accessory wiring diagrams, an illustration showing that I should have had a long orange wire running to the right kick panel. That explained the super-long wire my "hot rod shop" had hooked to the back of my tach. Since my tach was from Charger Specialties and not from the factory, I finally realized it was odd that the wire providing 12v to it should not have had a factory part number. That's when I realized it was my missing wire for the console shift indicator light. So, I dug out an old dash harness from the garage attic and cut off the ash tray lamp wire and spliced that onto the end of the wire that had been feeding the tach to replace the factory plug that had been cut off.
    Charger dome light weatherpack.jpg Charger dome light weatherpack (2).jpg Charger tach wire weatherpack plug.jpg Charger console shift light wire spliced.jpg Charger console shift light wire connected.jpg Charger donor wire harness.jpg
     
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  9. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I spent another day tracing wiring and I think I finally got it beat. I was stumped trying to find the three-way black plug to plug in the yellow wire from the map light. Eventually, I checked one of my extra harnesses and found it should be about 15" from the passenger door jamb switch. Then, I realized it was hidden up in the dash between the ashtray and glovebox. So, I disconnected the door jamb switch, pulled the wiring back until I could access the black plug and properly wired the map light. Then I pulled the wires back. I must say, that seemed like a stupid place in the harness to put that plug. I needed two Packard 56 male terminals to complete repairing the radio plug and, of course, only had one. None of the auto parts had any. So, I'm waiting on Amazon Prime to send me a package of 25.
     
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  10. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Nice pictures. Keep 'em coming!
     
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  11. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I'm going to send my cluster off to have the ammeter converted to a voltmeter. I just need to find the best-documented diagram for the rewiring required.
     
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  12. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    My Packard 25 male terminals came today which allowed me to finish up the radio pigtail. The wiring, where they passed it through the dash from the cluster area to the glove box area, is a bit of a tangled mess. So, when I get some time, I'll pull it all back and re-route it myself.
    phpah14jXPM.jpg phpJJXF78PM.jpg
     
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  13. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I used a good chunk of a king-size foam mattress to pack my gauge cluster and found that some colored pencils made tracing the wiring much easier.
    phpd4k6nBAM.jpg php6xV7cEAM.jpg phpiHd3hiAM.jpg
     
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  14. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I just heard from D&M Restorations. I asked them to check my tach while they had my cluster. They re-calibrated it. By 3,000 rpm, it was 500 rpm off. I'm glad I asked. I'm also having them restore the guts of the speedometer while they have it.
     
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  15. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Today, I unwrapped the engine harness to remove the alternator charge stud to bulkhead wire. I'm going to replace it with a 10 ga. wire directly to the starter relay stud. I've already had the ammeter removed and replaced with a voltmeter. I'm going to splice the wire from the main splice under the dash that ran to the bulkhead disconnect to the red wire that comes from the starter relay and bring the wire directly through the bulkhead, getting rid of the sometimes troublesome male/female terminals that usually carry the current load to the passenger compartment. Then, I can use the black wire that was attached to the ammeter to power the voltmeter and the red wire at the ammeter becomes an orphan and can be removed.
    Charger engine harness unwrapping.jpg Charger engine harness alt chrg stud wire removed.jpg
     
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  16. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I started to re-wrap the engine harness in the Charger. Since I realized there was a tach wire already in the engine harness, I dug around in my wiring graveyard and found the matching factory tach wire in a spare harness. So, I'll add that to the bulkhead disconnect and I'll be able to delete the extra tach wire that had been added. That'll make things neater.
    Charger Harness re-wrapping.jpg Charger harness re-wrapping (2).jpg Charger tach wire.jpg
     
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  17. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I fixed the electric choke wiring by removing the feed from the + terminal of the coil and plugging it into an unused plug wired to an alternator field terminal plug. Luckily, I had a tach harness that I'd never used (wire colors were wrong) and I was able to make use of part of of it as it had the proper plug molded onto it.
    Charger choke wire.jpg
    Charger choke wire plug.jpg
    Charger choke wire (2).jpg
     
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  18. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Now that I've taken the time to go through the wiring myself, circuit by circuit, I'm almost happy all my previous plans to get it repainted have fallen apart. Otherwise, it would have been repainted and put back into regular use with bad wiring. It might have burned to the ground. Honestly, given some of the things I've found and fixed, I'm surprised it didn't burn to the ground. When you just take the time to carefully review the schematics, the wiring in these older cars is not difficult to understand. It looks daunting peeking up under the dash, but it's not really terribly complicated. The harnesses being taped up is what makes it difficult. Un-taping and re-taping are tedious endeavors, but I'm glad I did it. Once I finish what I have to finish, I may install relays for the headlights and take even more load off the bulkhead disconnect.
     
  19. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    Today, despite the oppressive humidity, I pulled the extra tach wire that had been installed and got the fuseblock/bulkhead disconnect off the firewall so I could plug in the factory tach lead.
    Charger tach wire (3).jpg Charger tach wire (2).jpg
     
  20. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I also unwrapped the harness on the driver side of the engine compartment and pulled the battery hot wire out of it and re-wrapped it. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to pass the alternator/battery current through drilled-out cavities in the bulkhead disconnect or directly through a grommet on the firewall. I'm leaning toward the grommet and just filling the empty cavities in the bulkhead disconnect with dielectric grease.
    Charger harness driver side (3).jpg Charger harness driver side (4).jpg Charger harness driver side rewrapped (2).jpg
     

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