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Whats in the barn ?

Cotton cloth wrapped wires ?

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Have H and got new wire harness from Agri Service and wires were cotton cloth wrapped.  Was the spark plug wires and starter wires done that way too ???

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I'm not sure when each changed. I was only 7 when your H was made. The primary wires were rubbercoated fabric wrapped until the 560 IIRC. Spark plug wires had heavier rubber and also fabric wrapped. I have no idea when they changed but it was long before I started working on them. I'm not sure what battery cable insulation was but they had a heavy cloth wrap too.

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All wires were made that way back in day 1.

The wires were then put into a tube made of cloth and asphalt coated. That made the wire loom.

The cloth covered wire is still available from the likes of:

https://vintagewireandsupply.com/round-cloth-covered-wire/

and others.

You can go back in time to original if you want.

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Yeah, You can go back, But WHY?  Factory cloth/rubber covered wiring on my January build 1954 Super H, you touched it and the cloth/rubber crumbled off by 1972. About 1979/'80 the guy that sat next to me in material scheduling bought wire harnesses at Farmall, I had all the prints for the Super H harnesses from Engineering, all 4 of them,  He sent my prints off to his favorite supplier and a week later I got a box at home about a foot by foot by foot with all 4 new harnesses with PVC insulation and nylon braided wrap, the right connectors on all the ends, right size & color insulation.  And after 40 years it's all still like new. My tractor lives in a barn or shop,  don't think it's spent over a dozen nights outside in over 51 years.  But the factory wiring was shot in 25 years,  new wiring is fine after 40 years.

But hey, it's your tractor, You want an electrical fire why should I try to change your mind.

SON worked for a company called Kirby-Riss one summer in college, located in Lafeyette, Indiana. From the back door just feet from where he worked, it was only about 200 feet to the back door of the CAT plant, they made huge engine and generator units. Son ran crimping and cutting and wrapping machines. Most of the orders he got from CAT were due in a couple hours,  small orders 1 to 5 pcs. In 3 months as a new hire he had a perfect delivery record, no late orders and no bad parts.  Today's automated harnesses are at least as good if not better than home-made harnesses.

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1 hour ago, DOCTOR EVIL said:

Yeah, You can go back, But WHY?  Factory cloth/rubber covered wiring on my January build 1954 Super H, you touched it and the cloth/rubber crumbled off by 1972. About 1979/'80 the guy that sat next to me in material scheduling bought wire harnesses at Farmall, I had all the prints for the Super H harnesses from Engineering, all 4 of them,  He sent my prints off to his favorite supplier and a week later I got a box at home about a foot by foot by foot with all 4 new harnesses with PVC insulation and nylon braided wrap, the right connectors on all the ends, right size & color insulation.  And after 40 years it's all still like new. My tractor lives in a barn or shop,  don't think it's spent over a dozen nights outside in over 51 years.  But the factory wiring was shot in 25 years,  new wiring is fine after 40 years.

But hey, it's your tractor, You want an electrical fire why should I try to change your mind.

SON worked for a company called Kirby-Riss one summer in college, located in Lafeyette, Indiana. From the back door just feet from where he worked, it was only about 200 feet to the back door of the CAT plant, they made huge engine and generator units. Son ran crimping and cutting and wrapping machines. Most of the orders he got from CAT were due in a couple hours,  small orders 1 to 5 pcs. In 3 months as a new hire he had a perfect delivery record, no late orders and no bad parts.  Today's automated harnesses are at least as good if not better than home-made harnesses.

Good reason for the commercial harnesses to be better than home-made.  Almost all the commercial places are utilizing the correct wire, terminals, crimpers and and everything else required.  My guess is that very few do it yourself shops  even have  the correct expensive crimpers.  Only reason I make up my own cables is to save money and time.  As an electrical / electronics tech I have been making cables for over 60 years,  not always pretty but always functional.  Big plus, is I have schematics, know where the parts came from and how and when it was constructed.  Probably the best reason for a do-it-yourself is you can select better parts. I like flexible,  tinned high temperature of larger gauge wire in some applications with screw type terminal strips.   My motto is, make it functional and  then worry about cosmetics.

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I make mine too.

That gets the harness to fit the way I want it to and not winding the excess wire around something.

I used the cloth covered wire in the past on the H and I like it. It is basically new wire to today's standards, with the cloth over the top.

I then remove the coating, slide the terminal on, solder and heat shrink so it looks right.

I then have new wires, that look original, and are period correct.

If anybody gives a damn about that.

There are a lot of variations in tractors. Built to fit works for me.

 

 

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 I always thought soldered connections were best on a wiring harness. I am preparing to rewire my catalina 27 sailboat and learned crimp connections are preferred for vehicle applications. Apparently soldered connections can unsoldered with  high amps due to heat and vibration. Crimped connections are preferred due to the mechanical connection.

Crimped and soldered then covered with heat shrink tubing would be ideal in my opinion.

Thx-Ace

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I would imagine since that was the insulation of the day,  that the spark plug wires and battery cables would also be cloth covered. Somewhere I seem to remember seeing cloth sleeves that you could get to slip over wires to make them look original.

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12 hours ago, acem said:

 I always thought soldered connections were best on a wiring harness. I am preparing to rewire my catalina 27 sailboat and learned crimp connections are preferred for vehicle applications. Apparently soldered connections can unsoldered with  high amps due to heat and vibration. Crimped connections are preferred due to the mechanical connection.

Crimped and soldered then covered with heat shrink tubing would be ideal in my opinion.

Thx-Ace

SON and I were discussing that very thing this past weekend.  I've personally had TERRIBLE luck with crimped connections,  what you crimp onto the wire stresses the strands of wire in a single point or a very short length, any flexing of the connection is very localized and I've had the wire break right next to the crimp. Plus you need to seal the connection with several pieces of heat shrink, or liquid electrical tape.  The small spaces between the wires in a crimped connection hold water, causes corrosion.  Shouldn't be any spaces in a soldered connection.  The solder holds everything in place, sturdy, no vibration or flexing.  I have been known to solder crimped connections in the past.

Had this same discussion on another board.  All the frequent posters there must have Aero-Space lawn mowers.  They crimped everything.  Son and I raced gas powered 1/10th scale truck and 1/8th scale gas 4wd buggy for years. Those cars/trucks jumped many feet higher/longer than any lawn mower I've ever seen. Everything was soldered, the connections to the batteries that power the radio system, the leads to the servos,  even the on/off switch.  Never had a soldered connection fail.  The tiny 30? Gauge wire Airtronics and Futaba used on on their in-car radio components were difficult to do anything with, but where I could I used 16 ga.  Anyhow,  couple guys on that forum took my side that if soldered electrical connections survived RC racing then soldered connections will last decades on lawn mowers or old farm tractors.  Oh, I do like to use screw type connections on things like voltage regulators, or the connections on sealed beam headlights,  but I prefer ring terminals,  the U-type fork terminals are not as secure.

If you have a soldered connection that you are melting the solder out of you have WAY too small of wire in that circuit.   Sunday morning, about 7 AM,  had just started watching the F-1 pre-race show,  hear a LOUD POP from the direction of our transformer pole, lights, tv, kitchen appliances all go out or silent instantly.  Wife sends power company an email,  we're first on the list in the whole state to get a "trouble truck". Two hours later the repairman shows up,  the squirrel that completed the circuit was very well done. Doubt he/she felt a thing. Service guy replaced a "fusable link"? With a fiberglass pole from the ground.  Was here 5 minutes tops.

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One downside of solder is it creates a brittle break point.  Exactly the way steel will crack along the edge of a weld.  The solder is "rigid", if the wire flexes it is going to flex at the end of the solder.  I design harnesses for combines, and I refuse to bury a component (resistor/diode) into a harness, simply because of this issue.   We had too many wires break right at the solder joint.  It costs more money to splice a wire on and run it out to a connector with the component in a molded "pack"....but its way more reliable.   

Designing a reliable harness is almost an art...you have to think about wire sizes, vibration, bending, how it can be installed wrong ....  and try to minimize failure from any of those.  Splice placement can be critical.    

I will say that almost every major connector mfg has clear warnings "Do not solder the terminal onto the wire".   They don't say this to make themselves more money---but because repeated reliability testing shows that soldered terminals break off quicker than properly crimped ones.   That said, I'm not against soldering a ring terminal -- if the wires is properly supported by heat shrink etc to keep vibration to a minimum.

I have also seen solder start corrosion in a connection...whole nother topic.

SPeaking of solder melting out.... One cool story I read about the SR-71 Blackbird.  Apparently the prototype they would get up to speed, and the generator would fail.  SO they would land and test the generator - it would work fine!  This happened several times...and nobody could figure out WHY!   Finally somebody realized that all the internal connections on the generator were soldered...and the whole plane would get hot enough that the solder would liquify and the connections would fail!    Land, the genset cools down, and connections resolidified and everything would work again.   They switched to crimped and brazed connections and all was good....

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25 minutes ago, Jeff-C-IL said:

One downside of solder is it creates a brittle break point.  Exactly the way steel will crack along the edge of a weld.  The solder is "rigid", if the wire flexes it is going to flex at the end of the solder.  I design harnesses for combines, and I refuse to bury a component (resistor/diode) into a harness, simply because of this issue.   We had too many wires break right at the solder joint.  It costs more money to splice a wire on and run it out to a connector with the component in a molded "pack"....but its way more reliable.   

Designing a reliable harness is almost an art...you have to think about wire sizes, vibration, bending, how it can be installed wrong ....  and try to minimize failure from any of those.  Splice placement can be critical.    

I will say that almost every major connector mfg has clear warnings "Do not solder the terminal onto the wire".   They don't say this to make themselves more money---but because repeated reliability testing shows that soldered terminals break off quicker than properly crimped ones.   That said, I'm not against soldering a ring terminal -- if the wires is properly supported by heat shrink etc to keep vibration to a minimum.

I have also seen solder start corrosion in a connection...whole nother topic.

SPeaking of solder melting out.... One cool story I read about the SR-71 Blackbird.  Apparently the prototype they would get up to speed, and the generator would fail.  SO they would land and test the generator - it would work fine!  This happened several times...and nobody could figure out WHY!   Finally somebody realized that all the internal connections on the generator were soldered...and the whole plane would get hot enough that the solder would liquify and the connections would fail!    Land, the genset cools down, and connections resolidified and everything would work again.   They switched to crimped and brazed connections and all was good....

Thanks for the explanation and expertise. One thing in designing a perfect harness and placement someone will find a way to compromise it.

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