Breathing life into a forgotten C Body

Isaiah Estrada

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Well fellas, it’s been a great run these past 4 years now. I never thought that this far into my build I still wouldn’t have driven it yet!

After a lot of thought and contemplation I’ve decided I can’t do everything by myself. I’ve now decided to search for helping hands and folks who have more experience than I do to help me get my ride back on the road!

I have long dreaded getting the wiring done on this New Yorker. Thankfully, the original harness is in great condition. Even better, an acquaintance of mine who specializes in wiring for classic cars says he’d like to take a look at this car and see what he can do for it. I think I am going to do away with the original fuse block and retrofit a modern one for the sake of having parts readily available. I’ve purchased a new headlight harness with relays for LED’s from crackedback on FABO and want to splice it in where it needs to as well.

The goal is to replace connections as needed and incorporate new pieces with the old ones and hopefully make 1 nice harness for the whole car. Also going to get my dash wired up and ready to roll as well. I know for a fact if I can get the car wired and the dash installed to where I can control it with a key, she will be basically ready to drive! After that, it’s a matter of installing the steering column and the transmission shift lever and she would theoretically be able to move under her own power. I have high hopes and I’m praying this thing will drive before my son is born in May!
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Try to resist the urge to re-invent the wheel on the wiring harness items. LED headlights can be worse than what they replaced, due to their "wall of light" aspect, which might look neat when you are behind them, but if you are in front of them, their brightness at night can be worse than some on-coming driver not dimming their high beams at night, except worse, so do aim them correctly. In the orientation of getting the car on the road, that upgrade can some later. Do do the ammeter bypass, though.

Take care,
CBODY67
 
Excellent job so far. You're in the home stretch! One question I have regarding the headlight relay mod, if you use LED's do you even need it? Don't they draw a lot less power than the original incandescent bulbs? Or are they just so much brighter and draw about the same current? Just something I've been wondering about.
 
Try to resist the urge to re-invent the wheel on the wiring harness items. LED headlights can be worse than what they replaced, due to their "wall of light" aspect, which might look neat when you are behind them, but if you are in front of them, their brightness at night can be worse than some on-coming driver not dimming their high beams at night, except worse, so do aim them correctly. In the orientation of getting the car on the road, that upgrade can some later. Do do the ammeter bypass, though.

Take care,
CBODY67
Excellent job so far. You're in the home stretch! One question I have regarding the headlight relay mod, if you use LED's do you even need it? Don't they draw a lot less power than the original incandescent bulbs? Or are they just so much brighter and draw about the same current? Just something I've been wondering about.

Here’s a thread on FBBO from Crackedback, the guy who makes these lights. FOR SALE - Plug and Play Headlight Relay Kits
 
Also, I do plan on doing the ammeter bypass. In fact, I had my gauges rebuilt and in place of the ammeter is a voltmeter so it keeps the stock look.

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As a bonus I even had the clock converted to a quartz unit!
 
Also, it seems someone *attempted* an ammeter bypass. I guess you can say they succeeded, but it’s just so god awful I can’t tell if this is what put my car in the grave 44 years ago.

This was held together with some skimpy electrical tape. I’m glad I never got the car to run and drive without first seeing this or I would’ve had me a nice C body bbq

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Car is looking good, soend some time and get it together.

If your "original harness is in great condition" then why do you want to swap the fuse box? The stock fuse box is not a problem. Are stock fuses hard to find? And how often do fuses blow out? Should be rarely to never.
 
Keep up the good fight! Will be totally worth it the first cruise you get to take.

@bronze turbine , For the LED headlights, using a relay is usually necessary to supply them with the consistent 12 volts they require to operate. Unlike old school bulbs that just dim with lower volts, LEDs just turn off. Not ideal for headlights! Proper adjustment and aiming them is also a real PITA, based on my experiences in my F150. Obviously every vehicle is different but I would prefer going newer halogen over LED, just my 2 cents, worth a penny after inflation :)
 
Isaiah, keep the stock fuse block, no need to replace it. The led wiring should be plug and play and work with the stock harness.
 
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