The toughest wire pull I've encountered in my life! A Saginaw steering column and the Shee-Mar 107 wiring harness.

Gerald Morris

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I usually dispense advice in this particular Forum, Electrical, as its the one area I've had plenty prior experience with. Ah, but Pride goeth 'ere the Fall, eh? So, I looked at the lovely new Shee-Mar 107 I ordered from Rock Auto last weekend, knowing the wire pull from the turn signal switch in the front of the steering column tube would require a bit of skill. That, folks, is an understatement. After 90 minutes of struggle this late afternoon, I've decided it's time to bend my stiff neck, and seek advice.

I followed the FSM faithfully enough, as far as it goes:

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I tried a bit of stranded #16 AWG, which pulled IN easily enough, twisted to a clipped wire from the old switch harness, then used that to pull in a length of solid #12 THHN in case the pull got so hard as to break the #16. Alas! I couldn't fashion a slim enough wire-head using the solid #12, so I reluctantly pulled the #16 back into the tube, made a wirehead carefully taping the molex connector prongs over to avoid bending them, only to still have the wirehead bind up at the beginning of the absurdly narrow tube MaPar made for the harness ribbon cable. I even made 3 separate heads in hope that their smaller size would allow me to serially insert them, then pull the little #16 on down and get the connector prongs out in serviceable condition. But the 3 heads bound up also. I even lubricated all my wireheads with GoJo lanolin in hope of easing the pull.

I use 3M black tape to make my wireheads and also to protect those damned prongs, but the tape catches at the insertion.

Have any of you successfully pulled this Shee-Mar 107 cable through the Saginaw column? I'm thinking right now of trying string tomorrow, tied directly around the little hooks in the prongs, but I REALLY don't like this idea, as I'm almost certain this will bend the inserts beyond use with the old molex plug.

I'm also thinking strongly about cutting those damned prongs off, ditching the molex connector in favor of individual bullet connectors. It's 10 connection, and while I don't relish making 10 bullet terminal splices in my signal wires, my time is VERY finite, and I need the car back on the street by early Tuesday morning.

Hmmmmm, I found a thread on a TILT Saginaw column, with a VERY similar Shee-Mar switch, and saw that the OP in the Youtube video pulls his wires though singly. I HATE separating the ribbon cable, but concede that if nothing better comes along, I CAN do THAT.

Here's the thread, so well meaning folk won't bother directing me to it later:

68 Chrysler turn signal switch replacement with Tilt Telescoping Column

Guys, is THAT as Good as It Gets here?

I'm also pondering pulling the damned column apart, but REALLY HATE this idea, save as a Last Resort.

Any ideas or method suggestions my Wise Moparians?
 
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War Wagon2

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Hi Not wanting to insult your intelligence but the column should not be tilted, Instead of a wire in the past I've used a piece of steel banding fed into the wire slot , The end of the banding is layed on top of the ribbon with the terminals layed together in as compact a form as possible (side to side and top to bottom ) . the end of the banding has two slight notches on either side for the tape to hold onto. Tape the assembly in as compact a form as possible. Ensure the ribbon is flat. gently pull the banding from the bottom feeding the wire as you pull. What screwing you up is the fact that the wire has to take a slight downward path prior to exiting the bottom of the column. That's where the banding helps . If you think you need to use a lubricant some good stuff to use is made by IDEAL called yellow 77 (Elephant snot)
coat the wire /banding assembly as it goes in. This should work .
 

Gerald Morris

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Hi Not wanting to insult your intelligence but the column should not be tilted, Instead of a wire in the past I've used a piece of steel banding fed into the wire slot , The end of the banding is layed on top of the ribbon with the terminals layed together in as compact a form as possible (side to side and top to bottom ) . the end of the banding has two slight notches on either side for the tape to hold onto. Tape the assembly in as compact a form as possible. Ensure the ribbon is flat. gently pull the banding from the bottom feeding the wire as you pull. What screwing you up is the fact that the wire has to take a slight downward path prior to exiting the bottom of the column. That's where the banding helps . If you think you need to use a lubricant some good stuff to use is made by IDEAL called yellow 77 (Elephant snot)
coat the wire /banding assembly as it goes in. This should work .
I'm no stranger to Ideal 77, which we called "baby ****" 40 yrs ago. I suppose if I MUST use that, I'll get it, though for many wire pulls I've used dish soap to good effect. I can see the advantage of a flat steel band to pull the wires in. I don't have any, though I DO have LARGE cable ties, and DID consider using one. Tomorrow, I will also see about removing the bottom stuff from the column, which should at least expose the damned raceway to a little more manipulation. Mind you, my steering column is the NON-tilt one, so that isn't an issue here. I found that useless video via a Google search, and noticed that the producer conceded that pulling the wire was difficult for him, then provided Absolute 0 data regarding how he did it aside from the video frame showing that he too divided his wire into at least 3 portions, just as I have.

With some daylight tomorrow, I think I might get this sans TOO much further struggle/ I might even find some steel band at the forklift skid recycler down the street.... Thanx big BIG for THAT datum!
 

Gerald Morris

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I will agree it is a PITA, I like the flat steel banding trick, some luck I think helps also, so good luck.

Today, I FIGURED OUT THE EASY WAY: REMOVE ALL THAT **** ON THE BOTTOM OF THE COLUMN!!! DUH! This is the FIRST TIME a MoPar FSM has instructed me in something ABSOLUTELY, UNPARDONABLY STUPID! That "piece of string" **** had to be somebody's idea of a SICK JOKE, OR, it was meant for the Chrysler in house column, NOT those damned GM/Saginaw abominations!

Removing the raceway from the bottom of the column is easy, fast, and totally opens the space needed to just pull the damned wire through the collar at the top of the column. Here's a pic of things from the point I got wise to this **** job:
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You can see the nuts and bolts that hold that bottom bracket/wire raceway on laying on the floor, while the new wire runs from the top right of the pic down to the brake pedal. By this time, I had split that nice 7 conductor ribbon into 2, and the extra 3 conductor ribbon, these being how the Shee-Mar 107 came, is what lays on the brake pedal. I have 3 extra 2" gauges in my own DIY plate I hang from the steering column also, which is just visible in the bottom right side of the pic.

More's the pity that I didn't do this immediately, but BECAUSE "IT IS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF CHRYSLER" I STUPIDLY followed their direction until I broke one of the wires just as it emerged from the absurd wire tray above the brake pedal. Well live, learn and loathe I say.

I had damaged some of the pins Shee-Mar had thoughtfully provided at the ends of all 10 of the conductors by this time, so I wound up splicing the cut wires onto the old pins in some cases, and new ones when they were good. I think only 3 of the new ones were goobered beyond easy repair.

Electrically, the new switch works FINE, given that I really CAN wire up damned near anything, and always could since about age 5 when I first learned this talent about myself, but the damned collar up top is a mess, and was before I removed the old switch. Consequently, I'm going to have to open that can of worms again soon, but damned if I do it in pouring rain again. Even WITH an awning overhead, when the felines and canines really come down abundantly, my driveway turns to muck, AND enough blows over and IN to create one miserable old junkie laboring in his family rod, having to crunch for when the workaday schedule starts the next morn. (Somebody will us a nice shiny '66 C Body soon! I'll light a candle for such a soul at Mass every weekend, I promise, honest! I WON'T be holding my breath for this though.....)

There are 3 small coil springs I found loose behind the switch upon removal, which I strongly suspect are SUPPOSED TO BE ON the damned mounting screws, though I'm damned if I can see HOW they're attached in the FSM. The self tapping 1/4" hex head 8-32 screw which came in the old switch sticks up just enough above the level of the switch lever to short out the horn contact, so I MUST open this thing SOON. I disconnected the horn for tonight, which doubly aggravates me after having just restored THAT to functioning a couple weeks ago. I'll get a FLAT Phillips head screw to replace this one, as I recall having overtightened the steering wheel last year and causing this same malfunction then, though now I KNOW that hex head sticks up a little more than it should here.

I also plan to find a detailed diagram of this whole damned Saginaw column, so I'll actually KNOW WHAT I'M DOING next time.

It LOOKED PROMISING at this point, shown below, but promises aren't always kept....
861bu00ShYJOHOjIVZzIdAhFRQ=w639-h852-no?authuser=0.jpg
 
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