As you may or may not have seen I have already published a few articles in regards to the restoration of a Fiat 124 Spider and made previous mention of using common sense, do allot of reading, studying and the frightful prospect of removing a dashboard that will reveal a labyrinth of the multicolored, multi-threaded wiring harness. The subject of conducting an examination, the cleaning of and or repair and modification of the said wiring harness is not to be taken lightly nor is it to be expected to be done in a hasty manner.
Taking your time after thoroughly studying the wiring diagram from a Haynes Manual for example will be your best bet and will render desired results and the information enclosed here about a few products for the implementation of said process will help you dearly and leave you without a question of a doubt as if you will reap the rewards of this painstaking practice. Here are some of the important products used in the process.
First, buy a circuit tester and a voltmeter if you do not already own one, it will save you from tearing out your hair on wiring bug issues that can be very frustrating and give you piece of mind knowing you have repaired and or modified you’re wiring correctly before buttoning everything back-up. Again, if you do not have one, get one, they can be found for sale as low as $5 on up to $25. Once again for those with an attention span of a gnat, “Get a circuit tester and a voltmeter, you will need it!”, end of story.
I also strongly suggest getting a few products that will certainly be of great importance in this process. The first product for general cleaning of the wiring harness and that is simply, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, which is a non-toxic cleaner and a plus for your health and well being considering the fact that you will be exposed to a wide range of chemicals, solvents, etc, during a restoration project. With all that said I would highly recommend using eye protection and a mask in any genre’ of automotive repair and or restoration; “Safety first, surgery second”, is what I adhere by. The sweet deal of using Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is again, the fact that it is non-toxic and if it can be avoided use as many products that are indeed non-toxic as to lower your exposure to what would otherwise be more caustic products. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is also biodegradable which works well with the ever growing consciousness of “Going Green” and protecting our environment.
The next product that you will consume a great deal of while conducting you’re cleaning and preventive medicinal applications on a wiring harness is CRC brand Contact Cleaner. This product works really well when cleaning connection blocks that connect sub-assemblies if you will, within the wiring harness and other electrical related connections.
Another product by CRC that will be used frequently is CRC Technician Grade Di-Electric Grease Compound. Di-Electric protects electrical connections making them almost water proof and prevents rust and corrosion. A 3.3 once can will run you about $8 to $10, which can be expensive considering the fact that I have used about three cans of this product on the harness alone, not counting the many areas of electrical connections under the hood of the vehicle. On the subject of expensive let me bring another product to your attention that will work well but no better than CRC brand products and that would be the Würth Silicone Lubricating Compound product. It can be applied in the same manner and for the same applications as well as, brake assemblies, o-rings, hoses, door weatherstripping, etc; it is a high-temperature product and will not rinse off when exposed to moisture. This comes in a 8 ounce tube and costs about $25. The word “Ouch”, comes to mind when you consider using this for more than a “little-dab-will-do-ya” here and there.
Most of these products can be found at any common auto parts retailer and my next article will be about how to use these products in conjunction with each other and needed steps to properly restore you’re wiring harness without incident or frustration.