November 17, 2005 at 3:07 pm #56597
As I understand it the electrical systems in the Alpine and Tiger are each protected by two in line glass 30 amp fuses which are felt to be inadequate.I meant to see at the United 25 what replacement wiring had been installed in some of the cars…but I was so taken with some of the other work done on some of the vehicles,including but not limited to Tiger Tom’s ,Jim Morrison’s and the Batista’s showpieces,that I forgot.Has anyone installed a “Painless” system?Is the name a misnomer?Any other thoughts? frank mooney
November 17, 2005 at 9:26 pm #60038
My car had a Painless harness when I bought it, now because of an unfortunate accident I needed to replace it.
I bought an EZ Wiring harness for about $100 less than Painless. I researched and found the EZ to use a higher quality wire than Painless.
I will be installing it in the spring so I can’t help you there.
The Painless harness is about the same cost as a reproduction factory harness. With the repro harness you should just be able to plug everything in and go. With the aftermarket stuff you can move things around, and have more fuses.
I hear Painless has good customer support via the telephone, so that’s a plus, with other companies you are more on your own.
My understanding is the installation is fairly straight forward with the only real difficulty coming with the igntion switch. Instructions are for GM and Ford/Chrysler switches and evidently Sunbeam is different.
Also my car is pretty much disassembled so I have access to every nook and cranny. This may be a consideration for you. And how stock is your car? that’s another factor.
I hope this helps a bit.
November 28, 2005 at 10:57 pm #60104
Paul,thanks for the info.My Series 5 and Tiger II are basically stock vehicles.However,the Alpine was rewired after an engine compartment fire in the mid 1980’s.My cousin was over from Ireland and he rewired the entire system thru and including the dash area using standard automotivewire of various colors[we didnt have access to the various Lucas dual color wire stock].He did a great job but it still has but the two fuse setup.Is the EZ wire marked repeatedly on each wire…to make it easier to install?I’d probably elect to do the Alpine first removing the windscreen and the dash pad cover which needs replacing after 40 years.It is probably the only way to install replacement wire behind the dash based on my limited experience in working on the wiring in that area.My cousin must have been a contortionist.I won’t get to it until the Spring of 2006 so feel free to give a progress report with your endeavor.The Sunbeam Specialities catalog shows various electical switches and parts that are somewhat unique so I wonder how EZ or Painless woud provide directions as to those. frank mooney
November 29, 2005 at 4:06 pm #60106
My Tiger has had some lucas fits and I too wish to increase the fuse count, etc. Has anyone kept the stock wiring harness intact and just replaced the factory 2 fuse set-up with a comprehensive fuse panel like the one offered by Painless?
November 29, 2005 at 6:25 pm #60108
Removing the dashpad will not help increase access. You need to access the dash from the bottom.
November 29, 2005 at 8:08 pm #60110
Todd,thanks for that heads-up…which complicates my plan of attack.I have to think this through.The thought of rewiring that under dash area from below is less than appealing.The back could go out etc.Reminds me of the story of the young couple going at it in a small two seater 1960’s era sports car.He was on top with their respective clothing at ankle height when his back went out.His bulk had her trapped what with the large steering wheel and stick shift.Somehow the fire department arrived and elected to rip off the vehicles roof to extricate the pair.The girls first comment was a classic,”what’s my daddy going to say when he sees what you’ve done to his car?”. frank mooney
November 29, 2005 at 8:34 pm #60111
Having recently spent some quality time under my dash, I can tell you that it is time well spent to remove the shift lever, glove box, and seats before you crawl under there for any length of time. Lay down a nice thick blanket to protect you from sharp edges in the floor pan, get some good cool-to-the-touch light, and have a helper handy so you don’t have to crawl out every time you need a tool or need to look at the shop manual.
November 29, 2005 at 10:14 pm #60113Tom and Joanne EhrhartParticipant
Frank, you may not be 18 anymore, but Bud is right. I bet you can still lay down. Remove the seats, use a blank lay down with lots of light and look at all those connections under the dash.
When you are ready to install your new harness, rip, OK unplug, all wire terminals from their connections. Don’t worry about which wire goes where. Just unplug it all and discard the old wiring. Remove switches from dash so you can see tiny little numbers on base of each switch blade terminal. Feed new harness through firewall, lay under dash with lots of light, and a pillow.
Now let’s start fresh. Assume (hate that word) the new harness is properly color coded, simply plug the respective color wire onto the respective numbered switch terminal, meter or device wire. The schematic in your shop manual lists all color and switch numbers and locations. It is a little cryptic but quite elementary. It’s kind’a like painting by the numbers.
The following are a few reminders
There are no numbers on the meters but wires can be connected to either terminal with no problems. The ammeter may read reversed, if so reverse wire. Wiper motor connections cause people go crazy on occasion. Just make sure you accurately identify the wire color coming from the wiper. The heater motor is also a point of confusion. Don’t let it get you overheated. Keep you kool.
This is one job where it is OK to lay down on the job. You can do it in an afternoon. Now if you want to stick more fuses in the circuits….that’s another story. There are some neat in-line fuse holders that use the newer style blade fuses. Simply cut the wire you want to fuse, slide shrink tubing over cut wires, solder fuse holder wires to wires just cut, reposition and shrink shrink tubing. Don’t even think about using the wire insulation piercing type fuse holders.
Now, go lay down on the job!!
November 29, 2005 at 10:22 pm #60115quote crbernardino:
I thought about that too, but I decided that trying to fit a box with more fuses will provide little additional protection, but adding a couple of in-line fuses at certain locations will improve things.
But if your wiring is generally poor, why not redesign the entire layout, make new harnesses and put in a proper fuse box with say 8 or more fuses? If I ever get ‘a round tuit’ and do such a thing I would be glad to share my design with other Tiger/Alpine owners who may be interested for their own cars.
December 10, 2005 at 12:33 pm #60150
On my 62 I used a relay from the ignition switch. This then powered a 8 fuse block(2×4) which worked well.One advantage was when you turned the key off the lights went off as well if you forgot.Yes accessory was still independent.Due to the age of the wires and a few shorts over the years I decided to rewire.I bought one of those wiring kits.It is quite nice with 21 circuits.I would go with the 12 or 14 circuit style if I was doing it again but I like lots of fused circuits. All wires are nicely color coded with what it is printed on the wire every 5 inches.I’m stuck though on brakelights.I still have the Mustang column.Hazards,signals and one brake light work properly.I’m beginning to believe it is in th column but it may take a few days to get back at it.
I still have all the gauges and switches to do.
I’m at the point wondering if I just should have left the wires alone.
December 19, 2005 at 11:07 pm #60163
Chuck,any progress since Dec 12?What wiring kit did you order?Hang in there. frank mooney
December 20, 2005 at 1:55 am #60164
First it was “Its a snap” kit I bought on Ebay.As they all seem to be based on a GM coded wire and fuse block and it seemed OK. As mention I like lots of circuits.I did solve the brake lights after REALLY reading everything on the sheet.Its like small print to one side.It stated that the brake switch wire”2of them” on some GM cars are or can be used as to the brakelights.Thats seperate brake lights from the signals.Funny how time dulls things as I ended up using sperate signal lights on the Lister which was probably something like I encountered with this.I do have a Mustang column in the lister.It does have the 3rd brake light wire so I will in all probability end up with a 3rd brake light.
I still have the gauges and switches to wire.I want something different than stock but not sure as to what I want so when I do it should be easy to hook everything up as all wires needed are at the top.Just need the dash to cut to length and connect them.
It might get to be slow progress as I bought a car for my wife and it was sort of an impulse buy.I hope it is as good as it seems.Once its here I will probably say something about it.So far BIG SECRET but its the kind of car she has said she would like for the last 30 years.Right its not a Sunbeam
8) AHHH life is so sunny
June 12, 2006 at 2:39 pm #60604
I’m still reviewing various rewiring options.Have just received a 2006 Ron Francis wiring Catalog.They have a LUCAS replacement harness that sounds interesting,appears to be very state of the art with fuse box that allows an individual to select[by sliding a switch]whether a component is tied to the ignition being on or not.$329.00.I will call them for more info.In a sidebar they are emphatic about ammeters[which I believe all Alpines and Tigers were so equipped] as being dangerous a cause of electrical fires. They strongly recommend taking out the ammeter…putting in a voltmeter.While I’m mindful that fire is of concern I happen to like ammeters.When I start up the ammeter immediately informs me if I’m charging or not which is helpful information.Alternator belts[and alternators] have been known to slip or break.You’ll get a fast reading from an ammeter when this occurs not so with a voltmeter.I have a voltmeter on some other vehicles.It is normally so static I rarely give it a look.Oil pressure,temperature and fuel gauges all move and provide continuing updates..So why go with the voltmeter? frank mooney
December 7, 2006 at 8:22 pm #61008
Sunbeam Specialties sells a Mk1A and a Mk2 harness for the Tiger. British Wire sells those as well, but also sells a Mk1A ALT which is for Mk1A that are going to an alternator. They couldn’t describe the difference but felt it was important versus using a Mk2. Anyone know why this would be or any other reason why just using a Mk2 harness wouldn’t work (assuming I want to put new wire in my car anyway and am going to install an alternator while I am at it)
December 7, 2006 at 10:16 pm #61009
I just rewired my car with a "Its a snap" no it wasn’t just a snap but its much better than it was before and I’m sure someone that likes to do wiring could have cleaned it up a lot better than I did, but like I said its better than before.
Still had to do some "JERRY" wiring to get the two-stage NOS to work the way I wanted to. So far no smoked wires, a few blown fuses. 😆
February 8, 2007 at 5:04 pm #61126
One thing I’d like to point out having rewired a couple with stock harnesses, and it might prove true for aftermarket as well. Don’t pick the old harness until you’re through with the wiring. I found that the bulb sockets on the replacements were too big to fit into the original ignition,etc lamp holders. So I had to remove the ones from the old harness and reuse them.
February 9, 2007 at 12:37 pm #61129Mike SchreinerParticipant
My experience has been to remove the dash with old wire harness intact….Unhook and pull into drivers compartment the harness from under the hood and in the trunk….(label ends if you want)…..Then you have the dash and the harness on a table , do all your rewiring, label the ends, reinstall in the car. Much easier on your back…..Mike
September 9, 2007 at 3:19 am #61570
Sorry to revive an old thread, but I have a few questions relating to this subject:
1. Can anyone comment on the practicality of replacing the wiring harness without completely disassembling a regularly used car?
2. Does anyone have any tips on removing the dash?
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