1955-57 CLASSIC UPDATE WIRING KIT, PART 1
1955-57 CLASSIC UPDATE WIRING KIT, PART 1
Greetings and welcome back to Project '63, Late Great Chevy's 1963 Impala SS project car. In our last installment we added front disc brakes to create more "whoa, before we go." This month we're adding even more braking performance to the '63 by installing PIN 563178 (rear disc brake conversion kit). This rear disc brake kit, along with the front disc brake conversion we did last month, will give project '63 plenty of stopping power. Like the front conversion, this kit is a direct replacement for1959- 1964 drum brakes on full-size Chevrolet models (it's a bolt-on) with no permanent modifications necessary
Slip Joint Pliers
Basic Hand Tools,
1/2" Inch Drive
Deep & Shallow Socket Set
Combination Wrench Set
Jack & Jack Stands
We will be starting on the left rear side (d1iver's side) of the car. The process is the same for the opposite side. Jack up the car and place on jack stands under the rear end. Let the jack down until the rear end contacts the stands and shake the car. Since P=F/A (Pressure is equal to force divided by area), you don't want to test this physics equation by having your pride and joy fall on you. Be sure the car is supported safely Most of the time, I keep the jack under the car for an additional measure of safety.
Image #1: The Classic Update Wiring Kit includes all the wiring you could possibly need to wire any Classic Chevy and includes a new ignition switch, headlight switch and dimmer switch. Each harness (dash, headlight, taillight and so on) is bagged separately with its own instructions and wiring diagram.
Image #2: The dash harness is the largest part of the complete kit. When the dash harness is removed from the bag it can look pretty intimidating, but once you lay it out there is not that much to connect and it is all clearly marked.
Image #3: The Classic Updated harness uses an ATO style fuse box with each fuse clearly marked. The fuse box is pre wired to the dash harness.
Image #4: The fuse box is a bolt in unit, unlike other kits. If your firewall is all painted, you don't want to go drilling holes. An aluminum bracket is attached to the firewall and the fuse box bolts right to it.
Image #5: The hood hinge is held to the firewall with two 3/8" bolts. The lower mounting bolt for the hinge will be replaced with a supplied 3/8" X 2 1/2" bolt. This longer bolt provides a mounting point for the fuse box bracket. There is a 5/16" hole about 4" below the lower hood hinge bolt, which is used for one of the firewall pad retainers. Remove the retainer and install the 1/4" X 2 1/2" straight screw. This screw will be used as the firewall retainer and as another mounting point for the fuse box bracket.
Image #6: With the new bolts installed, install one 3/8" nut on the threads on the new hinge bolt and tighten the nut to the firewall to lock the bolt in place. Install one large 1/4" flat washer and nut on the 1/4" screw and tighten. This will hold the firewall pad tight to the firewall. Next, install one 3/8" nut and flat washer on the hinge bolt and one 1/4" nut and flat washer on the 1/4" screw and thread the two nuts halfway on. Install the fuse box bracket using the remaining 3/8" and 1/4" nuts and flat washers.
Image #7: The fuse box is held to the fuse box bracket with two 1/4" x 2 1/4" bolts and lock nuts. The fuse box mounts with all the wires exiting the box from the top and left hand side of the box except for the dimmer switch wire. This makes it very easy to hide all the wires from view.
Image #8: The wires for the dimmer switch exit out the bottom of the fuse box and just about fall into place. The original dimmer switch on a 1955 and 1956 mounts from the outside toe board and is held in place with two 1/4" bolts. The new dimmer switch mounts to the inside of the toe board. The original 1/4" bolts can be used, but nuts will need to be used on the outside of the toe board to hold the switch in place.
Image #9: The new headlight switch includes the knob and shaft along with a spanner nut. The new spanner is longer than the original nut, which helps when installing thicker billet aluminum dash trim. The headlight switch includes a wiring diagram with all wires color coded like the original wires and marked every 4". The headlight jack is pre-wired and simply needs to be plugged in.
Image #10: The new spanner is slightly larger then the original nut. Using a rat tail file, enlarge the hole in the dash and install the switch, spanner nut, knob and shaft.
Image #11: Using the wiring diagram supplied with the dash harness, locate the male jacks for the front and rear lights. The rear body harness includes the wires for the running lights, brake lights, turn signals, license plate lights and dome light wires. It also includes a wire for a third brake light if one is going to be used. Plug the rear body harness into the corresponding female jack from the fuse box.
Image #12: IThe front and rear body harnesses are made extra long so that the wires can be routed anyway you want which makes it great on custom cars when you wish to hide the wires.
Image #13: The orange and white wire in the rear body harne ss is for the dome light. The 1955 2-door hardtop has two small dome lights in the B-pillars. The orange and red wires are fed up through the B-pillar and using the supplied bullet connectors, the wires plug into the dome light housings
Image #14: The wiring kit does include some stock components that are necessary for wiring up a Classic. The stock taillight housing boots and pig tails are included so that the wires can be connected properly. The boots will route the wires from the inner trunk wall to the taillight housings and the pig tails connect to the original sockets on the taillight housing.
Image #15: The tan wire marked "fuel sender" connects to the gas tank sending unit. Cut the wire to length (not too short!), install the rubber insulator on the wire, crimp the supplied lug on the end of the wire and slide the rubber insulator up onto the wire terminal. The wire runs through a grommet PIN 09-67 in the center of the trunk floor just behind the rear seat.
Image #16: The rear body harness has a light blue wire and is marked "third brake light" every 4". This wire connects to the red wire on any brand third brake light or may be cut back if not used.
Image #17: The rear body harness has a yellow, green and brown wire. The yellow wire is marked " left rear turn", the green wire is marked "right rear tum" and the brown wire is marked "rear running light".
Image #18: The rear body harness includes male and female connectors that are used to connect the rear body harness to the taillight pig tails. Crimp the male wire terminals on the ends of the wires from the taillight housing and install the wire ends into the female plastic jack. Note the location of the wires in the jack.
Image #19: Next, cut the yellow & brown wires in the rear body harness to length so that the wires meet up with the taillight harness jack. The brown wire runs across the rear of the car and powers the right side taillights and the license plate lights. Install the female terminals on the ends of the two wires and install them in the male jack that matches the female jack on the taillight harness. Make sure to orient the wires in the male jack so that they match up to the wires in the female jack.
Image #20: There is a hole on each side of the tailpan just to inside of the taillight housing for the license plate lights. Cut the brown wire to length, connect this wire to the existing brown wire in the harness and install the female terminal and single plastic jack. The single plastic jack plugs into the license plate pig tail. Now feed the brown wire over to the passenger side of the car and repeat the same process for the passenger side license light.
Image #21: Feed the green wire in the rear body harness marked " right rear tum" across the rear of the car along with the brown wire and connect the brown and green wire to the passenger side taillight housing in the same manner as the driver's side taillight housing.
Image #22: The last wire in the rear body harness is the light green wire marked "back up Lt", this wire is for the back-up lights if they are going to be used. If your car was not originally equipped with back-up lights, PIN 22- 152 includes the back-up light sockets and plates, springs and wire ends you will need to complete the installation.