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Old 10-27-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
30aadoodlebug
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Default 1941 woodie wiring issues

My Uncle just bought this car for my folks as a surprise gift for their 50th wedding anniversary. The car is in great shape for being a true survivor.

When who ever did the electrical work redid the main harness, they screwed up hard. All lights and accessories only work with the high beam dimmer switch on, and the cab accessories like the heater only run when the headlight switch is pulled out.

I know shoebox era wiring, but this is new territory.

Thoughts?

Jon
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:32 PM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

What type of wiring harness was used, is it one of the original cloth covered types, or one made up wire by wire? There are several connections on the light control switch, seems like either the connections are wrong or the switch is bad (just a guess here based on your post). Do you have the wiring diagram?

Per the wiring diagrams the lighting control switch is different between the cars and the commercial, that might be able to lead to an issue.
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File Type: jpg 41 Car Light Switch.JPG (19.5 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 41 Commerical Light Switch.JPG (19.3 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by JSeery; 10-27-2020 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

High beam switch powers the lights and accessories. Start there and find the wire that is taking power when the high beam switch is energized. What ever wire it is, that should be taking power to the lights and accessories. Check the wiring diagram.

Is this the 41 that recently sold on Bring a Trailer?
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

private sale in Massachusetts.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

with the light switch left in the closed position, i still have to click the high beam switch to get rear brake and tail lights.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

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could there be a fuse assembly missing? i have none in the car
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

As jSeery asks, did the person who did the wiring use a kit or splice into the existing harness. That will be a start. There must be fuses somewhere in the system or at least I hope there is. If it was a kit you should be able to get a copy of the wiring diagram.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30aadoodlebug View Post
with the light switch left in the closed position, i still have to click the high beam switch to get rear brake and tail lights.
This has nothing to do with fuses, something is wired wrong, the brake and tail lights would normally have nothing to do with the dimmer switch. But, it might be possible for a connection through the light switch to be mixed up enough to cause some crazy stuff.

Think I would start by removing all of the connections to the light switch (be careful, two of these are hot all the time, so disconnect the battery). Then start by connecting one wire at a time back up after you trace out where it originates and how it is routed.

The switch should have some letter on it to indicate what connects where. There are two hot wires that connect from the 15 amp and 30 amp circuit breakers. The 30 amp is for the headlights and the 15 amp for everything else. So I would start with the 30 amp circuit breaker connection and the connection to the dimmer switch. See if that works before connecting anything else up. The dimmer switch should switch between high and low beams. If all of that works you can move on, if not, something else may be causing the issue besides the light switch.

Last edited by JSeery; 10-27-2020 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

The light switch should have two terminals on one side and three terminals on the other side.

On the two terminal side, the one toward the rear of the vehicle should be marked R (the marks are on the fiber board). This should have a black wire connected to it and go to the tail lights and the dash lights dimmer.

The one toward the front of the vehicle is marked B and should have a Red/Yellow wire connected that goes to the 15 amp circuit breaker. (there should also be a Green wire connected at the 15 amp circuit breaker that goes to the brake light switch)

On the three terminal side, the terminal toward the rear of the vehicle is marked P and should have a Black/Yellow wire which connects to the parking lights.

The center terminal is marked B and has a Yellow/Rew wire that connects to the 30 amp circuit breaker.

The terminal toward the front of the vehicle is marked H, this is a Yellow/Red wire and is the one that connects to the headlight dimmer switch.

All of the color coding is for the original wire harness, it could be anything now. The switch should look something like this:
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Last edited by JSeery; 10-28-2020 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

My advise to you is to order a complete new wire harness from Tyree Harris (804) 556-5200. Why take a chance on having a fire and destroying the woodie. Get rid of the butchered old wire harness and install a new dependable one. I did one on my friends '48 three years ago with no problem.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

I think the claim is that it has a new harness, it is just connected incorrectly or there is a bad component in the circuit.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Had a similar with a 46 light switch.
park lights and rear lights came on at first position.
second position main lights on high and low, park lights still on and lost rear lights.
turned out to be incorrect wired at switch. corrected and all ok and returned the spare switch.
Phil NZ
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal View Post
My advise to you is to order a complete new wire harness from Tyree Harris (804) 556-5200. Why take a chance on having a fire and destroying the woodie. Get rid of the butchered old wire harness and install a new dependable one. I did one on my friends '48 three years ago with no problem.
There are at least 3 harnesses
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal View Post
My advise to you is to order a complete new wire harness from Tyree Harris (804) 556-5200. Why take a chance on having a fire and destroying the woodie. Get rid of the butchered old wire harness and install a new dependable one. I did one on my friends '48 three years ago with no problem.
There are at least 3 harnesses costing $600+ total
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:57 PM   #15
JSeery
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

I think a better approach is to determine the problem before jumping to a solution.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

And have a fire extinguisher at the ready. My first trip to the gas station in my completed woodie, there was a problem with the fuel tank vent. After filling up there was a huge puddle of gas under the wagon. I enlisted a few bystanders to push my car well past the puddle before I fired it up and next stop was the hardware store for a good large fire extinguisher to mount in the cowl. Let us not forget these cars are constructed primarily of kindling! Don't go halfway with that harness repair!!!
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Was this the Washington Blue car located on Cape Cod ?
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Cayoga blue and was on nahant
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

i have some wiring harnesses available below retail..
see here

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...s-new.1210885/
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Old 11-08-2020, 02:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1941 woodie wiring issues

Handsome, I recall seeing a photo and was a bit slow on the trigger. The wiring on all of these is pretty straightforward but, this said, is where I’ve been spending a lot of my own time of late, replacing any old with damaged insulation and correcting some minor gremlins.

Wish you the best
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