Author Topic: Closer to Making a New Headlight Wriing Harness  (Read 616 times)

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Ultravan Owners

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Closer to Making a New Headlight Wriing Harness
« on: November 09, 2017, 09:55:27 AM »
Yesterday I was finally able to pick up the White peg board I wanted and get it home without it getting wet.
The store is over an hour away and I did not want to ruin the peg board by it getting wet coming home.
I decided to use it for my story board, to lay everything out and be able to use it, again and again, any time I need another Headlight harness.

While I was at Home Depot I also grabbed; #10-24X2" long screws, flat washers, and nuts in packs of 100 for a lot less than those little packs of 6 - 10 and 14 pieces.
Not that I will need all 100 screws. But 3 packs of 14 screws would have cost almost $3 dollar more than the 100 pack of the same size screw.
So why not go with the 100 pack.

Anyways, I have picked out the heat gun I plan to buy and other items that I will need.
FYI - I'm still looking for a good price on terminals and connectors
I also have to order the label wires when I'm ready.

I will be working on this in the formal dining room over winter.
Lots of light and it will be warmer than the garage or basement.

Pictures and more info to come, when available.
Tony - US Army and ASE Mechanic, Retired.
Location - Ottawa, Canada

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Re: Closer to Making a New Headlight Wriing Harness
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 11:38:40 AM »
Ultravans like most vehicles have some issues. Things that were not designed well as they should have been.

Wiring on an Ultravan is a joke at best!!!
And very few owners are willing to do what it takes to correct all of it properly.
I will share just one problem, so NOT to bore you with all the other issues.

The Headlight Circuit.

Battery "power" is in the back. Not up front, close to the headlights, like most vehicles.
NO it is NOT like other cars and easy to run a large size battery cable up front in an Ultravan.
The structure is completely different! There is no frame no chassis! Thus it is very important to maintain the integrity of the structure!
Some Ultravan owners have gone to the trouble of fabricating a battery box to have a battery up front.
However, that is a lot of work and expense that most owners are NOT willing to do.

The JOKE or Poor Headlight Circuit Design:
They used a 14ga wire to run 28 plus feet up front to supply power to the headlight switch.
(It can be longer, depending on how they routed it. But not shorter than 28 feet.)

Out of the headlight switch it continues on to the dimmer switch another 3.5 feet or sub-total of 31.5 feet of 14ga.
From the dimmer switch it finally runs to the Headlights them self with more 14ga, wire.
But in some cases, I believe that 16ga has been noted from the dimmer switch to the headlights.

Total length of this run can exceed 40 feet of 14ga wire to run the 2 headlights.
For myself and a couple other Ultravan owners: That is asking too much for 14ga to handle and we would prefer to improve that circuit among others.

With a lot of time and help from Jim Davis, Craig Nicol and Owen Strawn: I would like to think that I have come up with a basic kit to correct this issue.
A kit that allows one to correct this issue only. Saving them time and money.
Also allowing them to do other wiring improvements over time, as they have the time and funds to do so.


Thank you to all those who helped!
More to come as it becomes available.
Tony - US Army and ASE Mechanic, Retired.
Location - Ottawa, Canada

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Re: Closer to Making a New Headlight Wriing Harness
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 01:01:21 PM »
So far I have found suppliers for almost everything I need to build the new headlight wiring harness.
Marie and I happen to be blessed as caretakers of a few Ultravans, that I hope to restore some day.
It is also one of the reasons why I am going to the trouble to make this wiring harness in a kit form.
I also enjoy helping others when I know that I have something to offer.
So I plan to offer this harness as a kit, along with the other wiring kits that I came up with due to the need to rewire UV231 project.
But I am having a hard time finding a place that can label 8ga wire every 6 inches or so.
The one place I did find so far, labels 1,000 feet or more and I only need 100 to 200 feet.
Oh, I also would prefer to use brass Packard 59 terminals that are not plated.
However, it seems that the 10-12ga terminal only comes in a plated style.

Why am I going to all the trouble to have each wire labeled every 6 inches or so?
1. I personally have a hard time making out with some colors and I don't think I'm the only one. Have them all labeled will make it easier.
2. I have always wanted to find a good home for UV231 and I don't want to make it any more difficult for someone to trace an electrical problem(s) in the future, should something come up.   
3. If it is worth doing - It is worth doing right!

More to come as it unfolds.
Thank you for following along. 
Tony - US Army and ASE Mechanic, Retired.
Location - Ottawa, Canada