View topic - 1954 Desoto Firedome V8 Powerflite Wiring Questions

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:12 am 
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First off, Hello everyone I'm new around here in many ways. This is my first restoration attempt ever. I'm a paint and body kind of guy and a shade tree mechanic. My Desoto kind of fell into my lap and I'm trying to restore her. I'm in Miami FL so as you can imagine, rust and corrosion. I brought her back alive and she runs, moves, and brakes but I have no lights. EVERY wire on the car is corroded and in terrible shape. I'm using a 1954-1955 Desoto Shop manual which shows a wiring diagram which helps a lot and I'm taking lots of pictures but I'm having trouble figuring out the Gauge of the wires. It shows the wires in color codes Red, Black, Green, Orange, Brown, Blue, But it doesn't mention wire gauges. Like I said earlier I do paint and body and have never done electrical but I'd like to (don't really have a choice) do it myself. My budget doesn't permit buying a pre made wire harness (quoted at $1200) So I figure I can buy some spools of wire and replace the original harness wire by wire. Any input is appreciated.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:58 pm 
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Hey everyone, noticed a lot of views and not one reply, just wondering if anyone out there might know what guage wires I need. I have a wiring diagram but it only shows colors and not the guages of the wires


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:56 pm 
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Someone can double-check me, but the wiring diagram on page 169 of the 54/55 shop manual (diagram says it's for '55 Firdome and Fireflite models...) indicates wire gauge and colors.

I would suggest you use those gauge designations as you work through your harness.

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1949 De Soto Custom Convertible (project)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:26 pm 
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That is correct, and the wiring diagram I am going by is on page 166 of the same book for the S-19 model. It is also the complete wiring diagram. The diagram on page 169 which includes the wire gauges is for the "Lighting and Turn Signal Systems" for S-21 and S-22. I figure that I could be safe in using these gauges but I've noticed a few differences when comparing the diagrams to my actual physical harness. for instance, I have a wire that runs to by door light switches on all four doors, this wire is significantly thinner than the rest physically, yet in the diagram it is listed as the same gauge as most the other wiring. I've done some research and keep landing in the same places. first being that i should convert to 12v. will this hurt the value of my car? I've been told that I should keep it all original and yet I've been told I should Update to 12V system and disc brakes. This is my first Resto and I would like to do it right.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:08 pm 
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Location: Windom, KS
Well, you're going to get as many opinions about what you should do with your car as the number of people that you ask....

Boils down to the fact that it's your car, and you're entitled to do what you'd like!

You might try contacting the wiring harness folks that are listed in the Vendors tab of the menu and ask their customer service folks for some help. I know from experience that both YNZ's and Rhode Island Wiring are great, helpful folks.

But, lol, they were also helpful after I had spent several thousand dollars on their harnesses....

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1949 De Soto Custom Convertible (project)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Location: San Diego
You might want to check out a recent thread in this forum, "Changing out electrical system on my 55 Desoto". My 53 Firedome runs well with the original 6v positive ground. I use a 6v Optima battery, and I replace my lightweight battery cables with 0 and 1 gauge cables I tracked down. I spent a good deal of time in the dash repairing and replacing deteriorated cloth insulation, but it seems pretty much OK now. Some people have successfully converted to 12v negative ground, but I don't think it's necessary in a temperate climate for most cars.

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John Boyd
San Diego, California
Member National Desoto Club and Airflow Club of America
drjohn96@me.com
1953 S16 Firedome Estate Wagon (2)
1936 S2 Airflow sedan (4)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:22 pm 
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Location: COS ( aka Colo Spgs )
Hola Yo'al

The Chrysler Windsor Series --- of the same year and same Electrical Items is for most times --- the same as a like De Soto.


Rodger & Gabby
Colo Spgs

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:56 pm 
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On the early cars when they used the cloth covered wires the sticker indicate the gage of the wire. So they used 16, 14 , 12 and 10 gage wires in the cars.

The smallest gage wire that I would use is the 14 gage. If the original wire isa 16 gage then go up to the 14 gage. especially when doing a 6 volt car.


Here is what you can do get a wire stripper and then unhook a wire and determine the gage of the wire by putting the order wire in the stripper this might help with your question. I do have a major wire and cable MoPar Terminals catalog that goes upto the late 40's and shows the spools of wire and also shows the various connections that we used. This might help with you question.tHE COST IS 15 AND THE CATALOG IS ON A cd AND THE COST INCLUDES THE POSTAGE. cONTACT ME IF INTERESTED. Rich Hartung Desoto1939@aol.com cell 484-431-8157 live near Philadelphia PA.


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