The journey of 1000 miles starts with one step..

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
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#1
And boy was it a very intimidating step to take. Tonight we started and just about finished stripping my engine harness of all the useless plugs and wires and got a couple other things wired up right. For now my car is going to be running vacuum advance with a GM HEI module for an ignition, so we got that wired up. I still have a few things to do like finish taping up the harness and put loom on it, and then i'm gonna clean the crap out of it but already it looks way cleaner. I'm not worried about hiding anything because it's not a show car and i don't wanna make anything high maintenance...just getting rid of the non essentials really cleaned things up.

Here's a before shot...notice all the random crap behind the passenger strut tower, and the rotted out mess on the driver's side frame rail...that part used to be the main harness that went to the stock ignition, which is now long gone. The rest was all for emissions junk.

P3040013.jpg




I didn't get a chance to take a pic of where it's at right now, but here's a few pics of the mess we got into



Picture001.jpg

Picture003.jpg

Picture004.jpg


^^ This pic doesn't even hint at the horror that's under the dash. The biggest goal in this was to get rid of the dry rotted mess on the driver's side frame rail. We half expected that harness to simply plug up somewhere under the dash...boy were we wrong. In the end we had the entire wiring harness for the whole car unhooked.

Picture005.jpg


^^ This pic is of the mess relating to the AC control ECU...or whatever the heck the ECU in an '85 is used for. There are a couple wires that we're not 100% sure are for but we think they go over to the HVAC for the AC controls.


Tomorrow i need to finish wrapping the harness and then put some loom on it, and i'm gonna have the alt tested just to make sure it's charging...i was pretty amazed that it fired right up after digging that deep into the harness, but really all that you see going across the firewall is headlights/alternator/coil wiring...only a single key on wire goes to the ignition to make the car run.
 
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S&B

I hate my CT. :(
10 Year Member
Dec 18, 2005
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Cheesehead
#3
why is all the loom off your harness, its much easier if yo uleave all that on
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
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#4
Thats pretty intense! I give you credit, i can't dig that deep into a harness like that. I'd mess SOMETHING up im sure!

I can't take all the credit...my buddy's an electrician and all around brainy guy and he did all the thinking work. It ended up being pretty straight forward....just take the junk from the engine bay that we're not using and trace it back to the plugs and eliminate it.

why is all the loom off your harness, its much easier if yo uleave all that on
Because we were taking one wire at a time out of the harness, so that meant pulling wire at a time through the firewall, which is about impossible with a bunch of tape on it. We had hoped it would be as simple as unplugging the harness that went to the stock ignition, but there were a lot of wires that crisscrossed from one side to the other. Doing it one wire at a time ensured that we didn't cut out anything that we might have needed for something else.

Another thing we're not sure of is there's a white wire that had something to do with the alternator. A while back we installed a 3G in my car which is pretty tricky since my car originally ran an external regulator (again, my buddy did the thinking work for this one...i don't know jack about wiring). Anyways that white wire ended up going nowhere and we're not 100% sure that its charging right so today i'm gonna go and have it tested for good measure.
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
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#6
If it was originally a carb'ed car why is there so much extra wiring?

Emissions is the majority of it, AC controls (where the ECU comes in), plus i think some of it may have been from when it was a police car. The stock ignition alone had its own harness with probably 20 wires in it. Then there's the external regulator for the alternator...that's more wiring. Amazingly it's still less than EFI, but when you break open the harness it looks worse than it is.
 

Darkwriter77

Resident Ranting Negative Nancy
Jul 1, 2005
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Apache Junction, AZ
#7
Man ... Lynn will probably see this and immediately think of her job at Boeing. :D

I would never have the 'nards to tackle something like that. It looked good enough as it was before, to me, so I would've just left well enough alone. Knowing my luck, I'd tear all that stuff apart and make the thing completely inoperable, forget what goes where, get insanely frustrated, and wind up setting the car on fire. :bang:
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
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#8
Actually it was fear of a fire that really pushed me to do it. Here's a closer shot at the mess on the driver's side i'm talking about

wiringmess.jpg



It's one of those things like a physical flaw that you hide about yourself and maybe nobody else really notices it but you know it's there and it eats you alive. Plus i've been kind of ashamed of it so when i take pics i'm careful to hide it as best as possible :(


Not only is it ugly and covered in oil but there were several naked wires in there. I don't know if any of them had power going to them or not but the insulation on the wires was all dry rotted and brittle and i figured it was a time bomb. Then on the passenger side there was like 8 plugs that didn't go to anything anymore, used to be emissions junk i guess. I REALLY wanted to get rid of this jumbled mess of fusable links under the coil, but i think they all go for the headlight harness on that side so it's best to leave those alone.

It's pouring rain out right now or i'd be out there taping up the harness and finishing it up for pics but i guess they'll have to wait. Like mentioned before it really is crazy how much wiring there is for a carbed car. With this GM ignition module i'm using, there's literally only 1 key on wire to make the car run. If it were a strip only race car without an alternator and head lights, the only wires would be to the ignition/coil/starter.
 
Oct 8, 2007
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#9
Man I know if I had your car that unused wiring would drive me nuts, your engine bay should look awesome when you get done. :nice: The OEM starter solenoid rats nest in the EFI cars makes me cringe when I take the cover off... or think about it. I'd really like to do a SN95 style under hood fuse box conversion one day.

I can wire things up pretty good, but de-wiring sounds like a whole different story. I guess if you take it one wire/step at a time and you should be alright, thats my rule for wiring.
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
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#10
I got some taping done today and stuffed the wires where they'll eventually be but i haven't got loom yet. I still need to figure out how to tape up the wiring right up against the firewall...might have to unplug everything and pull the harness through as far as i can and tape it up that way. I also still haven't cleaned anything yet...you wouldn't believe how dirty this job was, it got dust/dirt/crud all over my engine and pretty much everywhere.

Here's the driver's side...this is my favorite part just because of the horror that used to be there (before i taped up the rest of it):

P5070008.jpg


Here's a pic of the HEI ignition module, tucked back behind the passenger side strut tower. I need to paint the little bracket i made, but i'm looking for a computer heat sink to replace it anyways:

P5070009.jpg


And here's an overall shot. I like how the harness tucks up under the firewall crimp:

P5070010.jpg



Once it's loomed and cleaned and i tidy up a few other things, repaint my accessory brackets and i'd like to get new plug wires, i think it'll all look much much better.
 

SMOKEDYA

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2003
3,591
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#12
I know what you mean! I did the exact same thing on my buddies 88 noth turbo project. It was a piece of cake but then i like doing that kind of stuff. One day if it ever comes i'm redoing all my wireing in swap for a carb set up. I always wanted to rewire a car like a pro stock car is wired! peace








john:p
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
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Northern KY
#13
If i had a ton of cash laying around i would've just bought a Painless setup and been done with it, converted to a GM one wire alternator and hid everything so it looks like the car isn't even finished.
 

QUICK91LX

Founding Member
Dec 7, 2001
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#14
Thats awesome man...

Not to hijack but in a recent edition of Mustang Enthusiast there was a feature on a 1985 Kentucky SSP and I thought of you right away...they said Kentucky only had 10 of them...so your car is pretty rare!!
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
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#15
Thats awesome man...

Not to hijack but in a recent edition of Mustang Enthusiast there was a feature on a 1985 Kentucky SSP and I thought of you right away...they said Kentucky only had 10 of them...so your car is pretty rare!!

Yep and as far as i know only 14 '85s were ever used by all the states combined. Makes me feel guilty for not restoring it but you only live once :D

I've made offers to people to find me an equally clean 4 eye coupe chassis and help me do the work to swap everything over and give me a little cash or parts to boot and i'd trade them but of course nobody takes me up on it. There's really nothing SSP about my car anymore except the buck tags...it's just the history of it.
 

QUICK91LX

Founding Member
Dec 7, 2001
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#16
Yep and as far as i know only 14 '85s were ever used by all the states combined. Makes me feel guilty for not restoring it but you only live once :D

I've made offers to people to find me an equally clean 4 eye coupe chassis and help me do the work to swap everything over and give me a little cash or parts to boot and i'd trade them but of course nobody takes me up on it. There's really nothing SSP about my car anymore except the buck tags...it's just the history of it.
The article was cool it really hit on the police history of the car on a personal level...different situations that included the car...kinda cool to think about where your car has been from sad to happy to tragic to heroic...
 

85_SS_302_Coupe

it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
6,927
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Northern KY
#17
Yeah man, almost not a day goes by that i'm driving my car i don't daydream about what it's been through. It really is cool to think about. I absolutely WILL NOT change my steering wheel just for that purpose.

I'm kind of a nerd so i picture it as a retired car living up the good life after years of service.
 
Jan 20, 2009
0
0
0
CT
#18
looking good man, are you gonna rattle can it or anything?
 

skunk21

Active Member
May 22, 2007
1,203
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36
Taxachusetts
#19
85_SS_302_Coupe, that's a pretty big project but it's looking good :nice:.

It's also pretty cool having a rare ssp, I can't see why it would matter if it doesn't look like it anymore, doesn't change the fact that at one time it wore a badge and chased bad guys :D. no matter what happens you can't change that history about it, in the end they all have to put away the badge, slip on plain clothes and go on to something else when the job is done. I wish I had a car with that kind of history other than some poor slob slaving to make 5yrs worth of payments on it at one point. Have fun with her :nice:
 

SMOKEDYA

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2003
3,591
2
59
WORSHINGTON
#20
Yep and as far as i know only 14 '85s were ever used by all the states combined. Makes me feel guilty for not restoring it but you only live once :D

I've made offers to people to find me an equally clean 4 eye coupe chassis and help me do the work to swap everything over and give me a little cash or parts to boot and i'd trade them but of course nobody takes me up on it. There's really nothing SSP about my car anymore except the buck tags...it's just the history of it.
Same as mine,the only SSP about mine is still all the grounds,buck tags,front bumper and i beleive the seats,oh yeah also the wireing for there lap top and electronics as well as the switches they put in the ash tray area.I to have offered my coupe to someone in the same way as you for a equal 4 eyed coupe!But no takers :(peace




john:p
 

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