Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Little Wiring Job

Got the exterior 90% done.  There are a few finishing (Speciality) touches  that I will post as I do them.

Now For The Fun Part

In modern vehicles wiring harnesses are mostly a synergic component.  This is a 1988 wiring harness courtesy of the Bluebird Motor Corporation.

Upper wiring harness.
The upper wiring harness supplied the rear amber and red flashing school bus lights, the rear door exit alarm, the interior overhead lights, speakers (PA system), upper exterior marker lights, tail lights, stop lights and rear turn signal lights.

Lower wiring harness.
The lower wiring harness supplied the rear heaters.

Another view of the both wiring harnesses coiled up until I could dissect them..
I unstrung everything except the rear exterior lights and coiled it up in the corner until I decided what I  was going to do.

Wire splicing
This is the original wire splicing.  The old black friction electrical tape.

Another view.
At least when they did the splicing they soldered the wires.  No way they were gonna come apart.

More wires.
Many of these wires I will reuse as they are in very good shape.  Still very flexible and pliable.  None brittle or cracked insulation.

Numbered wires.
Even though the harness looks like a bowl of spaghetti, It's very easy to trace.  If you look close at these two wires you'll see the numbers 73 & 74.  Each wire is numbered from end to end.  This is at the rear of the bus.  These two wires were to the flashing school bus lights.  They will be reused for overhead backup lights (shown below).

Numbered wires.
This is at the front of the bus in the fuse box.  If you look closely you can again see the numbers 73 & 74.  You can find that wire anywhere along  it's run by that number.

Have you ever backed a BIG RIG into a wooded site at midnight?

Well I have.  It can get pretty hairy!  So I decided a few extra backup lights might be in order. 

Backup lights.
The four amber and red flashing lights at the top of the bus were changed for four white backup lights that are switched and connected to the backup lights that come on when in reverse.  That way I won't drive down the highway forward with glaring backup lights blinding the drivers behind me.  Also when I do backup only the lower back up lights will come on unless I manually turn on the upper lights.

Rear wheel lights.
There are also backup lights in front of the rear wheels that will hopefully keep me from backing into a ditch.

Rear wheel lights.

These rear wheel lights are switched separately from the backup lights so that I may use them also when edging forward in precarious situations.  I'll be able to see exactly where my rear wheels are at all times.  I've pulled into a lot of campgrounds after dark.

There is a red pilot light on the drivers control panel to tell me when the upper backup lights are on and an amber pilot light to indicate when the rear wheel lights are on.

When I was in Mississippi I drove an 18 wheeler.  The company I drove for had rear wheel lights connected to their backup lights.  Saved me many a time backing up into chicken farms in the middle of the night.  Yup, we delivered chicken feed 24/7.  Our feed mill motto, "Chickens Gotta Eat!".

See detailed instructions at

Stay tuned.  More to come!


  1. Hey very cool stuff. I like the back up lights ideas. Never even thought about them and my 5th wheel doesn't have any. Your dead bolt system got me thinking how to improve mine. Thanks. Warren in Calgary Alberta.

  2. Thanks. More to come soon. Target date for completion, September 1 2014.