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FORD TRACTOR WIRING HARNESS

TRACTOR WIRING SHOULD BE WEATHERPROOF!

There are a bunch of inexpensive replacement wiring harnesses for sale that are not weatherproof!

They might be ok for a trailer queen that never gets wet. But for a working tractor it is nothing but a short-term fix that will probably start causing trouble before it's even a year old! I got lazy working on the 52 and spent $20 on a replacement harness instead of building it myself. I thought it would save time, WRONG! I was very dissapointed. The new harness was made with crimp-on terminals!! The only thing a $20 harness might be good for is to get the rubber boots and correct wire sizes. I won't use one without replacing all the terminals.

When properly applied, using the correct crimp tool, crimp terminals are ok for dry locations that dont carry a lot of current. However, the wiring harness for any vehicle (especially a working tractor) will get rained on and should be weatherproof. Any copper exposed to air and moisture will quickly begin to deteriorate. That green stuff copper turns into is not a good conductor. For good, long-lasting, weatherproof connections you have to keep air and moisture away from even the smallest bit of bare copper wire.

This is the re-worked wiring harness for my 52-8N

Wiring Harness

I replaced all the terminals on this harness so they would be completely sealed and weatherproof. The wife thinks I'm nuts when I start rebuilding brand new parts, especially when I hunker down and start taking stuff apart on the living room carpet! But I went and got a piece of cardboard to catch all the loose bits of wire, insulation, and gobs of hot solder, so she let me get away with it, this time.

It takes time to do it right, but this is the way I build a good wiring harness:
Take some 1/8" heat-shrink tubing and cut pieces about an inch-an-a-half long. Slip a piece onto the wire far enough away from the end that heat from soldering will not prematurely shrink it. If my new crimp-on terminals come with the hard plastic sleeves, I carefully twist them off and throw them away. Then, rather than using a crimp tool, start with a pair of regular pliers and carefully reduce the entire diameter of the terminal around the wire. There is a seam that can be made to overlap if you crimp one side first and then work your way around. This makes for a decent mechanical connection that is smooth. Notice the word "mechanical" this crimp is only intended to hold the terminal on the end of the wire. For the best possible "electrical" connection you have to solder it.

Once the terminals are on, heat up a soldering iron and apply solder to each connection. You will be able to see it flow into the crimp when it gets hot enough. As soon as each is soldered, slide the heat shrink up to cover the entire joint all the way to the ring terminal so there is no exposed copper wire. The heat from the freshly soldered joint will start it shrinking so move fast. When all the soldering is done, finish shrinking each end with a heat gun for a water-tight connection. Some people use a propane torch or cigarette lighter on heat shrink tubing. I don't like to risk burning up a harness I just spent a couple hours putting together and stuff like that always happens on the last connection, right?

You can buy the original fabric type cover material, but I just used the 3/8" and 1/2" split plastic wire protector like is found on most cars. You can probably get the two short pieces you need (free of charge) from your neighbor's car. You know, the guy who borrowed your grill last year and never brought it back, GRIN. Your new weatherproof replacement harness should last 50+ years.

If you got here from a link on another page, use your browsers BACK button to go back to where you were. If you are looking for more information on Ford 8N Tractor wiring and wiring harnesses, you might find what you want on my general wiring page HERE. -or- If you were looking for 6 volt and 12 volt Wiring Diagrams for early and late 8N Ford tractors, they are on my 12 volt page HERE.

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