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Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-11 12:17 PM (#561403)
Subject: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
While I was working on my air scoop project, I had issues with the wiring that ran to the right front park/signal light. It interfered with my ability to mock-up the air scoop that will sit between the right grill bar and the rad support. The solution was to remove the grill bar with the park/signal light. In doing so, I had to disconnect the wires to the right park/signal light (yellow and brown) at the rad support terminal block. At that point I discovered (or was no longer able to ignore the fact) that the terminal block was in need of some attention. To this end, I asked about terminal block replacements in another thread. A source was identified (thanks Marc) and I ordered one from the Canadian seller. Yesterday said new terminal block arrived.

While I was waiting for the epoxy resin on the second layer of fibreglass on the scoop to set-up, I went out the garage and armed with a section of the wiring diagram and a 3/8" socket on my trusty 1/4" drive mini-rachet, I started to remove the wires from the terminal block. Based on the wiring diagram and reality, it all makes sense.

The horn has a separate green wire that is not connected to the terminal block.

The headlight wires are black and red.

The right front signal/park light wires are yellow and brown.

The left front signal/park light wires are yellow and green (which means that the yellow wire is the park light wire and the green is the left signal light and the brown wire is the right signal light).

The input harness connectors are at the bottom of the connector stack on each terminal and are a "special" shape (see photos below). The output device connectors are more rectangular. Easy to figure out once you are there.

After I removed the wires I removed the terminal block from the rad support (3/8" socket again) and compared the OE terminal block to the new terminal block. Similar but different. I probably could have reused it (and might still but I have the new one).

I started cleaning up the wiring, removing stray paint and crud using Goof-off. Now I need to make the wiring terminals all shiny and copper/brassy. I will buy some DeOxit and also use a fibreglass paint chip "pen" and perhaps my Dremel and a small wiring brush wheel, depending on which works best. I will also paint the rad support in that area and replace at least the headlight wiring grommet that is starting to crust up with a rubber grommet.

More to come.

Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-11 12:24 PM




(56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockStartingPoint.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockWiringDiagram.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessDisconnectedFromTerminalBlock.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockConnectors.jpg)



(OE56DodgeRadSupportTerminalBlockVsReproTerminalBlock_1.jpg)



(OE56DodgeRadSupportTerminalBlockVsReproTerminalBlock_2.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockStartingPoint.jpg (152KB - 17 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockWiringDiagram.jpg (137KB - 15 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessDisconnectedFromTerminalBlock.jpg (221KB - 15 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockConnectors.jpg (186KB - 17 downloads)
Attachments OE56DodgeRadSupportTerminalBlockVsReproTerminalBlock_1.jpg (85KB - 15 downloads)
Attachments OE56DodgeRadSupportTerminalBlockVsReproTerminalBlock_2.jpg (83KB - 15 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-13 4:49 PM (#561561 - in reply to #561403)
Subject: RE: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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One of our newest Forum Members, George B. has a very nice, very unmolested 1956 Dodge Custom Royal sedan with the 230 hp 4bbl dual exhaust 315 Poly Super-Powered Super Red Ram engine. I have been trading 56 Dodge info with George. Recently I asked George for a photo of his front lighting terminal block so I could see what colour the bolts that hold the terminal block to the rad support are (silver or black). Turns out to be silver, at least for George's Jan 56 Detroit built car.

When I saw his photos I noticed that his harness wiring coming into the terminal block had cloth-covered insulation. My May 56 LA-built 56 Dodge has vinyl insulation, no cloth. I am curious whether this was an early build/later build change or if it was just a Detroit versus LA thing. The only other 56 Dodge guys that I am in contact with have early build Detroit-built cars.

Just curious whether anyone knows the answer.

There are other things to note: Detroit cars seem to have gotten a silver hood latch grill to rad support bracket and the shorter "Sea Shell" (Sparton) horns. I have black bracket and the longer "Trumpet" horns (for California apparently).

The comparison photos (notice how George's terminal block is very clean and not rusty like mine was):

(Thanks for your photos George!)



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-13 4:54 PM




(56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockStartingPoint.jpg)



(GeorgeBs56CRSedanEngineBayAndRadSupport.jpg)



(GeorgeBsJan56DetroitBuiltTerminalBlockAndWiring.jpg)



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Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingHarnessTerminalBlockStartingPoint.jpg (152KB - 14 downloads)
Attachments GeorgeBs56CRSedanEngineBayAndRadSupport.jpg (115KB - 14 downloads)
Attachments GeorgeBsJan56DetroitBuiltTerminalBlockAndWiring.jpg (120KB - 15 downloads)
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DepsilonD
Posted 2018-04-13 6:32 PM (#561566 - in reply to #561403)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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I will double check but almost all of the wiring on my early built '56 Dodge is cloth covered which is why I need to replace the entire harness really bad.
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-13 8:17 PM (#561571 - in reply to #561561)
Subject: RE: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Too wet to work outside on the last coat of fibreglass (or carbon fiber) on the air scoop project so I retreated to the garage and turned my attention (and the little 1500 W heater) to the rad support and the front lighting terminal block area.

Yesterday, I did find time to use my Dremel loaded with a small wire brush to clean up and polish the lighting/horn harness and lighting/horn device connectors. Turned out pretty good for maybe 30 minutes (if that) work. See below.

I asked about the colour of the bolts that hold the lighting terminal block to the rad support. Seems like the early build/Detroit built 56 Dodges used silver(ish) bolts. I pulled mine out of the Rust-off green stuff bath and found that they were plated black. The don't look bad so I will likely just reuse them as is.

Today I decided to work on getting the area in the vicinity of the lighting terminal block cleaned up and painted with Tremclad (like Rustoleum) semi-gloss black. While I was there I played with the grommets.

For sure I was going to replace the headlight wiring grommet with a new rubber grommet. The hole is 15/16" in diameter and a Hillman 881262 1.125" OD x 23/32 ID works pretty well.

I was going to leave the larger lighting harness alone until I noticed that the rubber coating on the OE metal grommet was starting to spall off. So out it came. That hole is 1.25" ID. I had a Hillman 881263 1-11/16-in x 1-3/16-in on hand so I tried it. Too big. I kept cutting it down (taking a section out of it) bit by bit until I had a good fit. Good news bad news. Fits in the hole nicely BUT because it is quite fat, the remaining ID isn't that big. I think it would work but I might try to look for a better/thinner one. So far, I can't find one at either Lowes.ca or Lowes.com so who knows.

Then I got at the rad support with my 18V Black and Decker and a small wire wheel, a wire brush and a brass wire brush and got rid of any sign of crustiness (mostly from the OE metal wire grommets). That done, wiped things down and masked off things that should not have black on them. Then I applied the first coat of paint. Which is now drying. Tomorrow I am going to remove the second horn and paint more of the rad support and then add a second coat of paint to what I did today.

Here are the photos from yesterday and today.



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-14 1:46 AM




(56DodgeFrontLightingTerminalBlockConnectorsAfterShining_1.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingTerminalBlockConnectorsAfterShining_2.jpg)



(56DodgeMay56LABuiltOETerminalBlockHardware.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingMainHarnessGrommetAndHillman881263.jpg)



(56DodgeFrontLightingWithOEGrommetRemovedAndHillman881263TrimmedToFit.jpg)



(56DodgeRadSupportAndFenderLinerShowingGrommeHoleSizes.jpg)



(56DodgeRadSupportAndFenderLinerAfterFirstCoatOfTremcladSemiGlossBlack.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingTerminalBlockConnectorsAfterShining_1.jpg (117KB - 16 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingTerminalBlockConnectorsAfterShining_2.jpg (94KB - 18 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeMay56LABuiltOETerminalBlockHardware.jpg (101KB - 16 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingMainHarnessGrommetAndHillman881263.jpg (135KB - 16 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeFrontLightingWithOEGrommetRemovedAndHillman881263TrimmedToFit.jpg (134KB - 16 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeRadSupportAndFenderLinerShowingGrommeHoleSizes.jpg (146KB - 16 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeRadSupportAndFenderLinerAfterFirstCoatOfTremcladSemiGlossBlack.jpg (115KB - 20 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-15 8:05 PM (#561690 - in reply to #561571)
Subject: RE: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
After coming home from Sunday "Brunch" (Pho beef soup at local), I decided that since the weather wasn't 100%, I should finish the wiring project and move on to other projects (Carpet, air scoop, you name it).

First thing was to take the OE wiring terminal out of its Rust-Check Rust removal bath and brass wire brush the results. Not bad. Definitely reusable. But I decided to use the new terminal block that I got from Marcel (?) in Quebec off ebay. Interesting, as I wire brushed the two bolts that held the OE block to the rad support, I became convinced that they were stainless steel. They came up kind of a soft pinky silver. Looked good. So I left them in that state and installed the new terminal block using them.

Then I looked at the OE harness and decided that it could use some "help". I wrapped the last two inches with black electricians tape (same as the OE harness) and on top of that, I added an inch and half of self-sealing/fusing silicone "Rescue Tape" (available at fine stores (including Lowes as Keeney pipe-wrap)):

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Keeney-1-in-x-8-ft-Pipe-Wrap-Tape/50061567

Then I started installing the harness wiring connectors onto their respective posts. I followed the OE wiring diagram with brown at the top, then green, then yellow in the middle, then black and finally red at the bottom. (Originally my harness was installed, brown, green, yellow, red and black at the bottom - not that it matters).

Then, in contrast with the way I found the wiring at the start of this little project, I decided to have all the device terminals (the output connections) come into the block from the side opposite the input harness connectors. Not sure if it looks better or not.

As I did that, I added a Hillman 881262 grommet to the left headlight wiring hole (actually it ended up easier to feed the headlight wiring through the raw hole (no grommet) and then slipping the grommet over the two wires and putting it into place in the hole. I added a bit of black silicone sealant to hold the grommet a little tighter (the fit isn't perfect).

As the last step, I added the trimmed (section cut out of the) Hillman 881263 grommet by feeding it around the harness and right side head light and parking/signal light wiring. Worked very well. Might even be skill, not luck, which would be unusual.

Buttoned everything down and cleared the fender and engine bay and started the car. A couple of pumps on gas pedal and a bit of cranking and one pump and she fired up nicely. I think that larger starter cable is helping. I can't remember the last time that I fired her up. No smoke. Nothing. Just the rumble/burble of a mighty 315 D500 hemi (LOL)

Today's photos (Note: the blue gravel apron is going to get cleaned, sanded and painted when I take the left grill bar out for rehab (now that I now that it will be rusty on the hidden backside):



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-15 8:23 PM




(RehabbedOELightingTerminalBlock.jpg)



(56DodgeOEFrontLightingAndHornHarnessComingThroughGrommetlessHoleInRadSupportWithExtraWrapping.jpg)



(56DodgeOEFrontLightingHarnessAndHeadlightAndParkSignalLightsReconnected_NoBigGrommet.jpg)



(56DodgeOEFrontLightingHarnessAndHeadlightAndParkSignalLightsReconnected_WithBigGrommet.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments RehabbedOELightingTerminalBlock.jpg (117KB - 18 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeOEFrontLightingAndHornHarnessComingThroughGrommetlessHoleInRadSupportWithExtraWrapping.jpg (116KB - 15 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeOEFrontLightingHarnessAndHeadlightAndParkSignalLightsReconnected_NoBigGrommet.jpg (131KB - 15 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeOEFrontLightingHarnessAndHeadlightAndParkSignalLightsReconnected_WithBigGrommet.jpg (112KB - 15 downloads)
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wizard
Posted 2018-04-16 1:35 AM (#561701 - in reply to #561403)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

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Great thread Dave - this will for sure be helpful for many members!
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-16 8:52 AM (#561715 - in reply to #561701)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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wizard - 2018-04-16 1:35 AM
Great thread Dave - this will for sure be helpful for many members!


Thanks Sven. When I post what I have done to my car, my intent is to share, in case others might find the information useful. That, and as a reminder to myself what I did.



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-16 10:35 AM
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sssob
Posted 2018-04-25 5:54 PM (#562281 - in reply to #561715)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



Member

Posts: 5

I have a 1956 Plymouth I bought in Massachusetts in 2014.

The car was was in very good shape and appears original except the paint. I drove the car since that time and the mechanic is in really top shape. This year, I decided to do the paint and redone the interior. I order all the interior from SMS auto fabrics and I start to remove the old paint to bare metal. The radiator support on my car is identical to your dodge, same bar, same holes, same grommets, very similar horns and my wiring diagram shows the exact wire colors.

The wires connected to that bar were not very nice and I decide to install new wires. I found some cloth wires and some vinyl wires. As I want the car the most original possible, I made some research to know why I found two different kind of wires.

My car is a second serie made in Detroit. It was built on may 11, 1956 and shipped to a California dealer. I can certified this is a second serie by some minor details like the date built of course, but also by the red air filter (1'serie was yellow in plymouth) and also by the plymouth name plate inside the radio speaker grill ( 1' serie was in the middle of the dash over the radio itself).

The wire between the two horns are in clothing material and looks white (same as George.B's car on picture) even if my and your wiring diagram indicates it is supposed to be green. I'm sure this is the original wire, but the color change by the years. So I remove tape on my wires and remove original tape over the harness, and I discover all the wires coming from this harness are clothe wires.

Hope that can help,

Richard.

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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-25 10:53 PM (#562292 - in reply to #562281)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Thanks for the info Richard. There are lots of early versus late and Detroit versus Los Angeles changes/discrepancies. We'll probably never get them fully sorted. I would hate to be a judge at a points concourse event trying to figure out whether the car was original or had been modified, wiring wise. Probably no real answers.

But every little piece of data helps. So thanks.

Dave F.
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sssob
Posted 2018-04-26 3:48 PM (#562327 - in reply to #562292)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



Member

Posts: 5

judging guide for Plymouth...

http://www.plymouthbulletin.com/guides.htm
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-04-26 4:07 PM (#562329 - in reply to #562281)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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sssob - 2018-04-25 2:54 PM

My car is a second serie made in Detroit. It was built on may 11, 1956 and shipped to a California dealer. I can certified this is a second serie by some minor details like the date built of course, but also by the red air filter (1'serie was yellow in plymouth) and also by the plymouth name plate inside the radio speaker grill ( 1' serie was in the middle of the dash over the radio itself).



You are correct about the speaker grille, but the air cleaner color is backwards. The red air cleaner came on the Dodge 270 motor at the beginning of the year, and the yellow air cleaner was used on the new 277 Plymouth motor that came out afterward. Red is Dodge's motor color - always has been; and the red air cleaner indicated to a Plymouth owner that their motor was from Dodge. The yellow air cleaner indicated Plymouth's new "A" motor was installed.
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sssob
Posted 2018-04-28 8:59 AM (#562418 - in reply to #562329)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Posts: 5

Do you mean this source is no good?

https://www.plymouthowners.club/talk/index.php/topic,253.msg1632.htm...

Richard.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-04-28 9:32 AM (#562419 - in reply to #561403)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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There are a couple of things stated incorrectly. Black inner fenders were generally only on Los Angeles cars, while Detroit cars were usually painted a bluish shade of gray, but could have been whatever extra non-color they had available. The motor mounts were also painted silver with the motor, but NOS replacement mounts were painted black. Also, check out the air cleaner colors for 1955. What are they? Only red. Why? Because they just used the Dodge 259 V8 motor. No other option except the six. Here is a picture of a '55 brochure. Keep in mind that the motors may not have been painted completely like the brochure though. I haven't seen black lettering on a red air cleaner - only white, but I am not as familiar with '55 as I am with '56.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-04-28 9:53 AM




(1955 Plymouth-03.jpg)



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Attachments 1955 Plymouth-03.jpg (225KB - 14 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-04-28 10:04 AM (#562420 - in reply to #561403)
Subject: RE: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Here is a '56 Plymouth Brochure. The brochure would depict what is available at the beginning of the year, not after the switch, and it shows a red air cleaner & valve covers on a 277 Plymouth motor. But this motor wasn't available yet, so they painted it up like the 270 Dodge motor would be done. Notice also that the Dodge motor had the valve covers painted red, but the 277 motor had them painted silver like the rest of the motor - because there would be no reason to paint a Plymouth motor red! Also, keep in mind that the change between the speaker grille and the motor didn't happen at the same time. The 277 motor came out long before the speaker grille was changed.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-04-28 10:20 AM




(56plymouth.jpg)



(IMG_0570.jpg)



(Original Plymouth 277 Motor.jpg)



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Attachments 56plymouth.jpg (111KB - 14 downloads)
Attachments IMG_0570.jpg (59KB - 18 downloads)
Attachments Original Plymouth 277 Motor.jpg (45KB - 14 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-28 12:01 PM (#562425 - in reply to #562419)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



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Powerflite - 2018-04-28 9:32 AM

There are a couple of things stated incorrectly. Black inner fenders were generally only on Los Angeles cars, while Detroit cars were usually painted a bluish shade of gray, but could have been whatever extra non-color they had available. The motor mounts were also painted silver with the motor, but NOS replacement mounts were painted black


In an *attempt* at bringing this thread back on topic, i.e. the front lighting wiring on a 56 Dodge (and maybe all 55/56 Dodges and Plymouths) and *NOT* about the colour of the air cleaners on the 1955 and 56 Plymouths, which is a fine topic, but better in its *OWN THREAD*, I will comment on the fender liner thing in the context of the rad support and the base for the wiring:

My car is an LA car and the inner fender liners are black. However, George B's very nice unmolested (as far as he knows) Detroit-built 56 Dodge also has black inner fender liners (and yes, we noticed that his 56 Dodge non-D500 has a red 56 Dodge D500 air cleaner - but that is *ANOTHER TOPIC* )



However, in George's case (and the 270-powered 56Coronet that was on eBay recently, the bit of the fender that extends into the space between the rad support and the grill bar is outer fender coloured. Mine is black in that area. George's car also used a different style of fender wiring grommet than mine did.





Edited by 56D500boy 2018-04-28 12:38 PM




(GeorgeBs56DodgeOuterFenderLinerAndWiring Grommet.jpg)



(56CoronetShortHornsAndSilverHoodLatchBracket_small.jpg)



(DaveFs56DodgeInnerFenderAndRustyOEWiringGrommetSinceReplaceWithRubber.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments GeorgeBs56DodgeOuterFenderLinerAndWiring Grommet.jpg (82KB - 13 downloads)
Attachments 56CoronetShortHornsAndSilverHoodLatchBracket_small.jpg (146KB - 13 downloads)
Attachments DaveFs56DodgeInnerFenderAndRustyOEWiringGrommetSinceReplaceWithRubber.jpg (95KB - 13 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-04-28 1:24 PM (#562427 - in reply to #562425)
Subject: Re: Re-habbing the Front Lighting Wiring on a 56 Dodge



Expert

Posts: 3364
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
This is what I am talking about: Were the areas indicated in the diagram that I have annotated black or the same colour as the outer fender (could be a trick or 2 part question - but I am not messing with you, I am just curious)





(56DodgeFenderDiagram_Annotated.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 56DodgeFenderDiagram_Annotated.jpg (208KB - 13 downloads)
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