1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Your old Chris-Craft electrical system can be a challenge. If it runs on "juice" pose your questions and offer your advice here.

1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby dougz » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:07 pm

Hello - Can someone suggest vendors for the correct wire to use while rewiring my 1941 17' Barrel Back? Thank you.

Another question: About the tachometer. I have had the gauge rebuilt by Mark Clawson. What do I need to do with the tachometer "cable"? Any maintenance that can be done? Replacement?

Regards,
Doug
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby mbigpops » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:07 pm

Rhode Island wire is one supplier.

Consider buying a new tach cable or take the inner cable out of the jacket and inspect the whole thing. I was going to reuse mine and found the inner cable was separating half way into the jacket.

Mark
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Brian Robinson » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:58 pm

Restoration Supply Company in Escondido, California. Red 10g, black 16g, and yellow 16g (I usually use 14g for the black and yellow).

Cloth, no tracers.
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby dougz » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:21 pm

Hello - I am now in the process of wiring the boat. I am running the power back to the stern light. But don't know where the 2nd wire goes? I assume to ground somewhere. When I took the boat apart I got a picture of the wire returning from the stern light and then heading aft...but then it ended. Does anyone know where they would have brought that to? See picture. Wire on right is coming from the switch. The the wire on the left comes back from the stern light and heads aft to?? Thanks.

Doug Z.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby dougz » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:33 pm

Same question for the bow light. See picture. 2nd wire comes back from bow light and heads to the port side. Looks like they grounded on the last gauge there...that would be my temp gauge. Does that make sense? Thanks.

Doug Z.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby mbigpops » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:09 pm

Doug,

The only real "ground" in these boats is the engine block. Originally everything aft was tied to the engine block and one wire ran fore to the back of one of the gauges and all the fore grounds were tied to that same gauge screw. Your aft light ground could have run to the transom and then back to the block along one of the engine stringers.

You have to look at you current setup and figure out the paths based on how you want to re-do the wiring. For the aft items you may now have a grounded fuel tank, bilge blower and stern pole so you need to tie those ground together and bring them to the engine block. Up front you may decide that a modern hidden fuse block can be used instead of inline fuses and gauge tie points for ground. I went with the out of sight fuse block mounted behind the dash which makes everything safer and neater. It is your call for your boat.

If running the wires in the same locations is important then look for small holes in the engine stringers and frames that would be evidence of original staples.

Also remember that soldering is not recommended as these joints can easily crack and fail over time. Use good marine rated crimp connections and shrink sleeving. Also use only full ring terminals so they can't slide off of the screws.

Mark
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Brian Robinson » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:09 pm

In most models such as yours prewar, the stern lite was grounded to one of the strut bolts, not the engine block. This can be problematic however depending on how your bolts are bedded in the strut, and even then it is still not a great ground. Postwar they wised up and went to the aft of the engine on the leg of the motor mount (the engine side). I used to run the ground to the strut with a little pigtail there to look right, then ran a jumper wire from the strut to the engine block. Nowadays I just run it straight to the engine block.

Just as for 30+ years they relied on the oil pressure tube as the boats main ground, it is always a good idea to run a separate ground wire to the engine block.
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby mbigpops » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:59 pm

A strut bolt was the stern pole ground ?

I believe what you are saying but that is wild. They were either relying on the mineral content in the wood moisture or the path to the water that the boat was sitting in to provide a ground path.

I wonder if anybody tried to figure why that light only worked when they were in the water and not on the trailer.

Easy for me to second today I guess.

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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Brian Robinson » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:08 pm

It's true. And I can tell you that the mineral content of Lake Tahoe does not support its function
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin
1924 Hackercraft 33' Runabout Evangeline
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby dougz » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:26 am

Hello - Thank you for the feedback. I will run it back to the engine block as suggested.

Brian - Do you still stand by the use of the Dupli-Color DE1621 for the engine paint? Found that old post and wanted to double check. Thank you.

Doug Z.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Brian Robinson » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:50 pm

Yes, it is a good match for prewar. Just shake the cans well with a sawzall
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin
1924 Hackercraft 33' Runabout Evangeline
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby steve bunda » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:27 pm

Ground wire on 1939 barrel , odd but true.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Don Vogt » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:29 pm

Yep, that's how it was done, Steve, believe it or not. That is the way mine is wired, too.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Greg Wallace » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:28 am

I don't think "rubber insert" cutlass bearings were std early on. A bronze strut bearing would allow for a good ground. I don't know when they became standard , I just remember seeing them specified (to be installed) on the hull card suggesting they were not standard. I also remember changing them out as a kid. Probably a shop memo around somewhere.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby Brian Robinson » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:44 am

Spot on, Greg. I recently pressed an original bronze bearing out of a lightly used '57 Capri. Pretty rare to see those anymore.
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin
1924 Hackercraft 33' Runabout Evangeline
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby dougz » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:40 am

Hello - My horn is under the front deck. Can someone tell me how it's wired? Power from the AMP gauge & wire from the horn button on the steering wheel. But there must be something else. Can someone tell me what I am missing? Thank you.
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Re: 1941 17' Barrel Back Wiring

Postby drrot » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:05 pm

Horn relay
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