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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 4 door
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A local fab shop was looking for someone to do a rewire on a customer's vehicle they're working on. They got my name and number, and I took the job on. Estimated 2 weeks, now on 4th week of every night and all weekend long.

Truck is a 1953 GMC 5 window and is a NSRA show winner. Had a lot of existing wiring that was pieced together hurriedly. Don't have direct contact with the owner so I've had to sherlock my way through what was existing as well as wire in a couple new items they put on it. I'm hoping to be done this weekend, wife is telling people she's a widow. I'm working out of a friend's shop since my garage is too cramped, I feel bad for taking this much time and his space to do this. This is my first foray into a big job for someone else and am trying to go the extra mile to present something that's beyond their expectations. Working around finished metal top and bottom, having to sleep on decisions, and work in the extras is time consuming, but almost ready to put power to it and check all the circuits!! These are initial delivery and work shots.











 

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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 4 door
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Lol, this is my comfort zone. :geek: My profession is PCB layout, usually boards with 1000+ connections, so this is gravy. Only difference is being a contortionist and my hands look like I've been trying to give wild bobcats proctology exams. 馃槄 Show trucks don't have finished metal edges where you can't see..

Here's before and after of the taillight wiring including backup camera, fuel pump, and third brake light. Sorry for the different angles, trying to keep working but had to get pics. (After pic was before I secured the loom and drilled/tapped bolt for fuel pump/sender ground in frame, THAT was nerve wracking!)



 

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Ryan
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Fixing other peoples half assed work is the worst and incredibly frustrating. Don鈥檛 feel bad for taking the extra time to do it right, versus trying to speed through it for time. You鈥檙e doing the right thing. Once you exceed expectations and the customer sees it, the extra couple weeks won鈥檛 matter anymore. Do it to standard, not to time. That鈥檚 the reason this beautiful truck has rats nest wiring in the first place.
 

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Bill
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I have done many cars myself. I'm just curious how you are charging; by the hour or flat price? Are you working for $5/hour because it is taking so long?
 
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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 4 door
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2,712 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have done many cars myself. I'm just curious how you are charging; by the hour or flat price? Are you working for $5/hour because it is taking so long?
Flat rated it + parts. And pretty much looking like working at McDs would have been more financially responsible at this point, but hoping this may be a business card for future work.
 

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I was wondering the same as Bill. Did you quote one price to do the job or on an hourly basis. I hope it was hourly. They came to you as nobody at their shop wanted to tackle as being a finished custom truck everything is twice as hard. Kudos and good luck to you.
 

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"You can't put a price or time limit on Quality"
Bingo. I learned a long time ago that I'm not working for free on sympathy jobs. You pay for my skills and ability. I don't see how anyone could flat rate a wiring job. Everything of this nature should be time plus materials.
 

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Wiring doesn't intimidate me in the least, but there's no chance in hell I'm taking on someone's half done rewire project unless I can start over.

Good on you for tackling this, but I agree with Tom, you sold yourself very short here. I semi-understand why in the long run, but use this as a lesson learned moving forward...Charge an hourly rate at the end of the job.
 

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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 4 door
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies. I did sell myself short on this one for sure. The amount of time taken to complete was way over what I estimated. Happy to say it's ready for delivery!

I did a 90% start over. The existing harness was hacked to hell, wires changed colors 3 times before arriving, electrical tape slime everywhere, hastily soldered joints, 12ga ran for EVERYTHING, cheap fuse panel, etc etc. I didn't cut corners but had to reuse some of the existing wiring due to configuration of interior, carpet was 100% glued down, etc.

I started with a Painless 28 circuit #10203 harness. It worked but left some things to be desired, if you don't know what you're doing you can screw it up easily. I came close as I'm not familiar with that harness.

A LOT of time was sunk into the turn signal/hazard circuits this past week. I was chasing intermittent working/shorting lights. Was going back through harness checking my and painless's connections.. Couldn't figure it out and finally had one of those epiphanies while falling asleep Friday night. Try a new turn signal switch. Sure enough, one in the brand new "Flaming River" column is at fault. I put that in quotes as I'm pretty damn sure the column is a chinese knockoff. The ignition switch flat out doesn't work. You can rotate it back to accessory but it's really clunky, key is sharp and ratchets going into the lock. You try to turn it forward to Run and it just stops, looks like the rod is bottoming out in the switch. I had to check all wiring by disconnecting the column harnesses and jumping them.

Last night was spent cleaning everything up, vacuuming, doing final checks, and installing gauges. I do have a rant against Classic Instruments.. It's 2021 guys, figure out a better way to connect the wires. Studs are fine, but don't place them so close to the mounting studs that your stainless steel mounting brackets can and will short them out..
 

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I got into a "situation" like this one time. I took on the job of wiring a 46 Hudson Pickup along with some other things. Ordered a new street rod wiring harness from a well know manufacturer. Spent quit a bit of time getting the whole thing wired up and working. This included adding an A/C unit into a very small cab. After that was finished it was taken to a "restoration" shop for some other work. When it came back the electrical did not work. I got to looking and the other shop had disconnected and removed some of the wiring and someone put it back in that had no clue what they were doing. Major mess. It took me almost as long to straighten out their mess as it took to install in the first place. I was not a happy camper. I got paid for both but their mess made a lot of it look bad and I didn't want anyone to think it was my work.
 

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Don鈥檛 feel bad with saying this was a lot worse than I thought as you get into things and speak with the owners and ask for more money. I do this when remodeling or building as sometimes you just can鈥檛 see everything that is needed. But i agree with others doing T & M will make sure you are covered. Estimate that it will cost about X but once you get into it it could be more depending on what is needed. Expectation is set up front.
 

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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 4 door
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gen Teel Men!!!! and raven.

The fab shop contacted me yesterday and said they finally put power to the truck and it fired up first try. They told me I had to come hear it. Stopped by at lunch and still can't get the smile off my face. Something about being punched in the chest with 434 cu in of Dart M small block breathing 110 octane just does it for me. They have a patina'd 51 Chevy coupe with a supercharged LT4 dry sump setup that they're handing to me soon. Stay tuned!! :cool:

 
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