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Old 07-21-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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1976 24' Argosy 24
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Rewiring Clearance lights?

Hello all, has anyone been brave enough to attemp to rewire their clearance lights without ripping their interior apart? The old Argosy has short stubs of decrepid wire coming out of the end caps. On the interior the one piece molded inner end cap provides no access to the wires of course, but it may be possible to put some carefully chosen access holes in the back of the cubbies to gain access to the wires. Any thoughts from you Gurus out there? Thanks, George.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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34 Views and not one enterprising idea?
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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when replacing the clearance lights on my 69 tradewind my son lost the wires in behind the skin. on one I removed a speaker and was able to repair the wiring. on another which was behind the cabinet in the bathroom I was able to remove the 110 socket and repair it from there. I'm shure your idea of using inconspicuos holes will work.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #4
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George, I have an ex-mechanic from a closed Airstream dealer doing some work for me. Asked him about your dilemma last night. He said you were looking at a tough job and trying to track where the wire runs would be was very difficult - depended on who ran the wires and what day of the week it was....

He had done this job once and decided to drop a section of the rear belly and the very front belly. Linked to the clearance light circuit at the converter and then used a stiff wire fish to run the new line through the belly. Once he had it at the other end - then fished it up to the lights after cutting an access hole in the back of the cubby.

Ugh.... was my only reaction.....
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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My first reaction to this is that you probably don't need the headach of rewiring these. The wires are probably only looking bad at the very ends where they were attached to the lights. There should be enough wire to pull a little more out, clip the ends off, and hook up the lights again.
I'm not suprised 34 people passed this up. It's a very difficult place to get wires into.
Mine was run up from the left side to the first light, then daisy-chained to the next two lights. There was a little extra wire in the wall though, and unless it was eaten by mice it should be usable still.

Good luck,
Rich
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Thanks everybody. I know this is a very difficult problem. I will work with the stubs i have for the time being. The factory put vulkem around the wires where they exit the skin, so the wires feel very rigid with no give to them. I have been told that the harness itn connected together with bullet connectors, so don't pull on them too hard. It's a real you know what kind of problem, but there has to be some slack in those wires, but if I break it off flush, I'm really screwed. It's going to have to wait for the time being. The old Argosy goes to the painter on Friday, so I'm up to my ears in prep work. Thanks to all, I'll update this post sometime. George
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Diving In

Just a quick update. Going after these buggers this weekend. If i live, I'll post Sunday night. Nice knowing you all. George.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Success

Well It can be done. With great patience a deft hand and a strategically placed drilled hole, I was able to fish out the excess wire behind the end cap and make wire extensions. The problem is that the old wires come through the shell in holes only slightly larger than the diameter of the wire. Then the factory globs a dab of Vulkem on the back side. So there's no way to pull out more wire. I was forced to drill a 7/16ths hole next to where the wire exits the shell. Then, with the use of some hooks and picks obtained at the Lowes, I was able to carefully pull some excess wire through the new holes. This was then clipped and extended using butt splices, and the extra pushed back throught the holes. The holes will be covered by the clearance light, so they won't show. I sealed the holes with butyl tape. I kinda of agonized over what to use to seal the holes. Vulkem, Silicone, Butyl tape etc. I decided against Vulkem because I thought it to be too permanent, and I didn't want to use silicone. We'll se how long the butyl lasts. The top and sides of the lights will be sealed later. Don't know whether to use Parr Bond or silicone. So that's it. Viking was right, there was enough wire inside. At least for 9 out of 10 of the lights. The 10th light, I was not succesfull with. Good luck for any that try this. Not for the faint of heart. George
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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I'm glad it worked out George.
Rich
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
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Glad to hear you got off relatively easy—hard would have been using a fish wire to get through the space between the inner and outer skins, thus messing up the insulation.

I would have soldered the wires, but that's the way old guys do things.

Don't use silicone. Check the Airstream website for the various sealants they recommend.

Gene
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