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Terry Broussard
06-21-2013, 07:26 AM
Been rewiring and remounting the Q to repair a water leak and a bit of shoddy workmanship. Found the #4 lead connected with Gates Hose Clamps in two places above the headliner, a jumpered flasher in lieu of repairing the one under the hood, huge wasp nest, and assorted other wiring risks. I'll also be re-doing the switch wires for each switch. Also changed the mount to the more flat mount, thus lowering the angle of the siren and furthering the debate on the issue....

Will be back with more pictures as this progresses.

Anyone have some under the panel pictures for comparison?

Thanks.

Paul Steinberg
06-21-2013, 09:10 AM
That looks like the typical Superior wiring as found in every ambulance. I had the same mess in my 1978 Superior, and carefully untangled each wire, clipped it back to a reasonable length, and reattached it to the switch. If you are planning on rewiring the car, better put aside a couple of years, a very large bottle of Valium for your nerves, and give up your daytime job.

Kevin Lynch
06-21-2013, 10:03 AM
Terry- good luck with all that. Wiring issues are always wild for a few reasons. First, a human designed that configuration and another one put it together. I realized after a tour of the Wheeled Coach factory near Orlando that harnesses are a great idea.
Second, time and temperature changes are natural enemies to wire.
Third: I like the color coding in Superior products.
Fourth: more human involvement; replacing or adding to wire with a non-matching wire.
Fifth: the best: this is science. There is an answer for everything.
Sixth: most amazing: on my 66 GMC rescuer truck, the battery was in a diamond plate box on the rear bed. A wire went from the positive terminal to the foot button to the siren. Yikes no fuse anywhere. I later found the truck was purchased by the phone company as part of a fleet purchase. The company donated it new to the fire department.

I found vehicles owned by volunteer fire departments and private ambulance services relied on their own in-house talent to work on these projects.

My dad gave me sheets of little sticky numbers that I used to number wires. I then took more photos in case the numbers fell off.
I hope you keep us posted on how this goes and post pictures too!!!!!

My best,
Kevin

John ED Renstrom
06-21-2013, 12:33 PM
you got to love that hack and splice job. they make commercial splices for that stuff but they work the same way. you get one wire run it might work a little better. as for superiors color code some one was lucky every superior I get into was wired with one color white. you know they wired every component one switch at a time. but if they wired it so can you.

Terry Broussard
06-24-2013, 06:35 AM
Q is mounted. Now contemplating adding the additional speakers for the electronic siren. Presently using a speaker under the grill but really like the looks of the three on the roof.

Paul Steinberg
06-24-2013, 09:11 AM
You are going to need big ear muff type protection if you don't want to loose your hearing. Looks good... I like your "rubber" washers.......

Scott Crittenden
06-24-2013, 10:49 AM
The Q is looking better! I like the twin speakers, especially when canted 15 degrees off center to the outside.

Richard Vyse
06-24-2013, 11:05 AM
Nice job...:)

James Fischer
06-24-2013, 12:57 PM
Shes looking great Terry !!

I too like the look of the Q in the middle and the CP25's on each side !!!:thumbsup:

Skip Goulet
11-13-2013, 05:49 PM
I'm surprised that a short or something worse didn't occur with that cable splice with bare wire showing.

In 1971 a friend of mine in Lubbock bought a 1961 lwb Pontiac ambulance from Gold Star Ambulance in Clovis, NM. He paid a whopping $500 cash for the car. It came with a roof-mounted Q flanked by a pair of red two-lamp Dietz beacons that resembled Federal 14s, and there was a clear-domed Dietz 211-WW beacon behind the Q. To this he added: two blue Dietz lollipops between the Q and front beacons; a pair of Federal Fireballs (1 red, 1 blue) over the rear door; a Federal 77GB doubletone siren on the right fender and an SA24 siren speaker on the left fender, powered by an old PA15 Director.

This gentleman was the first, and for many years, only black cop at Texas Tech. He bought the ambulance because there were problems getting an ambulance in his part of town. To meet the requirements city licensure, we used my 1963 Consort ambulance along with his '69 Ford wagon to get his service moving.

The Pontiac came with twin batteries and a high-output alternator, so we never had problems with it when running "hot".

But one Saturday night I had taken the big Pontiac ambulance to the car races instead of using my Consort. I loved driving that big rig, and my friend had police duty that night. That evening a young guy was injured and began to transport him to the old West Texas Hospital in Downtown Lubbock. With the way that car was lit up, especially at night, we had no problems in being seen or heard. But as I was entering the main part of the highway from the access road, I let loose on the Q, and all of a sudden all of the warning lights quit. I let up on the siren and let it roll, and in a minute or so the lights came back up. But the same thing happened the next time I used the siren, so I completed the run using only the Federal Director.

So on Sunday afternoon some of our guys and I met at his house to see what had caused the problem. The lights were powered by two switches: the original switch which ran the beacons and a spare switch on the console which powered the lollipops and the twin Fireballs. There was no problem found at the switch panel, so we followed the wiring from the panel to see where it ran. What we discovered was that [I]all of the wires]that came from the panel were twisted together and shoved up into a "hot" spot on the main fuse block. It's a wonder we hadn't experienced that short much sooner. We undid all of that wiring, and routed each wire up through the firewall to the outside and then straight to the battery. After that there was never another problem. We were just very lucky!

Paul Steinberg
11-13-2013, 07:57 PM
I'm surprised that a short or something worse didn't occur with that cable splice with bare wire showing.

In 1971 a friend of mine in Lubbock bought a 1961 lwb Pontiac ambulance from Gold Star Ambulance in Clovis, NM. He paid a whopping $500 cash for the car. It came with a roof-mounted Q flanked by a pair of red two-lamp Dietz beacons that resembled Federal 14s, and there was a clear-domed Dietz 211-WW beacon behind the Q. To this he added: two blue Dietz lollipops between the Q and front beacons; a pair of Federal Fireballs (1 red, 1 blue) over the rear door; a Federal 77GB doubletone siren on the right fender and an SA24 siren speaker on the left fender, powered by an old PA15 Director.

This gentleman was the first, and for many years, only black cop at Texas Tech. He bought the ambulance because there were problems getting an ambulance in his part of town. To meet the requirements city licensure, we used my 1963 Consort ambulance along with his '69 Ford wagon to get his service moving.

The Pontiac came with twin batteries and a high-output alternator, so we never had problems with it when running "hot".

But one Saturday night I had taken the big Pontiac ambulance to the car races instead of using my Consort. I loved driving that big rig, and my friend had police duty that night. That evening a young guy was injured and began to transport him to the old West Texas Hospital in Downtown Lubbock. With the way that car was lit up, especially at night, we had no problems in being seen or heard. But as I was entering the main part of the highway from the access road, I let loose on the Q, and all of a sudden all of the warning lights quit. I let up on the siren and let it roll, and in a minute or so the lights came back up. But the same thing happened the next time I used the siren, so I completed the run using only the Federal Director.

So on Sunday afternoon some of our guys and I met at his house to see what had caused the problem. The lights were powered by two switches: the original switch which ran the beacons and a spare switch on the console which powered the lollipops and the twin Fireballs. There was no problem found at the switch panel, so we followed the wiring from the panel to see where it ran. What we discovered was that [I]all of the wires]that came from the panel were twisted together and shoved up into a "hot" spot on the main fuse block. It's a wonder we hadn't experienced that short much sooner. We undid all of that wiring, and routed each wire up through the firewall to the outside and then straight to the battery. After that there was never another problem. We were just very lucky!

You were very lucky, because if you ran all the wired directly to the battery, then none of them were fused, which could have caused a major melt down if a short developed along the way to any of the lights. It is a common misconception that fuses are to protect the appliance, when in actuality, they are there to protect the wiring.
The correct way to wire everything in this instance is to have a battery terminal pigtail that would feed a common fuse block, and then have each of the circuits protected by an individual fuse.

Skip Goulet
11-14-2013, 04:57 PM
You were very lucky, because if you ran all the wired directly to the battery, then none of them were fused, which could have caused a major melt down if a short developed along the way to any of the lights. It is a common misconception that fuses are to protect the appliance, when in actuality, they are there to protect the wiring.
The correct way to wire everything in this instance is to have a battery terminal pigtail that would feed a common fuse block, and then have each of the circuits protected by an individual fuse.

Thanks, Paul. Years later I had a '61 Olds Seville ambulance and it had all of the light circuits fused with their own fuseblock mounted against the firewall. Back when we rewired the lights on my friend's ambulance, I had been misadvised by another ambulance operator to do it the way we did, as they thought that fuses would impede the operation of the ambulance....as in one blowing while you're on a run, thus losing the lights completely. I wouldn't do it that way again.

Kevin O'Connell
11-15-2013, 07:02 PM
Terry, the mark on your commutator indicates that it might be time for brushes. The original Prestolite 17-102 replacement set has been discontinued for years but I make a replacement set using another Prestolite part. The brushes are the same but the ground shunt (leads) is slightly longer.