"Motorsports" Wire Color Coding

DesertGuy1

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I've heard mention that there are "standards" associated with wire color coding specific to Motorsports. Since I have never heard of that I suspect there isn't any (joke). I have come up empty looking for any information relating to the topic. Would anyone happen to know of any such "standards", motorsport specific, a helpful nudge in the right direction would be appreciated.
 

Zambo

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Yes. Red for power, black for ground. Hope that helps.:D
 

diirk

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And excessive use of plastic wire loom is mandatory....
 

DesertGuy1

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Yes. Red for power, black for ground. Hope that helps.:D

I knew I had those backwards...



The initial post was in reference to the following comment in another thread concerning the attached picture:

all white wires are +12V Batt, non switched, a standard that has been used for years in several professional motorsports series.

Color coding of wire, IMHO, is primarily for the installer as it does little for the end user. Most electrical "issues" can be traced back to a faulty connection or terminal, it would be pretty rare for an appropriately designed cct to have a failure mid run.

That being said, I could see a benefit in knowing, with a quick glance at the harness, which runs have constant, momentary or switched power. So with looking at the attached picture, I was wondering what, if any, standard this is referring to and what the color coding was for reference.
 

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PSmith

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And excessive use of plastic wire loom is mandatory....

lol. though i'll agree that standard slit loom isn't the coolest thing out there, the 300º nylon (grey stripe) and flame retardant (blue stripe) polypropylene varieties are beyond acceptable for offroad race/play applications. IMO

as far as color coding is concerned i've always used the following, not really a standard, unless it catches on anyway:

green- engine cooling related (gauge signals/fans/etc)
brown/tan- engine oil pressure/temperature (gauge signals/fans/etc)
pink- trans fluid related
grey- fuel system related
orange- auxiliary lighting
purple- OEM lighting
white- switched ignition related lighting/accessories (gauge lights/ambers/tails/DRL/etc)

anything else ends up being wiring of another color or of a color that isn't terminated in a similar location...

slow day, just thought i'd throw that out there.
 

diirk

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That's a great idea and I appreciate your posting your color coding. I for one will use that next time I wire a car!
 

_

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I've heard mention that there are "standards" associated with wire color coding specific to Motorsports. Since I have never heard of that I suspect there isn't any (joke). I have come up empty looking for any information relating to the topic. Would anyone happen to know of any such "standards", motorsport specific, a helpful nudge in the right direction would be appreciated.

Check your pm's
 

DesertGuy1

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Thanks for the information so far, I appreciate it.

As a side question, what purpose does color coding do for a "race car" that maybe has 20-30 ccts? I can understand the "need" for extensive color coding in a harness that is mass produced and might have multiple people working on multiple sub harnesses.

On a "race car" during "race" conditions, what benefit is having everything color coded? Meaning how often does the need present itself to start at one end of the harness and work your way through the entire harness, tracing that color, until it terminates?

EDIT:

I would think having some sort of identification "system" in place to help troubleshooting electrical issues would be beneficial. However, what sort of identification "system" would make trouble shooting easier/quicker: Broken down by cct, by the type of power supply that feeds the cct, by the vehicle system that the cct feeds or by the area of the car that the cct supplies? Curious to hear from folks that have had "issues" and what would have made repairing them more effecient.
 

jeff

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When I re-wired my boat I found that there is a pretty basic and commonly used color code system for Marine applications. I have to say it makes it nice because when I see a pink wire I know it's for the fuel sending units. Brown is bilge pump, grey is tach, purple is ignition related, light blue is oil pressure, tan is water temp, so on and so forth.

Aloha
 

PSmith

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As a side question, what purpose does color coding do for a "race car" that maybe has 20-30 ccts?

From my own experience color coding helps me during the process of constructing the harness itself. My 'duh' color coding system that I posted above makes it easier for me to remember what does what without having to break out an ohm meter every five minutes to confirm which of 20-30 different red wires was suppose to go where and why.

On a "race car" during "race" conditions, what benefit is having everything color coded?

If there ever was a need to tear into a harness during a race I could only assume a variety of colored wire would be easier for a non-savvy driver or codriver to trouble shoot than a big bundle of 30 red wires and a car that's not mobile. An in car copy of any wiring schematics that have been put together could be beneficial as well.

Haven't had any 'issues' to date, *knocks on fine Scandinavian crafted laminate chipped wood desk*. :D


when I see a pink wire I know it's for the fuel sending units. Brown is bilge pump, grey is tach, purple is ignition related, light blue is oil pressure, tan is water temp, so on and so forth.

*eek*
 

f1sleepy

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What about simply labeling the wires rather than running thirty different color/striping/broken line combinations? Just wondering if that would be a simpler way to go about it.

James
 

DesertGuy1

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What about simply labeling the wires rather than running thirty different color/striping/broken line combinations? Just wondering if that would be a simpler way to go about it.

James


...Here's the question, perhaps more of a "propeller head" question though :rolleyes::

What "added value" does color coding do for the end user and what "system of identification" would be best to provide that "added value"?

If color coding helps the installer the most, then one could just use a single color and terminal identifiers until the work is done. However, is there a better way to identify the ccts that would benefit the user, specifically in an off-road environment.

That being said:

1. Would color coding according to vehicle system (cooling, lighting, etc...) be best?

2. Would color coding according to the type of power (constant, momentary, switched) be best?

3. Would color coding to each cct be best (OEM style)?

4. The whole thing is just being "over-thinked" and just use whatever color is on sale?

Here is an exercise I have been working out. Looking at "common" ccts in a race-car, what method of identification of wires would prove to be the best?.... best meaning if you are out in the middle of BFE and are having an electrical "issue", what will make the process of troubleshooting less frustrating for the user and not want them to give up and simply guard the ice chest...:D:D

(Work In Progress)

Green: Essential CCT
Purple: Could be essential depending on circumstances
Orange: Non-Essential and could be shed, if needed

 

Co-Dog

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What about simply labeling the wires rather than running thirty different color/striping/broken line combinations? Just wondering if that would be a simpler way to go about it.

James
The best way to ID wire that I have seen was done with a label maker that writes on shrink tube. Each wire was labeled on each end using a format that describes where each end of the wire is. For example, if you were looking at the fuel level sender wire at the tank, it would read, "fuel sender/fuel gauge -S". If you were looking at the gauge, the same wire would read, "fuel gauge -S/fuel sender". IMO it doesn't get any better than that for troubleshooting.
 

Co-Dog

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The only standard for color coding is that there is no standard.

The only consistencies that I have ever seen are with 3 colors:

Red - Primary Positive (unfused or unswitched)
Black - Negative
White - Switched Positive
 

steveG

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I ain't never seen no heat-shrink tube labelin' machine! But, I know a few companies make pre-labeled heat-shrink. Or, you can use my method and just write on the tube before you shrink it. As long as you're using anything other than black it shows up great and is still legible after shrinking it.
 

Haycock

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on my wiring i grouped all like cct's into different colors (ex: all fans-red, all sending units-brown, and so on...) then i broke all them down with numbers. i put number tags on to each set of colored wires. i also made a sheet that says ever color/number each cct is.
 

steveG

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Here's a post-shrink example of my ghetto labeling. All you need is a 99 cent fine point Sharpie.

 

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07FJRog

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I would think that color coding would come into play for a builder doing mulitple vehicles and might have schematics setup to ease and quiken installation.

except for bat cables, I use Milpsec white and Black teflon coated tinned wire almost everywhere. I am the end user and I am the only one who needs to know what is what. :eek: lol

trailers are the goofy ones, white is ground :rolleyes:
 
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