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I feel odd posting this topic as it used to always be "an old timer taught me this" but now I'm the old timer and thought I'd share this tidbit of hopefully helpful knowledge.
As a gov't fleet mechanic for the past 32+ years, I've spent half that time modifying vehicles as we made our own truck and police fleet from scratch. Between running wires through the firewall or from the front grill back to the trunk, I was always fishing wires into odd places at weird angles....rare that you ever got to do a straight shot from one end to the other.

And while I started out using a standard electricians fishing reel RHDVg68.png its usually too stiff, doesn't fit in the area I'm working and.....a royal pain in the butt to reel back in.

An old timer was the one that sold me on using a length of speedometer cable. Its stiff, yet flexible and you can bend the tip to a 10-15degree angle which helps it to start a bend around a corner.

I know its not an earth shattering revelation to most people but, who doesn't want to run a new set of lights on their tractor or car/truck?
Speedometer cable is cheap, and you can usually find it in most auto parts store. Just fish it through whatever your trying to get it to, tape your wires to it and just pull it back through.

Just thought Id share my little tidbit that came to mind today as I was running 3 new wires to install a backup camera in one of our vehicles today. exLuWH6.png


They usually come in 10 foot sections and cost between $5-10.
 

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Great tip. I used to have an old busted one from the Freightliner that I kept around just for these purposes. Doubt I could find it now. Too many moves since then.
 

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That's a cool tip I've never heard. I have used small diameter tubing before for that, like ice maker waterline. That's nice, because if the wire is small enough you can put it in the tube and tape it, that pulls without any hangups. I've also used weed whip cord, but that always seems to curve one way or the other.
 

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Use a Wet Noodle

There's a tool called a "wet noodle" that I've used for installing wire harnesses on my tractor inside the ROPS. The wet noodle is very effective when gravity is in the direction where you want the wire to go. Its weight and fluid form allow it to follow narrow and irregular channels to their bottom.

In the past, I've used the noodle to install security sensors up high on an insulated wall when the wire needs to go down to the basement or crawl space. When insulation is put in a wall, it's typically stapled at the edges to keep it in place until the drywall goes up. Once the drywall is put on, there's a small channel next to each stud that goes all the way to the floor. The wet noodle can easily find its way down this channel. You would like to mount the sensor on a stud, and a small hole next to the stud is right where these channels exist. The installer can find the same stud (and channel) next to the floor and drill a very small hole in the floor to identify the location of the channel by pushing a piece of wire or cable tie through this hole. Then you go down to the basement or crawlspace and drill up into the wall where the channel marker is. A companion tool for the noodle is a super magnet on the end of a flexible, bendable stick. You push this magnet up into the hole and turn it around. Since the noodle is steel, the magnet will easily find it. Then you retract the magnet stick and it brings the noodle with it. Then you tie a nylon string to the noodle and pull the noodle back out the hole up on the wall. Now you have a pull string for pulling in your wiring.

On Amazon, Wet Noodle.

Capture.JPG

Keane
 

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In the past, I've used the noodle to install security sensors up high on an insulated wall when the wire needs to go down to the basement or crawl space. When insulation is put in a wall, it's typically stapled at the edges to keep it in place until the drywall goes up. Once the drywall is put on, there's a small channel next to each stud that goes all the way to the floor. The wet noodle can easily find its way down this channel. You would like to mount the sensor on a stud, and a small hole next to the stud is right where these channels exist. The installer can find the same stud (and channel) next to the floor and drill a very small hole in the floor to identify the location of the channel by pushing a piece of wire or cable tie through this hole. Then you go down to the basement or crawlspace and drill up into the wall where the channel marker is. A companion tool for the noodle is a super magnet on the end of a flexible, bendable stick. You push this magnet up into the hole and turn it around. Since the noodle is steel, the magnet will easily find it. Then you retract the magnet stick and it brings the noodle with it. Then you tie a nylon string to the noodle and pull the noodle back out the hole up on the wall. Now you have a pull string for pulling in your wiring.

On Amazon, Wet Noodle.



Keane
I've done something similar by driving a wood screw through the floor and then finding it sticking through the sub-floor. A dash of bright paint to find it later and you're good to go.

Of course this only really works well with an unfinished basement or crawlspace and a carpeted floor.
 

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My dad showed me this when I was a kid, I still have the old cable I got at a junk yard, (maybe 51 years ago) 12 gauge wire also works if you have a short run like thru a firewall. a little electricians tape and you're good to go.. Thanks for the post, brings back memories of my dad swearing while trying to change the Speedo cable on my brothers MGB... I said; dad can't you just run a new inner cable thru the cable shroud? Wrong thing to ask I found out! Never mind the motor was sideways in the darned little front wheel drive bubble of a car! :laugh:
 

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Sorry. I lied in Post 3. :flag_of_truce: I found the speedo-cable. SWMBO had it wrapped in newspaper while she was packing for the last move.

That's what happens when you are raised by depression-era parents. You learn to never throw anything away.
 

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I've used bits of metal coat hanger for relatively short and straight runs through floors, walls, firewalls etc. so many times that I can't count.
 

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I've done something similar by driving a wood screw through the floor and then finding it sticking through the sub-floor. A dash of bright paint to find it later and you're good to go.

Of course this only really works well with an unfinished basement or crawlspace and a carpeted floor.
I've had to do this on a non-carpeted floor by prying the baseboard out just a little and then using a very small, long drill bit run between the drywall and the baseboard. The baseboard covers your hole when you are done. If you can't pry the drywall out and don't mind a little drywall patching, you can just run the bit at an angle through the drywall just above the baseboard. The drill bit to make the marker hole doesn't have to be very big. This approach is pretty impossible without the marker hole. The channel you are seeking is less than an inch wide.

I put myself through the last few years of college installing and servicing burglar and fire alarms. One of the guys who worked for the company had a pet chihuahua. When he needed to run long wire runs through suspended ceilings, he'd bring the dog to work with him. He'd open up the ceiling at both ends, tie a light string around the dog's collar, and then put him up in the ceiling at one end. Then he'd go over to the other opening and call the dog. The dog would walk through the ceiling, pulling the string behind him over to the other opening. Then he'd use the string to pull in his wires. Don't try this with a Saint Bernard.
 

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I've done something similar by driving a wood screw through the floor and then finding it sticking through the sub-floor. A dash of bright paint to find it later and you're good to go.
Of course this only really works well with an unfinished basement or crawlspace and a carpeted floor.
I also used to drill a small hole in the floor of my carpeted areas and shove a coat hanger through to the basement or crawl space to identify a drilling location. When I moved into a house with lots of hardwood and tile, I thought I would have to find another way -- but a friend reminded me that a very steep hole through the drywall at the top of the baseboard does the same thing (and it's really easy to patch).

> [I see that this idea was already posted, but I can't find a way to delete mine...]
 

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I put myself through the last few years of college installing and servicing burglar and fire alarms. One of the guys who worked for the company had a pet chihuahua. When he needed to run long wire runs through suspended ceilings, he'd bring the dog to work with him. He'd open up the ceiling at both ends, tie a light string around the dog's collar, and then put him up in the ceiling at one end. Then he'd go over to the other opening and call the dog. The dog would walk through the ceiling, pulling the string behind him over to the other opening. Then he'd use the string to pull in his wires. Don't try this with a Saint Bernard.
So the little ankle biting buggers have a use after all. :laugh:
 

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Thanks for the tip! Might work pretty good for unobstructed pulls.

I recently ran to the store and bought a traditional fish tape to run the wire for my diverter valve solenoid. I would have ripped a speedo cable into if I tried to pull on one as hard as I had to pull on the fish tape getting around all the hoses in the loom.

HF has a plastic tape I want to buy one of these days but I know I won't pick one up till I need it and have to make a special trip to town. :unknown:
 

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Sorry. I lied in Post 3. :flag_of_truce: I found the speedo-cable. SWMBO had it wrapped in newspaper while she was packing for the last move.

That's what happens when you are raised by depression-era parents. You learn to never throw anything away.
SWMBO? :dunno: She Who Makes Best Omelet? :hi:
 
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