Q. I noticed that the Model A coupe on the cover of the Aug. '09 issue has the spinner on the right front hub safety wired to the wheel and that the wire is pulling the spinner to the left. If it has been done correctly then that means it is a left-hand thread, meaning you turn the spinner to the left to tighten it. It appears to me that the right rear safety wire is pulling the spinner to the right, meaning the rear is a right-hand thread.
I'm very familiar with safety wiring as I was trained as a jet aircraft mechanic in the Air Force during the early 1970s. I also worked in the aircraft tire shop for some time. Every two-piece wheel has to have every bolt and nut safety wired. The proper way to safety wire is to have the wire pull the bolt or whatever in a tightening direction and though I forget exactly, only so many twists of the wire per inch.
The next thing is something you said in your article about wiring on page 32. I've read many articles about wiring over the years and have completely wired several cars from scratch, with no pre-made harness. Anyway, you said "shrink wrap is more effective than insulation tape, and won't unravel over time." I always use shrink wrap as it makes for a neater, stronger connection and helps keep out dirt and moisture. As for insulation tape I am thinking you mean what I call black electrical tape. Yes, the electrical tape will start to unravel if you do not end the wrap correctly and I'm going to give you a tip on how to wrap your wire bundle with black electrical tape, which seems to be a lost art today.
One thing I've noticed in almost all pictures of a wiring article is how the wires cross over each other, are inter-twined, or loose. Try to maintain the same pattern of wires for the entire length of the bundle. This'll make for a really nice looking bundle and make it easier to wrap with the tape. When you start to wrap, wrap the tape around the bundle of wires a couple of times then start going at an angle. Take your time and as you make each turn around the bundle maintain the same angle and the same amount of overlap. This takes a little time and effort but will make for a really clean and professional looking job.
When you get to the end, wrap the tape around the bundle a couple of times. Next, cut the tape off about 8 inches too long. Cut the 8-inch length in half length-wise. You now have two 8-inch lengths that you'll fold in half length-wise, sticky side to sticky side. Take one length and wrap it around the bundle to the left and the other one wrap around the bundle to the right. Now tie them off in a snug double knot and then cut the excess off. The tape will not be able to unravel this way. This is how it was done many years ago when cars came from the factory with the wire bundles wrapped in tape. I've done this many times and I've never had a tape job come undone.
An old trick of the trade, you might say. This would give your wiring job that old time look instead of using the plastic shrouding material.
Las Vegas, NV
A. Thanks Jim, a neat and useful trick of the trade passed on. You're right, by insulation tape I meant electrical tape. Sometimes my British terminology slips through the editorial net. At least I have stopped calling hoods bonnets and fenders wings! Safety wire should always pull in the direction the fastener is tightened, that way it stops it from working loose.