Need some help wiring a Firefly 335 style hollow body (aka FF338)

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Greetings, I'm about to retire and would like to try my hand at general guitar modifications. I'm not a novice but wiring is one of the areas I never delved into. I fashioned this drawing from a video but oddly when I connect to the pickups I can't get the neck pickup active. I've attached a drawing if anyone can see how I goofed on my diagram which I make in order to keep a record of anything I attempt. I know the drawing is rudimentary but I hope to improve my skills there as well. Thanks for any advice or pointers with this problem.
 

Attachments

  • ES335 Wiring.pdf
    23 KB · Views: 13

PhredE

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
1,918
Location
Suburban PDX, OR
A semi hollow guitar is a tricky one to undertake as a first PU or control swap project.
Just accessing or wrestling the parts out can be a bit tricky. Sometimes, you'll have to loosen up the pot or switch and then 'fish' them out through the F-hole to get to where you can de-solder, or solder connections. It wasn't fun for a novice like me. I swapped a neck PU on mine about 6 months ago and I don't have the guitar in front of me to refer to. But, I'd recommend a practice run on an easier guitar as a first PU upgrade project.
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,043
Age
77
Location
Washington
You have the neck position grounded at the switch. Here is a normal 2V2T wiring diagram

1650239550874.png


I like to wire semi hollows before I put the back on, otherwise make a good template with the holes in exactly the same spacing as your guitar. Before you stick the harness inside test everything on the bench, the fish the components thru the f-hole (I use dental floss).

There are some other tricks to wiring a semi hollow - I like to put terminals in the pickup cavitie so I don't have to fish the pickup leads. Let me know if you want to see any of this
 
Last edited:

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Hey great, I really appreciate the tips, suggestions and the diagram. I've done one before and I know first hand how difficult it is to get the harness back into the body. I'm more interested in this case, about the harness I made which matches my diagram and the issue with the nick pickup not responding. Thanks, I'll take a look at all replies. Have good evening all. I'll check back in again soon.
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Thanks Freeman, I'll check out the grounding issue that you uncovered for me. I worked with the original pots and components but will use better when I get back to the project.
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,043
Age
77
Location
Washington
I don't know if this helps but this is a full hollow body with 2V2T wiring. The components are not in the same relative location as your 335 but it gives you an idea of their layout. The white wire at the lower left will be the string ground to the tailpiece. These are humbuckers, yours are P90's but the wiring is still the same.

IMG_3525.JPG
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Hey Freeman, that's very cool. Is that a jig that you've made to assemble wire harnesses for a 335 style guitar? Let me look over my work again and see if your's and others help will guided me to a working harness. I wished I could spend more time researching some of the very good people adding content to the site but for a little longer my work will limit that. Thanks again, I'll return.
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
I now see that it looks like a deep body perhaps a Jazz guitar that you removed the back from to make sure the job is clean and correctly installed. I did some work on another Firefly guitar in 2019 by removing the original harness, lining the pickup cavities with shield tape and installing GFS KwiK PluG system both harness and Nashville pickups. The guitar sold about a year later so I had to reverse my work and was successful at that. I still need to learn much so these sites are very helpful.
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,043
Age
77
Location
Washington
I now see that it looks like a deep body perhaps a Jazz guitar that you removed the back from to make sure the job is clean and correctly installed. I did some work on another Firefly guitar in 2019 by removing the original harness, lining the pickup cavities with shield tape and installing GFS KwiK PluG system both harness and Nashville pickups. The guitar sold about a year later so I had to reverse my work and was successful at that. I still need to learn much so these sites are very helpful.

No, that was work in progress, I was scratch building a hollow body and while the back is off is a prefect time to wire it. Here is a semi hollow (335 style) build, same thing. While the back is off I do all the wiring. While this is more like what you are building I didn't think it showed the detail - the picture is a little fuzzy. You can, however, see the two white wires from the wiper lug of the volume pots to the switch. You are missing one of those and it looks like have it replaced with a grounded wire.

IMG_3301.JPG


Another picture with the leads from the pickups

IMG_3327.JPG


Here is is ready to close the box - I've masked off the insides of the f-holes and component holes, the electronic parts stay inside with little pieces of dental floss going out thru the masking tape.

IMG_3330.JPG


Here are the terminal strips for the pickups. This lets me do several things - I don't have to fish the pickup wire thru the cavity into the guitar body and then out thru the f-hole to wire it up. I can change the pickup any time I want. If I ever wanted to coil tap the wires are available.

The terminal strips are designed for use with strain gauges and load cells so they have very low resistance for the microvolt signal from the pickups.

The green wire will be a string ground to one of the bridge studs

IMG_3323.JPG


A picture of the final assembly. After painting I pull the masking tape thru the f-holes and then fish the little pieces of dental floss out pulling each component into place. You can see the pickup terminals in the bridge cavity.

IMG_3394.JPG
 
Last edited:

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,043
Age
77
Location
Washington
And just to keep things in perspective, here is working on a vintage 335 where the wiring harness needs to be pulled out thru the f-hole. All of the components get a piece of dental floss which gets tied together in a big knot so all the washers and nuts stay in the correct order.

IMG_5309.JPG


I'm going to replace a pot so I've made a little sketch of how it was wired - never trust my memory.

IMG_5310.JPG


Oh the joys of working on a 335
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Hi Freeman, thanks so much for all of the images and tips on how you manage these guitars. Oddly never having done this just once before, I did however come up with the dental floss as a means to snake out the harness. Maybe you could tell me if there are washers on the underside of the pots as well and if the best type would be a star washer. I'm just getting in from work at 3:50 so I plan to take a closer look at all that you've sent me here and excited to see where I wired the harness incorrectly, its such a learning curve but I'll stick with it until it begins to make more sense to me. Once again, I thank you for taking the time to provide some guidance.
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
What I meant to say is are there washers used inside perhaps as spacers to adjust the stem height and if they should be a star type washer which I suppose would help to tighten them on top. Just wondering if I should replace the ones that fell out when I removed the harness. I'll try your suggestion about the knot to keep it all together.
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
That's great...you have better tools than my dentist, lol. Looks like you're deep into guitar builds, mods and repairs. I would really like to get into it just because I enjoy it and it could become a part time income for me in my retirement fast approaching.
 

brother1

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
17
Location
New Jersey
Hey FHredE, I would love to see a close up of that tele...looks cool. I've owned a few in my day and sorry that I gave them up. I should've kept all of them for sure. I had a 1972 Telecaster Deluxe back in the day and def should've kept that one. I'll post some pictures at some point soon to show everyone what I'm up to and my progress. Thanks guys.
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,043
Age
77
Location
Washington
What I meant to say is are there washers used inside perhaps as spacers to adjust the stem height and if they should be a star type washer which I suppose would help to tighten them on top. Just wondering if I should replace the ones that fell out when I removed the harness. I'll try your suggestion about the knot to keep it all together.
As I remember the washer stack from the pot out is a thin nut to set the inside depth of the shaft, toothed lock washer, the wood top, thin flat washer and outside nut. I sometimes put a drop of loctite or thin CA on the inside nut so it doesn't move.
 




New Posts

Top