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Technical Buy a wiring kit or make my own , or use what I got ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VANDENPLAS, May 3, 2022.

  1. Ok , so my 40 merc runs and drives , BUT. The wiring is a complete joke .

    old cloth crap
    New crap
    Butt connectors everywhere
    Insulated connectors
    It’s run all over looks like shit and it’s really the only part of the car that’s half assed . I want it to be fully assed .

    so now my question .

    make my own harness .

    it’s a 302 with duraspark ignition and an alternator , some gauges and lights . Pretty basic

    Buy a “barebones “ kit ( it’s all I need)

    or use a kit a have had kicking around for years , it’s a painless kit 18 circuit
    With power windows , locks , electric fuel pump yadda yadda “ all the bells and whistles “

    so what have you guys done for wiring ?

    Electrical does not scare me , physical activity does . I’m lazy . But not lazy enough to leave the mess of spaghetti in my ride .
  2. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 4,256


    I just did a painless 12 circuit in my friends 62 Impala. It was very well documented. The instructions were easy and it came with just about everything you needed. I did an EZ wire kit a few years ago for this same friend's 53 Chevy. It wasn't as complete as the painless but was a great kit none the less.

    Good luck with your Merc !!!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  3. If I were in your position and had no need for the kit on hand I would use that. Otherwise , build your own.

  4. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 457

    Craig Owens

    If you have a Painless kit, use it. That it has 18 circuits is no problem, just remove the wires you won't be using such as power windows, cruise control, etc. Don't even consider making your own harness from scratch because the wire you'll buy at the parts store isn't as good quality as what's in any of the kits, it won't be marked plus it won't be color coded unless you buy umpteen different rolls of wire. You already have the Painless kit so it's paid for. Buying your own wiring and fuse block to build your own will cost more than any kit

  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 6,521

    from Oregon

    Painless and done is going into “Effie “ . 1948 F1 .
    ekimneirbo and VANDENPLAS like this.
  6. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 10,775

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    I did a scratch harness once. Does not pan out out after sourcing all correct gauge and colors.

    Buy the basic kit and save the other for another day or sell it.
  7. I always build my own. I have been less than impressed by any of the pre-made commercial wiring kits.
  8. I did a Painless kit and I've never wired a car before. It was pretty pain-less.
  9. davidvillajr
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,102


    The family F-100 we did a hundred years ago using a modified(ish) harness that my grandfather pulled out of a junkyard Lincoln, or Caddy, or something - NEVER AGAIN!

    With the “Grandpa Car” my folks gifted me a Ron Francis kit - SUPER EASY and straight forward. I’m thinking either use the kit you got, or get to shopping.

    I know building your own harness is “traditional,” but, wiring can be such a pain in the ass, why add to the hassle? :D
    HSF, hrm2k and VANDENPLAS like this.
  10. Never thought of removing the unnecessary wiring , or maybe just pull the fuses and stuff the wiring under the carpet .

    I’ve wired a couple cars in the past and do extensive wiring at work.
    It’s time consuming and monotonous work. And yes it gets expensive in a real hurry if you want it done correctly .

    I had a customer bring in an early vw micro bus years ago that was completely wired in 16 gauge white wire !!:confused:

    I looked at the painless kit I have ( first time I opened the box in 10 years !!) and it’s a pretty simple well laid out kit .

    I’m gonna lay it out and use it . Seems the easiest way to go .( and cheapest !)
  11. My kids 61 was a mess. Removed all the added/spliced crap.
    Rewired the tail light section with a trailer wiring kit. Fixed the original under dash wiring.
    My bus has a eBay wiring harness. Does great
    I’m thinking about a “hybrid”set up on my 49.
    New style harness under the dash but use a resto cotton braided set up under the hood.
    I dig those old looking wires
  12. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 4,256


    I coiled up all the circuits I was not going to use. The snip and cap was after I knew everything else was working
    VANDENPLAS, hotrodjack33 and squirrel like this.
  13. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,507


    I made my own. On a simple old car without things like PW it's the way to go IMO.
    continentaljohn and VANDENPLAS like this.
  14. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,942


    Good move.
    5 years down the road, when you have long forgotten what wiring you did, having "labeled" wires really helps when chasing down that mystery electrical problem.;)
  15. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,473


    The kits really piss me off as no matter what they are always illogical, well to me anyway. Fuel pump relay, fan relay, headlamp relay are always additional items, which I'm OK with but the supplied wiring with these addons is invariably generically coloured, and confusingly the same in each add on, and also without the helpful trace lettering. And if you've dug deep for a cloth wired kit these additional items aren't available with cloth covered wires! Rant over! I doubt I could build my own though!!

    Tman and VANDENPLAS like this.
  16. I did my own in the 31. Used a Nova fuse panel I cut out of a car, added the wires that I needed and used labled wiring that I purchased from Rebel. They sell it by the foot. It was fun and is done without any issues. I would it again in a hearbeat.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  17. Hamtown Al
    Joined: Jan 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,866

    Hamtown Al
    1. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    I've nearly always built my own wiring setup; usually by using two small fuse panels. The first is hot all the time and the second is powered via a relay activated by the ignition switch to turn all the accessories on.
    Not fully completed in this photo but you get the idea. This is the setup I put into the 29 RPU.
    I used to use two 6 circuit fuse panels from Advance/Orielly but they quit stocking them so found these 10 circuit fuse panels on-line and they even have little lights that come on when that fuse fails.;):) I think they were cheaper and came with plastic covers.
    Good luck,
  18. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,916


    I have wired lots of cars from scratch and just love the look of a fancy wire harness but on my current T build, I bought a commercial harness from EZ wire because of the small fuse panels. They fit in a much smaller space.
    hrm2k, bobss396 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  19. For a simple car without all the bells and whistles, a home brew loom would be OK. If you have the wiring kit, you might as well use it. If you remove all the unused wires, connectors and other bits from one of those wiring kits, you end up with a simple wiring set up anyway.
    427 sleeper and VANDENPLAS like this.
  20. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,509

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    You already have the Painless kit..seems the way to go for you.
    I've used 7 of the EZ wiring kits..proof of how easy they are (I'm not an electrical genius).
    hrm2k, 427 sleeper and VANDENPLAS like this.
  21. You can't be as bad as the person who wired a 61 Corvette my father and I rewired. Who ever did it ran body grounds.

    Let that sink in someone ran body grounds on a Corvette!
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
    Tman, Blues4U, VANDENPLAS and 5 others like this.
  22. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,887

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I've installed 5 kits from @REBEL43 and honestly I wouldnt bother doing it any other way from now on. simple enough to install, everything labled and made real nice and the price cant be beat. Oh yeah, every time I screw up or need some info, a phone call or email is quickly responded to with the help I needed
  23. jbon64
    Joined: Jul 26, 2006
    Posts: 503


    the best thing i've done on my past 2 builds is a new wiring harness . both American auto wire kits. a retro kit on my 63 nova and the route 9 kit on my coupe. both were pretty easy to install.
    rbrewer and VANDENPLAS like this.
  24. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,902


    On my 2nd Rebel wire kit. I'd buy another if needed in a heart beat.
    ffr1222k and VANDENPLAS like this.
  25. I use to make my own wiring components, made my own fuse blocks and rolls of different gauge & colored wire along with all extras like dimmer switch,headlight switch It worked well but took a lot of time and lacked identification.

    I have used painless, Ron Francis , Rebel and EZ wiring, they all work well and they all have good points and bad.

    In the last 15 years I have used American Auto Wire kits, they are not cheap but every thing you need to do a professional looking job is in the box, every wire is imprinted as to what it's purpose is and the color instruction sheets are broken down to individual task, gauges, ignition, headlights, taillights,plus any other devices you want to add.

    I haven't ever had any problems with this kit and never had trouble with any of the other kits, I do like the idea of it being easy to trace any problem that may happen in the future after the car ends up with a new owner. HRP
  26. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 1,505


    American Autowire! I don’t trust your wiring. You might wire it like a Dodge. We don’t need another Joe Lucas. :confused::oops:
    VANDENPLAS and Budget36 like this.
  27. I'm in the make it camp. I don't have any sophisticated crap in my cars, fanciest thing I stick in all of them is a phone charger port. I buy the 6 circuit fuse panel off the shelf at o'Reilly's, I've probably used 20 of them.
    Hamtown Al and VANDENPLAS like this.
  28. D2Denny
    Joined: Jan 17, 2012
    Posts: 61


    Cast my vote for Rebel. Quality wire and components. Great price. Good instructions. Super helpful on the phone when I had a question. Quite a bit of leftover wire that has been repurposed for other small projects.
    VANDENPLAS, mgtstumpy and 51504bat like this.
  29. I ran a Kwik Wire 14 circuit harness in my Ford. It was $275 at the time. I had a few unused circuits, just coiled up the wire under the dash. I did use the electric fan wire. I was going to get a Rebel, bit I wanted to see the instructions first and the KW book was available.
    hrm2k and VANDENPLAS like this.
  30. Dangerous Dan
    Joined: Jul 10, 2011
    Posts: 425

    Dangerous Dan

    I have used 2 Speedway kits with no problems, everything included, all wires marked every 6 in. extra long wires, very easy to follow instructions and the best part is the cost, 1/2 of everyone else.

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