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How many of you guys do your own Hot Rod wiring?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Von Rigg Fink, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,981

    from Wa.

    Very easy to write on the wires yourself with a fine point marking pen.
  2. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    yeah , but what a serious PITA!

    it would be like writing on a grain of fuckin rice:eek:
  3. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,981

    from Wa.

    Aw, it isn't that bad....It's the price you pay for all one color
  4. AstroZombie
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,788


    EZ wire makes an all black kit, but I think it's only available in their 21 circuit kit. I have used Rebel wire before and it was very straightforward and easy install. I am doing a bare bones install in my coupe and will probably go with Rebel again and cover the visible wires with asphalt loom.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571


    Good info here. Im going to do mine myself. I hope to get it right the first time.
  6. 61bone
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 890


    Just did a quick overview so somebody else may have brought this up. You can buy color coded wires in a chafeproof loom. They come in two wire and up to as many as twenty and in all gauges. Easy to string and drops can be made by spliting the loom and pulling out the needed wire.
  7. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,150

    from Kansas

    Auto wiring is very simple and straight forward, if you don't get too complicated. About the only real issues have to do with the new fuel injection and computerized transmissions. Simply break it down into sections, ie: firewall to back of car, firewall to front of car, firewall to engine, firewall to dash, etc.

    If you are not comfortable with wiring it yourself, get a harness and follow directions.
  8. rustyford40
    Joined: Nov 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,168

    from Mass Bay

    The last two I did I used Painless. And I had not problems.
  9. 58Lincoln
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 278

    from Chico, CA

    I'm wiring a car right now with Electronic fuel injection and an electronic transmission.

    Both harnesses require a 1 5/8" hole cut in the firewall/front floor.

    To make life easy I picked up a weather pack connector kit and crimpers.

    Bring along some patience too.
  10. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,280


    Just finished wiring the truck I was doing with the Rebel Wire kit tonight, worked perfect, I'm sold on Rebel. Two things impressed me with Rebel. One, it has heavier wire then the other kits I've used and two, there is plenty of it. I've ran into a couple jobs on bigger cars and trucks where the wire is to short to reach where you need it. Big PIA when the tail light circut won't reach the taillights! The Rebel kit it seemed like I cut 4' off off each wire. Sure a lot easier to cut off what you don't need then to add more!
    Somebody else was talking about all black wire. I did one once (I thought it was Painless but maybe EZ Wire) and I really like how it looks when it's done, really clean looking. Only downside is if you loom it like I do in a solid loom sometimes it's tough to see the writing. Brings up another plus with Rebel, at least they give you a color code list of each wire in the instructions, makes it easy when it's loomed and you can't read the wire label. With EZ wire I'd have to write the codes down before I loomed it.
  11. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,078

    from Hawaii

    Amen! Fuses will keep all the smoke in the wire. Once you let it out, its near impossible to put back in. Takes a special machine. :p

    I wire mine from scratch, with a drawing, fuse holders, wire and markers etc. When you do it from scratch yourself, if you ever have to track something down in the future you will have a much better idea on how the circuits were laid out & run. Plus, when you learn how to wire cars, you can trade that skill for work you don't do.
  12. I am in the middle of rewiring a '29 Ford PU rod now. I originally wired it in 1992-3 in all black, labeled wires from Enos Components and using their "Black Box" board. Black may look nice and it hides well especially in an all black car; but it is terrible to work on and the labeled wire is hard to read after it gets a little grease on it. Black wires, NEVER AGAIN!!

    This go around I am using Rebel wire and reusing the Enos Black Box. Standardized GM colors and labeled wires from Rebel Wiring are great. A few were too short for my modified design and I have had to extend them, sometimes changing the colors (not good if it can be avoided) and adding heat shrink labels. I am also using some component wiring kits from M.A.D.

    Some changes from standard kits I think are worth doing:
    use relays for headlights. ...less power draw from the under dash wiring.
    With a trunk or under car mounted battery, build a good power distribution block to the firewall area and then run fusible links and heavier wire directly to the headlight switch, relays, wiring board, and ignition switch.
    use a heavy (8 GA) wire and fusible link from the alternator to the distribution block. This will also cut power losses in the component areas and get alternator supplied power more directly to each area. ...and improve safety if any shorts occur.
    Use multiple grounds and ground straps between the motor, the frame and the body.
    Draw out the intended circuits before starting and plan out the routing, review the diagrams again while looking at the car for how it will work and revise the diagrams as needed. ...for the most part the 18 yr. old Enos provided circuit diagrams are being used unmodified for all but the main power circuits.

    I am using a remote starter solenoid for the first time, thinking it may be more reliable for hot starts than the front -starter mounted one that has all the exhaust heat to contend with.

    I have also stopped using one wire alternators believing they are less reliable, and knowing they are not always available at a local auto parts. store.
  13. yekoms
    Joined: Jan 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,088


    Thanks for this thread everybody. It's helpin' me and others a bunch.
    Where can I find this orange wiring book that aagie mentioned on post #49?
    Have fun,Smokey
  14. Why would you not do you own wiring?
  15. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,078

    from Hawaii

    There's one on e-bay right now for $7.95. Considering the price of replacing a burnt up wiring harness (ask me how I know) it's a deal. Lets hope you don't live up to your nickname after wiring your car. :D
  16. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    from England

    Let me know when you a free week, you can come over and do mine for me. :D
  17. I did do my own....until I bought a kit. Don't be a macho dipshit and buy a kit. Save time and money. You don't want to be friends with people that get pissy over a wiring kit. Next they'll break out a ruler and make sure your pompadour isn't too short and check you for pomade compliance.
  18. Steve from PA
    Joined: Sep 1, 2006
    Posts: 28

    Steve from PA

    I have done 3 so far, 2 were during the build and the last was s rewire of a running car. The first was a 39 Chevy coupe, used one of the kits with the black wires with the labels. looks great, but try to trace a wire by looking at the labels. Plus, my eyes are not as good as 10 years ago. The second was in my Model A PU, used
    "It's a Snap" with the mini fuses, mounted under the passenger seat, had to extend wires, not an easy one. I found when I needed to extend a wire to cut off 2 feet or so, splice a regular wire of the same (or close color) and then use the 2 foot piece to go to whatever you are connecting to. Used relays for the fan and headlights, and instead of a fusible link I recommend one of those huge ATO fuses, you can get them up to about 80 amps. Much easier to replace than fuse link on the road. Most of the visible wires I encased on the corrugated loom. The last one I did I used the one you see advertised in Street Rodder etc that is 185.00, colored wires . I replaces a rats nest in my 38 Chevy sedan, some g;ass fuses, some ATO, more splices and butt connectors than i have ever seen. Needed to take out some interior panels, not fun. I suggest to wire after paint before interior. I am starting a RPU with a 303Olds, will look into the Rebel kit. this one will be simple.
    cpd682 likes this.
  19. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim

    If it's a simple stripped down bare-bones hotrod , then make one yourself . If you have accessories then buy a kit . Still do it yourself !

    Retro Jim
  20. I would NOT suggest black wires that are labeled. Reading is a pain while upside down, under the dash, with the wires bundled neatly, and the label NOT facing you when you need it to. COLOR, it's all about the COLOR. At a glance troubleshooting/tracing without going crazy. Lets face it....when we have a problem, we're already a little pissed, right? Why add to it by squinting to read some tiny ass letters that seem to always be facing the wrong way, or upside down?
  21. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    from Earth

    Most wiring kits just don't make sense to me.

    You spend all that money, and still have to terminate one end of the wire.

    If you can terminate one end of the wire, you can terminate both ends and save yourself a whole lot of money.
  22. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Im not really sure if this was directed at me or not, but I definetly will be wiring my own car., was just throwing this out there to see other peoples suggestions and how they went about things
  23. tsm1mt
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 5

    from Helena, MT

    I own a bunch of Internationals, and IH was fond of using all green wire, with numbers silk screened at the ends.

    Most people hate it.

    I, however, am color blind, and find it SO much easier to find the correct wire when I don't have to rely on my defective eyes to decide what shade of red/brown/black a wire is.

    I memorized the resistor color code in HS, but struggled to decide which color a band was without a good reference handy.

    More than once I've managed to let the magic smoke out of something (electronic ignition module comes to mind) because I made a mistake when identifying the red vs black wire (particularly if they've faded a bit, or have some wear/dirt on them).

    I *know* which wire goes where, it's just sometimes difficult to decide which wire is which.
  24. Did all my own wiring myself. 1 curcuit at a time and definatly different colored wires.
  25. 57tailgater
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 713

    from Georgia

    Did all of mine by myself when I was 20. All different colors and gauged from what I found in books and magazines - no internet then. Learned that the fan and wipers need to not be on the same circuit - didn't work well when needed at the same time - ugh!! Oh well, live and learn. Minor adjustments and upgrades plus cleaning up scheduled for the future but otherwise will stay near as is. :cool:
  26. fossilfish
    Joined: Dec 16, 2010
    Posts: 320

    from Texas

    Been doing it for years. I buy a big color and size assortment of wire from JC Whitney or other wire supply places on the net. There is one real good one on line but I can't remember it right now. Get some shrink tubing, soldering gun and some crimp connectors...get a crimping tool with a kinda crush nipple on it and get with it.
    I recommend not doing the harness for a modern tuned port or later injection type deal. Go to Larry's electric or other places for stuff like that.
  27. scrubba
    Joined: Jul 20, 2010
    Posts: 938


    Well, I do my own wiring as long as I have a general shop manual to work off of . I wouldn't do it with many vehicles built say after 1963 though. By that time , too many "Modern " gagits. scrubba
  28. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With

    Let me see now where did the red lead go to?

    Attached Files:

  29. 50chief
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 16

    from HAMPTON VA

    So when I read that it's takes about an hour per circuit, I said bull shit. Then today I rebuilt my entire 8 circuit harness on my 50 pontiac. It took me eight hours. I did it right and used the method of printing out labels for all the wires( mainly to help when I put it back in my car) but I'm sorry for doubting the knowledge of the HAMB.
  30. unclerichard
    Joined: Jun 30, 2005
    Posts: 235

    from Michigan

    EZ wire was what I used. I painted the body and placed it back on the chassis before I did my wiring. It all came out fine and EVERYTHING works. After doing a few of these, I wouldn't hesitate to just buy wire and components and make my own, but it would be a lot of trips to the parts store, because I ALWAYS forget something.

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