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Rewiring...start fresh or piece by piece?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by schpud, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. schpud
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 93

    schpud
    Member
    from ME

    I got some supplies to rewire my ride, just wondering if I should take out all the old stuff beforehand, or just take it out as I go and replace it?
     
  2. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    shoprat
    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    I cut all mine out and replaced one wire at a time.
     
  3. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,773

    roundvalley
    Member

    If the old wiring is color coded it may help to leave some in.
     
  4. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729

    GassersGarage
    Member

    Nothing like starting fresh for piece of mind.
     

  5. Get a hold of a shop manual for what you have there. It will have a schematic for the whole car (or should have...) and you'll be able to tag wires as you replace them.

    Bob
     
  6. Are you using a kit or one wire at a time? I myself like a clean slate and to then run one wire at a time starting at the fuse panel and working out. I would get confused trying to take out a little and replace it before doing more. Your mind however, may work in a way that that method would work best for you.. Confused now? Take your time and check and re-check your work. You'll do fine.
     
  7. x2

    I just rewired my '40 truck with all black wires. I used a board from Rex, over at Affordable Street Rods.
     
  8. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621

    deto
    Member

    Get a schematic and start fresh. I like to check each circuit as I go to make sure it is functioning properly.
     
  9. That will be fun to troubleshoot. Lol
     
  10. What year, type and make of car are you going to wire. It makes a big difference on what type of ignition, turn signals, air conditioning, transmission and other attachments that you plan to use.

    There is a guy that is using a Rebel wiring system and it is a big mess. The problems are caused because of the design of rebel's system, no brake lights with the ignition off etc. He has received no support from the vendor or Rebel. The thread is labeled " I need an electrician".
     
  11. What year, type and make of car are you going to wire. It makes a big difference on what type of ignition, turn signals, air conditioning, transmission and other attachments that you plan to use.

    There is a guy that is using a Rebel wiring system and it is a big mess. The problems are caused because of the design of Rebel's system, no brake lights with the ignition off etc. He has received no or little support from the vendor or Rebel. The thread is labeled " I need an electrician".
     
  12. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford
    Member

    I threw out a Painless kit bought 2 6 fuse panels at $10.00 ea and did it one wire at a time, lots easier than a kit. And no extra wires.The worst thing that ever happened to our hobby is the growth of kits for everything to replace independent thinking.
     
  13. remove the old harness, marking the wires as you go using masking tape and a pen, lay out the harness next to the car for reference. this gives you the best of both worlds; a clean slate and the wiring to compare to. photos can be invaluable, and so does even more photos.
     
  14. I can not believe the advise you are receiving from people when they do not know the details of the car. There is a lot of difference in wiring a model "T" Ford and 2012 Cadillac. These two cars would require a completely different approach.
     
  15. I saw that too... not impressed with their product right now. There are others out there though. I have had good luck in the past splicing in partial harnesses from junk cars, just another option. I did one in an old Cadillac that turned out surprisingly well.

    Bob
     
  16. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,687

    WZ JUNK
    Member
    from Neosho, MO

    There is a guy that is using a Rebel wiring system and it is a big mess. The problems are caused because of the design of Rebel's system, no brake lights with the ignition off etc. He has received no or little support from the vendor or Rebel. The thread is labeled " I need an electrician".[/QUOTE]


    I do not understand why this is a problem. Granted, most systems power brake lights with the key off but personally, I do not normally drive with the key off. If this is a problem for your friend, just change the brake light system so that it is powered all the time. Switching the wire that powers the fuse to a hot all the time should do the trick. Personally, I would leave it alone.

    I wire a lot of cars. One of Rebels competitors is located close to me and I use their products. I have never used a Rebel harnass but I have heard good things about the quality of their product and their tech help. I would not hesitate to use one of their products.

    John
     
  17. Taff
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 360

    Taff
    Member

    a lot will depend on the year and model of car. a scratch built bucket T will have a very simple harness compared to a early 60's Caddy.
    I have always made up my own harness's, based on a generic wiring diagram that a trusted auto=electritioan drew up for me. It covers the basics (lights, turn ignition, charging and starting) with a couple of extra wires at the fuse box's (yup, two fuse boxes - 1 permenatly live from the battery and one switched live from the "acc" position of the ignition switch) if i want to add extra systems.
    Wiring is quite straightforward, just take your time and test each system.
     
  18. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    mrconcdid
    Member
    from Florida

    I did mine, no kit so im sure you can to

    I removed the old harnes labled things I wasnt sure of as I removed it.
    layed it out on the floor as a referance, used my shop manual for my car for wire gauge and colors.

    I choose to make 2 harnesses:
    1. run harness = starter, key, distributer, alternator
    2. accssories harness = fuse box, lights,turn signals, horn, ect.

    so if it dosent start I know right where to go, if the lights quit or turn signal shorts out, it wont keep it from running. And fuse everything!

    Just my 2 cents

    Godspeed
    MrC.
     
  19. schpud
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 93

    schpud
    Member
    from ME

    It's a 63 rambler. Will be doing a fairly basic wire, power nothing, skipping the door/dome lights, no radio, etc. Just what it needs to run and have the signals/lights work.
     
  20. Chopped 66 Bug
    Joined: Apr 5, 2012
    Posts: 214

    Chopped 66 Bug
    Member

    I am rewiring my ride right now. OK don't laugh...it is a custom VW Bug. I am using a harness from Watson Street Works that is made for this car. It has the best wiring instructions I have ever had. All wires are taged every 10 inches or so as to what they are for. It comes in labeled bags and you just follow the sequence, open and do bag A then bag B and so on. Stock VW wiring is not like a US car. It is hot all the time. The main battery leed goes to the light switch first for example. When I was about to begin this I called Watson's help desk for some advice. I was told it is best to pull all of the existing system out and start new. He said many get in trouble trying to piecemeal the old and new system together. A total rewire is a daunting task , especially if you are electrically impared as I am. It is some sort of VooDoo I think! It is proceedig along well and is looking a whole lot better than the rats nest of spliced wires it had from the number of POs before I got it. One that really got me was the license plate light wire. There is a Y type wire connector on the firewall . One socket is for the License plate light. The distance between the socket and the Light may be 3 feet. In that distance some one had made three splices! Why not just put in a new wire? Anyway good luck with your effort.

    Mike
     
  21. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,141

    Bigchuck
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Making your own harness is OK if you have lots of connectors, and several spools of wire laying around. You could spend a lot of money buying all that stuff compared to the price of a universial type harness.
     
  22. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I don't know what the other guy's harness is, doesn't look Rebel Wire to me, maybe a cheaper line.
    I wire Rebel frequently and have no problems. Nice ATC fuses, easy directions.

    Why would you delete interior lights and such? Thinking you'll regret it later...
     
  23. Start fresh, cut everything out, make sure that every accessory is mounted where it belongs,(this is absolutely key!!!) grab the right diagram for the charging system that you are using and go to town. I too prefer to work out from the fuse box to the item I'm powering up. It always seems to make routing and bundling a lot easier.
     
  24. schpud
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 93

    schpud
    Member
    from ME

    Ty haven't worked up till now and I never had a problem.
     
  25. Big_John
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 326

    Big_John
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Take the wiring harness out one section at a time. Grab a piece of plywood and lay the harness out on it. Every 6 inches or anywhere the the harness bends, drive some finishing nails in on each side of the harness to hold it in place. Replace the wires one at a time and reinstall.

    It will look like this:

    [​IMG]

    I first saw this at Lockheed Martin plant where they were building wire harnesses.
     
  26. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,567

    The37Kid
    Member

    I really enjoy gutting the wiring from cars, need to buy a wire stripper so I can get the best price at the scrap yard.
     
  27. I just did a search for Rambler wiring harness. There is one "electrical and instruments" that had wiring harnesses for Ramblers. I only have dial up connection and it takes a long time to load. They seem to have harnesses for under the dash and under the hood. There seem to be a few other interesting sites too.

    If you can get one that is car specific you will be time and money ahead. I looked at Rebel Wiring and Easy Wiring. Their main descriptions is how many circuits do you want and are not car specific.

    Old Fords are cool because there is such a demand for rewiring. You can buy different parts of the harness. It is unplug and plug.

    The electrical and instrument is still loading on my dial up connection. It must be 15 minutes.
     
  28. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Wouldn't be nice to have dome lights, etc... since you're gonna be in there anyway?
    Also don't forget to run separate grounds to front, rear, everywhere. Make sure to scrape rust and paint clean.
     
  29. Zigged should've Zagged
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 74

    Zigged should've Zagged
    Member
    from Emmaus Pa

    I like to strip all the wire out and start over. You don't want to "replicate" someone else' s mistake by matching what was done. I think you'll find out you will run a cleaner system using your own "thought out" routes.
     
  30. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,213

    farna
    Member

    The 63 Classic has a fairly simple wiring harness. The factory fuse panel only has six or seven fuses. Radio and AC had in-line fuses. Wiring diagrams for most cars (including Ramblers) can be found at www.tocmp.com.

    This one is simple enough that I'd pull the old out and just use it to get the lengths of the wires right. The only unique connector will be the one for the instrument panel. Everything else is pretty common. Rambler separated the front and back wiring at a 8-9 wire connector at the left kick panel (I think you will need to remove the panel).
     

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