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Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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  #1  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 3:08 PM
RichF RichF is offline
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Default Best way to rewire a car

This is actually for a 69 Camaro, but seems similar to a Chevelle and I am more at home here on Chevelle tech than other sites.
My son has a 69 Camaro that needs to be wired up. The previous owner removed pretty much all wiring and started to install a generic Painless harness. Trouble is I am not real sure of his work and he got about half way done and now we need to figure out how to finish it. I have noticed that the wires are all marked as to where they go which is good, but he has spliced some wires together and not sure why or where he was headed with these odd connections.
I have been reading about the different harness kits available and it sounds like American Auto wire Factory Fit kits are very good and ready to plug in with all connectors already installed. The kit in the car is for a variety of different cars and not specific to this Camaro.
I am trying to decide if it might be better to start fresh with one of these kits or to try and muddle through what is already installed. I have never attempted to rewire a car before and am thinking that I should make it as easy as possible.
Any good information on wiring a car from scratch? Any books or videos? thanks for your help. RichF
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  #2  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 3:50 PM
ChiefSB30 ChiefSB30 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

IMO, wiring can be such a pain, I would start over again unless you have a real good idea whats going on in that harness, or a gift for wiring and troubleshooting. My harness was a repaired original, and it took some time. Even then I have problems from time to time.

AAW is REAL good at what they do. I have added a few of their harnesses to my existing factory harness (adding a console, replacing the missing air conditioning harness) and it has been pretty easy. The other thing is its nice to have a factory style harness, so you can utilize wiring diagrams later on if a problem arises. Without it, it seems to me it would be harder to trouble shoot.

The only thing that stinks about it is the cost.
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  #3  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 4:04 PM
the heckler the heckler is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

I agree with Chris regarding an original style harness. The joy of these old cars is in thier simple design. You can pretty much "eyeball" where the circuits go and if in a crunch get a repro wiring diagram for the car. Take your time and you will be fine...
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  #4  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 5:59 PM
RichF RichF is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Thanks , I have been looking on Youtube and there is a lot of information on wiring up an old Camaro and a lot of stuff about AAW. It is kind of intimidating looking at it as it is now. My son would like to use what he has but I think in the long run an original harness made to fit his car will save a lot of pain later on. Sounds like it is about $800 or more for the AAW harness. Maybe if I had taken out the old harness myself I might have had a better understanding of what goes where, but I am kind of lost right now on this. AAW sounds better all the time.
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  #5  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 6:14 PM
RichG RichG is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

AAW or M&H. Painless is anything but and that is compounded by the P.O.'s hacking. Start fresh with a good product and never worry about it again. It's a little spendy but worth the peace of mind. With AAW or M&H you can follow the factory wiring diagrams and ask questions of others. Painless does not follow the color codes of the original harness, they just "label" the wires. That makes it a lot harder if you have electrical issues.
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  #6  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 6:48 PM
68-bb 68-bb is online now
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Another vote for the AAW factory harnesses. I have used all but the rear harness(it will be next) and they are very nice. Support on the phone is great also. You can buy them through rockauto.com at a lower price plus the 5% off coupon always floating around.

Tony
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  #7  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 6:54 PM
Philip Philip is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

I repaired a very poor installation of an after market harness in a 57 Chevy recently. Twisted wire connections, wires going no where with bare ends and loops of several feet in the circuits were only part of the nightmare. The entire harness was wrapped in electrical tape from front to rear. All the connectors and firewall grommets were gone.
I have also done installs using the AAW kits. For the labor involved in fixing the botched install the customer would have saved money buying a new harness for me to install.
The harness you are removing would be good to save just for the wire in it. I have several old harness in the shop that are used for the wire and plug ends when needed.
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  #8  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 7:01 PM
john5469 john5469 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

I used Painless and was very happy.
Every wire is top quality, color correct per factory original, and labeled on each one where it starts and ends. If you have any questions, just call them www.painlesswiring.com
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  #9  
Old Sep 21st, 12, 7:07 PM
Philip Philip is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Rich since you do not have the factory harness, before purchasing an after market harness speak with a tech at the companies and ask specifically if any of the factory plug connectors need to be reused. Some kits do not have everything needed for the install and assume you still have the factory harness.
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  #10  
Old Sep 22nd, 12, 1:48 AM
RichF RichF is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Thanks for the replies. I have not spent a whole lot of time on it yet and have to get some more information and start looking closer at what has been started with the wiring.
I have been surprised at the amount of videos that are on youtube showing wire harness's being installed and also information on AAW wire harness kits. If I can talk him into to buying the AAW kit it sounds like the way to go. I don't want to do this twice. He has a pretty decent 69 SS Camaro and it will be worth putting in a nice wiring kit, but it's his money.
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  #11  
Old Sep 22nd, 12, 4:45 AM
Tom Mobley Tom Mobley is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Gee, did anybody mention buying the AAW harnesses and just plugging them in? I have a 10SI alternator (internal regulator), HEI and electric choke. AAW harness was plug and play, all the right connectors, everything on the dash worked, etc, and all that.

After having used one on a buddies car I will never again go the painful route.
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  #12  
Old Sep 22nd, 12, 5:21 AM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Painless is "good" stuff, no doubt...if you have some electrical knowledge to start with.
I can install a Painless kit with no issues, but I do a lot of automotive wiring and am comfortable with it.
Once botched and cobbled, all bets are off. I would say that about any aftermarket wiring harness, regardless of the manufacturer, even AAW .
None of the aftermarket wiring harnesses are "plug and play, totally newbie proof".

Your botched Painless harness is probably 98% ok, so there's no need to trash it. It would probably be best to remove it all from the vehicle, get the Painless instructions for that particular kit and start from the beginning to install it.

If you DO decide to start over, AAW is certainly the way to go IMHO.
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  #13  
Old Sep 22nd, 12, 12:14 PM
RichF RichF is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

Tom,
That is what I am looking for, plug and play.
And Isrx101- I do have some electrical knowledge, I have worked on machinery in the electronic industry for a lot of years. Thanks for the input. I don't mean to trash Painless. I always heard good things about them. I am shying away from the Painless kit due to my concern about the last guys work and this being my first attempt at wiring a car. Seems I learn a lot the first time I try something new but I also make a few mistakes - which seems to be how I learn things best.
This is always a great place for information on old Chevy's. Thanks.
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  #14  
Old Sep 22nd, 12, 1:00 PM
marcrose marcrose is offline
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Default Re: Best way to rewire a car

When your not on a time line wiring is not that hard.You might find getting the harnesses in the proper routing is the biggest challenge especially since its been moved already.Get a plug and play harness,start from scratch,figure out your ultimate end goal first,hei,alt type,type of headlamp system,modern fuse fuse box or not, guages, radio,fuel system etc.Your plug and play harness can be made to your design.I always install full body harnesses just my own preference for piece of mind.Best advice is that if your not confortable with wiring get some help,its hard to repair things after the fact.good luck.
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