I'm currently in the middle of an interior overhaul on my '69 Chevelle. I am considering replacing the entire wiring harness and have a few questions that I hope you guys could help me with.
1 What was your level of "know how" for the project?
2 What brand did you use and would you recommend it?
3 What were the trouble areas that you encountered?
4 Was the Kit complete or did you end up purchasing additional parts and accessories?
5 How was your experience and was it worth the time invested versus having a third party complete the work?
Thanks in advance for your comments.
Hi Dennis, welcome to TC
I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences, but after nearly 20 years posting on these boards, I'll give you my 2 cents from what I've seen/read/heard/experienced.
-Is the existing harness in bad shape? Many have "rebuilt" their harnesses, but if you aren't that experienced, a new harness will definitely give you peace of mind. Co$tly, yes, but so is downtime in the future if problems aren't addressed now.
-There are a number vendors out there. I recommend factory direct replacements if you are pretty much staying stock
. The top two would be M&H Fabricators and American Auto Wire. American Autowire is supporting vendor here and we have a representative that posts here which is very helpful. Painless Wiring Products is a good company, but many people that use them get frustrated and have trouble. Painless is good for custom items, but the problem is most people that buy those products have no electrical experience and don't realize the cost savings is lost in down time and confusion when they have to make splices, crimp connectors and mate aftermarket supply feeds to original equipment wiring plugs and wiring. Again, it gets back to what you want to do with your car and how much time/experience you have to put into it.
-Depending on your vehicle's options (or options YOU ADD) you may have to purchase extra cost harnesses (i.e. console extension harness for a floor console).
-Most troubles are encountered by people not taking pictures of their original harness routings, connector ends, etc. "Plan your work and work your plan". Don't just blinding rip everything out, then open your new box of "toys" and say...."Umm, where does this go and how does it get there..."
You also want to look at the big picture. If you ignition switch is about ready to snap in two, it makes no sense to connect a brand new harness to it, you'll have trouble in the future if all the issues aren't addressed. Same thing with ground wires, if you bolt them to a rusty piece metal, that won't do you any favors.
-If you are scared to death of tackling wiring (remember we're here to help)...but refuse to touch it, you can farm it out to 3rd party electrical shop, but beware, just like body shops, experience, cost per hour and quality of work can vary greatly from shop to shop
Hope that helps.