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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my under dash and engine harness wires caught on fire today. everythings toast. i dont even want to check whats still good its just a big mess. i was able to stop the engine from catching fire so the lil oh 305 is still okay. the distributor cap is probably toast too.

where do i buy the harnesses from?? i heard about painless but then i heard theres cutting and splicing involved.

i heard m&h is good but it looks like its priced high. if i get this kit will i still have to cut and splice or is it already set up for me??

and i also need a conversion for HEI since the 305 already runs on an Accel unit and ive heard bad stories about points style ingnition.

i guess this baby is gonna be parked for the summer. what a bum deal, especially since im 17 and this is supposed to be THE summer, no summers like it after high school.
 

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You have a few choices. If you want original, you need to use M&H, ebay, or find what you need in a junkyard.

If originality isn't an issue, use Painless or design your own harness. It's not all that difficult, but you have to take the time to do it right.

I wired my entire car, bumper to bumper, for under $100. $80 of that was the fuse box, headlight switch, and wiper switch. I yanked out every single wire, switch, fuse box, and connection in the entire car, got an inexpensive fuse box from Auto Rod Controls, and started running circuits.

The most difficult part was the steering column. You definitely need to know what wire goes where because your turn signals, flashers, and brake lights all go through that harness.

Get a book on automotive wiring and read the entire thing. You can do this. It's not a "dark art", and it's not rocket science either.
 

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I've got a used turn signal switch you can have for a couple bucks if that's been fried. They are around $30.00 new if you go that route. If the dash harness is for a normal sweep dash, not gage, Elree Colby may have a refurbished one.
You should take a look around to see what may have started it. Might be helpful to you to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
im not sure what started it but i had a remote starter button that was installed by the previous owner and the wires connected to it seemed to have been the first to go.

The wire connecting the battery to the HEI went out the day before so i decided to look under the dash. I went ahead and yanked out the two orange wires(burnt to a crisp) that go to the cig lighter(already disconnected) and the glove box(was connected) and i took the whole thing out. I noticed that the fuse(marked BAT on the fuse box..its on the top left hand side) was burnt.

i forgot to add that it ran great for 6000+ miles, ran down the 1/8th about 10 times, most of the 6000 miles were either street miles, fast freeway miles or high altitude mountain/desert miles and it never complained.

a few days i turned on my stereo(dont usually use it) and noticed that it would shut off whenever the brake lights came on.

I fixed the wire going to the HEI and then took out my stereo. before removing the orange wires i tried putting a new fuse in the box and the end of the fuse would spark when they touched the box. I removed the wires and tried it again. It didnt spark, i tried to push the fuse in and as soon as it made contact the wires connected to my remote started began to smoke. As soon as i hosed those down with water the wired in the engine compartment started to smoke.

my question is: is there supposed to be a groug of wires that go directly connected to the positive battery cable?? i mean my positive cable consists of a group of cables taped together that lead to the harness on the firewall and go to the fuse box from there. All of these wires are completly toasted.

i think im gonna go with a new unit since my dad doesnt want me messing with the electrical system. he says i'll end up doing it the way the previous owner did it and i'll end up burning it all again. i guess this gives me the chance to wire things the way they are supposed to go.

so m&h is the easy way to go?? they seem to have the new-style fuse box and i can order the HEI conversion for an extra 14.00. how do i check what switches work and which dont, do you guys thing the instrument panel stil works??
 

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Get yourself a volt/ohm meter and check your switches with it. I doubt they burned, but I can't see what you're working with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i also doubt they burned out but there was so much smoke that my dad is all paranoid and stuff. He wants to replace the whole dash but i told him the repros dont fit right from what ive heard. i can only hope to find one at a junkyard. i doubt the four door 71 is still there its been months.

i guess im HAVE TO get a job now and my body and engine projects get moved back once more.
 

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I think the dash had a PCB in 1970 (that's a "Printed Circuit Board") for the gauges and such. This may or may not have been cooked.

Headlight switches are available at the parts store. You'll re-use your bezel for this switch.

What other dash components are you planning to replace? Someone might have them on ebay.
 

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No, originally there was no group of wires going to the positive cable. Sounds like whoever wired it made a typical error. That is, tying a wire or wires directly to the battery cable and then possibly fusing them further inside the car. Adding fusible links or fuses, into those wires, near the battery, would have stopped a lot of the damage.
 

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If you can afford it, go M&H. I replaced dash harness, engine harness, and forward lamp harness with M&H products after an electrical fire. It is absolute top quality stuff. M&H can also modify your harness for electric choke, HEI, and/or an internally regulated alternator if you so desire. I highly recommend the internally regulated alternator.
 

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I had to replace some wires on a crewboat a few weeks ago because some tool ran from the 12V buss to the bilge pump switch, directly to the bilge pump. No fuses anywhere. When it shorted it caused an instant electrical fire!

I was upset because I had rewired the boat about two years earlier. Apparently some skipper decided he wanted another bilge pump. He didn't consult with me before he rigged it up.

And Slowpoke.... "Listen to John and Mike, dude. They know what they're talking about".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i guess im going to save up the money and buy the M&H kit. I hope my job applications go well and i get a job. You guys are the best. I would have went straight to Painless but i decided to consult with you guys and it turns out that would have been too much Pain for me.

Thanks a lot guys i'll post when i get this fixed.
 

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Is the dashboard itself toast? I saw you mentioned getting another dash...

I have an extra 70-72 Sweep dash- no wiring, but otherwise Complete (except the heater control sliders)

If you absolutly can't find one down there and you need it, I'd let it go. I was planning to hack it up to make a custom dash.

I think shipping will be quite a bit though as it is huge...
 
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