anyone rewire a whole car before?

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  • mosin

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    Mar 21, 2013
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    Laredo
    I'm about 70% complete on a 72 cutlass right now with a painless harness. Going surprisingly easy but I suppose it's because I just got done with the nightmare of reworking an ls1 harness for stand alone, everything is relative.

    I did some silly shit when I was young to this car but damn if whoever had it before me didn't hack the wiring harness up worse than I ever could've managed. There are all sorts of little gadgets and lights that have never worked before that should be good to go now like my little map light and light over the wiper switch.

    Tomorrow is trunk day, going to add a trunk light in and wire up tail lights and side markers.

    Throwing in an A/C system from vintage at the same time. So far that is going smooth too, it's all just time consuming as hell.
     
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    mitchntx

    Sarcasm Sensei
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    Jan 15, 2012
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    Stripped both LT1 and LS1 factory engine harnesses for use in road race cars.
    Push button start with no key, no cluster, brake lights, neutral safety and aftermarket gauges was about the extent of it.

    I can't imagine rewiring a car to include all the components to pass Texas inspection much less things like power windows, cruise control or AC ...

    Love to see pics ...
     

    Brains

    One of the idiots
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    Apr 9, 2013
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    I've done a few involved wiring jobs. I did a hand-built custom harness in my LS1 Mustang ('87 Notch), along with a custom dash, 98-02 Camaro complete A/C system stuffed into the Ford air box behind the dash, etc.

    I re-pinned the harness to run a 99+ PCM in my wife's '98 T-76 turbo Camaro after running a dual PCM setup for a couple years (factory '98 Camaro PCM for spark, trans, etc. and a Megasquirt for fueling).

    I've fixed countless 'creative wiring jobs' in friends' race cars over the years too, including sorting out one that nobody could make sense of in a stock eliminator Corvette (wrong harness for the custom PCM they're required to run).

    Most people hate it, but I enjoy doing wiring. I like making it look as well as it works, and making sure it's reliable. I almost died when I saw the wiring job on the wife's nitrous system the night I first met her way back when :)
     

    mosin

    Active Member
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    Mar 21, 2013
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    Stripped both LT1 and LS1 factory engine harnesses for use in road race cars.
    Push button start with no key, no cluster, brake lights, neutral safety and aftermarket gauges was about the extent of it.

    I can't imagine rewiring a car to include all the components to pass Texas inspection much less things like power windows, cruise control or AC ...

    Love to see pics ...

    Well the good thing about this is the Vintage Air system is basically stand alone, as is my engine harness. So I've got pretty much 3 more or less independent wiring harness in this car. A/C, chassis, and Engine.

    I'm not running power windows, locks or cruise control yet. I plan on adding all that and got an 18 circuit painless harness. I'm going to take heat shrink connectors crimp the ends of the unused leads shrink them down and seal and tuck all the unused circuits up out of the way or inside the kick panel. I'll pull them out and wire it all in 2 or 3 years from now when I redo the interior. I've got my sound system and cruise control all picked out but I've burned through enough cash for now. It can wait a bit, I still have remenants of my old sound system I tore out when I decided to make it a "race car" before I realized it's smarter to go fast & do it comfortably.

    Painless says to reuse all your factory garbage for the courtesy lights, dome lights etc. and provides leads into the circuit. I'm doing that for the dome light and sail panel lights but I redid all my courtesy lights, map light, glove box light, and light on my rear view mirror, basically all the lights up front. Harness is looking CLEAN, much better than factory.

    I'm really looking forward to installing these 3 point seatbelts oddly enough. It'll be nice to not have to decide between eating the dash with just a lap belt or flying out in a roll over with just the shoulder belt. I was going to do just two 3 pointers and a lap belt in the middle on the rear but I think I'm going to just order a 3rd 3 pointer for the rear seat. Going to mount them in the trunk and run the belts through the package tray.

    My biggest sticking point right now is the damn sound deadening, heat barrier, and vibration dampener garbage isn't going to be here til the 30th and that is going to keep me from charging the A/C system and trouble shooting it tomorrow or tuesday when "should" be done. As I'm going to drop the system back out and due a thermal barrier from the top of the cowl down to the first foot or two of floor board. Half way down the firewall, where the carpet starts and then back from there I'll be running the sound deadner. There will be a short run of about 1.5 feet where it's going to be silly thick with both thermal and sound deadner but my feet used to melt when i had the big block from the headers there so I think it'll be for the best even though it's gonna be thick. Not trying to quiet the whole car yet just get the firewall area since I'm there anyways. Got 36sqft of each so hopin to do my do the sound deadening on where the rear seat sits while its out and do the easy shit like doors and floor boards down the road.


    .....damn that was a lot shizzit
     
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    M. Sage

    TGT Addict
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    Jan 21, 2009
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    Did most of a car once, have done sections of others here and there. Electrical seems to be something people either get or will be completely hopeless for the rest of their lives.

    Like math.
     

    mosin

    Active Member
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    Mar 21, 2013
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    Did most of a car once, have done sections of others here and there. Electrical seems to be something people either get or will be completely hopeless for the rest of their lives.

    Like math.

    Principal is simple, take a power source to your light and run it to a ground on the other side. The execution of that task on a string of lights with one power source and various means to reach grounds to light up only certain lights is the bastard of the situation. I had to really sit back take a deep breath and think it through to wire up the courtesy, glove box and map lights. Almost did it in series which would've been a massive pain in the ass if a light bulb burned out. I got it whipped though. Ran my power across and spliced out each light individually. Courtesy lights are groundable by the door jamb and headlight switch, the maplight and glovebox are only on when their respective switches are engaged. Should all work as it is supposed to for the first time since I've owned the car. I've never seen the courtesy lights come on when the doors open, or any other time for that matter.

    ANYTHING is better than running "pin 53 blue to the low ref on the MAF" and then scurring to a book trying to figure out what wire on the MAF plug is low ref etc. To hell with that garbage :vanish:

    Oh and I'm even going to have reverse lights and a functional neutral safety switch :roflsmile:

    That car was a fucking coffin looking back. I had hardly any vacuum with the cam I was running you had one good hit on the brakes. If you came off the brake and tried to hit them again... good luck.
     
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