1968 Camaro , electrical disaster - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
Joe
 
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1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Thank you for letting me join, but i have a disaster , I want to resolve and need advice. I have been handed a 68, with a small block, from a 6. I have done projects like this before ( but everything marked and easy to do ) When I got this project , all the parts were thrown in the trunk , un marked, etc and told make it work. I am no expert that is why I am here . The problem I got is the current wiring has been painted all BLACK ,chopped , and I am trying to figure the engine wiring( HEI , etc.) I have a wiring diagram for a 68-69 6 cyl-and 8. There has to be a short cut to figure this out

I know /found the battery cable to starter ,the small wire off the battery to alternator.

Here is the problem. I can't locate the hot wire for the distributor(HEI),and the power wire for the fuse block. I look under the dash, and it looks like 15 lbs of spaghetti, in a 1 quart container.The outside of the junction block has been hacked and chopped. There is a 12 gauge wire that runs from the fire wall to the front of the bay ,across then follows the battery wire to the starter. i presume that is for the small lug on the starter (closest to the block).

Any help would be greatly appreciated . Joe
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 06:41 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

if the wiring is that bad I would suggest another wiring harness. at least from the firewall out
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 06:58 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Got to agree with Kevin.

You can either go with a newer application, or pick up a good used one and start from scratch. Plus, there are some really good coloured schematics out there that would aid in your replacement, eh?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

They want me to use what is there . I would have done the same firewall out replace. She is a nice shell , but the owner has used mounts from the 6cyl, and planted the 8 , ball peened the snot out of the firewall for the distributor.

I would like to crawl under the dash and rip the spaghetti ouit and see what is there, then hopefully figure out the mess. I am OCD to doing things on resto projects and this is driving me nuts. The tranny dipstick tube wont fit due to the engine block sitting 3/4 inch from the fire wall, and the tv cable has been chopped, the original ac is yanked out of her and wires just laying all over.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 07:04 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Just MHO but If I were in your boots Joe I would pull and replace the mess you got with an American Autowire update harness front to back. It will save you hours of trying to determine what was hacked or not in the existing harness. Since you have some upgrades such as HEI, I would call them direct and tell them what you got HEI and Alternator and Voltage Regulator wise (OEM 3 wire and external, or single wire internal VR) and let them put together exactly what you need.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 07:14 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Having had my own shop in the past I would calmly explain to the customer that my reputation is worth more than what I might make on this one job and if he dosn't want it done properly (by replacing the junk with new stuff) then he can take his car elsewhere. That's just me. As for the hot wire to the HEI what was original was a white fabric covered resistor wire that went to the coil. You will need to replace that entire wire with regular wire to get a full 12 volts at the HEI distributor. Hot with the key on. Probably easiest to just run a new wire off the fusebox since the guy clearly dosn't care about having an ugly mess under the hood.... In my last shop I had a sign on the wall: You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, or you can have it done right.. pick ONE.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 07:46 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Replace the engine harness, it's really not expensive. After their car burns down they're going to be awfully pissed.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

@ Blue bird, I hear ya on the fire control lol, I found new harness's from Summit and others for 300-600 clams
i just need to find out if they want to go that route . Like I said in prior post , EVERYTHING was tossed in the trunk, and was told merry x-mas , and make it work. I have plug wires from a big block and mis-matched,lol
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 09:59 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Agreed with all the above.
Do they want to pay for labor sorting out the harness(es), or buy a new one and have it installed?
Labor is more expensive than product and easier on your mind/sanity.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 01:37 PM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

When I built my 67 I bought the American Auto Wire "Classic Update" complete harness. I guess at the time it was just under $500. But... Everything works perfectly and I have no doubt it will continue to be trouble free for many years to come. It came with new light sockets, new ignition switch, extra wires for just about any possible upgrade you might want including a wire for a 3rd brake light, HEI ignition, electric fan, factory console guages or aftermarket guages, etc. Every single wire is clearly marked on the wire every few inches as to exactly what that wire is for as well as being the correct colors according to the GM wiring diagrams. If I ever do another one I can promise you I will NEVER dick around with trying to repair 45 year old crap ever again unless I'm restoring a low mile "survivor" car. I guess if I had to complain about it I do wish it didn't require modifying the hole for the fuse box but I suppose if they made each an exact fit the price would be considerably higher. I do like that it uses modern push in fuses rather than the old glass type. I also had to mess with the ignition switch because the one they supply mounts in such a way that the key goes in upside down. It ain't a damn Chrysler... LoL That was not acceptable to me so with a little work on the switch housing with a file and it's right side up now. Just to add to Everett's comment about the cost of labor as opposed to the cost of good parts... Future problems caused by repairing tired old crap will cause even more labor costs to accumulate. With a new harness old corroded sockets, intermittent electrical gremlins, etc. will be nothing but a bad memory. If you have a shop you know that no matter how good a job you do, if something unforseen happens a year down the road because of old worn out crap, the customer will blame YOU..

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old May 26th, 13, 03:11 PM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

AAW makes a nice exact fit harness's for these cars. The nice thing about the exact fit is that you can just replace the bad harness. e. g., if the engine harness is bad but the dash harness is good then you only need to replace one section. Plus the labor is lower because you don't have to modify anything, just follow the factory schematics.

OP, is this a car you are working on for someone else or a car that was given to you to do with what you want?
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old May 27th, 13, 11:01 AM
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Re: 1968 Camaro , electrical disaster

Joe, you're convinced I'm sure. With wiring there's no practical way to explain here where each one goes or does. And if you look in your flat-rate book you'll see there's no flat rate for electrical gremlins. That should tell you all you need to know.
So, what brand harness have you chosen?

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old May 27th, 13, 12:30 PM
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Send them a couple links to recent Camaro electrical fires. That should straighten them out and buy a new harness


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