American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 15, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Brian
 
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American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

I'm breaking down and rewiring my 69 Z/28 - I picked the American Autowire Classic Update full wiring harness. I'm no expert on electrical - any tips/tricks or advice from some of your grizzled veterans on what to do/not do? Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 15, 09:32 PM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Sit down and read the instructions before starting to do anything. Make sure you have all the tools needed for the job.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 15, 11:09 PM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Take your time, and as Doug said, make sure you have all the schematics and tools before starting. If you still have the original wiring, label every existing connector before you start. Lay each harness out and run it following the original harness route as best you can, using all the clips and mounting points wherever possible. Undo one thing at a time (remove old connector, attach new one before proceeding to next one) to avoid getting confused. From memory, the Classic Update series wiring is labelled regularly along the insulation, so it's relatively logical if you do get in a muddle, or if you are starting out with no existing wiring.
Oh, and Good Luck

1969 04A Van Nuys-built Z/28. Cortez Silver with dark blue interior and VE3. Sold Clippinger Chevrolet. Raced at Lions in LA.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 04:25 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Good suggestions given.
Pictures of the connected original wiring makes for good reference material.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 05:53 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

All very good responses.. I'm no electrical guy on wiring a complete car either but I installed the update series in my 68 with little to no issues. And to make you feel better about your endeavor. Mine had zero wiring in it to reference from...
Like these guys have stated and I will say it again take your time on it. I'm sure you will do a great job on it.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 06:34 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Yeah, you won't really need any of the old connectors and such (comes with all you will need). I would STRONGLY recommend renting the crimpers that they offer. After installing mine, that is the most critical part of the installation. They send you practice "kit" and even have a video on youtube shoeing how to properly use the crimpers. If you are unsure of the routing of the harness, you can always reference the factory assembly manual. I love the kit mainly because my car is far from stock and it gave me more circuits than the stock one ever did. Take you time and have fun. Their tech department was very helpful with a couple of questions that I did have during the install.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 06:58 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Brian,

As Chris stated, rent or buy the crimper tools from AAW. There's two of them. One for single wires and one that crimps 2 wires together. They will make the job much easier on you and the perfect crimp.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 07:01 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

I've used AAW on many cars. In fact I'm doing 2 69s right now.

#1 follow the instructions
#2 lay the wiring and plan routing.
#3 use wire ties to hold wires together loosely
#4 wrap wire bundles neatly when finished.

And of course quality crimping and good grounds are a must.

The rear harness lays in no brainier. The routing behind the dash is the biggest challenge. Not hard but need to make sure it lays in allowing clearance for the cluster and heater control.

I run the front lighting harness throught be inner fender and wrap everything in nylon braid. I don't like plastic split loom.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 15, 08:09 AM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

+1 on the split braid loom John, stuff really makes things look better in the engine bay.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 15, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Brian
 
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Thanks to all for the feedback. Old dash harness is out and new dash harness is in. Wasn't technically difficult, just tough angles to get everything in. One note for anyone considering the same kit - it comes with a new headlight switch, so you don't need to buy one. Overall, I'm very pleased with the product and support so far. The job isn't fun but should be worth it in the end. Is there any value in reselling my old fuse box/harness?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 15, 12:19 PM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

I used AAW too. Very straight forward with no issues. The general used color coded wires for the geniuses working on the assembley lines. Pink wire goes to Pink wire. Green wire goes to green wire. Also certain plugs only mate to one another.... this kit should actually be called the "painless kit" LOL!!!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 15, 12:34 PM
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I did my 69 with American autowire it works really wellone suggestion I have is don't use their connectors use weather pack connectors buy a complete kit for $60 it'll work better for youmake sure any changes to MSD or any other aftermarket like electric fans you write down on a piece of paper whats what
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 15, 12:34 PM
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I also welded in a bunch of grounds on my firewall before I painted it that helped also
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 15, 12:46 PM
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Re: American Autowire Harness - any tips/tricks/advice for a newbie?

Really smooth install if you have their crimpers and follow their suggestions (helps if you're a bit OCD or can at least take your time and keep track of details). I laid each section in place, zip tied the harness together, added the connectors, then took it out, wrapped it, and laid it back in. Went in smoothly without problems. Only question is how to finish a crimp - they note that they use a heavy hydraulic press to make their connections and advise you to solder your connections. I didn't bother inside the body (a really good hand crimp should be plenty for a dry connection with no strain) but the engine bay connections I crimped, soldered, and shrink-wrapped to minimize strain (solder joints are prone to breaking because they become brittle) and try to protect against corrosion. Any wires running right by the engine or exhaust (distributor connections, oil pressure, water temp, heater fan, and ignition lead to the starter) I used a fiberglass based heat shield wrap on.

Clearly, if you decide to add relays, fans, alternate gauges, etc (which I did), things become markedly more complex. Still a good kit, just plan on a bunch of extra hours staring at it and making it work if you branch out beyond the directions.

1967 RS driver with a 327/210... but now with an M20, HEI, AAW harness w/ halogens and relays, Dakota Digital, Moto-Lita, TMI interior, and a few other toys
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