Car advice on re-wiring entire car - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 68 Camaro that has an electrical system that is just about toast. I have been getting by with it for a while, but now its starting to cause me so many problems that I feel its time to simply have the entire car re-wired. This is something that I have NEVER done before, so if anyone out there has any advise on how to get started Believe me I am all ears. I'll probably end up having someone else do it for me, but I want to buy the parts myself. Someone once mentioned in here something about a " painless wiring system" that was said to be very good. How much would something like this cost and where can I find it? If anyone out there has done this before, PLEASE ADVISE. I truly will be far more then grateful
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 02, 10:47 PM
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If you've never done this before stick with the factory wiring harnesses that the Camaro suppliers sell. The Painless Wiring, isn't very painless from the people I've talked to that have tried it.

Myself I wouldn't be afraid of using a system like Painless since I've done so much automotive and aircraft wiring installation. But for a first timer I think you'll be happier with the factory type harnesses. Stick with the good ones like Year One sells. You'd be able to do it yourself, it's not as difficult as you'd think. I'd also start with the engine compartment and forward light harnesses, then the rear light harness. Save the dash and cockpit wiring for last, it's the most difficult if you've never been upside down on your head under the dash of your Camaro. You may also find that by changing the engine forward lighting and rear harnesses you'll solve all you problems. they are the most damaged from my experiences and the cheapest to replace. The dash harness is quite expensive and isn't exposed to the elements like the engine and forward lighting harnesses are.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 02, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Do these wiring harnesses come with a wiring schematic? Man, I'm really gonns need one.

Still learning as I go along.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 02, 03:13 AM
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The replacement harness is realy nice and easy to install but the cost is staggering. I did some harness restoration on most of my harness and replaced some of it. Most of the problems are in the bulb sockets and the dreaded black electrical tape and twist repairs that have been done over the past 30 years. Invest in a good soldering gun, real harness wrap(not black electrical tape) and some heat shrink tubing. Clean the contacts with CLR and use a little dilectric silicone grease on reasembly. You can remove the harness from the car to fix the twisty splices and solder them correctly. Put the shrink tubing on the wire BEFORE you solder it. Clean up dirty exposed wire with a rag soaked in thinner.

If you just get rid of all those darn twist and tape repairs it should work much better. The bulb sockets are available as "pigtails" or you can use a continuity tester to check the contacts and repair the sockets. I found several sockets in the rear lamp harness where the ground was bad so I just added a second ground wire and all was well there.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 02, 01:29 PM
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If your car has a decent amount of modifications, you may want to avoid a stock type harness. Why cut up a new harness to install your ignition box, one wire alternator, aftermarket gauges, big stereo, electric fan, etc?

If you think the stock stuff is a waste, I would look around for street rod parts. Street rodders are always wiring from scratch, due to old 6 volt wiring or new fiberglass bodies.

I wired my dad's 39 chevy from scratch years's not too bad. Just do one system at a time. Starter/ignition, then headlights, tailights/brakes, dash, etc.

For new fuse panels, check our Centech, Watson's Streetworks, or Ron Francis Wireworks. They all sell kits and parts. My dad just bought a panel from Centech....$125 and very nice. They also make generic pigtails that connect to the steering column for turnsignals, etc.

Also, I personally don't care for the Painless "stock" type harnesses where everything is prewired to the fuse panel. I think that would be a pain at the start of the installation. A panel alone let's you test, cut and route one wire at a time. This, to me, seems easier and neater, but I have never installed the stock type. Maybe I'm wrong.....

Regardless, I would just rewire the whole car. There's nothing worse that getting in your cool ride, everyone's watching, you turn the key, and hear "click, click". Humiliating!!!!!!

Jason Kalinoski

PS. My last advice would be if something doesn't work, check the ground. If it still doesn't work, recheck the ground. If it STILL doesn't work, have someone else check the ground. See where I'm going with this......good luck!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 02, 04:35 PM
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I used a Centech on my 69 on complete rewire and it was great. You can also get a upgraded stock kit from American Autowire / Factory Fit. They are high quality buy eeeeeeeexpensive!

Schematics will come with both. I am very familiar with rewiring and you are doing the right thing with your car. This is something that is overlooked when buying one of these classics.

When I start, I just start by cutting everything out with wirecutters. No need to save anything. You can leave the colored wire and connectors on the terminals to help you down the road. You can get a stock schematic from any Camaro supplier.

Good luck.

ps....catch my JACK'STANDS column in October on wiring tips and choosing wiring systems (NOV) in Northern or Southern Rodder Magazine.

ConceptOne Pulleys and Brackets
Northern/Southern Rodder Magazine's "Jack'Stands" author and creator
Techical forum/links at
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 02, 01:06 PM
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1. remove the driver's side seat. It's much more comfortable to work under the dash laying on your back than in some wierd position laying over the seat.

2. wear some goggles. There's 30 years of dust and dirt under there and 90% of it will fall in your eyes
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 02, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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I was browsing the Team Camaro Classified section and ran across an ad offering an origional harness for a 68 for $125.00. So far I have been planning to go with this, but before I mail out the check, do any of you guys think this would be a good idea, or should I buy this new. What do you guys think?

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