Should I keep original wiring harness ? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old May 30th, 18, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Beth
 
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Should I keep original wiring harness ?

I was thinking I should update my wiring harness because I have the interior out and the engine/trans almost ready to install.

But when I got under the dash I noticed the harness looks great- no rusting in the fuse box at all.

This was a grandma's car and there were zero mods done to it; the factory AM radio was in it when I bought it in 1992.

Am I missing anything ? I don't plan on adding a big stereo so I think the stock harness should be ok ?

I want to keep it as original as possible despite the LS engine under the hood.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 04:33 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

If you plan on keeping it, I personally would do the upgrade. Even though all the wire you see "appears" to be in good condition, you cannot see that one wire that a mouse snacked on back in '93. Not worth a short and losing your ride in flames or worse your house as well if something fails because of old wiring.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 07:10 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Your car is already a non-original,the new wire kits are so much better with so many wiring upgrades and options, I wouldn't think of keeping the 50 year old wiring in the car.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 07:26 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

If the insulation is brittle toss it. Itís a fire hazard.

Don
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 07:34 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Why chance it.....put in an all new harness from American Autowire, use dielectric grease on every connection end to end and be done with it.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 08:50 AM
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I use to swear by American Auto Wire. I am 99% done with my Z. I purchased the original plug and play harness. Looked like a good harness. I put it in my car, and had no right rear turn signal or brake light. Called tech and they seemed very knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. "Seemed". I explained my problem, and the guy said it was my turn signal switch. I explained to him that the column had been rebuilt and all checked out good. He said that it had to be my column because they test everything before it leaves. I said ok, and bought a switch. Spent about an hour installing the new switch, and same problem. I called back up and spoke to the same guy. He said my new switch must be bad. I told him that would be too much of a coincidence. Dr I got under the dash with him on the phone with a test light. We went through a few and then got to what he was calling a green wire. I told him that I had no green wire. He said that's your problem, your switch doesn't have a green wire. I then had to argue with him that I was testing his harness, and not my switch. He kept telling me I had a green wire. This went on for about 15 minutes. Finally I was able to get him to shut up and listen to me when I went wire by wire, and then told him I had a blank where the switch would connect. He then said well the green wire is in there. I assure you it was not. Come to find out it was never in my harness. Instead of removing my entire dash I had them send me the green wire and fixed the harness myself. So them saying they test everything is crap. Maybe they test most, and maybe this has never happened, or may never happen again. Don't know. I didn't even get a sorry for your troubles. I do not like painless harnesses, they are painful, but as others have said, if its hard and brittle, replace it with something new.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 08:51 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Assuming everything now works correctly - No need to change it out. Not gonna start a fire as all circuits are fused. If you do add an amp or other things add a 4 circuit fuse block off the battery for any desired added wiring.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 10:08 AM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

If its working and looks to be in good shape, I would leave the original in place.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 01:48 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
Assuming everything now works correctly - No need to change it out. Not gonna start a fire as all circuits are fused. If you do add an amp or other things add a 4 circuit fuse block off the battery for any desired added wiring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hond0 View Post
If its working and looks to be in good shape, I would leave the original in place.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 02:17 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

If you keep the original harness make sure you have good fuses and fusible links.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 03:26 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
Assuming everything now works correctly - No need to change it out. Not gonna start a fire as all circuits are fused. If you do add an amp or other things add a 4 circuit fuse block off the battery for any desired added wiring.
I respectfully disagree. Fires can start without blowing a fuse. 30 amps is almost 400 Watts. Plenty of heat to start a fire.

Brittle wire is something that should be replaced and it is a safety hazard imho...

Don
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 04:22 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
I respectfully disagree. Fires can start without blowing a fuse. 30 amps is almost 400 Watts. Plenty of heat to start a fire.

Brittle wire is something that should be replaced and it is a safety hazard imho...

Don
Yes however I would also assert that most fires start due to faulty wiring as a result of a hack job more so than an original non-molested wiring harness
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 04:36 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
Yes however I would also assert that most fires start due to faulty wiring as a result of a hack job more so than an original non-molested wiring harness
OP is doing an LS swap so lots of underdash/underhood work and wire flexing etc. I guess we will have to agree to disagree....

Don

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 06:10 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

Iím agreeing if itís brittle swap I out.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old May 31st, 18, 08:48 PM
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Re: Should I keep original wiring harness ?

If the conversion to the new motor and electrical additions are done well and proper, then there may be no problems BUT even though you would hope all circuits would be fused, some may not be.
If for instance, you have the positive battery cable going down to the starter and the cable rests against the exhaust and after a while shorts to ground, there was is no protection on that circuit years ago.
While I have yet to do any personal tests with fusible links, and be able to add how they perform in relationship to a fuse which you can easily find specifications on, I've seen some wiring after a fusible link be questionable as to it's looks and how I think it might have been overloaded and the fusible link still be good. Who knows too that if an original fusible link got burned up and the wire was long enough to be reattached looking original, but now what should be there is not and an unsafe situation is there to someone not knowing any better.
If on the conversion you have the time, yes, look over everything closely to see how things are. Maybe take apart the bulkhead connector and look to see how the main feed terminal on the engine side is as well as the mating terminal on the interior side behind the fuse block. This connection passes the most power through it and then take a look at the starter solenoid terminals also in the bulkhead connector. If you have the fuse block unbolted off of the firewall, separate the fuse block portion from the firewall bulkhead portion and look at the larger wire connections on the backside of the fuse block for any overheating.
If you have a good digital meter, do some voltage tests with the car not running and then running and when different accessories are on and when the car is at idle or a highway RPM. This will gibe you something to go back to if needed should an issue arise later.
Being an old car, and who knows might have been into it, double check that if a particular fuse should be a 20A, it is the proper size and not that someone has replaced it with a 30A one.
Jim

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