Wiring – The Beginning

Wiring has been pretty intimidating for me. Not only is it expensive, there are a lot of details that I just don’t know. Since I didn’t take out the original wiring, I don’t have pictures of how it all looked previously. That just adds to the anxiety of re-wiring the whole car.  Not to mention not being able to test anything until everything is done. Well, no point putting it off any longer. Time to jump in head first.

After much research and contemplating a number of opinions, I went with the American Autowire Complete Wiring Kit. Additionally, I went with the Painless Classic Braid Chassis Kit for wire looms and organization. I shopped around with NPD first. Since I specifically wanted the AAW kit, and their site didn’t indicate the brand or model number, I kept looking. CJ Pony Parts also had it, but still pretty expensive. CJPP did recommend I include the Painless braid kit, which I couldn’t find on NPD either. Just in case, I checked Summit Racing, and surprise, they carried both kits, and cheaper as well.

To get started, I did a bunch of research. I found a pretty good Youtube channel called Auto Resto Mod where they go over how to do a number of the projects I have to do. One of them was installing this wiring harness into their mustang. They had some good tips which helped for sure.

I started by laying it all out and figuring out what I had. First step, I figured I would install fuses and blinkers according to the picture. Much easier here than under the dash. Can’t get much easier than fuse by color from a picture.

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Then I started applying the wire wrap to anything that looked like it was complete, or going to be under the dash. No way to do that once it’s in place. Since many of the wires that extend out from the dash don’t have the ends on them yet, I could only do so much before it was in place.

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Here I have much of the initial work done. I didn’t take a final picture before I installed it, but this is pretty close. I did also put a bit of braid on the first branch which is the front headlight branch. At least up to the first sub branch, which is the hood directionals. I should have braided the hood branch too, but I did that with it in the car. It was kind of difficult since it branched just past the firewall.

As I was first installing this, I didn’t realize that there are 2 places where the wire comes through the firewall. I pulled it all through the hole to the far left where the front light wires go. Well, then I pulled it all out and split branch 1 and 2 so the engine wires go through the top off-center hole and the lights go through the second from the top hole on the driver side next to the brake master cylinder.

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There was a grommet included for the firewall hole as you can see here. This one is a pretty good fit. Not so much on the other one. I still need to find the right one. So far it has been elusive.

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As I mentioned, I braided the wire that goes to the hood harness, but that’s it so far. I still need to figure out where to run the front light wires and how to fasten all of the wires and the washer hoses so they are supported correctly. When I get there, I will post an update.

For mounting the gear under the dash, well that was more exciting. The floor, being uncarpeted, is hard and uncomfortable. Mounting the new fuse box above the gas pedal is not a simple chore. It’s nice that one hole is there already, but getting the second hole drilled through my new firewall material was annoying at best. It’s really tucked away under the dash.

I had to take out the wiper motor that I installed previously. There is just no way to get the wires where you want them and mount the box with the motor bracket in the way. On top of that, I need to figure out how to mount the relays onto the motor bracket since that’s not original equipment and has no other place to go.

From there, I wired the trunk/tail lights and fuel sending unit. This was pretty straight forward, so I started there with hopes of having an easy job if I make mistakes.  The wire bundle runs down the driver side, under the door, in the running board channel.  This will be covered later with some flare. I may need to also run the dome light here. Not sure since there is a left and a right option.

From there, I split the fuel sending unit wire at the forward side of the trunk. I used a leftover grommet from the brake lines where they go through the shock tower. The hole was about the same size, and the braided wire was about the same diameter as a brake line. It’s hanging loose now, but I will be covering it up later. and I also need to attach it to a couple of the tank screws to keep it in place.

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From there, it went back the left quarter panel to the left tail light. I left a bit too much slack over here, and shorted the wires on the passenger side. It all worked, but I didn’t need to leave nearly so much. I am assuming the tabs under the lip were there to hold the wires in place. If not, they work great for it and its an amazing coincidence they are just where they need to be. The wires ran in across the top of the left quarter and across the tail light panel, branching to drop on the tail light and reverse light.

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They continue across to the license plate light below the latch mechanism, then continue to terminate at the right tail light and reverse light.  You can see I put the extra wire in place in case its useful later. This one is for power to LED tail lights. There is another for a trunk light as well, wrapped up in the braid. I was sure to clip the ends and cover them with tape so I don’t have a hot lead exposed.

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The only thing left to do in the trunk is to fasten the grounding wires. Due to wire length and me avoiding soldering or splicing, I have one ground wire on either side. I was able to do a double terminate into an eye connector, but I didn’t have a clean answer on how to do the same with 4 wires. Fortunately, there are 2 holes that can be used for grounding screws, one on either side of the fuel pipe.

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The next stage is under the dash. I have parts already for new chrome and assorted fasteners. Based on experience, I am sure I don’t have them all… Good thing this takes patience.

Parts

Tools

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