How to proceed question

giggity

Veteran Member
Mar 18, 2013
1,677
Pearland, texas
Ive been struggling with ideas and suggestions about how to go forward.

Its time I clean up my rats nest of wiring.

I looked at the American Autowire upgraded wire set. A bit pricey, but problem is that my current wiring is in decent shape. I dont really feel the need to change it, and I feel I would probably still need something external to control power.

I have a LOT of electrical upgrades.

Dual Electric fans
Powermaster 1 wire, 140 amp alternator
MSD ignition
FiTech fuel injection
Tanks inc tank with electic pump.
Dakota Digital guages
Vintage Air
And probably will end up upgrading lights

So with all these upgrades I wanted to run a separate panel, keep the factory stuff on the factory panel, but run everything else on a separate fused panel, somewhere out of the way, but accessible.

Any ideas? or care to share what you did similarly?
 

badazz81z28

Veteran Member
May 4, 2001
21,796
Alabama
Keep in mind...your wires are 50 years old and they may look good on the outside, but not on the inside. I guarantee the wire is not in as great shape as you might think. Resistance equals heat and a fire potential...in the grand scheme of things a $800 wiring harness is nothing compared to the entire investment. I know my painless harness came with a fused circuit for an electric fuel pump, provisions for aftermarket gauges, wiring for a high amp alternator etc. I am however using a separate fuse box for a lot of the engine management and cooling fans in the GMPP LS engine harness. Vintage Air wants you to connect its power directly to the battery and uses a thermal breaker, so it depends on how you want to wire it.
 

Tony65

Member
Jun 27, 2015
42
Eastern Ma.
The AAW Classic Update harness ($600) might be the one you would want if you decide to replace what you have.

When I read rats-nest wiring, I assume it's a hacked up harness that isn't in good shape. My son't 71 wiring was pretty frail in some places. so wanted to be sure we had good wiring with factory like connections. It didn't seem worth repairing what he had, so went with AAW.
We're not disappointed with AAW, just that all the other options mostly provide their own wiring systems.

My son's 71 has the AAW harness, Dakota Dash, Holley Sniper EFI, Spectre intank fuel pump, MSD igniition, TKO 600, mini stater, internally regulated alternator (not one wire).

Dual Electric fans ==> Power, usually direct from battery (fused / breaker), Switched control should come from your EFI system, so no need for AAW here either.
Alternator ==> AAW provides necessary power / excite wires for internally regulated alternator.
MSD ignition ==> Main Power comes direct from battery, power to switch it on comes from original ignition power feed.
FiTech fuel injection ==> If like Holley Sniper, system power direct from battery, power to switch it on comes from original ignition power feed.
Tanks inc tank with electic pump . ==> Main power should come from an EFI supplied relay/fuse ( at least this is how Sniper does it). So AAW Electric fuel pump circuit isn't needed.
Dakota Digital guages ==> Comes with its own sending units and wiring, so none of the sending unit or gauge panel wires on the AAW harness are used.
Vintage Air ==> Not familair with it, but suspect the same as other systems. High current feeds likely comes from a fused battery source, and switched feed from an ignition switch.
And probably will end up upgrading lights ==> Power direct from battery / fuses, but controlled from original switch / wiring.

It seems that AAW would have been perfect if he didn't go with the Dakota Digital dash and EFI. The AAW gauge wires were set up perfectly for aftermarket electric gauges including electric speedometer.

If your current wiring looks like it will hold up for another 20-30 years, then install a relay controlled auxiliary fuse panel with a dedicated power wire coming from the battery to support the new stuff that needs to support higher current devices.

I still think we made the right decision to go with a new harness because it needs to last another 20-50 years.

For what it's worth. I rewired my 65 El Camino using a ~20 circuit generic street rod harness (Its a Snap brand) since it was less than $200 and they are basically GM like.
Every single wire needs to be terminated by the installer. It was fine for this since the only add ons were the internally regulated alternator. MSD Ignition, and electric fans have their own wiring.
It will still support the other future add ons. The only real downside is that there is no firewall bulkhead, so no disconnect option for the front end wiring.

The attach pic shows how we wired the Sniper EFI, Fuel pump, MSD, Start Circuit... haven't done the fans yet. The point is that with all the upgrades, there is very little dependency on the only the original circuits. Make sure your pink(ign) and purple (start) circuits are reliable if you decide to stick with the original harness.
 

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