The electrical system is critical to your cars operation. It might seem like a complex and confusing mess, but if you approach this logically and use the sites wiring diagrams you'll be able to understand what's going on. Old harnesses are often hacked up, frayed or brittle. Previous owners generally hack into a harness to install radios or other electrical equipment. Wires in the engine bay melt or become brittle. You might peek under your dash and see that rats have chewed everything up, or you've had (or will have) a fire soon because of the condition of your wiring. In some cases it's easier to replace the wiring harness with a new one. Inspect what you have 1st before throwing money around or rewiring your car.
Jump to: Battery | Charging System | Wiper System | Optional & Misc circuits | Radio Equipment
1970 - 1973
Engine/Fwd light (1970)
Engine bay/Front Lights (1973)
1974 - 1977
Engine Bay (1974)
1978 - 1981 (1978 Specific)|
Engine Bay (1978)
Instrument Panel (1978)
Under Dash & Column (1978)
Light Minder Buzzer (1978)
A/C & Options (1978)
Cruise & Pulse wipers (1978)
Body & Rear Lights (1978)
Power Windows (1978)
Power Locks (1978)
1970 - 1972 - used an externally regulated alternator (generator) with a voltage regulator.
Split plastic wire conduit debuted in 1973. Prior to this wiring was wrapped in electrical tape or some cloth type tape.
1981 - Only year with an ECM (computer) installed.
EVERYTHING YOU EVER NEEDED (WANTED) to know about wiper systems: Hidden Wiper Tech (PDF)
Basic Electrical Info |
Components & Descriptions |
Note: The troubleshooting help link will send you to the Second Generation Camaro Owners Group message board troubleshooting section. This is intended for Second Gen Camaro info only. You can find or ask relavent information about your particular problem there.
WARNING: ALWAYS ALWAYS DISCONNECT THE NEGATIVE TERMINAL BEFORE PLAYING WITH THE WIRING SYSTEM. Failure to do so will require you to quickly learn where the fusable link is located and how to replace it. Also some circuits aren't fused. If you screw up, you will have a fire.
General Wiring & Electrical Information
The key to understanding the wiring system is using the sites wiring diagrams, then carefully tracing your wiring and comparing it to the diagram(s). You'll be able to understand what each wire looks like, where it goes and what it's supposed to do. Wires are identified by size, color and circuit number.
To make life easier, the electrical system is broken into various circuits, harnesses or assemblies depending on what specific equipment your car has. These harnesses usually consist of:
The main junction for these is the fuse block located on the firewall.
It's by your left foot when sitting in the drivers seat.
The rear wiring comes out of the fuse block and runs down the driver side rocker panel. It's covered by the sill plate and routed over the wheelhouse and into the trunk. Then there is a connector which plugs into the actual rear light harness.
All 2nd gen Camaro batterys were side mount styles.
Batterys up until 1975 had caps and required maintenance. Standard battery was an R79, with
optional being R89.
The Delco Freedom sealed battery debuts in 1976.
The 6-cylinder battery was rated at 2300 watts - 45 amps.
RPO's are T59 (conventional battery),
Heavy Duty battery: T60 (1970 - 1973), UA1 (1974 - 1981)
Cars with Air Conditioning would have the Heavy Duty battery option included.
Major Optional Components, Systems & Assemblies
Optional Electrical Components
Air Conditioning (C60)
Radio Equipment (U**)
Power Windows (A31)
Power Locks (AU3)
Wiper System - Wipers, Standard, & delay/pulse. (C24, CD4).
Console wiring harness
Basic Troubleshooting & Testing
To get basic troubleshooting and diagnostic information, see the ELECTRICAL section of our clubs forum.
In most cases, it'll be ASSUMED you know how to perform basic electrical system diagnosis.
diagnostic & isolating problems
Most common problems are caused by a poor ground or a short circuit. Burnt out bulbs can also cause other bulbs to go out or become dim.
Testing switches: Headlight switch
Refurbishing old wiring
Inspect the wiring for damage. Clean the wiring. Keep things nice & tidy. Tie wrap wires. Route the wires away from sources of heat or brackets that can rub into the insulation and cause a short.
Author: MadMike Maciolek
North Georgia Classic Camaro
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