To rewire or not to rewire?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Mr Sunshine, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. 1978 Z/28

    1978 Z/28 Member Gold Member

    Jul 17, 2017
    New Brunswick
    I am not worried about my Z being original as the original engine is in the basement with 12000 miles on it and 1 summer, I want the car to look good, be dependable and perform.
  2. phat80

    phat80 Veteran Member

    Jan 4, 2013
    Victoria BC
    20/20 hindsight. I had mine completely torn apart, thought about putting a Painless system but failed to pull the trigger. Now that I'm chasing issues under the dash...I wish i had spent the money and bought the harness. PS replace the dash circuit board at the same time.
    Mr Sunshine likes this.
  3. Mr Sunshine

    Mr Sunshine Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    Hello phat80,
    How long have you owned your Camaro and was your wiring in original condition or had it been cut into etc.?
  4. phat80

    phat80 Veteran Member

    Jan 4, 2013
    Victoria BC
    I've had my car 5 years. Original wiring, some hacking done for a radio swap at some time. The litmus test for replacement, I believe in hindsight, is when you look at the wire junction box on the engine side of the fuse block...if the tar "sealant" is dried out, crusted and shitty looking there's probably going to be conductivity issues.

    Of course you could take the box off the firewall and clean everything...but
  5. 71flh

    71flh Veteran Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    There are a couple of harness options and costs. The under dash harness is most expensive in you go with a stock replacement, but is usually in the best shape since its in the car.
    The 2 underhood harnesses are typically toast. The front to rear harness is cheap so no sense not replacing it.
    Then there are the all in one harnesses, that need to be terminated. Less money, but more work.
  6. HBomb

    HBomb New Member

    Jan 21, 2017
    I've put my resto back together and I'm actually going to pull the interior all apart and do my wiring anyways. I have this reoccurring nightmare of my car lighting on fire from the electrical. I actually drive with two extinguishers because of this. Thing is things always work great with no issues until the day they don't. I'd say if you're going to rip it down then do it for sure. Some of the used parts on my car came from a burnt up 79 Z that lit up because of wiring issues behind the radio. To me we put so much time, money and heart into our cars, why risk losing it all over a stupid little short from a worn old wire.
    Zstar likes this.
  7. Mr Sunshine

    Mr Sunshine Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    I'm looking over my original wiring to check condition and when removing the tail light bulb I noticed some brown putty type substance in the socket. I pulled apart the back of the socket and it's packed with this stuff. Does anyone know if this some type of dielectric grease from 1978?
    20171125_165058.jpg 20171125_174024.jpg

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  8. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    That's what it looks like, and M&H Electric Fabricators , make , original harnesses as well at really great prices , the thing to consider, what upgrades are you planning for the future !
  9. orkin

    orkin Veteran Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    I rewired my 73 with AAW recently. My biggest complaint was that I wired the engine bay, and the rest of the car at different times and they wired the main connector differently than stock. If I would have done everything at the same time it wouldn't have been a big deal.
  10. Desert_Dick72SS

    Desert_Dick72SS Veteran Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    If it's coming apart, you might as well wire it! I know most everyone hates doing automotive electrical work, but I've done a bunch of wire harnesses and the piece of mind is well worth the trouble...
    Kinda foolish to dump a bunch of money in your project and leave the 40+ year old crispy wiring in there to catch fire....
    If you're on a budget, Speedway sells a re-branded AAW 22 circuit harness with a bunch of accessories for under $200....I've used it before and have had no troubles..,229874.html

    Mr Sunshine likes this.

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