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Who makes the best harness? Ease of installation?
Ease of installation is relative, depneding on your skills and patience. M&H makes really good, factory stuff, sold only through Year One, though. If you want factory replacement, this is it. Ron Francis has a couple of Mopar kits. I have used RF for racing applications, good quality, good directions and tech support. Probably my second pick. American Autowire makes really good stuff, too, but not specifically for A-bodies. Painless has a generic Mopar kit, good quality. Doesn't usually have all connectors and sockets. Probably my third pick. I'm sure there are others, but I've never used them. Make sure you compare kits, understand what they include and what they don't. Make sure you can find the items they don't come with. Good luck.
Evans Wiring Harnesses
Evans wiring has nice harnesses. They are less expensive than Year One in some cases. They have been around a long time. I bought a harness and it is a nice piece.
I was at a vendor booth at Mopar in the Park in Minnesota over the first of June weekend and saw a factory style harness. I asked who made it and they said they got it through Year One. This vendor was pretty high priced so I looked at the Year One kit. It looked very nice so I ordered it. I saved about $150 on the 3 kits, under hood and engine, dash and taillight harnesses plus I had a 30% off code. I ordered all 3 harnesses and the under dash firewall insulation with shipping and it was $738. Now, if you do not want to pay that and are looking for a harness, I have a Ron Francis harness that you have to pull wires and make ends for that I will not be using and will sell.
By the way, the harness from Year One is pretty awesome. Very much like original stuff!!
If you can get a FSM (yours is available free somewhere online) you can do a lot of restoration to a factory harness for little money and it's not difficult. Mine worked out well, and since mine was a 74, I removed the seatbelt interlock crap to simplify it a little. Cley
I bought a year one (made by M & H) for a 73 Duster. It was a little different than the original. I would send the old harness or photos to make sure they replicate the replacement. Mine was non a/c etc. etc, but needed some rewiring unfortunately. A guy I talked to for the same mode/year was a direct replacement. My door jamb light wiring did not match as an example
How do you do the restoration of the harness. I'm at the stage of making a decision of purchase or restoring mine. Thanks
FYI: Can a Wiring Harness be Repaired or Overhauled? - InterConnect Wiring
Unwrap the whole thing and follow through wire by wire replace any bad wires or splices. Redo any bad connectors in the plugs. Get some Packard 56 connectors (I got mine off E-bay) and just make it like new again. Learn how to solder and splice on You Tube. Most important thing you can do is remove it all. Don't try and do it in the car. I made a scroll out of all the wiring drawings in the FSM to make it easier to follow. Cley
Thanks. My car is completely disassembled. Hope to paint the engine compartment and reinstall the engine soon
Personally, I wouldn't put 45 year old wiring back in, especially if the car is completely disassembled. You have the space to freely run the wiring. Just my perspective.
I wouldn't bother restoring a 40+ year old harness. By "restoring", I mean going through all the work of pulling out and inspecting the old harness and splicing in new sections where any of the wires look bad. The problem with that is that with wires this old, they can look ok on the outside, but the inside is corroded. Then problems arise later and all the work was for naught. Also, splicing in sections creates points of potential failure/problems. You would need to sand down every blade/connector to make sure every square millimeter is making new/shiny metal contact to replicate the effectiveness of new connectors. You would also need to take apart the bulkhead connector and clean those contacts. I didn't want to go through all that trouble of restoring for a subpar/old system with as much (probably more) work than installing a new and updated aftermarket setup. I went with ron francis and happy with it. Good instructions and support. Install was easy-just took time. I completed it in about 2 weeks working on it with my schedule. You are also given a color coded diagram for the entire vehicle. Now you could use your old harness as a guide to replicate lengths/colors and gages to build your new one. I didn't have the time for that and there is no way I would pay upwards of 1k to purchase a kit that claims to be an exact replica.
Others experiences may differ, but the 2 harnesses I had were in amazingly nice shape. Some issues at the bulkhead connector that were easily fixed and the only other issues I found were caused by prior butchery. The wires themselves, even the underhood ones were in nice shape. Cley
Just bought a Ron Francis retro kit waiting for it to be delivered today actually. I will put some pics up when I get it
Here is the Ron Francis retro wiring harness
The one thing I’m upset with with this Ron Francis wiring is they don’t have a simple plug for the original gauge cluster
Excellent answer!! 2nd only to M&H from Year One (and theirs may take a little "nudging" despite claims of "exact repacment" M & H tech support is great, but you have to buy the year one harness first.
Ma Mopar didn't make that easy! The GOOD news is that those plugs were the same for many years. Not that hard to reconstruct from salvaged 12" (suggestion) wire ends.
Do you know what each wire color goes to on that plug. That would make it a heck of a lot easier. That’s why I kept my old harness for something like this.
For my project, since I plan to replace everything, I am going with American Autowire Classic Update for Modified Restoration, not OEM. The kit has all the bulb sockets and wiring for aftermarket A/C, gauges, fuel injection, etc. The only way to describe what many previous owners have done to the wiring is - F'd Up. Must have had a sale on red and yellow wire at Home Depot. Anyway, if you plan some modern updates, this kit may be worth a look.