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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to open a discussion about current ideas/approaches to wiring a FFR kit car that appeal to builders.

While I have continued to provide and refine professionally dieted OEM harnesses in conjuction with a quality aftermarket chassis harness (a system developed orignally by Roger Stine and for many years built by us as a team) WIREDIET.com has experienced a drop off in demand over the last few years. Even with numerous recommendations on this Forum by satisfied customers.

This leads me to believe something has changed in the FFR community of builders. I'm at a crucial crossroads where I must decide if in spite of numerous hits on WIREDIET.com's banner ad and customer satisfaction that perhaps this approach to wiring a FFR kit car no longer holds appeal to the FFR community in general.

Your thoughts as how to best wire a build and why, and any thoughts as to why professionally dieted OEM harnesses have seem to have lost the popularity they once had among FFR builders would be appreciated.

Art / WIREDIET.com
 

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Tool Collector
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Art, Let me tell you what I am hearing. I was at the open house this past weekend and the question of wiring came up. Seems that most here believe that using a 20-30 plus year old harness means a car that will be unrealiable and nothing but trouble. I for one know this is not the case. I have been an electritian for the past 25 or so year and know that copper wire can last a hundred years. I think people don't understand the benefiets of the service you provide. That and the fact that FFR is now offering complete EFI and chassis harnesses has hit you dead on. I did the dieting on my own harness for obvious reason but others could really benefiet from you services. Perhaps you could remind us all from time to time what you do and how you do it in a thread like this. Another option would be to combine forces with one of the other vendors here rather than going at it alone to help with cost. It's a tough time for allot of small businesses, if you can get through the next few months hopefully there will be a turn in the economy. Sorry, thats all I got. Best of luck to you and hang in there. Frank
 

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I've seen a trend to alot more carb cars than used to be and most carbed people are using the FFR/Francis harness for simplicity. I had a dieted harness in my car but when I switched to carb I switched the harness out also. Also you have to compete with the complete kit from FFR that comes with the harness. Alot of things have changed in the last 3 years thats hurt alot of vendors even besides the complete kit, FFR is offering wheels and stainless pipes, for alot less than what Richard and Nick were selling them for, and with the economy everyone is trying to pinch every penny they can, which is hurting the vendor, plus this forum for the loss of ad sales. I've been saying for the last couple years that things will turn around but to no avail.
 

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FFR Cobra Craftsman
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995 Posts
Art is the man

Well from an individual who has had much communication with Art recently I can attest to his professionalism as well as his knowledge and the fact that he is willing to go the extra mile (and then some) to provide what his customers want and need.
The service he provides is amazing. He is able to take a donor harness and transform it into a "work of ART" (get it). Art is able to intergrate an aftermarket chassis harness with an engineered Ford factory harness to achieve the ultimate in reliability and functionality.

More recently Art has adapted a fully emissions legal (including EVAP etc.)
into a 2003 donor harness. This was no easy task, Art worked through many issues (with a little help from RE63) and was able adapt it to work with the MK4 in a DOHC configuration.
I for one will support his business and recommend him until he decides he is no longer going to offer us his services. This will truely be a sad day for the FFR community....

THANK YOU ART !!!!!
 

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I believe you should focus on a new harness as your future growth product. A twenty year old Mustang as a donor car isn't as attractive as it was. I went with the complete kit for this reason. Besides all of the parts that would need to be refurbished I wasn't comfortable with twenty year old wire. Keep in mind I plan to keep my car for many (20 more) years and don't want electrical problems.
 

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Based on my observation of this forum through the past few years, I'd say far fewer builders are even using donor cars. No donor = no wire diet.

Pete
 

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Art, I believe that the main reason for the drop off of your demand has to do with the advent of the complete kit.

I believe there are far fewer donor builds than there used to be. Two factors contribute to this. One is the donors are getting old! Second a lot of people prefer to keep their hands clean, and the time they save with having everything there is a big plus for many.

Chris
 

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Based on my observation of this forum through the past few years, I'd say far fewer builders are even using donor cars. No donor = no wire diet.

Pete
Art, that's our situation. We went with a complete kit so no need for a wire diet. Best wishes, I really hope things pick up for you.

John
 

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I purchased a new harness from FFR for my carbed car. I believe, at the time, it was new, built for the car, and was less expensive than a dieted harness.
I hope you can find a way to make your business grow again!! Good Luck!!
 

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iBuild
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Art, I would say ditto to Chris' comments on the complete kit, as well as the FF Ron Francis harness. One opportunity might be to focus more on the engine harness as a diet and eassily mating it to the RF harness.

That said, I think there is a lot of opportunity in the wiring segment, but the needs may have shifted a bit as the kit has changed.

_Scott
 

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Art, I had my donor harness done by you. Well done! Some people have had issues with mating the different harnesses that are available. Could be your calling! I'm an electician by trade and found tiy were the best way to go! I can wire a power plant, but ...
Good luck, Sten
 

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Kriss Motors
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1,167 Posts
Decline of the donor concept

When FFR began shipping the Mk3 Complete Kit in September 2007, the logic of the donor concept - once the foundation of FFR - began to rapidly fade.

The Mk3.1 Complete Kit, released in January 2008, included the then newly designed Ron Francis harness that was compatible with both EFI and carb configurations. Non-stock EFI systems, like Mass-Flo, included their own custom harnesses, too. And ready-to-run crate engines made departing from stock power plants realistic for many non-expert builders. All these developments made diet harnesses either unnecessary or unattractive.

We are now about 2.5 years into the Complete Kit concept; good condition, inexpensive donors are harder to find, while high quality new aftermarket parts are plentiful. Meanwhile, FFR has effectively integrated into the previously donor-part-derived inventory, by offering everything from accessories to wiring. As a result, many "little guys" are squeezed between the change away from donor-based services and the economics of new part supply chain management.

In my opinion, I think there is still a significant need for custom harnesses, but perhaps not in the traditional "diet" delivery mode.

Good luck ... it's important for the health of the builder community that small suppliers survive!
 

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Wire Diet

With the advent of the RF harness in the complete kit I would recommend offering stand-alone harnesses as an option. Things like engine-only harness, foot box blowers, seat heaters, etc. The engine harness should be plug and play compatible with the RF harness. I know when I bought my complete kit I tried to buy a harness for the 4.6 from FFR. Not an option so I decided to do a diet. As always look at your pricing to ensure you are as low as you can be and still make a profit. Dale
 

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Snake Farmer
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I'm sure there are many builders still looking at their budget when building, and who may still be very interested in the dieted harness concept. The new replacement harness's are pretty expensive for some.

I think that you need to get the word out better that you offer this service, so new builders are aware of you. Try placing an "for sale" in the classified section fom time to time. New builders are often looking in there for bargains, thats where I found my dieted harness..

(You do have some competition as well, so make sure your prices are realistic)

I don't see any banner type add on the FFCars forum for wirediet.com? Where's it at?

Edit- ok, never mind I found it in the advertisers area..might be better off if it was shown on the side of the forum pages like the Tire Rack, Engine Factory, and some others have. I may have only looked at that advertisers page once or twice in four years. Perhaps update your webpage, and list some current pricing as well.

Just a suggestion..
 

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We know what you're up to
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I agree with Dale. I think a niche might be to offer modifications to the RF Harness to make mods more plug-n-play. From my experience, it would have saved me a lot of time having a dash harness that I could just plug into all of the gauges and switches. Instead I had to spend a lot of time going back and forth to Radio Shack crimping, heat shrinking, cutting, and tying up stuff.
 

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I used a donor harness dieted by an outfit called speed assembly. It all worked out well though.

I am fuel injected, I had to make a dash harness though, and needed to integrate in the Russ Thompson turn signal.

I also replaced all head light conductors to 3 gages lower, (BIGGER). Added a line for fan switch to tell the HAYDEN controller to turn on, and a lamp connected to the fan directly to read fan status on the dash.

I feel its ok, but still cumbersome.

The wipers, heater fan and washers are a separate harness.
 

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Art,
I agree with Don below on the plug and play. I am a first time builder, complete kit with EFI. I have basic mechanical and automotive knowledge, but almost no wiring knowledge. The hardest part of the build, by far, has been wiring. I am still in a struggle to integrate the RF harness with the EFI (Painless wiring) harness with the dash guages. If someone had a product that either eliminated all that integration or a service where they provided EASY and CLEAR direction on how to integrate all of it, I would buy it in a second. In fact, I would invest in the business!!
 

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MM50;

Seems like your saying that FFR needs a really good technical writer. The integration of the complete kit harness to EFI should be a no brainer. When I assembled my MKII, the manual supplied seemed to be an edited MKI, and not very well edited.

Better manuals could save FFR a lot of money...less calls...which back in 2003 they did well.

The car is so good, and the manual was so poor.

The manual also should be available for free as a sales inducement. I tried to buy it before the kit but that was a no go.

The manual should be on line so that revisions can be captured ongoing, just like TURBOTAX!

One thing that I did was to take the complete shipping list to excel so that I could find what part was in what box through a search!

They sent me the list on paper with the kit; they could have gone to excel with ZERO EFFORT!
 
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