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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone embarked on wiring the car manually? Just buying a fuse block and spools of wire?

I'm looking for an estimate of how much wire I'll need and some recommendations on wire gauges. I'm an electrical engineer, so I can do the math... just seeing what has worked well in the past.

Typically, how many circuits are used? With so few high current items in the car, it seems like a seven circuit block would be more than sufficient.
 

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Premium Member
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Have fun but for no more than the FFR harness costs I'd go that route. I think you would be better off in the long run.
 

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ASE Master Tech
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Hi, yeah I thought about doing that myself, and then I found aaw and got a harness with headlight and dimmer switch for less than $300. I can say that the harness worked well, but it did require some custom {and creative} wiring. It's just not plug and play like I hear the RF harness is. I only used 5 to 7 circuits but I dont know if I could have bought a fuse block, wire, connectors, loom, and switches for as little as the aaw harness cost. Just my experience. Good luck with the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick feedback. Can you send me a link to the AAW harness you used? I just know that I'm going to be adding a wealth of switches and controls and I can't rationalize spending $500 to hack up the pretty FFR harness.

Thanks,
 

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Junior Charter Member
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1,637 Posts
Pick up a copy of Street Rodder Mag, many sources listed.
EZ Wiring 12 Circuit-$155
21 Circuit-$165
21 Circuit Kit-$185

Keep It Clean starting at $199

Gear Head $135 to $159

Rod Parts $135

Hope this helps
Tim
 

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FFR Builder
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349 Posts
Project,
I did basically the same thing as Ryan. I picked up a Painless harness from a forum member; I think it had twelve circuits. I thought that all of those circuits would have been more than enough. When you start adding in options, they get used up very fast. Some optional consumers that can be added to these cars are fuel pump, seat heaters, footbox fans, cockpit heater, wipers, lighting (trunk, cockpit or engine compartment) to name a few. Having the labeled wires was a huge help. There are plenty of modifications to wet your electrical appetite, but the harness is a great starting point. You can go to Painless' website and look at some manuals (I have harness 90501). In these manuals they list all of the wire sizes for each circuit. HTH, Dave
 

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na
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992 Posts
PROJECT,I did mine that way one circuit at a time,I also used a quickcar race panel,I think is 7 cicuits and switches,ign,start button,fuel,fan overide,lights,highbeam,wipers,was way easy,used un derdash console and put all wiring in there
 

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Junior Charter Member
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I did it to a street rod I built but never finished, I helped the new owner finish it up after he had body and paint done, it wasn't hard at all, think about it, if you are going carb there isn't really that much to figure out except lights and ignition.
charlie
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Project, It depends on what your doing with the car. If its a street car I'd use a AAW or Ron Francis harness. If it's a track only car do it manually with a fuse box and spools of wire. Note, not all wire is equal. be careful on what you choose.
 

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Yes - scratch harness... actually started with a painless but ditched everything but the fuse block. Huge job...hundreds of hours invested ......... and at least $600 in materials (lots of leftover). While I can say it is my own (and I am very proud of that) I would not scratch design a harness again - too much work.

http://www.legacygarage.com/new_page_16.htm
 

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I think in terms of having wired the car manually, though I used Painless harnesses for the chassis and for the EFI on my 5.0 302. The harness has all wires labeled, and that helps later with troubleshooting. Starting from absolute scratch would have required marking wires differently ande making notations about their identification: tedious work. When I say "manually," I mean that all wires were cut to length and, in the case of the engine wiring, soldered with heat-shrink in offsetting locations, so as not to have a lumpy loom. Worked fine for me. I know what you are asking, though, since I have done extensive wiring on model railroads in the pre-electronic age. Again, labeled or coded wires here are essential for tracing later, unless you really like using continuity meters (even they can lie sometimes).
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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7 curcuits will be enough.
I used the AAW harnes for 300.00 and found it to be fine for these cars.
For anyone familar with auto wireing. Doing these cars from scratch is not that difficult if carb'ed. Just worked out a little cheaper with the AAW harness once you factor in cost of all the connectors and cost of different colored wires of assorted size's.

The labeled wires every foot on AAW harness also helps come trouble shoot time if needed.

Even if you do decide to go scratch build harness. Wireing the car per AAW,Painless,ect diagram. Would help save time instead of drawing up your own. Wire color and fuse i.d. would be different but the curcuits and lay out the same:)
 

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Charter Member
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If I could do it all over again, thats exactly what I'd do.

I've wasted VAST amounts of time trying to rework the Ron Francis harness to work with my setup. I'd have less money in and probably 1/4 of the time if I just did it from scratch and I'm still not done so it still remains to be seen how much of the bits left I end up using.

In fact, its so far off what I need even 80% of the way though wiring I've recently debated ripping it all out and starting from scratch because I worry about long term reliability.

A big part of the problem is the schematic that comes with it is horrible -- the fuse box, relays and flashers are a black box. There's no indication what is wired where. There also is no indication of what its expecting things like the ignition or headlight switch to be doing.

I've also had to add a half dozen external relays and a half dozen fuses on top of it.

Using a pre-built harness is one of my top five big mistakes I consider that I have made on the build so far.
 

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Speed-crazed and Confused
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2,357 Posts
ISIS, used 19 circuits......

basically did all from scratch, but no relays....all solid state.

Had a blast wiring it, made sense and very VERY flexible.....

want my interior lights to come on when the security is disabled.....flash the computer....done....no new wiring, relays or switches
 

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Premium Member
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1,198 Posts
I wired mine from scratch. I like that stuff. It wasn't that difficult. The worst part was finding wire with different color coding. Rhode Island Wiring is a good source. I posted my wiring diagram awhile back: http://www.ffcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172370&highlight=wiring+diagram

There was also a post not that long ago that had a bunch of beautifully done diagrams for different circuits. Do a couple of searches.

good luck,
c
 

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Charter Member
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ISIS, used 19 circuits......

basically did all from scratch, but no relays....all solid state.

Had a blast wiring it, made sense and very VERY flexible.....

want my interior lights to come on when the security is disabled.....flash the computer....done....no new wiring, relays or switches
I wish it'd been available when I started my wiring. I bought the 1+1 million system from them because there was an implication that it could do what the ISIS does -- i.e., it was end user programmable. It couldn't, it wasn't usable for my needs as a result and I sold it and bought the RF harness. I lost $300ish selling the 1+1 system, so between that and the RF I'd be down almost a grand if I bought the ISIS now... unfortunately. If it was half or even 2/3 the price I'd rip out all my wiring (even 2/3 finished) and start over.
 
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