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I must be one sick puppy .... BUT


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Guest Anonymous

It must be done :) I need to start rewiring my car. Read: Make a wiring harness. I did a search and I saw that someone was doing it quite a while ago and spent gobs and gobs of time doing so just to organize the layout. I hope I can do it a little quicker :\

Should I try to reuse the current connectors or snip everything off and use more modernish stuff? Some places I may need to use the old connectors but anywhere else.

Is there a good "wire supplier" (I guess) that can sell the original colors being striped as they are now? Im also thinking about going one gauge larger everywhere than stock and maybe a couple larger for the headlight circuit incase I go with high watt bulbs in the future, would this be a reasonable idea?

Im just tossing ideas around right now as I dont even know where to get the wiring from yet so any help....or warnings....would be appreciated. center

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Guest Anonymous

Ever try to troubleshoot something with ALL WHITE wires?

Rewrap everything in NEW cloth tape.

If you start snipping off connectors, you may be short. Some of those runs were already stretching it.

I would only replace connectors if needed. Any splices should be kept to a minumum and be soldered and heat shrink tubing applied. Anything more than one splice, run a new wire.

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Guest Anonymous

hmmmmm...

Worthy suggestion :) Thres got to be like 8 or so cut wires with no ends and tons of splices under there, about half my electrical stuff works, the other ive got no clue lol. I didnt even think about another years wiring, I saw one on ebay a couple days ago but figured the circuits would be SLIGHTLY different. I entirely wouldnt bother with all WHITE wiring Ek

I'll have to ask that guy on ebay what the condition the harness is in i guess....Its still unknown what im gonna do with my electrical situation. Everything is coming out of the car sooner or later anyway. Thanks. I'll post an update what I find out I guess.

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Guest Anonymous

I like the idea of getting a good oem wiring harness. If they are available, and you can afford it, get new. I would not use the cloth tape again-new or otherwise. I just don't like the tape-personal preference. I prefer the corrugated convoluted tubing available at most parts places. It looks worse than it is. You are lucky that the wires are color coded. If you are patient, you can get the new harness in with minimal splicing.

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Guest Anonymous

To the extent possible I'd re-use the existing connectors. With some careful persuasion most can be disassembled and then re-assembled. I switched around a couple for the relays to use another relay in the existing location. As for striping it is available, but I think a custom order,

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Guest Anonymous

although i have not replaced an entire harness in a car, i have done a lot of wiring on boats and i know that marine grades are better quality( and more expensive) and available in lots of colors and all gauges. Whenever I do wire work on my 02s, it is with marine wire. Just my opinion, but if you want quality throughout, that is the way to go. I would upgrade my connections on a new harness and use shrink over all connections. you will never have to worry about end corrosion, and certainly never have to worry about vibration decay. you can substitute dual colored wires with a different color altogether- you will have the wire diagram so there wont be confusion. If you buy in bulk lengths from marine warehouse you should be able to save a lot of money over just walking into West Marine and buying what you need. At least consider marine for wiring that is exposed to elements. ///

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Guest Anonymous

IMHO 95% of wiring harness problems are usually due to corrosion or physical damage at or near the connectors. That means most of the harness is in good shape. Unless the wire is physically damaged (cracked, melted or scraped off insulation) it's gonna be usable. The copper never "wears out." Replace/ splice (solder and use shrink tubing) the bad wires and connectors and leave the rest of the harness alone. I have 50 year old cars with 50 year old wiring that are working just fine--even the old cloth-insulated wires last a long time if they're not disturbed.

The cloth wrapping BMW used on '02s goes bad pretty quickly and then makes the harness look ratty. That's a lot easier to replace than doing the whole harness. Use plastic wrapping tape (like "electrical tape" but without the adhesive) for long term durability; if you want the original look, buy some "bias tape" at the local sewing shop (your wife knows what it is). Makes a perfect replacement and is easy to do a neat wrapping job.

Much, much easier than replacing the whole harness--that's rarely necessary unless the car's been in a flood, fire etc. For repairing your harness, you can always find someone who's scrapping a car who'll send you chunks of old harness so you can match up the colors.

Finally...if you're bound and determined to replace the harness with a new one of your own devising, BE SURE to make a diagram as you go along--if not for yourself, for the subsequent owner. Otherwise he'll post on this board asking for help 'cause the diagram in his shop manual doesn't even come close to what's in the car!

Contrarian Cheers

Mike

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Guest Anonymous

URL: http://www.riwire.com/

these guys were tons of help to me. They did not have every wire with stright trace but I was able to find the same color coding with spiral trace in most cases. I used larger gage wire for the hi beam circut but it may not be necessary on a later model. I also replaced the high beams with a higher wattage bulb and incorporated a relay and fuse as well *73 was unfused for high) I recommend just looking over what you have and replacing just the wires that are in bad condition. once you get oraganized and layout your plan it goes quicklt. I also soldered each new terminal. I used the same style as original (from ri wire) and heat shrink. RI wire also hase your high temp vinyl for hot places etc. For soldering I bought a big chunk and melted it in a tin can. Each terminal was fluxed and dipped. If you have everything ready to go ato the same time it really speeds things up. Also I bought flat braided wire for the block ground and a few other grounds- being able to dip made it way easier on the big stuff.

When you unwrap youll find ( or may have found already) that each junction has a single separate tape around it. Leave those on until you are at the point where the new wires are in place and then replace the tape with a new one.

I like using the cloth tape. One thing though- its good to leave space between the wrap at each junction or so just so you can trace that mystery wire on occasion. Additionally if I could have I would install all of tteh wire with no or minimum wraping, hook everything up and use it all for a while- then take it all out as needed (dont need to pull it through the fire wall) and wrap it. This allows for unforseen changes to be made. If I had done that then teh fuel cut off switch that I added would have been included with teh rest of the harness and really done nicely. I ran into a few different things like this.

I also bought all of the lare wire and terminals for the battery and fabbed all of that exactly as needed. No clamp terminal- its all soldered. One last thing if you can find some dielectric grease use it on your exterior teminals any you will not have to take them off in 10 years and clean them to get good contact.

ri wire is an interesting place. they have all the machines to make braided cloth covered wires (which happen to be the same machines for round shoe laces) in any color one wants. When I told tehm I had a 73 they refered to it as a quote- new car. They dont know much about new cars they said. measure twice and cut/tape once.

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