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Guest TerminalVelocity

Painless or not? (wiring harness)

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Guest TerminalVelocity

Ok, I have a 240z powered by a RB20det...the old harness is failing more and more, mainly with the lights. Keeps blowing fuses so I have decided time to replace the old segments. (The rb's harness is attached to the stock harness.) My question is should I just do my own wiring or is the painless harness a good way to go? I am hoping to do the harness swap this weekend so please help!!!!!!!

 

Also HI! I am new to this fourm. (I think you can guess that one though.)

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I used a painless harness in my car(bought it off ebay new for $212 shipped, some guy bought it but didn't use it so it was still new!). It was teh 18 circuit one. I personally thought it was very easy to install. Tons of extra wire so you can pretty much route it how you want to and not be worried about running out of wire. The wire lables will probably come in handy down the road if there is a problem. So far so good for me!

 

Guy

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My question is should I just do my own wiring or is the painless harness a good way to go?

 

Both!!

 

Even for making your own harness,a painless i a good way to start,if that makes sense?.The wire quality and the time saved by the individual labeling are worth the money alone,besides have you priced copper wire nowadays??.Even if you run the wires for things other than what the label says you can track things later as long as you document what you've done.....Oh yea - IMO :-)

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I was seriously considering making my own ENTIRE harness from bulk wire bought off FleaBay. At least that way, I can be assured of the proper gauge wire. What has bothered me the most about the majority of ready made harnesses is the use of VERY light AWG wire.

There are also much less expensive [& COMPARABLE] harnesses out there for less than PainFUL[less].

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Guest TerminalVelocity

thanks for all the advice, I ended up buying the EZ harness, it will be here thursday!

 

I know copper costs, I have spool after spool sitting around, I was an electrician for a while lol.

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I was seriously considering making my own ENTIRE harness from bulk wire bought off FleaBay. At least that way, I can be assured of the proper gauge wire. What has bothered me the most about the majority of ready made harnesses is the use of VERY light AWG wire.

There are also much less expensive [& COMPARABLE] harnesses out there for less than PainFUL[less].

 

Have you looked at the wiring on a modern car lately? 20-22 AWG wire is the norm for many things these days--electrical loads aren't what they used to be I guess?

 

The EZWiring harnesses are all either 14 or 16 AWG (can't remember for sure)--probably a lot heavier than it really needs, but what the heck.

 

And while building your own with bulk wire gives you exactly what you want, I'll spend the little extra for the benefit of all the multicolored wire and markings to follow circuits with.

 

I don't see it on their site anymore, but EZWiring used to make an "all black" harness--everything was still labeled, but all wires were black--marketed it to streetrodders who wanted a nice clean look

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Have you looked at the wiring on a modern car lately? 20-22 AWG wire is the norm for many things these days--electrical loads aren't what they used to be I guess?

 

The EZWiring harnesses are all either 14 or 16 AWG (can't remember for sure)--probably a lot heavier than it really needs, but what the heck.

I believe the Painless has all of the circuits running on relays. Not sure about the EZ harness. Maybe that is a difference between them?

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I also have the EZ wiring harness that I am going to use for my 1jz swap. The EZ wiring harness has some circuits on relays, like the (lights ,ect..) but everything else runs through a fusebox, which is all you need for the rest of the wiring. No need for relays on all the other circuits.

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Really glad someone posted this. I am about to re-wire my whole car and I wasn't sure whether or not to go with a Painless harness or something else. I'll check out that EZ Wiring kit, too. How do they work with sensors and things like that? Like, say if I'm going to add a MAP sensor, throttle position sensor, and distributorless ignition (EDIS most likely)? I'm pretty scared to death about the whole wiring thing; electronics are my weak point.

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Really glad someone posted this. I am about to re-wire my whole car and I wasn't sure whether or not to go with a Painless harness or something else. I'll check out that EZ Wiring kit, too. How do they work with sensors and things like that? Like, say if I'm going to add a MAP sensor, throttle position sensor, and distributorless ignition (EDIS most likely)? I'm pretty scared to death about the whole wiring thing; electronics are my weak point.

It's just a chassis harness.

AKA lights, horn, wipers, etc.

 

All the engine and engine management stuff must be run separately (and usually through a keyed circuit in the chassis harness).

Mario

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IIRC the EZ Wiring harness uses predominantly 18AWG, as does the Painless. According to my two automotive electrical wiring books, "Hot Rod Wiring" & "Custom Auto Electronics & Auto Electrical" [Thanks OWEN!] the AWG that they recommend for many circuits is 10-14AWG. For circuits like Alternator, they recommend 8AWG, I believe (it's been a while).

 

On the Painless & EZ kits, there are virtually NO circuits with that heavy a gauge. I believe that the Alt. circuits are 14AWG on them, which is way underrated according to every source that I've checked.

 

If anyone can enlighten me, I'd be most appreciative. I posted a few months back asking for recommendations on how many circuits and got ONE response...from someone telling me that they used the OE harness IIRC. Then again, I have had some isp difficulties, so I may have missed a direct response. TIA

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Ok, I have a 240z powered by a RB20det...the old harness is failing more and more, mainly with the lights. Keeps blowing fuses so I have decided time to replace the old segments. (The rb's harness is attached to the stock harness.) My question is should I just do my own wiring or is the painless harness a good way to go? I am hoping to do the harness swap this weekend so please help!!!!!!!

 

Also HI! I am new to this fourm. (I think you can guess that one though.)

I used the 18 circuit kit. It was very well laid out. I wanted to reuse existing column switches, which took some engineering. Later plan to change out column with aftermarket tilt and relocate switches. Have to do something with the wipers too. Painless has tech support that I utilized a few times. Some more experienced members have wired from scatch, but I'm happy with their product. Good luck.

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Guest Ethereal510

I was planning on going the Painless route also. Looks like I will be checking out the EZ setup. Thx for the link.

 

My buddy has the Painless kit, not sure what he payed, but if its equal or better in quality I might just pick that up since he ahs the exp of using it and installing it all on the same car.

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you guys should check out american autowire. their mainly for gm cars, but im sure you can figure out how to wire it to a z. i paid 400 for a 22 circuit fuse box and wiring and manuals. everything is labeled and color coded. but you screw down tabs on the block to hold the wires to the fuse box. so you can put it almost anywhere in the car. i bought it for my 70 camaro, but sold it before i had a chance to install it. :(

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I had been doing as much as possible on my swap to delay installing my harness and debating having it done versus doing it myself.

(Warren is going to help me !!!!!) But, I bought the Summit Harness because of the discounts and I got a good deal. After researching and asking what others used I found that the type of car, purpose of car and installer experience determined what harness was used. There's Painless, EZwire, Rebel Wire, Summit and Autowire and a few others. Most do not provide the ground wire in there kits,so bring your ground wire but Rebel wire and Autowire sell grounding kits (Autowire has a very nice grounding kit) but, all will work. Whatever, you choose 1. Get the factory manual for your car 2. Do not throw anything away 3. Read the instructions and read them again. I have a learned alot from the guys building Factory Fives and other kit cars, so as soon as I am back on feet I am getting this done.

 

240Z2NV, I am doing LS1 swap as well, If I were to do this again I would buy a Autowire Cobra Kit Harness with a GM switch, it has everything to do the complete wiring job. Like I indicated I got a deal on my Summit Harness, I bought ground wire, weatherpack connectors, relays and circuit breakers. By the time I did all this I could have bought the Autowire Kit and broke even.

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240Z2NV, I am doing LS1 swap as well, If I were to do this again I would buy a Autowire Cobra Kit Harness with a GM switch, it has everything to do the complete wiring job. Like I indicated I got a deal on my Summit Harness, I bought ground wire, weatherpack connectors, relays and circuit breakers. By the time I did all this I could have bought the Autowire Kit and broke even.

Speaking of circuit breakers, anyone know of a pre-built harness that uses circuit breakers instead of fuses?

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Thanks for the input. Some of the 'old timers' on here might know me as big on 'research'. I spend copious amounts of time on the net reading any info I can find on areas of importance, especially for safety. I often Google [e.g. " Automotive Custom Wire Harness"], then I read everything that I can find.

 

One of the tech sites had some electrical engineer/enthusiast reviewing harnesses. He SPECIFICALLY named American Autowire as a class-action lawsuit [for liability] waiting to happen. He was extremely critical of the AWG wire that they used. Now, granted, this discussion [forum] was a few years old; but the poster [critic] attends SEMA every year.

 

No cause for concern, just passing along information that I have read and printed out. I cannot deny or confirm the validity of the 'reviews'; but, he seems very well-informed and credible to boot. One of the harnesses that he was quite positive about was "Russ Francis' " ?? I might have it wrong, I'm sure it is bookmarked somewhere in my files.

 

As stated earlier, I am pre-occupied with using proper AWG wire for various circuits. I have experienced a car fire in a freshly finished 'show car' and it is something that I care not to repeat. If anything I want to error on the side of too heavy a AWG. Ideally, a very high strand count is said to be optimum.

 

Another 'button' of mine is that I want the fuse block COVERED. Alot of those ready-made kits do not have covered main terminals. It'll be a while before I need to have it all together; but, after pricing everything out to get the harness that best fits my 'needs', it is a 50/50 split for building my own with proper AWG wire that I order from Waytek Wire or eBay. Still 'shopping' for the best deals on Weatherpack connectors.

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I do quite a bit of reading and researching, and maybe sometimes scrutinizing to much, but that is me. That is good information to know about Autowire. I came across a thread were a Cobra kit car shop who builds kits for customers, hated the Autowire harness, but loved this I-Squared ( http://www.isqe.com ) then Painless next. The car shows I have been to locally, when I have asked car owners/builders about harnesses, Russ Francis comes up, Autowire and then Painless in that order. The 60's -70's hot rod guys are not to crazy about I-Squared ? The fear of fire, researching and health issue has delayed me getting this done. But, I have grasp of car electric in theory, hope to be getting it done in the next week or so.

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As stated earlier, I am pre-occupied with using proper AWG wire for various circuits. I have experienced a car fire in a freshly finished 'show car' and it is something that I care not to repeat. If anything I want to error on the side of too heavy a AWG. Ideally, a very high strand count is said to be optimum.

 

I've been down the very same path as far as fire is concerned. On a side note, be wary of "cheap" wiring. You get what you pay for. Just because you get the same gauge of wire with the cheap brand doesn't mean you get the same strand count. Gauge of wire means very little without a good strand count. I have used Painless multiple times and would never buy stuff off ebay without being able to see the strand count. Go look at Wal-Mart wire. Made in China. Very very VERY few strands. May as well just buy solid core.

Anyone who has experienced a catastrophic failure of wiring knows to treat it like fuel. Both can start a fire. Don't skimp. Get the good stuff. It will flow more for the same gauge of wire. It will be more flexible. It's labelled. It will last better.

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FWIW. the EZ wiring harness uses higher quality wire than painless does. painess uses TXL grade wire and EZ uses GXL which is the next grade up from TXL. here is a site explaining the difference between the two.

 

http://www.kayjayco.com/wiretables.htm

 

as far as wanting circuit breakers instead of fuses you might want to try these. they are a little spendy at ~$2.50 each, depending on manual or auto reset, but the point is that you don't have to replace them right? they plug right into any normal blade type fuse slot.

 

http://www.delcity.net/delcity/servlet/catalog?parentid=151&childid=751807&page=1&tabset=1

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