Author Topic: Buy or build new wire harness  (Read 300 times)

Offline Frozenoak

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Buy or build new wire harness
« on: August 08, 2018, 01:27:28 PM »
I don't have a ton of either but I have more time than money.  Would it be more affordable to build a wire harness from scratch using my current fuse box or buy one outright?  I am a capable technician and I can follow a wiring diagram.

I suspect the answer is buy one because after one adds up all the extra wire (I'd probably buy it by the spool), connectors, specialty connectors, and tools, it's just not worth it.  If this is the case, should I go with an OEM repop as sold at the forum store for almost $700 or go with an aftermarket kit like Ron Francis Wiring?

1974 Cheyenne Super C10 Short Wide 350/TH350/4 BBL

Offline bd

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Re: Buy or build new wire harness
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 08:26:12 PM »
There isn't a single, cut-and-dried answer to your question.  As you stated, unless you already have the appropriate inventory of tools, OEM terminals, connectors, loom and tape specific to the task and are willing to purchase spools of GXL/SXL wire in the correct colors and gauges (leaving you with unused excess), generally, you will be ahead by purchasing an accurately branched, prefabbed, OEM style harness.  The biggest advantage in stringing your own wire occurs when you wish to deviate from the factory configuration (wire gauges, routing, soldering and introducing specially tailoring circuits that support non-standard accessories).  Unfortunately, building your own harnesses can be tedious without a jig to accurately locate branches. 

Still, many prefab aftermarket harnesses require a certain amount of customization due to production variances between vehicles.  So, even with a prefab harness, you may encounter more than a straightforward R&R, wire-for-wire, connector-for-connector.

The wiring harnesses marketed by the site store are fabricated by American Autowire, a top-shelf manufacturer who adheres to OEM quality.  Wiring harness availability is broken into sections.  Email Captkaos, the site owner, with a list of the harness sections you need, requesting prices, availability and delivery timeframe, before making up your mind.
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know, until you know it....
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)