How to Install a Wiring Harness in a Hot Rod
Installing a hot rod wiring harness kit for the first time? The process may seem overwhelming to someone who has never attempted such a feat before. Luckily, it isn’t difficult with a little expert advice and a thorough read-through (or two) of the instruction manual. That’s why we at Watson’s StreetWorks have compiled this comprehensive guide to walk you through how to install a wiring harness in your ride. We’ll also share a few tricks of the trade and some hot rod wiring tips to make your wiring harness installation as simple and painless as possible.
What Is a Wiring Harness?
If you’re reading this, you probably already know what a hot rod wiring harness is. But for those who don’t, an automotive wiring harness is a collection of wires that connects your hot rod’s electrical devices and components to their primary power source. That includes your car stereo, lights, heater and more. Most wiring harnesses are made up of a fuse block and eight to 12 circuits.
Before You Start to Install a Hot Rod Wiring Harness Kit
Knowing how to install a wiring harness in a car, but there are some steps you need to take before you get to that point.
1. Evaluate the Wiring System
Before you get started, you need to evaluate your ride’s current wiring system. Some older builds will have a wiring harness that was pulled from an old car. If you’re working on a later model, you may find a stock harness. Check the system for wires that have been spliced together poorly and for signs of corrosion. Once you take a look under the hood and get under the dash, it’s usually pretty easy to spot a poorly wired hot rod.
2. Choose a Wiring Harness
There’s a wide variety of harnesses on the market, so it’s important to do your research and decide which one is right for you and your hot rod. You can choose a universal wiring kit that, just like it sounds, will work on most automotive wiring systems. Another option is an aftermarket wiring kit custom-designed for a specific type of hot rod.
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing your harness is the list of electrical accessories you want to power with your hot rod wiring harness. That will let you determine the number of circuits you’ll need and how many amps of current you’ll require to power your radio, led lights, cell phone charger, etc. Also, if you think you might want to add more accessories later, keep in mind that you’ll need to choose from hot rod wiring harness kits with more capabilities than you need currently so you won’t have to buy a new harness later.
3. Gather the Tools You Need
To complete your wire harness install, you’ll need a few items including:
- Electrical tape
- Electrical connectors
- Wire stripper
- A quality crimping tool
- A voltmeter
- Zip ties
- Hole saw for a new build
- A heat gun and heat shrink tubing to cover electrical connections
Steps for Installing Your Hot Rod Wiring Harness
Most new harnesses will come with complete instructions on how to install them. But just in case yours doesn’t, or if you need a little more help, here are the basic steps to take to install your new hot rod wiring harness:
- 1. Disconnect the battery.
- 2. Label the terminals on components so you know where the new wires go.
- 3. Remove the existing harness.
- 4. Carefully follow the steps listed in the instructions for your new harness.
Tips for Your Wiring Harness Installation
If you follow the instructions included with your new wiring harness, you should have no problem getting it installed in your ride. Here are a few more hot rod wiring tips to consider:
- Plan properly. How long does it take to replace a wiring harness? Don’t think this will be a quick, weekend project. Installing a new hot rod wiring harness is a time-consuming task that will take more than just a couple days.
- Be patient. It may take some time, but not rushing through the project and paying attention to the details will help make sure that when you’re done, your hot rod will be ready to go.
- Be prepared. Doing your research ahead of time and having the proper tools will make your wire harness install go smoothly.
Find the Hot Rod Wiring Harness for Your Ride at Watson’s StreetWorks
Now that you’ve read our guide, you probably have a better understanding of how to install a wiring harness in your hot rod. The next step is to find the right kit for your project. At Watson’s StreetWorks, we’ve got the wiring harness you need for your hot rod. You can choose from our outstanding selection of hot rod wiring harness kits. We also feature a wide range of other hot rod wiring parts you can use to make your job easier. If you have any questions about our hot rod products, feel free to contact our customer service or give us a call directly at 603-943-7923. Find the hot rod wiring harness for your ride today with Watson’s StreetWorks.
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