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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:

I will be completely rewiring a 57 chevy. It currently has the OEM harnesses. I was wondering what thoughts anybody might have regarding the Ron Francis, Painless, generic, or a "totally from scratch" do it yourself wiring harness.

I will be adding new components (gauges, alternator, etc.), which will not follow strict OEM wiring, so if I purchase a harness, I would want to have "semi custom" capabilities. If I went with a generic harness, or a complete do-it-youself route, what issues might I encounter compared to going with a Ron Francis or Painless made-up harness?

I've met the Ron Francis personnel at the SEMA show, and they seem a lot more personable than the Painless guys I also saw, which might be important if I run into the need for technical questions to be answered. Thanks.
 

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Not sure who's harness I'm installing in my buddy's '55 but I would have definitely opted for a modern style harness if it were mine. This one is exactly how they did it in '55. The way things were wired & jumped back then does not instill confidence. I'd prefer all circuits on blade style fuses, modern relays, hei, etc....
 

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Hello:

I will be completely rewiring a 57 chevy. It currently has the OEM harnesses. I was wondering what thoughts anybody might have regarding the Ron Francis, Painless, generic, or a "totally from scratch" do it yourself wiring harness.

I will be adding new components (gauges, alternator, etc.), which will not follow strict OEM wiring, so if I purchase a harness, I would want to have "semi custom" capabilities. If I went with a generic harness, or a complete do-it-youself route, what issues might I encounter compared to going with a Ron Francis or Painless made-up harness?

I've met the Ron Francis personnel at the SEMA show, and they seem a lot more personable than the Painless guys I also saw, which might be important if I run into the need for technical questions to be answered. Thanks.
Most people here will recommend the AAW harness, you can check them out here.

http://www.americanautowire.com/
 

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By far, the best and most complete harness, is made by AmericanAutoWire.
Pricey, but has a lot of things the others don't....new headlight sw., new light sw., pigtails, light sockets, and more. You will probably want the Classic Update kit.
The Rob Francis, Painless, EZ Wire, and others are "universal" type harnesses, that work very well, but lack some of the things mentioned, to complete the job.:anim_25:
 

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I just installed an AAW "Upgrade" kit in my 57 and in my opinion, this is the best aftermarket product that I have purchased for my car. It is easy to do, (I said easy, I did not say quick) the instructions are well done and the soldering/terminations that you have to do are kept to a bare minimum. Great product and worth every dime that it costs, in my humble opinion.

If you follow there instructions to a "T" it is hard to screw it up, but you need, good crimpers, a good soldering iron, and some really good shrink sleeving in a couple of different sizes (I think I got mine from Waytek and it has adhesive on the inside so that once it shrinks, it stays put.) Be sure to crimp all terminations, then solder them, then shrink sleeve them, ALL of them.

Wayne
 

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I have used Painless and Hot Rod Wires wiring harnesses, They were both the universal harnesses. I see Painless now has a 55 wiring harness but I don't know anything about it.

If you install one, make triple sure of the fuse box location. On my 55, I went to later add a rain-gear wiper motor system and I had to relocate the fuse box.
 

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I did my wiring harness myself by just buying coils of wire and laying in each system.
I would not recommend this approach for most people. I did it so that I could learn the 57's systems as I went and I had a lot of (retired) time on my hands.
AAW seems to be the one harness most recommended on here.
John
 

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I hate electrical/wiring!
I love the AAW kit I bought for my 56. I hate wiring!
I love the fact that my 56 now starts, runs, and the front lights work! Now on to wiring in the rear harness, and I can test drive it!
 

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rebel wire has a good one but you have to crimp on the connections for lights and everything but it is marked every 6" and made in TN .the kit I bought was $179 for the basic kit but it does have 3 extra places for an add on if you want ac or electric fan or what ever.
 

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I installed an AAW Classic update harness in my 56 2 dr. sedan last winter. Has provisions for elec. windows,locks, elec. engine fan & more. Very complete harness, detailed wiring diagrams w/options to customize (hide) your wiring if you want to. Also included are new h/light sw, ign switch & fuse box. Very good tech dept. as well. Good crimpers are required as was said earlier. Highly recommended.
 

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Wiring

If not adding a lot of special stuff I'd use the AAW Factory Fit harnesses, no crimping, soldering, etc. It's what I used, all connectors, bulb sockets and correct color wires.

Joe
 

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I have a "IT`S A SNAP" 20 circuit harness (model ZZ-20) that I bought for a project and sold the car. Color coated for GM. If it interests you $135.00 plus the shipping.
 

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Maybe I am misunderstanding here but you guys are saying you get a lot more bang for you $$ with AAW that is priced $500+ and some of the others for less then $200?
 

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Wiring

If you want a minimum amount of work and frustration go with AAW, you won't be sorry. Of course I'm talking about the Factory Fit harnesses, they can be installed in sections.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hate electrical/wiring!
I love the AAW kit I bought for my 56. I hate wiring!
I love the fact that my 56 now starts, runs, and the front lights work! Now on to wiring in the rear harness, and I can test drive it!
Thanks everyone for your responses. Buster, about 30 years ago, I had much experience pushing the same 57 chevy I have today across busy intersections from wire shorts; wiring is as much fun as sitting on the toilet, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...I do want to do it myself, though, so that I can experience the circuits involved. I grew up in this car, my dad bought it new; 4 door sedan bel-air, dad wanted a station wagon, mom said the 57 station wagon rode like a truck, dad liked the sedans in case of rollovers with the family in the car.
 
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