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New Wiring Harness

March 11th, 2009

Longingly gazing at the dash area, trying to find a place for the stereo, my attention went to the “glove compartment” area in front of the passenger.   If I move the fuse panel and relays out of there, it could go there. Not ideal for the driver to manage the stereo, but still possible, i think. The tangle of wire in Trog has always bugged me, and I’ve spent some time cleaning it up. However, Tollarp, the folks who did the firetruck conversion did a really bodgy job. Plus the 30 year old connectors are starting to fail. Finally, I’ll never have Trog so opened up to make wiring easy, so I might as well do it.

Good place to get info, and to buy some of these harnesses
http://stores.ez2wire.com/StoreFront.bok

They have a pretty comprehensive FAQ about wiring harnesses.

Most all feature wire that is unique in color for every circuit, and labeled every few inches. That alone is worth getting the kits vs doing it myself with just a few colors of wire that I would purchase.

Most manufacturers make harnesses with 15 or 22 circuits. Though the 15 would be enough for Trog I wanted the extra expandability, say if I add power door locks.

wiring-kwikwire-22-circuit-fuse-panel-web
KwikWire KW22

Good quality, made in USA, back of panel is soldered, not crimped. Not a lot of extras, decent price.

Engine ignition disconnect switch at panel (for theft security)

No online manual available.

$90: extender kit to mount the harness behind the passenger seat.
$35: Instrument panel disconnect
$229: KW22 22 ckt harness
Total: $334

wireing-ez2wire-ez22i

KeepItKlean EZ22
Cheapest, all crimped, made in China.   Publishes it’s install manual online.
$90: trunk kit (have to use Kwikwires, so wire colors and numbers won’t match…)
$35: instrument disconnect
$159: EZ22 22 ckt harness
Total: $284

wiring-american-autowire-hwy22kit

American Autowire HiWay22
Highest quality. Lots of extra wire. Great instructions (I found some scans on the web), though they should publish their manual online.
Lots of extras, some that I don’t need, like a dimmer switch and headlight knob and ignition switch
Lots of useful extras, like grommets, alternator diode, big master maxi fuse,
Can run wire from center of their run, with connectors at the fuse box.   (using proprietary Hooke’s law technology.   Heh.   Hilarious.   — Hooke was a 17th century scientist who described the properties of springs.  It’s marketing-sprechen for it uses sprung metal to hold the wires in place.
All power wires are 12ga..
Wires are extra length so no need for trunk kit.
Instrument disconnect included.
$384 (ebay): HiWay22 harness
Total: $384

wiring-ron-francis-xp-kit-md

Ron Francis: Express

Looks like a good kit. I just refuse to buy anything that uses Hot-Dog font (Comic Sans Serif is another one that kills sales for me)

No specs on wire sizes (just proper size)

No online manual.

$429: XP-66
Total: $429

wire-centech-k2040

CentecWire: K20-B
Didn’t look too closely at this one. Their website doesn’t give much info.
$349: K20
Total $349+?

wiring-painless-10220

Painless: 10220 18 ckt trunk harness

Crap install manual, no circuit diagram, TXL wires, will need to buy grommets, has maxi fuse.  Overpriced, overhyped.

$88 : 30301 Instrument Panel disconnect
$444 (ebay): 10220 harness
Total $532

TXL vs GXL vs SXL vs SGX wiring

There are a few others as well, but I ruled them out for various reasons.

I ended up going with the American Autowire Hiway 22. It’s a bit more spendy, but in the end it’ll save me at least 2 trips to the store for grommets or whatnot. If I were to keep the right front dash compartment placement, I’d probably go with the Kwikwire kit — it is compact and looks well built.

Finally, a note to wiring manufacturers if they happen to stumble upon this blog.   Please please please publish more information about your harnesses!   Post your online manual.  Post the type, guages and lengths of each wire.   Post a wiring diagram.   All of these would have made evaluating their kits way easier.    I’m not sure why the manufacturers are so obtuse?   It’s not like a competitor will steal your info — they could buy a harness and clone it if they wanted to.   All harnesses are somewhat similiar, so a customer could use your clearer instructions when installing a competitors wire.    But does that really hurt you?   Because of your superior manual, that person will likely become a customer of yours when he rewires his next car.    Who knows, maybe I could have gotten over the Ron Francis Hot Dog font and bought yours, Mr Francis if you had provided more info.

Kudos to the EZ2Wire folks for publishing their install manual and ckt diagram and good info on various brands kits.

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