Here's a typical aftermarket...
Here's a typical aftermarket harness-a 12-circuit universal kit from Painless Performance. These days we're lucky enough to have many excellent companies making high-quality wares that allow automotive wiring to fall within most of our do-it-yourself comfort zones.
Every harness manufacturer...
Every harness manufacturer has slightly different features and options. For instance, Highway Series kits from American Autowire use modular, or stand alone, fuse panels, which means you route wires to the fuse block, not from it. This gives you more panel placement options, and some argue it makes for a more attractive wiring job.
Wiring-the mere mention of the subject brings chills to the spines of most do-it-yourself rodders. For many, it's part of the sacred trio of chores left to hired guns-paint, upholstery, and wiring. But for those willing to do some research, practice a bit of trial and error, and spend the time and effort required, any of these chores can be (and often are) completed by those of us with at least a modicum of technical know-how.
We've got a good thing going for us when it comes to wiring our beloved vehicles these days. A few smart men and the companies they founded offer us access to complete prefabricated wiring harnesses and related components that eliminate much of the headache, guesswork, and time involved in rewiring an old car. That said, we're going to proceed under the assumption that very few will approach a complete rewiring job without taking advantage of what these companies have to offer, and will attempt the procedure armed with appropriate components and instructions.
Now comes our end of the deal. Instead of trying to rewrite the informative instructions you're bound to get with any quality wiring kit, we're going to provide some information that will help you choose the right harness for your particular application. In the process, we also hope to arm you with the confidence and motivation to get the job done.
Our first tip is extremely important, and it's one you've most likely heard more times than you can count-read the instructions! Yeah, we know it's not in our nature to do such a thing until we're hopelessly dazed and confused. But when it comes to a job like this, you just have to swallow your pride, go hide, and read 'em front to back. (Hey, you can always deny it later.) Now that you've agreed to that, here's some terminology you may want to become familiar with.