Classic Mustangs (Tech)Technical discussions about the Mustangs of yester-year.
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I am working on my 1st 65 restoration. I'm giving some thought to wiring before sending to paint & body. Why do people use Painless wiring kits instead of buying reproduction wiring from a mustang supply shop?
I used to think that price and performance were the key reasons. After pricing the Painless kit, it seems like the painless kits are more expensive than reproduction wiring.
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If you're going to add alot of electrical accessories, then aftermarket wire kits like those by Painless would be the way to go. Those kits have multiple circuits, each having a modern blade fuse. They have circuits for every electrical component a modern car would have. Power windows/locks, stereo, head/tail lights, horn, etc... Another advantage would be new wires that don't have old, dryed out, cracking insulation.
Most repro under dash wiring harnesses alone run about $500 or more. I got a complete wiring kit to do the whole car for $600.
Painless is thicker wire and its ready for things like power windows locks etc etc.You will have to put the ends on the wires but the wired have it printed on them where they go its hard to mess it up.
I installed a Painless 18-circuit kit on my 66 coupe. The orginal wiring in the car I believe only has 7 circuits. That means several items are sharing the same fuse, such as your cigarette lighter, interior lights, and your radio (I can't remember if those three in particular really share a fuse, I'm just saying that there are many circuits sharing the same fuse). Point is that in that example, if your cigarette lighter were to short out, you'd also lose your radio and interior lights. You can buy a Painless kit, or similar kit from another company, and run each of your headlights, horn, electric choke, electric fuel pump, electric fan, power locks, power windows, radio, interior lights, etc., on a separate circuit and they could have their own fuse. It's just a safer, more present-day way of wiring your car. The Painless kit also includes I believe a 75 amp mega-fuse for the entire system. I loved my kit. It's the best mod I've done to date. No more wondering what kind of craziness the P.O. did. No more splices, taped up wiring, cut wires with no clue where they belong, etc. Unless I ever get into full-blown restorations, upgrading the wiring to a modern day wiring harness will be one of the first things I do.
They don't use any fusable links, it comes with a mega fuse, all wiring is marked along the length of the wire, they use separate circuits (including the exterior lighting where others use a single circuit for running and headlights, Painless uses separate circuits). They use a higher quality of wire than the factory replacements and the wiring supplied is of sufficient length to give you more flexibility as to location for your fuse box. Others have some of these features, but none have them all.
RCR GT40 Mk1
FFR Daytona Coupe (sold, sniff)
1968 GT500KR (clone)
1966 GT350 (clone)
1967 Mustang convertible (unmolested so far)
Hey, my whole life is a fake!
Ive got a Ron Francis kit waiting to go into my baby right now.. It looks like it will be easy enough to put in and it was under half the price of the Painless.. Im good with electronics though and I hear that the painless is easier for the less experienced.
69 Grande' 351W/AOD Performer Intake/Cam, 670 Holley Avenger, Hooker Headers, 3.70 9"TracLoc
67 Fastback A Code: 64k Miles, all original project for the wife.
http://www.americanautowire.com/ has one for the 67/68.Ron Francis is another great company.If your just restoring it and not updating anything like a high powered radio power windows or locks just use a oem replacement harness.
Thanks to everyone who replied. All comments are quite helpful. After completing my restoration, the last thing I want is a short or a fire started by poor wiring. Your comments about the painless wire quality is beginning to convince me that this is the way to go.
I was hoping to keep the look mostly stock. However, I only want quality parts in the car.
I'll be the fly in the ointment. Painless is the "biggie" out there. Also its has the biggest price. You can find a generic harness for about a third the cost, or less that will do the exact same thing. I would pay attention to the wire size used and insulation type though.
[IMG][/IMG] Eat Rice and be Healthy!!!
try ron Francis, great product and great price, instructions on the other hand are not that great. Like others have said, mostly to separate the circuits, easier to trouble shoot and knowing you have solid connections rather than some PO's hack job.
Great to know all this since this is the next item I am working on for my 69, and then I'll finally have it out of the shop and in my garage for nice weekends.
I can tell you from seeing a painless wiring harness it is a very nice kit. You do pay for it, but it is well labeled and has easy to follow instructions.
I plan on putting one in my 77 GMC Truck after I am done with the Mustang. If the mustangs are like the truck every time I accelerate the lights dim slightly on the dash. This I believe is because of the fact several items are tied together in the fuse box.
Anyways, I'm glad you started this thread as it has helped me to understand why they are so expensive (besides the obvious reasons, i.e. name brand)
Have rewired the front and back of the car to get rid of the old brittle wire and plan to eventually rewire under the dash, in the steering column, etc.
I wanted the stock look and don't plan on adding power windows / locks and things of that nature.
Eventually going to buy a USA66 radio that is about it...I have zero use for amps and base and things of that nature.
I am trying to keep mine as "original looking" as possible. I have done some upgrades such as LED tail lights and LED gauge lights. I added three point seat belts and hope to get around to a front brake conversion to disc brakes eventually but that will be about the extent of my mods and you would have to look close to even notice those. The rest I plan to have it looking pretty stock / original.
Your question really is one of personal preference based on future plans for the car.
Last edited by SJs 66coupe; 02-03-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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