While you were under the dash did you notice a common theme? Rats' nests and hack jobs are usually the common theme of any vehicle over 30 years old. Try tracking a down a wire from one end to the other and you might as well try to hunt for a gopher on a golf course. Then cross your fingers before you move said wires because these crack from age. We all know what happens when the power and ground touch each other – sparks!
Let's talk about rewiring your truck. I start by looking at what I should keep and or replace with something new. I don't recommend ripping out all the wire because some things require attention, like taillights, front running lights, dash, wipers, radio, and wire routing. Instead, take a look at the individual systems and carefully remove the connectors to them. Things like the front running lights may require you to remove the wiring, but keep a pigtail of 4-6 inches from the original socket. So before tossing everything away, keep it around because you might realize that you need it.
What to Look For in a Wiring Kit?
Well, since my truck has the basics plus a lot of extra goodies, I needed a fuse panel to handle the load. I decided that a Ron Francis Express wiring kit would benefit the overall wiring of the truck, rather than trying to piece together a kit from parts-store wire. I also wanted to find a kit that would have adequate room for things like power windows, high-output radio, amps, touch-start, cooling fans, electronic fuel injection, electric fuel pump, A/C, heater, etc. A simple fuse panel would not work in my situation.
Mount All of the Accessories Including the Fuse Panel
Where to start, where to start? After removing all the stock wire from the truck, start by installing all the parts you need to run wire to. This could be as simple as mounting a horn or removing the fuel tank to gain access to the fuel pump and sender. The fuse panel location also takes consideration. Make sure you can run the wires and connectors so that you have access to the fuses and screw connectors. I ran the fuse panel on the driver-side upper left of the clutch pedal, so that I could easily check fuses and wire it.
Firewall Holes? Wire Routing? Help!
One of my biggest fears when running wire is where to put the wire. Do I hide everything, or do I make it easy to get to? Is it a show truck or are you going to drive it like a mad man? I ask because some trucks hide everything to a point where it's hard to see and access the wiring.
Start with a game plan on where the wires will go and the task of running wire becomes less complicated. Since I smoothed the firewall on my truck, it was easy to pick a spot where the wire comes into the cab. If you have a firewall-mounted brake pedal then a good spot to come through with wire is below and right of the booster or brake master cylinder.
If you want to hide the wiring then you have to get a little more creative, but it's not that hard to do if you look carefully. Take a look inside your driver-side inner fender and notice the tons of room to run headlights, turn signals, and running light wiring. Engine wiring can be hidden under the intake plenum of an Edelbrock Air-Gap intake and come in the cab near the trans tunnel. Regardless of how you want to run the wire, you need to run the wire somewhere right? Let's get started.