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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have made up my mind and am purchasing the American Autowire Classic Update kit for the '64-'66 Mustang. I am running a one wire alternator setup, digital stock appearing radio, Autometer Gauges and Pertronix Ignitor unit. I think this kit will give me what I am looking for and should be straight forward on the installation. Just a couple of question to anyone that has used this kit.

1. Do I just start gutting the old wiring or do I need to be careful how things are taken out in order to possibly reuse connectors?
2. Does this kit require holes be drilled through the firewall like the Painless kit or does it use the stock firewall connectors?
3. Any words of advice???

I have read multiple threads on the topic of American Autowire and have tried to gather bits of info along the way. Thanks!!
 

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I just ordered the same kit so I'm interested in knowing, too!!
 

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I have made up my mind and am purchasing the American Autowire Classic Update kit for the '64-'66 Mustang. I am running a one wire alternator setup, digital stock appearing radio, Autometer Gauges and Pertronix Ignitor unit. I think this kit will give me what I am looking for and should be straight forward on the installation. Just a couple of question to anyone that has used this kit.

1. Do I just start gutting the old wiring or do I need to be careful how things are taken out in order to possibly reuse connectors?
2. Does this kit require holes be drilled through the firewall like the Painless kit or does it use the stock firewall connectors?
3. Any words of advice???

I have read multiple threads on the topic of American Autowire and have tried to gather bits of info along the way. Thanks!!

We installed their kit for our '68 Convertible. Not sure if it all applies to your '66 but I'll give you my info.

1. We worked on one area at a time when removing the old wiring (tail lights first and moved forward).

2. The only new holes were to mount the new fuse block--everything else (as I recall) used the factory holes.

3. The uder dash portion was time consuming--I had an ASE certified friend help out with that part--went a lot faster than I could of done it and I knew it was done right. Love the kit and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade the old wiring.
 

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I bought the same kit for my 66 coupe. As far the only mod is relocation of the fuse box. While talking to the guy from AAW (very helpful btw) he said he would highly recommend using the correct crimpers. I plan on buying the Automotive F type double and single crimpers that they carry. I only plan on doing this one time. I would think the whole thing would be easier to do with the original wiring in place. I got my car as a shell. Its the hard way or the highway for me. If you start soon please post some progress pics. It may save me some heart burn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am planning this for a fall/winter project so I don't have too much down time with the car. My main question was whether or not to gut the wiring completely and then start fresh. I guess the consensus would be to just gut it and start new. I can also see taking it one section at a time so you can see where everything goes. It seems like such a complete and well thought out kit.

Does the kit come with the firewall plates like the painless kit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked at the price of AAW crimpers!! Wow! The rental program sounds like a good option.
 

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Something I learned from installing an aftermarket wire harness.

Take a lot of pictures of how the old harness is routed. It makes routing the new one much easier. You wont have to guess if where your routing the new one may be in the way of something you are installing later when assembling the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is a great idea. I probably would have ripped the wiring out and scratching my head later. Thanks for the tip!

Something I learned from installing an aftermarket wire harness.

Take a lot of pictures of how the old harness is routed. It makes routing the new one much easier. You wont have to guess if where your routing the new one may be in the way of something you are installing later when assembling the car.
 

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I used the 67 version for my daughters coupe. the instructions are pretty good. I also would recommend takiing pictures and pulling the old harness out but I recommend keeping the old harness for reference. label the wires where possible and use it for reference. I just gutted the entire thing before sending it for media blasting and I spent a lot of time wiring things up. but I also had the entire car disassembled so I added the wiring harness then added the components that needed wiring. rather than the other way around. the crimpers are very useful and I use them frequently. the other thing I used was the wiring wrap from painless. it looks better than the plastic wire loom or loom wrap tape in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used the 67 version for my daughters coupe. the instructions are pretty good. I also would recommend takiing pictures and pulling the old harness out but I recommend keeping the old harness for reference. label the wires where possible and use it for reference. I just gutted the entire thing before sending it for media blasting and I spent a lot of time wiring things up. but I also had the entire car disassembled so I added the wiring harness then added the components that needed wiring. rather than the other way around. the crimpers are very useful and I use them frequently. the other thing I used was the wiring wrap from painless. it looks better than the plastic wire loom or loom wrap tape in my opinion.

Unfortunately, my car is completely assembled. There is probably just as much time in the disassembly and gutting as there is in the kit installation. My plan is to work on it about 5 or 6 hours each weekend in the winter until I get it done. I just hope it does not turn into a 2 month project.

I will get a pair of their crimpers. The video they show on the website makes them look very worthwhile.
 

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yes I certainly did not recommend disassembling your car lol I was just saying the way I did it was different and so I can't comment on how easy it would be to do it with the car all together. but I agree the crimpers are worthwhile as is a good set of those one handed wire strippers. lots of shrink wrap and a small portable butane torch. works better than a lighter for the shrink wrap.

these are like the ones I bought.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/ProductD...&catalogId=12605&prdNo=7&i_cntr=1316547021132
Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yes I certainly did not recommend disassembling your car lol I was just saying the way I did it was different and so I can't comment on how easy it would be to do it with the car all together. but I agree the crimpers are worthwhile as is a good set of those one handed wire strippers. lots of shrink wrap and a small portable butane torch. works better than a lighter for the shrink wrap.

these are like the ones I bought.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/ProductDisplay?partNumber=SPM2411275301P&storeId=10153&blockType=G7&blockNo=7&catalogId=12605&prdNo=7&i_cntr=1316547021132
Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more
Those look like nice tools to have. I have always used the hard to use lowe's or autozone crimpers/strippers. Do they make anything that is similar to the one's AAW is trying to sell/rent? Obviously those are probably top of the line since they are about $100.
 

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I have this Crimper I bought from Summit, I used them on the MassFlo EFI harness a lot when it modified it's length. Summit Racing SUM-900401 - Summit Racing® Weather-Tite Crimping Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Summit has a couple of others, this one is a little bit more expensive, Caspers Electronics 103021 - Caspers Electronics Hand Crimp Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Then you could go all the way to this model, Longacre Racing Products 44905 - Longacre Weatherpack Crimp Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have this Crimper I bought from Summit, I used them on the MassFlo EFI harness a lot when it modified it's length. Summit Racing SUM-900401 - Summit Racing® Weather-Tite Crimping Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Summit has a couple of others, this one is a little bit more expensive, Caspers Electronics 103021 - Caspers Electronics Hand Crimp Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Then you could go all the way to this model, Longacre Racing Products 44905 - Longacre Weatherpack Crimp Tools - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Are these crimping tools like the ones they show in the AAW how to/advertisement video??

Crimping Tools - for purchase or rent
 

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I did a new harness in my 65 coupe. I did a painless kit tho...
I just gutted every piece of wiring from the car, then started the install. If the AAW kit is ANYTHING like the painless kit, there are no doubts about where the individual circuits go.
Routing is pretty straight forward as well. In 65, there just aren't the same circuits as later model years, so it really is pretty obvious where it goes.
As far as stripping your car, you will probably end up taking more apart than you are expecting. My car is stripped all the way, as I am in the middle of a full resto, however, while doing the wiring harness, if I hadn't already, I had to take the cardboard insert out of the glovebox to hook up the 4 way flasher switch (which I have discovered was not factory installed on ALL 65 models), after I got the switch.
All in all, I'm super happy I did an all new harness. The painless kit already has relays installed for elec fuel pumps, and fans, plus it's got the mini blade fuses. Goes a long way for piece of mind.
If you do a search under my screen name, I think I have a bunch of pictures of routing the wire. If not, shoot me a PM and I can email them to you.
Also, I used something a little different for "conduit". I used something called expansive loom. The stuff from painless is nice, but super pricey. Plus it's split side. Expansive loom can be purchased at an electronics store (I got mine from tiesforless.com, they have a distribution center local to me). It's weird stuff. Comes in all different widths for different size bundles of wire. Harder to install but a cleaner look. Again, you'll see it in my pictures. The thread is called "my 65 coupe build".
Let me know if I can help you at all. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did a new harness in my 65 coupe. I did a painless kit tho...
I just gutted every piece of wiring from the car, then started the install. If the AAW kit is ANYTHING like the painless kit, there are no doubts about where the individual circuits go.
Routing is pretty straight forward as well. In 65, there just aren't the same circuits as later model years, so it really is pretty obvious where it goes.
As far as stripping your car, you will probably end up taking more apart than you are expecting. My car is stripped all the way, as I am in the middle of a full resto, however, while doing the wiring harness, if I hadn't already, I had to take the cardboard insert out of the glovebox to hook up the 4 way flasher switch (which I have discovered was not factory installed on ALL 65 models), after I got the switch.
All in all, I'm super happy I did an all new harness. The painless kit already has relays installed for elec fuel pumps, and fans, plus it's got the mini blade fuses. Goes a long way for piece of mind.
If you do a search under my screen name, I think I have a bunch of pictures of routing the wire. If not, shoot me a PM and I can email them to you.
Also, I used something a little different for "conduit". I used something called expansive loom. The stuff from painless is nice, but super pricey. Plus it's split side. Expansive loom can be purchased at an electronics store (I got mine from tiesforless.com, they have a distribution center local to me). It's weird stuff. Comes in all different widths for different size bundles of wire. Harder to install but a cleaner look. Again, you'll see it in my pictures. The thread is called "my 65 coupe build".
Let me know if I can help you at all. Good luck!

I'm sure both kits are great and ideally I would have done this during a restoration, but I am having so many wiring issues that I want to get it done ASAP! I bought the Scott Drake wiring diagram book for the '66 and it should help with routing and what not. In your opinion, do you think the seats and carpet will need to be taken out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yep.
Definatly.

Bummer. This might be a winter long project. I think it will frustrate me to have existing wire in the car while trying to route the new kit. I am going to take pictures of the old and then remove all of it and start fresh.
 
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