Complete re-wiring of 1978 CJ7 304 -
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Unread 06-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: tannersville, pennsylvania
Posts: 10
Complete re-wiring of 1978 CJ7 304

One of the projects I have planned for a 1978 CJ7 I will be picking up in two weeks is to take every wire out of it and replace them. I realize there are kits but one could make everything from scratch? One of the things I use to do was re-wire power supplies and various other components for military radar systems so I actually enjoy making things from scratch. Has anyone ever done this just for the heck of it? I can not stand untidy wires and simply want to have everything perfect and new wiring wise. I figured it will do me good to ride a bicycle to work while I take a week to do all of the re-wiring.

Has anyone done a custom job on wiring from scratch? What I would like to do is have all the wires in the dash on one side of the firewall go into connectors that will allow the wires on the other side of the firewall to plug in, thus instead of replacing an entire wire, only the side that is bad would have to be replaced. As one could disconnect and then use a multi-meter to check continuity of the specific length of wire. If anyone is interested I could do a wiring log with images as well as part specifics etc etc.

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Unread 06-25-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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1980 CJ7 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Killeen, Texas
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I would think the big disadvantage of doing it yourself would be the # of different wire colors you would need unless you label it really well. If you do it and ever sell it you would need to tell the new owner about it.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Sure I'd like to see your work to see if I can take some of your ideas to out to use on my 360 Amc, cj7 build.

I used a hei distributor for a few reason but one cause of the cleaner engine compartment.

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Unread 06-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Richmond, VA
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I ended up doing something similar to this on my build. I didn't really set out to replace all of the wires, but I ended up replacing about 90% of them myself. I'm an electrical engineer, so that part was fine. I ended up using the factory fuse block, and kept the factory wiring schematic. If I were you, I'd get a few colors of wire and try to replicate the factory wiring. It's worked on our CJ's for a long time, so in most cases its completely satisfactory for our needs. I'd do the headlight relay upgrade, and maybe convert your choke to an electrical one that functions off of an oil pressure switch, but other than that I'd stick to factory. Depending on the state of the engine, and whether or not it is HEI, you may not have as many wires to deal with as you think. There are a lot more (in my CJ) behind the dash for the factory speedo/ from the steering column. It's definitely doable, so good luck with your CJ adventure.
1978 CJ5 - 304 V8 - Twin Sticked and sitting on 35's
2010 JK- Rock Krawler 2.5" on 35" KM2's
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Unread 06-25-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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1978 CJ7 
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I will actually be doing color coded schematics for the entire electrical system from front to rear and If I eventually sell it once I have made everything new then whomever I sold it to or traded it to would receive the schematics as well as any images of mods etc etc in a book as well as on a dvd. I also plan on including measurements so exact lengths of wire can be bought if someone wants to use my schematics once I am done. I plan on documenting everything I do to this Jeep and posting it here for anyone to use. Once I get started I hope you guys don't get tired of me, I will literally eat, breathe, and sleep Jeeps once I get started. I am putting in a mc2100 or 2150 carb to replace the holley, but do not want to go to electric choke, simply because the electric choke works faster than the actual engine coming to the correct temperature. The current setup is for the heater hose hookup for choke, and I am really wanting to do a manual choke.

Oh and I forgot to mention I am one of those that for my own purposes will try to reinvent the wheel, hahahaha.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 02:35 AM   #6
John Strenk
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1976 CJ5 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shalersville Ohio
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The OEM choke isn't water heated, I'm pretty sure the choke is located in the exhaust crossover part of the intake on the 304.

Are you going to stick with the 78 harness layout or go with a later model schematic? The fuse boxes and bulkhead connections are different. I myself put in a good 84 harness in my 76 CJ. Basically "plug and play".

By the way. The 78 harness already has all the dash on one side of the firewall and all the engine and front lights on the other side of the firewall. It all connects through one connector in the firewall. So there is no need to figure out anything new.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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Thank you for the information! I will have to pull the dash a part and inspect everything because it is a 1978 frame, running gear, etc etc etc and it has a one piece tilt front end that is cj, however it has the tub from a 94 Wrangler, and I do not know if the everything under the dash is a mixture or if it's cj etc etc. I am putting in a power steering pump and steering gear box in the Land Rover I am trading for it, and that will be finished tomorrow and then this weekend I will be going down to drive the Jeep and look it over from top to bottom. I've been told everything works, but as to how it is wired up I do not know.

What I call the heater hose is the hose that circulates the air after it is heated though the manifold, but kept separate from the exhaust, I just call it a heater hose, I apologize for the confusion.
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