Painless wire harness question - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 85 Old 03-14-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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Painless wire harness question

For those who have done this, I have a question. I have searched but can't get a clear answer. My Jeep has a cobbled up mess of a harness, but some of it does work. I plan on buying the painless harness for the CJ7. I have read the entire painless manual, and searched the internet and can't find a definite answer.
1. Should I pull the old wiring harness completely out before installing the painless harness? In other words, have no wiring in the Jeep when the painless install begins.
2. Pull the harness after the painless harness is installed (use the old for reference possibly)?
3. Pull the old harness as I install the painless i.e. when painless tail light section is complete, cut out old tail light section.

I am just unclear on whether or not I will need the old harness for any reasons.

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post #2 of 85 Old 03-14-2019, 08:54 PM
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Check this link out. Not a Jeep but it may give you some insight.

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post #3 of 85 Old 03-14-2019, 10:38 PM
BrutusBlue
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I like to remove all of the old then begin installing the new. The only parts I can think of off the top of my head that I reuse are the brown heater wires and connector. I’m doing another CJ with a Painless (10106) harness waiting on the shelf.
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post #4 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 07:13 AM
trailhead2004
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Depending on a few factors, you should be able to remove the instrument panel while leaving the harness connected to the instruments and switches. Itís not simple, but possible. This would allow you to take a look at everything and get a feel for how the stock one is installed. Get pictures.
If the wrap around the harness is damaged, get some tie wraps and gather the wires together and secure them. Next, remove the harness from the panel and begin installing the new one. Lay the old harness on the floor somewhere that you can look at it and use it for a reference.
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post #5 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 09:04 AM
bob4703
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Cut the harness and leave the connectors in place and with a generous amount of wire. That removes some of the guess work as to what goes where, and gets most of the harness out of he way.

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post #6 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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I don't have much wiring behind my dash. When the 350 was installed by the PO, it pretty much just has enough wiring to run and make the lights work. I think my best plan of attack would to be what was mentioned above about cutting the harness at the connectors and leaving wire so I can see what goes where.

I'm not that concerned about removing, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't cutting anything that didn't need to be cut or cutting something that had to be reused. The direct fit painless harness is probably the one I will go with. I will pay extra money for it to be perfect.
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post #7 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMountainGoat View Post
I don't have much wiring behind my dash. When the 350 was installed by the PO, it pretty much just has enough wiring to run and make the lights work. I think my best plan of attack would to be what was mentioned above about cutting the harness at the connectors and leaving wire so I can see what goes where.

I'm not that concerned about removing, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't cutting anything that didn't need to be cut or cutting something that had to be reused. The direct fit painless harness is probably the one I will go with. I will pay extra money for it to be perfect.
Good luck with that. Trust me, it's worth the extra time to take the dash off with the harness attached. The only bummer about it is that you need to pull the brake pedals, though you will likely need to do that to get the new harness in if you're going with the direct fit Painless.

And I say this because I just got done rewiring my CJ5. The more work you try and do "under the dash" the more you will regret the decision.
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post #8 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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One more thing. My ignition wires were cut off right where they come out of the column. does the painless kit come with the column harness and the switch that the actual lock cylinder moves back and forth to line up the points? Will I need to buy that seperately?
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post #9 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 02:54 PM
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I am removing a section at a time, then adding the replacement harness. The three sections are:
1. Engine bay
2. Behind dash
3. Rear body

Tackle each of these separately. The engine bay is the most difficult because the wires go all over the place. This is compounded with the fact that you have an engine transplant which probably came with its own harness (some harnesses accommodate this, I know). I had this issue since I upgraded to the fuel injected 4.0. Painless can become pain in the a$$...lol

Do what is most comfortable for you. If one wire at a time works, then do it that way. As I'm thinking about it, it might be difficult since you have looms of wires that branch out. That's my .02
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post #10 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WireEd View Post
I am removing a section at a time, then adding the replacement harness. The three sections are:
1. Engine bay
2. Behind dash
3. Rear body

Tackle each of these separately. The engine bay is the most difficult because the wires go all over the place. This is compounded with the fact that you have an engine transplant which probably came with its own harness (some harnesses accommodate this, I know). I had this issue since I upgraded to the fuel injected 4.0. Painless can become pain in the a$$...lol

Do what is most comfortable for you. If one wire at a time works, then do it that way. As I'm thinking about it, it might be difficult since you have looms of wires that branch out. That's my .02


Regarding WireEd's comments. That is a good way of looking at a CJ electrical system, 3 separate harnesses.

Regarding the engine compartment, not sure how far back it goes, but at least 1980 and forward, the engine compartment harness is actually 2 separate harnesses. The outboard side of the firewall connector is all lighting and horn, and IIRC, reverse switch and neutral switch from the transmission (as applicable). The inboard side of the firewall connector is ignition, instruments, power (alternator/charging, power feeds to the dash harness, etc). Echoing WireEd's comment, take it a bite at a time instead of trying to eat the whole elephant at once.

Regarding your question about the ignition switch, if I understand your question, it doesn't come with the parts you need. Definitely doesn't come with the switch. My CJ5 had a transplant column so I'm not sure about the wires you're referring to. Does your column have any cruise control or windshield wiper control on the turn signal lever?
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post #11 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
Good luck with that. Trust me, it's worth the extra time to take the dash off with the harness attached. The only bummer about it is that you need to pull the brake pedals, though you will likely need to do that to get the new harness in if you're going with the direct fit Painless.

And I say this because I just got done rewiring my CJ5. The more work you try and do "under the dash" the more you will regret the decision.
How is this possible? I just replaced my dash harness with a used one from an Ebay dash i bought. The main bundle of wires that comes off the fuse box goes through a space between the steering column and the steering column mounting bracket. I had to fish my harness through that space to get the old one out and new one in. It was easy but not as easy as your stating. I had to unplug everything and fish it through and then fish the new one back.
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post #12 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystert29 View Post
How is this possible? I just replaced my dash harness with a used one from an Ebay dash i bought. The main bundle of wires that comes off the fuse box goes through a space between the steering column and the steering column mounting bracket. I had to fish my harness through that space to get the old one out and new one in. It was easy but not as easy as your stating. I had to unplug everything and fish it through and then fish the new one back.
The brake and clutch pedals come in an assembly like this (the front bracket is missing on this one):

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The front edge of the sheet metal support bolts to an ell bracket that in turn goes to two of the bolts that go through the dash panel. The harness goes over the top of the support. So if you remove the support, the dash panel can be removed/installed with the harness installed. Mind you that this is a much bigger PITA if you have an aftermarket A pillar roll bar hoop. Actually, it is well nigh impossible to install the dash period with an A pillar hoop installed.

After I removed the roll bar (with A pillar hoop), I had the dash install removal time down to maybe 5 minutes.
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post #13 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
The brake and clutch pedals come in an assembly like this (the front bracket is missing on this one):

Attachment 3810311

The front edge of the sheet metal support bolts to an ell bracket that in turn goes to two of the bolts that go through the dash panel. The harness goes over the top of the support. So if you remove the support, the dash panel can be removed/installed with the harness installed. Mind you that this is a much bigger PITA if you have an aftermarket A pillar roll bar hoop. Actually, it is well nigh impossible to install the dash period with an A pillar hoop installed.

After I removed the roll bar (with A pillar hoop), I had the dash install removal time down to maybe 5 minutes.
That front bracket your missing is what the wire harness is trapped behind. Its funny that no one mentions removing the pedal cluster in any dash removal thread Ive read on the internet.
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post #14 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mystert29 View Post
That front bracket your missing is what the wire harness is trapped behind. Its funny that no one mentions removing the pedal cluster in any dash removal thread Ive read on the internet.
Probably because many people just disconnect everything from the back of the instrument panel and leave the wire harness installed. It makes things easier for sure. Once you get the steering column out, you're already going to remove the two bolts to that ell bracket to get the dash off. You can slide the harness in between the support and the tub, or just remove the pedal assembly altogether. Doesn't need to be done, but it makes things a little easier.
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post #15 of 85 Old 03-15-2019, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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My column is not a transplant. There i is no cruise or wiper control on it. I know that the signal wires are cut I can see the cut wires hanging out the bottom of the column. It may still have the ignition switch slider on it, but I haven't looked close enough to know yet. I do know that I want to move my ignition switch back to the factory location on the column from the dash. I feel that this is the best time to do it.
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