Vintage Chevrolet Club Forums
A nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of all Chevrolets and GMCs.

VISITORS: You are welcome to read our forums. If you want to participate FREE then you need to register. Join the VCCA and get access to the member-only features of the forum, including the ability to attach/upload photos. You'll also receive our monthly magazine "Generator & Distributor". Yearly membership as low as $25!

VCCA MEMBERS: Already a member? Great! Info to access the members-only area.

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#361308 - 01/30/16 02:51 PM CLOTH WIRING HARNESS
Mike33 Offline
Backyard Mechanic

Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 455
Loc: Burlington N.J.
Just saw a company on television who makes repro cloth covered wiring harnesses for antique cars.Web address is You may have to type the address in.Highlighted address doesn't seem to work.

Edited by Mike33 (01/30/16 02:56 PM)

Vintage Auto Garage - 6 Volt
#361309 - 01/30/16 02:55 PM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Mike33]
jiaccino Offline

Registered: 11/25/02
Posts: 3159
Loc: Mostly sunny Tucson, Az
Rhode Island Wiring is another...Joe
See America's First...Chevrolet

1931 Sedan Delivery 31570
1933 Standard Sports Coupe 33628.
1934 Master Sedan Delivery Canadian 177/34570
1968 Z/28 Camaro
1969 SS 396 Camaro

#361310 - 01/30/16 03:26 PM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Mike33]
Junkyard Dog Offline

Registered: 11/23/01
Posts: 28629
Loc: Eagle Point, Oregon
YnZ's has been serving the old car hobby for decades. They make great wiring harnesses.

laugh wink beer2
The Mangy Old Mutt

"If It's Not Junk.....It's Not Treasure!"

#361325 - 01/31/16 12:54 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Junkyard Dog]
chef-chevy Offline

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 3578
Loc: seattle,wa.

#361571 - 02/04/16 12:30 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: chef-chevy]
Goldenwarrior Offline

Backyard Mechanic

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 320
Loc: South Mills NC
I used Rhode Island Wiring for all of my 1924 needs and the service and quality was superb!

#361620 - 02/04/16 01:16 PM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Goldenwarrior]
Mike Buller Offline


Registered: 10/11/07
Posts: 1826
Loc: MI, USA, Midland
I used Rhode Island Wiring Supply Inc. for my 41 and I agree that their quality is also superb.

Rewiring your car is a good job for someone willing to take on a little challenge. Following the directions/wiring schematic I rate this as about a 4 job on a scale of 1 to 10. You only need the most basic electrical experience with patience and a good plan. Try to not remove any of the old wire until you are replacing it with the new. If this isn't an option then carefully follow the wiring schematic in your manual and provided with the wiring kit. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you get confused.

Your greatest challenge will be rewiring under your dash especially in the area of the light switch and gauges. I would take a lot of pictures if you find things confusing. You can even label some of the wires with tape if it is not clear what wire goes where. Old wire can be easily confusing because of the faded markings on the wire. I strongly recommend you remove your front seat for improving your work area.

Start with the easiest parts of the wire harness first (lights, engine compartment, trunk). This will get you familiar with handling the wire and attaching it to where it is mounted. Make sure you cleanup all the connections (Scotch bright type pad and apply a thin coat of electrical grease to the surfaces used in the connection). I would choose the following assembly steps: star washer, your new wire, a flat washer, then lock washer and nut. Hold the wire firmly as you tighten down the nut so it doesn't rotate to a direction that stresses the wire or is out of alignment with other wires.

Good luck, Mike

P.S. My choice of tools is a 1/4 inch socket set, and regular screwdriver with a tip that fits tightly in the head of any screws.
Mike 41/77 Chevys

#361697 - 02/05/16 04:28 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Mike Buller]
bobg1951chevy Offline

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 3339
Loc: Hendersonville, N.C.
I recall an instance where a guy labeled ALL existing wiring connections, before removal, then removed that particular section of wiring harness, and tacked that section of wiring to a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, much like you would see in a wiring schematic.

He then took the new comparable section of wiring, placed it over the tacked down section, then marked or modified the new section to exactly mimic the old factory connections.

He said it was easier for him to do it in this manner, making the new wiring sized and labeled exactly the same as the original harness.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.

#385926 - 03/19/17 06:15 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: bobg1951chevy]
Jonda1 Offline

Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 131
Loc: Apple Valley, California
This company has a good listing for GM products.

#388541 - 05/01/17 12:14 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Jonda1]
41specialdeluxe Offline

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 4731
Loc: NC usa
Mike 33,

As for replacing the new wire, everyone has given you excellent advice. They make it too easy, though. i do it my way and as follows on my 41s. you may find the following instructive:

Take the new wiring harness and lay it out across the engine. Start with the farthest hook-up. it is on ethe junction strip on right side skirt. hook it up the same. Next the left fender, next the generator, next the voltage regulator or dimmer switch, next run the left overs through the firewall. leave the light switch hooked up but take it loose by pressing on the the pull knob from retainer spring
on the switch. it is spring loaded. next unscrew the retainer nut and then drop the switch down where you can get too it. hook everything on the switch same as the old one. Done. i sugggest you run a new wire from the ignition switch to the light switch.

As to the tail light area, unhook every thing in the trunk area. The 1941 license plate light has a connection in the bottom lid of the trunk.

By the time you get through with my method you will understand your car much better and will appreciate it even more. you and it will create a bond almost as tight as the fleetliners experience with their rides. They would take them to bed with them if they could find a set of jammies big enough. Wood too!

As others, including MB have stressed, a skematic with the code listing the color tracings will serve you well. I cannot think for the life of me what he would use a 1/4 inch dreve set for. maybe the nut on the distributor?

Good luck with it.

Charie computer

BTW: YnZ and Rhode Island have been producing first quality harnesses for years. you may want to find a Wirey joe harness. it will be much cheaper, is color coded and even if old, may be in just fine shape.

note: Gene, who we all respect for his advice and opinion, has expressed that he doesn't like the Wirey joes owing, best I remember, having something to do with shelp wear over time. i an not of that opinion. i think they are just fine although some may have been abused or have been subject to improper storage.

#388622 - 05/02/17 12:56 PM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: 41specialdeluxe]
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
Wherever you purchase your wire harness from, look at the company’s fine print. I recently went through a problem with a harness I purchased from YnZ Wiring. A wire for the dome light switch was omitted – probably because their master harness did not have it. I checked with Gene Schneider to confirm that this wire was standard for my car and NOT an accessory. I contacted the owner of YnZ with the problem. I shipped the tail light harness back to them at my expense, showing the location where the wire should be. Three weeks later, I get a call saying the harness was ready, but I need to pay for the repair and the return shipping. I voiced my unhappiness with having to pay ANYTHING, since it was their mistake to begin with. Being over a barrel, I gave them my credit card number and waited for the package to arrive. The one wire was added and it appears to be correct. I e-mailed the owner again saying I was very unhappy with having to pay for their mistake and having to show them where their master harness was incomplete. I was told the warranty was only in affect for 60 days from date of purchase and I was responsible for the shipping, but they would correct the harness at no charge. This complete wiring harness cost $980.00 plus another $41.00 for round trip shipping. So buyer beware! Will I be a return customer – what do you think.

#388650 - 05/03/17 12:43 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Hawkeye]
41specialdeluxe Offline

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 4731
Loc: NC usa

Something seems not just right here. Are you saying you paid 1,021 for the whole taillight wiring assembly. That is rather steep.

Did they recognize that all what you ordered was incorrect. Did you order the right harness from the get-go?

Seems unlikely they would have omitted the dome light wire all these years without no one complaining.

Answer to your question: No I doubt you will but your testimonial will not deter me from using them. Who knows if Rohde Island would have done any better given the same set of facts.

I'm glad you got it fixed but dissapointed they didn't throw in the shipping.

Charlie computer

#388654 - 05/03/17 02:16 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Mike33]
wannchev Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 158
Loc: south africa
Bought a Wiry Joe harness but found the wires were longer than they needed to be.A real bother to cut the individual wires to length and fit new lugs.Gene is right,this cloth covered stuff is old and doesnt flex well.A real bother to figure out both ends of the harness to see which wire goes where.
Made up a new harness with modern auto wire using xlpe insulation, not pvc. Plastic sheath is strong and wire is much thinner with the same copper content.Resulting loom is much thinner than cloth and not so bulky.

#388658 - 05/03/17 11:48 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: 41specialdeluxe]
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
Charlie, the price I paid was for an entire car wiring harness. The tail light harness by itself would have been around $220.00. The receipt shows the correct year, make, series/model, body style, transmission, # of volts, # of cylinders. It also shows the addition of a 7 wire turn signal. Who knows if anyone else complained. My original wire harness had that wire in it and there is a factory installed switch on the rear seat armrest assembly. I even have a spare arm rest assembly, and it also has the switch.
When the harness arrived, I did unpack it and look it over. BUT, the car was at the body shop and I could not lay the harness out inside the vehicle to really check it over. In dealing with many suppliers, when there was a problem, most stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. Some offered to replace and ship for free, others split the cost of the shipping. In today's economy, I would think vendors would like to hang on to every customer. They won the battle, but lost the war.

#388686 - 05/04/17 12:09 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: Hawkeye]
41specialdeluxe Offline

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 4731
Loc: NC usa

i understand your position. I just can't understand how a top rated company could get something so simple so wrong. Dang!

Charlie computer

#388687 - 05/04/17 12:12 AM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: 41specialdeluxe]
brewster Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 3299
Loc: Ontario,Canada
My '50 convertible came with the dome light wiring in the Y'n'Z's harness that was bought for it...
Those accustomed to the finest...find it in Chevrolet.

1951 2dr Deluxe Sedan
1950 Deluxe Convertible
2011 Equinox
2008 GMC SLT 4X4

#389618 - 05/22/17 11:01 PM Re: CLOTH WIRING HARNESS [Re: brewster]
Hawkeye Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Ohio
Sounds like someone just forgot to include the wire on mine since the harnesses are similar.


Moderator:  AntiqueMechanic, Coupefan 
Your Status
Please login to post or reply.* * *
Send My Password
Who's Online
1 Chat Members (Peter_Gariepy), 2 Lookie Loo's and 34 Spiders or Bots online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Today's Birthdays
Helpful Links
Forum Registration
New User Forum
Members Only Forum
Reset Your Password
Kill Your Cookies

Join the VCCA
Member Photos
My 31' Chevy Show
What is missing?
31' headlight reflectors re-silvered at home
1936 Roadster - S. Africa
Chevy on the Levee
'37 Seat
Forum Stats
15086 Chat Users
79 Forums
50178 Topics
366686 Posts

Max Online: 304 @ 06/18/16 10:00 AM


Notice: Any comments posted herein do not necessarily reflect the official position of the VCCA.