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66 Under Dash Harness Replacement

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Old 07-14-2018, 10:27 AM
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Tcheairs38655
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Default 66 Under Dash Harness Replacement

Anyone with experience got any tips, techniques for getting the old harness out and the new harness in. Can't find a good thread on this in the archives.

So far, I've removed the steering column, console horseshoe plate and the inside vent/kick panels to access the center console. Glove box is still in and vent cables are still attached. Engine is out of the car so the clutch pedal is loose and out of the way. I've been under there and it looks pretty tight for a old man. I do have the John Hinckley article on instrument cluster removal which describes how to slide the cluster out on long studs.

Is it best to start on the passenger side and work my way back to the driver's side where the meat of the operation is? How do you manage the two harnesses, old and new, while the operation is going on (to keep from hanging one's self)?..

Also, any suggestions on an instrument cluster restoration shop?

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-14-2018, 04:18 PM
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I'll bite since I'm hoping to redo my interior, including the wiring, this winter.

I would definitely remove the glove box, door and cardboard liner, for access, because it's so easy and I'm old and stiff.

As a matter of fact, I was planning on pulling the entire dash assembly to do this job - meaning the pads and the entire dash support back to the windshield.

I also plan to remove the seats to do this work, but for me this is also tied to replacing the carpet and rebuilding the seat frames.

I would be interested to see what you come up with.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:52 PM
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Literally just 5 mins ago I pulled the harness from the passenger side and working on the driver side now. Like Easy Rhino said, I removed the glove box assembly, the instrument cluster with the long bolts, clock radio and speaker. I’m painting the car so it all had to come out anyway. I’ll post some pictures and more details later this evening.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:41 PM
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I just started installing a new Lectric Limited Harness in my 66 today so I can give you some pointers. Go ahead and pull the seats...really easy and nice to have them out of the way. If you haven't already, make sure your battery is disconnected. If your windshield is removed for painting it makes it easier to pull the instrument cluster but not too terrible with it installed. Get 4 1/4"x20 screws and install them for your mounting screws to give you the ability to slide the cluster out. I have attached a very helpful article I copied from a member about pulling the cluster and a labeled picture (also provided from a member). If you follow those instruction pulling the cluster you will be fine. Be very careful with the oil pressure line (should be 5/16") and the capacitors if you plan to reuse. The glove box needs to come out as well. I removed my clock and radio to be restored and I reinstalled them today, along with the glove box (picture attached). Last weekend I replaced the heater core and rebuilt the heater box (again, not a fun job but if it needs doing, now is probably the time). With the cluster out you can finish removing the harness on the drivers side floorboard fairly easily. There is a plug going to your chassis harness, one plug for high beams, and the turn signal harness connector(you said you already pulled your steering column). There are 2 firewall connectors that will have to be pulled below the master cylinder (be very careful with the plastic clips holding them on if you are not replacing your engine harness) and 2 bolts going thru the fuse block and firewall. There is a large rubber firewall grommet that the oil pressure tubing and wiring/plugs for the wipers, ignition, neutral safety etc go thru that you can push out from the cockpit side towards the engine to remove (probably will need to replace if it is original). I had to rebuild my steering column as I found my forward bearing was literally gone and had cut about 1/3 through the shaft (make sure you check your shaft and bearings at the very least). I am replacing all my instrument lights, courtesy lights and clock lights with LEDs after looking at some of the results from members. Also if you are ever planning to change your dash speaker, now is the time because for once you will have easy access. I almost forgot...if you don't already have one go invest in a really good LED headlamp with band (I picked one up from Lowes for about $15). Makes a WORLD of difference with this job. Now as far as restoring your cluster I just posted a couple of days ago about Ricks Restoration 410-538-4528 and you can look back to see my other pictures. Great service, excellent turnaround time and communication, fair price and excellent results. I think that's about it. There are a lot of knowledgeable guys that have tons of information on here that know a lot more than I do so if you get stuck just ask.
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C2_Dash_Cluster pt1.pdf (1.15 MB, 20 views)
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jbthomas View Post




I just started installing a new Lectric Limited Harness in my 66 today so I can give you some pointers. Go ahead and pull the seats...really easy and nice to have them out of the way. If you haven't already, make sure your battery is disconnected. If your windshield is removed for painting it makes it easier to pull the instrument cluster but not too terrible with it installed. Get 4 1/4"x20 screws and install them for your mounting screws to give you the ability to slide the cluster out. I have attached a very helpful article I copied from a member about pulling the cluster and a labeled picture (also provided from a member). If you follow those instruction pulling the cluster you will be fine. Be very careful with the oil pressure line (should be 5/16") and the capacitors if you plan to reuse. The glove box needs to come out as well. I removed my clock and radio to be restored and I reinstalled them today, along with the glove box (picture attached). Last weekend I replaced the heater core and rebuilt the heater box (again, not a fun job but if it needs doing, now is probably the time). With the cluster out you can finish removing the harness on the drivers side floorboard fairly easily. There is a plug going to your chassis harness, one plug for high beams, and the turn signal harness connector(you said you already pulled your steering column). There are 2 firewall connectors that will have to be pulled below the master cylinder (be very careful with the plastic clips holding them on if you are not replacing your engine harness) and 2 bolts going thru the fuse block and firewall. There is a large rubber firewall grommet that the oil pressure tubing and wiring/plugs for the wipers, ignition, neutral safety etc go thru that you can push out from the cockpit side towards the engine to remove (probably will need to replace if it is original). I had to rebuild my steering column as I found my forward bearing was literally gone and had cut about 1/3 through the shaft (make sure you check your shaft and bearings at the very least). I am replacing all my instrument lights, courtesy lights and clock lights with LEDs after looking at some of the results from members. Also if you are ever planning to change your dash speaker, now is the time because for once you will have easy access. I almost forgot...if you don't already have one go invest in a really good LED headlamp with band (I picked one up from Lowes for about $15). Makes a WORLD of difference with this job. Now as far as restoring your cluster I just posted a couple of days ago about Ricks Restoration 410-538-4528 and you can look back to see my other pictures. Great service, excellent turnaround time and communication, fair price and excellent results. I think that's about it. There are a lot of knowledgeable guys that have tons of information on here that know a lot more than I do so if you get stuck just ask.
Could you please tell me where I can get the 4 1/4 X 20 screws, I need to put in some new lights. Thanks, Peter
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:28 PM
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Any hardware store should have them - its a standard size ... or you can by 1/4 x 20 "all thread" in rod form and hacksaw your own...
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
Any hardware store should have them - its a standard size ... or you can by 1/4 x 20 "all thread" in rod form and hacksaw your own...
Yeah, Ace Hardware is where I bought mine...6" length screws works well or you can just buy all thread and cut to length.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jbthomas View Post
Yeah, Ace Hardware is where I bought mine...6" length screws works well or you can just buy all thread and cut to length.
Thank you. There's an Ace near me.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:21 PM
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What I learned on this removal is the more stuff you take out the more room you have. After you remove the instrument cluster and glove box assembly, photograph the way all the wires run. As I unplugged a wire I took blue tape and wrote where it went, or at least most of them. I found having the driver seat out worked best for removing the instrument cluster. I then sat it back in and sat in it while I did the rest of the removal. Everything was pretty straight forward except I had to look up where the screws were on the fuse box. After disconnecting the harness from the engine side carefully, I searched and found you have to remove the flasher and lower left fuse to get to the fuse box screws. The other item was the door light pins. I unscrewed the pin first and worked out the connection. One side the plug came off fairly easy. The other I had to put some needle nose to hold the wire harness plug pin to pull against the door pin. Just take your time and go easy on the connectors.





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Old 07-15-2018, 08:12 AM
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Wow, great info guys. Thanks to you all. I'll be starting tomorrow am. It would be nice to know exactly how the glove box comes out. Just the 4 or 5 screws along the top inside rim? And what was the cost of the cluster restoration and turn around time?

Many Thanks
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:13 AM
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Now would be a good time to grease the pivot points on the wiper transmission rods. You can use 6" carriage bolts. They are soft, so you can easily saw the heads off and slot them with a hack saw blade or a Dremel if you like. Jerry
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tcheairs38655 View Post
Wow, great info guys. Thanks to you all. I'll be starting tomorrow am. It would be nice to know exactly how the glove box comes out. Just the 4 or 5 screws along the top inside rim? And what was the cost of the cluster restoration and turn around time?

Many Thanks

To remove the glove box just pull the screws around the top rim and the 4 larger screws on the bottom that go into the frame (2 on each side). You will need to disconnect the wire for your light/switch when pulling it out. I think just the instrument cluster was $750-$800? It depends on what is needed. Rick completed all of mine (cluster, clock, radio, glove box door) and shipped it back within 3 weeks.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tcheairs38655 View Post
Wow, great info guys. Thanks to you all. I'll be starting tomorrow am. It would be nice to know exactly how the glove box comes out. Just the 4 or 5 screws along the top inside rim? And what was the cost of the cluster restoration and turn around time?

Many Thanks
The glove box should come out as a unit if you take out the perimeter screws and the large Philip's head screws underneath that go into the Z-bar. Note how the glove box door closes and how the spring is oriented (take pic) for reassembly. Disconnect the glove box light.

NOTE! The glove box light lead is ALWAYS hot - disconnect the battery while working. The one thing I modify on a factory harness is putting a "bullet" connector on that light with the female end on the power side....it keeps you from having to worry about a hot lead while working and also from screwing with that hokey glove box light connector that goes into the bulb socket.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:46 AM
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So, if the glove box comes off as a unit, why does the door have to come off?
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tcheairs38655 View Post
So, if the glove box comes off as a unit, why does the door have to come off?
It doesnít.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:18 PM
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Good news Frankie...Thanks...
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by elwood13 View Post
Literally just 5 mins ago I pulled the harness from the passenger side and working on the driver side now. Like Easy Rhino said, I removed the glove box assembly, the instrument cluster with the long bolts, clock radio and speaker. Iím painting the car so it all had to come out anyway. Iíll post some pictures and more details later this evening.
Elwood - So you install the new harness and dash before painting? I just got me new LL harness and I wasn't sure what makes the most sense as to when to install.
Sorry all - not looking to hijack the thread

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Old 07-15-2018, 04:33 PM
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I plan on doing after paint. I’m in the removal and paint strip process now. I still need to clean the carpet glue off. Then I will put in the new insulation and run the new harness. Not sure if that’s the best way but that is the plan so far.

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Old 07-15-2018, 04:37 PM
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:55 PM
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OK.....so you're going to paint it with the dash in and do the harness last......sounds logical
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