Default Painless Wiring Harness for Electrical Newbies?? 

Old 06-28-2019, 10:28 PM   #1
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Hey All,

Wanted to get a first hand perspective on installing a 21 Circuit Direct Fit Painless wiring harness for a CJ. How much of a learning curve am I getting into? FYI, I've got a Howell TBI kit. Could it be done over a weekend with some beer and duct-tape, or am i looking at weeks of pain and suffering? I've installed things like a winch and off-road lights, but rewiring an entire electrical system seem like a daunting task to me.

Also, are there any cheaper Painless Harness alternatives out there which are still good quality? Would be nice to save a few bucks.

Thanks!

Josh

Last edited by jzak; 06-28-2019 at 10:53 PM..

 

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Electrical Newbies?? 

Old 06-28-2019, 11:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzak View Post
Hey All,

Wanted to get a first hand perspective on installing a 21 Circuit Direct Fit Painless wiring harness for a CJ. How much of a learning curve am I getting into? FYI, I've got a Howell TBI kit. Could it be done over a weekend with some beer and duct-tape, or am i looking at weeks of pain and suffering? I've installed things like a winch and off-road lights, but rewiring an entire electrical system seem like a daunting task to me.

Also, are there any cheaper Painless Harness alternatives out there which are still good quality? Would be nice to save a few bucks.

Thanks!

Josh
The dash and all the lights part is not bad and I did it myself in a day and a half. The engine part is a hole different story. I got so frustrated that I towed the Jeep to my local Jeep guy and they finished it up. I also have the Howell kit on mine.

 

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Electrical Newbies?? 

Old 06-29-2019, 05:14 AM   #3
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I got a Painless harness for my '79 CJ7, it's been a piece of cake. Every single wire is labeled the entire length of the wire, and there are plenty of extra parts for aftermarket add ons like your FI. I was very pleased with it, so much so that I'm installing one in my '70 Chevelle SS this fall.

 

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Electrical Newbies?? 

Old 06-29-2019, 09:56 AM   #4
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Shooby installed a Centech harness in his 78 CJ5 which also has the same FI you have in yours. They less expensive than the Painless kits. Just another option for you.
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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Electrical Newbies?? 

Old 06-30-2019, 03:35 AM   #5
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I have been tracking the price for the painless harness for my CJ and the price is down $100 to $449 in the last six months. I am fixing to take the plunge and buy it.

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Newbies?? 

Old 07-01-2019, 03:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback guys! I guess the question is should i get the direct fit harness or the custom one. The direct fit is hundreds more, but i'm assuming it comes with all the connectors you need, so its more plug and play. That said, since i've got that howell TBI, i'm probably going to be splicing in most of the harness anyway. What do you guys think?

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Newbies?? 

Old 07-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #7
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I'm in the same general situation. 84 CJ7 with Howell TBI and a HEI. I went with a harness from Centech. Called them up and told them to modify it for the HEI. No problem.. Haven't gotten it installed yet, but I've been inspecting the harness and it all looks pretty straightforward.

 

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Newbies?? 

Old 07-01-2019, 10:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jeffcj View Post
I'm in the same general situation. 84 CJ7 with Howell TBI and a HEI. I went with a harness from Centech. Called them up and told them to modify it for the HEI. No problem.. Haven't gotten it installed yet, but I've been inspecting the harness and it all looks pretty straightforward.
Thanks Jeff! Please keep me updated on your install. If it goes well for you, I think i may go with these guys. Anybody I should talk to at Centech about getting a custom TBI harness?
Thanks Again!

 

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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Newbies?? 

Old 07-02-2019, 06:56 AM   #9
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i did the painless as well, i went OCD and loomed, zip tied, and taped mine up really good for as clean of a look as possible. wasnt to bad, engine side is the only confusing part since the harness is designed to cover every CJ engine, alternator, and distributor combo there is so just go thru the manual carefully for that part, everything else is plug and play
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Default Re: Painless Wiring Harness for Newbies?? 

Old 07-02-2019, 01:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jzak View Post
Thanks Jeff! Please keep me updated on your install. If it goes well for you, I think i may go with these guys. Anybody I should talk to at Centech about getting a custom TBI harness?
Thanks Again!
I spoke with Jim who I believe is the owner. Super helpful guy. I told him what I had and we talked over adjustments to the "standard" CJ harness. In my case the switch to HEI meant replacing the ballast resistor with just a keyed ignition wire for the HEI (they also threw in an HEI pigtail connector). The Howell TBI was/is just a keyed ignition source off the harness to the appropriate wire on the Howell Harness. I believe they include at least one optional circuit wire in all of their kits.

I paid a little extra for the "upgraded" PDP-1B fuse panel.

One caveat - The bulkhead connector that passes through the firewall does not look factory. The provided cover plate seems like it will make for a clean install, but if factory identical is important to you the Painless kit is a better choice.

 

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