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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Simple Questions- Wiring
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Simple Questions- Wiring
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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camronbitzer
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Post Post subject: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:21 AM
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So I'm not the most experienced car guy; but I like to do things on my own and learn. My 69'Baja needs to be rewired. I've thought about just buying a wiring harness but the cheapest one I've found is about $300, plus I enjoy the idea of going through the more difficult task of doing without the harness. I've talked to a few separate people and they have recommended to just figure out the wiring myself. The car already is wired (assuming it's wired correctly) it just has multiple dead end wires and I'm just sick of the look and I justwant to fix the eelectric problems it has. So I need all the tips I can get. How do I know what gauge the wire is? Do the different colors represent something? When wiring in the front (trunk) how would you recommend hiding the wiring? Like I said, I'm very inexperienced, so please help me out.
Thanks!
-CB

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Mykul
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Post Post subject: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 05:48 AM
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Ok I'm going to sound like a dick here, but you're not ready to rewire your car.

Pay someone to do it for you. It will cost a few hundred dollars, but then it will work.

If you want to learn about how DC systems work, there is plenty of info out there for you, but it takes years to understand all the systems on a car.

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 08:26 AM
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I learned a lot about automotive wiring and electrical through the process of re-wiring my Baja Bug from the ground up back in the 1970s. It helped that my dad was a journeyman aircraft electrician who had worked at the SkunkWorks on the most exotic aircraft on the planet. He provided a great deal of help. Hooking things up wrong in a car can wind up in a car burning to a lump on the side of a highway or way out in the boonies. So before embarking on such a project, it would be very good to do a lot of research 1st.

To give you a little help on some of the basics:
- Wire size goes by "gauge", a number representing the size of the conductor, which is the metal part of a wire. Don't go by the outside size of the insulation. That can vary. The bigger the number of the wire gauge, the smaller the wire.
- There are wire types which work well for cars, and other wire types which work well for houses. In cars wire needs to flex, so automotive wire is made of thin strands twisted together. House wire is solid. Some industrial wire for machines and such is twisted strands like automotive, but the strands are thick and the wire is stiff. This is not good for cars.
- You need to work from a good wiring diagram. One which shows all of the wires, what colors and sizes they are and where they connect. Like for instance, from the alternator Df terminal to the indicator light in the speedometer.
- You CAN wire the car with different colors, but it makes sense to follow the original for the sake of someone trying to find a problem later on.
- Wires that are all the same color may look nice and neat, but can make it VERY difficult to figure out which wire goes where.
- You SHOULD NOT use different size wires, unless they are a little bigger than specified.
- At The Samba, there is a header which says "Technical" and in the drop menu, it lists "wiring". That will take you to copies of genuine VW wiring diagrams. It starts out at Type 2 and you will need to choose Type 1, and then go through the list to find your year model. The later ones from the mid 70s get into a different style of diagram that takes you through the system logic, but does not show you the wires, sizes or colors, nor sometimes even what they connect to.
- Wiring should be done neatly and no wires should ever rub on edges or be unsupported for long distances.
- Proper connectors should be used and no wires with ends twisted together.


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camronbitzer
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Post Post subject: Re: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 04:19 PM
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some. I found another thread that had a few tips and I read that you should use 12 gauge wiring to run from the battery to the alternator and 16 gauge for the rest. Would the wiring diagram be able to tell me what gauge? If I used 16 and it needed 18 would it fry the wires?
Also, I figure I'll give wiring it myself a shot because it's not my primary vehicle. If I start to feel uncomfortable I can have my buddy tow it to the shop and have them do it.


quote="MojaveRacer208"]I learned a lot about automotive wiring and electrical through the process of re-wiring my Baja Bug from the ground up back in the 1970s. It helped that my dad was a journeyman aircraft electrician who had worked at the SkunkWorks on the most exotic aircraft on the planet. He provided a great deal of help. Hooking things up wrong in a car can wind up in a car burning to a lump on the side of a highway or way out in the boonies. So before embarking on such a project, it would be very good to do a lot of research 1st.

To give you a little help on some of the basics:
- Wire size goes by "gauge", a number representing the size of the conductor, which is the metal part of a wire. Don't go by the outside size of the insulation. That can vary. The bigger the number of the wire gauge, the smaller the wire.
- There are wire types which work well for cars, and other wire types which work well for houses. In cars wire needs to flex, so automotive wire is made of thin strands twisted together. House wire is solid. Some industrial wire for machines and such is twisted strands like automotive, but the strands are thick and the wire is stiff. This is not good for cars.
- You need to work from a good wiring diagram. One which shows all of the wires, what colors and sizes they are and where they connect. Like for instance, from the alternator Df terminal to the indicator light in the speedometer.
- You CAN wire the car with different colors, but it makes sense to follow the original for the sake of someone trying to find a problem later on.
- Wires that are all the same color may look nice and neat, but can make it VERY difficult to figure out which wire goes where.
- You SHOULD NOT use different size wires, unless they are a little bigger than specified.
- At The Samba, there is a header which says "Technical" and in the drop menu, it lists "wiring". That will take you to copies of genuine VW wiring diagrams. It starts out at Type 2 and you will need to choose Type 1, and then go through the list to find your year model. The later ones from the mid 70s get into a different style of diagram that takes you through the system logic, but does not show you the wires, sizes or colors, nor sometimes even what they connect to.
- Wiring should be done neatly and no wires should ever rub on edges or be unsupported for long distances.
- Proper connectors should be used and no wires with ends twisted together.[/quote]

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BugZyla.com
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Post Post subject: Re: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 07:34 AM
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Its really not that hard. Just use a wiring diagram from an early car such as this one vintagebus.com/wiring/bug-66+67.jpg and use a nwer fuse box with the ATO style fuses. You can probably do it yourself in a weekend.


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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Re: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 07:54 AM
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camronbitzer wrote:
I found another thread that had a few tips and I read that you should use 12 gauge wiring to run from the battery to the alternator and 16 gauge for the rest.

It is really not that simple. For instance; for the headlight wires VW used 12 ga. From the headlight switch to the ignition switch, again 12 ga. From the generator or alternator Df terminal and from the oil pressure sender to the idiot lights in the speedo, 18 ga. 16 ga will do the dome light, tail lights and turn indicators. The original wiring in a '69 has a voltage regulator under the back seat on the left side. Some alternators do not use an external voltage regulator as they have an internal one. If the regulator under the back seat is still needed, it should have at least two 12 ga wires connecting to it. And we could keep going.

camronbitzer wrote:
Would the wiring diagram be able to tell me what gauge? If I used 16 and it needed 18 would it fry the wires?

The original diagrams DO indicate wire size, but in Euro version. It's simple and with a little figuring by knowing the basics like the battery to alternator size you can figure them all out. If it needed 16 ga and you installed 18 ga, it might fry the whole car. But using 16 where 18 is called for is OK.


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tdubs-83
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Post Post subject: Re: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 03:42 AM
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I know this is an old thread but I am looking at having my baja completely rewired. Preferably something economical yet durable for off roading. And I don't want to do this myself. I want someone else to do it. Where are good places in the east valley that I can go to? The only bug places that I know of is Duggs and German Autowerks.

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Dalton
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Post Post subject: Simple Questions- Wiring
Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 01:12 AM
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Bugzilla or Perry shop


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