Help choosing a wiring harness

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by 94IDI, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. 94IDI

    94IDI Jared


    I'm ready to put new wiring in the 'ol girl from front to back. I am an absolute novice in terms of electrical and wiring. So I'm hoping to get some in depth knowledge on which wiring harness to go with.

    I will be having my resto mechanic tackle this job, so it's going to be professionally done. I plan to simultaneously make the switch to a "Lectric" distributor and 12si 94 amp alternator. I'd also like to make improvements on my ignition coil at the same time.. I'm just not sure which one to go with until I call Todd Miller and talk to him.
    I drive the car on the street, to and from work a few times a week when the weather cooperates. So I'm looking for reliability, and overall quality. I also agree with all of the points listed here:

    I did a search of the forum because I figured there would be several threads already comparing the various wiring harnesses that are available, but had trouble finding a comprehensive comparison of the popular harnesses.. If this is already on the boars somewhere, could someone drop me a link please?
    Aside from that, I'm looking forward to reading everyone's imputs!

  2. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    M & H
    Lectric Limited
    American Auto wire

    may be all the stock choices for harnesses. I like the first one although I would consider Lectric Limited too. I have no experience with American Auto Wire.

    There is no performance gain with the alternator mod. If anything, you are spinning a heavier rotor relative to a 55 amp stock unit. Your stock wiring harness was never designed for a higher current load. Plus, it looks odd without a voltage regulator on the firewall.

    Coil technology has long since reached maturity. Spark plugs fire at about a 20K voltage potential so fancy names on coils suggesting higher numbers are mostly advertising fluff intended to capture customers The same is true for plugs wires. A MSD box or something like that may be an improvement although it looks out of place unless you hide it.

    Getting rid of points may be worth a little something, especially in terms of reliability. The Lectric Limited conversion is very reliable. But, if an electronic pick up in a distributor does go south, it easier to carry points and replace those on the road.
  3. austxsteve

    austxsteve Well-Known Member

  4. Chi-Town67

    Chi-Town67 Gold Level Contributor

    I used an M&H engine harness on my '67 GS and it looks, fits and functions perfectly.
  5. sriley531

    sriley531 Buckle up, this could get rough....

    I used American autowire on my green car. Also had them tweak the harness for an alternator update. It worked flawlessly. Everything lined up and hooked up as it should, spot on. Absolutely no complaints from me, they'll get my business again.
  6. Redmanf1

    Redmanf1 Gold Level Contributor

    American autowire is the way to go..
  7. 94IDI

    94IDI Jared

    Thanks for all of the feedback guys! It sounds like everyone so far has gone with M & H, or American Autowire. I'll call each of them on Monday and most likely place an order. I do see that American Autowire offers a "classic update kit" option which I may be interested in checking out. I'll update you as it develops, but in the meantime, if anyone else has any input, I could definitely use some knowledge.


    Thanks for the wisdom regarding the alternator. I really don't intend to run a lot of extra accessories so maybe I actually won't go with the larger alternator.. I guess I just felt as though providing more current//voltage to the engine may ensure a stronger, more consistent spark.. If that's not the case, I'd rather not be turning the heavier rotor as you mentioned.

  8. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    No a bigger alternator does not provide more power to an engine. In simple terms it keeps the battery topped off. If anything the bigger rotational mass of a higher amperage alternator diverts a little more horsepower away from the rear wheels as does power steering and brakes.

    Save that money for an distributor ignition recurve.
  9. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member


    I stock the Lectric Limited Brand for a couple reasons. . . . . We use these on our Restoration Projects and have never been disappointed. (Not quite the same with M&H) - A couple small issues I'll share if you want.

    We use American Auto Wire quite a bit to but more so on Pro Touring type builds. I'll be happy to share feedback on all 3 brands......

    Lectric Limited is Made here in the U.S. and they use the Factory GM Blue Prints to reproduce there products.
    I recommend them for Stock Restorations.

    I have most of there Harnesses IN STOCK and PRICED BELOW RETAIL for the 1970 - 1972 Buick GS/GSX & Skylarks.
    I actually have almost ALL there products in stock for these cars...………… Anything electrical!
    IF I do have to order something in they fill my orders in 10 to 14 Days!!! MUCH less wait time than even the big name vendors.

    I'm happy to help if you have any other questions.


    1000's of Buick GS/GSX/Skylark Fasteners now available on my website.
    These are NEW fasteners, and Made in the USA.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Also available . . . . Factory Correct – American Made Wiring Harnesses, Battery Cables,
    Date Coded Spark Plug Wires, Electronic Ignition Kits, American Made Distributor Caps w/Brass Contacts,
    Engine Cradles, Wiring Diagrams, Grade 8 Engine Bolt Kits, Factory AMK Exhaust Bolts,
    King of Torque – “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Hemi” Banners, License Plates & Stickers, Buick Console Decals & More!
    455 Engine Building Service – Frame Off Restorations – Distributor Rebuilding
    See our products here > D C Muscle Cars – Done Correct!.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  10. Utah455

    Utah455 Well-Known Member

    In 2011, I've bought new M&H Harnesses (Forward Light , Rear Bumper and the Intermediate). That was before I knew about @ToddsGS and his parts. I just purchased a bunch of Lectric Limited stuff (Positive & Negative Battery cables, Fuel sender, antenna, AC extension, Dash and Engine Harnesses) from Todd. Eventually, I'll get the power window harness as well. I haven't really mated / installed anything together yet. So I can't say anything bad about either manufacture.

    The Lectric Limited fuel sender wire, antenna cable and the AC extension harnesses are installed but not mated to anything yet. So far they are good.

    However, I will say that working with Todd has been great! He is very helpful, answers all my questions and sells the good stuff from what I see. I love just asking for a bolt and he knows exactly what I need.

    Hey Todd, if you have any feedback that may be helpful or something I should look out for with the M&H, just let me know. PM or email . Thanks again, Nick from NC
    ToddsGS likes this.
  11. 2manybuicks

    2manybuicks Platinum Level Contributor

    Jared --

    If you haven't bought anything yet, buying from Todd is NEVER a mistake, plus he can save you a few bucks here and there too.

    -- Steve
    ToddsGS likes this.
  12. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    I believe M&H products are decent also however the one issue I've seen with them in the past is there Wire Harness Fasteners were located in the wrong area to plug into the Core Support as they should.
    This was on some Headlight harnesses. The locator tabs that are wrapped into the harness were to short to reach the factory location. Not a HUGE deal but it happened more than once and when you're doing a concours type
    restoration that stuff is really frustrating. Other than that I feel there products are decent.

    As mentioned I recommend the Lectric Limited brand for a few reasons but mainly because they're made here I the USA off the Factory GM Blue Prints. And they get my special orders out within 10 to 14 days!!
    Most Big name vendors will tell you 6 to 8 weeks on "Buick" Wiring Harness. Nobody likes waiting that long! And there mark up is enough to where I can discount a bit as well. Saves the customer Money and I still make a bit for my efforts.

    Thanks for the comments guys !! I do notice them and appreciate them!

  13. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    If you go with ignition change that requires full 12v to coil at all times, you will need to see if the shop replacing your harness will push the resistor wire** from the firewall connector (leave it in the harness) and add a 10 or 12 AWG wire to that pin position and to the coil/ignition control. Doing that will also allow the yellow solenoid relay wire at the starter, (R Terminal) to be disconnected, (no need for the 12v boost to coil during cranking) but if you do connect it to the starter, make sure you "cap" the end of the resistor wire that was pulled from the firewall connector.

    **The resistance wire is white braided covering on the wire that branches to the pink coil wire and the yellow "R Terminal" starter solenoid wire.

    Leaving it in the harness allows you to go back to points system if you ever need.want to.

    Using the pin location in the firewall connector allows "normal" key switch operation and keeps it close to "factory" appearance.

    Hope that helps.
  14. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    What Michael mentioned is true for certain Distributors or Conversion Kits.

    Pertronix and GM HEI's do require a 12 Volt source. (Maybe not ALL Pertronix? They now have at least 3 versions so I'm not exactly sure of there requirements on all 3 . . . . . .)

    The Lectric Limited Conversion Kit works with all of the FACTORY WIRING.
    No need to alter any of it! Nor do you have any "extra" wiring like you will with the Pertronix kits.

    A lot to keep track of with all this stuff!! Lol

    Thanks for the input Michael.....
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    TrunkMonkey likes this.
  15. 94IDI

    94IDI Jared

    That is some awesome info. Thanks guys. After reading all of this, I've decided to go with a Lectric Harness and alternator from Todd. I'd really like to get some more brightness out of my headlights though so I'm thinking of going with an "Octane" harness and bulbs up front. Will this tie into the Lectric harness without too much trouble? Are there any other considerations I should know before going that route?

    Thanks again everyone, and Todd, there's a PM coming your way.
    ToddsGS likes this.

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