JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Wiring Series - Part 1:

Video Overview:

We’re beginning the installation of a new wiring harness in our 1971 Super Beetle. In this portion we’ll get a new main wiring harness pulled into the car along with some additional wires that we’ll need for our aftermarket gauges. Follow along as we get started with one of the most feared portions of a restoration and see how simple it is, just take it one wire at a time.

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:
Electrical Tape
Side Cutters
Small Flat Blade Screwdriver

Other Parts Used:
3 Spools of colored 18 Gauge wire

Video Transcript:

Hi! I'm Sam with JBugs.com
Today, we're going to get to work on the wiring for our 1971 Super Beetle and hopefully we can figure all this stuff out.
Just kidding, I know [where] every one of those wires go and since we have some aftermarket gauges, we're going to have to add some more wires.
So, with three different spools of colored wire, we start at the rear of the harness
and tape the wires to out main harness leaving extra lengths of wire at the front and the rear that we can trim to length later.
We bundle up the front portion of the harness and tape all the wires together, leaving one thick wire loose.
Then the wires at the split in the middle of the harness, are taped up as well to streamline the harness as much as possible.
In the engine compartment, at the rear of the car, we tug, pull, and push the original herness, to brake it free from the foam in the body cavity.
We strip it down to just one thick wire and tape that loose wire to the new harness.
Reaching in through the quarter window opening allows us to pull the original wire inside the car while we guide the new harness into the body.
The harness is pulled into the car until the split at the rear of the loom is at the top left of the engine compartment.
Inside the car, the harness is routed through the hole at the bottom of the quarter panel and pulled through until the split we taped up earlier is through.
The tape is unwrapped, the original wire boot is slid over the harness, and pulled up into place at the body panel.
The harness is run under the heater duct and along the bottom edge of the heater channel.
Originally, clips would have held the harness against the channel.
We choose not to drill more holes in the heater channel, for the clips, as the carpet will hold the harness in place well enough later.
Near the front of the heater channel, the harness is run through the holes so it can be run up the fender well.
The original trunk wire grommet is installed through the top side.
Then, the main harness is run up into the trunk and the securing tab in the fender hold it in place.
In the trunk, the harness is unwrapped, routed up to the back side of the dash, and the securing tabs there are bent over to hold the harness in place.
We'll head to the back of the car again and install a new taillight wire grommet in the side of the engine compartment,
before we slide one of the taillight harnesses through it.
There are five wires in the harness, we connect the brown wire to the ground tab at the shelf in the engine compartment.
Then, shrouded wire connectors are installed on the four remaining wires.
A small flat blade screwdriver helps push the terminals into place.
Three of the taillight wires plug into the main harness as follows;
the red taillight wire plugs into the double black/red wire,
the black taillight wire plugs into the black/white wire
the white taillight wire plugs into the white/black wire,
and again, a flat blade screwdriver helps when installing the terminal ends.
The remaining taillight blue wire, plugs into one end of the split V harness for the reverse lights.
The middle of the V, plugs into the short leg of the reverse light switch harness with a shrouded connector.
The end of the switch harness, is routed across the back of the engine compartment along with the long leg of the main wiring harness.
The switch harness, is pressed through the original firewall grommet at the bottom of the engine compartment.
It will plug into the reverse light switch on the nose cone of the transmission later.
At the right side of the engine compartment, the taillight grommet and harness are installed.
We hook up the brown wire to one of the two ground tabs at the right shelf.
Then, we hook up the brown ground wire from the license place light harness to the other tab.
The license light harness is routed up to the top of the engine compartment.
The gray wire from it, and the white wire from the taillight harness, are plugged into a shrouded T connector.
The red/white wire, from the main harness, is plugged into the opposite side of the T connector.
The remaining taillight wires are plugged into the main harness and the reverse harness, like we did on the left.
The red taillight wire plugs into the black/red wire.
The black taillight wire plugs into the black/green wire.
The blue wire plugs into the other end of the black reverse V harness.
That finishes up all the wiring we can do at the rear of the car, until later as the remaining wires at the left side of the engine compartment, will all plug into the engine.
We'll continue in our next video where we'll move our way forward in the car and start some of the customization, some minor and some major,
that we'll need to do while adapting this original style harness to our car and its components.
Thanks for watching!
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
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And when you need parts or accessories for your vintage Volkswagen, head over to JBugs.com