JBugs Video Series

1968-69 Beetle Wiring Harness Installation - Part 3:

Video Overview:

With the main harness installed and all of the rear lights and wiring hooked up, we move to the front of the car. We will install the front left and right headlight harnesses and hook up the turn signals, horn and brake light switches.

Video Tips:

Part 3 - A Comprehensive Guide to VW Beetle Wiring Harness Installation


Welcome to the heart of Beetle restoration – the intricate world of wiring. In this segment, we'll guide you through installing the left and right headlight harnesses, turn signal harnesses, and the brake light harness for your VW Beetle. Let's illuminate the path to a perfectly wired Bug!

Tools Needed:

-8mm Socket
-Lug Wrench
-¼” Drive Ratchet
-¼” Drive 6” Extension
-Needle Nose Pliers
-Phillips Screwdriver
-Long, Small Flat Blade Screwdriver
-Jack Stands

Step 1: Brake Light Harness

1. Prepare the Ground: Jack up the front of your car and secure it on jack stands. Remove the front left wheel to access the master cylinder brake light switches.

2. Unplug and Replace: Disconnect old wires from brake light switches. Use a length of wire and feed it in from the trunk on the back side of the reservoir lines. The line should exit underneath the gas tank above the master cylinder. Tape the new brake light harness up tightly and then tape it to the length of wire. Then pull the old wire in the trunk side up to the body, to pull the brake light harness through.

Front Wiring Pic 2

3. Switch Setup: Depending on your Beetle model:

  • For three 2-prong brake light switches, connect blue and red wires to the far front switch, and the other two harnesses each to the remaining switches.

  • For two 3-prong brake light switches, connect black and black/red harnesses to parallel terminals on the switches. Connect blue wire from the third harness to one switch, and red wire to the other.

  • Front Wiring Pic 3

4. Fuse Box Connection: In the trunk, connect the black wire to the front terminal on the fuse box's far left. Connect black/red wire to the main harness with a shrouded terminal connector. The red wire will connect to the dash brake warning light later.

Step 2: Left Headlight and Horn Harness

1. Harness Routing:Tape brown and black/yellow wires together. Feed the horn harness through the body, ensuring proper exit underneath the gas tank.

2. Horn Installation: Pull the wires through, guide them to the outer fender well, and install new horn wire boots. Plug the wires onto the horn and slide the boots into place.

3. Fuse Box Connection:At the fuse box, connect wires as follows:

  • Yellow wire to the front terminal fifth from the car's right side.

  • White wire to the front terminal third from the car's left side.

  • Additional blue/white wire to the high beam indicator bulb on the speedometer.

  • Black wire to the front terminal second from the car's left side. The additional black wire connects to the voltage stabilizer for the fuel gauge on the speedometer.

  • Brown wire connects to the turn signal switch wiring harness with a shrouded wiring connector.

  • Front Wiring Pic 6

4. Headlight Removal: Unscrew the headlight trim ring screw, pop off the headlight trim ring, and remove the headlight assembly from the bucket. Unplug the original wiring connector.

5. Wire Routing: Route yellow and white wires along with the separate ground wire through the headlight wire tube. Push wires and tubes through the trunk hole and pull them into place from the inner fender well.

6. Ground Connection: In the trunk, unscrew the old ground wire's ring terminal and screw in the new ground wire.

7. Headlight Connection: In the headlight bucket, slide wires into the headlight connector plug and press them forward until they snap into place. Plug the connector into the headlight and reinstall the headlight and trim ring.

Front Wiring Pic 9

Step 3: Right Headlight Harness

1. Fuse Box Connection: Connect wires as follows:

  • Yellow wire to the front terminal fifth from the car's right side.
    Front Wiring Pic 10

  • White wire to the front terminal fourth from the car's left side.
    Front Wiring Pic 11

2. Routing: Guide the harness under the fuel tank filler hose to the right headlight tube. Follow the same installation process as the left side.

Step 4: Turn Signal Harness

1. Assembly Removal: Remove turn signal assemblies by unscrewing the two 8mm nuts holding each assembly in place.

2. Wire Tube Replacement: If needed, replace the turn signal base seals and wire tubes. Push wires into the turn signal seal tubes.

3. Seal Tube Installation: Pull the wires through the tube, reaching through the top of the turn signal base seal. Do this for both left and right turn signal harnesses.

4. Connector Plugging: Plug wires into the turn signal bases – gray wire into the left tab and black/white or black/green wire into the right tab.

Front Wiring Pic 13

5. Routing: Guide the harnesses, tubes, and seals through the top of either fender, through the holes into the trunk, and pull the wires into place.

6. Assembly Reinstallation: Bolt the turn signal assemblies back in place on each fender.

7. Fuse Box Connection: Route wires up to the fuse box and connect as follows:

  • For the left turn signal: Gray wire to the front terminal fourth from the car's right side. Black and white wire to a shrouded quad connector.

  • Front Wiring Pic 14

  • For the right turn signal: Gray wire to the front terminal third from the car's right side. Black and green wire to a shrouded quad connector.

  • Front Wiring Pic 15

8. Final Steps: Jack up the front of the car, remove jack stands, and lower it down.

You've now conquered the complexities of wiring harness installation for the front of your Beetle. Stay tuned for our upcoming videos, where we'll delve into the dome light harness and dash wiring to complete the electrical masterpiece in your Bug. For top-quality vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories, visit JBugs.com – your trusted ally in VW restoration. Let the Bug's brilliance shine!

Click here for the next video in our re-wiring series.