JBugs Video Series

1968-69 Beetle Wiring Harness Installation - Part 1:

Video Overview:

One of the biggest sources of problems on Vintage VWs is the electrical wiring. Original wires are 40 plus years old and are frequently cracked which can lead to shorts. Couple that with multiple wiring "repairs" from previous owners and you can have a recipe for disaster. Tackling a job like completely re-wiring your VW may seem like a daunting task but if you take it step by step and follow the instructions that are provided with our Wiring Works Wiring Harnesses, just about anyone can re-wire their VW in a matter of a few hours.

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Step-by-Step Guide: Installing the Wiring Works 1968 to 1969 VW Beetle Complete Wiring Harness


At JBugs.com, we understand the importance of maintaining and upgrading your vintage Volkswagen Beetle. In this article, we will walk you through the initial steps of installing the Wiring Works 1968-1969 VW Beetle complete wiring harness. This comprehensive guide covers the removal of existing wiring and the installation of the new harness, ensuring a smooth process for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Let's dive into the details.

Tools Needed:

-8mm Wrench
-10mm Wrench
-13mm Wrench
-Large Phillips Screwdriver
-Linemans Pliers
-Wire Snips
-Electrical Tape

Step 1: Prepare for the Installation

Before starting the installation, ensure you have the necessary tools and disconnect the battery. Remove the rear seat bottom to access the trunk area where most of the wiring connections are located.

Step 2: Disconnect & Prep in the Trunk

In the trunk, disconnect turn signal and ignition switch wiring harnesses from their connections at the fuse box, relays, and main harness. Be cautious not to cut wires coming from the bottom side of the dash, near the speedometer, as they will be reused.

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Step 3: Disconnection at the Front Left "A" Pillar

Moving down the front left "A" pillar, disconnect the dome light harness from door jamb switches, ground tang, and fuse box. Do not pull the dome light harness out, as it will be used to pull the new harness through the roof.

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Step 4: Switches and Components Removal

Remove wiper, headlight, and emergency switches from the dash. It's recommended to pull out the glove box insert for easier access. Disconnect and remove every wire from the fuse box, headlight switch, relay, emergency flasher switch, flasher relay, wiper motor and switch, speedometer, and brake warning indicator light.

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Step 5: Engine Compartment Disconnection

At the engine, disconnect wires at the generator, carburetor, coil, tail lights, and license light. Leave the distributor-to-coil wires in place. Cut down the main harness, leaving a foot or two of the thick red wire, to be used for pulling the new harness through the body.

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Step 6: Free the Main Wiring Harness

Remove the left rear quarter panel to access the wiring harness which is run behind it. Disconnect various wires for the main harness to the voltage regulator and free the main harness from the body. Cut the harness at the quarter panel, leaving enough to hold onto as you pull the new harness through. Remove the front portion of the main harness from inside the car.

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Step 7: Preparing the Main Harness

Prepare the main harness by tucking wires under the rear seat and wrapping the split with electrical tape. Leave the thick red wire loose at the front as it will be attached to the old wiring harness. Attach the new harness to the old harness by looping and taping the two thick red wires together. Pull the new harness through the body with an assistant guiding from the rear.

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Step 8: Attaching the New Harness

Underneath the rear seat, the connection of the voltage regulator involves several wires. Reconnect the following wires.

    B+ Terminal - Red wire with 3/8“ spade terminal
    #61 Terminal - Blue wire
    D+ Terminal - Red wire with ring terminal
    DF Terminal - Green wire
    Ground - Brown wire

    The thick red wire with a 1/4 inch spade from the front of the harness serves as the power to the starter solenoid and will be connected later.

    The black wire with a 1/4 inch spade from the front of the harness connects to the #86 terminal on the rear window defroster relay. If the rear window defroster wire, usually a white wire with a 1/4 inch spade terminal in a black sheath, was disconnected earlier, it is meant to connect to the #87 terminal on the relay.

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    Step 9: Wiring in the Engine Compartment

    In the engine compartment, the wiring harness branches into three segments: a short harness with three wires for the left tail light, and a longer harness with three wires for the right side, which is routed behind the engine along the firewall, secured by metal tabs. The engine section of the harness is directed to the fan shroud, where a factory fan shroud with tabs ensures proper placement as it runs past the coil toward the generator.

    This engine harness includes two loose wires, a black wire for the positive side of the coil, and a blue wire with a green stripe for the oil switch. The generator features three wires: a brown wire with a ring terminal attached to the back, a thick red wire connecting to the D+ post, and a green wire connecting to the DF post.

    Main Wiring Harness Pic 27 Main Wiring Harness Pic 28 Main Wiring Harness Pic 29 Main Wiring Harness Pic 30 Main Wiring Harness Pic 31

    Step 10: Finalizing the Installation

    In the trunk, unwrap the wiring harness and rout it up towards the back of the dash using the metal tabs that will hold the harness in place. Connect new wires to the fuse box and switches.

    Main Wiring Harness Pic 32


    With these steps, you've completed the initial installation of the Wiring Works 1968-1969 VW Beetle complete wiring harness. For the final steps and additional installation details, stay tuned for our upcoming videos. For all your vintage Volkswagen needs, visit JBugs.com – your trusted source for quality parts and expert guidance. Happy driving!

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