For this portion of rewiring our
1969 VW Beetle. We'll be installing the tail light, license light and reverse
light harnesses as well as the starter wire and positive battery cable.
With the main wiring harness
installed, we're now going to start with the taillights and unscrew the
taillight lenses on both sides from the bases and set them aside. Unscrew the
bulb holders from the taillight base and disconnect the wire from the bulb
On the back side of the fender, pull
the wiring out of the engine compartment and out of the taillight bases. Install
the new grommets at the engine compartment and on the back side of the fender and
pull the new taillight harnesses through to the taillight base and engine
compartment. Each taillight harness has five wires in a white sheath.
The brown ground wires plug onto the
bottom ground tab on the taillight bulb holder, and the ground tab on the lower
left or right shelf in the engine compartment.
The black turn signal wires plug
onto the top bulb tabs on the taillights, and connect to the black white wire
on the left side, or the black green wire on the right side, with shrouded
The red brake light wires plug onto
the top terminals on the middle bulbs on the taillights, and connect to the black
red wires with wiring connectors.
The white running light wires plug
onto the bottom terminals on the middle bulbs on the taillights.
On the left side the wire will
connect to the white black wire with a wiring connector, and on the right side
the wire will connect to a red white wire, with a shrouded T connector.
The blue reverse light wires plug
onto the bottom bulb tabs. The wires in the engine compartment connect to a
shrouded wiring connector, and will connect to the reverse light harness later.
Next install the license light
harness which is a white red wire in a black sheath. Plug it into the shrouded
T connector on the right hand side and run the wire behind the fan shroud, up
the back firewall and move it up towards the deck lid. On the deck lid loop the
wire through the factory tabs, up the holds behind the license light assembly, and
push the wire through the seal at the assembly. Unscrew the license light lends
from the base, and remove the wiring pigtail grommet, then push the wire through
the grommet, and plug it onto the tab on the license light bulb. Reinstall the
grommet and lends, and pull any slack out of the wire down towards the edge of
the deck lid. Open and close the deck lid to test that the wire has enough
slack, and won't interfere with any engine components.
Reverse light wiring has three
separate wiring harnesses. One portion is two black wires in a black sheath. The
other harness is a length of black wire with three terminal ends, one at either
end and one in the middle. The last is a single sheathed black wire.
The sheathed harness with two wires
will push through a grommet in the lower right side of the engine compartment. This
is behind the fan shroud and not often easy to see. At this point you most
likely have to jack up the car, to hook up the wires underneath the car. If you
do, be sure to use jack stands and leave the car up on jack stands as you'll
need to hook up the starter wire later.
Underneath the car, pull the two wires
past the starter and to the front of the transmission. Above the transmission
mount on the upper right side of the transmission nose cone, plug the two wires
onto the two terminals on the switch, it does not matter which side either wire
Back in the engine compartment;
connect one of the wires to an inline fuse which is not included. Connect the
other end of the inline fuse holder to the black sheath wire and run that wire
on the front side of the fan shroud and connect it to the positive side of the
Lastly connect the harness with the
three terminal ends. One end will connect to the left side taillight harness,
at the blue wire with a shrouded connector. Route the harness behind the fan
shroud and connect the middle terminal to the remaining wire from the
transmission harness with a shrouded connector. The other end will connect to
the right side taillight harness, at the blue wire with a shrouded connector. The
starter wire is a thick red wire in a black sheath. It connects to the shrouded
wire connector inside the car, under the rear seat on the driver's side to the
thick red wire coming from the main harness. The wire is routed up to the back
side of the floor pan, through a grommet and underneath the car.
While we are here we decided to
replace our positive battery cable which had seen better days. This step and
parts aren't covered or included with the wiring harness. After sliding the new
battery cable over the positive cable, guide the cable through the large hole
in the back of the floor pan, and slide the grommet in place onto the floor
pan. Cut the power supply wire from the old positive battery cable, strip off
the end where it was cut and crimp a ring terminal on it. The ring terminal
will bolt on to the positive battery terminal clamp bolt. Make sure the power
supply wire is clipped in place to the rear seat crossbar, and plugs in to the
voltage regulator on the B+ terminal. There are two, it does not matter which
one it plugs into.
Underneath the car, pull the starter
wire through from the driver's side under the transmission. Unplug the old
starter wire and plug the new wire onto the starter, on the number 50 terminal.
Unbolt the old battery cable from the starter, and install the new battery
cable onto the threaded terminal on the starter and tighten the bolt. The rear
of the car can then be jacked up, jack stands removed and the rear of the car
can be lowered down. Now the rear of the car is completely rewired. We will
move to the front of the car and install the rest of the wires there in later