Thanks to the aftermarket, you can equip your classic Chevy with all sorts of modern performance and luxury items that'll make an old car feel like a newer one. From modern fuel injection, to power windows, to high-tech stereo systems, pretty much any option you can find on a new car, you can install on an old one.
The problem is, the old factory wiring harnesses of the classic cars were never meant to handle the electrical load of modern accessories, or the sheer number of them. It's the same thing as having 12 different appliances in your kitchen, but only one outlet to plug them into. Even if you add ways to plug more accessories into your original wiring harness, it won't be long before the electrical load of all the modern equipment will melt the factory harness, and possibly turn the car into a fireball.
But the same aftermarket that's brought you all the high tech stuff to equip your Chevy also has the solution, a modern wiring harness capable of handling just about anything, with plenty of accessory hookups so you can customize and equip your old car with anything you're thinking about.
Our project '57 was a prime candidate for an improved, 21st century wiring harness. After having a Classic Instruments gauge upgrade, an MSD-6 ignition box, and electric fans added, the factory '57 wiring harness (although fairly new from the car's earlier restoration) couldn't handle the power windows and stereo upgrades the car was slated for. So, we called the electrical gurus at Painless Performance to get one of their Tri-Five 18-circuit wiring harness kits.
A few weeks later, Painless founder Dennis Overholser showed up at our door with the kit we needed and his tools to help us install the harness. Dennis founded Painless Performance in 1990 (then Perfect Performance Products) to handle the needs of street rodders who were installing modern parts on older cars looking for a reliable wiring harness that was easy to install. From there the company took off, becoming one of the leading suppliers of aftermarket harnesses to the hobby.
Dennis took one look at the sorry state of the wiring in our '57, and knew he had his work cut out for him. Follow along as we upgrade the wiring in our hardtop.