Again, this can look really overwhelming, but because everything's marked, you just have to sort through the wires, and route them to their destinations. This bundle you're looking at is everything for the dash. First route the wires in groups to their switches, then from there take it one wire at a time to trim and hook up using blade connectors. Again, patience is your best tool for this install.
Back in the engine compartment, it was time to start routing wires to the right places. We used a lot of the factory wiring clips and routes to install the harness, but also rerouted some of the wires for a cleaner look. Painless sells some really nice split braided loom material, so once you're done hooking everything up you can wrap the wire bundles to give the engine compartment a clean, organized look.
The car's factory air ducts coming from the headlights had been removed during the CAA A/C install, so the MSD box was mounted in this cubby hole. We routed the driver's side headlight and turn signal wiring along here to tuck it out of the way instead of using the factory wiring clips along the inner wheelwell.
Out back, it was time to hook up the taillights, back up lights, and license plate light. The wires for the back of the car also have the wiring necessary for a rear mounted electric fuel pump, so if your car has one, wiring it in is a snap.
Here's the finished trunk area. All the lights are wired up, and unless you really dig deep, you have no idea this '57 has fully modernized wiring.
For the wiring we weren't using in the trunk, we capped off the wire ends then coiled them up and tucked them into this channel for easy access later if necessary.
Here you can see where we used the factory locations to route the engine compartment wiring. Be careful when bending back the factory wiring tabs, after 50 years they can be brittle and break. After we had everything cut and plugged in, we went back and used Painless' special split braided sleeving to clean up the harness and conceal all the wiring in the engine compartment.
To make removing the gauge cluster easier, and clean up the wiring, Dennis hooked everything through a master plug, so if the cluster has to come out again in the future, just unplug the whole unit, remove the screws, and out it comes. This also cleans up the wiring behind the dash substantially so you don't have a hidden rat's nest of chaos.
The master power fuse for the whole harness mounts on the firewall. So you don't drain the battery, or for security, you can pull the master fuse and the car will be stone dead--no power to anything.
Here you can see how the Painless wiring hooked right into the factory dimmer switch. On the dimmer and ignition switches, having a factory diagram for wire locations on the switches will be necessary so you have everything hooked up correctly.
One of the tabs on our ignition switch broke while we were wiring everything in, so we gave the folks at Classic Chevy International a call, and they sent us their factory replacement ignition switch, PN 25-05.