What do I need when installing a Classic Update kit?

“This is my first foray into wiring…..what do I need when installing one of your Classic Update kits?”

We get that one a lot, and there are a few items that can be helpful for our Classic Updates. As luck would have it, they are also handy things to have in your toolbox for any type of restoration project:

A test light. These are a perfect glove box item; use it to check fuses while installed in the panel, as well as verify power when installing and/or troubleshooting a circuit. They should not be used with with fuel injection and ECM wiring, but for a basic carbureted vehicle these will handle just about all the testing you’ll need.

– Speaking of test equipment, a basic digital volt-ohm meter (DVOM) will allow you to do a few things not possible with a test light alone. A DVOM can be used to check circuit continuity, amperage and resistance, and many will also include a diode check feature. As a bonus, they are safe to use on a computerized/fuel injected car. A basic meter can be found at most hardware and electronics stores nationwide for around the cost of six of your favorite celebratory-style beverages.

– If you’re installing a Classic Update or street rod harness, you’ll also want to consider some type of harness wrap. We carry both non-adhesive tape, and mesh split braid sleeving in several sizes. Quantities can vary quite a bit from car to car, so it’s never a bad idea to measure before ordering.

– Crimpers! All of our Classic Updates and street/hot rod harnesses include Packard Electric terminals. If you’re installing the kit yourself, the single and double crimp tools are a wonderful item to add to your electrical arsenal. Ours are made by Packard, so they are designed and built by the same folks making the terminals. They can still be useful after the install if you choose to add an additional electrical component.

– A new turn signal switch. This one may be a case of “while you’re in there.” The wires running out of your steering column are built on to the factory turn signal switch, and are therefore not something you’ll find in a kit box. Many customers like the peace of mind they get by knowing all of their wiring is new, and replace the switch as a precaution.

– Our kits will include bi-metallic flashers. If you’re planning to upgrade to LED turn signals, you’ll find they do not draw enough amperage to trip the old style flashers. Our LED flasher cans are a plug and play replacement if you’re making the swap to more modern bulbs.

Each automotive shopping list can be a little different, but the above items are an excellent starting point for most first timers, or the early stages of a wiring project.