wiring nightmare

Home Forums MGTD Kit Cars VW Based Kits wiring nightmare

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      Had electrical fire in harness fire  put out quickly. Started to make new harness, Dash board was in sad shape made new one in stalled different gauges and a new fuse panel. things going well until I tried to pull old cable from the channel by door on passengers side. tried pulling It did not move. Tried pulling one wire at a time got a couple to come out but not enough to run new cable to  rear of car, I bought a piece of plastic pipe to run the new harness through . Tried today to move old cable one last time all wires moved freely, now to pull new cable through channel and finish wiring .Was hoping to get to one of the meets . but Bad back dictates when and what I  can do. Try to plan work day and at least 2 days after to feel good again.
       I am marking each and every wire at each end what it is and number on factory wiring diagram. Found plastic ties with a small space to write on. Tie cables are placed about 10  inches apart and before and after a new wires going from cable.   
        Nightmare is not over yet but is being finished one wire at a time. Can’t wait to get back on the road 3 year old grand son wants a ride.


    What kind of of TDr do you have? There are several wiring diagrams in the assembly manuals, in the menu of our web site. What I did for my Classic Roadster Duchess wiring, was To color each wire in the wiring harness, with a corespond ing colored felt tip crayloa fine tip felt pen. I then could see a “minds eye” where each wire went, from accessory to the guage on the dash. I had the car wired in less then 2 hrs. I also englarged the wiring schmadic to better identify, where the wires went. Some solder the wires, I used high grade crimps. I also after I had the car wired, labeled each wire under the dash to help with future trouble shooting. I marked the back of the dash with a black marker, to help identify the guage that was on the front side of the dash. It is quite hard to remember what guage you are working on, laying upside down under the dash. I also carry an assortment of fuses and a fuse puller, in my road kit tool bag. I use a continuity circuit test light with a long 10 ft wire with an alligator clip, to test verify what wire I am working on in the rear of the car, and where it connects to on the dash. This has helped me to avoid shorts, and to be sure I have a Good Ground, to each guage on the dash. Just remember, one wire at a time, and have patience! You will be surprised how quickly your wiring project will come together. I also carry the color coded wiring diagram in my tool kit bag as well.

    Good luck, have good patience, and when you become frustrated, walk away, have a cold beverage, and then go back to your project.

    Lakeland, Fl
    Where we drive Topless Every Day

    Lakeland, Florida, where we drive Topless every day


    Thanx for the input The problem will be with me. I’ve never done wiring of any kind! Looks like I’m gonna have some fun!!!
    At least I’ll know what I’m doing afterwards…



    If you have a VW based kit you can look for a dune buggy wiring kit (ebay, most vw type 1 bug suppliers about $60.00). Very simple to get started and it will give you the main wiring and a diagram to show you how to get everything sorted (Ed China here). The only thing about those is that they use the old VW ceramic type fuses which is usable. I prefer the spade fuse type so I swapped a spade fuse holder for the ceramic one.

    In wine there is truth, in water health.


    Good advice. Will it come with all the same leads for the dash? Gages switches??



    Here is the wiring diagram from the dune buggy kit I used. Yes, It has leads for oil pressure, Tach and you can get a volt reading from the switch. Let me know if this is too hard to read I can PM a copy to you.

    In wine there is truth, in water health.



    If you’re willing to spend the $$, the Rebel Wire harnesses for VW are the nicest ones out there. Modern spade-type fuse block with built in flasher and socket, made in the USA, plus high-quality color coded wires, already separated and bundled, that also have a label/circuit name stamped on them every 6-12″ inches. Not nearly as cheap as the Chinese Empi kit, though.

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    John Richardson


    I tried using a new main harness (engine to dash) from EMPI but should have purchased the FULL harness. I purchased some junk wiring harness from the local VW parts supplier but it drove me nuts trying to follow various VW wiring diagrams. Finally gave up in disgust and ordered the “Plug and Play” dune buggy wiring harness from Dune Buggy Brothers in Florida off of eBay $250. I highly recommend this but downside is it takes over a month (or more) for him to make one for a MGTD replica. However, he will incorporate pigtails for dash center gauges and move everything back as we are driving from the back seat! All his leads are tagged and wiring diagrams are included. Tell him specifically if your using tach and aftermarket turn signal/hazard steering shaft mounted box (I notched my dash for the box left of the steering shaft, my shaft comes from in-between the speedo and tach down about an inch to move steering wheel off my belly. Gave up on using the VW fuel level in the speedo and installed a new VDO 2 inch gauge. New gas tank float I purchased a year ago didn’t work (after trying 4 gauges, vibrators old and new) found problem was the float- I poured over $100 getting the fuel level working. Only electrical I have remaining are turn signal/running lights. Total expense on old/new and junk wiring ran up to over $400. This car has been a “Money Pit”! Engine sounds good and Holley Bug Spray seems good (after I rebuilt it) so I should finally drive her home by end of month.

    John Richardson


    Just found out one of the reasons my fuse would pop was the turn signal switch was not correctly wired right! The wipers would work fine by themselves, a year later wiring them into a switch was a whole ‘nother story. There is a difference in early and late VW switch numbers stamped into the switch. Hot wire, ground, low speed and high speed  had a different number cast into the switch body. Unfortunately, we as kit car builders use an  analgram of parts to build a car. The stuff I download (The Samba) on switch wiring leaves a lot to be desired. Even though I HATE WIRING I am getting it done. You would think as open a vehicle as a MGTD is , it would be simple. Not so, it can be a Bitch which is why so many MGTD replicas are named after women. I am seriously thinking of calling this project “Hillary” after the BITCH she has become!

    John Simion


    My car is Murphy after the well-known Murphy’s Law, so I have that name copyrighted. Actually, a friend fixed my steering column/turn signal problem, fixed my idle problem, and will tighten the alternator belt and try to fix my squeaky brakes tomorrow. All these things were done improperly by the high-priced, supposedly expert VW mechanic. One of the perks of living in Vegas is that friends from elsewhere want to come here and stay, and if they are a mechanic it is well worth the free room and board. The hood is at the body shop being repainted, the grill is being rechromed for the third time, and I might have found an amateur upholsterer to finish off my top that was left in the lurch by the supposedly-professional upholsterer. That leaves only a few more things like seat belts and seat height for me to work on, what could possibly go wrong? LOL, this is Murphy we’re talking about here.johnsimion2016-04-20 23:25:24



    Glad to see you are sticking with Murphy…looks like you are 99.9% there.


    John Richardson


    Can you post a copy of wiring diagram in message to me? The version you posted on the website comes up too blurry to use.
    Prisoner #6



    • My old kit car needs a wiring diagram. I have no way of knowing which diagram. All the wires have been cut to remove the wood dash and garages, in order to paint and redo the wood. How can I purchase a diagram to match my MIGI
    • It has VW engine, A cable driven speed o meter and ceramic fuses.
    • Any help please and thank you
    • Hkwilliams313@me.com
    Paul Mossberg



    Buy a diagram? Heck, we don’t want your money!

    A VW Migi II wiring diagram is in our library:


    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Peter John


    Hi everyone….i am a new user here. As per my knowledge there are several wiring diagrams in the assembly manuals, in the menu of our web site. What I did for my Classic Roadster Duchess wiring, was To color each wire in the wiring harness, with a corespond ing colored felt tip crayloa fine tip felt pen. I then could see a “minds eye” where each wire went, from accessory to the guage on the dash. I had the car wired in less then 2 hrs. I also englarged the wiring schmadic to better identify, where the wires went. Some solder the wires, I used high grade crimps.

    Rich Kallenberger


    I strongly second peterjohn’s “minds eye” approach.  In addition to good labeling, try to visualize where the individual wires will run, where they will be anchored, how they can be neatly grouped, and how much service loop will be needed to faciliate the repair of each component the wires service.  You might also be able to anticipate wiring for likely future lights, audio components, and accessories.


    scott p williamson


    peter john, i noticed you were wiring a classic roadster about 5 years ago. per chance was it a ford powered duchess. i bought one a few weeks ago and i need wiring diagrams, particularly of if the fuse box. if you have this information i would appreciate hearing from you. scotttd



    The Ford Fiberfab build manual in the Library drop down has a wiring diagram in the back. You might find that helpful.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by billnparts.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

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