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I have an 84 Ranger with a 2.8L V6.

This car seems to have a fair amount of electrical issues, but mostly really minor. I noticed that A LOT of the wiring harness is cracked or frayed, just because of its age. Some of the wires will occasionally short against the block as well.

They do not make replacement harnesses for this motor (there's universal ones out there), so I am wondering what would be the best way to protect a cracked/frayed wire. Should I just wrap everything in electrical tape as needed, or is there a better way of accomplishing this? Heat shrink tubing seems like it could work, but it would be rather hard to do, since I would need to take off each individual connector and untangle the entire harness to put it around the affected spot.

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You could use electrical tape to accomplish this, but the better way to do it would be to individually replace the broken wire portions using lengths of wire, solder, and heat shrink. This would be the safer, longer lasting solution. It's a lot of work, but well worth it in the end. The only issue would be the color coding of the wire, though black heat shrink will cover it up anyway.

EDIT: As an aside, if you have some which are really bad, you may want to do those few on the car, then take it off (if that is your plan). It would really suck to get wires mixed up from complete breakage. Also, only do one wire at a time. You don't want to mix them up in the process. Also, only replace the amount of wire you need to with the amount of wire needed to make the wire the same as it was before. It won't ruin anything if you make them longer, but they'll be hanging out all over the place looking ugly if you do. You want them to go back to the same shape they were prior to making the change.

  • Would you take off the whole wiring harness off and do it on a bench, or is this something you could do while keeping the harness connected? – Kevin Evans Aug 24 '15 at 21:30
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    You can do this on the car, unless you have a huge amount to do. Then it just becomes easier and cleaner to pull the wiring harness for the bench. If you go this route, make sure you mark everything with tags so you know where it goes back to. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 24 '15 at 21:31
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    @RalphWiggum - Please see edit. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 24 '15 at 22:05

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