Hello world! Welcome to another installment of a How-To/DIY article. Today I will be sharing my experience, tips and troubles on a topic that deals with a lot of electrical wiring and how we can neatly “wire tuck” it away from plain sight every time we open our engine hood.
Back in 2010 (or much earlier actually), the whole car scene was exploding with engine bays with neatly wire tucked builds where your eyes would be diverted to just seeing only the motor itself. No ugly OEM connectors, no more sight of the “smaller items” in the engine bay and a well-thought-out presentation of a clean, engine compartment was the craze and current movement. Seeing meticulously cleaned engine bays, I sought out to figure out how it was done but my research on it was futile with broken image links or poor guides on de-pinning.
So with a strong Do-It-Yourself-er mentality, I sought to do it myself & just tackle the project straight on. I normally work on projects with some kind of “book” to refer to but this topic/project is not necessarily taught and most times barely shared about, with others usually posting the final product than the journey of how the product came to be. So enough talk, LET’S GO!!!
Warning: Use this guide at your own risk. I am not a professional and am not responsible for injury to you, your vehicle, or anyone/thing else if you choose to follow this guide.
Step 1: Remove the front bumper.
(Sorry I didn’t record this part but here’s a quick How-To/DIY on it):
1. Remove 9 bolts on top of the Front Bumper Upper Stiffener
2. Remove 2 bolts on the sides that mount onto the Fenders
3. Disconnect the plugs from the Turn Signal Lights
4. Remove 10 bolts from underneath the Front Bumper
Step 2: Remove the fender.
This is the clutter we will be cleaning up by literally de-pinning one wire at a time through the rubber gasket that holds onto the chassis frame. By de-pinning one wire at a time is to avoid any confusion of which one wire goes into on the connector. This is definitely a time-consuming project but once you get the method down of de-pinning from the connector, it should be a steady progression towards a cleaner engine bay compartment.
PATIENCE IS KEY!
Step 3: De-loom or remove all the old electric tape & plastic looming covers off. Discard or reuse is entirely up to you. I personally reused a small piece.
Step 4: Remove the plastic back pieces, if any, on the connectors. Then use a small object to push a plastic tab back while gently tugging the wire pin outward from the connector. This process requires a good amount of your “touch” senses as you have to “feel” those plastic tabs release the wire pins out from the connectors.
Onto the bigger connectors which is a lot easier to de-pin but also a lot more time-consuming as it has more wires.
Step 5: Remove the white plastic coverings with a flat-head and/or needle nose pliers. Be careful not to pry it with too much force as it can crack.
TIP: Rearrange & space out all the wires as shown in the image below:
Now that you have a general idea of how to de-pin, now begins the process of feeding one wire through the rubber gasket and re-pinning each wire back into the connector.
If done correctly, then you should be left with organized connectors tucked away inside the car’s cabin than the car’s engine bay.
Step 8: Tuck the larger connectors into the car’s cabin, behind the firewall, and all the other accessory connectors through the old hood cable hole.
Now that you have the engine harness connectors are out of the way, let’s focus on those other accessory plugs. Now I de-pinned everything all at once because my intention is to feed all the wiring through the chassis’s metal frame, underneath and inside than loomed up & mounted outside of the frame.
TIP: Take images of all the connectors to remember where each pin goes into each individual connector.
As a anti-theft security measure, I relocated my hood cable inside the engine bay when I first got the car so I was left with a hole in the chassis. When I did this wire tuck project, I fed all the wiring inside the cabin & through the chassis’s frame using a thick copper wire.
Step 9: Zip-tie the harness & re-loom the whole harness with electric tape or with whatever looming as you please. Feed the whole harness at once with a thick copper wire through & underneath the chassis’s frame. This part is tricky to explain but hopefully the images below illustrates what I mean.
Step 10: Plug all connectors back on & mount ground box.
If you got all that done, then congratulations! This specific part was difficult but not impossible. You can see here how the whole harness is now hidden, loomed with electric tape & to its original position to power its own accessory.
Now that you finished the Driver Side Wire Tuck, you can take a well deserved break before tackling the Passenger Side Wire Tuck…because it is a lot more messier & trickier to deal with due to ABS connectors, Evaporator box, engine fuse-box & connectors. During this whole wire tucking project, my intention was to remove ABS for a 4040 Brake lines setup so I didn’t utilize the ABS connectors. I didn’t have AC neither & was already missing a Evaporator box so I prompted to mount the engine fuse-box inside the car’s cabin.
Well that’s it! I know the finished product isn’t the cleanest or organized in terms of presentation but this was my first attempt of wire tucking. I simply wanted to shed some light on this project & attempted to clean up my engine bay. The Driver Side Wire Tuck is definitely a good guide but the Passenger Side Wire Tuck, in my honest opinion, is not what I would like to see but worked fine for my goal of a slightly cleaned up engine bay. At the end of this whole project, I was kinda sad to have broken the tiny flat-head tool. :'(
I hope you enjoyed this How-To/DIY article & have a great day! 😀