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1973 Automatic Bus
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73shakabus
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Joined: January 12, 2021
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:30 am    Post subject: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

Hello! I am a 19 year old college student who is in the process of restoring and rebuilding a 1973 automatic bus! I have family members who have experience rebuilding american cars but not so when it comes to VW Busses. I am currently looking for a reliable place to buy a complete wiring harness/ commission someone to build one for me. Any tips, knowledge, or information is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

not as easy as you may think it is. Usually it is easier, and quicker to just rebuild what you have now. Replace corroded ends with new connectors, etc..

What you will find is that a couple places make a main harness that can be modified depending on the year, and replaced with a great amount of work. I don't think anyone makes the instrument harness. You can get a new FI, and a new Alternator harness from Kyle for about $700. Or you can check each wire, (something you would have to do anyway with a new harness), replace corroded ends, and go on to the next wire. That is what I did and it cost me about 6 or 7 hours of time. Each wire is color coded, and those codes are shown on the wiring diagram for your bus which you can download in technical, take to a print shop with a large printer or plotter and have a large copy made. You can use Berrymans or Acetone on a rag to wipe the end of each wire so you can see the colors like new.

couple vendors who sell a main harness. There are several more https://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=211971028K

https://www.busdepot.com/211971028m
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secretsubmariner
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Joined: January 08, 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

Rad auto. Cleaned up nice!

I second the motion - it would be better, far more possible, to just test the wiring already in the car. Is there a reason you want to replace the whole "wiring harness"? Did someone rip all of it out?

Most of the time the grounds just need cleaning, and the terminal spades and ends and stuff need to be shined up. (replace your bulbs, too of course....made that mistake once or twice)
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airschooled Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

Hi and welcome! Nice elbow grease you've put in so far. Smile

Pictures go a long way on here, so grab some of the engine compartment, underneath the dash, and anything else you have questions about.

I'm a fan of repairing the original harnesses. These two pictures were taken, in order, an hour apart. When the harness is built by the same people who make the components and the wiring diagram, everything falls into place.

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Sometimes you'll end up removing more wire from previous "mechanics" than what will be left, but it's USUALLY quicker and cheaper to stay original in the end.

Good luck!
Robbie
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alman72
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

kinda dig the spoke rim/hubcap on the spare
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timvw7476
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

why a complete harness?
the contacts at the fuses always need a good cleaning to start.
The wiring on a '73 auto Bus is still pretty basic. Weird (running the back up
lights off the coil) but still basic.
Clean it up & see what comes to life. also the wire wheel cap makes me throw up in my mouth but to each his own wetsuit.
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rowling
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

I installed a new harness on my automatic 74 and it wasnít too difficult. Time consuming but not hard.

Chances are the schematics that come with your new harness with be for a stick so I might suggest you run some extra wires from the front to back with the replacement harness.

You will need a wire for the reverse lights which will run from the switch under the shifter console. I ran the power to the switch from the fuse block and, since my bus didnít have a fuse block to start, it was pretty straight forward. I donít know if thatís the correct way as the post above says the power comes off the coil. The way I did it seems to work well. You can also run the neutral safety switch wires while you are in there.

You should also add a wire for the transmission kick down switch. This runs from a microswitch under the gas pedal back to the transmission and over to the left side of the transmission.

I also ran a few other wires to accommodate additional gauges - this will vary depending on what you plan, but I ran wires for an oil pressure gauge (in addition to the warning light), oil temp gauge and tach. If you plan on a CHT this may be a good time to run that as well.

My $0.02. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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