Things You Need to Know When Designing a Custom Wiring Harness

Things You Need to Know When Designing a Custom Wiring Harness

If you’re an avid car enthusiast, knowing how to build a custom wiring harness can come with plenty of benefits. It gives you the liberty to change and modify the wiring system according to the features you want to add to your vehicle. However, assembling a custom wiring harness can often be a tedious task. 

Fortunately, if you plan to have your designs submitted to a manufacturer, they can offer efficient wiring solutions and advice for how you can optimize your design. Drafting a schematic diagram for a custom wiring harness project is always the most effective way to start the construction process. 

Advantages of an Efficient Wiring Harness

Common components that are found inside typical wiring harnesses are wires, and connectors of different sizes, colors, and shapes. The usual method of assembly depends on the simplicity or complexity of the vehicle. Modern cars today have advanced features that require a more complex wiring method. 

Wire harnesses are essential in the manufacturing sector and are generally the backbone of many industries. Each component of a wiring system is used in different ways and is designated to perform different tasks. Customizing your own wiring harness can come with numerous benefits. Here are a few examples of the benefits you can get from building a wiring harness of your own. 

Material Diversity

At present, there are plenty of options for wiring harness materials. Designing your own custom wiring harness gives you the freedom to choose the most suitable materials for the application of each component. A good example of a component with diverse material options is the insulation that wraps around each wire in a harness. Some materials are more suitable for high temperatures while others are made more durable in harsh terrains. Considering whether the insulating material could withstand high or low temperatures, abrasion, and vibrations are some of the factors that you need to take into account.

Overall Convenience

Investing your time in building a custom wiring harness reaps plenty of benefits in the long run. Without a harness, wires would need to be individually attached to each working component of a car. Wiring harnesses streamline the installation process since you can simply build the harness for each section in a car. This also makes maintenance and repairs more simple since problems can be diagnosed and fixed separately rather than taking apart the whole wiring system. 

Quality and Precision

If you wish to have your custom wiring harness assembled by a manufacturer, they can usually offer methods and techniques that can improve the overall quality of your design. This is now made possible with the use of CAD software which can help you plan the layout of your wiring harness in better quality. Having a manufacturer build your custom wiring harness also makes the process more accurate and precise. Since cutting, splicing, and crimping are typically automated, having a manufacturer help you in terms of assembly can reduce the chances of design errors.

Factors That You Have to Consider Before Getting Started

Before you get started, carefully planning out your design is essential to minimize errors. Although changes and modifications may not be avoidable during the whole process, it’s still better to be well prepared rather than starting from scratch after an irreversible mistake. Here are some factors you should consider before getting started with your design.

Proper Parts and Components

Like aforementioned, the parts that make up a wiring harness are made of different materials depending on the environment they will be installed in. Therefore, the appropriate components of the harness must be carefully selected during the design process. A typical wiring harness consists of hundreds if not thousands of parts depending on the complexity of the design. This is why it is important to be aware of the functions and applications for which they are responsible. Here are some examples of common parts you might find in a wiring harness.

  • Wiring – Understandably, the wires are probably the most important element in assembling a custom wiring harness. Wires are usually made of copper coated with insulating material. All cables must be able to withstand the required current of the specific part of the vehicle. Wires in a harness generally transmit the electricity necessary for the operation of a device or machine.
  • Wire Insulation – The insulation is the colorful material that wraps or coats around each wire. It is designed to secure and protect the wires from possible damage caused by external elements.
  • Fuses – A fuse is a safety device that protects the entire electrical circuit. They control and stop excessive currents. A separate fuse is required for each wiring, depending on the amount of energy consumed.
  • Relays – The relays in a custom wiring harness are responsible for switching the power on and off. Preventive relays are used to control inconsistent currents that can damage or adversely affect the whole system.
  • Connectors – The connectors are used to attach the wires to different components of the custom wire harness. Due to the vast applications that require connectors, they also come in different types with each serving a different purpose.

Weight Limitations

When designing your custom wiring harness, it’s important to remember that it accounts for a big portion of the car’s overall weight. This greatly affects the fuel consumption of any vehicle. The more complex your custom wiring harness becomes, the more weight it will add to your car. This is why looking for the best possible lightweight materials is the best option especially when you have the freedom to customize each component.

The Assembly and Testing

Once you’ve finished your design and considered all the appropriate parts and components that will be utilized, figuring out the assembly process should be next on your agenda. Gathering all the proper parts before you start your build is better rather than realizing you’ve missed something when you’re halfway through the assembly process. However, you can always opt to have your design constructed by a manufacturer. Testing is also an important part of this process. After completing the assembly of your custom wiring harness, you should devise a series of tests to avoid the risk of post-production issues. 

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