Deep CJ-6: Day Eight Engine Wiring and Paint Prep
Short Cuts

By: Terry L. Howe - 5/2003

Dash and grill prepared for paint
A couple engine management computers for the project.

Rather than spend all day in the garage, I decided to make some calls and get my engine wiring straightened out. I had the original wiring harness from the '89 Firebird, but there were a couple problems with it. The Fireturd harness was slightly damaged from a leaky exhaust and it was a MAF (mass air flow) engine and I didn't really have room to run the MAF sensor. I wanted to run a speed density engine with the MAP (manifold absolute pressure). The MAP engine is just a neater package, you can just slap a cone filter on the air intake.

On my flat fender, I had a '77 CJ-7 wiring harness and I spliced that in with a '90 S-10 harness for a 4.3L engine. I did not enjoy the experience and had some minor problems with the wiring when I was done. I wanted to avoid those problems and get the wiring done right the first time.

I've always had luck with Howell, so I gave them a call and they quoted me $950 for a complete kit to swap the engine from MAF to MAP. Probably a fair price, I've always had luck with them in the past, but more than I wanted to spend.

I gave Centech a call and they said if I ran out to the junk yard and found a computer with the service number 1227730 I could rechip it and use one of their wiring harnesses. Their harness would cost me just under $400 and the chip #16151348 would cost around $85 from the Chevy dealership. I would also need to buy a knock sensor, a MAP sensor, and a cone filter for a '90-'91 350. The computers go for $15 a piece at my local u-pull-it, so I save a couple hundred.

It was a little after 2pm MDT and Centech is on EDT and I wanted to get the computer and order the harness by the end of the day. I got to the junk yard and started pulling computers like a mad man looking for the right one. I must of pulled 20 of them before I got one out of an '87 Cavalier. Five minutes later, I pulled a spare computer out of a '86 Cavalier, but it was 3:20 when I left the junk yard and close to 4 when I got home, so I wasn't able to order up the harness.

I spent the rest of the day removing everything from the dash and getting it ready for paint. I also did some prep on the fresh air vent and the wiper motor cover.