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Old 10-13-2018, 10:41 AM
oon oon is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Aug 02, 2018
Location: MN
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1986 Grand Wagoneer underhood wiring harness?

Hi FSJ world...

Was having some odd electrical trouble with my 1986 Grand Wagoneer and asked my mechanic to take a look....nearly started on fire for them. Appears to be a shorted under hood wiring harness.
My mechanic - "It started smoking from the lights to the firewall". Now, Waggy won't run and no electrical anywhere. Replacement 1986 Waggy under-hood harnesses are unicorn rare and 1986 only(?).

So.....What are my options? Rebuild the under hood? New aftermarket harness?


p.s I'm aware of the 'Serehill headlight wiring harness'. But, sadly that nice man has passed and these harnesses seem unavailable too. Not sure if that would fully fix my trouble in any case.
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:39 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
304 AMC
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 2,301
First recommendation: I would recommend posting a wanted ad in the classified. Someone may have one. I am amazed at what some people have laying around. Heck, I have a 78 front harness handy (won't work for you, though).

Second: How soon do you need it fixed? If you are in a hurry, it may be a while. If you have time to fix it yourself; it's time consuming, not hard, and not that expensive to fix yourself (depending on the extent of the damage).

The serehill harness would not be an option for you. It modifies an existing harness and only works for the headlights.
79 Cherokee Chief, barely runs
(Cherokee Build Thread)
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Old 10-13-2018, 03:20 PM
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kansasboy001 kansasboy001 is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Nov 06, 2016
Location: Kansas
Posts: 159
The engine harness is pretty simple and the lighting harness part can easily be adapted from an earlier year. I used an 83 front lighting harness with the 86 engine and dash harness when i swapped an 86 dash in my 83
1983 Cherokee Laredo. 360/ 727/ np229/ Rochester quadrajet/ Msd ignition
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:52 PM
80Limited 80Limited is online now
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Join Date: Feb 19, 2015
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 162
I think I have a headlight harness for a 87 if that would work.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:22 PM
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nograin nograin is offline
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Join Date: Dec 19, 2000
Location: Philadelphia, Pa., USA
Posts: 2,013
Go take a look yourself, and take some photos, so you can identify what burned.
You, not the mechanic.

If the portion that is burned or melted or charred is wrapped in electric tape or inside corregated 'wire loom', take pictures and then unwrap the tape so you can see the individual wires and insulation colors.

1986 is the first year for distributing power at the starter solenoid. You'll see a very heavy wire from the battery, and a smaller wire from the alternator both meet there. The battery provides power when starting, the alternator when running.

Attached to the same post will be 4 or 5 more wires. Each takes that power to a different place. If any of those are burned away, there was a short to ground and the fusible link went up in smoke, as it should have.

Diagram 1986 here:

Picture from another thread here of the power distribution at the starter solenoid on an '86.
'85 Grand Wagoneer
360 727auto, NP229
body by beer (PO)
carries wood inside
no "wood" outside
My other car is a fish

Last edited by nograin : 10-15-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:03 AM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
Join Date: May 29, 2003
Location: Medford MA USA
Posts: 10,958
I'd suggest you repair it. Take the loom apart and identify the wires that are damaged. Cut them out and splice in new. Identify where the fault was and repair it. Here is an article that will help you with wiring harnesses in general -

These harnesses contain fusible links that are supposed to protect the car from a fire in case of a catastrophe, like a wreck. You may have melted the fusible link, or there may be more damage.

This is something that will be cheap but time consuming if you can fix it yourself. It's very difficult to own old cars like this without being able to do the work yourself, or having deep pockets. Paying a mechanic to fix it likely will be very expensive.

If you want to find a replacement harness, the only source will be a junked car. As mentioned above, you can often get parts from scrapped cars from other enthusiasts - look in the classifieds section here. There are at least a couple Wagoneer-only commercial yards that may have what you need: Montana Overland, and Jake's. I recall Jake's is no longer shipping, so you'd have to go there or send someone to pick up what you need.
Tim Reese
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