So you're at home minding your own business when a package arrives at your doorstep. Inside is what you've been waiting for, but upon opening the box, you immediately faint from fear. What did you see, nothing but a complicated, confusing, confounding collection of copper, connections and colored wires. Pulling out the bag, the now uncoiling mess on your workbench equals 392 feet of wires that all have to go into you car. Like baby snakes, there are 101 wires of various colors with 214 spade connections, and that means there are 21,614 possible ways to install a wiring harness...but only one right way. But don't worry, we'll help you sort through the mess and find that one right way. Granted, it isn't easy, but with patience and a clear head, you can do it and it should only take you the better part of the weekend.

For added assurance, we took our Super Project '71 to master electrician Rafael Gutierrez at West Coast Classic Restoration to show us the proper way to make sense of all these wires. He's done it so many times that a lot of his steps are second nature, making the whole process look deceptively simple. There are very few specialty tools you'll need to make this work, as the basic ones found in any nicely equipped toolbox will do the trick. In addition, get a good copy of the schematics for your year. The '71 Super is one of the more complicated diagrams (as far as Volkswagens are concerned), but not as bad as the '73, which has the most wires, the most connections and the most components to deal with.

This might be perfectly obvious to you, but for safety's sake, don't connect the battery until the very end, and this is only after you have double- and triple-checked your wires, the connections and the proper operation of all equipment. Start by laying out all of your wires; separate each harness from the pile and sort the individual wires into groups based on size and location.

You've got your harnesses ready; the schematics in one hand (for a copy of Super Beetle wiring schematics, head to and tools in the other. You're ready. Good luck, go slow and be sure. To provide you with additional help, on Page 23, we've included here a few diagrams that will help make sense of the original schematic, as some of the wires' colors have changed (and schematics aren't exactly the clearest documents to those of us in the world who aren't electricians).

Since we don't have a lot of space on these pages (and the results of this article could fill a book), let's get busy hooking up the juice to our Super Project'71.

If you have done everything correctly--we mean down to the last wire, connection and component--and you have triple-checked everything, install the battery, connect the positive and negative terminals and turn the key. If the lights go on and the wipers start to swing, you've done it. Be warned: There is no more a stressing moment when you first turn the key, as it is the truly the point of no return. Because fire is the ultimate consumer, keep an extinguisher handy, and if you are ever in doubt, don't chance it. Bring it by West Coast Classic Restoration and have Rafael take a look at it.

Next month we're going to revisit our friends at Octavio's Kustom 1 Upholstery shop in Orange, Calif., and show the right way to install the carpet/rubber mat kit and the custom-made seat coverings. Until then, stay Super.

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