Photos and Writing By Matt Strong

This beautiful and original 1971 Barracuda “340 – 4BBL – 4Speed” owned by Mike Priore is as rare as they can get today. Few of these were built and fewer still remain. Mike’s car is in good shape but the old wiring, 43 years old, was giving him a fit with all kinds of different gremlins biting him at the least opportune moment.

Note: To start this with truth, I must tell you that there is nothing in a 12 volt electrical system that can actually shock you, unless you grab onto a plug wire. That will shock you but, unless you have a defective heart, it cannot really hurt or kill you like house wiring can.

Most of the hot OEM “Cuda’s” were big block powered starting at 440 ci and now may be running as much as +500 cubic inches (with recently available and reasonable stroker crankshafts). But, try looking for a hot 340/360 cubic inch car and you will be hard pressed to find one that is decent much less reasonable in price. Mike was fighting electrical gremlins and allowed us to do a step-by-step, DIY, feature to install all new harnesses.

Let’s start this with a new rule. One that makes changing the entire wiring on any car/truck more than 25 years old mandatory. My muscle car is a 1985 model, and although that seems like yesterday to me, it is now 29 years old and I used this rule when I replaced every scrap of old wiring in it. In my case it was a good thing I did change it since all 10 past owners, or their mechanics, of this rust-free Texas car had treated the wiring with disdain and no respect. There were burned wires inside the junction box where people had added new wires that were not insulated or were too small a wire for the circuit they were “fixing”. Plus, there were many other problems too numerous to detail.

Now, if you are building up a nice clean 60’s or 70’s Mopar you need to remember that it is between 45 (1979) to 54 (1960) years old and it probably has the same old OEM wires. If it does, get to work with this project on your own car. Anyway, let’s get back to my DIY article.

In it we rewire a 1971 340ci/4bbl/4-speed “Plum Purple & White” Barracuda with OEM duplicate new wire harnesses from “Year One”. They are a reliable supplier and gave us a positive experience. Sales people are very knowledgeable and will make sure you get everything you need on the first call.

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