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Old 05-21-2015, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wiring Gurus Step Inside

Alright I'm getting ready to wire up my chevy and I understand most of the theory but I am looking to hear what most guys are using for components, how you wire your circuits that sort of shit. I am using the factory column, ignition switch, and the stick for the wipers turn signals. The rest will be a toggles on a switch panel. I have looked at a painless universal set up and there nice but I am wondering if there is a better way. I see the wiring that goes into ultra4 cars and some of the higher end rigs on here so I know some one can give me a few pointers.

Here's a few of my big questions.

What do most guys use for power distribution? I looked at these blocks from bussmann they look great I figured I would need two to run all of the circuits. Is there a better option? I notice there are 10 fuses and 5 relays so 1 fuse for the signal wire on the relay 1 to power the accessory through the relay? Does any one have a diagram showing how to properly wire a circuit with a block like this? I have recently stepped up to a ratchet crimper, I would imagine I can get a new set of jaws to crimp the pins that this block uses?
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Can I run my switched power through the ignition switch? I am unsure of the current carrying capacity of a factory chevy ignition switch but there is an 8 ish gauge wire in the factory harness so I would imagine it can carry some decent current. But is it enough to power both fuse blocks that would run the engine harness, lighting, E fans, compressor, basically every thing but the winch? If I can't do I run a master relay or solenoid?

Should I run a separate fuse block for accessories that I want to turn on with the ignition? Like gauge power and the engine harness? Or do I dedicate one relay to those accessories out of the distribution block I pictured above?

Do I run separate circuits for each accessory? Or do you guys lump them together? Should every circuit run through a relay? I know they don't have to, I have wired plenty of crap with no relay and nothing has burned up yet but I am really looking for the proper method to get this right keep it consistent and make it easy to work on.

What gauge wire is most common for average accessories? 14 maybe 16?

For the guys that run weather pack or other plugs where do you find is good places to put them? Is it helpful to be able to unplug the dash or other components?

I know these may seem like random ass questions but there pieces to the puzzle I am missing. Any information would be appreciated. If you have wiring diagrams or components that you like let me hear it. I am striving for ultra4 quality but realize I will prolly not get there. I promise I am not as stupid as I sound haha. I feel with a little guidance I can take this from a very basic wiring job to a well designed electrical system.

Pic of the work in progress for what ever it is worth.

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Old 05-21-2015, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I should add I posted here hoping to get some more attention if it needs to be moved to the wiring section I apologize.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would not add to much to the factory switch
definity use relays just to be safe,and you dont need 1 fuse per switched signal to each relay
run 1 fused line from each feed to your switchs (1 for acc,1 for ign,1 for constant)
Then to your switches
but you will want a fuse for each high current feed to each relay
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Would you run a plain fuse block to cover the needs of circuits that don't require a relay? Like the cig lighter gauges and signal wires for relays? I guess my biggest struggle is how to organize all of it.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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we used Circuit breakers for almost everything except for what was on the stand alone harness and the Volvo fan needed relays. otherwise car is all done with ciruit breakers and I think I have 4 total fuses.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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we used Circuit breakers for almost everything except for what was on the stand alone harness and the Volvo fan needed relays. otherwise car is all done with ciruit breakers and I think I have 4 total fuses.

So you ran no relays? Just switches rated for the load?
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cplourde10 View Post
Would you run a plain fuse block to cover the needs of circuits that don't require a relay? Like the cig lighter gauges and signal wires for relays? I guess my biggest struggle is how to organize all of it.
No reason why you cant run one inside for things like the cig lighter and the one you posted under the hood

Draw everthing out on paper and figure out everything you want and need
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ya I agree I think it will be easier to articulate my questions once I have a diagram. Hopefully that will happen in the next few days.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not a pro, but I would consider a relay in every situation requiring more than 10 amps. Fans, headlights, offroad lights, air compressor, and whatever. Definitely relays at 20+ amps.

Smaller loads can be handled by multiple switches to one fuse... but careful. This is where one fuse could feed multiple switches but each switch could be protected with a circuit breaker.

Also know that circuit breakers can replace fuses in fuse blocks.....but after breaking it may and can re-connect. In the case of headlights that is a good thing!

When I wired my motorhome. I put all the headlights and side marker lights on the same switch. Luckily I protected it with a circuit breaker. One night on a twisty road the headlights would flash off and then, luckily back on. I started counting the amps to run the marker lights and it was 30 amps. I drove on during the day. The markers were wired through the headlight switch and the headlights through a relay. Thirty amps through the switch was too much. I rewired both thru separate relays and replaced the fry'd switch. Fixed. Others on here will have their stories.

Newer cars have several relays so be prepared. Carry spares of all.

When laying out my diagram, I usually draw a battery and then away from it what needs power, and then inbetween what you think you will need in the way of fuses relays and fuse blocks. Then start connecting. And re-drawing several times until you get a nice clean picture. It will help when running the wires and later when trying to chase a problem. Cheers.

More challenging for me is fusing the battery, alternator, and the high current items.

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Old 05-22-2015, 12:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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For me, this:



Turned into this:





controlled by this.



I'll post more later, if you want.

Just to start with, yes you feed the relays with the fused supply, but that also leaves 5 fused supplies per block that you can use for other stuff. So each block with 10 fuses/5 relays can do 5 switched circuits and 5 'fused' circuits.

I wouldn't feed it from the ignition switch, I'd do a dedicated feed.

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Old 05-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It looks like you used the same bussmann blocks I was looking at. What do you guys use to break the feed for switched power? Like my fans they need a relay to activate the fans when the ECU turns them on but I also need another relay to cut the power when the ignition shuts off. So what's the cleanest way to accomplish that?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I studied the picture of how you wired that distribution block a bit more. Let me know if I got this wrong. Power comes from that stud which receives power from the battery on the other side of the panel? Or it's not connected in the picture? Then it goes into the buss in those blocks. Which puts power to one side of the 10 fuses. And you wire your circuits from there wiring in a relay on circuits you see fit. Is that accurate?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Almost.

The stud is wired from behind to the gigantic red switch on the center console; that's where the switched power comes from.

Yes it's wired to one side of the fuse bus, but it's also wired to the relay coil bus. The relays are actuated by grounding the coils:



To build out those Bussmann blocks, you'll need a full compliment of Metripak hardware - female sockets for all the different wire gauge sizes, cable seals & cavity seals, Metripak/Weatherpack crimpers (it's a two-stage crimping process; the double-curved dies for the connectors, and then the round die for crimping the cable seals), then all the fuses and relays.



Waytek Wire is a really good source for all that stuff. Everything comes neatly bagged and labeled, and when browsing for parts on their site, you can bring up those Bussmann blocks, and then it has links to all the right terminals and components that go with them.

There are other bussing options available for those blocks but this way worked best for me.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wired this up for my friends trophy type truck. LED, switch and breaker for multiple things along with a nice plug to connect it all up.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Out of all the things I think I'm good at, or even have a decent grasp of, wiring to me is like magic. I feel Like I understand how electricity works in a vehicle, but when it comes to practical application, that's when it all falls apart for me.

Sub'd for info and also super awesome wiring jobs to the guys posting pictures.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Like said before use breakers. I breaker starting at the batteries for complete isolation and then other circuits off a fuse block. Mine opened 800A worth of breakers when winch + cable got pinched in a roll, removed cable & reset breakers all good. And for storing no dead batteries or rig burning down shop & house as has happened to others.



Just for winch
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'll go out on a limb here and ask a question relating to circuit breakers since I'm planning on adding a few more circuits to the YJ but I have read that circuit breakers over time with each open and closed cycle actually degrade the amp rating they can handle. The guy was installing the Big 3 and said to use a standard fuse setup right off of the alternator post and by the positive on the battery. I had a bit of a hard time believing this but wanted to bounce that off of the almighty PBB wiring gurus.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yes breaker current rating does reduce a percentage after each thermal cycle when they are tripped due to over current because they are bi-metal strips which bend & disengage. The manual closing & opening of the breaker does not reduce its current rating and should be exercised periodically to reduce the chance of sticking closed.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's worth noting that the Bussmann box can accommodate the tall breakers that fit that pin pattern - they make two covers; a normal one that only clears the micro relays/fuses, and a taller one that clears the breakers.

I didn't go with breakers but I got the taller cover in case I ever change that...for now though, the only complaint I've seen is that you should pack some foam or something in so the cover holds the relays in place. Otherwise when it's mounted vertically like I've got it, vibration can cause them to loosen and break contact.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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This is exactly what I was hoping for thanks for the killer info. The bussmann block makes complete sense to me now. I have ordered through waytech before and I think I will give them a call to make sure I get every thing I need in one shot.

I like the large circuit breaker idea at the moment I can see my self using 2 one for the winch and one to supply power to the distribution blocks. Then each circuit will be protected by a fuse or breaker which ever I decide.

I am still stumped with how to energize a bunch of circuits off of the ignition. I am guessing it will have to be a multiple relay situation, or I run more of the circuits on constant power and just make sure I shut them off. The 2 circuits that need to be off with the ignition would be the gauge power, ECM, and the head unit. The rest could be constant but it would be nice to cut power to some of them so I don't need to worry about leaving shit on and killing the battery.

So most guys wire every thing constant power? Maybe I am over thinking that part of it?
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:10 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Not to hijack...

Can I ask what size breaker/breakers did you use for the winch?

I had to use mine at Moab and it took the chassis voltage down to 10 volts with the motor runnning. 06 LJ 4.0. I figured the amps were pretty high at that low voltage. There were relatively hard pulls. I was going to duplicate the pull someplace and dc amp clamp the lines to see why the drops. I have heard that it can be close to a 400 amp draw at the winch.

I answered my own question below but may help the OP in laying out the initial power. There are options.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...ll-switch.html
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not to hijack...



Can I ask what size breaker/breakers did you use for the winch?



I had to use mine at Moab and it took the chassis voltage down to 10 volts with the motor runnning. 06 LJ 4.0. I figured the amps were pretty high at that low voltage. There were relatively hard pulls. I was going to duplicate the pull someplace and dc amp clamp the lines to see why the drops. I have heard that it can be close to a 400 amp draw at the winch.



I answered my own question below but may help the OP in laying out the initial power. There are options.



https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...ll-switch.html

Thanks for that link, never really thought about the run away winch scenario. I defiantly will throw a circuit breaker inline for the winch and after reading that I am thinking a master cut off from the battery may be a good option to power my fuse blocks. I was sort of trying to avoid it and keep it a keyed ignition only but there are some pretty good reasons to run one. I drive a fire truck almost every day and they all run a battery kill switch and ignition switch it's just something I would have to adapt to. If I break the negative on the battery I think that would be the simplest and safest method to get it within my reach when I am harnessed in.
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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A master cut off switch is a must have. Period.

You will not be disappointed with the Bussman stuff. They are the best on the market.
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cplourde10 View Post
This is exactly what I was hoping for thanks for the killer info. The bussmann block makes complete sense to me now. I have ordered through waytech before and I think I will give them a call to make sure I get every thing I need in one shot.

I like the large circuit breaker idea at the moment I can see my self using 2 one for the winch and one to supply power to the distribution blocks. Then each circuit will be protected by a fuse or breaker which ever I decide.

I am still stumped with how to energize a bunch of circuits off of the ignition. I am guessing it will have to be a multiple relay situation, or I run more of the circuits on constant power and just make sure I shut them off. The 2 circuits that need to be off with the ignition would be the gauge power, ECM, and the head unit. The rest could be constant but it would be nice to cut power to some of them so I don't need to worry about leaving shit on and killing the battery.

So most guys wire every thing constant power? Maybe I am over thinking that part of it?
Depending on your loads you can do multiple circuits a couple of ways.
Either use your ignition power to trigger one relay that feeds power to other relays for individual circuits. Only do this if your total current draw for all circuits is below 30 amps. Example would be ECM power and gauges.

Option 2 is to trigger multiple relays with ignition feed. Just daisy chain all the relays you want triggered together on pin 85.

Follow vetteboy79's example. One of the cleanest installs I've seen and I'm a double e.
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Anyone have experience with these 500-900 amp 12v relays??? LE is supposed to stand for "Less Expensive." About $100.

http://www.texasindustrialelectric.c...ries_Relay.pdf
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