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  #1  
Old 07-22-2004, 09:28 AM
spy007
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Default electrical wiring for dummies

I haven't messed with electrical stuff too much, but now I have to. I anticipate having alot of accessory stuff I'm going to want to wire in in the near future. First I need to do my electric seats, and then some dash stuff, and eventually I'm going to convert to power windows. I don't know the first thing about adding things to my electrical system other than I need power from the battery and a ground.

First, where do I get power besides running a wire straight from the battery terminal?
How do I know what (like my electric seats) needs a fuse, and how big?
How do I connect a bunch of accessory stuff without creating a birds-nest of wires in my car?
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2004, 11:02 AM
camino81 camino81 is offline
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you could get an aux. fuse box from painless to hook all the accessories into, you would on have to run one wire to the battery. just a thought.
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Old 07-22-2004, 03:09 PM
rick rick is online now
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This: http://store.summitracing.com/partde...N=120%20303529 is the fuse panel that camino81 may be refering to. If you are not comfortable with electrical stuff its a good way to go. And even if you are comfortable it makes things much simpler.

I piece mealed mine over the course of 5-6 years. I've got 2 aux fuse panels and many extra relays hidden thru-out the car. Its a MESS! Right now I am cleaning up and working on a good method to seal the "smugglers box" in my elky. I'm gonna consolidate all my add-on electrics to that area. Hopefully it will look better & be more practical.

I believe that I'm using a 10 amp fuse to protect my electric seats. You'll find that most aftermarket add-on kits (windows, locks, etc) will include a correct fuse. Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2004, 03:52 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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You need to start with data...

First the internet is a wealth of information even though there is a whole lot of noise amoung the data. For example:

https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas...df/204-205.pdf

In particular you want/need to know how much current the various wire gauges can carry. This will also vary by temperature, wire bundling, and wire length. I have a couple of other sites at home that provide similiar information, but you know how internet searches are: you never get the same stuff twice.

Every accessory has a current draw. This is a critical number as it determines how big the wire feeding it needs to be and what size of fuse to put in the circuit. This will also drive the breakdown of circuits to some extent. For example a logical circuit might be "lights" except that the headlights pull enough current to be a circuit all their own. Note that the current draws are often not published

So you will have to reverse engineer them by reference to existing wiring diagrams. They all were used in some vehicle, get wiring diagrams for that vehicle and extract circuits, wire sizes, and fuse sizes to get some idea how you should set them up. This will be much easier if the accessories were actually used on some variation of the same car. In this case you may already have some wiring and such present to support the accessories. For example power window wires may already be there and if not, at least a fuse block position for the windows.

Note that in general the fuse should always be rated lower than all of the wiring connected downstream. You always want the fuse to blow rather than the wire. Fuses don't emit smoke and we all know that when the smoke gets out of electronic stuff, very bad things happen.

Once you have the basic circuit and wire/fuse sizes figured out then you can figure out how to add them. Part of this is deciding if this is an always on circuit or only on with ignition or with accessory. If the accessory draws significant power you will want to utilize a relay to drive power to it's circuit so as to reduce loading on the existing accessory or ignition circuits (they will drive the relay at low current and the relay will switch the higher power for the add-on circuit). To figure out if a relay is needed you will have to also figure out how much current capacity you have in the existing circuit that you want to add on to.

Because different car models may have already had some wiring infrastructure in place, there are a lot of variations to the add-on puzzle. Presuming a complete and total add-on, you can either add an auxiliary fuse block or a new wiring harness with a larger fuse block. Painless Performance Products has both types of setups available:
www.painlesswiring.com

Although I have not read them, Painless also has a couple of books that may be helpful as well.

Geez... feels like I've written a novel and I have not even gotten into wire routing or connections or the wonders of loom tubing or...

Steve
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2004, 03:23 PM
87ElCamino 87ElCamino is offline
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Default Re: electrical wiring for dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by spy007
I haven't messed with electrical stuff too much....I don't know the first thing about adding things to my electrical system...
No offense intended here, but do yourself a favor and get a competent automotive electrical person to do the work. If you mess up you could start an electrical fire and BBQ your nice Elky.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2004, 03:38 PM
spy007
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Somehow I don't get the same satisfaction from opening my wallet than I do from learning something new and accomplishing it myself.
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Old 07-24-2004, 08:25 PM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spy007
Somehow I don't get the same satisfaction from opening my wallet than I do from learning something new and accomplishing it myself.
Amen brother, Amen.
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Old 07-25-2004, 06:38 AM
2-Elkys 2-Elkys is offline
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I learned something new from doing my own wiring.

FIREFIGHTER SKILLS!

LOL

Just be carful if you do not know DON'T! wait to ask someone who does know.
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