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Multiple gauge wiring harneses

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by AkMudr, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    When it coems to doing big wiring jobs, I kinda run and hide, I'm not the best SO, I am looking into a wiring harness to plug all my gauges into that starts right behind the dash. The one I found looks pretty good, has a lil block where you plug in all yer wires then route them acccordingly, looks pretty clean. Eventually all my dash gauges will be autometer so it pretty much like using a painless wiring kit.

    Lemme know what you think.. Or if anyone knows of a better solution lemme know. I like to keep things clean, hence the harness.

    http://www.centechwire.com/catalog/universal/k32.shtml

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    It really ain't that hard. I did all the wiring for "Dixie Boat Works" until the owner ran it into the ground. Pun intended! Before that I was an Instrument Systems Specialist in the USAF.

    The gauges just need a power supply, a ground and a signal from what ever it measures and internal lighting power. You can link all the power by jumping from one to the next, same with the ground and lighting. That only leaves the signal from the oil pressure, water temp, etc.........
    But if ya feel uncomfortable as I do with some things, just get the kit.:)
     
  3. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    I was thinnkin about it but once all the gauges are hooked up it just looks messy plus I dont like piggy backing off wires but then again, its not like theres alot of current. My main thing is where the gauges hook into the vehivle running lights. I hate those wire taps. Ive got a tach and tranny temp gauge hooked up right now.

    I was just lookin for a cleaner way to run everything.

    I was thinking about using one of those power distro blocks to run 12v constant, ground then another block going to lights and jsut tap each gauge wire into that, then run whatever is left to its corresponding sender.

    What do you guys think about that?
     
  4. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Naw, ya use ring terminals and and crimp them and those piggy back thingys are just a problem looking to happen. If I have a chance I'll do a drawing or better yet a photo. I did it very professionally and still do.
    But nothing wrong with those wiring kits. Nothing at all!
     
  5. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    Yeh I use ring termnals where possible but sonetime you hafta tap into another wire for juice, and I hate. Just a fire waitin to happen.
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    DIxie boat works, thats the company that makes mud boats right? Or should I be saying, made?
     
  7. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If ya have to tap into another wire.......... I use a larger size crimp splice with two out one end and one continuing on the original way or better yet cut it use three ring terminals and a small bolt and nut( I use little copper/brass ones). Better yet is solder the splice with the tap coming off it.
     
  8. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    They made fishing and ski boats from 14ft outboards to 21ft inboards/outboards. They made a bad inboard with either a 351 Cleveland or a 350 Chevy. It was similar to the Mastercraft or Ski Natque or however ya spell it. They made a few 17ft inboard bass boats that I would like to find fer sale. They were outa Newton/Conover, N.C.
     
  9. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    Yeh I solder where I can, usually just strip the wire back enough to solder another one into it. Gauges dont use much current, my only thing was where the gauges need to tap into the lights..tend to look ugly with 6 wires tapped into 1 lol. I might run the distro block idea. I used it before for power and ground to accessories
     
  10. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [​IMG]





    Very quick simple drawing. Just jumper one to the next.
    Anyway the kit should be a snap.
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I think all the stock gauges run off of two power wires and have two grounds...is that going to be adequate for what you plan to do in the future?

    Of course you deal with the lights and all, but if this is your '85, the fuse panel should have an abundance of open accessory terminals along the top. IMO that is the way to go.

    Those (most or all, can't recall) are protected with a 30A circuit breaker, for my TPI setup I just bought a $6 aux. fuse block and ran wire from the fuse panel terminals to it, then to whatever needed power.

    The "quick disconnect" feature of the stock connectors, plus the fact that they lock, made that an easy choice for me. Just about every GM made in the 80's (and somewhat later) is a donor for connectors and wire.
     
  12. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    Only thing with that is, if one of the guages goes dead, you have to meter all off them to find the break, just takes longer to trouble shoot is all, and if you loose juice to the first one all of them are dead, i like individual power for each one but thats just me.

     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That's why an aux. fuse panel (mines a 6 terminal) is nice to run. You can test/see if the item is getting power from the panel itself, and keep each one on a seperate fuse/power feed, which helps immensely in troubleshooting.

    IMO guages aren't important enough, nor difficult to troubleshoot, that seperate power/ground for each is a necessity, but I can understand if wiring it all up, that keeping them seperate has an advantage. Disadvantage is more complexity and wiring under the dash.
     
  14. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    I think so, i think keeping an eye on your engine is very important, i wouldent want to be on the trail and have all my gauges crap out, and have to stop and figure out what wrong, My way you would only have one guage to trouble shoot=less down time. Just my opinion though:D
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If wired right, you REALLY shouldn't have any problems with the gauges failing, at least nothing that is controlled solely by the wiring. Gauges and power feeds may fail, but the seperate wiring SHOULDN'T be an issue.

    Of course, if it's a gauge issue, it will die regardless of how power is fed to it, so thats easy to diagnose.

    I think stock, the printed circuit board and the gauges themselves are 99% of the problem (vs. the power source) so if you eliminate the PCB you have eliminated almost all of the stock "problem", and a gauge failure will be easy to diagnose anyways.

    Of course, "problem" is relative, one gauge problem per truck in a minimum of 14 years (1991 being youngest truck left) is not a defect, and just something that will happen over time to any man-made object.
     
  16. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    I agree more than likley you would never have a problem, but i just like to over build stuff.:D
     
  17. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    I overbuild as well and I like reliability. Mainly I am looking for clean ideas on running wiring, I never liked the idea of piggy backing off other wires and always wire things seperately form each other no matter what it is. Eventualy I will have every gauge in the dash swapped out but right now I'm just doin the important ones.
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I overbuild too, but overwiring causes a headache if you are trying to keep it neat and out of the way. Even with the stock wires wrapped up/taped up/held up, there isn't a lot of wiggle room under there.

    Maybe its just me, but I'm constantly digging in the dash, and the wiring is ALWAYS in the way. Minimizing it is nice if possible and doesn't hurt anything.

    Besides, trying to track down 4 wires through a harness (vs. 1 or 2) is more difficult. If thinking about overbuilding, I think it only prudent to think about how to fix something in the unlikely event it fails too. "Overbuilding" technically piggybacks with "simplicity" and multi wires where one or two will be fine defeats simplicity.

    But of course, we ARE probably talking about what, a grand total of 8 vs. 4 wires or so? :)
     

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