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rewiring... everything. lol!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jekbrown, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Previous owners have left an absolute pile of speghetti with respect to wiring on my rig. There seems to be wires not connected to anything everywhere. Anyway, I'm thinking of getting a panel from 12voltguy (7 switches w/ LED indicators, fuses, momentary starter switch) and redoing pretty much everything. Whos done this without much auto-electrical knowledge to start with? hints/suggested reading? I have a list of what guage/type of wire should be used to the various accessories in a truck from an electrical supply catalog I have... and will almost certainly go with a panel like this...

    [​IMG]

    what'chu guys who have done it think? :)

    j
     
  2. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I think it could be done pretty straight forward and alot easier for alterations and add ons than what the factory had in mind when they put it together. I think I would run a large batt. cable right into the cab to a marine style lug for tapping into the pos.

    Definitely another outside the cab and hunt up one of those relay boxes in the J yards from newer cars and pickups. Gobs of relays for running your headlights and such. Let us know how it works out for you. Most of it should be pretty straight forward for you. Of course if you go this far it begs you to go the rest of the way and dump all the factory gauges and so on and use your prefered setup. Only other tips I can offer are buy lots of good quality heat shrink and solder and pull extra circuits for future changes and don't forget to pull a pull wire as well for future changes.
     
  3. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, I'm going to be doing a fully custom dash at the same time... with new guages (nothing too blingy, just summits standard mech guages). I really don't know much about this stuff, but I think starting from scratch will be a lot easier than trying to augment the factory stuff.

    As far as running a battery cable into the cab, not a problem, the battery is going to be behind my passenger seat, so there will be heavy guage cable running through it anyway. :) I think this could be a fun project... maybe I'll do a write up for it. Has anyone seen a re-wire your rig write up anywhere on the net? If there is one I'd like to check it out... if there isn't, I guess I could be the first. ;)

    j
     
  4. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I've never seen one, haven't looked either. It's worth a write up I would think. Give er hell.
     
  5. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    I rewired my samurai, i basically left the wiring for the computer and carb, but got rid of everything else and ran my own wiring. Before I did it I had helped wire a rock buggy with a tech from work. One thing I learned is that have lots of assortments of wire available, run circuit breakers for everything and make them in a spot thats easy to get to. Also, dont forget to run wires extra wires, and get A LOT of wire when you do it. You don't want to spend all the time to wire it, and end up with a ton of crimps all over the place. Also, whenever you can solder a joint and use shrink wrap, it looks much cleaner IMHO.
     
  6. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, i definitely like a good soldered connection and some shrink wrap as opposed to some ghetto splice-n-electrical-tape it thing. I'm not an electrician... but I did have an electronics class in high school so I can solder pretty well.

    What kind of connectors should I use for stuff that I'd like to be easy to disconnect? Gotta be vib/water proof... and removable without tools too..

    j
     
  7. mountain4x4

    mountain4x4 Registered Member

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    I like the MSD Doesch (sp?) connectors. I also like the painless harnesses for GM Steering Columns. Makes it easy. You also need to know what to leave be, like the wiper/washer wiring, and whatever else is not in the painless system, or whatever harness you use. As far as Gauge wiring, I like to make my own gauge harness with detachable wiring connectors for power, ground, illumination, and signal wires. That way you just wire up all the gauges to a plug, then wire the other end of the plug under the dash, install your dash, plug in your plug, and your good to go. Much easier than trying to wire 'em all up individually inside the dash.

    It's not hard, but orginization, patience, and attention to detail are key.
     
  8. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    Look at factory connectors, they have the nice weatherpack setups. I personally used the slide connectors cause i only had two parts that needed to be removed.

    Also, they do make some really nice butt connectors that have shrink wrap and solder built in, I know waytek wire has them. I suggest looking at their catalog, cause they have a lof of connectors and relays.

    And if you need a big distribution block, West Marine has them, they are made by Blue Sea Systems, they are a pretty sweet setup. I used em on my blazer, and my dad's blazer when we moved our batteries to the back and they work great.
     
  9. mountain4x4

    mountain4x4 Registered Member

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    You can also buy GM weatherpack connectors from MSD, but you will also need to buy the special tool to disconnect the wires if need be. I guess its a good tool to have around anyway.

    Thats what fuse blocks are for :D

    The only thing in your cab that might need large wire is a huge stereo, and 4 gauge is usually good for all but the biggest systems. If your battery is back there, be sure to run large gauge wire from your alt. to the bat. The wire included in painless systems is only good for very small alternators, it is good to augment it with a big wire going directly to the bat.
     
  10. blazerpro79

    blazerpro79 1/2 ton status

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    i would be very interested in a write up
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    never messed with the wiring thats in the column... turn signals is pretty much all that I'd like to come out of there. Horn, wipers etc can be done elsewhere, can't they?

    is it that big of a pita? The entire factory dash will be removed... can't i get to everything I need to from there?

    now that is a good idear. I plan on having all the guages mounted in one piece of aluminum plate... it'd be nice if I needed to work on them to be able to just remove a handfull of machine screws, unplug the guage cluster harness and go...

    i think i could do a good write up on this... since Im such a noob I wouldn't skip the "simple" stuff that other noobs would need to get started. ;)

    j
     
  12. mountain4x4

    mountain4x4 Registered Member

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    You don't have to if you get the GM type harness. Theres a flat wiring connector coming out of GM harnesses with all the turn signal/hazard/horn wiring in it. The Painless GM harness has that flat plug in it so all you have to do is plug it in and the turn/hazard/horn wiring is all done for you. Also, I like to get the 18 circuit harnesses. If you add more stuff later, theres fused circuits already in the main fuse block so you don't have to clutter up your pos bat terminal with a bunch of fusible links, and run the links back into the cab. With 18 circuits, theres usually a few left over for future use.

    If you get a custom steering column, you can usually order it with a GM harness.

    Even if you do a custom dash, you can install the factory headlight, wiper/washer, blower motor and whatever other switches you want into your custom dash. That way, you don't have to mess with any of that stuff. Later model trucks have the wiper/washers wired into the column, either way, thats one less thing to do if you don't trash that section of wiring. You can also buy pre-made wood dashes you can install your own gauges in. Looks a lot nicer than plate aluminum...

    Believe me, I made the mistake of trashing every single wire on a Cruiser I re-wired many years ago. I spent hours re-running wires that werent included in the painless harness, and all I did was repair the damage I did when I tore all those wires out.
     
  13. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    When i rewire my blazer, I was planning on running a modified factory harness for the FI and trans (6.0/4L80E), and making my own harness for everything else using circuit breakers for EVERYTHING. The more I think about the more I like it, you dont have to worry about not having fuses on the trail, and its much easier to trouble shoot stuff by yourself.
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, i plan on keeping the column I have now. 18 circuits seems like a lot... I like to keep things nice and simple (i dont have or want an audio system, for example) so I'm not sure if I'll need that many. No power locks, windows, AC, stereos, power seats, electric guages or any of that other bling bling. So long as the beast will fire up and the lights work, I won't complain to much. lol! ;)

    One thing to think about though.... I have a TBI system I am going to swap onto my 350 at somepoint. I have the factory harness for it... should I strip it down to just what the TBI system needs and do everything else seperate/myself?

    j
     
  15. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    If your gonna rewire I would try and do the TBI swap at the same point, it would be much easier I think.
     
  16. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    I'd also use dielectric grease on all your plug connections. It'll make the electrical connection better and help prevent corrosion. Cheap insurance if you're going to go trough all that work.
     
  17. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, but I prolly wont do the TBI for a year or two... and the dash is going in sooner than that. :( thats one of the reasons I was thinking of just using the the parts of it that were necessary for TBI...

    j
     
  18. mountain4x4

    mountain4x4 Registered Member

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    It's only $200 for a Painless TBI harness, just supply power and ground, and youre good to go... Reworking the factory harness isn't too dificult, though. Either way, its pretty much independent from the rest of your wiring. Some of your gauges will need power (tach), the illumination is off your headlight switch. I would personally just save some more $ for a Vortec or Gen III SBC to get fuel injection in your rig. Theres so many advantages to modern SBCs (power with fuel economy), and the price is coming down fast for Vortec 350s.

    The 18 circ. harness is hardly any more $. You can just tuck the unused wires out of the way until you need 'em for something. Some of my friends said the same thing, now they either have another auxilliary fuse block, or a bunch of fuses hanging off their + bat. terminals... Electrical crap on rigs tends to grow, just like everything else on them...
     
  19. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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  20. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'll probably keep guage illumination seperate from my headlight switch... sometimes I want one and not the other. As far as guages go, no tach on my rig... I wouldnt have a speedo if it was required by law in my state. I'm seriously pondering finding someone who has a broken speedo and just mounting it for the sake of "legality". The stock speedo in my rig hasn't been functional for a couple of years now, and I don't miss it. What I am gonna have is: water temp, oil pressure, trans temp, volts. I might go for bling and add a oil temp guage for my steering system fluid. Time and $ will tell. ;) I think a lot of people get crazy and end up spending $500 on guages they never look at. Of my factory ones, the only one of much use is the oil pressure one. My fuel guage is gonna be a "sight" guage on a custom AL cell.

    we'll see, I'm not sure what kind of engine upgrades I'm going to do in the future. My current 350 is relatively fresh, so I'm inclined to stick with it for a while. About 9734237283 other things are higher on the priorities list right now. I guess I could sell my good running 350 and my TBI system seperately and use all that ca$h to get a bling vortec 350...

    I guess at some point it will... Ive been removing electrical stuff of my rig as fast as I can though. lol! Back in the day it had power windows, power door locks, alarms, heater, A/C etc etc... it's getting pretty close to bare bones now, which is how I like it. I am going to add some stuff though, my warn 8274 will go on eventually and I'll probably add some rock lights too.

    anyway, thanks much for the advice! anyone else?

    j
     

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