Wiring ideas for your car

Discussions about general body work and modifications

Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby A/FX » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:56 pm

Just a couple of suggestions for when you get started. These are just a few that come to mind at the moment:

Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.

Jim
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby Lip Ripper » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:01 pm

I'm down to wiring on the 61 Falcon. This weekend I peeled the whole factory harness down and cleaned the wires. I am re-using all of the lighting and related pigtails. I disabled and rewired the pink resistance wire for the 12 volts needed at the dist. I will use all of the original dash cluster wires that I can for my gauge cluster. After adding the new needed wiring, I'm wrapping it all back up. The circuits I'm adding are fuel pump, AC, electric fan, backup lights and 2 circuits for whatever may come about. I'm using a 6 circuit mini fuse panel and I'll power it with a continuous duty solenoid (somebody here gave me that tip). I also have a Pertronix Second Strike ignition box. I'm hoping to fit most all of the mods in the glove box hole, we'll see. I'll do a video update when it's done.

Oh, I use marine tinned wire.

Stacey
66 Cyclone GT; 245/60R15's on 15x8's and 215/70R15's on 15x7 Magnum's.
There's nothing like the sound of a pushrod V8 singing at the top of her lung's.
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby popscomet » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:30 pm

TALKING about that pink wire,,close to 30 yrs ago..my 71 bronco started missing and flat out dieing driving down the road,,by the time I'd pull over lift the hood look it over it'd fire right back up..might happen again in 5 mins might go for awhile,,got very undependable....after awhile of messing with it ,,and it would burn points up aften also...I omitted that pink wire and ran a seprate wire,thru a ballast resistor to the dist...that same setup is still on this bronco and still is running today.boy,you talking about a funny feeling being out hunting at night ,pitch dark and lot of times would be alone and no one knew where I was located,,and your dang truck was broke,,,but I never had to walk out of the woods and catch a ride home or leave my dogs in the dog box in the back of the bronco,,,I never was so glad to fix it..I still have that old ford with the 5bolt 289 ,4bbl with the hyd version of the 289 hi-po solid lift cam,and 4.11 gears with a hurst shifter..... 8) :shock: :D thanks ...….good luck STACEY...AS GOOD of work you do,,,you'll have that falcon running like a swiss watch......pop
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby lavron » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:00 pm

Lip Ripper wrote:I'll do a video update when it's done.

Oh, I use marine tinned wire.


Thanks Stacey I look forward to seeing what you do.

A/FX wrote:Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.


Thanks for the list
I have the master disconnect already and I was planning on putting on Neg as well. I was going to put in the center console, would it hurt to have a second one in the trunk (redundant)?
I have non-insulated butt connectors and a big box of various sized shrink wrap already, I will look at getting some terminals as well.
Got a good crimp tool.
What is the best way to determine the proper wire gauge? I know need to sit down first and figure out what all will be going in the car.

See Ya,
Mike
64 Comet 202 Sedan, My first car, I have owned it since 1979!
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby A/FX » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:40 pm

lavron wrote:
Lip Ripper wrote:I'll do a video update when it's done.

Oh, I use marine tinned wire.


Thanks Stacey I look forward to seeing what you do.

A/FX wrote:Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.[/quote
Thanks for the list
I have the master disconnect already and I was planning on putting on Neg as well. I was going to put in the center console, would it hurt to have a second one in the trunk (redundant)?
I have non-insulated butt connectors and a big box of various sized shrink wrap already, I will look at getting some terminals as well.
Got a good crimp tool.
What is the best way to determine the proper wire gauge? I know need to sit down first and figure out what all will be going in the car.

See Ya,
Mike



I would not recommend a second master switch, instead I would install the switch in a convenient location so it can be used easily in an emergency. I mounted mine in the trunk near the battery, it is controlled by a rod that mounts to the roll bar next to the drivers seat.
Here is a link to a helpful article about wire sizing: https://www.delcity.net/documents/elect ... _chart.jsp
Dell City also sells electricial supplies.
Jim
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby Lip Ripper » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:00 am

Thank you Pop. Well I wired up the wiper motor today and it sounds more like a coffee grinder. I found a company called New Port Engineering with a 2 speed motor, new switch with an extension to use my original knob and the wiring for $240, it's on the way here.
66 Cyclone GT; 245/60R15's on 15x8's and 215/70R15's on 15x7 Magnum's.
There's nothing like the sound of a pushrod V8 singing at the top of her lung's.
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby tomb22 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 pm

Hi Mike
I think making your own wiring harness is a good way to do it. If I did it again I would add at least 1 extra wire to each harness. The 10 port fuse box you ordered is set up so that you have to feed each fuse separately. I hope you have room on the back side to be able to bring in a larger wire and splice on to it to feed each fuse. You need to sit down and have a plan of what your going to feed out of each box and what kind of amps it's going to take.
Looking forward to seeing how it goes for you.
Tom
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby Lou's Comet » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:37 am

lavron wrote:
A/FX wrote:Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.


Thanks for the list
I have the master disconnect already and I was planning on putting on Neg as well. I was going to put in the center console, would it hurt to have a second one in the trunk (redundant)?
I have non-insulated butt connectors and a big box of various sized shrink wrap already, I will look at getting some terminals as well.
Got a good crimp tool.
What is the best way to determine the proper wire gauge? I know need to sit down first and figure out what all will be going in the car.

See Ya,
Mike


Agree with what AFX said. Just a couple questions and suggestions.

Your master disconnect switch. Do you want it to just disconnect/disable the batt when the car is sitting, or do you want it to shut a running car off in a emergency? Just putting the switch on the negative cable will disconnect the batt when the car is sitting. It will not shut down a running car, the car will run off the alt, unless there is a provision built into switch for the alt feed wire, like this one from summit.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lng-45782/overview/

If you have a disconnect switch with no provision for alt it will shut off a running car when used on positive batt cable, as long as the alt feed wire is on the batt side of the switch and there are no feed wires coming off the alt feed wire into the system in front of switch. (This is prob what I am going to do)

Also you do not want to run any power feeds of the alt wire, it can/will mess with the alt charging.

Once you get a plan on what your running and where it will be you can determine wire size. Which will be determined by amperage draw, length of wire and if it is in a higher heat area such as in engine compartment.

Here is a link that gives you rough amperage draw of some automotive accessories.
https://www.aa1car.com/library/electrical_amp_loads.htm

You can also figure out amperage if you know the wattage of a item by taking the wattage and dividing by 12. For example a 60 watt headlight 60 divided by 12 = 5 amp, or a 120 watt amp divide by 12 = 10 amp.

Here is a link to wire size for different amperage.
https://www.kayjayco.com/techAmpsNSAE2Metric.htm

For longer than 10ft go up a gauge, and in higher heat areas such as engine compartment go up a gauge. Try to stay with the same type? Gauge wire, I am going to stay with SAE gauge, there is also AWG, Metric, and prob others.

There are also different types of wire insulation PVC and XLPE, the XLPE being a cross link insulation that is rated at higher temp and has better abrasion protection. Here is a link that has some info on the types.
https://www.kayjayco.com/tech125CWire.htm

Heat shrink tubing also has different qualities. The normal stuff and the adhesive lined stuff. My buddy has trucking company and said since he started using the adhesive lined stuff they have a noticeable drop in wiring repairs needed.

If you are going with electric fans I would go up a gauge or 2 on the wire for the fans, use quality wire, use a quality relay and do the best job possible to wire the fans. They do draw some currant!! And will quickly damage inferior wiring/components.

As AFX said you can't have too many grounds, make sure the ground is the same gauge as the power on stuff. Batt grounded to the engine block, block grounded to body, if battery is in trunk also ground it to body, and a ground wire from block to a grounding buss inside car dash would be the minimum imo.

If in doubt about gauge size of a wire for something keep in mind a wire with too small a gauge will become a problem a wire with too big of a gauge will not.

Do not splice wires together to get length, if you need a 6 ft long wire use a 6ft long piece, don't take a 4 ft piece and splice a 2 ft piece to it to get your 6 ft

Plan, plan, plan, take some larger poster paper and put your thoughts, ideas and such on paper.

Good planning with good materials and you should be good for a long time. Short cuts and cheap materials often work well for a little while but a year or two later gremlins start showing up in the wiring. Do the best you can the first time.

Lou
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby lavron » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:38 pm

Lou's Comet wrote:Agree with what AFX said. Just a couple questions and suggestions.


Thanks for all the info Lou (and links) it helps out a lot, I will start planning soon, I think getting it all down on "paper" is a good idea, it is in my head right now and I have the tendency to forget certain components.

If it is ok with everyone I will post my process here (or as I go, in case I mess something up along the way)

See Ya,
Mike
64 Comet 202 Sedan, My first car, I have owned it since 1979!
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby SASSY » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:08 pm

A/FX wrote:Just a couple of suggestions for when you get started. These are just a few that come to mind at the moment:

Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.

Jim

Jim why no solder, I have always soldered almost everything, and as far as I can tell with no issues.
Fred
I'd rather do it myself if it's done right or not,,,isn't that what hotrodding is all about?
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby A/FX » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:30 pm

SASSY wrote:
A/FX wrote:Just a couple of suggestions for when you get started. These are just a few that come to mind at the moment:

Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.

Jim

Jim why no solder, I have always soldered almost everything, and as far as I can tell with no issues.
Fred
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby A/FX » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:54 pm

SASSY wrote:
A/FX wrote:Just a couple of suggestions for when you get started. These are just a few that come to mind at the moment:

Plan to install a master disconnect switch to kill the battery power. (I always install it on the negative side)
Do not use solder on any connectors.
Use terminal ends that are non insulated and shrink wrap them after they are crimped.
Invest in a good crimp tool, practice on a few terminals before you start.
Make sure you provide good grounds for everything, you cannot over ground the system.
Use the correct type and guage wire for all circuits, Automotive wire is different from other types of wire.
Always carry a good fire extinguisher in your vehicle, hopefully you will never need it. I have never needed one myself but have used mine to help others out when on the road.

Jim

Jim why no solder, I have always soldered almost everything, and as far as I can tell with no issues.
Fred


Fred,
I have been guilty of using solder for electricial connections in the past. Lately I have been reading quite a bit about automotive wiring do’s and dont’s, the general consensus is that solder is not the preferred method.
The reasons stated seem to make sense, solder can become brittle over time which means the joint could fail.
Also soldering a wire on a terminal end could allow the solder to wick up the wire, this will make the wire “solid” and over time vibration could cause a failure. In automotive wiring only fine stranded wire should be used, solid wire is not even an option. A well done crimp on a terminal end will have as good or better continuity compared to a solder joint.
I have fabricated a couple of automotive harness in the past, I used some solder but very sparingly, when I wire the Comet it will have no solder, only crimps. (Even the battery cables)
I also do not plan to use insulated terminal ends, again, general consensus is that a better connection can be made using a non insulated terminal end and using shrink tubing to insulate the crimp.
I invested in a ratchet style crimp tool that should help make good connections.
Jim
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby SASSY » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 pm

The brittle aspect makes sense and I agree on the non insulated clips with shrink tubing.
I'll have to get a proper crimper I guess, side cutters don't seem to work well :roll:
Thanks for your explanations.
Fred
I'd rather do it myself if it's done right or not,,,isn't that what hotrodding is all about?
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby Kingspeedy2 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:50 pm

This post has me switched gears from soldering to crimping , I have always loved the glue type heat shrink as long as I remember to put it on before making a connection.
I may still stick a tiny bit of solder on the stake on or push on type terminals that go on relays etc..It makes it 99.9% certain the wire cant pull out .
even with the correct crimpers I like a little extra insurance
BTW My American Autowire harness instructions talk about crimps but goes on to specifically says to solder each terminal.
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Re: Wiring ideas for your car

Postby Lip Ripper » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:09 pm

My consensus is that there is to too much effin information on the internet. I've had crimps come loose (from vibration). There is a huge quality difference in the things, they aren't all alike and how do you know unless you have a failure? You'd have to have one helluva vibrator to shake a solder joint loose, I cannot imagine. I use both crimps and solder with shrink tube. I am going to experiment with these low temp solder/shrink/seal fittings on the Falcon. I just used the first one tonight. The larger wires take a crimp well, 16/18 gauge aka red crimps, not so well. And I do have a quality vintage USA crimp tool, not Chinese. Case and point on the smaller stuff is anything you open up that is electronic, ain't crimped, okay a Chinese ceiling fan might. And there is no need to run a wire that is capable of running twice the load that you are putting to it other that costing more. I have a feeling that this thread could almost be like a (what is the best oil thread). I myself have hand wired 6 cars from scratch and I'm just sharing my hard knocks, peace.

Stacey
66 Cyclone GT; 245/60R15's on 15x8's and 215/70R15's on 15x7 Magnum's.
There's nothing like the sound of a pushrod V8 singing at the top of her lung's.
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