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Unread 08-08-2009, 11:30 PM   #1
kpauley
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1974 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Gilroy, CA
Posts: 77
Been reading the good book of JeepHammer!

OK, I've been spending the last few evenings reading over many of the JeepHammer posts, some really great stuff. I had some specific questions for my situation and I PM'd JeepHammer, he enlightened me even more with his response by asking me to post the questions to the open forum for him to respond so others can share in the the experience...good thinking! First a little (maybe a lot) of background, then I'll have some questions at the end.

I have a '74 CJ5 (258 L6), my father in law was the original owner, it was sold several years back and after he passed away we tracked it down and bought it back. Has had a little bit of work done between the two previous owners, including a Jacobs ignition as well as some melted winch wiring at one point. Recently we had an experience at night where all of the lights went out, not just the headlights (more of a flickering, and then out, but we did get home, they came back at one point and we made a bee line for it).

In any case, this sent me on a mission of fixing the wiring, and that's when I came across many of the JeepHammer posts, one of which kept me from purchasing an expensive alternator I don't think I need.

I started down the path of just dealing with the headlights. I had gone down the path of headlight relays previously, so I thought I would do that to isolate things on the Jeep so this would not happen again. I ordered some Hella relays, circuit breakers and a new light switch. Took care of a bit of the wiring while I was waiting (am still waiting) for the relays to come. This, along with some of the reading on this site, got me thinking about the rest of the wiring. If it was just the headlights, not everything would have gone off (dash lights, running lights, etc). So I figured it would be good to unwrap all of the under hood wiring and see what was going on, and while I was at it I would go after and do some good grounding as JeepHammer recommends. As I went through that, I did uncover some connections that were corroded, no fusible links anywhere and some wires that were starting to break apart in some areas.

I now have the battery ground going right to the starter. From there, I ran one 10 gauge wire right to the alternator mount. From the starter/battery ground point, I ran another 10 gauge wire up the firewall and across to where the main wire bundle enters the cab. There I put a brass bolt through the firewall and mounted the ground wire using a ring connector, this is a good ground point I can get inside the cab and in the engine area. I ran another 10 gauge up to the front of the vehicle to the headlight area for grounding there and another one goes to the tail of the vehicle.

On that same side, I have 4 10 gauge wires coming off the alternator to 4 40A circuit breakers which will feed the 4 relays when they come. One for the low beams, one for the high beams, one for future driving lights an one for the accessory fuse panel I'm putting in the cab. I also ran all new wire up to the headlights.

Finally, I inserted a fusible link off the starter relay which hooks to the 10 gauge wire that runs to the alternator, the other wire off the ammeter goes to the starter solenoid which is hooked to the battery terminal (I didn't physically trace both thoses wire all the way to the dash / gauge, but that's what it looks like).

So I think I have most everything cleaned up and once I get the relays in I should be in pretty good shape (JeepHammer will tell me I'm sure).

The last piece of wiring I need to clean up are the battery cables and the cables that go to the Warn 9000 winch. But before I do that, I wanted to make some decisions about alternators and dual batteries, which is why I'm posting this.

1) does it sound like I have my wiring cleaned up correctly based on the descriptions
2) I have a stock alternator. Was thinking about the Delco 12 SI that JeepHammer recommends, but wanted to just buy one at the parts store with a lifetime warranty. Can I have a model number to ask for, or a vehicle year/make/model so I can get one that will bolt in? I took some pictures (a link at the end of this) that shows the alternator a little, prior to my re-wiring (except for the 10 gauge wiring to the circuit breakers).
3) I've been thinking about dual batteries. Live in California, will mostly be doing recreational driving, fire trails, not a lot of hard core stuff. I do plan on putting some driving lights on and we do have a Warn 9000 which could be used from time to time. It had melted the battery cables that were there before with the previous owner, so I want to make sure I do that right. Dual batteries would be to provide backup, good power, getting stranded would not be good for the marriage, especially if it was because I drained a battery and didn't have a dual battery setup that would get me home. So knowing which of the wiring setups would be wise for me, including wiring of the winch and the gauges of battery/winch cable to use would be good.

I have two red top Optima batteries I can use as well, or if those are not the best, I'm happy to swap them out.

Here's the link to the photos:
Photos of alternator

Looking for some sage advice! Let me know if I left anything out.

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Unread 08-09-2009, 05:37 AM   #2
GPER
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,805
Sounds like a plan and make sure you clean the plugs under the dash. The big one at the steering column make sure all the wires in it have a good connection. I have had that plug shut me down a few times before I found it.
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Unread 08-09-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
If there aren't 100 additions to this thread,
I'll cover this in sections so it's more 'Digestible' for the average 'Joe'...

DEDICATED ELECTRICAL "GROUNDS"...

Notice "Grounds" is in Quotes (" ")...
With DC (Direct Current) there is no such thing as 'Ground',
For our purposes here, everything is either 'POSITIVE' (+), 'NEGATIVE' (-) or Open, meaning connected to nothing.


SO!
When you read 'Ground', you should interpret that as a direct connection to battery negative, a DEDICATED 'GROUND'...
--------------------------------------------------------

"GROUNDS" 101

JEEP WAS THE CHEAPEST AMERICAN COMPANY I'VE EVER SEEN.
They simply didn't add dedicated 'Grounds' unless forced to,
And every circuit is 'Undersized', meaning you can't expand on it without out stripping the capacity of the circuit.


RULE #1.
IF THE JUICE GETS IN, IT MUST GET OUT FOR ANYTHING TO WORK.

RULE #2.
IF YOU WANT IT TO WORK, ADD A DEDICATED GROUND. (see 'RULE #1.')

RULE #3.
EVERY ELECTRON YOUR VEHICLE USES COMES FROM THE ALTERNATOR, NOT THE BATTERY!

RULE #4.
CRIMP CONNECTORS AND 'SCOTCH LOCKS' ARE NOT PROPER ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS!

RULE #5.
YOUR JEEP IS ABOUT 7 ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS FLYING IN CLOSE FORMATION, BUT NOT ACTUALLY CONNECTED UNTIL YOU PUT IN DEDICATED GROUND WIRES.

RULE #6.
WHERE RUST IS, ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS WILL NOT BE.

(If you don't have any rust , this doesn't apply to you!)

RULE #7.
STEEL IS A HORRIBLE CONDUCTOR OF ELECTRICITY.

RULE #8.
JEEP WAS CHEAP! THEY ONLY INSTALLED MINIMAL CIRCUITS TO MAKE THINGS WORK. IF YOU 'ADD ON' ANYTHING, YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE MORE ELECTRICAL CURRENT TO MAKE IT WORK CORRECTLY.

RULE #9.
HEADLIGHTS ARE SACRED, ESPECIALLY LOW BEAMS, AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH TO KEEP YOU ALIVE!

RULE #10.
CIRCUIT PROTECTION (Breakers, Fuses, Fusible Links) KEEP YOUR VEHICLE FROM BURNING DOWN. USE THEM!

Last edited by JeepHammer; 08-11-2009 at 06:17 AM..
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Unread 08-09-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
JeepHammer
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950

RULE #1.
IF THE JUICE GETS IN, IT MUST GET OUT FOR ANYTHING TO WORK.

'Electricity' is rated in 'POTENTIAL'.


That is 'POTENTIAL' work it can do, if conditions are 'Right'...

Road Blocks to that Work Potential can be anything from...
Undersized Wiring, meaning not enough of the electrons that do the actual work can reach the 'LOAD' ('Load' being the electrical term for the appliance you are trying to power up and get 'Work' out of...)

Bad electrical connections that don't transfer the current from the wire to the work load.

'Alloy' wires (not copper, or other metals/minerals mixed with the copper to make wire production cheaper) will often keep much of the Electrical Potential from reaching the 'Load'.

Switches that don't transfer enough current to get the job done correctly.

Bad 'Grounds' that don't allow a completed circuit to reach it's full 'Potential'.

And so on...
------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBER!
IF the current gets 'IN', you MUST give it a path 'OUT' of any appliance or load for the said Appliance or Load to work correctly!

10 Gauge (Ga.) wire 'IN', then 10 Ga. 'OUT' is the rule!


DO NOT rely on engine brackets, frame rails, sheet metal contact to supply 'GROUND' to Anything!
All these avenues FAIL over time!

When the Government acquires vehicles,
They REQUIRE dedicated 'Ground' wires on all major connection points....
And these vehicle operate MUCH longer without 'Issues'.

Something you need to keep in mind...
When these vehicles were last produced, the warranty period was 12 months or 12,000 miles, which ever came first...

If you had a problem with 'Electrical', the FSM (Factory Service Manual) clearly shows adding a 'Ground' wire to the failed electrical Appliance/Load as one of the FIRST diagnostic tests to get it out of the shop quicker.

If you were out from under warranty before the 'Failure' happened,
Then you were MONEY IN THE BANK for the dealership!
If you paid them to add a simple ground wire, they made money!
If you traded in the vehicle for a new one that worked, they made money!

That's why military Jeeps and Government vehicles were required to have dedicated ground wire to the major components...
It cut WAY DOWN on the electrical service issues in the long run for them!

This is not NEW IDEA or ground breaking science,
It's well documented and one of the cheapest 'Upgrades' you can do for your vehicle!


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've often talked about using VIRGIN COPPER.
Virgin copper is a term meaning NO ALLOYS in the wire!

Other than silver and gold, COPPER is the best conductor of electricity you can commonly acquire.

'Off Shore' companies Alloy in aluminum, zinc, tin, iron, and a host of other things that ARE NOT copper into the wire they make,
And that creates a RESTRICTION in the wire called 'RESISTANCE'...
Like pinching a garden hose, the Alloy in the wire keeps the electron flow from reaching the 'Load' with it's full 'Potential'.

To make matters worse for Jeepers,
The more current you try and drag through that wire,
The more the 'Resistance' in the wire will heat up (heat is a waste product of the 'Resistance')
And the more it heats up, the higher the RESISTANCE will go, heating it up even more, resulting in even more of the electrical potential getting wasted in the resistance,
Making more heat....

You get the idea, it's a VICIOUS CYCLE....
Resistance makes heat, Heat makes more resistance, More Resistance Makes More Heat...

Easily avoided, just use the best, VIRGIN COPPER wire you can find, and that will keep the wire losses to a minimum!
----------------------------

For high current applications,
(Winches, Starter Motors, Inverters, ect.)

USE WELDING CABLE AND OVERSIZE THE CABLE TO THE 'LOAD'!

WELDING CABLE, especially that made in the US, is designed SPECIFICALLY to transfer current/amperage to the 'LOAD'...

Finer stands of welding cable pack in the same size area with more efficiency,
So you get more current transfer out of the same size wire.

Welding cable (US MADE) is almost ALWAYS Virgin Copper with no alloys, so minimal resistance to start with,

And oversizing the cable one or two sizes over 'Recommended' will pass current more easily, so the wire doesn't heat up as quickly in common service.

Some other positive things about WELDING CABLE...

It's FLEXIBLE, so you don't have to kill yourself running it in your vehicle.

It's got a SERIOUS insulation on it!

Remember, welding shops are HOSTILE PLACES!
Hot sparks/slag rolling around, so the insulation is HEAT RESISTANT,

Welding cables get dragged around on shop floors, over sharp metal parts, and are often exposed to chemicals...
All of which the insulation is designed to protect against!

You simply CAN NOT say that about Vinyl coated 'Automotive' or 'Battery Cable' wire.

Welding cable has connectors designed specifically for FINE STRAND WIRE, and for transferring LARGE AMPERAGE LOADS!
Perfect for trying to winch a Jeep out of a bad spot, or cranking on a Jeep engine that just got stalled out!

Lastly,
Welding cable is AFFORDABLE!
Not like the large 'Stereo Wiring' you often see as battery cables or winch cables these days!
Any welding supply shop will crimp your ends on if you purchased the cable at their store, so you don't even have to buy the specialized assembly tools to put your custom cables together!
------------------------------------------------

As for smaller 'Automotive' type wiring....
BUY QUALITY WIRE AND CONNECTORS!

There simply isn't any excuse for buying 'Junk' and having to do this stuff two or three times once you know the difference...
--------------------------------------------------
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Unread 08-09-2009, 08:49 AM   #5
RetiredSERE
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1980 CJ7 
 
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 449
Very nice... Hey JeepHammer, where wer you when I went thru BEE back in the 80's?? If you would have been one of my instructors, it wouldn't have taken me 25 years to understand electronics.....

Keep up the good work.

Dave
__________________
Shoot, Move, Communicate

Admit to Nothing, Deny Everything, Make Counter Accusations...

I Feel Like a Monkey F***ing a Football..
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Unread 08-09-2009, 08:57 AM   #6
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
RULE #3.
EVERY ELECTRON YOUR VEHICLE USES COMES FROM THE ALTERNATOR, NOT THE BATTERY!

'Dim' Headlights, Inaccurate or Inoperative gauge, Weak Spark or Failing Ignition Modules/Coils, 'Weak' Alternators...
ARE ALMOST ALWAYS THE FAULT OF BAD "GROUNDS",

NOT The Alternator!


Your ALTERNATOR is usually 'Fine' for your Jeeps electrical needs...
Since most Jeep electrical systems are protected by a SINGLE 14 Ga. Fusible Link (Fuse Wire) that would have burned at about 40 Amps from the alternator,

And since most of us are running the ORIGINAL 23+ year old Fusible Link,
Your alternator has NEVER had a demand put on it more than 40 Amps for very long!

LET me stress that again,
YOUR VEHICLE HAS NEVER HAD A DEMAND FOR MORE THAN 40 Amps. FROM THE ALTERNATOR IN IT'S LIFE.


The BATTERY takes care of short term, high demand electrical LOADS,
The alternator recharges the battery at a much slower, lower AMP load....

Mostly because Batteries don't live if you throw high amperage at them.
They are BUILT to take low amperage input from the alternator over time,
Not a huge Amp output all at once!

This is VERY important if you are going to expect the vehicle system to perform the tasks you are going to ask of it with Winches, Inverters, Hard Starts, ect.

When installing a winch, Snow Blade, Inverter for 110 Volt AC power, ect.
You need to know that it's the BATTERY CAPACITY that has to be increased to power these devices instead of plugging in some 'Super-Duper' Alternator that will have a tendancy to OVER CHARGE the batteries,
Or a lesser evil is to spend large $$$ on a 'Super-Duper' alternator you don't need.
-----------------------------------------

DUAL BATTERIES OF LARGE CAPACITY ARE MUCH BETTER FOR TRAIL VEHICLES THAN A 'SUPER-DUPER' ALTERNATOR.

The batteries will do a number of things for you that a 'Large' alternator will not...

1. Dual Batteries will give you DOUBLE capacity for running Winches, Welders, Air Compressors, Inverters, ect.

2. Dual Batteries will give you TRAIL REDUNDANCY.
If one fails, the other will keep you running while you get back to civilization!

3. When wired correctly,
Dual batteries will be Virtually MAINTENANCE FREE and SEAMLESS REDUNDANCY IN OPERATION.
That means if you DO HAVE a failure, you won't even know it until you are doing your maintinance checks!

4. When wired 'Correctly', you can 'Lend' a battery to someone that has had a failure,
Or use one of your batteries out of the vehicle for Campsite Power or to run a which on your trailer or whatever...

5. When wired 'Correctly' you get DOUBLE the current to your starter!
This makes for FAST starts, and your starter will live MUCH LONGER since it's not being 'Starved' for current during hard/cold starts.

Your 'Stock Type' alternator will have no problems charging TWO batteries...
And it's actually EASIER on the alternator since with TWO BATTERIES, the batteries are not as deeply discharged from winching, starting, ect., so they don't draw as much amperage as fast as a single battery would that was discharged 'Deeper'...


THINK of your Alternator is a water well pump,
And your battery as a water tower or storage tank.

The pump fills up the tank (battery) and the tank takes care of large demand, then is refilled slowly by a pump that couldn't possibly supply enough water for a dozen fire hoses and the entire town to operate...

Last edited by JeepHammer; 08-09-2009 at 11:08 AM..
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Unread 08-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #7
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
RULE #4.
CRIMP CONNECTORS AND 'SCOTCH LOCKS' ARE NOT PROPER ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS!

ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS FOR A VEHICLE THAT WILL BE USED OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, AND IN 'HOSTILE' CONDITIONS HAVE A DIFFERENT STANDARD THAN YOUR TOASTER.


ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS FOR YOUR VEHICLE SHOULD HAVE THREE PARTS,

1. MECHANICAL CONNECTION.

This is the 'Crimp' in the 'Crimp Connectors'.
The Crimp is there to PHYSICAL, MECHANICAL CONNECTION part of the equation,
And should NEVER be considered a proper 'Electrical Connection'.

2. ELECTRICAL CONNECTION.
In the case of most 'Jeepers', this should be in the form of SILVER BEARING ELECTRICAL SOLDER...

Electrical solder has no ACIDS in it! This is important since any acidic fluxes in the solder will corrode the wiring in no time flat!
DO NOT USE PLUMBING OR BODYWORK SOLDER!

Silver content in the solder will make better electrical connections, 'Tins' or coats the outside of the solder joint for added environmental protection, and makes the solder 'Flow' better into the electrical connection joints.

3. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION!

An 'Un-Protected' electrical connection won't be a connection very long!

There are a number of ways to protect your electrical connections,
From Spray/Brush on Vinyl coatings, to greases that protect the connections, to 'Tape' to my favorite, HEAT SHRINK TUBING WITH GLUE!

Your connection SIMPLY ISN'T DONE WITHOUT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION!

You can also include things like 'Drip Loops' in Environmental Protection.
A 'Drip Loop' is a dip or loop in a wire just before you attach to a connection point.

This 'Dip' or Drip Loop in the wire collects the water/salt/other corrosives and allows them a place to DRIP off unbroken insulation before the moisture/motor oil/ect. can run down the wire directly into your connections/appliances.
-----------------------------------------------

ANYTHING, AND I MEAN ANYTHING!,
That breaks the insulation of the wire or connection is not worth having!


'Scotch Locks' or anything else that 'Taps Into' a wire by breaking the insulation protection is NOT WORTH HAVING!

If you don't have time to cut, splice, protect the connection properly, then you don't have time to install whatever you are trying to install!


If you can't find the time to do it 'Correctly' the first time,
How are you EVER going to find the time to do it three, four, five more times as the break in the insulation corrodes out and you have to do it over, and over, and over again?
----------------------------------------

When dealing with 'Hacked Up' wiring...

Remember!
You can still buy connectors that will fit in the fire wall 'Bulk Head Connector',
And you can start there, making a NEW WIRE that isn't hacked up usually more easily than you can try to cut out and splice in a reasonable wire!

There is no insulation like FACTORY INSULATION on the wire!
So if you need to make a new wire (start over) don't be scared of it,
It's usually much easier to start over than to figure out what some PO idiot did to your wiring!
---------------------------------------

NOT ALL CONNECTORS ARE CREATED EQUAL!

Keep your eye out for COPPER connectors.

Cheap ones are made of tin or some alloy that is usually useless.
Turn the 'Tab' type connectors on edge and have a look,
Since more are punched out of a solid sheet, the copper is often visible under tin or cadmium plating.

*IF*...
The connector I'm using is NON-plated copper, I often use the silver bearing solder to 'Tin' the connector,
This gives it a corrosion resistant coating without hurting it's load bearing capabilities.

*IF*...
You are forced to use cheap (tin or alloy) connectors for what ever reason,
Then using the solder to 'Tin' the connector will increase it's ability to transfer electrical current along with keeping the connector from corroding to junk in no time...

Last edited by JeepHammer; 08-09-2009 at 11:09 AM..
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Unread 08-09-2009, 09:29 AM   #8
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
More to come, so PLEASE! don't plug up the thread with comments!

Shoot all you want after things are done! I'd like to hear anything you guys can add!
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Unread 08-09-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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RULE #5.
YOUR JEEP IS ABOUT 7 ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS FLYING IN CLOSE FORMATION, BUT NOT ACTUALLY CONNECTED UNTIL YOU PUT IN DEDICATED GROUND WIRES.


This is EXACTLY what it sounds like.


Your vehicle is separated into about 5 to 7 electrical ground systems,
The Radiator/Grill shell, which supplies 'Ground' to head lights, front Park/Turn lights, side marker lights, ect.

RUST, Corrosion, Paint, Loose Bolts, Corroded Wire Connectors, all contribute to keeping your vehicle's appliances/loads from getting proper 'Ground'.

Jeep didn't help the situation when they didn't run dedicated grounds to many of the electrical loads (Trying to save a few bucks on wire/terminals).
Military vehicles and Government supplied vehicles ALL require dedicated ground to keep the 'Issues' to a minimum....

Another reason AMC/Jeep didn't run dedicated grounds was because if a problem cropped up during warranty, it was easy to fix...
Most of the problem flow charts have a dedicated ground as one of the top things to do/check when there is a problme,

But in those days, after 12 months/12,000 miles your vehicle was out from under warranty...
So any problems you had were MONEY IN THE BANK for the dealerships!
You would pay to get the Problems/Issues fixed, in which case they made money,
OR,
You would buy a new vehicle to get rid of the constant problems,
In which they made money!

Consider that the next time you *Think* you don't need to run a Dedicated 'Ground' to anything!
-------------------------------------------------

The ENGINE, which usually is under grounded.
The engine head(s) need a DIRECT/Dedicated 'Ground' so the high voltage produced from the ignition coil can find an adequate and proper 'Ground'.

The 'Ground' supplied to the IGNITION MODULE comes from a 'Ground' connection at the distributor, so if your engine isn't getting a good 'Ground', neither is the ignition module mounted on the drivers fender.

The ALTERNATOR needs a DIRECT ground, since every electron your vehicle uses is produced in the alternator.
(see Rule #3.)

The DASH and/or vehicle 'Tub' needs a solid ground for gauges to work correctly, dash lights to work correctly, side markers in the back to work correctly, ect.

Windshield Wiper Motor needs a good ground, which is usually just tied to the steel dash.

The FRAME needs a good ground, which usually doesn't happen due to rust, lack of good connections, ect.
A good ground to the frame will actually SLOW CORROSION of the vehicle frame and body.

The REAR LIGHTS & FUEL SENDER need a good ground, which are normally tied to body or frame.

And the PRIMARY ground should attach directly to the largest electrical load, THE STARTER.
Since the STARTER is going to draw more current, and do it faster than anything else on your vehicle (besides WINCHES) your primary 'Battery Cable' should connect directly to the starter so it's properly 'Grounded'.

Add in 23+ years of rust and corrosion, and suddenly you have lights failing, ignition components failing, and all the 'Electrical' problems many of you complain about.

What I normally do is add a 'Binding Post' to the front near the battery somewhere.
(In electrical terms, this is a 'BUSS')

The 'Grounding Post' allows you to have ONE large ground wire for accessories, (Besides the primary 'Ground' wire that goes to starter) to attach your DEDICATED GROUNDS to.

This diagram should give you some idea of what I'm talking about,





For more information on making your own high capacity battery and starter cables,
Consult this thread,

LINK: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/making-battery-starter-cables-correctly-691172/

It will show you the basics of how to make (or have made) proper, high capacity cables for starter, winch, inverter, ect.

Last edited by JeepHammer; 08-09-2009 at 08:45 PM..
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Unread 08-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #10
JeepHammer
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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RULE #6.
WHERE RUST IS, ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS WILL NOT BE.

(If you don't have any rust , this doesn't apply to you!)


RUST, CORROSION, ect. is a MAJOR electrical flow killer!
This is true for the Positive or Negative side of the circuit/loads.


Many of the gauges and sensors had STEEL terminals, and they rust.

The aluminum case on the starter and alternator CORRODE and become less efficient at passing current.

Loose bolts, connectors, terminals, ect. are a serious issue in vehicles that vibrate and get knocked around like Jeeps do.

For terminals, Dielectric Grease is a VERY good way to keep rust/corrosion from happening once cleaned.

Using a good COPPER terminal (anti-corrosion plated is fine) is another good way to keep corrosion from ruining your day (and sometimes your week! )

When you have 'Push On' connectors, like female 'Spade' connectors,
or the round 'Bullet' connectors,
Don't forget to give the 'Push On Contact' areas of the connector a little tightening, especially if the pushed on, or pulled off very easily.
You want them to get a good grip,
BUT DON'T GO OVERBOARD!

Rust between body panels, between body and dash panel, between dash and gauge housings can all cause problems.

Same with corrosion on the NON-Ferrous connectors, like copper terminals.

Keep an eye out for breaks in the insulation where corrosion can start...
I don't know how many starters I've seen declared as 'JUNK' because the cable to them was faulty at the battery where battery acid had creeped in and corroded the wire inside the insulation where it wasn't visible,

Or how many starter wires I've seen that had the insulation broken where the wire bends to attach to the starter, and corroded up to the point the wire wouldn't conduct enough current to power up the starter correctly.

Keep a constant, and weary eye out for corrosion in any form,
And especially around breaks in the insulation!
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Unread 08-09-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
RULE #7.
STEEL IS A
HORRIBLE CONDUCTOR OF ELECTRICITY.

Recently, I acquired a CJ 2A and stripped the rotted body off down to bare frame and axles.
I was demonstrating to another Jeeper and friend how electricity would not conduct from one end of the vehicle to the other with a battery and jumper cables.

In the short distance of a VERY SHORT CJ 2A frame, the current was reduced by about 1/3!


Keep this in mind when you are trying to use your frame/body as a 'Ground'!

About 1/3 of the current you try and pass through those steel components is getting lost under IDEAL CONDITIONS!

It would have been MUCH worse if I had added in some rusty brackets, loose steel bolts, some painted surfaces, ect.

Simply DO NOT rely on your tub or frame to act as proper 'Ground',
ESPECIALLY if you intend to use high load devices, like winches, inverters, rear mounted batteries, ect.
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Unread 08-09-2009, 09:51 PM   #12
CJ Chet
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Yorktown, Virginia
Posts: 2,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
ANYTHING, AND I MEAN ANYTHING!,
That breaks the insulation of the wire or connection is not worth having!

'Scotch Locks' or anything else that 'Taps Into' a wire by breaking the insulation protection is NOT WORTH HAVING!
AMEN! I've seen alot of situations, while working for the Navy, where the wire (inside the insulation) was corroded through but the insulation APPEARED to be intact (good voltage but no current). What a troubleshooting nightmare! Only takes a tiny hole.
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Last edited by CJ Chet; 08-09-2009 at 10:04 PM..
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Unread 08-10-2009, 06:19 AM   #13
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
RULE #8.

JEEP WAS CHEAP!
THEY ONLY INSTALLED MINIMAL CIRCUITS TO MAKE THINGS WORK. IF YOU 'ADD ON' ANYTHING, YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE MORE ELECTRICAL CURRENT TO MAKE IT WORK CORRECTLY.


Besides NOT installing dedicated ground wires,
Jeep didn't use large enough wires for you to add anything to the factory circuits.

If you want to and much of anything, Axillary Lights, Communications Radios, Stereos, Electric Radiator Fans,...
Or even get enough current to the Head Lights to make them work correctly,
You will have to build the circuit from scratch....

For things like 'Accessories' or Headlights/Axillary lights, this usually means using an electrical RELAY and tapping power directly from the battery.

IF YOU DO THIS,
DO IT CORRECTLY!


Start your circuit someplace where you can tap battery power, but then put a fuse/fusible link/breaker in the circuit to protect that large cable that is comming directly from 'Battery' power...

Most people won't put in reasonable protection for the circuit in case the wire is grounded out.

Make sure you use a LARGE enough wire to 'Feed' your electrical load.

PROTECT YOUR WIRES!
Pay attention to things like 'Pinch Points', sharp edges, heat sources, ect.

The basic rule is,
"DON'T RUN WIRING WHERE YOU WOULDN'T PUT YOUR ARM DURING OPERATION!"

------------------------------------------

CONSIDER A SECONDARY 'FUSE' BLOCK IF YOU HAVE (OR PLAN) A LOT OF ACCESSORIES.

Nothing like having Ready Access to a viable fuse system when you want to add electrical accessories!
They are cheap, effective, easy to mount and make for a very good way to do things!
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Unread 08-10-2009, 08:22 PM   #14
kpauley
Registered User
1974 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Gilroy, CA
Posts: 77
This is good stuff, keep it coming. Will be a nice reference for me (and others ) to have all of this in one location.

I did want to note a couple things to make sure you know I am following instructions :-) I am crimping and soldering all connections and heat shrinking them with the sealing kind of heat shrink tubing. I think, based on what you have reiterated so far that I'm doing what you say....please specifically correct me if you see something that I am not, or if I mentioned something in my initial message that is incorrect.

I have posted a few more photos to show some of the progress. There are notes specific to each photo listed as you look at them individually on Picasa. I'm showing my alternator connections, the grounding post at the firewall, the starter solenoid and the starter. And please note, I am not finished. The old battery cables are still on there and I have not received my relays yet so there is still some stuff I need to button up around the circuit breakers and such. But should give an idea as to how things are progressing.

I'll reiterate my 3 questions from above too, so they do not get lost in all of the FAQ stuff that you've posted so far. The specific questions I had were:

1) does it sound like I have my wiring cleaned up correctly based on the descriptions
2) I have a stock alternator. Was thinking about the Delco 12 SI that JeepHammer recommends, but wanted to just buy one at the parts store with a lifetime warranty. Can I have a model number to ask for, or a vehicle year/make/model so I can get one that will bolt in?
3) I've been thinking about dual batteries. Live in California, will mostly be doing recreational driving, fire trails, not a lot of hard core stuff. I do plan on putting some driving lights on and we do have a Warn 9000 which could be used from time to time. It had melted the battery cables that were there before with the previous owner, so I want to make sure I do that right. Dual batteries would be to provide backup, good power, getting stranded would not be good for the marriage, especially if it was because I drained a battery and didn't have a dual battery setup that would get me home. So knowing which of the wiring setups would be wise for me, including wiring of the winch and the gauges of battery/winch cable to use would be good.

Pictures here, this link will take you to Picasa
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Unread 08-11-2009, 06:14 AM   #15
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 9,950
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpauley View Post
1) does it sound like I have my wiring cleaned up correctly based on the descriptions
Let me start off by saying, Not just GOOD, but VERY, VERY GOOD!

From the pictures you posted, you are doing and EXCELLENT job! You could work for me!

One thing I might mention,
You are heat shrinking over the factory plastic 'Insulation' on the terminals.
With a little heat, those will pull right off, and you will have a MUCH cleaner install.

If you leave them on the terminals, they allow an air gap under the heat shrink that moisture can sneak into...
That is the ONLY thing I see you have done that I wouldn't have!

The only other thing I see is your factory 'Open Plug' connectors don't seem to have any Dielectric grease in them.
I fill my factory plugs up with dielectric grease until it oozes out when the plugs are pushed together, then make sure the back side of the connection (Where you can see the wire & terminal where they go into the plug) have dielectric grease on the backsides.
Looks sloppy, but makes the factory open air plugs virtually waterproof,
And where grease is, moisture and corrosion can't be!

Quote:
2) I have a stock alternator. Was thinking about the Delco 12 SI that JeepHammer recommends, but wanted to just buy one at the parts store with a lifetime warranty. Can I have a model number to ask for, or a vehicle year/make/model so I can get one that will bolt in?
I shudder everytime someone asks for a 'Part Number' for a common item like an alternator from the 'Discount' places.
Just as soon as I post part numbers, the discount places change suppliers or numbering systems and the p/n I give is invalid and I get 10,000 PM's saying they can't get the item....

Any of the late 80's GM vehicles will have a 10 or 12 SI alternator, and it's simply 'Clocking' (the direction where the two wire plug comes out) is the difference.

With your particular alternator, a CS alternator will fit in the bracket better *I think*... CS 130 in particular should fit directly into your bracket if I'm identifying the alternator you have correctly from the pictures.
That would be mid to late 80's or early 90's GM vehicles, particularly the small pick up trucks.

Take a walk through a junk yard and have a look at the alternators with a tape measure, and see how far the mounting bolts are apart.
Once you find one that matches your bracket, you know what year to ask for.

Quote:
3) I've been thinking about dual batteries. Live in California, will mostly be doing recreational driving, fire trails, not a lot of hard core stuff.

I do plan on putting some driving lights on and we do have a Warn 9000 which could be used from time to time.

It had melted the battery cables that were there before with the previous owner, so I want to make sure I do that right.

Dual batteries would be to provide backup, good power, getting stranded would not be good for the marriage, especially if it was because I drained a battery and didn't have a dual battery setup that would get me home.
So knowing which of the wiring setups would be wise for me, including wiring of the winch and the gauges of battery/winch cable to use would be good.
Dual batteries can be hooked up in a number of ways, but I have my own way of doing most things.....
(as you guys know after reading some of my posts, I'm not always 'IN STEP' with common 'Thinking'...

I've been stranded a number of times in my own vehicles and vehicles owned by other people, and I've learned something every time...

Now, I don't get stranded due to electrical system problems anymore! I've worked out about every problem that can cause you to get stranded and found a way around it...

I will post up a thread on that when I'm done with the 10 'Rules'...
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