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Unread 03-09-2010, 05:12 AM   #1
adman02
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 296
Electrical questions

I've been building out the "ground" system in my 78 CJ7 per JeepHammer's schematic here and I have two questions:
  1. What's the best way to "ground" sub-systems like the tail lights/fuel gauge, dash instruments, headlights, etc? I'm thinking I should install a ground bar behind the dash and run all ground wires from it to the various systems. Is that a good idea? If so, should I run a 4 gauge wire to this ground bar or will a 10 ga wire suffice?
  2. I have a fusible link for the positive lead between the alternator and the pos side of the starter solenoid, however, I've noticed there are two red wires that leave/terminate here (but only one goes to the alternator). Does each red wire from the solenoid require it's own fusible link or just the one to the alternator?

Would appreciate any info you guys can share. In full disclosure, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to electrical stuff.

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Unread 03-09-2010, 05:43 AM   #2
Softdraw
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I installed the grounding system he describes as well. I'd be hard pressed to find an upgrade I've done that has been more beneficial than this one. Voltage output on my voltage gauge is rock solid and my starter doesn't bog down a bit. With regard to your questions though, unfortunately I stopped within the engine bay and haven't grounded yet anything behind the dash or beyond. What I have read about though is one Jeeper that installed a firewall pass-through lug he purchased from Summit. It is a big, beefy double-sided, insulated stud that allows a conductor (either positive or negative) to land on the engine bay side and safely carry through the firewall to allow termination of a variety of items behind the firewall. I think this is them. Painless Wiring 40106 - Painless Performance Remote Battery Junction Terminal Kits - Overview - SummitRacing.com
Seems a little pricey to me. Surely something can be homemade for much less. Especially since it's a grounding lug you are after...not much reason to insulate it from the firewall.
My guess would be that a 10 gauge wire should be sufficient to the back of the dash. There aren't any power hogs back there.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
John Strenk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adman02 View Post
I've been building out the "ground" system in my 78 CJ7 per JeepHammer's schematic here and I have two questions:
  1. What's the best way to "ground" sub-systems like the tail lights/fuel gauge, dash instruments, headlights, etc? I'm thinking I should install a ground bar behind the dash and run all ground wires from it to the various systems. Is that a good idea? If so, should I run a 4 gauge wire to this ground bar or will a 10 ga wire suffice?
  2. I have a fusible link for the positive lead between the alternator and the pos side of the starter solenoid, however, I've noticed there are two red wires that leave/terminate here (but only one goes to the alternator). Does each red wire from the solenoid require it's own fusible link or just the one to the alternator?

Would appreciate any info you guys can share. In full disclosure, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to electrical stuff.
Both red wires leaving the terminal post on the starter solenoid require a fuseable link.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
JeepHammer
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Location: South West Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adman02 View Post
Would appreciate any info you guys can share. In full disclosure, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to electrical stuff.
"Idiot" would indicate you aren't capable of learning.

"Ignorant" would be more appropriate, that simply means you don't have an understanding of the subject.

I would say that "Learning" is more appropriate since you are asking here for guidance!

Mike Romain and John Strenk are the guys to teach you about what's going on!
No question they are not only the most knowledgeable about the electrical systems,

But both take a 'Horse Sense' approach to the 'Issues'...
You won't see them telling you to buy a $500 aftermarket harness for something that will take you 20 minutes and $5 to repair/replace/upgrade!

John has some of the best diagrams/pictures I've ever seen, and when he starts putting the electrical diagram next to the picture of the actual wiring, it makes things SO MUCH BETTER to understand!
And you learn how to read electrical diagrams and schematics in the process!

Who else do you know that has dissected an entire Jeep wiring harness, taken pictures of every wire, connector, splice, fuse and labeled all the wires in the pictures for the guys trying to figure out what's going on!?!

Just the time alone to do all that makes me crazy!
--------------------------------------

Mike is the most down to earth guy when it comes to fixes!
He REALLY has a way of putting it to the 'Brass Tacks' test when people don't know what they are doing, or are confused about what they should do!

You can tell he has spent most of his life with greasy fingers, busted knuckles and probably has purple dings in his fingernails!
There is NO TEACHER LIKE EXPERIENCE!
And his experience comes through in his advice!
------------------------------

I WISH I could do what they do, but I spend my life being side tracked by esoteric details... Must be 'Senior' moments! Farts-Heimers or something... (When my brain sucks a fart... )
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Unread 03-09-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softdraw View Post
...What I have read about though is one Jeeper that installed a firewall pass-through lug he purchased from Summit. It is a big, beefy double-sided, insulated stud that allows a conductor (either positive or negative) to land on the engine bay side and safely carry through the firewall to allow termination of a variety of items behind the firewall....
Not really necessary with 'Grounding'...
Just use a brass bolt or insulated wire with grommet in the hole...

Since it's NEGATIVE, or 'GROUND', you don't have to insulate the pass through of the firewall.

Now, if you were going to run a POSITIVE into the passenger compartment, for something like an MSD module, Inverter, ect.
That would be beneficial.

I'm still leary of having my terminals out there in open space for moisture, corrosion, tools or what ever to get up against...
I think a hole with grommet, with a heavy insulated wire would be the best way to do that pass through since it's MUCH CHEAPER,
And it's environmentally sealed.
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Unread 03-09-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
adman02
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 296
Definitely have benefitted from the experience of all three of you guys (Mike, John and JeepHammer) already. Thank you.

@ softdraw - The grounding system provided a noticeable difference in my jeep, too. The starter no longer strains at the turn of the key...especially when starting a warm engine.

@ John - Out of curiosity, where does the other red wire go? Is there a schematic somewhere online?

Any thoughts on installing a "grounding" bar behind the dash? Is it better to do that or better to tie the grounding wires directly to my newly installed grounding post on the fender?
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Unread 03-18-2010, 10:05 PM   #7
adman02
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 296
JeepHammer, John Strenk, Mike Romain - HELP!

I'm trying to build a ground system for the rear electronics (fuel sending unit, brake lights, etc.). I've found this diagram online CJ-Wiring-Diagram-1979 but don't really know how to read it. And I think I'm lacking in some basic wiring skills like how to tie all of the grounding wires into one wire that leads back to my grounding post. Any thoughts or advice to offer a wiring newbie?
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