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Unread 09-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
jordanhc
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1985 CJ7 
 
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Wiring the igntion with a relay

I recently aquired an 85 CJ-7. The PO left me with the standard hacked up wiring harness with lots of very poorly connected splices in it so I've been going through and replacing much of the wiring. Found the power wire from the ignition switch going to ignition control module and the ignition coil and noticed its an 8 gauge. I don't really know much about ignition systems but I assume if it needs an 8 gauge wire it must pull a lot of amps. Seems to me that running all that power through the ignition switch is a bad design and I should rewire it through a relay. So the question is, is this a good idea? Also, how many amps would the relay need to be rated for?

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Unread 09-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
86cj74.2L
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The factory wire size I thought was a #10.

But yes I thought about clipping the red with white stripe as it came through the firewall and having that wire energize a relay and then using that relay output to re-feed the red with white stripe wire to remove most of the load from the ignition switch.

A 30a relay should do it.
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Unread 09-02-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
jordanhc
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Thanks for the info. I think I will go to the junkyard tomorrow and see if I can find a relay box to put all the loose relays in and add in relays for the ignition and headlights as well.
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Unread 09-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
86cj74.2L
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Try a s series Saturn. Take the hole under hood junction box. Rewire it as needed.
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Unread 09-03-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
BagusJeep
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It is rare to get the switch to fail just because of the ignition current. The ignition circuit is not even fused as it is a reliability issue, dead fuse / relay = stranded CJ.

It is also means any future owner will curse the PO (you) for putting in a relay.

However there are plenty of circuits which would benefit from relays and heavier power and return cables, lights being a major one. The voltage drop along those undersize wires kills the lights.
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