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Unread 07-17-2008, 05:37 PM   #1
waterboarder
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CoolTech 5 switch panel for JK wiring

Well, I installed my CoolTech 5 switch panel back in December. It has not been wired up to anything for the past 7 months or so and I am getting ready to wire it up soon. I thought I'd share my intermediate results, for anyone who is interested.

The general idea of course is to make all wiring nice and neat and tidy. I had wiring that's all in a mess, hanging down, etc. I also wanted something that would be safe. Don't want to catch my Jeep on fire (:

To cut down on the wiring, I decided to use a common ground for all 5 lighted switches. That means the wiring harness needed 11 wires - 5 pairs for hot (+) and load (accessory), plus 1 for common ground. At the switch end, the common ground needs to go to all 5 switches, so what I will do is put a ground screw there and attach the common ground (with a terminal end to it). I also made 5 little pigtails to run from the switch grounds to this local ground screw.

Also, I decided to use black wire for all of the hot wires (5), white for the ground (1 + 5 pig tails) and a different colour for each accessory/load wire (red, green, brown, yellow, blue). I figured this would help me keep track of what goes to what. Also, I twisted together the pairs of hot and load wires, to keep them together and help ensure that I don't cross-wire anything.

To help make things nice and tidy, I decided that I would run all wires through an auxillary fuse box (not yet purchased). So, what you will see in this post is the wiring harness as it connects to the switch panel, with the other end more or less prepared to connect to the aux fuse box once I get it and hook it up (I may need to revise that end a bit, once I get the fuse box). Looking ahead - the "load" end of the wires at the fuse box end do not go to the fuse box of course - they just end in the fuse box area - and will be connected to a relay or wire that goes to whatever accessory they are designated to switch. Does that make sense?

As of right now, I'm planning on the following accessories:

Switch 1 (brown): PIAA driving lights (needs relay)
Switch 2 (blue): Stock fog lights (needs relay)
Switch 3 (yellow): Reserved for future use
Switch 4 (green): Backup lights (no relay needed)
Switch 5 (red): trailer 7-pin "hot" wire (will use relay)

So far - I've assembled what you see in the pictures. I've tested all wires for continuity from end to end (the connectors I've clamped on), including the ground pigtails as connected through the common ground screw. I've also did a little switch test, and verified that all switches work and light up as they are supposed to, and enable their load wires with 12v when turned on and disable their load wires with 12v when turned off. So, what I have done so far is basically read to install. The other end will not be attached to anything at this point, but I'm going to install what I have in preparation for the fuse box end of things (:

Over in the fuse box area, I'll make a little plate for mounting my relays,
and then mount that plate to something, along with the aux fuse box.

So - that's it so far (;

td

switch_plate.jpg   5_switch_harness_web.jpg   5_switch_panel_2_web.jpg   5_switch_panel_3_web.jpg  
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Unread 07-17-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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Good for future reference as I'm planning on getting that panel. Good work.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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I don't know why, but those switches bug the hell out of me.
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Unread 07-17-2008, 10:03 PM   #4
waterboarder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResQGrnRubi View Post
I don't know why, but those switches bug the hell out of me.
I'd recommend not installing them then. No sense in driving around unhappy.

As for my install - I have the wiring harness in place, the switch panel hooked up, and have completed a round of testing. All switches work fine. I did one load test with my PIAA lights - that worked too. Work has stopped until I get an aux fuse box to install.

Routing the harness was a bit of work because it is so fat. After some trial and error - what I ended up doing was stuffing it through the front of the console first (see pictures 1,2). It was all I could do to stuff it in there and pull it out from the back end. I scuffed up the metal tape pretty good - but it came through OK.

Next, I routed it over to the driver's area and behind the pedals (picture 3). It does not hang down as much as this picture makes it look like - it really is tucked up there. I still need to secure with zip ties though. I routed it through the hole in the firewall, up behind the steering wheel somewhere, and then pulled it through from the other side.

I routed it along the fire wall over to the battery area (pictures 4, 5). Unfortunately, it came up just a bit short. When I measured it out, I figured 4' across the engine compartment, and then doubled that. I figured that going across the vehicle and back would be enough. I ended up losing a full foot to wire twisting, but I still should have had more slack than I ended up with. I'm not sure what happened. I should have made a 9' harness, which would have given me 8' after twisting, and then it would have been perfect. Oh well. I'll end up making a little extender harness 6 to 8" long and then it will be just fine (future installers, cut your wires to 9').

After scoping out the engine area - I'm going to try installing a mounting plate for the aux fuse box and relays on the side of the plastic divider next to the battery (see picture 5). That should give me plenty of clearance for everything and help make my install for accessories and such all nice and tidy.

That's it until I get the fuse box.

By the way - I do plan to paint those little chrome-ish rings on the switch panel flat black. (:

Cheers!
td
routing_1.jpg   routing_2.jpg   routing_3.jpg   routing_4.jpg   routing_5.jpg  


Last edited by waterboarder; 07-18-2008 at 01:29 AM..
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Unread 07-17-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Nice Job on the harness and the demo............Now I know how to save money as well. No Armour-All.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 02:38 AM   #6
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I like it.....
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Unread 07-18-2008, 03:01 AM   #7
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Great work! I see that you are using PIAA lights....how did you get it so that just simply not use the switches that came with the lights and usedor did youEver considering making a few extra for sale to those who may not have the electrical talents that you have
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Unread 07-18-2008, 03:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie23 View Post
Great work! I see that you are using PIAA lights....how did you get it so that just simply not use the switches that came with the lights and usedor did youEver considering making a few extra for sale to those who may not have the electrical talents that you have
Uh...I'm not sure what you're asking me about the PIAA lights. I could use the switch that came with them - I've been using it - I'd just rather wire the PIAA lights to this switch panel I've got to make for a cleaner look, have all my switches in one place, etc.

I'd be happy to make you a similar harness for cost, plus shipping, plus some profit to make it worth my time. PM me if you're interested (:
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Unread 07-18-2008, 07:51 AM   #9
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Wow Dog! Nice work! Wish I was that ambitious


Hey- quick question... I have the same Cooltech switches. I wired up my KC's months ago. Now this weekend I'm going to be wiring up another set of lights, but I can't remember which connector is which (on the switch).

I can tell by looking at your pictures that the top connector is ground- simple enough.

So can you tell me which (of the remaining two) is positive in, and which goes out to the relay?
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Unread 07-18-2008, 09:12 AM   #10
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N2Rock,

From TG's post and my slipping memory. The middle connector is the "hot" wire and the other outside connector is the load. Meaning what ever you are going to run,,,,lights, lava lamp, lighted dancing hula girl.

Hope that helps,
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Unread 07-18-2008, 09:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhight View Post
N2Rock,

From TG's post and my slipping memory. The middle connector is the "hot" wire and the other outside connector is the load. Meaning what ever you are going to run,,,,lights, lava lamp, lighted dancing hula girl.

Hope that helps,
Got it

Top- ground
middle- hot
bottom- relay

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Unread 07-18-2008, 01:31 PM   #12
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Will you be running relays with the switches or directly powering lights, etc??? Just be careful not to overload the 14awg wire. You might need to use a small fire extinguisher if the wires get too hot. Looks purdy, though. I use to build wiring harnesses back in high school as a night job.
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Unread 07-18-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2rock View Post
Got it
Top- ground
middle- hot
bottom- relay
No. Look at my pictures again - the one where you're looking directly down on the switches with the wiring.

White: ground
Black: hot (from battery)
Colour: load/accessory/relay

As you can see - the top is ground, the bottom is hot, the middle is load.
Also, the switch itself is marked this way (:

Hope this helps!
td
5_switch_panel_3_web.jpg  
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Unread 07-18-2008, 01:36 PM   #14
N2rock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdog View Post
No. Look at my pictures again - the one where you're looking directly down on the switches with the wiring.

White: ground
Black: hot (from battery)
Colour: load/accessory/relay

As you can see - the top is ground, the bottom is hot, the middle is load.
Also, the switch itself is marked this way (:

Hope this helps!
td
Thanks for clearing that up!
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Unread 07-18-2008, 02:59 PM   #15
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WOW,
I had to go back and look at that pic one more time. I sure missed that one didn't I. Well now we know not to listen to a thing I say....

Glad he got you lined out.

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