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School Me On Wiring

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Mr Vaughan, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Apr 19, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    i'd really like to redo the wiring on my jeep. it's a rat's nest, and there's exposed wires everywhere. it seems like a good way to prevent future issues, and make the things that we grafted in along the way (taillights, CB) more permanent. i need advice on everything, and even if it has been discussed before, this'll be a good way to get help along the way.
     
  2. Apr 19, 2021
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    How do you want to do this? I expect the cheapest way is to buy a 12-circuit hot rod harness on eBay and go to it. This will not give you the same wiring scheme as your Jeep came with. If you want, you can put it back to original using a reproduction harness like Walck's sells (more $). Another route would be to scavenge a bunch of wire at the junkyard and repair your original harness. Buying new wire will be the biggest expense if you want to restore the harness you have.

    Here's an example. Probably cheap wire, but good wire is expensive. You could buy this harness for just the wire. Or if you have access to a junk car, strip out as many long pieces of wire that you can. the junk wire will probably be much better quality.
    12 Circuit Universal Wiring Harness Muscle Car Hot Rod Street Rod XL Wires | eBay

    If you go custom, you need to document what you've done so that your wiring can be traced through later.

    Realize there's a bunch of inexpensive stuff that you'll need, but it will add up.

    Also realize that you don't really need a bunch of connectors. The connectors are there almost entirely for the convenience of the factory. They allow the Jeep to be assembled quickly on the assembly line. You can eliminate them and nothing bad will happen.

    Here is a good thread to start with - www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/basic-wiring-101-getting-you-started-1340134/

    I would also buy a decent multimeter and learn how to use it. Clip leads are good to have too - you can cut them up and use the ends to make long test leads if you need to. Buy or make a backprobe for your meter leads (a needle soldered to a wire works).

    I crimp, solder and adhesive heat-shrink all my splices. This thread discusses that some - Headlights Relays In Absurd Detail
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
    Fireball likes this.
  3. Apr 19, 2021
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    My opinion on something as simple as an old Jeep would be to buy a good fuse block (I like the bluesea brand), good wire and some connectors and wire it yourself. I bought a universal harness and returned it because it seemed a lot more confusing to me than just running new wires to a new fuse panel. It was easier for my brain to process an empty canvas and then adding ignition one day, headlights the next day, etc.

    I used connectors with preattached adhesive shrink tubing. Just crimp, heat and the connection is very strong and watertight.

    for a very basic setup, a 6 position fuse panel should be enough. I bought a 12 and half are still unused.
     
  4. Apr 19, 2021
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Suggest you get the factory wiring diagram and draw it out in color. Get a big box of colored pencils and tape together a bunch of sheets of paper, or get white shelf liner paper and draw on that. Just learning what's there and where it connects to will help you immensely. It's just a big pile of very simple circuits - not complicated. Learn some basic electricity, if you have not.

    Where this gets expensive is when you need a bunch of different colors of wire. You can buy one large roll of a single color, but then you had better label everything every few feet along its length.

    You don't need a fuse panel. The original wiring of your Jeep has a few inline fuses, and a single circuit breaker at the light switch. Again, learn the original wiring and it will help you. If you want inline fuse holders, you can buy them cheaply on eBay - likely they will ship from China. The modern blade-type inline fuse holders are usually waterproof, which is an advantage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  5. Apr 19, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    is there a good place to buy quality new colored wire? i was looking at waytek, but they sell in bulk.
     
  6. Apr 19, 2021
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    I bought mine from ebay about a year ago. This is the exact seller I bought from. 11 colors, 25 feet each, pure copper, $74 shipped. (Although I just checked my purchase history and it was $64 shipped when I bought it, so there might be better deals elsewhere).
    14 GAUGE GPT WIRE 11 COLORS 25 FT EA PRIMARY AWG STRANDED 100% OFC COPPER | eBay
     
  7. Apr 19, 2021
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    In a word, no.

    You can buy packs of (Deka, Peterson, Dorman) wire on RockAuto, but they won't be cheap. Electrical Wire Primary Wire Parts | RockAuto One or two packs is ok, but buying a lot of colors will get expensive.

    RockAuto had a close-out of Dorman wire from one of their warehouses a few years ago, and I bought every piece they were selling (12-15 packs?). I got a bunch of colors - shy on red and black - in uniformly dirty, torn, broken packaging, but it's good wire.

    That eBay guy would seem like a good source. I would suggest that you probably get the same thing with the hot rod harness for less money - check the wire lengths. Cut the fuse panel off if you don't want it. There are lots of similar offers on eBay. I suspect this is all wire imported and shipped from China - you'll pay more for domestic origin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  8. Apr 19, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy Member 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    I used one of those 12 circuit hot rod kits very similar to the one Timgr post a link for. I used it on a 32 Ford hot rod and it worked fine. The fuse box was labeled and already had the flasher for the turn signal circuit. It was fairly simple to install but you do need to know a little about electrical circuits.

    I was thinking of doing the same on my CJ5, but after getting into it and removing all of the various extras the previous owner had installed, I think I will just tidy it up and use the original harness.
     
  9. Apr 19, 2021
    Dave B

    Dave B Frankenjeep '67

    Northern Minnesota
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    Mr Vaughan, as a young man, if you can give attention to detail & enjoy a challenge, it can be fun. That word "fun" can be expressed in different ways, like, "Are we having fun yet???".

    I threw a few "extras" in my wiring as you can see from the busy dash, but as noted by others it goes "one wire at a time". Patience, planning & follow-through. I now have a personalized color-coded wiring diagram for my 1967 CJ5 and pages of a corresponding wiring key for reference.

    I'll post one dash picture, one behind the dash (before bundling/cleaning up the mess) & one in process picture just to "encourage" you! :) As you see--work with the dash unbolted & open. There are better fuse blocks, I just used what I had.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Apr 19, 2021
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Blind and Dirty 2020 Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    Another vote for a simple HotRod harness. Cheap complete and easy. Different Colored wire for each item.
     
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  11. Apr 19, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    mine's welded on.
    i'd kinda like to make my own, but if that's the most reasonable, i may just do that.

    just seems a bit boring to get something that goes right in, as opposed to making my own to fit perfectly. i need power for the CB, which i got from the heater wire (heater is long gone, but it may be replaced).i think it's also got a few extra gauges, which may or may not ned wiring. it's got a light in the top, which may or may not have been added at the dealer, and electric wiper.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    If you rolll your own find someone with a proper commercial duty set of crimpers to borrow and buy good quality brand name connectors such as Panduit, don't waste money on the cheap stuff or you'll be chasing gremlins for as long as have the jeep.
     
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  13. Apr 19, 2021
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Western CO
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    I completely re-wired my Jeep and a few others. Others have pointed out a lot of the big things, universal hot rod harness is definitely going to be your easiest starting point.

    Being as this is your first go with rewiring a vehicle, my #1 suggestions would be to do a mock-up on the floor. You can wire the entire thing outside the Jeep and test everything to make sure it works. Then just move the wiring into the Jeep. It's much easier to troubleshoot when it's splayed out on the garage floor.
     
  14. Apr 19, 2021
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    I don't think you'll be bored with the hot rod harness. This will require planning and some brain work.

    If you don't want the hot rod harness, one approach would be to copy the original wiring layout in new wire, then add an auxiliary panel for any accessories that you have. You can look at waterproof fuse panels from Blue Seas, or what Waytek and Del City offer.

    The factory would have bundled the harness to make it neat and easy to install. If you want to bundle for neatness, you will need to plan the routing in advance, maybe using the garage floor strategy that Durangotang suggests.
     
  15. Apr 19, 2021
    boopiejones

    boopiejones I can’t drive 55

    California east bay
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    I did all my wiring with dash attached. It wasn’t too difficult, and I suspect it will be a lot easier for you being younger and more bendy.
     
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  16. Apr 19, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    i think we have all the tools to do it right.
     
  17. Apr 19, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    maybe i should try to make my dash come out.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2021
    Dave B

    Dave B Frankenjeep '67

    Northern Minnesota
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    Sounds good to me. I don't even know how to spell "contortionist", but if you have to do all under-dash wiring with the welded-in-place dash you'll become one!
     
  19. Apr 19, 2021
    46ODDFIRE

    46ODDFIRE Member

    Newport News, VA
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    My dashboard is welded on, too. And I need to rewire, too. I'm thinking about moving all the gauges and controls to the windshield frame.
     
  20. Apr 19, 2021
    supertrooper

    supertrooper Member

    moreno valley, ca
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    I used a 12 circuit rot rod harness. Was easy to install with the supplied instruction booklet. All wires are longer than needed and were labeled. My suggestion is to lay out the harness and bundle the wires for what section of the jeep they are for and tackle one section at a time. Took me one day to install. Only regret is not getting the 21 circuit, had to add a second fuse block for accessories.
     

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