INSTALLING THE WIRING SYSTEM
STEP 16:  INSTALLING THE WIRING and WIRING HARNESS

The heart of our electrical system was the 14-circuit, Saint Wire and Cable "Kwik Wire" harness.  There is obvious quality in the components, and all parts were very well marked to make the installation do-able.   All we added to this kit was wire loom, quick splicers, black vinyl and black rubber tape, and various extra connectors.

We have to say that the written instructions were less than the best, and as a result, the start of this installation was very confusing.  After four days of studying the parts in the kit instructions, laying things out in the garage, calling the "Kwik Wire" folks, and going to the Library and making copies of the wiring diagrams for the donor truck and donor steering column, we finally figured out how things were supposed to work.

Once the mystery of the installation was removed, we made very quick progress on wiring.  Our biggest concerns were the number of firewall penetrations that we needed to make, and where to make them.   The kit provided plenty of firewall grommets, but we're going to add some extra water proofing to keep the inside dry.  The other thing we realized early on in this phase of our build, was that the 14-circuit kit, was going to be overloaded.  We added an additional six circuit fuse block to our truck for $25 from JC Whitney.   The extra fuse block carries our cruise control, CB radio, extra ceiling lights, fog lights, etc.

Perhaps the hardest part of the wiring effort was the dash board.  Next time we do a build, we will pre-wire an instrument harness to make the dash a plug-'n-play style installation.

All exterior wiring runs were put inside black plastic wire loom.

Finally, we decided that our ride is going to experience some extreme wilderness conditions here in Idaho, and we felt like the battery needed to be protected.  We purchased a $70 aluminum battery box from Summit Racing to enclose the battery,and make it easier to mount.

We used some 3/16" plate, and fabbed a firewall mounted shelf for the box, and located it high, and as close to centerline as we could to maintain tire clearance.  We added a slope to the shelf so if the box fills with water, it will drain.   We suspect there is a real possibility of snow, ice and river water in our plans.  As a side note, we have no idea how other builders installed their batteries, but we're pretty satisfied with ours.  It is sturdy, and helped us solve a couple other mounting problems.  We have two windshield wiper bottles and our A/C Hose hanger mounted on this box as well.
We plan to add more wiring photos and text in the days to come.

Note:  Much of our electrical system has been tested with our family 7.5 KW emergency generator battery, but some of the circuits, like the ignition, can't be tested until we are ready to start the engine.  We will add a whole page for the start-up, and hope to develop and explain our start-up checklist.
Home-made Battery Box Shelf
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