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Rewiring FEAR!

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Gregg, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Aug 16, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
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    49
    About 4 years ago I bought a Centech wiring kit for my 69 CJ5 with 225 engine. Since then I look at it on the shelf in my shop and think I really should do this. But I can't bring myself to rip out a running electrical system and start over. I know I should, My under dash is a real mess of wires every where but it all works fine and in several years off driving it there have been no problems.
    If I can get the courage how should I proceed? Should I just tear out everything and start from scratch installing the kit? OR try to parallel it a little at a time? A big part of my question is the dash. I bought a new fiberglass dash back then also and if I'm going to do this I'd like to pre build a nice clean dash. I'm thinking though I'd have to build steel brackets for the steering column support I think (I have Herm's P/S kit with the stock column) and build some kind of support for the radio. I'm thinking I'll move the CB out of the dash and hang it somewhere else (it is really small). My thinking is also to buy a switch panel from Summit for all the switches and ignition switch. Since I don't really drive this on the street I'd leave off the CJ instrument cluster and just use my GPS for Speedo when I drive it. I already have Oil, Volts, and temp gauges and would add a fuel gauge. I really don't ever drive it in the dark so I could do the stock lights and driving lights over time. My winch is a direct wire to the battery although I'm thinking I'll install a dual battery switch I have under the hood and run the hot winch line into that. That way I can just turn off the entire system when it is parked. I also have dual line locks, one front and one rear that will need a switch that matches everything.
    I know there are really a lot of questions here, but has anybody done something similar and what kind of advice might you all have for me?
     
  2. Aug 16, 2008
    w3srl

    w3srl Semi-retired in Florida Staff Member

    Port Orange, FL
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    4,071
    I used an EZ-Wire (very similar) harness in my flattie, and it was so easy I don't think I'd ever do it any other way ever again. It will honestly be more trouble than it is worth to try to parallel it, and everything is well marked in the kits. Just take your time, and plan it so you won't need the Jeep for a few days while you work on it.

    A trick I learned was to lay the new harness out on the driveway and group all the wires by where they will end up, such as dash, front, rear, engine, etc. These I grouped into bundles with bread-ties and this made it super-easy to keep it all straight.

    Good luck to you! :beer:
     
  3. Aug 16, 2008
    grannyscj

    grannyscj Headed to the Yukon

    Anchorage, AK
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    Dec 19, 2005
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    1,762
    Steve gives great advice and I agree that it was very easy. Getting the old wires out of the way is the only way to go. Start fresh, buy shrink tubed and sealed terminal connectors, a butane pin torch, and corrugated split wrap. A stretch vinyl tape is better than electrical tape for securing the wrap. Add what circuits you need before you move it into the jeep, although you may have enough extra circuits already in place, I did.
    It'll be one of the best things you do for your jeep.:v6:
     
  4. Aug 16, 2008
    wrenchbender1

    wrenchbender1 New Member

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    Apr 23, 2007
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  5. Aug 16, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    I used an EZWire harness as well, and posted an project writeup on my blog.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    May 30, 2008
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    49
    Thanks guys, you all are a big encouragement. I'll read your write up today Mike. I'm a little fuzzy on what these are: shrink tubed and sealed terminal connectors.
    gregg
     
  7. Aug 16, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Sep 20, 2002
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    Shrink tubing == rubber-ish tube that shrinks when you heat it. You cover the connection between wire and terminal with a small piece of shrink tubing, heat it up so it shrinks, and you get a nicer looking and more water tight connection.

    Sealed terminal connectors == I *think* you mean the connectors you can buy (spade connectors etc) that have some sort of shrink tubing built into them (more $$, but nice). I also found some that had solder inside so heating the connector both soldered the wire to the connector and shrunk the outside of the connector.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    May 30, 2008
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    Mike, Thanks for the write up. That makes me feel a little better. I'm still deciding what to do about the dash. I ordered the same switch plate and ignition/starter plate you used I think. Also If I keep the steel dash I can't get it off either and will need to lay under it like you did to wire the gauges. I also will have to do it slowly as my neck and shoulder are messed up from to many racing crashes. I like your idea of running the rear wires through the body rather than under.
    The whole thing looks pretty scary though. I suspect like a lot of things I need to just start. I spread the fuse block and wires out in my shop and started trying to figure out which group went where and taped and marked a few. The big thing for me is to get it running quickly so I can move it around. Then I can take a long time piddling around with everything else.
     
  9. Aug 17, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    For me the wiring project was not overwhelming, but not one to get done in a hurry. I went at it slowly trying to do it as cleanly as possible.

    Here's the switch panel I used, but note that I pulled the fuses and covered the holes with the labels I had made.
     
  10. Aug 17, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    That is the same one I ordered. I also ordered a start panel from Summit with just an ignition switch and a start button since I don't need a key. Your piece looked like you did something similar. I'm not sure how it will hook up for accessories.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    I bought a off/on/momentary toggle switch to handle starting, but also wired it in using relays. I don't have an accessory position - it just all comes on together. Haven't missed it much yet - the interior lights are on a always-hot circuit, and I don't run a radio, etc.
     
  12. Aug 19, 2008
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
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    Rewiring fixed many issues for me. I rewired mine 1 circuit at a time and did not use a kit. I started out doing one repair and then found more insulation faults and ended up rewiring everything. I also installed new gauges and sending units while I was there.

    If you have never installed connectors and used heat shrink just find some wire and do some practice. I would also invest in a quality crimping tool. Home Depot sells a Klein which is not too much money. Practice will help your fears.

    Mike is right on target with the more expensive connectors. You have invested in the wiring kit and a few bucks more there will be worth the insignificant cost.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Aug 19, 2008
    64Jeeper

    64Jeeper I have Brakes!

    Spring City, Pa.
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
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    97
    I've rewired two Jeeps so far. The first was a '75 CJ5 with a Nissan Diesel from an '80 International Scout, and the second was a '84 CJ7 with a Howel TBI. Both Jeeps used the Painless wiring harness.
     
  14. Sep 1, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    May 30, 2008
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    UPDATE! It was really hard to start cutting all the old wire off the Jeep but I did it. I started out by mounting the FUSE block on the firewall below and left of the heater. Then I used a sawsall to cut out a square on the left side of the dash for my 5 switch plate. That will operate pretty much everything except the headlights. My driving lights are on a dash mounted switch and I'm not sure about that yet. I decided to eliminate the key and use an on off ignition switch and start panel with button. So the next task was cutting out the dash for that. I wired up the start ign. assembly and WOW the Jeep starts. Amazing.
    I've decided this rewiring thing is a lot like life, over whelming if you look at the whole thing but doable one wire at a time :=) I used to drink a bit and learned "One Day At a Time" three years ago as I got help with it.
    I wish I knew how to post pictures as I think that would help others. I guess that is a topic for another day.
    Anybody know what the FUSE LINK wires do? I didn't read the instructions about them until I was past that point and am deciding if I should go back and install them?
    gregg
     
  15. Sep 1, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    EZWire Harness?

    IIRC the fuse link wire went on the main power wire to the starter. I remember re-doing that connection to put the fusible link wire in.
     
  16. Sep 1, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    May 30, 2008
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    I'm using a CENTECH WIRING KIT # GV-16. I think it is pretty similar to the EZ Wire setup.
    I'm just curious about the fuse-link wires as I don't think there is anything like that on the stock wiring. I suppose if there is big short it would keep the wiring from burning up. But I'm also thinking a failure could strand me some where with dead electronics.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2008
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    I'll take the failure over the fire.

    I just left the power wire long enough to reach the starter w/o the fusible link -- should that ever be necessary.
     
  18. Sep 1, 2008
    Gregg

    Gregg Gregg

    Oak Hills
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    Good idea!
     
  19. Sep 1, 2008
    wheelin69

    wheelin69 Member

    Thorntown, IN
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    Aug 24, 2008
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    so I am interested in eventually doing this too, anyone know if there is a GOOD reason for the kit from Painless Wiring to be double the price of the ones from Centech or Walcks4wd.com?? Those better be some DARN good wires...and it better pretty much install itself...
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  20. Sep 1, 2008
    Joe 69cj5

    Joe 69cj5 Going into Retirement

    Llano Ca.
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
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    152
    I did the painless wire loom its on its way. I'll let know!!
     

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