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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I started work on re-wiring my fog and driving lights and also adding 12V at my hitch. I have gotten the switches wired to a mounting panel and to a wire to wire connector for easy disconnect when removing the dash knee panel.

This will be a fully independent wiring set up with power coming from the battery to a fuse block across relays to the lights and from the switch to the relays. Its not going to hook to the head lights in any way.

There have been a number of questions about fog lights recently and I was wondering if anyone would like to see the process I am using? I could do a write up on it with pictures if you guys are interested.

If no one responds here I'll just go ahead and do the job and not bother writing anything up on it.
 

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Please do a write up as i will be installing lights soon, and instructions are great but seeing how someone else did it is just as good, sometimes.

TIA,
95rodeo4x4 :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just so you know,

I haven't forgotten you 95Rodeo4x4. I've been gathering bits and pieces and making a harness.


Switch harness to be mounted on the dash to the left of the steering wheel.


Most of the components going into the system. Not yet shown are the 3 wire and 4 wire terminal blocks that will mount to the enclosure for connecting wires without having to pass them through the enclosure.

I'll be modifying the enclosure to fit under the hood by cutting a 2" section out of the total length and drilling holes for wire terminals and such. It will be later this week or next before I actually start putting things into the truck.

For now, the harness color code is as follows:

Red: Hitch power for scooter lift
White: Driving lights
Yellow: Fog lights
Blue: Power to switches (3amp fused)
Brown: Ground to switches

I'll update this as I go along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yesterday I got the enclosure cut down and wired. Please forgive the crummy photo. One of these days I need a better camera.

Remember that free space is very limited under the hood, especially if your rig is a 6cyl. So be sure to plan ahead for a mounting location so you'll know the area you have for an enclosure and to hook up the wires.



The idea is to have all of the components in a water resistant enclosure (NEMA 4X type). I don't go off roading with my 2WD, but we get really heavy rains here in Tampa with some pretty deep puddles that often splash water inside the engine compartment. Plus I take her to the car wash at least twice a year to steam clean the engine compartment. I didn't want water to be able to get to the connections or the relays.

If you are the type to go swimming with your rig and you want to do something similar to this you'll need a NEMA 6X box. They are water proof (until you start drilling holes for the wires) and can withstand a depth of over 1000 feet. Hopefully you'll never have need to keep you wires dry at that depth.

The connections on the right are where the switches and power from the battery connect. The left side is going out to the lights, hitch, and ground.

I also cut the fuse block down from six positions to four. A four position block is available, but getting one is a hassle. So I just modified the six pos. piece. Its mounted to a plastic piece that I cut to fit into the box and line up with mounting bosses already in the box.

The relays are from a local u-pull-it out of a Pontiac Firebird. They are Potter-Bumsfield relays which is a name I've trusted for years for relays in high voltage (240Vac - 60Amp) electronics. They are secured to the enclosure using tabs of carpet tape :). I figured that if the tape was good enough to hold small pieces of wood to a jig for routing a profile in my other hobby, it would work to hold the relays.

All of the entry holes in the enclosure have been sealed and tested by spraying the box with the water hose. The box got wet on the outside, but no water go into the wiring.

Here is the schematic I'm working from. The only change is the circuit breaker which is shown as a 15amp. I upped it to a 50amp based on the advice given to me by other planet members and the scooter lift manufacturer.



In case you're wondering what the black bolt thing is in the bottom right. That is a special venting device used to prevent condensation inside the box. Hot days followed by cool nights create ungodly amounts of condensation here. Any closed container that does not "breathe" quickly fills up with water here.

Next comes the hard part, cutting the dash panel to get the switches mounted. My old set up only needed a hole for the wires to pass through, this new one needs a large enough hole for three switches to fit into the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks psguardian Getting the enclosure the right size for everything to fit inside and for the finished unit to fit the truck was a bit of a challenge. The trick is to leave enough room to be able to connect the wires once the box is mounted. Not always an easy thing in cramped quarters.

No pics yet, will take some tomorrow if it doesn't rain. Was hoping to get everything finished today, but found a bad radiator hose so replaced both of them instead. After all, I got my money's worth from the hoses as they were the original factory hoses that came on the truck when I bought it brand new from the dealer. Would you believe that the 2.6 has the same hose on both the top and bottom of the radiator? Its true. The hoses fit either end, you just have to cut about 2" off the top one. They are the same part number from Advanced Auto Parts - their number C70986 @ $14.49 each. Not bad for a molded hose that is an exact fit for the original.

Anyways, besides the hoses, I got the switches mounted in the dash and tied into the fuse block on the left of the dash, the wires are run to the engine compartment, and the relay enclosure is mounted to the passenger side fender well.

All that is left now is to connect the wires from the switches to the terminals on the enclosure and then run out to the lights and the hitch. Then will run power from the battery to the enclosure, and the ground to both the body and frame.

Once that is all done I'll sit around and be bored until I think of something else to do either in the wood shop or to the rig. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got a little more done today.

The 3 switch panel is all wired up and installed in the dash. Brown self-tapping TEX screws are used to mount the panel and add a little rugged look to things


The enclosure is mounted in the engine compartment. The "legs" that are serving as enclosure mounts and leveling devices on the wheel well are two pieces of steel strapping that once were support braces for a set of WWII era military shelving. I was able to use one of the Isuzu mount bolts that hold the brake device to the wheel well but its not shown in the pictures. For the other three locations, I bent the strap so that they sat evenly against the wheel well and used self-tapping TEX screws to secure them. I love those TEX screws!




The wire harness from the switches is routed through the firewall, and connected to the switch side of the enclosure. Its the black wire loom held down with white wire ties. There was an empty set of factory clamps across my firewall where the break and clutch lines go, so I used those clamps to secure the harness over to the enclosure






Maybe could have gotten more done, but just as I was getting ready to connect the switch harness to the enclosure, I knocked my roll of tape off the battery into a deep black hole!



Why is it that every time a tool are a part falls it seems to disappear or go into a parallel universe?

It went so far down that I had only two options, take the air tunnel out, or try to fish it out with some stiff wire. Its a holiday, so fishing seemed to be the way to go. Silly me. I only succeeded in knocking it further down into the hole and completely out of sight! After twenty minutes of searching... I finally found the tape hiding behind this thing!



I only found it because it fell out when I poked my hand behind that mount... sheesh!

I realize that most of you could do this job in a couple of hours, but please remember that I have only one good leg and that isn't very strong either. Pulling ones self off the ground, trying to support ones self with a cane while reaching for wires is a bit different, and constantly having to sit down for a break because your legs are too tired to hold you up without shaking is a major PITA! Sometimes they get to shaking so bad that I fall down . I guess my Webble is busted cause every time I wobble I fall down! So doing this job takes me a lot longer than it would a whole person. I hope you all don't loose patience with me through this little job.

BTW... I finally broke down and drove my baby off road today....



Had to move it from the driveway over to a shady spot in the front yard... :glasses7: Good looking sticker in the rear window, don't you think?
 

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No need to explain to all the would be haters why its progressing slowly,it looks good and neat,and best of all you know what all the wires and switches are and what they do :wink:

And the BTW...I finally drove my baby offroad....made me laugh....thank you!!!

Keep up the good work,maybe you can come up to URE in the fall...lots of sitting around and B.S'ing and the campground is paved with asphalt also, so its chair and golfcart friendly
 

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this looks like a good and easy schematic for when I install my lights.

Looking good!

HA off road :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This post will be next to last in this write up.

I shall begin at the fuse block inside the cab where the three switches receive their power.

The small black device with the red wire is a circuit extender. It has provision for two fuses and can be put in any of the fuse positions. It comes with 4 fuses of various sizes. IF you put it into a currently used fuse location in your truck, the wired slot is for the new circuit and the non-wired slot is for the existing circuit. I choose the 3 amp fuse that came with the extender to handle the switches. The fuse slot I chose to power the switches requires that the key be turned to the ON position (not the accessory pos) for there to be any power. The switches have bright red lights in them and should I ever over look those glowing red lights, this prevents me from forgetting that the lights are on with the truck turned off.

You can not see the switch ground wire with the dash panel in place, but the switches are grounded to one of the screws that holds the fuse panel in place. All under-dash wires are encased in flexible loom conduit to help prevent wires rubbing on metal dash parts and shorting out. Sparks under the dash are not a good thing! This picture also shows the three switches mounted in their panel on the dash.



Now we'll move under the hood.

First, the location of the enclosure makes a very short run directly to the battery. So I drew power from the positive and ground from the negative of the battery rather than splicing into another power source or making a new ground connection.

From the battery positive terminal, (using 10 awg wire) the power first goes to a 50 Amp circuit breaker that you can almost see in the next photo.



Power in goes to the brass terminal and power out on the stainless terminal. I used household wire nuts as insulators on the terminals as I mounted the circuit breaker to the fender well with both terminals sticking straight up and so I figured they needed some protection against shorts. I made a cut-out in the wire nut so that it would slide down over the wire terminal and add another layer of protection.

From the breaker, power continues to the main power input on the enclosure, again with a wire nut insulator, again using 10 awg wire. I installed a simple stainless steel nut and bolt as a terminal into the enclosure, and the main power inside the enclosure is also 10 awg.



And out to the battery negative (for a ground) the lights and the hitch.



Let me add a bit of a precaution here. I encased any wires the carried power in wire loom. After all this, I didn't want a wire to chafe through and short out against any metal body or frame parts

The first connection made was to the battery negative terminal with 10 awg wire to provide a good ground and because I figured it was easier to attach the heavier gauge wires before the lighter gauge due to the extremely cramped space for the connections to the terminal block coming out of the enclosure.

Next I connected a power wire back to the hitch. I ran it on the inside of the frame under the truck, following the fuel and brake lines, then past the fuel tank and tied it into the Power line at the hitch.



A quick check with a test light shows all is well...



And a view from behind verifies that all the wires are hidden from view.



Time to move unto the lights..

These were relatively simple as I have had them on the truck for years and could simply reverse the wires that came with the lights, encase them in loom, and run to the enclosure for hook-up. My lights grounded through the mounting brackets. The fogs are bolted to the frame thereby providing a good ground. The driving lights are a different story. I drilled mounting holes in the plastic bumper to locate the lights and ran a ground wire from the mounts to the frame.



Again, all the wiring is hidden from view.



The color codes for these additions are:

Red - Power to hitch (10 Awg)
White- Power to Driving lights (14 Awg)
Yellow- Power to Fog Lights (14Awg)
Black- Ground (10 Awg)

Some of you may think that the 14 awg is too small for a pair of 55w lights, but its what came with the sets and has been working just fine on the truck for several years.

With all the wiring finished, it time to test...

Fog Lights:



Driving Lights:



Looking good...

and so, as the sun slowly sets in the western sky and the tools all cleaned and put away,



Its time to verify that the lights are aligned where I want them to be.

I focused the driving lights about half way between the head lights and the ground. I may change this, but I only use them at night in heavy rain and I've found that they light up the sides of the road very well this way.

I focused the Fog Lights so that the tops of the beams are between 6 and 8 inches off the ground. This gives me the best spread of light under the fog and gives me much better vision on those foggy Florida mornings.

The animation below shows the head lights, driving lights, and fog lights as I like them to be adjusted. This alignment prevents my lights from blinding another driver even if I have both sets turned on.



The End.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you have gotten this far you may be wondering why I did all this work simply to add a 12v power line at the rear of the truck.

That (as Paul Harvey was known to say) is the rest of the story.

When I first installed these lights, I had no knowledge of using relays, or circuit breakers. I merrily followed the directions in the light kits, mounted the lights, grounded them well, mounted the enclosed switches and ran 12 volts directly from the fuse panel in the cab to the switches and happily enjoyed being able to see on rainy or foggy nights.

Then one night, I had both sets of lights on to try to see through some extremely heavy sea fog that had rolled in off the Gulf of Mexico. The head lights were useless and caused so much glare that I could hardly see over the engine hood. However by turning the head lights off and using both sets of aux lights, I was able to safely get myself and the family home. Approx 3 1/2 hours of very slow, careful driving with a truck full of sleepy youngens and a paranoid wife.

However, as I turned into our driveway, both sets of lights suddenly went out for no apparent reason. Working the switches seemed futile as they would no long make the normal click sound. Instead they simply "floated" around in their holders. My thoughts were, cheap $30.00 light sets with inclosed switches made in China junk!

As the wife bustled the kids into the house and off to bed, I was unloading the truck as we had just come from a family Christmas party and the cargo area was filled with presents and left over goodies from the party. I began to smell a strange odor coming from near the driver's seat.

Upon investigating I discovered the source of the smell...



The area inside the circle is the melted fuse panel cover! Apparently the wires had gotten hot enough to burn out the switches and melt the plastic fuse cover!

It was then that I went out and got some good switches, rated at 120 VAC @300Amps and was happy with the results. I've never had to drive under the same conditions again, and have only used the lights for short distances. So, I've not had any more trouble.

Taking the lower dash panel off has been a hassle because each time required removing the switches first before I could get to the screw to remove the dash. Watch as my sig rolls past and you can see the old switch mount in one of the photos. They were mounted in a small box that screwed into the dash just below the screw that needed to be remove before the dash would come out.

Since the original installation, I've learned about relays and the benefit of using them so as I was in need of a third switch, I figured it was time to get it done right. Hence, this little re-wiring project

and now you know...

The rest of the story!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Bansil

I got it all wrapped up just in time. Hurricane season begins here on June first. We've not had any rain in over a month and as if on cue, yesterday I woke up to a very heavy rain storm that lasted all morning. So going out to work on anything was out of the question and I needed the truck to take the wife to work. :) The yard was still wet at dinner time!
 

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i have been watching this closely so i must say, Well Done!

I know nothing about electrics so i just read to learn as much as possible on here. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
95Rodeo4x4, don't feel bad. I knew very little about electronics myself until I started reading the posts here.

I had most of the components already on hand, but the things I had to buy I got locally at car parts stores (Napa and Advanced Auto) and a small electronics hobbyist shop. The thing to always keep in mind when doing this is to never allow any wire that will be carrying positive current to come into contact with grounded metal body or frame parts. That's why I used so much wire loom conduit.

I figured out the total cost if I'd had to buy everything and it was around $80.00 including the lights. Lucky for me I had most of it in my shop and only ended up spending about $35.00 on stuff I didn't have!

With over 200 views of this post, it seems you're not the only one reading it. You, Bansil, and psguardian are the only ones who have made a comment. That's O.K. With that many viewers someone was at least interested and maybe it helped others. :D
 

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it surely has, and will help me! i plan on getting some lights put on, fogs and then a driving/offroad set, it gets quite foggy and we have tons of deer, so any extra light will help.
 

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Very impressive. I'm a real doofus when it comes to electrics in a car. Mechanics I get, but electrical......I'm way slow. I don't even know how to use an ohm meter. Yet. It's members like you, sharing your work, that are building my knowledge base and hopefully the confidence to tackle things like wiring up stereos and extra lights.

Thanks for taking the time with photos and details of your project. Lookin' good!

johnnie59 said:
If you have gotten this far you may be wondering why I did all this work simply to add a 12v power line at the rear of the truck.

That (as Paul Harvey was known to say) is the rest of the story.

When I first installed these lights, I had no knowledge of using relays, or circuit breakers. I merrily followed the directions in the light kits, mounted the lights, grounded them well, mounted the enclosed switches and ran 12 volts directly from the fuse panel in the cab to the switches and happily enjoyed being able to see on rainy or foggy nights.

Then one night, I had both sets of lights on to try to see through some extremely heavy sea fog that had rolled in off the Gulf of Mexico. The head lights were useless and caused so much glare that I could hardly see over the engine hood. However by turning the head lights off and using both sets of aux lights, I was able to safely get myself and the family home. Approx 3 1/2 hours of very slow, careful driving with a truck full of sleepy youngens and a paranoid wife.

However, as I turned into our driveway, both sets of lights suddenly went out for no apparent reason. Working the switches seemed futile as they would no long make the normal click sound. Instead they simply "floated" around in their holders. My thoughts were, cheap $30.00 light sets with inclosed switches made in China junk!

As the wife bustled the kids into the house and off to bed, I was unloading the truck as we had just come from a family Christmas party and the cargo area was filled with presents and left over goodies from the party. I began to smell a strange odor coming from near the driver's seat.

Upon investigating I discovered the source of the smell...



The area inside the circle is the melted fuse panel cover! Apparently the wires had gotten hot enough to burn out the switches and melt the plastic fuse cover!

It was then that I went out and got some good switches, rated at 120 VAC @300Amps and was happy with the results. I've never had to drive under the same conditions again, and have only used the lights for short distances. So, I've not had any more trouble.

Taking the lower dash panel off has been a hassle because each time required removing the switches first before I could get to the screw to remove the dash. Watch as my sig rolls past and you can see the old switch mount in one of the photos. They were mounted in a small box that screwed into the dash just below the screw that needed to be remove before the dash would come out.

Since the original installation, I've learned about relays and the benefit of using them so as I was in need of a third switch, I figured it was time to get it done right. Hence, this little re-wiring project

and now you know...

The rest of the story!
 

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This write up is top notch!! Thanks for your time to post it. Darn fine job.... :headbang:
 

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johnnie59 said:
If you have gotten this far you may be wondering why I did all this work simply to add a 12v power line at the rear of the truck.

That (as Paul Harvey was known to say) is the rest of the story.

When I first installed these lights, I had no knowledge of using relays, or circuit breakers. I merrily followed the directions in the light kits, mounted the lights, grounded them well, mounted the enclosed switches and ran 12 volts directly from the fuse panel in the cab to the switches and happily enjoyed being able to see on rainy or foggy nights.

Then one night, I had both sets of lights on to try to see through some extremely heavy sea fog that had rolled in off the Gulf of Mexico. The head lights were useless and caused so much glare that I could hardly see over the engine hood. However by turning the head lights off and using both sets of aux lights, I was able to safely get myself and the family home. Approx 3 1/2 hours of very slow, careful driving with a truck full of sleepy youngens and a paranoid wife.

However, as I turned into our driveway, both sets of lights suddenly went out for no apparent reason. Working the switches seemed futile as they would no long make the normal click sound. Instead they simply "floated" around in their holders. My thoughts were, cheap $30.00 light sets with inclosed switches made in China junk!

As the wife bustled the kids into the house and off to bed, I was unloading the truck as we had just come from a family Christmas party and the cargo area was filled with presents and left over goodies from the party. I began to smell a strange odor coming from near the driver's seat.

Upon investigating I discovered the source of the smell...



The area inside the circle is the melted fuse panel cover! Apparently the wires had gotten hot enough to burn out the switches and melt the plastic fuse cover!

It was then that I went out and got some good switches, rated at 120 VAC @300Amps and was happy with the results. I've never had to drive under the same conditions again, and have only used the lights for short distances. So, I've not had any more trouble.

Taking the lower dash panel off has been a hassle because each time required removing the switches first before I could get to the screw to remove the dash. Watch as my sig rolls past and you can see the old switch mount in one of the photos. They were mounted in a small box that screwed into the dash just below the screw that needed to be remove before the dash would come out.

Since the original installation, I've learned about relays and the benefit of using them so as I was in need of a third switch, I figured it was time to get it done right. Hence, this little re-wiring project

and now you know...

The rest of the story!
I enjoyed reading that
 

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lasher242 said:
This write up is top notch!! Thanks for your time to post it. Darn fine job.... :headbang:
Agree!
 
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