Monday, July 10, 2017
Wiring Tips, and Tricks, with The Scientists Of Lighting Pt. 1
Many people find themselves wanting to run accessories, but get held up by the thought of doing it themselves due to not feeling they can to a sanitary job routing, sheathing and hiding the wiring. Today we will be giving you a sense of hope. We'll provide guidance and some tips that you can implement while wiring almost any 12v accessory - may it be lights or an off-road fridge.
Laying it out on the table:
A great first step when you’re going to wire something is to lay the components out and create a road map of what you’re trying to wire. Many of our lights include universal wiring harnesses. This makes for a clean install when you don’t run any other accessories. Now, say you want to run more than just a pair of lights. Maybe you want to throw a fridge, a couple dome lights, auxiliary fans, etc. Now you’ve got 12 ring terminals attached to your battery lead. This is when things start looking like a rat’s nest. Hopefully we can guide you to a solution.
Some of the possible solutions to clean this wiring up:
-A wiring controller: A wiring controller provides a wiring block with integrated relays, switches, and fuses that utilize one lead to the battery's positive and negative terminals. This gives a you a central location where you can add multiple leads, making for a cleaner install for switches. For the cleanest and most stock looking setup, a wiring controller is no question the best route.
Some examples of wiring controllers:
Another benefit to these control units is that they allow the customer to run positive and negative wiring to the controller. This is the only thing they have to wire outside of the controller itself (not including the initial install of the unit). Many controllers also feature different modes and switches that operate 12v accessories in different ways, such as strobing a light.
-A wiring block: There are many different wiring blocks out there. They are often used in marine applications. A wiring block multiplies the leads off the battery by using two central leads, keeping your positive and negative terminals clean. Wiring blocks take a little more labor to make clean, though you will find that they are an effective way to route wiring cleanly and maintain fuses.
Some examples of wiring blocks:
Additional benefits of using a wiring block: You keep the cost down and you get hands on experience wiring relays, and routing switches in your cab. The downside of using a wiring block is they make for a very time consuming install.
-Sticking to our accessory Harnesses: With our harnesses, you don't have to worry about if the gauging of wiring you use will be able to carry the current, or if you wired the relay correctly, or having to sheath your wiring to protect it from heat.
We have many variations of wiring harnesses pre-fitted with GM Weather Pack connectors that plug directly into our lights. Many of our harnesses can be used in conjunction with either a wiring controller or block.
To easily plug into a controller, we offer a harness called an “upfitter harness”. These harnesses are designed to transfer power from a controller and work with vehicles that have a factory accessories package, such as Dodge or Ford.
Wiring tips, and tricks:
-Be sure to use the proper tools such as wiring strippers and proper crimpers.
-Be sure to disconnect the battery so you don’t accidentally cross wires or ground out. This can cause issues for your ECU, fuses, and relays.
-Use the proper connectors! When wiring you want to make sure you’re not using incorrect connectors, or splices used for a different type of project.
-Go out of your way to hide wiring. It not only looks more professional when you pop your hood, but can be beneficial to ensuring the durability of your wiring job. When you hide wiring, go through and hide it in a low heat, low moisture area.
-When buying materials, buy materials that are heat and water resistant. This will help keep up the durability of your wiring job.
-Don’t be afraid to unbolt and route around components (TO AN EXTENT).
-Zip ties are a great way of keeping wiring clean. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of them.
PHOTOGRAPHY and Blog Post / Luke Reardon at Baja Designs