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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Electrickery

With the talk of adding compressors and lighting and battery chargers, just a short note about best practice...
Wiring: use marine grade whenever possible. Marine grade wire has jacketing that is fire resistant as well as moisture and chafe resistant. The core is made of 100% copper strands that are tinned for corrosion protection. It comes in many colors. For most lighting and accessory installations 14 AWG should be the minimum.

Fuses: Remember that fuses protect the wire and not the device. Choose the fuse based on the device's amp draw. Ohm's law applies when calculating for lights...add up the total wattage, divide by 12 (volts) to get the amps. Auto makers use fuses because they are an extremely cheap way of providing circuit protection. When adding accessories, you can certainly opt for circuit breakers over fuses, which are far more convenient since they can be reset easily. My personal preference is for Carling panel mount breakers which are marine grade. These are available with a wide variety of options such as toggle color, wire attachment and single double or triple throw.

Solenoids: for high draw devices the use of a solenoid to switch on and off the high load is preferred. A small amp current is used to trip the solenoid via a switch. Cole Hersee makes a very nice 12 volt solenoid in amp ratings up to 600. The small plastic solenoids can be mounted in a radio shack bread board.

Switches: Again, marine grade switches will have o-rings on the shaft to prevent water intrusion. The Carling Contura type switches also have a wiper inside which self cleans the inner contacts every time. Whether you use toggle or rocker type switches, be sure the wire connectors have tinned contacts to prevent corrosion. Never use a switch with brass or plain steel contacts.

Terminals: Without question crimped terminals are the best. Never solder a crimped terminal, in fact, never solder any electrical connection if you can avoid it. Crimping alone is plenty and soldering only adds to the possibility of a failure. Crimp terminals that have adhesive lined shrink tube already applied are both convenient and effective at sealing out moisture within the connector and wiring. Eye type terminals are best for fitting to screw attachments as they will stay in place even if the screw loosens. Fork or bent leg terminals can fall out. There are also waterproof connectors that will accept multiple wires and are handy when you have lots of wires, but the terminals are often fiddly to install as they are meant to be put on by machine.

Digi-key supplies many electrical small parts
Genuinedealz is a good source for marine electrical
Carling Technologies has an online catalog of all their products.
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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 12:00 PM
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ABC - accurate, brief, concise

Thanks
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  #3  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 12:02 PM
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This is great. Thank you.
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  #4  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 12:08 PM
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Im a rookie at electronics. Thanks for the summary. curios, what is a capacitor and what does it do? like, one for a car stereo for the amp/speakers.
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  #5  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Kevin, a capacitor is a device that acts like a battery storing an electrical charge and releasing it when needed. In the case of a stereo, and an amplifier in particular, it evens out the spikes in current draw.
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  #6  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Useful post thank you. I could have used it last year when I started re-wiring my 90 from scratch! I ended up re-using the old glass fuze panel just to get the truck moving, but right now I'm shopping for marine grade switches to replace this with.
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  #7  
Old February 2nd, 2011, 10:50 PM
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Disagree on soldering. Solder makes a gas tight joint that can't corrode. I've never had a good solder joint fail in use. Except for that soldered winch/battery cable that got a little too warm.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 08:17 AM
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I usually use Ancor marine grade wire and connectors as the quality is superior. I wouldn't say that it's needed, though.
As for solder vs crimping, it depends on the situation and the method used. It's just not practical to solder in many instances and it's not always necessary or better. On the other hand, crimp connectors when properly made are excellent. Unfortunately I see a lot of bad connections due to poor quality crimps. The key to making a proper crimp is to use a good quality ratcheting crimper and high quality properly sized connectors.
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  #9  
Old February 3rd, 2011, 08:37 AM
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My understanding about soldering is that it creates problems that can lead to failure if solder is the only means of connection. This view is skewed by my marine wiring experience which follows ABYC guidelines. They specifically forbid soldering, and I trust their expertise. Although these are boat related, I think they hold up well for off roading as it is also an activity in which the vehicle is subjected to greater demands and worse environmental conditions than on road traffic. You are also "away from the dock" so that equipment reliability becomes far more critical.

First of all, flux contains acid which can accelerate corrosion. More so in salt water of course, but why add contaminants? Second, solder creates a hard spot in stranded wire, which if subjected to vibration may fail due to fatigue. Third, should the connection get hot and melt the solder, the wire could fall out of the terminal which could create a short (spark). This last point is probably not as crucial in a truck as opposed to enclosed engine compartment where gasoline fumes may collect in the bilge (BOOM!)

I use the crimp eye or spade terminals that have the adhesive lined shrink already attached. Strip, crimp, heat, done.

For large battery cable I used tinned copper crimp lugs which I put in a swage tool and whack with a 5 lb hammer. I cover the lugs with Mil-spec adhesive lined shrink. The connection is very very tight and waterproof.

------ Follow up post added February 3rd, 2011 08:44 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevkon View Post
I usually use Ancor marine grade wire and connectors as the quality is superior. I wouldn't say that it's needed, though.
As for solder vs crimping, it depends on the situation and the method used. It's just not practical to solder in many instances and it's not always necessary or better. On the other hand, crimp connectors when properly made are excellent. Unfortunately I see a lot of bad connections due to poor quality crimps. The key to making a proper crimp is to use a good quality ratcheting crimper and high quality properly sized connectors.
The Ancor crimp tool is very nice. There are several good ones out there in addition to that one. Unfortunately there are also plenty of crappy ones, usually included in a kit with a lot of cheesy crimp terminals of poor quality.
I should also say that the tools are an important factor in getting good results. The opaque plastic shields on the low end terminals do not let you see whether you got a good crimp or not, which is yet another selling point for the adhesive lined shrink terminals from Ancor, Genuinedealz and the like.
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  #10  
Old February 3rd, 2011, 11:53 AM
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For battery cables I now use a crimp as you describe but I coat the cable and inside of the lug with ant-corrosion stuff first.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:40 PM
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Do any of you guys buy the above mentioned stuff at West Marine? Theres one in Marina Del Rey that I like going to.
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  #12  
Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley View Post
Do any of you guys buy the above mentioned stuff at West Marine? Theres one in Marina Del Rey that I like going to.
I bought a bunch of electrical stuff there when I started re-wiring my bbq pit of a truck. Though that was based on the advice of the guy helping me.
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  #13  
Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:00 PM
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West Marine carries the Ancor stuff in small quantity packs, so if you need a bag of 25 better go with genuinedealz.com. The guy at genuinedealz sells the exact same thing as Ancor without the spiffy packaging. Same for the wire and battery cable...it all comes from the same source but has different stamping on the jacket. I get my orders on my doorstep within three days of placing. If I order on Wednesday morning it's always there by Friday.
I only go to West Marine if I have to have something right away. Everything else I get from Defender, Jamestown Distributors or a handful of other on line retailers. Between Defender and Jamestown it is very hard to find anyone else with lower prices. For engine parts marineengine.com is very hard to beat on price, and their inventory quite comprehensive.
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  #14  
Old April 18th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Are there replacement waterproof connectors that will work with the side markers on a 95 D90? My rear side and tail lights have reoccuring leaks (despite waterproof boots, etc) and the connectors are starting to rust. Since I am new to electrical stuff can someone show me exactly what waterproof connectors (part#) to get for tail and side markers? Will they fit the lamp housings (side) and lamp holders (rear) just like the OEM ones?

Thanks!
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  #15  
Old April 19th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ching View Post
Disagree on soldering. Solder makes a gas tight joint that can't corrode.
Gonna have to disagree on that one.
http://landroverforums.com/forum/gen...erminal-38891/

Any poorly made connection can allow corrosion.

While a properly made soldered connection will be fine, "properly" in the automotive wiring world takes real skill that not many people have. I used crimp connections and have cut some open after 8 years under a bumper and they still look as good internally as the day they were made.
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  #16  
Old April 20th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Are there replacement waterproof connectors that will work with the side markers on a 95 D90? My rear side and tail lights have reoccuring leaks (despite waterproof boots, etc) and the connectors are starting to rust. Since I am new to electrical stuff can someone show me exactly what waterproof connectors (part#) to get for tail and side markers? Will they fit the lamp housings (side) and lamp holders (rear) just like the OEM ones?

Thanks!
You are at a crossroad. You can continue to use filament bulbs and their respective issues or you can make the jump to LED bulbs and pretty much forget about them ever failing. There are several manufacturers of LED bulbs for Defenders specifically, as well as generic filament bulb direct replacements. I get mine from the ridiculously named superbrightleds.com. I have used these throughout my boat and they are all well made. I use them for instruments, general lighting and navigation lights. I'm going to do the Lawib too.
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  #17  
Old April 20th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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I already made the switch to LED. All front, side and rear bulbs with the exception of headlights are LED. Even did my dash and gauges and interior lights. That doesn't however do anything to prevent the housings from filling up with water and connectors rusting. What I am wondering is if there are waterproof connector that will work with the current lamp holders (rear) and lamp housings (side markers).
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  #18  
Old April 20th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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If it were me, I'd replace any multi pin plugs with regular old male and female spade (adhesive lined heat shrink) terminals. If you gotta have multi pin plugs, then do a web search for "waterproof connectors" and take your pick. Most of them use terminals designed to fit into the plastic holder thingy, and are thus meant to be installed with a special crimper. The tools often cost well over $100. If you just want to seal up where the wires enter the back of the lens assembly, then a blob of good old 5200 will fix that. Use silicone dielectric grease in the multi connector.
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  #19  
Old April 20th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Just to chime in here. For the multi pin issues, I have slowly switched everything to GM weather pack connectors. With a dab of dielectric grease, I am 100% they are in good standing to fight the elements. Downside is the Weather pack connectors can get pricey and the tool isnt cheap either.
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  #20  
Old April 20th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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For those who prefer to keep their wiring stock, one suggestion would be to go through the bullit connections and apply some dielectric grease. Though it's non-conductive, it keeps out moisture and dirt. This can be especially helpful on the headlight and taillight loom.
Some might disagree with me, but one thing I try to do is go through the wiring and remove all the ScotchLok connectors that PO's have installed. I have found many of these to be the source of problems in the past. The only ones I will use on an auto are the waterproof Scotchloks and even those I only use as a last resort.
I have also converted my lights to Leds and the Led flasher . I was wondering if anyone who has done this conversion has had any radio interference?
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