Alternative electric wiring project

I discovered some burned lighting wires, going in the wire trunk behind the lower dash board,  running from the instrument panel to the engine compartment. Since these wires were connected to the head and beam lights, I had to keep using them. This was an unsafe and fire risky situation. But fixing the problem would require dismounting of the dashboard and installing a new wire trunk.

Because this was already a lot of work, I decided to rigorously cut all the wiring out of the Landrover and replace the usual car wiring by a proper electrical installation. Being an electrical engineer myself, I was up to the job, but it appeared still to be very laborious and due to a busy time at my job,  the planning to do this hobby work shifted into the late autumn of 2010. Winter came early that year and doing this job in freezing temperatures and snow blowing into my garage box, did not help to speed-up things.

 This electrical project should solve the following deficiencies noticed on the Landrover:

  • Burned wires in the cable trunk.

  • Poor condition of the wiring in the mud guards and engine compartment, with lots of joints.

  • Very thin wires to the lights, only just sufficient for the old 45W bulbs.

  • Lack of spare wires for fog lights and other electrical gadgets.

  • The four big 35A fuses are a very rough protection for part of the wiring, most of these thin wires can burn, before a fuse melts.

  • A lot of the wiring is branched of before the fuses, being unprotected, posing a fire risk.

The purpose of the new electrical installation is the following:

  • Create a safe situation, by proper fusing of all circuits.

  • Use wires with sufficient copper size, to withstand, without overheating, the maximum current of the fuses.

  • Route via the contact key, only those users, that are used during driving only and require constant power, such as measuring instruments and scale lights.

  • Connect less users in one circuit, so using more dedicated and fused circuits.

  • Create spare circuits, wires and easy connection points,  to connect reverse driving light,  fog lights, etc.

  • Protect all branch-off points from the weather and dirt.

This is the cause of it all, burned headlight wires going in the main cable trunk. Here you see and empty right bulkhead wire transit. The main wire trunks are cut away. All wires cut away behind the instrument panel in the dashboard. The oval shape in the white part at the right is the left bulkhead transit. The speedometer cable is still stick through, as well as the window washing hose.
Here you see the instrument panel in my radio shack. Ready to be worked on. Since a lot of wires were connected direct to the lamp and meter sockets, I decided to keep this wiring and connect short pieces of rubber flexible cable, by means of professional crimp connectors. I placed a professional bar of terminals in the dashboard. The short peaces of cable are to be connected at one side of this terminal bar. The flexible rubber cable would allow, to take out the instrument panel further than before.
I decided, to use rubber cables, instead of wire trunks and do all splicing in weather tight professional Junction Boxes. Here you see a JB, containing also the main circuit breaker of 80A, at the car battery. I maintained the existing fuse box under the steering column. Only with smaller fuses. I added another 8 fuses, placed in this separate fuse box. This is the work situation in my old garage box.
It was freezing and the plastic covered wire pins, did break in my professional crimping tool. So the work could not continue at freezing temperatures.
So I took my petroleum heater from home and placed it in the back of the Landrover. This raised the temperature well over 5 dgr.Celsius, Above this temperature the work with plastic materials and wires could continue. Here you see my new made aluminum cover plate on the left cable transit. Due to the speedometer cable hole leaving not enough space for cable glands, I had to compromise with a rubber grommet for the choke cable, heating valve cable and window washing hose.

Here you see my rubber cables, each with 5 wires of 2.5 sq.mm, running from the bulkhead transit on the left along the side screen to JB KK1, mounted on the inner side screen. On the terminals in this JB, all nearby power consumers and sensors are connected.

This is JB KK1. Connected to this JB are all fwd lights, except the right flashlight. Also connected to this JB are the generator excitation, the braking lights pressure switch and window wash pump motor. On the left, the charging  cable is joining a cable from KK1  to the generator and spliced wires continue to the window wash pump. JB KK3 serves as power supply box and terminal box. It houses an 80A Circuit Breaker, to which the positive pole of the car battery is connected. the down side of the CB is connected with the starting solenoid, switching the start motor. Further more are connected power supply to the fuse boxes, right flash light, horn, water temp. sensor, oil press sensor, ignition, heater fan and charging choice switch. Here you are looking on the top of the aluminum Battery Switch Relay box. I had this box in my former car, the Defender and now re-used it. It is mounted to an existing steel mounting plate, bolted to the right longitudinal beam of the box frame. I is quite low and therefore mounted under an angle, so that water runs off it. A mastic seal keeps water from between the mounting plate and the box.
Here you see the new bulkhead cable transit plate on the right. Cable 1b is the positive lead, running from the CB cable at the start solenoid to the fuse boxes in the dash board.
This single wire cable can withstand the CB current of 80A. Furthermore the cable under 1b is a common lead, with a bolted connection through the bulkhead. This to ensure a low resistance common connection in the dash.
This is the right bulkhead on the inside. Here you see the cables, together with a heating hose, running from the right cable transit to the fuse boxes and instrument panel on the left side.
Don't worry, there is still some chaos left. However chaos is now confined to one location, that is behind the instrument panel. This is the new fuse box, now painted black. Cables to the back, are now running inside the car in the roof gutters,
Here the cable from the dashboard is leaving the gutter and going down to the left back side JB, KK2. The cable gland serves an antenna cable. KK2 connects all rear lights, except the right flashing light and reverse light. The empty glands are for a cable, still to be made to the trailers connection. KK4 connects the right flashing light, the reverse light, the fuel tank level floater and the right flashing light on the trailer connector.

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This page was last updated on 12-jul-2011