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Old 06-06-2012, 03:40 PM
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Ideas for race car wiring

Need to wire a 90 Mustang aftermarket accessories. I don't want to spend the money on a painless kit, but I want the end result to look professional. I've seen the spaghetti menders stuff, and really like the idea, but for someone who understands wiring, it is way overpriced IMO. I would like to create something similar to the spaghetti menders system to use in this project.

You guys are innovative with custom stuff, and I'd like to bounce some ideas back and forth to come up with a good way to pull this off. I've done up some preliminary schematics that look like it should meet all of my needs. The big problem I'm having is how to mount the components. I'd like to build the "modules" off the car and be able to mount them on the car and run a couple short wires to the components themselves and be good to go.

I originally thought that I would try to mirror the spaghetti menders kits and get electrical potting compound and enclose the circuitry with that. Then I realized that they were actually using circuit boards for connecting the components. That would drive my cost up considerably (since this will be a one-off project). I've settled with just wiring the components together, but need to find a functional and good looking way to mount this all up on some type of module. The only solution I've come up with is to build an aluminum bracket with some sort of standoff that would mount to the car.

Any other ideas of how to package the components on the modules? It could be a simple as a plate with a few terminal blocks and relays screwed to it, but I'd like something that LOOKS better than that.

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Old 06-06-2012, 03:58 PM
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Here's a few ideas, and a place to look at:

http://gallo-teck.ca/speedwire/
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:05 PM
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Thanks, I had heard about the speedwire systems, and I may have even stumbled across their site once or twice. The picture on their homepage is exactly what I'm trying to duplicate. Those are very similar to the spaghetti mender systems that I was talking about.

I wish there was a way for me to make something similar to what is on their site (plastic "box" with electronics hidden and terminal posts to attach loads and supply feeds). With what I can come up with, the closest I can get without extreme costs would be to mount some wiring on an aluminum board and use terminal blocks to attach accessories to the board. I've done this a time or two in the past, and may even try to dig out pictures of what I've done. Just trying to take this to the next level - and looking for ideas.

Thanks for posting that link and pictures!
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:29 PM
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If you are looking for backing material....... Starboard which is basicly plastic board, is super glue-able and easily machined with ordinary wood working tools..ie...... router for rounded corners, taps very easily for attaching those add on modules etc.....
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:09 AM
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Thanks for the tip EOD Guy. Never heard of that stuff before. It seems like its a cross between ABS plastic and Plexiglass. Plexiglass is actually what I used when I built the box for a buddy's dragster wiring. Something like this could work maybe. Do you have a good source for this stuff?
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:59 AM
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I get mine from West Marine, they are proud of it tho'
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:21 AM
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Haven't been in a WM in a long time, but I do remember that they are proud of all their stuff!

From what I can tell, this stuff is comparable to ABS - is that a pretty close guess?
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:00 AM
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What about adapting an OEM fuse/relay panel? One of them along w/the plug-in connectors and a schematic would provide the basis for an electrical system. There are thousands of different sizes and shapes to choose from, with and w/o lids, both the under hood and under dash types.

Usually both under hood and dash boxes are used together, but in your case there's no reason a well-equipped under hood box couldn't be used for both.

The large example below is from a Jeep Liberty:

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:03 AM
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Something like that could work really well. Problem is I really need a couple smaller ones as opposed to one bigger one. They will only be used for added accessories (fuel pump, elec fans, water pump, line lock, etc.). I'd like to locate the relays as close to the device as possible, so I can cut down on the amount of wires needed to be run all over the car.

Any sources for these other than a junk yard?
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisT
Something like that could work really well. Problem is I really need a couple smaller ones as opposed to one bigger one. They will only be used for added accessories (fuel pump, elec fans, water pump, line lock, etc.). I'd like to locate the relays as close to the device as possible, so I can cut down on the amount of wires needed to be run all over the car.

Any sources for these other than a junk yard?
The Miata boxes are fairly small. I'd imagine most any small, non "optioned-out" vehicle (Hondas, Solstice, etc.) might be a place to look.

eBay has various boxes but the prices aren't that good, IMO- at least not what I would expect to pay at a 'yard. They also don't seem to have the wiring connectors into the box, which would definitely be needed, along w/as much wire length as possible connected to them.

One vendor that has the wiring attached is here, but the price!

You might try contacting someone like this to see if they can get you closer to what you need...
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
One vendor that has the wiring attached is here, but the price!
You're not kidding! I guess if you needed a replacement harness and weren't going to hack it all up, that would be a pretty fair price. Problem is, it doesn't look like it has many relays in the fuse block, which is what I really need.

The other thing that I think I want to keep in my idea is using DB computer cables for the relay control wires. They are cheap, will look good run through the car, and should function great for that purpose.

I wish I wasn't deployed right now so I could start fab-ing up some ideas now. One more month...
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:34 PM
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What sizes of backing material do you need? I have some stuff that will work very well and is strong and will not break like plexiglass. Maybe we could work something out.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:04 PM
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If you're looking for a OEM style box ck Ebay for the BMW fuse boxes, many sizes shapes etc..... The one for a mini cooper may be just what you're looking for.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:58 PM
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@S10: at this point I'm not really sure. From what I can tell, my rear "box" will have 2-3 relays on it, the front one will have 4-6 and I may need one more to go under the dash somewhere. I'll also be building a switchbox, but I'm likely to use a different material for that. Thinking of mounting in stock radio location. All of these will interface with computer style DB9 connectors, so will have to have room for at least one of those connectors per board. That's about all I can give you for sizes at this point. What type of material do you have?

@EOD Guy: I'll. Check those out. I also found a box made by connector concepts (well sold by them) that almost meets my needs. May order one to see how it looks. It may still require a board of some sort to mount to, because there are no disconnect-able terminals for the circuit outputs - it looks like it is hard wired like a typical oem fuse box.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:13 AM
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So I just had a breakthrough. I found the bussmann 15300 series power distribution modules (http://www.cooperindustries.com/cont..._Tns_15300.pdf ). These look like the ticket. Although I will still have to mount these onto a panel of some sort that will give me room to put terminations on it for the DB connectors and possibly a terminal block to connect to the accessories. The battery cable appears to be able to connect directly to the terminal studs on the bottom of the block, and I will more than likely connect directly to that.

I'm thinking along the lines of some ABS plastic or something with a whole cutout for the bussmann box to fit through and fasten to. I'm just waiting on a pricing of the box, and maybe can get a sample one sent to me, which would be great. Hopefully, I'll know something in a couple of hours.

One thing I'm still trying to figure out the best way to tackle is the alternator/cut-off switch issue. I'm considering just unhooking the alternator when I run the car, which would prevent the issue altogether. This would also require me to take a charger with me to the track, which I would like the option to run off the alternator. I already have the cut-off switch, and it's a two pole switch.

Any suggestions on how best to tackle this would be appreciated.

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