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Old 05-17-2007, 08:53 PM
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wire me up

Howdy guys. Just a quick general question? I'm wiring a 52 international
pick em up from scratch (355 chevy/4speed etc.). My question is!! what
amp fuse and what guage wire for: headlights, ignition, ignition to coil, gauges
and electric fuel pump? I have a fuse block from a dodge mini van, most of
the fuses are 10 amp with fairly small wire coming out the back, looks like 16 or 18 gauge wire for the most part. There are 3 20 and one 30 amp fuses with
14 or 16 gauge coming out. What would be safe, obviously I'm trying to do
it without spending bucks on a generic wiring kit, I got a lotta wire, and a
good soldering gun, so what should I do.

Thanks so much in advance, this board is always great.
Opps: p.s. alternator to battery in line fuse and wire gauge?

The Tim guy
somewhere in the ozone in Virginia
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbelltim
Howdy guys. Just a quick general question? I'm wiring a 52 international
pick em up from scratch (355 chevy/4speed etc.). My question is!! what
amp fuse and what guage wire for: headlights, ignition, ignition to coil, gauges
and electric fuel pump? I have a fuse block from a dodge mini van, most of
the fuses are 10 amp with fairly small wire coming out the back, looks like 16 or 18 gauge wire for the most part. There are 3 20 and one 30 amp fuses with
14 or 16 gauge coming out. What would be safe, obviously I'm trying to do
it without spending bucks on a generic wiring kit, I got a lotta wire, and a
good soldering gun, so what should I do.

Thanks so much in advance, this board is always great.
Opps: p.s. alternator to battery in line fuse and wire gauge?

The Tim guy
somewhere in the ozone in Virginia
Doc here,


HEAD LIGHTS: unless your planning on running relays, (recommended) , Run 10 gauge wire from the switch to the buss, to the lamps..lot of current draw! Headlamps are not generally fused at all..most have thermal resets inside of the headlamp switch, Short of that, run a 40 amp fuse link from the source to the switch or HI/LOW input.

IGNITION: 10 gauge wire.stock is usually 12 to 14 gauge, UPGRADE it to 10 gauge wire..a Stock coil under full load will pull 15 to 20 amps..IF you upgrade sometime later to a performance coil, it may pull as much as 48 amps under full load. Your $600 Performance Ignition may run worse than stock BECAUSE of current starvation to the coil..and your stock ignition will perform better than ever. IGNITION wires are NOT generally fused..but protected from the fuse link on the ignition switch "Hot AT ALL TIMES" side of the switch (the main buss link)

ALTERNATOR: 10 gauge wire for BOTH the output wire and a ground wire attached to a proper ground buss system. The fuse LINK will depend on the output of the alternator, for instance , if it is a 63 amp alternator, The FUSE LINK will be 70 amps. DO NOT use a standard fuse here, unlike a FUSE LINK , which requires TIME and heat to open the junction, a fuse wil just continue to blow, every time the charging system spikes. until you hopelessly over fuse the system, this leads to fires.

GAUGES: Provided you run nothing else off the gauges line ( Radio, lighter, etc.) run a 14 gauge wire for this line..it may be fused as low as 5 amps, but 10 is acceptable.

FUEL PUMP: you need to look at the fuel pump to find the draw of the specific pump motor, You may need a relay (recommended).

If less than 20 amp continuous, you may run 12 gauge wire, And get away with it..BUT I'd run 10 gauge wire, that's one long run of wire that you don't want to starve for current to the device..and it will run better..(bigger is better)

IF it is more than 20 amp, you should run 10 gauge, run a relay (recommended) from the pump to the relay, and control the relay with a 14 gauge wire fused , off rhe switched buss at 5 amps.

Relays on high draw items are the way to go since your upgrading the whole system anyway..

Your switch gear will last forever, (no direct draw through the switch, but through the relay.),

The user device will perform up to 3 times better, (headlamps up to 3 times brighter, Coils that perform flawlessly, motors that run faster and torque harder, (fuel pump working at max power, no line loss)

The use of 10 gauge wire allows the easy flow of current from the source (battery) to the device (load) Without heat loss within the wire or switch gear (Current producing no useful work, and converting it to heat).

JUST as important , you need to set up a proper ground buss system, this is how to do that:

For your Ground Buss, Set it up as follows:

BE sure First, You have A 4 gauge Cable (for stock battery location, OR , 0/0 or 0/1 Cable for a trunk location) from the battery, to any handy bolt at or NEAR the starter on the block .

Using a short run to something like a seat belt bolt, or body bolt just adds resistance, the body is insulated..(has road paint and sits on rubber mounts) this , makes for a "Poor or no" Bonding situation..
  • that makes resistance..
  • Resistance makes Heat..
  • heat melts things and further insulates the bond,
  • which makes more heat..and so on..until you no longer have a good bond..

To install a proper ground buss system, This MUST be done:
  • 1 ) Run a properly gauged (0/0 or 0/1) Ground cable from the battery in the trunk, Or A 4 Gauge cable for a stock located battery, to any handy bolt at or near the starter on the block. From that same bolt get a 4 gauge Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame. Make this run as short as possible.

  • 2 ) Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals, run two wires from your bolt on the block, to the Firewall, Burnish off all the paint, grease or oil or dirt from the area, Install a sheetmetal or Self Drilling Tech screw using a star washer as well as a lock washer.. and the other 10 gauge wire to the Alternator ground lug, bracket or mount bolt and attach with star and lock washers.
  • 3 ) Next get some Wire Braid, (expensive! about $10 for 5 - 6 inch pieces! ) Check Radio Shack for this, OR cheaper yet, get some RG 8 Coax cable, about 10 feet. Should run you about 15 cents a foot.

HOW TO MAKE WAY DURABLE CHEAP GROUND BRAID:
--------------------------------------------------
  • 1 ) carefully Slit the insulation from the cable with a Talaban Boarding pass (box knife) .


  • 2 ) Peel away the insulation until you just have the center dielectric and braid left, then carefully press the ends of the coax cable BRAID together like a Chinese "Finger puzzle"


  • 3 ) Slide the dielectric and center conductor out. remove it and toss it..


  • 4 ) On a work bench, Flatten the Braided shield out, use a round weight like a full paint can to roll over it.
------------------------------------------------------

This will be your braid cable, just Cut to smaller length's as needed, and tuck the cut ends into a crimp terminal and crimp the ends on..

IF you can Solder, Tin the ends before you tuck the ends of the cable into the terminals, then Tin the barrel of the terminals, then insert the cable and crimp..

Then heat the terminal and braid, feed some solder into the opposite end as the heat is being applied, let it melt and FLOW or WICK toward the heat..until the terminal barrel is filled and is smooth and shiny..

that is a good joint..gray and rough is a "Cold Joint" and you'll have to start over..
  • 4 ) NEXT, install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body. Install a cable or Braid From the Fuel tank Ground lug where the sender, Fuel line is to the frame..burnish the frame, use star washers and sheetmetal or Tech (self Drilling screws) on the frame.

  • 5 ) At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.


It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

Remember: GROUND is the other Half of your 12 volt circuit AND is equally as important as having POWER to the device!

Doc
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