Noob wiring help needed please.

Missimer

New Member
I will be installing a Feniex ILB and a rear stick light through a 4200 mini controller in a 08 Toyota Sequoia.

I have never installed anything that was not a cigerette plug. Is there a “wiring lights for dummies” thread or a basic how to thread somewhere? I have searched the site and maybe I am using the wrong key words but everyone is more advanced then where I am starting from...

You tube made it worse lol.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

jmamrak

Established Member
Here is how I do things. I buy good connectors, heat shrink, solder, electrical tape, and wire loom. Fenix has very good instructions and tech support. Use tech support if you need it, those guys are experts. As the wiring goes. I generally start with locating my controller first. I make a harness with my speaker wires, minimum 8ga power wire and ground if you need one. Once your box is powered and the speaker is hooked up everything runs from there. I usually hook up a grounding bus for my grounds. If you drill holes use grometts because the metal will eventually cut into the wire. I would buy a trim panel removal tool to hide all the wires. I am sure I left some stuff out. Keep asking questions we are glad to help.
 

jmamrak

Established Member
Also try and build in expandability. Add and label extra wires from your controller to the front and rear to add extra lights down the road. It will save you time and $$ to add extra wires now.
 
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Missimer

New Member
Thank you for the fast reply.

Do I run the power from the battery to the controller then power the lights off the controller? Am I supposed to use a relay? In line fuse? Do I ground to the battery or just anywhere.

I am talking really basic info I need. What am I going to need to solder?

Thanks again
 

StEaLtH2

Enthusiast
Generally, solder will not be needed when using solderless (crimp) connectors.
Battery power and ground are recommended.
Also, you will need an Ignition power source
Personally, I plan everything out on paper prior to actual install. Controller gets constant power, ignition, ground. Then from the controller pull a power and ground to the front to connect lights to, usually 12ga, I use 16ga to tie lights together and then to “harness”
Same for rear, a set of wires to the rear to power heads. Ask questions and we can fill you in on power draw and wire selection.
Also, I install a fuse holder at the battery on my main constant cable or cables depending on what’s getting installed. Also you can ground lights to chassis to save pulling a ground, but I prefer the ground on the interior due to New England winters. You may have better results in Va.
 
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jmamrak

Established Member
I generally use an inline fuse (Amazon) that has screw terminals that can be reused. I run a ground to my controller with a terminal block to ground other things. I ground my lights at the mounting location if practical. I run the wires to keep them away from the elements. I find that solder with heat shrink and electrical tape lasts much longer then crimp connectors. Not that they are bad but solder is cheap and connectors cost money. I try can keep everything neat and take my time. Please PM if you need my phone number, you can call me if you have any specific questions or get stuck. @Missimer
 

rcfd34

Member
If you go under the build section there are some guys who have taken pictures of there wiring which really helped me out alot. I had basic knowledge of doing sound systems which is how mine is some what run now but they helped fine tune everything
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
i dont use fuses under the hood. Circuit breakers are a lil more expensive but you wont have to buy fuses if and when one blows.. you fix the issue and reset...

wiring and fusing should be at 125% of load being used for room for growth.. since the mini 4200 only has like 14 gauge wire.. i'd run a 10 gauge off the battery.. within 18 inches of such, you need to have your circuit protection.. (fuse or relay) do NOT use audio quality Fuse holders ... (the fancy plastic ones at wally world..)

bring wire into vehicle through firewall (if possible) do NOT run it around the door.

mount and install your mini 4200 in its desired location. ground wire as close as possible to it...

attach main power to mini 4200.. run cabling for other lights to it..


heat shrink and butt connectors are my choice for connectors.. although now i see there is a type that has solder built into a glue based heatshrink..

Solder is an electrical connection. NOT a mechanical one.. pull hard and the solder breaks...


any other questions just ask..
 
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Missimer

New Member
Thank you everyone. You guys are awesome!

What size fuse should I be using?

Does anyone have links to recommended fuses/connectors etc?

If someone has a basic diagram too that would help me a lot - I am very visual. I will attempt to look through the build section and see where and what do connect to.

Why will I need an ignition power source? The plot thickens...

Thanks again!
 

StEaLtH2

Enthusiast
Your switch will get an impulse from ignition to “come on” w vehicle. Backlighting. If you wire it constantly hot, you’ll put unnecessary draw on battery while vehicle is off. In laymen’s terms. Hehe
 

jmamrak

Established Member
You use 125% of your wire size’s ampacity. They make charts for this. Google 12 volt ampacity chart and you will find different wire sizes and their corresponding ampacity maximums. Use the chart to decide the size of wire needed then fuse for 125% of the rated maximum. I generally round and build in expandability.
 

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Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
@StEaLtH2 the mini 4200 does not have an ignition sense. it also draws no power unless its on.. no need for all that.
 
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Missimer

New Member
I think I am missing something...

  1. Install a red power wire from the battery through the firewall to the 4200. Have a fuse close to the battery on the power wire.
  2. Ground the 4200 inside the cabin (Do not run a black ground wire to the battery.
  3. Power the visor light and stick light to the 4200?
Where does the ignition wire come in?

Am I close?
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
it doesnt need one. the 4200 does but the mini doesnt..
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
yes
 
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Missimer

New Member
What size and type of inline fuse should I be using? I think I will use 10g power wire from the battery to the 4200 mini.
 
The mini 4200 has an on off button. However, the few I have installed I grab my power from an ignition powered source to once you shut the vehicle off, it kills all power to the 4200.
 
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Missimer

New Member
Just when I think I am almost there....I may be over thinking this.
What type of wire. I looked in amazon and there is tinned copper, CCA etc. what should I be looking for? Does it matter in this application?

Thanks for all the answers. Sorry for more questions.
 

shues

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Avoid CCA. In fact, avoid all aluminum wire. Benjamin Franklin once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Instead, use stranded copper that is suited for automotive applications. It's referred to as "primary wire" in most cases.
 

jmamrak

Established Member
@Missimer i usually buy THHN stranded buy the foot or by the roll at Lowe’s/ Home Depot. It’s very strong wire. As far as a ground wire, you can run one or find a good metal point. The key for grounding is NO PAINT. Scrap off all paint from your grounding points.
 

jmamrak

Established Member
THHN is building wire. It is not suitable for automotive applications.
J1128 spec says: "This standard covers low voltage primary cable intended for use at a nominal system voltage of 60 V DC (25 V AC) or less in surface vehicle electrical systems. The tests are intended to qualify cables for normal applications with limited exposure to fluids and physical abuse."

THHN has a very strong oil reisistance will take much more abuse then primary wire. I have to disagree.
 

shues

Lifetime VIP Supporter
The relatively few, relatively thick strands found in THHN are much less flexible than the relatively many, relatively thin strands found in automotive primary wire. THHN is suitable for building wiring, where it is pulled into a conduit and remains stationary for its life. THHN is not suitable for automotive applications where it would be subject to vibration, and possibly be subject to flexion.

This topic was broached several years back, here:

THHN only has 7 strands, and is really stiff. It's great in house wiring, since it'll bend around in the conduit.

Most of the 12ga wiring for automotive use has 19 or 37 strands. Small wires can handle multiple flexes and vibration better than one big one can.
The same sentiment can be found on other forums. For instance, post 10, here: https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/wire-question-172385.html

While, yes, people have used THHN in automotive applications, it is not something you would find any professional upfitter doing. With that said, it is probably not something that we should be suggesting to a beginner looking for information on how to do things right.
 
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Missimer

New Member
Would this work?

Put a 6 blade fuse box within 18” of the battery. Run separate fused lines from the box to the 4200, visor light and light stick. Ground each unit close to its mounted area. Then use 4200 to control the functions on the lights...

I recently saw where someone installed the fuse box in the cabin and did similar but everything I read says fuses are to be close to the battery and I didn’t know if that would be too long if a run of wire without the fuse. I would rather run 1 wire through the firewall instead of 3.

Thoughts on this?
 

firebuff17

Member
Unless your fuse box you install is waterproof.
Otherwise put a waterproof circuit breaker under the hood close to the battery, Then install your fuse box in the cab.
 

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