Wiring it right. Info on wiring, connections, splices etc..

JazzDad

Just Another Faceless Member
Silver Supporter
This may have already been posted somewhere before on elightbars. but...


Technical Info: Proper Wire Selection | Professionalcar.org


Not as big of an issue with lower current LED lighting, however the old-schoolers might find this info useful.


(For keyword search: wire gauge for emergency lights.)
 
Good read!


Keep in mind that even LED lights (when used in large numbers) can add up to a high amp load; the math is still important for proper wire selection!
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
This thread will be for info and pics on how to properly wire various things. Example, a write up on how to solder and heat shrink connections.
 

EMT-BLS

Member
It's still a "how-to properly install" question. When mounting amps/lights, do you first mount the light/amp, and then run the wiring? Or do you run the wires, and then mount the light/amp?
 

hitman38367

Senior Member
EMT-BLS said:
It's still a "how-to properly install" question. When mounting amps/lights, do you first mount the light/amp, and then run the wiring? Or do you run the wires, and then mount the light/amp?
I always mount the light or amp then run wires. This way allows me to attach the wire to the light/amp and then run the wire along the path I prefer to wherever the ending point is. I don't waste wire this way. Example. I install a grille light or grille lights. Once I have everything where I want it, I then put my spool rack at the front of the vehicle and pull wires to where I want them to end and I retrace the wire path securing it as I work my way back to the grille area. When I get back to the grille area, I then pull the wire to the intended light and snip it. I find that I save more wire by doing this. Everyone is going to have their own method. This is just the one that works for me.
 

OCD Mobile

Member
EMT-BLS said:
It's still a "how-to properly install" question. When mounting amps/lights, do you first mount the light/amp, and then run the wiring? Or do you run the wires, and then mount the light/amp?
always run wires first. much neater when you actually mount the light/amp/speaker etc
 

factorone33

Member
EMT-BLS said:
It's still a "how-to properly install" question. When mounting amps/lights, do you first mount the light/amp, and then run the wiring? Or do you run the wires, and then mount the light/amp?
I have a loose "routine" for doing installation work:


1. "Lay out" the vehicle; get an idea of where everything is going to be mounted to help with logistics;


2. Get all the wiring/supplies you'll need. It's easier to run one long piece of wire than to splice it six times and add resistance across the board;


3. Mount all your equipment, lights, boxes, speakers, trunk trays, consoles, etc: this does not include things like partitions or transport seats that could make it more difficult to run wiring or mount other equipment;


4. Run all your wiring, cables, harnesses, and whatnot to the equipment requiring it, and make your connections at the load/receiving end (i.e. hook lights up to wires at the light-side of the circuit);


5. Mount partitions, transport seats, gun racks, and anything else left over;


6. Finish making connections and complete the wiring.


Some people run the wiring first, and mount second, but I have always found it infinitely easier to mount first, and deal with wiring second, as running wiring first may end up limiting how (or where) you mount your equipment.
 
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Torpedo

Registered Member
Another user posted this earlier, looks to be good info especially for old school amp draws.


Via Google images and ELB user C2 installs. Nice. Thanks!

wire gauges chart.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Torpedo

Registered Member
EMT-BLS said:
It's still a "how-to properly install" question. When mounting amps/lights, do you first mount the light/amp, and then run the wiring? Or do you run the wires, and then mount the light/amp?
I am nowhere near vested enough in this community to post this so here I go anyways...


Shouldn't a rouge moderator know better than to post a question or ask an opinion in this thread?


"Also, this section is for sharing "Tips & Tricks", please don't request help or opinions in this forum"


OOps, did I just ask a question? Oh $*!+


As always, respect!


:hail:


PS, It would be fine by me to disallow this post. Just pointing out the humor.
 

Torpedo

Registered Member
Wires first whenever possible. This way I can't help but leave a serviceable and/or drip loop at each device.
 

chief1562

Silver Supporter
Mount everything first then run wires.


Done it that way from the beginning will do it until the end.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EMT-BLS

Member
Torpedo said:
I am nowhere near vested enough in this community to post this so here I go anyways...

Shouldn't a rouge moderator know better than to post a question or ask an opinion in this thread?


"Also, this section is for sharing "Tips & Tricks", please don't request help or opinions in this forum"
Two notes.


First, I am not a moderator...My role is mostly site related issues, off site.


Second, I meant it for future users to see. I can just ask one of the guys in chat, but I'm trying to build the thread with actual how-to's. If you'll look at the reply from factorone33, you'll see that now a newb can come along and see that, instead of having to make a whole new thread/get it wrong.
 

Ocean17

Newbie
I couldn't help but note one member mentioning soldering connections. I am a member of the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) as a certified marine electrical technician. Over the years, I have come to treat emergency vehicles as I would a boat or marine environment. A fact that I was shocked to learn back when, was that they suggest never soldering wiring in something that moves like a vehicle or boat. Their position is that soldering turns the stranded wiring into a solid wire and where the solder ends becomes a weak point subject to vibration and breaking. Therefore I now crimp all my mobile connections, with the proper crimp terminals and calibrated crimp tool.


It makes sense after you think about it for a while, you wouldn't wire a car or boat with solid wire instead of stranded.... I came from an electronics background and we soldered everything, so it was a bit of eating humble pie and learning a better way, but now I crimp, no solder.


Thanks,


Ocean17
 

911signalusa

Junior Member
To help installers install emergency lights quickly and easily, we have created a whole series of how-to-videos on our YouTube page. In this video, Mike, our installation expert, is installing police lights to the front bumper of our Dodge Charger demo vehicle. In addition to the video, a detailed description is listed below the video.


Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks and have a good day.
 

Rhinojoe

Member
Ocean17 said:
I couldn't help but note one member mentioning soldering connections. I am a member of the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) as a certified marine electrical technician. Over the years, I have come to treat emergency vehicles as I would a boat or marine environment. A fact that I was shocked to learn back when, was that they suggest never soldering wiring in something that moves like a vehicle or boat. Their position is that soldering turns the stranded wiring into a solid wire and where the solder ends becomes a weak point subject to vibration and breaking. Therefore I now crimp all my mobile connections, with the proper crimp terminals and calibrated crimp tool.

It makes sense after you think about it for a while, you wouldn't wire a car or boat with solid wire instead of stranded.... I came from an electronics background and we soldered everything, so it was a bit of eating humble pie and learning a better way, but now I crimp, no solder.


Thanks,


Ocean17
+1


Also use a proper set of crimping pliers, such as Stake-On pliers, and know that there's a seam in the crimp connection and position the crimping pliers male tip OPPOSITE of the crimp connector's seam for a correct/positive crimp. I also used marine quality connectors, with heat shrink ends such as made by NOBLE then use black heatshrink, (if exterior mount).


Made in USA Noble Wire & Terminal Corp. - The Complete Wholesale Line of* Terminals, Wire and Wiring Devices,* Nationwide


RJ
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Torpedo

Registered Member
EMT-BLS said:
Two notes.

First, I am not a moderator...My role is mostly site related issues, off site.


Second, I meant it for future users to see. I can just ask one of the guys in chat, but I'm trying to build the thread with actual how-to's. If you'll look at the reply from factorone33, you'll see that now a newb can come along and see that, instead of having to make a whole new thread/get it wrong.
:duh:


DOH !
 
OP
OP
JazzDad

JazzDad

Just Another Faceless Member
Silver Supporter
factorone33 said:
I have a loose "routine" for doing installation work:

1. "Lay out" the vehicle; get an idea of where everything is going to be mounted to help with logistics; Have a beer.


2. Get all the wiring/supplies you'll need. It's easier to run one long piece of wire than to splice it six times and add resistance across the board; Have a beer.


3. Mount all your equipment, lights, boxes, speakers, trunk trays, consoles, etc: this does not include things like partitions or transport seats that could make it more difficult to run wiring or mount other equipment; Have a beer.


4. Run all your wiring, cables, harnesses, and whatnot to the equipment requiring it, and make your connections at the load/receiving end (i.e. hook lights up to wires at the light-side of the circuit); Have a beer.


5. Mount partitions, transport seats, gun racks, and anything else left over; Have a beer.


6. Finish making connections and complete the wiring. Have a few beers and a bacon butty.
Edited for clarity.
 

philter74

Member
Rhinojoe said:
+1

Also use a proper set of crimping pliers, such as Stake-On pliers, and know that there's a seam in the crimp connection and position the crimping pliers male tip OPPOSITE of the crimp connector's seam for a correct/positive crimp. I also used marine quality connectors, with heat shrink ends such as made by NOBLE then use black heatshrink, (if exterior mount).


Made in USA Noble Wire & Terminal Corp. - The Complete Wholesale Line of* Terminals, Wire and Wiring Devices,* Nationwide


RJ
I prefer the Perma-Seal connectors. They are translucent vs the cheaper nylon heat shrink connectors, and that allows you to see that the wire is seated properly in the connector, and also that when the connector heats up and the glue melts that you have a complete seal.


36: Search: perma-seal - Page 1 of 2


I also only use an electric heat gun, I find it is very easy to burn the wire or connector when using a butane torch.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

factorone33

Member
JazzDad said:
Edited for clarity.
Actually, a better edit would've looked like this:


1. Have a beer.


2. Have someone else do the install for you.


3. Have all the beers.


:D

Ocean17 said:
I couldn't help but note one member mentioning soldering connections. I am a member of the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) as a certified marine electrical technician. Over the years, I have come to treat emergency vehicles as I would a boat or marine environment. A fact that I was shocked to learn back when, was that they suggest never soldering wiring in something that moves like a vehicle or boat. Their position is that soldering turns the stranded wiring into a solid wire and where the solder ends becomes a weak point subject to vibration and breaking. Therefore I now crimp all my mobile connections, with the proper crimp terminals and calibrated crimp tool.

It makes sense after you think about it for a while, you wouldn't wire a car or boat with solid wire instead of stranded.... I came from an electronics background and we soldered everything, so it was a bit of eating humble pie and learning a better way, but now I crimp, no solder.


Thanks,


Ocean17
On one hand, I've agreed with this logic, but on the other hand, the other school of thought is the integrity of the connection itself. In 1994, GM began recommending that for all automotive applications, all wiring connections be crimped, solder, and heat shrinked to ensure a 100% patent connection that was protected against moisture, vibration, and force-induced breakage.


While I think it's a bit overkill to go so far as to do every connection on a vehicle, if I have to make an extension to a power lead (e.g. bigger than 14ga), I'll usually crimp and solder to prevent resistance loss. With LED loads running as low as they are today, it's kind of unnecessary to do that with smaller sizes, and maybe there's some creedence to the idea mentioned by Ocean17.

philter74 said:
I prefer the Perma-Seal connectors. They are translucent vs the cheaper nylon heat shrink connectors, and that allows you to see that the wire is seated properly in the connector, and also that when the connector heats up and the glue melts that you have a complete seal.

36: Search: perma-seal - Page 1 of 2


I also only use an electric heat gun, I find it is very easy to burn the wire or connector when using a butane torch.
+1 on the Perma-seal connectors and the heat gun. Heat guns also don't require butane after a few weeks' use. ;P
 

AJ3814

Site Regular
I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has shared input here. I have been in and around LE my whole life, and will soon be wiring my POV and want to make sure it is done correctly. I have a 2015 4Runner and live in Montana. Due to weather I am a BIG proponent of rotators. I HATE strobes, and tolerate LED's. This has been VERY informative for me and am grateful for all the information shared here. Thanks folks!!
 

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