For the most part I'm done with all the electrical accessory design and I'm ready to start building the enclosure, harnesses and installing the base pieces.
I have the 175A alternator installed. I settled on 1/0 AWG from the Blue Sea 150 fuse/buss panel that will be mounted where the existing OEM air box is to the battery, 1/0 AWG to replace the OEM negative battery cable, 1/0 AWG for the positive run from the alternator to the battery and 1/0 for the winch to the battery. 1/0 for fuse/buss panel is overkill right now, but its easier to do the heavy cable up front while the entire front is tore off rather than have to tear into it after everything is built. I'm going to install 500A bulk head pass-throughs in the radiator support for the winch - run two short runs from the battery to the radiator support, and two short runs from the winch to the support. The way I wire the winch, this allows me to easily disconnect the winch without disturbing any of the wiring if the bumper has to come off. My black '97 has two long runs and its a PITA. It was worth $40 for bulkhead pass-throughs and four 3/8" lugs to not have to deal with this again.
For lack of a better place to put a bunch of switches for the lighting, compressor and air lockers, I'm pulling the single CD player located in the console and installing a custom built enclosure. Its an enclosure rather than a 'panel' because it will also hold the three relays necessary for the front cornering lights and the delayed-off enclosure illumination and exterior lighting feature. The enclosure is connectorized just like the OEM CD player so it will be easily removable if I need to tech to do something under the dash.
The enclosure illumination (the switch lettering) will stay lit for 15 minutes after the ignition is turned off. The compressor and locker solenoids are powered continuously so the lockers will stay engaged even with the vehicle turned off and the key removed. I wanted the exterior lighting only powered with the ignition on or in acc - so normal OEM behavior - but I wanted the exterior lighting to stay on (if it was already on) after the vehicle was turned off for the same 15 minutes as the enclosure illumination and then automatically turn off. InPOWER supplies a nifty delayed-off relay that makes this all possible in a simple, single tiny package.
The really annoying fly in this setup is having the front and rear locker switches in the console out of easy reach. Fine for a mall-crawler, but otherwise not so good.
I've lived for almost 15 years with the front/rear lockers in my big Sport wired together so that one switch turns both on or off and its rare that this is an issue. Mostly I wanted to be able to turn the front and rear on/off independently of each other in the this build BEFORE I hit an obstacle - not during. If I could get that functionality I'd be happy. The '99 has the OEM R/D locker so it has the switch in the left side of the dash which will be removed since I'm installing ARB air lockers. I reworked the wiring a little and found a company that will 'print' custom Carling rocker switch covers so this switch will replace the OEM locker switch and will effectively be a master on/off switch for the differentials. I can set whatever configuration at the console, and control on/off form the master switch next to the steering wheel.
The toggle switches are Carling illuminated tip - white off and red on - and the Carling rocker also has off and on illumination. I think I'll either paint or powder coat the enclosure using the black 'wrinkle' paint - I haven't looked that far ahead yet.
If I end up having to make a custom enclosure for the shifter, I'll make them match. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
I ran out of space on the face of the enclosure so I had to cut out one switch. I integrated the backup lights and rear corner lights into on switch figuring that if I needed one or the other, I probably needed both.
I'm looking forward to having the front corner/cornering lights and if they work as well as I expect, I'm going to integrate this design into my big '97. The design has two 'modes'. The front lights can be used as 'corner' lights were both LT/RT can be turned on/off from a switch in the console enclosure - handy off road - OR they can function like 'cornering' lights found in higher end sports luxury vehicles where the corresponding LT or RT corner light is turned on when the turn signal is activated.
This has nothing to do with any overall real benefit in functionality, its just my personal preference - if the corner lights are turned on via the console switch, when the turn signal is activated, both corner lights turn off and the corresponding LT or RT corner light activates. I have no idea why I'd have the corner lights turned on on the street, but I didn't want the opposing light on making a turn - especially a right hand turn. Like I said, just personal preference.
There's several ways to make the cornering light thing work, but again I'm two relays from InPOWER - in this case 5 second 'one shot' relays - to make the corner lights stay steady rather than flash like the turn signals. I also added a small mini solid state relay to cut power to the InPOWER relays when the vehicle is turned off. Its only a few milliamps of draw per relay but there's no reason to power them when the vehicle is sitting off in the driveway for three months.
Half a dozen 3A rectifier diodes finish up the logic to make the corner/cornering lights work.
I'm going to use the new ARB air compressor in this build as well. I'm pretty happy with it to the point - even if the price is outrageous.
I haven't used it to air up tires yet, but I want to keep that as my emergency backup method so I'm using 8 AWG for the run from the compressor to the fuse/buss panel with a 75A relay. The Blue Sea panel uses AMI/MIDI and ATO/ATC fuses so the compressor will tie in though a 40A fuse in the panel.
I'm testing a new headlight harness from CE Auto Electric Supply on my big Sport. If that works out well, I'll get another one for this build and tie it back into the same Blue Sea panel with a 30A AMI/MIDI fuse.
The sucky part is I'm still trying to work out how to attach all this to the battery.
Monster stopped making the battery terminals I use on the big Sport. I need two 175A, one 500A and one 60A fuses at the battery for the alternator, fuse/buss panel, winch and electric cooling fans and there's precious little space around the battery.
This is what I'm waiting for: MRBF Surface Mount Fuse Block - Common Source
, but I'll probably end up using these Dual MRBF Terminal Fuse Block - 30 to 300A
directly off the battery terminal. I found one that looks like it might work but it will require a little modification - like replacing the three 5/16" that they come with with 3/8" screws.Bassik Positive Battery Terminal
While I am still underwhelmed by the components that Derale supplies with their cooling fan controller, I'm pleased with the controller itself so I'm going to stick with that for the time being. It works well controlling the dual Ford Contour fans using the in-hose sensor. The Contour fan motor plugs are now available even on Amazon and its simple enough to wire up a custom harness so there's not much point in crawling through the salvage yards for wiring anymore.
I think I paid $12 for two brand new plugs with pig-tails - less than the cost of gas to the nearest yard.
I have all the parts and pieces - I think - to start working on this piece this weekend. I'm only going to wire up the engine bay, winch to the radiator support, and the harness into the cab to the enclosure and the master locker switch harness for now. Once the bumpers are on with the corner lights and the SAS is done, I'll finish the exterior wiring.
Next on the list after all the electrical will be installing the ARB bull bar - which is taking up like 1/4 of my driveway right now
- and the XD9000 Warn and the All-Pro rock skids. Then its off to the shop for a custom rear bumper and tire carrier. Then the SAS. A lot left to do before this thing will be done.