I'm at the point now that I am going to be adding some lights and other electrical accessories to my JKU. I've been doing a LOT of reading about different professional and DIY options for switch/relay solutions that people are using in their Jeeps. Since I want a clean and neat install (I'm OCD like that), but I just can't bring myself to pony-up for one of the professional kits, I decided to do it myself.
I'm creating this thread to chronicle the project. I'm a pretty handy guy, but I think this type of thing can be tackled by just about anyone willing to do it. Since, as I mentioned before, I am a bit OCD about projects, I spent a little more money and bought a few tools to make things easier. I'll list all the steps of the process, the components and the associated costs as I go so anyone who wants to follow along can.
I decided that for my project I would be going with the Cooper Bussmann 5 relay, 10 fuse box. I've seen many different builds with different configurations of this particular box, so if you're going to build along, make sure you get the same one as I did!
My first parts order from WAYTEK consisted of the following:
1ea - Bussmann Fuse/Relay Panel 15303-2-2-4 (46343) - $28.48
100ea - Packard Cavity Plug (39010) - $6.69
100ea - Delphi Cable Seal-Green (39000) - $6.30
100ea - Delphi Cable Seal-Gray (39001) - $6.34
50ea - Metri-Pack 280 Series Female Terminal 18-16ga (30069) - $5.65
50ea - Metri-Pack 280 Series Female Terminal 14-12ga (31069) - $5.66
5ea - Song Chuan ISO 280 Micro Relays (75703) - $14.55
1ea - 60A Circuit Breaker (48891) - $22.76
As you can see above, I got a few different sizes of Metri-Pack terminals and cable seals. I'm going to run 14ga wire for all of my +12v runs, and I'll be using 18ga wire for the runs to my switches. If you use different wire sizes, you'll need the appropriate seals and terminals. I also got a few terminal blocks and terminal block jumpers, but you may not need them depending on how you end up doing your project.
The Bussmann panel is rated to 80 amps total, but I went with a 60A breaker and I will be wiring everything appropriately.
Here is how it all arrived:
Let's break down how the box works... This box accepts 10 standard automotive mini fuses and 5 micro relays. It has internal busses for both +12v and NEG (ground) accessed via 1/4" studs on the bottom of the box. The +12v bus energizes one side of the bank of fuses, the NEG bus internally grounds pin 85 on your relays.
Here's a shot with more detail on how it all works:
With the micro relays, the pinout/wiring goes as follows:
- Direct power from battery to the +12v post
- Direct -NEG from battery (or chassis ground) to -NEG post
- 12v constant fused power (from Fx
) to pin 30 on the relay (this is what will eventually go to your attached accessory)
- Pin 86 is the relay input (from switch)
- Pin 87 is the relay output (to accessory)
Notice that you have 10 fused outputs, but you only need five of them to power your relays. If you want to, you can use the other 5 fused outputs to power other electrical gadgets that don't require relay switching (CB or the like). I'm just going to be using the panel for the 5 relays, so the "extra" 5 fuse spots will just be plugged on my build. It's easy enough to take the plug out and connect a terminal should I change my mind later.
I spent $35 and bought a generic set of Metri-Pack crimpers on eBay. Let me say... It was WELL WORTH THE $35! It makes things so much easier!
Let's get started!
First, I practiced a bit with my crimpers until I got the hang of it. Because of the minimum quantities of terminals and cable seals that you have to buy from WAYTEK, you'll have plenty of extras to practice with. A properly crimped connector should look like this:
Make sure to crimp them nice and tight. Also, pull on the terminals to make sure they're tight, just to be sure.
Once I got the hang of it, I made the jumpers to go from fused power to pin 30 on my relays. This is the main, constant fused power that will eventually be powering my accessories, so I used 14ga wire.
Since I'm not going to be using the extra 12v fused outputs, I decided to make the wiring cleaner and simpler and use the odd numbered fuses for my relays. I also put the cavity plugs in all the holes I won't be using to keep things splash proof.
Once I got to that point, I went ahead and ran my 14ga accessory output pigtails from pin 87 on my relays. I just cut the wires right at 12" and left the one end unfinished since I haven't decided 100% on how I'm going to terminate them. Here's how it ended-up for today:
I'm still waiting on some more connectors and fancy colored wires to get here, so this is as far as I'm able to go for now. I'll update this thread as I get more done... Hopefully it won't be too long!