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Wired & Rewired

Wired & Rewired

While the dash was out for the heater core replacement, I decided to go ahead and get some wiring out of the way.  It was just as bad under the hood, sadly, but it was easier to manage the clean up and redo in the car with the dash out.

Here is a list of some things I found inside:

  • Relay – Rogue relay installed, ran to nothing, tapped into cigarette light circuit.
  • Wire – Rogue blue wire, ran to nothing on both sides, frayed and cracked.
  • Radiator fan – Ran to internal fuse box, not fused.
  • Boost Gauge – Lighting ran to internal fuse panel, not fused.
  • Air:Fuel Gauge – Sensor wire ran to nothing.

List of engine bay items:

  • Headlight’s LED Halos – Not hooked up at all.
  • Radiator Fan – Hot wired to internal fuse box, not fused.
  • Harness – OE connector had been crushed.
  • Wire – A bit of rogue wire had been run but not hooked up to anything.

Most of these are simple things.  For starters, I ripped it all out, completely. The fan would be reworked to go back onto the stock harness, the gauge I would hook up to the dimmer switch for the rest of the gauges, and the relay could just be shelved for another project since it did appear to function correctly.  I really didn’t trust any of the connections, they had been twisted together and taped up.  That is probably fine for most people but my personal standard is much higher, and expensive for that matter.

I broke out all of my bins that keep my spare electronic parts and the tools to start this up. I found that the headlights had these LED halos inside of them but were not hooked up. I thought about when I wanted them turned on and how I would control that.  Eventually, I decided to just have them come on when the key was in the acc/on positions.  This would keep them on pretty much any time that the stereo was on.  Seemed legit, as the conditions should be about the same in both cases.  I took the same approach with the A:F Gauge, it should be on when the car is on, it doesn’t have a high draw on the power.

I started to draw out the schematics of how this would look and realized that even though the LED’s and the gauge are low-amp devices, it could start to tax the ACC/IGN circuit that was already wired.   Instead of running a whole new circuit from scratch, I decided to actually cut the factory harness at the stereo and rob its blue wire.  The blue wire is used to turn on the stereo when the key is at the ACC or ON/IGN position. I ran this down the coil side of a relay and grounded the other side.  Basically, any time that the radio would had been on before would instead charge the relay and pull the switch closed.  I ran a new constant +12v from the battery to the lever side of the switch in the relay and ran a jumper from the pole of the switch to a fuse panel.  From here, the gauge would have its own fuse, the halo LED’s would have its own fuse, and the radio would have its own as well.  It would also allow me to add more fused devices in the future..  What I did not add to this was the wiring for the amps that will drive the rest of the audio, I’ll cover those in another article.  I will, how ever, go ahead and post a photo of the full schematic. One of the things I found, after the fact, is that I wish I had chosen a better location for the fuse panel, its a pain to get to.  I did run enough excess wire to relocate if I decide to in the future though.


The harness for the fan was really the most complicated problem in the car.  I pulled out the wiring to the internal fuse panel and start searching for the plug on the harness for the OE fans.  It took for ever to find because it was tucked into the fender and tied up.  To make things better, it was crushed, with all the elements exposed and the wires cracked.  Against what I believe, I went ahead and cut just past the worst of the wire and added a pigtail from some spare 1g connectors I had.  It may be frowned upon but its a better solution than a lot of what is on the streets.  It took a while to locate where on the relay panel the wire went to.  After identifying the locations, I decided to run it to the HI relay after talking with a friend about it.


OE Fan connector.


Some engine bay spaghetti, lite edition.

After hours of crimping, soldering, and heat shrinking, I have everything installed.  Its safe, its reliable, and it works.  I couldn’t test everything out until I had the car back together.  I spent over a week working on this so far, so I was eager to test it all.    Once we were back together, I fired it up. Nothing caught fire and everything appeared to work minus the light on the boost gauge.  A problem in the testing phase was that it was 10 degrees outside. Even with the hood down, the garage was so cold that the motor wouldn’t heat up past 200.    Luckily, I was able to force the fan on with DSMLink, confirming that the fan circuit was in fact working as expected. A first project well done.

About Ashley Young

I'm a North Carolina transplanted girl reaching my 30's. A few years ago, I procured my first DSM that would eventually mature many of my skills. This website is dedicated to the stories, adventures, and lessons that the car has brought to me over the years.
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