dRock's Trunk mounted power distribution install


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The following article describes my installation of my trunk-mounted power distribution; it can also be applied to those who wish to run power to their trunk for amps, etc.

It directly applies to 95-97 Panthers, but can be used as a guideline for any vehicle

I do not recommend this project for anyone who is not experienced working on automotive electrical systems.

Materials needed:

- At least 20ft of 10-4 awg or larger stranded copper wire (preferably in red, I used 6 awg) . This will be the primary power feed , so size it according to you're current and future needs

- At least 10ft of 12-18 awg stranded copper wire (in red). This will be for the individual circuits

- At least 10ft of 12-18 awg stranded copper wire (in black). This will be for grounding the components.

- At least 20 ft of 3/8 Wire loom

- At least 2 50ft rolls of 3M electrical tape.

- At least 1 30amp Weather resistant fuse holder (preferably an ATC style). If you plan on drawing more than 20 amps install a larger, use a higher-rated fuse holder, or a Maxi- fuse holder.

- Various sizes of heat-shrink tubing, from 4-18 awg

- Electrical-grade Solder.

- At least 2 ring terminal to match the size of primary feed wire.

- At least 1 ring terminal to match the gauge of ground wire used for each circuit

- A few spade, ring, and female connectors, matched to the size of the individual circuit wire.

- A multi-circuit fuse block, I used a 4 circuit model.

- Plenty of black nylon zip-ties, multiple sizes.

- Some nylon 'christmas tree' type clips, in various sizes " - 1/8".

- Some self-tapping sheet metal screws,various sizes.

- Silicone di-electric grease.

- RTV silicone.

Tools:

- A soldering iron capable of soldering 6 awg wire (I used an 85 watt)

- Wire-crimping/stripping tool.

- A heavy-duty wire cutter.

- A set of metric wrenches.

- A set of screwdrivers.

- A utility knife.

- A floor jack and at least 2 jack stands.

Procedure:

The first step I did was overlooking the car, under the hood, and under the chassis, all developing a mental plan of attack.

I spent about a half hour doing this, so don't just rush into it, you MUST get an idea of what you are doing before you tackle this.

Next I began making a harness. I measured out 20 ft of the red 6 awg stranded copper wire and then fed it through 20 ft of the 3/8 wire loom. I then wrapped the entire length of the harness with electrical tape, making sure to leave no gaps. I wanted to strive for the ultimate in both fault-tolerance, and factory appearance. This was very, very tedious.

Next step was disconnecting the battery, this is a MUST, make sure you have all the doors unlocked, and the keys in your pocket, so you don't lock yourself out.

I then began routing the new harness. I started by feeding the wire up, from the undercarriage behind the RH wheel, into the engine compartment. I routed the wiring under the EVAP housing, around the coolant overflow reservoir (between it and fender) and to the LH headlamp.

I had already established a power 'point' behind the headlamp for my Headlamp Wiring Upgrade project, and I wanted to keep all of my added fuse holder together for the neatest appearance (especially since all the wiring and fuse holders are covered by the headlamp access panel) so I routed it to here.

You will want to route it directly to the power distribution block input (follow from battery), slide the plastic cover up to expose the input bolt. Remove the input bolt's nut using the appropriate metric wrench.

Strip " off one of the fuse holder's wires, and slide a piece of heat shrink, approx. 1 inch in length that is slightly larger than the diameter of the ring terminal to be attached. Solder the ring terminal to the fuse holder's wire, then heat shrink over the splice.

Now strip " off of both the primary feed wire and the fuse holder's output wire. Slide a ~2" length of heat shrink tubing over the primary feed wire; now solder the two wires together. Then slide the heat shrink tubing over the splice and heat to shrink.

Attach the ring terminal to input bolt, apply silicone di-electric grease and re-install input bolt nut. Tighten to 'good and tight', but do not over tighten.

Find a suitable place to mount the fuse holder and install with a self tapping screw DO NOT INSTALL FUSE YET, Do not connect battery yet either.

Now slide the wire loom over the pre-established splice and tape to the wiring.

Neaten up the harness and area, slide slack back down to undercarriage.

Remove the spare tire from trunk.

Now jack up the rear of the car, putting jack stands under the frame rails!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in factory indicated locations) Allow the rear suspension to fully expand.

Time to get under the car, there isn't really anyway to give you a step-by-step but using the xmas tree plugs (by taping them to the harness) in any factory hole, and zip ties, make you.re way down the chassis to the rear suspension.

When you reach the rear suspension, take you're time. Think about how the suspension will travel and route the wire accordingly. Remember to make sure it is very secure!

I found a grommet in the center of the trunk shelf, in front of the fuel tank. I popped it out from underneath using a long screw driver.

Feed the remaining amount of the harness through the hole. Do a once-over, then lower the vehicle back down to the ground.


Ok, the easiest way to proceed from here is put all your materials and tools in the trunk. Then climb on in.

You will see the harness right away atop the shelf. Relocate the old grommet and cut out a hole slightly smaller than the wire harness, feed through and re-install the grommet with wire-harness. Seal around harness on the gasket with RTV silicone.

Now find a place to mount your fuse block, the back of the rear seat frame is in close proximity making it ideal.

Drill you're holes shallow, as to not go through the seat, additionally use self-tapping screws with length as short as possible to eliminate a not so pleasant surprise for rear seat occupants.

Cut the harness to the length of the new fuse block location, allow some slack.

Strip, solder and heat shrink the appropriate terminal for your fuse block.

Now connect the battery, and install fuse in the under-hood fuse holder (install a fuse relative to which gauge wire used).

From here you are free to wire all of your individual components inside your trunk, continue to use wire loom and soldered and heat shrunk terminals for a more factory appearance. Although it wouldn't hurt, You can leave the battery connected from here, just leave the fuse for the circuit you're working on un-installed until finished.

Use the appropriate size fuse for each circuit you are adding. Also, I recommend using 12 gauge stranded copper wire for the individual circuits.

You will also need a ground for each circuit you add, you may wish to do that at component location or a central ground. For convenience purposes I did a little of both.

 


 

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Page last updated: 1-09-2006