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  #1  
Old 01-22-2017, 06:17 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Electrocity Woes..

Think Electric and Atrocity... that's what my rigs wiring is like. I've had several problems so far and have tried a few things for solutions and at the end of the day I'm really glad I never turned in the "core" on my new battery because it's once or twice a week I end up with a dead battery.

Combine that with my head lights working.. sometimes.. my wiper circuit and it's disappearing act..

and almost none of my gauges working... or I can't trust what they read (temp gauge says I'm overheating before I even crank the motor )

I find myself in need of some fabricobbling.

One of the very first things that happened to my jeep was someone tried to steal it by drilling out the ignition lock.. so as a security measure for THAT issue that has the added benefit of manually disconnecting the battery from EVERYTHING (and thus prevent random vampiric drain=no start/truck bonfire) was to install a battery disconnect. However I haven't installed it yet because I've been trying to figure out where a good location was and I wanted to exorcise some electrical demons first.

But I'm no electrical priest. I know more than the average person but I still have a healthy respect for magik electron pixies that travel through solid objects to shock/burn you.

Hence this post, because I'm trying to do several things semi-simultaneously and the J20 is my DD at the moment so the 7P rule applies (for the uninitiated: prior-proper-planning-prevents-piss-poor-performance)

Rig, 1977 J20. Relatively factory with PO wiring rats nest, unplugged connectors, less wires in places where other peoples rigs seem to have more, ect.

Objectives:
1.Safely install battery disconnect switch in semi-convieniant not horribly obvious location with no more than 5' of red and 5' black 2 AWG wire,

2. Conduct Serehill method ammeter to voltmeter swap, including 40 amp auto breakers and reconfiguring wires from alternator they way basically every car does it, ie Alternator to battery and NOT to dashboard through thin wires to battery..


3. Sort out Solenoid confusion-- So, everyone else seems to have more things plugged to their solenoid than I do... and nearly all of the wiring connected to the solenoid is on the positive side.. I'll run out and take a picture I suppose that will be most beneficial to figuring that out.

4/5. Either "fix" or create independant circuit for Headlights and Wiper blades.

6. Replace wiring harness. I'm reluctant to tackle this one, even with the labeled kits and such it seems like an awful lot of work. However, everything is relatively simple and this "should" fix some potential issues and make the rig much safer. This is the sort of thing I would like to take my time with and install the smartest way possible... but that involves the slow process of deliberation and often, customization. None of these things coincide with being a daily driver... I may put this off until I get my mini cooper back.

All I want from you, whoever you are, is any input or advice you may have on the issue. Have you had to make up your own wiper circuit before? Is there a particular way of doing things you'd go about doing? Do my "solutions" sound completely bogus? A little validation goes a long way.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:13 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Update, had to have someone jump me... While waiting for said someone I did some poking around and took some pictures... because threads are useless without pics.

Solenoid. I suspect this is part of the problem. Almost everything is on the positive side of the solenoid. The other two studs seem to be completely useless, or at least from ground to either (with ignition on or off) I get 0 volts. Maybe I should have checked for continuity but I figure no power is no power.. also, I have no idea what the wire plugged on to one is for...



engine side view of the rats nest that is my wiring.


Suspect number two, A few thoughts here. 1. It seems this is not general issue for this make and model.. I only just realized this today. So looking up alternator wiring for FSJ's I find things I don't have on mine (like spade terminals) and yeah, my head hurts. I know very little about this alternator other than I have had it tested and it DOES make power.. The voltage regulator is very new but I'm uncertain if it's necessary with this alternator or not.. and lastly, pretty sure there's supposed to be MORE than 2 wires connected to the alternator... From what I can tell red wire goes to VR, VR goes to Ammeter, ect. I'm not sure where the green goes.. Although I do have a lose green wire in the cab with a ring terminal that I can't figure out..

one more thing, is the VR supposed to have 3 wires? cause I only have three wires going to the plug on my VR (voltage regulator) and that burnt red wire with the yellow trace? It's also not connected to anything..





Dead end red and yellow wire seen here, as well as 5 terminals for the alternator, none of which I know anything about. Yay.


Any help is MUCH appreciated, I'm in serious need of some Guru Guidance.
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Old 01-24-2017, 02:03 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Not to be an attention whore but I could really use some advice guys, the crickets are not helpful..
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2017, 03:40 PM
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Heep-J4000 Heep-J4000 is offline
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Wow your right about having a rats nest problem!

i will have to take a look at my old wiring what is replaced with the old motorola for a CS 121 with internal VR
and take some pictures how the wires are connected onto the starter solenoid.

And about the red wire with yellow/white trace ,there are some extra not used wires with that color on my jeep to!
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:22 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Yeah.. batteries dead again, I didn't even get a whole day this time. I pulled some of the casing off the wires to see whats going on and I'm not excited about what I see.

The little green wire goes to the center of the alternator and ends at the far right of the VR

the Red w/ white trace that's burnt on one end goes to the middle of the VR so presumably it has a purpose...

and I'm still tracing the yellow.

I'm trying google photos for image hosting, so below is new picture if it works... and of course it doesn't. Expletive Deleted!Expletive Deleted!Expletive Deleted!Expletive Deleted! it
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2017, 06:25 PM
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R69US R69US is offline
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I have a new harness in mine, but can offer some basic troubleshooting that might help.

-When you first turn key to on, but not start, do you have a 'GEN' or "Alt" light lit? It needs to go on with key on, then go out right after. If not, that's a problem since it excites the alternator. It won't work (charge) for long with out it, if at all.
-When it's running, did you measure voltage at the battery? It should be north of 13 volts or so at idle. Less than 12 and you're not charging.
If not, measure at the alternator (big red post on back). Is it same as battery or higher? If same (<12 or so), you're alternator is either no good, or not excited.
If it's reading 13.5 or up, then you have either a fuse or fusible link (if they ran those on Jeeps, again mine's all aftermarket) that's blown.

I'd say start there and post back.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:53 PM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrenchMonkey
Not to be an attention whore but I could really use some advice guys, the crickets are not helpful..

This thread might get some more traffic if it wasn't in the Fabrication section. I'd see if a Mod can move it to Gen Tech or somewhere else for you.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2017, 10:44 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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wrench monkey

Let's talk I answered you PM. there nothing here that can't be repaired. a few mods & parts replacements will be in order but you can put this together. You have my number first order of business is a delco 12 si
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2017, 11:12 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81
This thread might get some more traffic if it wasn't in the Fabrication section. I'd see if a Mod can move it to Gen Tech or somewhere else for you.

Ah, I'm still getting my bearings around the forum. How long you been at Whidbey? Where's home or where to next? I did 8 years, Gm2 (EXW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R69US
-When you first turn key to on, but not start, do you have a 'GEN' or "Alt" light lit? It needs to go on with key on, then go out right after. If not, that's a problem since it excites the alternator. It won't work (charge) for long with out it, if at all.

There's a gen or alt light... I can't say that I've ever noticed. But I think I've found my problem, or at least the biggest component. The wires are FUBAR, if you look there are more crimp connectors than there should be by several orders of magnitude. Specifically the wire that activates the alternator seems to be the red and white stripe one. Minus said wire I'm getting no charge. I ordered a new Alternator anyways because I had spent way way too much time looking at wiring diagrams and trying to figure it out only to realize after the fact that my alternator is not factory or close to it. It looks like it's in good condition and I had assumed it was newer based on those looks but research seems to indicate that alternator was made from 1963-65 and very little information is available besides that. How in the hell my truck ended up with an alternator older than it is...

Secondly, the starter solenoid, because it's not very expensive, I don't know how old it is, and because neither of the two vertical poles receive power with the ignition turned (which is how it's supposed to work, as I understand it..). I think the reason everything is on the positive side of the solenoid must be due to the need for switched power and with switched not working..


After seeing what was hiding inside the wire loom I'm definitely rewiring the whole rig. Not tomorrow but soon as I get my car back and can spare the J20's DD duties. I have some relays on route and a 60/40 breaker +volt meter to do serehill style voltmeter intstall
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:46 AM
ShagWagon ShagWagon is offline
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I'd grab all those rats nests and shake them. Have someone else sit inside and see what blinks on and off or flickers and dims when you shake and wiggle wires.

Then get out your solder iron and redo any connections that aren't up to par with soldered shrink wrapped connections. Process of elimination.

Also rusted out corroded connectors on your instrument panel connector pins in the back. Inspect and wiggle the connector pins and resoldered and cleanup and test the gauges till it all works.

Lucky you have serhill to help.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2017, 08:01 AM
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nograin nograin is offline
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One way to reduce the is isolate the wiring circuits. You can start with the ones I made http://www.heritech.org/wagoneer/mggw5.html
for the 1985 charging circuit by downloading the gif, or go to the link with a blank version. Modify on your computer or trace on paper for your '77

Alternators can be designed a few different ways. For the GM 10SI, 12SI alternators if the wiring to the dash light or ammeter is cut, they won't work.
Not sure what alt is on yours. There are 'one wire' alternators people install to 'simplify' their system. I put 'simplify' in quotes because it simplified one aspect (the quantity of wires) but can complicate the rest of the wiring and may not be as sensitive to when it should be charging. Anyway, that *may* be why there is a different alt on your J.

If it starts with a jump, then the relay on the inner fender must be working.
Start on the Ignition Switch causes the relay to close sending direct battery power to both the heavy Starter and the small Ignition terminal. This puts full battery voltage to the Coil and reduced voltage to the ECU. Once its running, power to the ECU and coil go through the ignition switch's Run position.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:32 AM
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Probesport Probesport is offline
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For a quick fix on battery drain issues, grab yourself a priority start



As far as wiring woes, we've all been there. I pulled all of my wiring and replaced it, slowly, section by section, adding fuses, relays, etc. Its really the best way if you want a reliable rig.
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2017, 11:23 AM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nograin
If it starts with a jump, then the relay on the inner fender must be working.
Start on the Ignition Switch causes the relay to close sending direct battery power to both the heavy Starter and the small Ignition terminal. This puts full battery voltage to the Coil and reduced voltage to the ECU. Once its running, power to the ECU and coil go through the ignition switch's Run position.

Couple of things. First off, ECU? As in electronics control unit? I saw something in the diagrams that said that but I haven't seen one anywhere... my mind just filled in the blanks and mistook the Voltage Regulator for both devices.. So.. how much of a problem is that?

Secondly, My understanding of the solenoid and what get's plugged into it and why is clearly in need of a workout. The little blue/green wire going to one of the vertical posts.. Is that where the "signal" from the ignition activates the solenoid to complete the circuit to start the motor? And if so, then my theory that all the wires being plugged into the positive side of solenoid being the source of the drain doesn't make sense, right? Because they wouldn't be receiving power without completing the circuit. But then everything should die after engine start up with the ignition no longer in "start" position the solenoid would open...

A third issue making this issue even more difficult for me to grasp is I keep trying to understand the factory diagrams, then interpret what PO did or why and how or what applies when you consider non factory components. For example, Street Demon carb and HEI Dizzy with top mounted IC each have only 1 wire. My 12v for the electric choke and the Dizzy are both sourced to the only wire in the loom that I could find that was actually "switched" 12vdc. The VR has three wires, green to field winding on Alternator, Yellow to Starter Solenoid (which side is + and - in the diagram? I can't see enough detail in the drawings) and black to "splice L"... where is splice L? Who splices 6 wires into one anyways? Is the black thing in the diagram above splice L supposed to be the Ignition Coil?

I'm trying to eliminate things that no longer apply, I have no carb solenoid, therefor no need for #73 Red w/ tr, and so on, but I don't want to unintentionally FUBAR it even more. I only just realized the alternator in the diagram doesn't connect directly to the battery... wtf.. so that's why peoples rigs burn to the ground..

BTW does "73 RED W/TR-16" = red with trace-16awg or red white trace-16awg? I see sometimes other colors are specified but when they don't specify is the default white?
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:51 PM
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nograin nograin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrenchMonkey
Couple of things. First off, ECU? As in electronics control unit?

Yes. I just glanced at the 76 and 77 diagrams on Tom Collin's website and yours should have one. Unlikely someone went back to points. But an HEI or Pertronix conversion would place the ECU (its basically a signal amplifier) into the distributor.

The same diagrams show both an external and an internal regulator option. Someone else can pipe in on which option would have originally come on your truck. The diagram on my website is for alternators with internal regulator. From the photo with the 'select' pictured your Jeep has an external regulator.

Quote:
Secondly, My understanding of the solenoid and what get's plugged into it and why is clearly in need of a workout. The little blue/green wire going to one of the vertical posts.. Is that where the "signal" from the ignition activates the solenoid to complete the circuit to start the motor?
Yes. edit:There's sometimes a little confusion with terms. The blue wire is hot when the ignition switch is on Start. The relay is mechanical, it may be a solenoid inside, that is engerized and closes the switch for the battery hot to the other terminals. So this the Starter Relay, but some folks call it a solenoid relay. The starter itself has a solenoid that when energized from the relay moves the pinion to engage the flywheel or flexplate teeth.
Quote:
And if so, then my theory that all the wires being plugged into the positive side of solenoid being the source of the drain doesn't make sense, right? Because they wouldn't be receiving power without completing the circuit. But then everything should die after engine start up with the ignition no longer in "start" position the solenoid would open...
Could be all the extra wires on the battery side, which would mean its always hot. One of those wires should have the fusible link and lead to the ammeter. Normally the fuse, headlights, etc are spliced in on the alternator side of the ammeter.
Quote:
... For example, Street Demon carb and HEI Dizzy with top mounted IC each have only 1 wire. My 12v for the electric choke and the Dizzy are both sourced to the only wire in the loom that I could find that was actually "switched" 12vdc.
These mods are they key. Should be able to use the factory choke assist wire, but probably not critical.
Quote:
The VR has three wires, green to field winding on Alternator, Yellow to Starter Solenoid (which side is + and - in the diagram? I can't see enough detail in the drawings) and black to "splice L"... where is splice L? Who splices 6 wires into one anyways? Is the black thing in the diagram above splice L supposed to be the Ignition Coil?
I assume your working from a digitized version. Try a '76 and a '78 diagram to help solve the puzzle. Chrylser, AMC, Jeep are at least a few of the companies that used splices, lots of 'em.

Quote:
I'm trying to eliminate things that no longer apply, I have no carb solenoid, therefor no need for #73 Red w/ tr, and so on, but I don't want to unintentionally FUBAR it even more. I only just realized the alternator in the diagram doesn't connect directly to the battery... wtf.. so that's why peoples rigs burn to the ground..
Ammeter with shunt is the old way. These wiring systems just grew over the years. Chrysler did it this way at least through the 70s. AFAIK GM and maybe Ford eventually used an engine compartment shunt starting maybe early 70s for cars that actually got an ammeter (they provided 'idiot lights' for their typical base models).

Quote:
BTW does "73 RED W/TR-16" = red with trace-16awg or red white trace-16awg? I see sometimes other colors are specified but when they don't specify is the default white?
#73 Red with trace, 16 gage.
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Last edited by nograin : 01-25-2017 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-2017, 05:15 PM
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Woodchomper Woodchomper is offline
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WrenchMonkey...I suggest you make friends with Tripwire. A keg of Mannys Pale Ale might get you some help on the wiring. I just finished a year of traveling back and forth to Everett for my job. I would have loved to give you a hand with your wiring.

Serehill is right on dumping that alternator. That is one of the first things you should do to get you pointed in the right direction. Also, did anyone else notice from the pictures that the wires for the battery and starter are switched on the solenoid?

Anyway, with a little work you will get the wiring in good order. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:36 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Appreciate the advice guys. I'm pretty sure at some point the PO melted the wiring harness to the engine, or something along those lines because I've discovered the reason there's so many splice connectors in all the wiring is because at some point someone used a lot of red wires to replace the middle portion of nearly every wire in the engine bay side of the fusebox socket. They did a lot of the same underneath the dash. Honestly, after some of the crap I pulled out today I'm surprised it's ever run at all, or hadn't already burned down.

As for the solenoid wiring I can't find any markings that say which way is what, the way it's wired in the pictures is how I got it and it's has started it up everytime.. when the batteries not dead.
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:21 AM
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Woodchomper Woodchomper is offline
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Zack at ZMJeeps has some nice options for replacement harnesses. I've seen his products in person and they use the best wire available. http://stores.zmjeeps.com/fsj-all-3/...eatured&page=2

As far as the solenoid being wired backward, I don't think it really matters. However, traditionally (Ford, Jeep, and AMC) put the battery cable on the side post near the S terminal and the Starter cable on the side post near the I terminal. Having the battery and starter wires reversed would not cause the battery drain you are seeing.

A bad alternator diode can cause a battery drain. In your case it could also be about a million other things associated with that wiring mess. You might be able to trace down the drain by temporarily removing some of the extra wires on the battery side of the solenoid and seeing if the drain problem goes away.
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:27 AM
ShagWagon ShagWagon is offline
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Just a guess

Maybe they replaced the fuse box with another on from another keep and just clipped and spliced all the wires one at a time back to the fuse box.

I'd also check for moisture. That may be why they did some of this because the old fuse box rusted out.

That wouldnt be all that bad but I'd redo them and twist, solder, and shrink wrap. If they got them all correct. No need fires.....or gremlins....
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:37 PM
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blazer3664 blazer3664 is offline
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Quote:
I'm pretty sure at some point the PO melted the wiring harness to the engine, or something along those lines

Could be the ammeter wire cooked, taking the other wires with it.

If it was mine, I'd start with the alt.
Complete rip out and replace.

Then neaten up that starter relay stuff.

Then the butt connectored mess by the firewall............
Quote:
That wouldnt be all that bad but I'd redo them and twist, solder, and shrink wrap. If they got them all correct. No need fires.....or gremlins....
and delete the ammeter while you are at it.

Should be a major improvement, with time being the biggest cost.

Or if you wanted to start fresh, with good wiring minus all the spliced stuff..........go with a harness from ZM like Woodchomper mentioned.


I am a bit snobbish on wiring stuff, hate spliced/patched/mismatched wiring.
Wiring is one of those things where if "If it LOOKS sketchy, it most likely IS"
My budget reminds me often though, heatshrink and some time soldering is a lot more "Bang for the buck"

I am in the starting stages of building a whole new (off-road specific) harness for mine right now. But thats some other post.........

Also.....dont miss out on this,
Quote:
Lucky you have serhill to help.

Thats a great bit of help right there.

Jim
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:37 PM
WrenchMonkey WrenchMonkey is offline
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Join Date: Dec 16, 2016
Location: Monroe, WA
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So the 10 gauge red and yellow wires that went from alt or solenoid to ammeter were totally melted in places. and the number of splices, good lord..

Anyways NEW alternator is in, I've done some clean up of old splices and added new wire where necessary, shrink tubbing everything everywhere because that's how it's done, so I can't confuse my work with the POs...

Quick question though, alternator ground, the old on wasn't grounded.. do these ground through the metal mounting brackets or should I throw an extra ground on there?

Ammeter is being replaced with voltmeter, I was planning on just plugging into the cig lighter or something for the VM, but I realize now that about 5 or more systems are powered from that 10 gauge wire I just ripped out (thanks to the most insane splice I've ever seen under the dash).

I have some 60/40 breakers as well, I want to verify that these are an acceptable "replacement"/safety measure in place of the "fuseable link".. Thanks guys
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