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Discussion Starter #1
I've been searching several forums and can't seem to find the answer so I hope someone can enlighten me.

I'm running 4 switches for lights, heated seats, and (eventually) onboard air. I've tapped into the Accessory cig plug for the heated seats (non-Mopar) and I really don't want to tap into it again for fear of overloading the 20A fuse.

I've read that I can tap into the fuse box and find an ignition controlled fuse that isn't being used (like M8 or M9 for factory heated front/rear seats). How exactly do you tap into it?

I tried using a fuse tap but it wouldn't allow my fuse box lid to close.



I found a smaller one, but it was only a 10A one and, although the fuse box would close, the lid ended up clipping the wire.



Can you tap into the wire from UNDER the fuse box? Or, is there another accessory wire inside the vehicle that I can tap into, other than the accessory cig lighter?
 

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Sounds like you need an sPod or a bunch of relays that see switched power from the cig 12v, but get power straight from battery through an inline fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I'm familiar with that... pretty pricy! These are the last accessories I'm installing into the Jeep, so I'm just looking for a quick solution.

I guess I'll just have to tap into the accy cig adaptor again. The 4 switches only draw 1.5A total so it should not overload the 20A circuit.
 

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Is there a relay seeing power switched on from the 12v and pulling from the battery or is the main power source through the 12v? If it's the latter, you've got a wonderful Zippo installed in your dash.
 

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Yeah, I'm familiar with that... pretty pricy! These are the last accessories I'm installing into the Jeep, so I'm just looking for a quick solution.

I guess I'll just have to tap into the accy cig adaptor again. The 4 switches only draw 1.5A total so it should not overload the 20A circuit.
Just keep in mind that the quick solution can sometimes result in a longer overhaul later if all your "tapping" comes back to haunt you. The reason so many of us recommend the Spod is for it's clean finish and simple trouble shooting of wiring problems later.

It keeps everything centralized and organized. I remember the days of running whole "home made" light and switch harnesses for my TJ and even though I consider myself no slouch to automotive wiring, I always hated how "rigged" it looked afterwords or the pain in the ass it was to trouble shoot something. It also provides a lot more freedom in what you add in accessories due to the relays without worrying about overloading a circuit that the DC engineers never intended you to tap into. You are basically adding a complete new set of circuits and the only new "strain" is solely on the battery and not existing relays/fuses and possibly too small gauge of wire.

If it was just one or two accessories, ok I might fore go the Spod, but 3 or more switches for me and I'm looking for a clean finished install. Keep in mind I personally don't have a Spod, but I have a similar set-up with a individual fused and relayed board that runs one single line directly to the battery just like the Spod. For the time and trouble now and possibly in the future, my money is on the Spod....just my $.02....:beer:

If you would like to see an alternative to the Spod, here is my install. However, other than the convenience of a single "ribbon" from the relay board to the switch panel, I would recommend the Spod over what I have. I simply used it cause I still had it for a future overhaul in the TJ that I never got around to actually doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Is there a relay seeing power switched on from the 12v and pulling from the battery or is the main power source through the 12v? If it's the latter, you've got a wonderful Zippo installed in your dash.
Oh crap.. no. That would really be bad. I spent a month designing, planning, prepping and executing my install. This is what I did.

Preface: My jeep didn't have fog lamps/tow hooks on the bumper. I replaced it with one I bought off a Rubicon owner. The aftermarket heated seats were purchased 8 years ago. I never got around to installing them in my previous car. The windshield lights and front driving lights are ProComp 55s. I mounted the front driving lights right onto the center of the plastic bumper by using AEV Front Bumper Light Brackets.

Before starting I disconnected the battery. Duh, right! :D

1. I ran a 14" 8-gauge wire from the battery to a Bussman 100A breaker, which is mounted on the inner-right fender. From the breaker I ran it to my central wiring area.



2. I utilized the dead space under the glove box and made that my central wiring area. I mounted four Tyco 20A/40A mini-relays and a Bussman 6-slot fused block (all 30A fuses). Once wired and the panel is closed, you can't see any of it. This area is also very accessible.



For the relays, I followed their wiring diagram provided by ProComp.
  • Pin 87 to 1 of 6 Bussman fused slots.
  • Pin 86 to Carling switch (pin 3)
  • Pin 85 to ground
  • Pin 30 to the Procomp 55 Off-road light.
I pigtailed all the grounds together to reduce the amount of wires.

3. I installed four Carling Contura II rocker switches with custom faceplates that I picked up from Sierra Expedition (fog lights, driving lights, windshield lights & back-up lights). Switches were installed on a Daystar lower dash panel.



I followed the instructions from Carling and wired up these dual lighted switches.
  • Pin 7 and 8 are grounded.
  • Pin 2 and 6 go to an accessory wire.
  • Pin 3 goes to the relay.
I pigtailed all the grounds together to reduce the number of wires. I also did the same for the accessory wire.
For the switches I tapped the Accy cigarette lighter.

Wires were all zip-tied. Running wires are in wire looms and the ends were sealed with 3M cloth friction tape. Grounds were attached to factory grounding points.

Most wires were soldered and shrink-wrapped. Some had butt-connectors but all connection were shrunk-wrapped.

I made custom wiring harnesses for each set of lights, including T-angles. the harnesses are zip-tied to factory harnesses.

All this extra effort was too maintain the "factory look".





The heated seats are also tapped to the Accessory Cig lighter. I mounted the switches on the armrest console. Came in handy since we had SNOW in Glendale, AZ yesterday and it's 28-degrees right now! Ahhh... toasty buns!



Everything seems to work just fine. When the jeep is running, I can turn on all the lights. When I turn the car off, all the lights go off, including the switch lights.

It took me 4 days to do the install. It would have been faster but I didn't have any air tools to assist in removing the bumper or the seats. :pissed:

I'm planning on installing two additional cigarette lighter ports. On in the armrest and one somewhere in the back cargo area. These will go straight to the Bussman fuse block. The backup lights are on order and I'm following the write-up posted on another forum.

Other than what's listed here, I have no immediate intention to install anything else that requires power (knock on wood). If I screwed up anything on the wiring, let me know.

Let There Be Light!

 

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I think I should have gotten the sPOD just for the relay box. I have relays everywhere:

1 - high beam headlight
2 - low beam headlight
3 - fog light
4 - WOLO Bad Boy horn
5 - Aux High Pressure fuel pump (for the supercharger)
6 - Ign switched aux circuit #1 (front half of jeep)
7 - Reverse light switched circuit
8 - Ign switched aux circuit #2 (back half of jeep)

The first five relays are under the hood. 6 is under the dash in a custom box along with a 6 circuit fuse panel, 7 & 8 are mounted to the side of my Tuffy trunk in the rear.

Since I installed HID lights for the headlights, I could combine the function of 1&2 and eliminate one relay, since the bi xenon lights only draw about 5 amps each and the hi/lo function is just a solenoid switched shield, there is no need to have the "high" beam on a separate relay.

And in the future add a few more for auxiliary lighting and such, I can see 12 circuits that should be relay switched.
 

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Oh crap.. no. That would really be bad. I spent a month designing, planning, prepping and executing my install. This is what I did.

Preface: My jeep didn't have fog lamps/tow hooks on the bumper. I replaced it with one I bought off a Rubicon owner. The aftermarket heated seats were purchased 8 years ago. I never got around to installing them in my previous car. The windshield lights and front driving lights are ProComp 55s. I mounted the front driving lights right onto the center of the plastic bumper by using AEV Front Bumper Light Brackets.

Before starting I disconnected the battery. Duh, right! :D

1. I ran a 14" 8-gauge wire from the battery to a Bussman 100A breaker, which is mounted on the inner-right fender. From the breaker I ran it to my central wiring area.

2. I utilized the dead space under the glove box and made that my central wiring area. I mounted four Tyco 20A/40A mini-relays and a Bussman 6-slot fused block (all 30A fuses). Once wired and the panel is closed, you can't see any of it. This area is also very accessible.

For the relays, I followed their wiring diagram provided by ProComp.
  • Pin 87 to 1 of 6 Bussman fused slots.
  • Pin 86 to Carling switch (pin 3)
  • Pin 85 to ground
  • Pin 30 to the Procomp 55 Off-road light.
I pigtailed all the grounds together to reduce the amount of wires.

3. I installed four Carling Contura II rocker switches with custom faceplates that I picked up from Sierra Expedition (fog lights, driving lights, windshield lights & back-up lights). Switches were installed on a Daystar lower dash panel.

I followed the instructions from Carling and wired up these dual lighted switches.
  • Pin 7 and 8 are grounded.
  • Pin 2 and 6 go to an accessory wire.
  • Pin 3 goes to the relay.
I pigtailed all the grounds together to reduce the number of wires. I also did the same for the accessory wire.
For the switches I tapped the Accy cigarette lighter.

Wires were all zip-tied. Running wires are in wire looms and the ends were sealed with 3M cloth friction tape. Grounds were attached to factory grounding points.

Most wires were soldered and shrink-wrapped. Some had butt-connectors but all connection were shrunk-wrapped.

I made custom wiring harnesses for each set of lights, including T-angles. the harnesses are zip-tied to factory harnesses.

All this extra effort was too maintain the "factory look".

The heated seats are also tapped to the Accessory Cig lighter. I mounted the switches on the armrest console

Everything seems to work just fine. When the jeep is running, I can turn on all the lights. When I turn the car off, all the lights go off, including the switch lights.

It took me 4 days to do the install. It would have been faster but I didn't have any air tools to assist in removing the bumper or the seats. :pissed:

I'm planning on installing two additional cigarette lighter ports. On in the armrest and one somewhere in the back cargo area. These will go straight to the Bussman fuse block. The backup lights are on order and I'm following the write-up posted on another forum.

Other than what's listed here, I have no immediate intention to install anything else that requires power (knock on wood). If I screwed up anything on the wiring, let me know.
Sounds to me like you did an excellent job. I have nothing against the "S-Pod" except for the price. It's been proven many times over buy guys like you and me that you can have a lot more for a lot less by DIY. As for your original question. I prefer tapping the fuse box for my control power. Tapping into an existing circuit only encumbers it to some degree. I used a normal "spade" wire connector. I trimmed the sides to fit the slot. Then I bent it over 90 deg to allow the cover to close.
Good luck with future mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I agree

Sounds to me like you did an excellent job. I have nothing against the "S-Pod" except for the price. It's been proven many times over buy guys like you and me that you can have a lot more for a lot less by DIY. As for your original question. I prefer tapping the fuse box for my control power. Tapping into an existing circuit only encumbers it to some degree. I used a normal "spade" wire connector. I trimmed the sides to fit the slot. Then I bent it over 90 deg to allow the cover to close.
Good luck with future mods.
I agree. While the S-pod may be cool and easier, you're paying for the convenience. If you have a LOT of wiring to do, it's probably a real time saver (and sanity saver, too). If one of my relays go bad, I can just swap it out. I assume that Spod would have to be sent back in to the MFG for repair, right? As for me, I'm happy, content, and done.

Oh, I just remembered. I have an alarm/keyless entry and power door locks going in. However, those won't be tap into the cig adapter. That will be wired through the steering column and the ignition controls. :)

Besides, the four switches draw SO little power. The heated seats is where the majority of the load is coming from. Lastly, that accy cig wire isn't used for anything, as it's more convenient for me to use the on on the right.

Thanks for your reply. I was so proud of my work, I went out just now and took some pics of my layout and added it to the original post.
 

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Life time warranty!!!

What ever way you decide to go, just make sure you go directly to your battery for ALL your power!! Use relays when warranted and fuse all the time.
You can tackle this project with some time and patience...just keep doing your homework.

Standard off-the-shelf parts are used in our system..so if or when a relay does ever go or even a fuse, all the parts can be picked up at any auto parts store.

all our products come with a Life time warranty!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hello. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not crapping on your product. Seriously. I'm sure there is a place for it for the right person. If $$ was not an option I'm POSITIVE I would buy one.

With that said, your 6-switch Spod for the 2007-11 JK has an MSRP of $435.00.

I built my 4 switch for under $170 ($200 for 6 switches) and mine has a 100Amp resettable breaker and factory-labeled switches.

I also used 18 gauge wires for the switches to relays and an 8 gauge primary wire from battery to breaker to fused block. I also friction taped my wiring harnesses.

Yours uses "over the counter" replaceable relays and Contura switches. So does mine. You offer a lifetime warranty. I gave myself an unconditional lifetime warranty, too. :D

Granted, although I saved well over $200 by building my own, I did have to spend 6 hours designing and building the system. Either way, it was a $200+ savings for me and that is important.

Again, I'm not crapping on your products. It's a great system. Obviously there is a place for it as your sPOD is in a LOT of Jeeps. I'm just not in a position to spend $400+ on a system when I can build it myself for less than 50% of the purchase price.

Cheers. :beer:
 

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Hello. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not crapping on your product. Seriously. I'm sure there is a place for it for the right person. If $$ was not an option I'm POSITIVE I would buy one....
Cheers. :beer:
I did the same thing (http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13290), and he has been a great guy about it!!! His product is top notch and if I had the $$ I would've bought one too!

Hi John... :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
zjr,

I have to be honest... I built mine based loosely on your design. I saw yours posting 3 weeks ago and loved it. I figured I could do without the tupperware since I'm mounting mine on the inside.

Your posting was the inspiration for my build. LOL. :bounce:
 

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snipedu1st:
Your right, it's not for everyone. I was only suggesting that you get your power from the battery and not use a wire tap to get your power from the fuse box. I was trying to answer your original question you posted.
The reason I posted the relays and fuses being replaceable to answer to the statement that if a relay went out in our system you would have to send it back to us.
I said it on my first post, keep doing your homework, you will get it done one way or the other.
Let me know if you need any parts or help with your project, I will send you what ever you need (FREE).
I just know how temperamental the CAN-Bus is on these dogarn new Jeeps!
My Willy's, CJ and TJ were a lot easier when it came to electrics than my JK..That's for sure!


Hello. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not crapping on your product. Seriously. I'm sure there is a place for it for the right person. If $$ was not an option I'm POSITIVE I would buy one.

With that said, your 6-switch Spod for the 2007-11 JK has an MSRP of $435.00.

I built my 4 switch for under $170 ($200 for 6 switches) and mine has a 100Amp resettable breaker and factory-labeled switches.

I also used 18 gauge wires for the switches to relays and an 8 gauge primary wire from battery to breaker to fused block. I also friction taped my wiring harnesses.

Yours uses "over the counter" replaceable relays and Contura switches. So does mine. You offer a lifetime warranty. I gave myself an unconditional lifetime warranty, too. :D

Granted, although I saved well over $200 by building my own, I did have to spend 6 hours designing and building the system. Either way, it was a $200+ savings for me and that is important.

Again, I'm not crapping on your products. It's a great system. Obviously there is a place for it as your sPOD is in a LOT of Jeeps. I'm just not in a position to spend $400+ on a system when I can build it myself for less than 50% of the purchase price.

Cheers. :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Let me know if you need any parts or help with your project, I will send you what ever you need (FREE)
Well, I could use an sPOD. Especially if it's free. :D

Just kidding. I appreciate the offer. Thanks for being a good guy. I confident that I'm doing OK.

You are right, though. I was REALLY hesitant on tapping that accessory cig wire. I talked myself out of it twice. Especially since I originally had the heated seats tapped to the fuse box. I did my caveman math and I think I should be ok. I'm pretty sure my cellphone draws more Amps then these switches. ;)

Thanks again for being a good guy.
 

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I am also in the process of adding a custom fuse/relay panel in my Jeep. I was checking into the sPOD and it is a great kit for most people, but I am a DIY guy, especially with electrical stuff. I contacted John and asked him if I could buy his switch bezel from the sPOD kit, which he was more than happy to do. When someone will sell you part of their product to use with a different system, IMO that is a great business standard. I know of some other Jeep companies that have been reluctant to do that for me in the past.

A good way to get a switched source is to use the second item in your first post and cut a small slot in the lid of the fuse box, place the wire, and then seal around it with black RTV silicone, keeping your nice water/dust-free fuse box. Then run that wire to a relay and have it connected to the coil.

Keep an eye on your relays too as even though they shouldn't see any moisture inside the cab, they are suppose to be mounted right-side up for proper usage.
 

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Keep an eye on your relays too as even though they shouldn't see any moisture inside the cab, they are suppose to be mounted right-side up for proper usage.
I didn't realize this... Will they just have a shorter life than expected?
 

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I didn't realize this... Will they just have a shorter life than expected?
They will die really quick if they have moisture in them, or even worse... the locker relay I had melted because I had it mounted sideways.
 
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