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March 2010 Randy's Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on March 1, 2010
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It isn't all that often that one of the editors of this great magazine asks me to explain something. I just figure it's because they are afraid I'll give them an answer. But this month, Editor Cappa asked me if I could explain how to wire a Jeep to run. In other words, if you've got nothing, no wires, no nothing, how would you make it run?'

Well, I sat and thought about it for a while. When I came to I decided that it would be better if I just went out and did it and then showed you guys how I did it. Unfortunately, the police and the owner of the Jeep didn't think that was such a good idea.

Once I got out of the holding cell and my brother explained to the cops that I was kind of simple and didn't mean any harm, I decided it would be better to look at the separate things that need power to start and run the Jeep.

The first thing to do is get power to the coil. The coil takes your 12-14 volts and turns it into 20,000 volts so that the electricity can jump the gap in the spark plug. You don't want it to have power all the time, just when you want the Jeep to run. Power all the time will mean either a dead battery or a fried coil real quick. If there is an electric fuel pump, it will need power at the same time.

So what I'm going to do here is show you the main components needed to get the Jeep going, tell you what kind of power to feed them, and when. You can wire them up to toggle switches, or knife switches, or even a (gasp) key in a steering column, I don't really care. The important point here is to explain the parts and what they need to work correctly.

Take our imaginary Jeep and pretend it is off. There are no wires in it, but all the other parts are there. We want to start it up and drive it somewhere. It is a carbureted Jeep, so it is actually pretty easy to get going. No, it is not one of those goofy computer-controlled Carter carburetors. It is a fuel mixer with no electronic nanny on it at all.

This is the way you start the Jeep (assuming there is fuel going to the carburetor).

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