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May 2008 Randy's Electrical Corner

Start Off Right


Hi, folks, my name is Randy. Now, I might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I do like to watch the lights go on an' off. On and off. On and off. Sometimes I even get a lightbulb of my own going on and I write it down so I remember it. You see, ever since my brother started carrying that karma sheet around with him, I got to thinking-since I forget things easy, maybe I should carry a sheet to write my bright ideas on.

Sometimes they don't make any sense later, like the one that said, "Bring hay for the big bird." But the one that said, "Don't be a DSPO" I remember all too well. You see, when me and Earl got the El Camino, the underdash wiring was horrible. The Dumb S*#% Previous Owner had destroyed the neat job the factory did of wiring up the car. I've found out that many of the Jeeps you guys buy secondhand are the same exact way: too many wires under the dash and a lot of the stuff still doesn't work.

Ooooh, and don't even get me started on nasty white and green wires squished onto the battery terminals.

Look, we are all guilty of some kind of wiring snafu at some point in our lives. What I am trying to say here is, if you listen to me and do what I am saying as soon as you read this, or first thing when you get your next Jeep, you can avoid ever being called a "DSPO." And we all like to add driving lights, foglights, relays for our headlights, electric air compressors, auxiliary switches, dome lighting, backup lighting, stereo components, you name it. Normally over the course of owning a Jeep, an owner will add some kind of electrical doohickeys to it.

The way to not become a DSPO is to start off right. Don't bolt 20 wires to the positive terminal of the battery. Don't piggyback 100 jumpers on your fuses. Add at least one, if not two, auxiliary fuse blocks from the beginning and you will never be called a DSPO again.

The other thing that adding an auxiliary fuse block does is it keeps you from tapping directly into your stock wiring. The stock wiring is actually pretty well done. They usually use decent wire and connectors. The part where stuff stops working is when you cut into the insulation or the connector, just so you can have your satellite radio working. Don't cut into the stock wires!

Recently, Cappa distracted Trasborg with some high-end, beer-snob beer (you know, the stuff in a bottle) and I added some fuse blocks to his newly acquired '98 Cherokee. Hey-it was for his own good! He survived his MJ burning up; we didn't want to see the same happen to his Cherokee.

I got the fuse blocks from Painless Wiring. They offer a whole bunch of them. The ones I picked have both switched and constant circuits, so Trasborg should have no reason at all to hack up the nice factory wires in this Jeep.