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  #1  
Old 06-28-2009, 09:36 PM
araknid75's Avatar
araknid75 araknid75 is offline
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Thumbs up Engine Bay ammeter bypass w/ Pics

Well, I did the Ammeter bypass today...took about 40 minutes...cost about $28 bucks (I went for the Heavy duty 100 amp fuse). I did this with pics just b/c I had a camera available.

Items:
100 amp self tripping/reset (like in your house) waterproof fuse-$19-Autozone (use a 100 Amp fuse for a mostly stock electrical
system with a stock alternator because 50 is not enough and 200 is too
much).
3 feet of 8 gauge wire-$5 Napa (Autozone only sold 10g and higher)
copper connectors-$4 Napa

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02667.jpg
http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02669.jpg
http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02664.jpg
http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02670.jpg
http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02671.jpg

miscellaneous screwdrivers, wrenches, electrical tape, wire cutters, etc.

Step 0-before you do anything else....Disconnect your battery

Step 1- find your alternator....

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02663.jpg
http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02662.jpg

Step 2-Disconnect the RED wire from the "batt" post on the back of the
alternator. Don't touch the plastic plug that plugs into the side (back) of the alternator. It has a green/yellow wire typically.

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02655.jpg

Step 3-insulate the connector well - electrical tape with heat
shrink tubing over that - and zip tie that wire back up the harness to
keep it out of the way. Once again, don't change anything on the plastic plug that plugs into the side (back) of the alternator.

Step 4-find your solenoid (battery connection)

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02656.jpg

Step 5-Mount your Fuse on the fenderwell near the solenoid. In this case two nuts/screws with washers worked for mounting. I used one existing hole and drilled another.

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02673.jpg

Step 5-measure the distance form the alternator to the fuse you mounted on the fender well (in this case two nuts/screws with washers worked for mounting) and from the Fuse to the solenoid + battery connection. About 2.5-3 feet (alt to fuse) depending on the route you take and 8-12inches (fuse to Solenoid) This fuse even tells you which connector goes where.

Step 7-construct your wires-crimp leads onto the wire and wrap with elec tape

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02674.jpg

Step 8-Route the 8 gauge wire from the post on the back of the
alternator (YELLOW ARROW) to the fuse holder on the firewall keeping it clear of the exhaust manifold (GREEN ARROW).

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02679.jpg

Step 9-Route a wire from the other side of the fuse holder
to the battery side of the starter solenoid (RED ARROW)

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/s...5/DSC02679.jpg

The dash will get powerfine with the original alternator output wire disconnected and if it is insulated and protected well you don't need to worry about a short through the ammeter (ie. what we did in step 3)

Now all I need to do is hook a voltmeter up in parallel and we are cooking with gas.

Hope this helps anyone who has an FSJ and started out without a clue
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-1977 Cherokee Chief S, 401 mildly built, thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler with dual out exhaust, BJ's 4" offroad lift, 33X12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MTRk's, Front discos, offroad bumper and warn winch, Bumper hi-lift jack mount, KC offroad lights
-04 Rubicon, 4" Rubicon Express SA lift. 33" MTR's, Superwinch, misc. armor.

Last edited by araknid75 : 06-28-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2009, 10:14 AM
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Fiodh. Argus Fiodh. Argus is offline
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hey that's a great write up, really clears things up! Thanks for taking the time to shoot the photos.

nice work.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2009, 10:34 AM
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jMedia jMedia is offline
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Just curious..

just curious because I am new...
what is the intent behind doing this?
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2009, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jMedia
just curious because I am new...
what is the intent behind doing this?

Older Jeeps have an ammeter gauge in the instrument cluster.
Neglect & age sometimes lead to an electrical fire that can wreak havoc with the entire wiring harness, or worse yet turn into a car-b-que
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2009, 04:20 PM
reddawn222 reddawn222 is offline
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Thumbs up

Araknid75,

Very timely post and most appreciated. I am doing the CS130 alternator upgrade today and was planning to go behind the gauge panel. I like this approach to bypassing the ammeter with upgraded wiring, a stout breaker and everything is addressed in the engine bay.

The pictures help dispel the nagging doubts I was having.

Thanks!
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1983 Cherokee WT, 360/727/208
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2009, 04:54 PM
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janie janie is offline
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The ammeter bypass can never be addressed enough. Excellent write up and pic's. Thank you.
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Geminiroq Geminiroq is offline
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Wow...this is the first I heard of this.

Great write up!

This is definently a must upgrade!

Thank you....
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2009, 07:00 PM
Asphalt Cowboy Asphalt Cowboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babywag
Older Jeeps have an ammeter gauge in the instrument cluster.
Neglect & age sometimes lead to an electrical fire that can wreak havoc with the entire wiring harness, or worse yet turn into a car-b-que

Which "older " Jeeps fall into this description? Is my '79 Wag at risk?
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2009, 07:50 PM
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araknid75 araknid75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddawn222
Araknid75,

Very timely post and most appreciated. I am doing the CS130 alternator upgrade today and was planning to go behind the gauge panel. I like this approach to bypassing the ammeter with upgraded wiring, a stout breaker and everything is addressed in the engine bay.

The pictures help dispel the nagging doubts I was having.

Thanks!

That's a great upgrade...I didn't really feel like going behind the gauge panel either but now I have no way to monitor my electrical system, if you still want to monitor your electrical system you will still need to hook up a Voltmeter in parallel. I need to do this next...
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-1977 Cherokee Chief S, 401 mildly built, thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler with dual out exhaust, BJ's 4" offroad lift, 33X12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MTRk's, Front discos, offroad bumper and warn winch, Bumper hi-lift jack mount, KC offroad lights
-04 Rubicon, 4" Rubicon Express SA lift. 33" MTR's, Superwinch, misc. armor.
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2009, 07:53 PM
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araknid75 araknid75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asphalt Cowboy
Which "older " Jeeps fall into this description? Is my '79 Wag at risk?

I think the general consensus is if you have a -60/0/+60 ammeter in your gauge cluster it probably needs to be upgraded or bypassed. At the very least because those wires are greater than 30 years old !
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-1977 Cherokee Chief S, 401 mildly built, thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler with dual out exhaust, BJ's 4" offroad lift, 33X12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MTRk's, Front discos, offroad bumper and warn winch, Bumper hi-lift jack mount, KC offroad lights
-04 Rubicon, 4" Rubicon Express SA lift. 33" MTR's, Superwinch, misc. armor.

Last edited by araknid75 : 06-29-2009 at 07:57 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2009, 08:24 PM
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janie janie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asphalt Cowboy
Is my '79 Wag at risk?


It is. The ammeter didn't go by the wayside until the 86 model year.
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  #12  
Old 06-29-2009, 08:29 PM
reddawn222 reddawn222 is offline
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Quote:
That's a great upgrade...I didn't really feel like going behind the gauge panel either but now I have no way to monitor my electrical system, if you still want to monitor your electrical system you will still need to hook up a Voltmeter in parallel. I need to do this next...

Yes, a voltmeter is a future project...in conjunction with a ZMJeeps cluster panel and all new Autometer gauges.
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1983 Cherokee WT, 360/727/208
TBI fuel injection, CS130 alternator
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  #13  
Old 06-29-2009, 08:33 PM
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vintagetrks vintagetrks is offline
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Bypass

Does your ammeter still work after the bypass. I actually prefer an ammeter as to a volt meter because you can actually tell when the alt is putting voltage to the battery. I also like your idea of running a volt meter in series. Great write up thank you for taking the time to show us how it's done.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2009, 10:35 PM
bigbird bigbird is offline
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Had a few questions on the upgrade. Is the fuse needed? I read up on some other writeups and some did not include the fuse they just hooked a large guage wire from the alt to the solenoid. if the fuse is needed what amp is recommened if planning a CS144 upgrade. thanks for the help
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2009, 11:08 PM
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duncanstives duncanstives is offline
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You could upgrade the ampmeter also... I tend to agree that an ampmeter is better but I would replace it with something better... I would say a cheap digital voltmeter accross a voltage drop resistor but to get .1V drop (enough to measure and get decent resolution with a digital meter) at 12v/60A you would need a .0016 ohm resistor I don't think radio shack carries those... LOL

You could use a hall effect sensor I guess...
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2009, 06:42 AM
Asphalt Cowboy Asphalt Cowboy is offline
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Araknid, Janie, thanks.
Looks like I've got more slavin' to do on the wag. Prolly best if I do that before treating the rust in my floors.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:45 PM
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araknid75 araknid75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagetrks
Does your ammeter still work after the bypass. I actually prefer an ammeter as to a volt meter because you can actually tell when the alt is putting voltage to the battery. I also like your idea of running a volt meter in series. Great write up thank you for taking the time to show us how it's done.


The ammeter doesn't work...there is still power to the gauge cluster. It shows and amperage of about -20 all the time and doesn't flux. Hence, the reason I now need to do something to monitor the electrical system. I wanted to do and in dash ammeter upgrade (100 amps or higher, but couldn't find one that fit). I have heard of guys doing and ammeter outside the cluster but high read ammeters can get expensive~120-160 bucks! I think I will eventually do the in dash voltmeter and call it a day. All of my other trucks have voltmeters and i can monitor the electrical system just fine.
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-1977 Cherokee Chief S, 401 mildly built, thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler with dual out exhaust, BJ's 4" offroad lift, 33X12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MTRk's, Front discos, offroad bumper and warn winch, Bumper hi-lift jack mount, KC offroad lights
-04 Rubicon, 4" Rubicon Express SA lift. 33" MTR's, Superwinch, misc. armor.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:51 PM
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araknid75 araknid75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbird
Had a few questions on the upgrade. Is the fuse needed? I read up on some other writeups and some did not include the fuse they just hooked a large guage wire from the alt to the solenoid. if the fuse is needed what amp is recommened if planning a CS144 upgrade. thanks for the help


The fuse isn't necessarily needed, but it is a good safeguard and not all that hard to put in. I would imagine with the CS 144 upgrade you might want to think about a 150 amp fuse (Autozone has them), but it takes a lot to flow 100 amps regardless. The upgrade I described is for the stock alternator which shouldn't ever put out 100 amps unless something is very wrong....in which case the fuse trips and the rig is protected. Alot of your amperage depends on what you are running on you electrical system....ie. if you have 4 offroad lights on, 8 speaker stereo/kicker/amp cranking at 100% percent, revving the engine while playing playstation through you cigarette lighter as you winch your buddy out of a canyon, you might be getting up there in amperage.
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-1977 Cherokee Chief S, 401 mildly built, thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler with dual out exhaust, BJ's 4" offroad lift, 33X12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MTRk's, Front discos, offroad bumper and warn winch, Bumper hi-lift jack mount, KC offroad lights
-04 Rubicon, 4" Rubicon Express SA lift. 33" MTR's, Superwinch, misc. armor.
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  #19  
Old 11-13-2009, 12:18 PM
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asphaltrockdweller asphaltrockdweller is offline
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Old thread revival here.

But ........................ In this bypass modification one thing I did not see addressed is the YELLOW wire at the solenoid, and the fusible link.
Can you clarify for a few here what happens to this wire, and of course the fact that a week link (the fusible one) is still there?

Thanks! And great write up too.
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2009, 12:49 PM
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710 Burner 710 Burner is offline
 
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It is backfeeding power to the panel.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandWag&Prix
Actually, now that I think about it, that could be either awesome or really terrible.


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