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Aux Fuse Panel In Cab?

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Old 06-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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Aux Fuse Panel In Cab?

Wasn't quite sure what section to throw this in, no electrical section.

I have an 06 access cab, and have been needing to install an auxilary fuse box. One thing I have thought of but was never too sure about is location.

Everyone mounts theirs in the same spot, which would be no issue. But the majority of the electronics I would be running on it, would be inside the cab. My question is would it be okay to mount a fuse box somewhere in the cab? I know there is room behind the backrest of the rear seats, because I removed them when BenWA installed the rear window kit, so I figure that would be a good spot, or under the cup holders. What do you guys think? I would mount the breaker in the engine bay, then run some 4 AWG through the cab to the box.

The main reason I want to do this is because I dont want a ton of wires down by my feet going through the firewall, I already have too many.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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Should be fine with the beaker under the hood. You don't ever want to run a live line direct from the battery without some kind of fuse or breaker on it at the battery.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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How many in cab electronics will you be running at the same time? If you run too high of amps then you will have to run a 4 gauge or larger wire through the fire wall to the Fuse Panel and then the same size to a ground.

Edit: You already mentioned that. Where are you planning to get a 4 gauge through the fire wall?
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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No reason not to. I mounted a Blue Sea unit in my cab. Do you need #4 cable though? #10 was plenty for my needs since it's mostly all low draw electronics.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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+1

Run a heavy gauge hot and ground from the battery to the new panel and put a breaker near the battery that is rated for no more than 80% of the rating of the cable.

That will protect the cable adequately and you can run your sub panel in the cab.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
No reason not to. I mounted a Blue Sea unit in my cab. Do you need #4 cable though? #10 was plenty for my needs since it's mostly all low draw electronics.
Need to take the total current draw into account.
#10 is fine for low-draw equipment, but #10 is only good for about 30 amps when the cable is enclosed.

I hope you put a 30a breaker under the hood near the battery. A chaffed wire near the panel will turn that run of #10 into a smoking, burning pile of crap.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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I have some exterior stuff, like a pair of hella 500s and I will soon have some strobes, but more interior things like power rear window, leds, cb, radar detector, and some other stuff soon probably.

Never really got as far as how to run 4 AWG through the firewall... sure I could figure something out though. Isn't there another rubber gromment through the floor under the driver seat? Not sure how big, haven't looked for it.

I will be getting the larger 12 position fuse box most likely
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
Need to take the total current draw into account.
#10 is fine for low-draw equipment, but #10 is only good for about 30 amps when the cable is enclosed.

I hope you put a 30a breaker under the hood near the battery. A chaffed wire near the panel will turn that run of #10 into a smoking, burning pile of crap.
My system has a relay under the hood and a fuse. It's only powered when the key is on acc. #10 is plenty unless you are planning to wire in high draw items like big amps. I just mentioned it because there is no need to make life difficult if you don't need to. Yes, it's the total draw that counts, but most electronic devices draw milliamps. Whether it is encased is irrelevant. It should never be getting hot. If it is, then you need a bigger cable.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
most electronic devices draw milliamps. Whether it is encased is irrelevant. It should never be getting hot. If it is, then you need a bigger cable.
I suggest that you get an education as an electrician before dispensing further advice on the topic.

YOUR system might be safe, but someone is going to read your posts and not understand what you did and what you are powering and they are going to burn their truck down.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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Here's what I did for a spare fuse box in my access cab. I had already removed the seats and built up a platform so the dogs had a flat area to lounge around on.

I brought the wire from the battery (#10) through this grommet - I sealed the hell out of it with silicone. Not pretty, but functional. Use a 30 amp fuse near the battery.



I made a grounding plate to attach the radio to. The fuse box is bolted to the transmission hump. Again, I siliconed the hell out of it underneath to retard corrosion.



This is what the finished project roughly looks like.



Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Looks good.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forster46 View Post
Never really got as far as how to run 4 AWG through the firewall... sure I could figure something out though. Isn't there another rubber gromment through the floor under the driver seat? Not sure how big, haven't looked for it.
Forgot to answer this in my post.

There are (at least) 4 grommets on each side - one on the rear floor, one directly beneath the seat, and two on the front floor.

That I recall. I seem to think that there are a few others as well. The carpet comes up easily enough so you can find them without too much difficulty.

The main trouble with using them is twofold. Firstly, running the wire down under the body and securing it against damage and the elements. Second, coming through the grommet requires putting a hole in it and then sealing that up well.

It can be a pain in the ass to get the wires to lay flattish on the floor, too.

Not to deter you - just so you know what you need to prepare to deal with.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #13
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When I ran the aux relay box on my Silverado, I ran the pair of #6 cables along the inside of the frame. The wires were tucked into split-loom, and there were plenty of harnesses and openings in the frame to zip-tie to.
Of course, that 2500 was a fully boxed frame so the wiring was completely protected. Not the case on the Taco, but the same idea should provide a pretty well protected route.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
I suggest that you get an education as an electrician before dispensing further advice on the topic.

YOUR system might be safe, but someone is going to read your posts and not understand what you did and what you are powering and they are going to burn their truck down.
Maybe you're the one that needs an education. I made a simple suggestion because not every one needs #4 wire. If they aren't competent to do the work they shouldn't be doing it. It's just as irresponsible to suggest that #4 is safe in every situation. It's not. The wire requirement is determined by the continous load with a safety factor for any possible momentary loads. The three things you need to determine the correct wire size are as follows:

1, the combined current load
2, the length of run of the feed wire
3, the maximum momentary load

Ideally the resistance of the feed wire should not result in a voltage drop of more than .5 volts., .3 is better. Much less drop has no benefit. You can find the total resistance of the feed wire by multiplying the length of run by the ohms per foot. In the case of #10 wire the ohms per foot is .0012. A 10 foot run of #10 wire can handle a continous load of 30 amps at .36 volts drop. Well within acceptable limits, and you sure as hell don't need a 30amp fuse on that circuit either. The fuse is to burn before heating in the wire reaches dangerous levels. A 35 or 40 amp fuse would be plenty of protection.

Now let's look at the proposed #4 wire. That wire has an ohms/foot of .00028. It has a load carrying capacity of 4X the #10 wire or 120 amps. If anyone has a need for that much load carrying capacity they will have to make sure that every component in the circuit, including connectors can carry that load. Most of these 12V fuse blocks are not designed for that much current. All you'll end up doing is shifting an impending meltdown to another component other than the wire.

OP, Bottom line is, if you don't understand well enough to choose proper components, you had better leave the work to someone who does. Taking advice off a website like this is a crap shoot at best.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
Maybe you're the one that needs an education. I made a simple suggestion because not every one needs #4 wire. If they aren't competent to do the work they shouldn't be doing it. It's just as irresponsible to suggest that #4 is safe in every situation. It's not. The wire requirement is determined by the continous load with a safety factor for any possible momentary loads. The three things you need to determine the correct wire size are as follows:

1, the combined current load
2, the length of run of the feed wire
3, the maximum momentary load

Ideally the resistance of the feed wire should not result in a voltage drop of more than .5 volts., .3 is better. Much less drop has no benefit. You can find the total resistance of the feed wire by multiplying the length of run by the ohms per foot. In the case of #10 wire the ohms per foot is .0012. A 10 foot run of #10 wire can handle a continous load of 30 amps at .36 volts drop. Well within acceptable limits, and you sure as hell don't need a 30amp fuse on that circuit either. The fuse is to burn before heating in the wire reaches dangerous levels. A 35 or 40 amp fuse would be plenty of protection.

Now let's look at the proposed #4 wire. That wire has an ohms/foot of .00028. It has a load carrying capacity of 4X the #10 wire or 120 amps. If anyone has a need for that much load carrying capacity they will have to make sure that every component in the circuit, including connectors can carry that load. Most of these 12V fuse blocks are not designed for that much current. All you'll end up doing is shifting an impending meltdown to another component other than the wire.

OP, Bottom line is, if you don't understand well enough to choose proper components, you had better leave the work to someone who does. Taking advice off a website like this is a crap shoot at best.

HONEY BADGER DON'T CARE!

Haha your name is great. I only planned on the 4 AWG wire because it was what I see everyone else using. I could go with a slightly smaller size wire, I just haven't decided yet. I already know to make sure and get the right size fuses and breaker to handle the load.

This thread was more about mounting locations of the actual fuse panel. Now all I need to do really is figure out how to run the larger wire from in the cab to the battery.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger View Post
OP, Bottom line is, if you don't understand well enough to choose proper components, you had better leave the work to someone who does. Taking advice off a website like this is a crap shoot at best.
Truth.

Rich was a bit curt, perhaps. But he seems to error on the side of caution with this kind of thing, as we all should. I think He meant well.

I have seen some scary electrical stuff, both in vehicles and houses. You and Rich are both right to caution people to take their time and make sure of what they are doing. I enjoy helping people with electrical stuff as well, since I've done it and am comfortable with it. But it does make me a little nervous, because advice over the interwebs can be a bit like playing the game "telephone".
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #17
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Do any of you guys know where I can buy the fuse box for a good price? I have seen guys on here get them for 30 bucks. Online they are about 45 for the 12 terminal ones.

The boat dealers in my area want about 70 bucks for the same one.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Forster46 View Post
Do any of you guys know where I can buy the fuse box for a good price? I have seen guys on here get them for 30 bucks. Online they are about 45 for the 12 terminal ones.

The boat dealers in my area want about 70 bucks for the same one.
Amazon has them.

You don't need 12 terminals, though. Get two 6 terminals if you're convinced you need that many.

Also, you should realize that by hooking this up directly to the battery, anything you plug into it will also draw off the battery - no matter the key position. Any devices with a parasitic draw, or left on, can mean a dead battery.

Be judicious about how you're powering your accessories.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joes06tacoma View Post
Rich was a bit curt, perhaps. But he seems to error on the side of caution with this kind of thing, as we all should. I think He meant well.

I have seen some scary electrical stuff, both in vehicles and houses.
Bingo.

Some from seeing it, and some from personal experience before I new better. Thankfully I never fucked up a house (and I've been working traffic signals for 20 years), and my only vehicle hack jobs have been in the junk yard for close to 30 years... fortunately I was the last owner of all of them and they never did anything more than smoke a little

Quote:
because advice over the interwebs can be a bit like playing the game "telephone".
Another bingo, which is why I ripped into Badger.
He obviously knows his shit, but that level of "sharing" is going to do nothing but confuse the layman who just wants to mount an amp.
Understanding the limitations of the net, and the big problems of troubleshooting with a 3000 mile long screwdriver and no eyes on the problem, I'm always going to err on the side of safety.

We see these aux panels installed all the time with 100a breakers and wire that is obviously too small (talking 8ga!). That's not a breaker... that's a fusible link between the battery and breaker.
For house wiring, 100a can't even be put on 2ga, even though it is listed as within spec when contained, and free air for 6ga.

Personally, in a vehicle, I am always going to use the "contained" ratings. Even though the wiring is not contained within a conduit and stuffed in with other wires, it is still in a hot engine compartment, and exposed to the elements.

Also my personal opinion is to avoid the use of any solid conductor wire, and any wire smaller than 18ga, simply for durability concerns. I know the factory harnesses go to 20 and 22ga, but they are also carefully routed and braced.

So ya, I'm going to err on the side of safety.
I'm not mass-producing items for market where the difference between 4ga and 8ga is going to break the bank. I don't HAVE to use the minimum acceptable products. The cost increase to add a good margin of safety is a small percentage of the entire project.
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