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Thursday, August 10, 2006


Upgraded alternator and battery wires

Well, I've just completed upgrading the alternator to ammeter and fusable link to ammeter wires on the Dodge Dart. I bought some 8 gauge wire from a local car audio store and ran it in parallel to the factory wiring. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any wires that fit the factory vibe - this wiring seems to be meant for show cars, and it has a rather over the top looking sparkly translucent insulation. It was the only thing I could find locally. But at least I was able to find it in red and black to match the colors on the factory wiring diagram. Even though I don't expect to mistake these wires for anything else, it helps to keep colors the same when you're troubleshooting electrical faults. Sure, it's a rather crazy exercise in overkill. But if I go and get a 200 amp alternator for some reason, I shouldn't have to worry about fried wires.

I also hooked up the Megasquirt. It connects to the alternator's terminal on the ammeter so that the ammeter will work correctly. This setup should also take more strain off the wiring than connecting the module directly to the battery. I put a 20 amp fuse in the Megasquirt's main power wire, which also powers the fuel pumps and will power a fan down the line. If that doesn't work, I have a 30 amp fuse that I can swap out.

Looks like it's getting closer and closer to the time I can turn it on. Right now I just need to wire the fuel pumps, install something to keep the parking brake cable from rubbing on the fuel lines, replace a busted exhaust hanger, and put the finishing touches on the underdash wiring. Then I'll be ready to program the Megasquirt and crank it up!

With some luck, I should have that finished next week. I've noticed we seem to be having thunderstorms coming through every afternoon. The funny thing is, back when I was installing the turbo, I didn't manage to get it to crank up until a day I was working on it in a thunderstorm. Somehow it would be very appropriate if I happened to finish this project on a dark and stormy night, wouldn't it?


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