Wiring help instrament/switch panel

Discussion in 'Electrical Stuff' started by CaptainH, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. CaptainH

    CaptainH New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    N. Augusta, SC
    I am in process of rewiring my instrament & switch panel. I am a first time owner so not much experience with this. The boat came with a retrofit panel installed by previous owner that was basically a plywood box covered with vinyl and a cluster of instraments/switches mounted into it. The origional dash was butchered with a jig saw and the new panel basically just set on top. A lot of the wiring was a speggetti mess of everything including using plain speaker wire just twisted together at connections. I pulled the whole thing and made a new instrament panel that would go back to where the origional panel would have been. All new fuse block, switches, panel fuses, gauges, wiring with marine wire & heat shrink connectors. Don't know if the pictures are good enough but any comments would be appreciated. The new panels will go back in this weekend. One question I have is what to do with the GPS and fish finder wires? The old way was to sneak them under where the panel sat on top of the dash. That won't work now. Have not been able to think of a "tidy" way to get them through the dash without just drilling a hole and sealing with caulk. I have seen pictures of other dash panels that you could not see the wires and looked very neat. Hope someone can give me a better solution on this.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  2. wingless

    wingless Banned

    Sep 2, 2008
    The rework looks lots better.

    There is a wiring color code that is used to standardize the work.

    It is easy to label each wire. Prior to my Brady printer, I'd make paper labels w/ Excel, wrap them around the wire and cover w/ clear heat shrink.

    The labels help BIG TIME in the future.

    An okay way to have a wire enter a horizontal surface is w/ a bulkhead cable through hole plate. It attaches to the surface and has a gland that compresses around the insulation.

    An okay way to have a wire enter a vertical surface is w/ a drip plate. This is a spoon-shaped plate, open on the bottom, attached over a through-hole.

    It is handy to have drip loops on each wire. That is, the ring tongue terminal is at the top of each run, with a downward loop. That way, if water gets on the wire surface it falls off, instead of running into the connector / device.
  3. CaptainH

    CaptainH New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    N. Augusta, SC
    Thanks for the reply, I will check on the connections you mentioned. Sounds like a good choice.

    I have orange, purple, blue, red & black wire to as best I can put the panels back in the correct wire color. The other wires will have to sufice with labeling. The labeling with clear heat shrink is a great idea. I have beeen using a "Label Maker" but I know that won't last. Someone who takes the time and effort to make the labels you mentioned has my respect as a job done right is the only way to go.

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