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Thread: Rewiring defender

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Rewiring defender

    Has anybody been down the route of completely rewiring there defender? If so how and what did you use? After suggestions and thoughts. I dont want to spend a ton of money on doing it either. I see you can buy generic wiring harness of the im wondering if thats the way to go.Im sick of constant eletrical issues, in my 200tdi.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    558
    following with interest. have multiple faults/shorts in the existing wiring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Yes, I completely rewired my '85 120 (Isuzu) ute a couple of years ago. I was going to try and replicate the existing harness but decided it was easier to just design my own harness from scratch. Basically, I used a 200amp Narva relay, switched via a permanently hot wire to the ignition, to power 2x bussed fuse/relay boxes. Then ran each circuit via the appropriate switch to its output. The 120 has such a relatively simple harness that most circuits got their own fuse/relay.

    Fuse/relay boxes were from here: Swe-Check sell Bussmann 15303 PDU for Fuses, Breakers, 5 Relays (Dual Bus)

    I bought the colour-coded cable, in different amperages, from here: Classic car parts, Vintage car parts, Lucas car parts & Belstaff Jackets from Holden Vintage & Classic UK. I also used them to for Lucas style toggle switches, etc.

    I'm not sure how much I spent in the end, but it was more than I intended to! In your case, it's probably cheaper to buy a 200tdi harness and add some extra relays - that wasn't really an option for me. The new harness was also in part driven by having a the driver's side dash destroyed by a branch coming through the front vent. That led me to buy a Raptor Engineering console and relocate all the electrics to it. I'm pretty happy with how mine turned out; I'm sure it's overbuilt - heavier than necessary gauge wire, relays on everything - but it should be robust, and it's simple and traceable if something does go wrong.

    I documented the process when I was building the harness but most of that was lost in The Great Hard Drive Death of 2019. I do have some lists of what I bought, some circuit planning and images of the each circuit. I'm happy to post anything of that may be of use. Keep in mind that I'm in no way auto electrician and no doubt there are more elegant solutions than what I did.

    Cheers
    Simon

  4. #4
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    Location
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    Very interesting i like the 200amp relay idea, thats a great idea. I was looking at autosparks for a new harness they call it a main harness im not sure if its a complete harness but its 600 pounds and thats not including getting it here. Also was undecided where to mount the fuse,relay box. Did wonder about in the battery box but seems to get pretty dusty in there. Did you use additional relays other than the ones in the fuse box? I was thinking of running trailer wire to the front and rear for the lights. I have led lights but normal headlight bulbs, Did you use the original , headlight/indicator switchs? Ive had the dash pulled out for a couple months now deciding on the best course of action.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Brisbane west
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    Quote Originally Posted by eeyore View Post
    Yes, I completely rewired my '85 120 (Isuzu) ute a couple of years ago. I was going to try and replicate the existing harness but decided it was easier to just design my own harness from scratch. Basically, I used a 200amp Narva relay, switched via a permanently hot wire to the ignition, to power 2x bussed fuse/relay boxes. Then ran each circuit via the appropriate switch to its output. The 120 has such a relatively simple harness that most circuits got their own fuse/relay.

    Fuse/relay boxes were from here: Swe-Check sell Bussmann 15303 PDU for Fuses, Breakers, 5 Relays (Dual Bus)

    I bought the colour-coded cable, in different amperages, from here: Classic car parts, Vintage car parts, Lucas car parts & Belstaff Jackets from Holden Vintage & Classic UK. I also used them to for Lucas style toggle switches, etc.

    I'm not sure how much I spent in the end, but it was more than I intended to! In your case, it's probably cheaper to buy a 200tdi harness and add some extra relays - that wasn't really an option for me. The new harness was also in part driven by having a the driver's side dash destroyed by a branch coming through the front vent. That led me to buy a Raptor Engineering console and relocate all the electrics to it. I'm pretty happy with how mine turned out; I'm sure it's overbuilt - heavier than necessary gauge wire, relays on everything - but it should be robust, and it's simple and traceable if something does go wrong.

    I documented the process when I was building the harness but most of that was lost in The Great Hard Drive Death of 2019. I do have some lists of what I bought, some circuit planning and images of the each circuit. I'm happy to post anything of that may be of use. Keep in mind that I'm in no way auto electrician and no doubt there are more elegant solutions than what I did.

    Cheers
    Simon
    Also did you run the harness through the chassis to the rear or on the outside?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by 200defenda View Post
    Very interesting i like the 200amp relay idea, thats a great idea. I was looking at autosparks for a new harness they call it a main harness im not sure if its a complete harness but its 600 pounds and thats not including getting it here. Also was undecided where to mount the fuse,relay box. Did wonder about in the battery box but seems to get pretty dusty in there. Did you use additional relays other than the ones in the fuse box? I was thinking of running trailer wire to the front and rear for the lights. I have led lights but normal headlight bulbs, Did you use the original , headlight/indicator switchs? Ive had the dash pulled out for a couple months now deciding on the best course of action.
    At 600 pounds plus freight, I'd think it certainly worth your while to cost a DIY option. I used a Raptor extended fusebox cover (https://www.raptor-engineering.co.uk/product/defender-extended-fuse-box-cover) to mount my fuse/relay boxes. In addition to the micro relays on the boxes & the 200amp ignition relay (Narva 68022), I used Narva 30amp relays for the headlights (which is now complete overkill since I've subsequently bought LED headlights) and a Narva 68251BL LED indicator flasher. The headlight circuit is switch on via toggle switch, and toggles between high/low via a floor mounted dip switch. Indicators operate via a Foxton stalk. (No reason really to do this, more sensible just to use the existing LR headlight/indicator stalk. I bought the Foxton stalk as an eBay impulse purchase just because I like the retro look).

    I had the same idea as you, and used trailer wire for the rear. For the front, I wanted to run heavier cable to the headlights (now kind of redundant) so used single cable.

    I'll take some photos tomorrow to give you some idea of what I did, and what it looks like.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by 200defenda View Post
    Also did you run the harness through the chassis to the rear or on the outside?
    I ran multi-core trailer wire through the chassis. Used one of the those electrician's flexible pokie sticks available at Bunnings to push it through.

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