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New First Gen Legacy Build Up (Lots of pics)


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41 replies to this topic

#26 eulogious

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:22 AM

Ok, so I gots impatient and I installed the remote start this afternoon, and it works great! :banana: :banana: Just in time for the freezing weather! It's not completely installed, meaning that I haven't wired up my keyless entry, and it's not installed to my liking, it's just installed so that it works. Since I need to add my keyless entry stuff to it, I figured why button it all up now :lol: So it works fine, the wires are just a mess under the dash :rolleyes: Meh. I will fix that up later this week. Man I missed my remote start!

#27 heartless

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:52 AM

First, let me start by saying... I hate you guys on the west coast!! (jk)
the cars out there are soooo clean compared to what i can find here in the rust belt. :-\

i also have a 90 LS wagon and am loving it - i still kind of miss my old GL wagon, but the Lego is sooo much nicer - even with the few quirks she has - abs not working right (pulled the fuse but really need to look into that), AC not working (dont really need right now anyway) and recently all but one stereo speaker cuts out :confused: She had 152K when i got her, up to 201K now and still running like a champ. (for the record, the other half has 90 Lego sedan, 5spd FWD that has over 250K and still going strong and he got 36 mpg on a road trip recently!)

Junior seems to be coming right along - any new pics??
did/does he still have the air suspension?? mine was blown when i got it, swapped her over to standard coilovers - EASY job.

also had the door lock issues (actually still do on my car - fixed them on the other half's car tho) and the fix you found is the way to go - easy with pretty much no cost.

Good luck with Jr - keep us posted - and pics are ALWAYS appreciated!:grin:

Edited by heartless, 24 November 2010 - 08:57 AM.


#28 eulogious

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 02:48 AM

First, let me start by saying... I hate you guys on the west coast!! (jk)
the cars out there are soooo clean compared to what i can find here in the rust belt. :-\

i also have a 90 LS wagon and am loving it - i still kind of miss my old GL wagon, but the Lego is sooo much nicer - even with the few quirks she has - abs not working right (pulled the fuse but really need to look into that), AC not working (dont really need right now anyway) and recently all but one stereo speaker cuts out :confused: She had 152K when i got her, up to 201K now and still running like a champ. (for the record, the other half has 90 Lego sedan, 5spd FWD that has over 250K and still going strong and he got 36 mpg on a road trip recently!)

Junior seems to be coming right along - any new pics??
did/does he still have the air suspension?? mine was blown when i got it, swapped her over to standard coilovers - EASY job.

also had the door lock issues (actually still do on my car - fixed them on the other half's car tho) and the fix you found is the way to go - easy with pretty much no cost.

Good luck with Jr - keep us posted - and pics are ALWAYS appreciated!:grin:


Ya, I really like this wagon compared to my Loyale. I do miss my loyale, but it's not because of the ride :lol:

I don't have any new pics, as I really haven't done anything to him besides fix the problems that keep coming up with him. But hopefully I got them all sorted out for now...

The air shocks were replaced at about 125,xxx, so fairly recently, with new regular shocks. The air shocks were to expensive to replace, so they went with normal ones. Glad they did that and not me :)

I was stoked when I found out that I could fix the door locks with just a paper clip! That was one of the best finds so far :) Took me no time to accomplish that task, so that was fantastic!

I will post up some more pics once I do something more to him. But for now I don't really have any big plans, as I don't really have any money to complete some of the projects I have on the back burner. So when I get some cash and make some progress I will post up some more pics!

#29 heartless

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:44 AM

as they say on the commercial - you never forget your 1st Subaru. Have lots of fun memories of the old GL - some fond, some not so fond - lol

I hear ya on the money thing - times being what they are, not too many folks do have the money for anything more than neccessities right now - me included. took me more than a month to save enough to get a complete set of tires for my wagon.

the coil-over swap was actually pretty easy - just needed the correct tops & springs - bought a complete used set for mine, struts included - yanked out the airstruts, popped in the coil-overs, unplugged the compressor & the little brainbox for the air (under drivers seat) and viola - good to go! Have since replaced the used struts with new ones and it DOES make a difference in the way she handles.

so how hard is it to install a remote start system on these?? it would be sooo sweet to start the car without having to go out in the bitter cold right away.... :rolleyes: (daydreams....)

#30 Rooster2

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:25 AM

Nice car!! Reminds me of the 91 LS wagon that I had. I remember the seats being super compfy, and the "mouse fur" fabric interior being rather luxurious. The 2.2 motor is bullet proof, and good for 300K+ miles before needing a rebuild. You got yourself a nice car. Little bit of work you put into her will make her that much nicer.

#31 eulogious

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:29 AM

the coil-over swap was actually pretty easy - just needed the correct tops & springs - bought a complete used set for mine, struts included - yanked out the airstruts, popped in the coil-overs, unplugged the compressor & the little brainbox for the air (under drivers seat) and viola - good to go! Have since replaced the used struts with new ones and it DOES make a difference in the way she handles.


Ya, I am glad that I didn't have to do it myself, and I am glad the previous owners just put in new ones so I don't have to worry about new shocks for a long time :)

so how hard is it to install a remote start system on these?? it would be sooo sweet to start the car without having to go out in the bitter cold right away.... :rolleyes: (daydreams....)


Well, the remote start isn't really "hard" to install, it's more time consuming. It's only 8 wires to get the remote start part to "work". It took me about 2 hours to get it to start my car, and then another hour to "clean up" the install with split loom and hide it. This doesn't include the 2 hours of bench time I spent with the remote start unit cleaning up it's wiring and labeling it that I didn't do before from the person I bought it from, and then also wiring up all my relays for the keyless entry and so that the remote start unit can control my map lights and my dome lights (turn them on and off) when I unlock/lock my car. I have yet to install the door lock motor in my drivers door, so I haven't wired in the map/dome lights either, so that will be another good 2-3 hours to install the actuator in the door, and then wire up everything else. So I would say a good solid 8 hours of work to install the remote start and keyless entry the proper way, and have most of the features work that I wanted. And this is being well prepared and familiar with the remote start and with Subaru's wiring in general. I pretty much new where to find all my wires without even really looking online for any help. Granted I did find alot of help, but being familiar with how Subaru wires stuff helps out a lot as well.

I also removed the ignition switch so that I could solder and heat shrink all my wires to the ignition harness so I will not have any issues with that in the future :) So removing the harness, soldering everything together for that took a little bit of time as well. You could not do this step and use something else instead (I used wire nuts and zip ties before and didn't have any issues, but I didn't like it, but at the time my soldering iron wasn't hot enough to solder the ignition wires so I had to use wire nuts) but I wouldn't really recommend doing that. You could also use "wire taps" but those SUCK and FAIL over time, so I would not recommend using them. I ended up using butt connectors (crimped them with a pair of vise grips to make sure it's crimped) to wire up the remote start unit it's self, and all is well. Just make sure you crimp the connector VERY well, and you shouldn't have any issues :) But I digress...

So I would say that installing a remote start system is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure :lol: You had better have a good understanding of relays and how they work, and also a good 12v understanding in general about proper fusing and when/where to fuse and why you actually fuse as well. I added in about 8 more fuses total with everything, so knowing when and where to fuse properly is very important, especially if you are going to start your car without actually looking at it and sitting in it when it starts. Fires are bad, and they are very bad if you don't know they are happening :eek: Fusing is SUPER important when doing anything like this.

Also this was my second time installing this remote start as well, 4th time installing keyless entry/alarm/power door locks, so I was familiar with it before I started installing, and I am somewhat familiar with this type of work, and that helped alot. The first time installing this in my loyale took me about 10 hours, and that didn't include the power door locks :lol: I can honestly say that after installing this one into my car, this is the only one that I have really done the "right" way. It took 4 times to figure out what not to do, and when and where to do what, and what works and doesn't work. And this was all by trail and error basically and LOTS of research and reading.

I guess my point is, unless you have tried this type of thing before, I would probably just pay someone else to do it :lol:, seriously. Unless you like to learn of course, then I can point you to some great websites to give you some good background on 12v theory.

Here's a link to the unit I bought:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item4cf316ca19

Granted I bought mine used for $20 :grin:, and it has been one of the best $20 I spent! Granted it was used, but who cares, it's going into a used car! So they pop up on ebay for cheap every once in a while. A month ago or so there were a few of them for under $40 new...

I also want to get this guy as well:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEWAX:VRI

This would just kick arse! You can program it to turn on at set times, and it also displays the temp inside the car and can start the car if it gets to cold inside the car. Kinda useless unless you sleep in your car at night :) But cool none the less. Just for the scheduled starting alone it's sweet. One of these is on my x-mas list, and if I don't get it for x-mas, I will be buying one right afterwards!

Nice car!! Reminds me of the 91 LS wagon that I had. I remember the seats being super compfy, and the "mouse fur" fabric interior being rather luxurious. The 2.2 motor is bullet proof, and good for 300K+ miles before needing a rebuild. You got yourself a nice car. Little bit of work you put into her will make her that much nicer.


Thanks! Ya, I love my "mouse fur" seats, they are great! I like that term, it's a great way of describing it :) Hopefully I am just about half way through it's life, so it should give me many more miles to come! So far this car is just fantastic, and I still love it!

The next thing I am working on is installing a "4wd" button in my car so I can lockup my AWD whenever I want to. This is possible thanks to my modded TCU and it's DCCD knob :grin: I realized that I don't really use my DCCD knob that much, and when I did it was really just for "4wd", that and the switch I found is expensive, so I can up with a new idea... My new plan is to use my "manual" button on my gear shifter since it is not used at all with my modded TCU, but there are some logistic issues I need to workout before I can use it. Like it sends a 12v signal down the wire when the button is off, but a ground when it's on... So I's got's to think about it some more, but that's my plan. That way I have a button that looks completely stock because it is, and then I also have a light on my dash telling me when it's engaged, so I can never accidentally turn it on and not know it's on and ruin my MPT clutch pack. I hope to have this done before the x-mas tree run!

I do plan on adding in an actual knob to allow more control over my AWD, but for now this will work great. That and it will be nice to just push the button on the side of the shifter for "4wd", and not have to turn a knob :lol: I will post more once I get this done!

#32 eulogious

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:37 AM

Update time, it's been awhile!

I got my paddle shifters setup installed, and I also wired in my manual button like I wanted to, but not before the xmas tree run. Could have used it there, oh well. But I got it all installed and working, and I like it alot, I forgot what it was like to have paddles.

I finally got tired of using my key to unlock the door :lol: and I installed my power door lock motor I had laying around in my drivers door, and wired it up to my remote start to give me keyless entry finally. What an improvement!

The nice thing is that subaru actually makes it pretty easy to install a door lock motor in the drivers door, there is TONS of room :grin:

It took me about two hours to install the motor, run the wires, and hook up all the relays and everything to the remote start. Not to bad. Now when I lock or unlock my car, all my doors unlock :D

Here's some pics on what I did:

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I went to lowes and picked up a small aluminum piece to mount the motor to, and the rest was pretty simple and self explanatory. Works great!

I then took the liberty to hook my domelight and my map lights up to the keyless entry as well, so when I unlock my car, my domelight and maplights both come on to light up the car. It's super nice, especially working nights, since most of my time is spent with very little light outside. It's nice to have the maplights come on as well, lights up the whole front area of the car. I like it alot.

Wiring in the dome light was a piece of cake after doing it in my loyale, the same principals applied to this. Find the ground wire going to the domelight in the passenger side "A" pillar, splice into it, and then use a relay to send a ground signal down that wire causing the domelight to come on. And it was that easy.

Here's some pics for ya...

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Note: Just a PSA... You can use butt connectors are still have a good connections, you just need to do it right, and make the crimp with the right tool. I use vise grips, and only vise grips to make any crimp connections I need and I also make sure I strip enough wire for the connection to be good, and so far NONE of them have come loose over the last 2 years. So if you crimp them good, they work well. BUT this is only for inside the cabin of the vehicle AND doesn't require/flow alot of current. Anything in the engine bay, exposed to the elements, or that requires a lot of currect/flow should only be soldered and then heat shrinked.

The only stuff I soldered was stuff that was easily removable so that I could sit down and use a bench to solder. There was one connection with the diode I did not do this to, I soldered it in the car, but I don't like to do that. It's a pain. So most of this was done using butt connectors, and by applying some heat shrink where needed, and I have no problem trusting my work, for now anyways :lol:

Wiring up the maplights was a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but nothing major. I ended up using 3 diodes to get the result I wanted. In order to get the map lights to work, I need to apply 12v+ to the map lights, but in order to get the dome light to work, I needed ground, so I need to wire up 2 relays. 1 to send out a ground signal, the other to send out 12v+. Once I wired up the relays, I took out the maplights and I solder a new wire to each light, and then wired in a diode on that wire to prevent 1) when turning on one maplight you turn on the other one as well, and 2) to prevent any "back feed" that might come up when using the keyless entry and the maplights at the same time. Diodes were perfect for this as they only allow voltage to flow in one direction, so it was super easy to just solder in some diodes and secure them.

I ran into another problem that was fixed by using the 3rd diode. The way I wired up the relay, which was the simplest and only required using 2 relays instead of 3 or more, made it so that when ever the dome light came on, it ground the relay for the maplights, causing the maplights to come on as well. This seemed good until I realized that WHENEVER the dome light was on, so was the maplights. That was annoying and no good, so I just wired in another diode to prevent that from happening, and all was well. Luckily I had a few diodes laying around :)

I must say that I am getting better at this 12v stuff, as diodes were the first thing that came to mind when I encountered these problems. A year ago I don't think I could say the same thing. Go experience!

Here's some pics of the maplight and what I did to make it work for me:

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The diodes I just covered with heat shrink and then zip tied them so they are secure. Since they are so small, I wanted to make sure they didn't get bent and break when re-installing stuff :rolleyes: The one for the dome light I secured to a butt connector so that it had something stiff to be held to. Worked out good.

So I am finally done with installing my remote start, I finally got every option I wanted wired in. Took me a while, but it's done! Now onto the stereo...

I haven't started on the stereo install quite yet, I am still waiting on some breakers to come in, and they should be here next week. But I did get some new front speakers, and my zx500 sub amp came to me as well. So that will be a nice 700 RMS going to my 12 :) Nice little upgrade from my 500 RMS I had in my loyale.

Here's a shot of all my gear, including all the RCA's, power cable, speaker wire, and phone cable needed for my install :D

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Here's all that's listed: MB Quartz RVF-216 6.5 with JL XR crossovers, Kenwood exceleon x869, SLD44 line driver, BassCUBE w/remote, PG ti Fused Distro, PG RCA's, PG RSdC124 in a 1 cubic foot box, PG zx500, PG zx450, 16' 0AWG power wire, 130' of Memphis 16AWG speaker wire, 40' of 4 wire black phone cable, and some monster RCA's that I am cutting down to 3 foot lengths to connect my line driver to my system.

Matching sub (zx500 2 channel) and mids/tweet (zx450 4 channel) amps:

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New (to me) MB Quartz RVF-216 6.5 with JL XR crossovers:

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This should be fun getting it all into my car :grin:

I think that does it for now, more to come once I find some time to start on the stereo install. Since it's warming up now, I need to get out to my garage and take some crap of my loyale :( No more using my folk's warm garage for the next little bit, back to my cold, cramped, small garage!

Edited by eulogious, 05 January 2011 - 06:44 AM.


#33 eulogious

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 05:04 AM

Alrighty, it's been a LONG time since I updated this thread, but I have been really busy working on the car lately, and got some stuff done.

What I have been busy working on is the stereo, and what a job from hell it has been, but I got it done.

I installed my Head Unit, my MB Quartz speakers and tweeters, the xovers for the speakers, my basscube, 2 amps, and my 12.

Pictures speak a 1000 words so...

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This is my head unit, my Kenwood x869. Great head unit, just make sure you don't drop it while it's on and totally muck up the motorized face :-\ That took over 4 hours to fix.

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That's the inside of the HU. The belt slipped some teeth causing the face too close to tightly and the HU to freak out, making it useless. :banghead: So I had to fiddle fart around with tiny arse screws for hours to get it to "work". What a PITA. It doesn't close quite right, it's still a tooth off, but I really don't care, it freaking works.

As you can see I mounted the HU below the 1.5 din pocket I bought so that I would have access to my cupholders AND HU controls at the same time, imagine that! So I can change the volume while actually using the cup holders, something subaru didn't think of!

Next up was the speakers and the tweeters. I thought this would be easy, and it was, it just took longer than I thought because I just used what was there instead of buying speaker spacers and the like. So it took a little bit to figure out how to use the existing spacers. But I got it done.

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Worked out just the way I wanted :)

Then came actually installing all the amps and gear into the spare tire well...

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All of that down one side, and 0 gauge power wire down the other :D

Then I was left with this ugly mess:

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A few days later I worked on making it look good...

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First got to make the template...

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Then cut it out...

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Then arrange it all pretty like...

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Wire it up :lol:

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Better...

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Ahh, that's much better :D

It took me a little while, but I did finally get it all installed. But I did decide to add some more electronics to my car, but I have to start another reply since I can't post anymore pics in this one...

#34 eulogious

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 05:18 AM

So after all the quakes that have been happening, I finally got started on something that I have been thinking about for a long time, and that is Ham (amateur) radio.

Because of where I work, I have a co-worker who is the communications guy for the EOC (Emergency Operations Center), and we have been talking alot about all the cool stuff you can do with ham radios, and how valuable they are during an emergency, not just for emergency workers, but for us citizens as well.

So I am going to be getting a mobile ham radio for my car, and then tying GPS in with it to provide real time tracking, all without using the internet. Well, you can use the internet, but it is not required, it just adds some neat functionality to it :)

The radio I am getting is the Kenwood TM-D710a

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and linking it up with this GPS unit from garmin, the Nuvi 350

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How this all works is by using APRS The Nuvi 350 as the ability to propogate the APRS info via waypoints (with the help of a special cable) in real time right on the GPS, without the net. So I can see other APRS users in my area, and other APRS waypoints that others have setup. So that is all cool and what not, but it's neat when you tie websites like http://www.aprs.fi into the aprs network, and then anyone that has your call sign can track your progress in real time!

This of course is just one thing APRS can do, but it's the most "popular". I am getting it so that emergency workers can find me via their radios when there is no other means of communication. And that is where it really becomes cool. For search and rescue, it's sweet, and for survival, it's sweet as well, and that was the main reason for getting into this, but it's also a sweet toy, and I like sweet toys, so I am installing all that into my car too :)

So after I get back from vegas, I should have some money to buy all this gear and then install it into my car. I plan on semi permantly mounting the GPS right about the HU, and putting the ham radio directly below it. I think it will work out perfectly once I get done fiddling with it!

Edited by eulogious, 29 March 2011 - 12:55 PM.


#35 eulogious

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:01 PM

Thanks to a buddy of mine that just received his d710 I was able to see how it would fit into my car:

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It fits perfect! And with the GPS in place of the pocket, it will be all nice and tidy, out of the way, and I won't have to worry about clutter, all wins in my book :) Now I just have to wait for the money :lol:

#36 cohophysh

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 01:37 PM

Nice work mate...I should be able to hear you before I see you. I drive the crappy blue 90 legacy with the maroon hatch...honk if ya see me around Oly!

#37 eulogious

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

Nice work mate...I should be able to hear you before I see you. I drive the crappy blue 90 legacy with the maroon hatch...honk if ya see me around Oly!


Still looking for ya! Hehe

Ok, so it's been a while, and I got some more stuff installed, and made some more stuff as well.

I am still saving up to get my kenwood radio (they cost over $500 :eek:) so a buddy of mine just upgraded his radio in his car, so he let me install and use his old one until I can get my own gear. So here are some of the pics of that install...

Here's a pic of the unit installed:
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I have the remote head seperation kit, so the actual radio is in the back, and the face is installed up front.

Here's the cable for the speaker I made and ran up front:
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And the speaker:
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I rigged the ham radio to come on with my ignition, and also to come on when I turn on this switch, so I don't have to have the car on to use the radio. I also mount my bass cube remote there as well:
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So if anyone was wondering what the thing about the radio is, it's what's called a "rigrunner", and it's used to power devices, like radios and other gear using Anderson Power Poles. If you haven't looked into anderson power poles, you should, they are ************ing fantastic! I love'm, and I have been looking for a connector like this as well for the longest time. And you can get the connectors in tine little 15amp versions, all the way up to 200amp versions. They are a sweet connector, and if you want a good way to tap into the dc power in your car, they are fantastic. Here's a link to some info about them:

http://home.comcast.net/~buck0/app.htm

They have a diagram for the rigrunner on that page, and that's what I followed to make my own. Cost me about $15, and I bought everything locally, including the power poles. I think it turned out pretty damn good for my first try at this sort of thing...

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Pics of the process. Took about 6 hours total from start to finish to make the box, then about another 2 hours to install it..
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I tapped into the power off my cap as well, so if the radio needs some extra juice it can have it :lol:
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Now to my next plan...

I want to install a second battery, and an isolating circuit as well. Here's the diagram that I came up with:

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This system works by using an oil pressure switch to keep the relay on, and both batteries connected while the car is starting and running, and then isolates it when the car is not actually running, but the ignition could still be on. So I just need to replace my oil pressure switch with a new one for $5, and then add a couple relays in, and I will be golden! The relay that is off the starting wire is there to make sure that the second battery is used during starting. It also means that you just need enough juice to trigger that relay to start your car, since the other battery will be introduced to the system as soon as there is enough power to trigger that relay. Then if there is not enough juice to trigger the relay, you just push the momentary switch and start the car. It's perfectly seemless, and only only cost a few dollars for the parts besides the relay and the battery. No switches to flip for normal use, just turn the key and go, and not worry about having a dead battery.

Here's a little bit more of a run down..

Right now in my car my oil pressure sensor only has one wire, the one for the idiot light. The one wire is ground to the case of the switch, and so therefore the engine block, and then it's grounded to the battery. So right now, when I turn the key on without starting the car, the oil light comes on in my dash because the sensor closed the switch completing the circuit. Then once I start the car and the oil pressure rises above 5 psi, the switch closes, turning off the dummy light. So it only comes on during low oil pressure times, either when the car is not running, or when something really bad is going on with the car itself. That's what's comes from the factory with my car, a one prong pressure switch.

So by replacing the pressure switch with this 3 prong GM one, I am keeping the same functionality that it had before and the same behavior with the idiot light, I have just added in another switch/circuit that I can use. This other switch works the exact opposite, so when the engine is not running, the switch is open (isolating the starting battery), and when the engine is running and there is enough oil pressure, it's closed (adding in the starting battery to the system). So by tapping it to ground and the isolator relay, I can keep the starting battery as part of the system as long as there is enough oil pressure to keep the switch closed and the circuit complete.

So when starting, the thing that I worry about is that there is NOT enough pressure to activate the pressure switch to add the starting battery to the system. So that is why I used the second relay that is only attached to the starting circuit. To ensure that the starting battery can actually be used when starting. It's not much of a starting battery if it's not used when starting the car. Most likely the starter will build up enough oil pressure to activate the switch but this won't happen immediately, which is what I want. So my system just ensures that the starting battery will be used while starting the car. It also has the benefit of adding the starting battery to the circuit when the non-starting battery is almost dead, without having to press anymore switches or anything else. I wanted it to be as seamless as possible, and I think that this covers that pretty well. But I also have a way of using the starting battery no matter what using the other momentary switch.

Now the rest of it is just for more seamless integration. The momentary switch will ground the relay making the starting battery part of the circuit and allowing you to start your car incase you run down your other battery. So this is your absolute fall back if the non-starting battery is SUPER dead. You will be able to at least start your car still, no matter what.

Then I use a distro block to take all the wires that are at the front of the car and put them all with the non-starting battery in the back. That way it's nice and neat up front, and I don't have to run anymore wires to the back. 0 awg should be plenty to run the car and carry what little amps it needs I would think. No need to run more wires.

Now the whole reason I want to do this is not for stereo purposes, but for emergency purposes, and for camping and things like that (I don't use a backpack when camping, I "car" camp, thanks to the wife :lol:) so it's nice to have power on tap for those things, so I designed this based off of that idea, not running my stereo full tilt till the batteries die, I am talking about a small load (15amps or so) for a long period of time.

Now the other thing that I was worried about was what happens when you drain the sla completely, and then hook up the good starting battery to the circuit? Is it going to blow the breaker and pull over 200amps? This was one of the biggest reason to get a diode setup, was so that you could prevent this. Well, a volt drop of .7 is unacceptable to me, so I wanted to find out the pros and cons of both setups, and I can across this really good page:

http://yarchive.net/...v/isolator.html

It's about boats, but the same concept applies to what I want to do. They are powering stuff for a long time, not high power, and it was a really good read. This is a great quote and sums up my research (the quy is responding to points from a mailing list):

The relay may be easier to install, but it can allow heavy
current to flow between batteries when one is in a state of
greater discharge than the other. This is stress on both the
batteries and cabling - and could blow a breaker.

Maybe it could (I don't think so but lacking 100% proof) but in
practice it doesn't. Some current will flow if one battery is
completely dead but the current isn't enough to hurt anything. One
can get an idea of the magnitude of this current by observing the
current flow when one jumps off a completely dead vehicle. A few
minor sparks but certainly nothing that could possibly damage any
component in the system.

The isolator is an elegant solution which absolutely prevents
this and allows better distribution of charge current where it is needed.
The diodes are likely to blow only if something is miswired or
shorted to ground. Else they will outlive the mechanical relay
contacts by a wide margin with no degradation in performance -
which is inevitable in a relay.

The controversy over which method is better is ongoing, but all
the relay has going for it is cheaper initial cost, and in some
cases - simpler hookup.

A relay is always a simpler hookup. The diode isolator is a very
inelegant kluge that seems to have a life of its own. It wastes
power (a little less than a watt for each amp flowing), it is
relatively fragile (just as fragile as the diodes in the
alternator), is subject to destruction from even a momentary reverse
polarity (such as when one reverses jumper cables) and is difficult
to make work correctly. It might be acceptable if the charging
system is engineered (and not just kluged together) from scratch to
accommodate the 0.7-1 volt drop across the isolator but it is a pain
in the rump roast in the aftermarket. This is 20 years of experience
speaking.

That pretty much sums up my thinking on it, and that's why want a 200amp relay, just in case.

So with a 65AH SLA battery in the back, I think that all my needs will be met.

I should also give credit where credit is due. I didn't come up with the idea of this, I just adapted it to the soobie. I found it in "Idea 4" on this page:

http://www.junkyardg...ing/dual01.html

Anyone have any experience with dual batteries? If so what did you do?

This seems like a very good, solid plan to work from, but if someone has done it before and has some tips, that would be cool!

Not too mention that this is also fairly cheap to do, minus the cost of the battery. I found a 200amp relay for $52 shipped, the adapter and pressure sensor for about $10, the distro block for about $30 shipped, and a battery box for about $12. The battery is about $145 shipped. So for about $250 total I can have a dual battery setup. Not too bad, but not free either...

I got some more work to do on the antenna mount and what not, so when I get that done I will post that up as well...

Edited by eulogious, 05 May 2011 - 07:58 AM.


#38 eulogious

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

Wow, it's been way over a year since I last updated this thread. Geez, didn't think it was that long! So I guess one of the mods this thread could be moved over to the "Members Ride Area" since it's all about my car...

Anyways, I have finally lifted it! After 3 years of wanting and talking about a lifted soobie, mine is finally lifted!

Posted Image

Thanks to monstaru for all his help. It wouldn't have happened with his help.

I still need to clean up the fenders and I still rub a smidge when in full lock, but it's drivable for now. But my speedo doesn't work, my abs light is on, and I need to permanently figure out a better way to hang my muffler. But it all works for now and it drives! I will post up more pics once I clean it up a little bit in the next few days!

Edited by eulogious, 10 January 2013 - 10:45 AM.


#39 Legacy777

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

Nice work on the stereo!! Looks really good and that you spent time routing and hiding the wires. I love a good custom installed stereo that's be done well :)

#40 eulogious

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Nice work on the stereo!! Looks really good and that you spent time routing and hiding the wires. I love a good custom installed stereo that's be done well :)


Thanks man! I love my stereo. Well worth the money and time I put into it.

I have since changed out my x-over with a better one, and I am going to go through and redo alot of my grounds as well. I got some good grounding strap and lots of 4awg wire to finally try to get rid of my alt whine. I need to also clean up the rats nest that is under my amps. I think that is part of the reason I have alt whine. Meh. It also helps that I am finally moving into a house with a 2 gar attached garage, so I will be spending lots more time with my car :)

I managed to wash my car the other day and I worked on trimming my fenders better. Now I just get rubbing, no bad grinding like I was getting before. Still more to do, but it's not making any horrible noises like it was before. I just needed to take out some of the metal supports for the plastic front bumper and my air tank that was used for my air suspension. Anyone have any ideas on what I should do with the original compressor and tank, lol?

I was also thinking that the reason my cruise, AWD, and ABS don't work is probably because they all use the vss that's in the cluster, and that's not hooked up right now. So I will be fixing that this weekend to see if I fixed all those issues. Hopefully all I have to do is reconnect the speedo to get it all to work.

So far I LOVE my lifted soobie. It's nice to sit sooo much higher in the air. It's really nice. But I am not used to my car sounding like a truck with all the tire and road noise I get now. Just taking a while to get used to all the new noises that it is making. Not too mention it's nice having decent tires again.

#41 Legacy777

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

Yeah, if you clean up the wiring and keep the RCA's and power leads separated that should help with the alternator whine issues.

The VSS "should" bring the cruise, AWD, & ABS back. Did they work before?

#42 eulogious

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Yeah, if you clean up the wiring and keep the RCA's and power leads separated that should help with the alternator whine issues.


Ya, I have just been lazy. I also really need to add in a better ground. All I have now is the stupid thin metal around the spare tire well that is my ground. Need to run that to a better place when I go to clean up my wiring.

The VSS "should" bring the cruise, AWD, & ABS back. Did they work before?


Yup they worked before, so I am 95% sure that once I plug the speedo cable back in everything should start working again. I just haven't had the time, I have been trying to move into a new house and that is taking all my time lately...




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