How To: "Big 5" Basic Engine Re-Wiring Upgrade - Tutorial
First off, I haven't been on here much in the past week because my stupid phone wouldn't send any pictures to my email or through USB so I couldn't upload any pics. Now that I got that fixed here we go!
This is a basic engine mod does the following wire upgrades from stock wire gauge (6 or 8 Gauge) to much larger and better 1/0 Gauge wire:
Replaces positive (+) wire lead from Alternator to the Fuse Box
Replaces positive (+) wire lead from Fuse Box to the Battery (+)
Replaces all three grounds of the battery:
Battery (-) to the frame
Battery (-) to the chassis
Battery (-) to the Engine Block
I have been told this is the "Big 5" wire upgrade and is pretty basic in terms of engine modification.
Overall gains of this improvement are many, as you will see in the pictures, 0 Gauge wire is FAR bigger than the stock 6 or 8 gauge and thus can carry a larger current or produce a much better grounding point. My motivation for this wire mod was my lights dimming when my subs would hit on my custom 1600w stereo system. The positive leads from the Alternator and Fuse box provide a larger power throughput to all the interior electronics of your Ram as well as allow more power to be gained from your alternator's pulley. The grounds are also very important, matching your ground wires gauge to your positive or "hot" wires gauge is always a good idea. Grounds make sure your electronics all function properly and safely as well as making your car start a bit faster. Any electrician will tell you there is nothing more important than a solid ground.
First here are some of the parts you will need (figuring all the details out took me a while so learn from my pain lol).
Red 1/0 Gauge wire in the following lengths:
Black 1/0 Gauge wire in the following lengths:
1' 3' 4'
(I was a bit generous on the lengths, you will have some extra slack if you use these lengths for the same truck as mine, but this is better than not having your wires long enough)
Medium size ratchet with a 4" extension and 10mm, 12mm, 13mm and 15mm heads.
Also I decided to use wire looming to cover all of the wires that I put in my engine, it protects them better and looks professional. You can find this at any local electronic store, I went with 1/2" looming and got 25' of it, had a little extra but this stuff is like 25c a foot so don't cheap out. If you decide to do this, I used the looming, electrical tape and zip ties to secure the coverings. Also you will need something to cut it all with such as my Badass KA-BAR knife) :smileup:
For the wiring, this 1/0 gauge wire is kinda hard to find, most auto places wont have it. I found mine for $6 a foot at a local auto store, they had red and black which is perfect, red for positive and black for negative, obviously. (You can find this online for about $4 a foot, but shipping is a lot cause its large and heavy, so it just about evens out)
Preparing the wire:
This part is kinda tricky, this wire is really really thick and hard to cut, normal wire cutters or dikes wont do sh*t. I went to a local car stereo place where I got my stereo installed to help me out. They had large cutters and cut my wire to length for me and also gave me wire terminals for the ends and crimped them on.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, make sure you get good ends for the wire, in the picture below you can see the end (Ring Terminal) clamped onto the wire. If you don't do a good job with this you wont get a solid connection, I would suggest using a large wire crimping tool to do it right.
Example of my 1/0 Gauge ground wire properly stripped and crimped onto a Ring terminal.
Here is a picture of all of the wires all cut and crimped:
And here is a picture of the end of one ground wire, with the looming secured to the end by electrical tape and a zip tie, you can see the looming starting near the top of the picture.
Now lets get started on the mod (finally, I know right?)
First make sure your truck is off (being electrocuted isn't fun) and then take the hex bolt off the positive (red) side of your battery with a 10mm ratchet seen here: (Note, the large wire coming off the left of my battery is for my stereo system, if you don't have a custom stereo system you wont have this wire, don't worry about it)
Next take off the positive lead, and now we have to cut the wire on the right leading to the Fuse Box. DO NOT CUT THE WIRE ON THE LEFT!!!
Next unbolt the hex nut on top of your Fuse Box + lead with a 13mm Ratchet seen here:
Once that is done, go over to your Alternator and remove the plastic protective covering over the Alternator hex bolt, and remove it as well with a 13mm Ratchet.
Ok, Now that all of those bolts have been removed, its time to take out this wire assembly. You will see that to the right of the fuse box, the Alternator + wire is spliced into some other wires in a protective wire looming case. Simply cut through the looming (careful not to cut the wires) and then remove the Alternator + wire and leave the others behind, don't touch!
Cut the large looming open in the middle of the picture, and pull the Alternator wire out, leave the rest of the wires behind and cover them with electrical tape or looming to protect it against the elements.
Once the wires are removed, its time to put on the new ones.
Take your 6' new red 0 gauge wire, and connect one end to the Alternator + lead seen here:
Next, run this to the Fuse Box in a similar path to the stock wiring and leave it on the bolt for now, don't screw it on yet.
Then take your 5' red 0 gauge wire and connect it from the Fuse Box + to the Battery + (don't connect it to the Battery + yet)
Once you have done that, you can now tighten down the hex bolt on the Fuse Box positive with a 13mm Ratchet, make sure both the wire from the Alternator and the wire TO the battery are both under the hex bolt when you screw it down, order doesn't matter. See here:
Now connect both the old engine wire, and the new 0 gauge wire from the Fuse Box onto the Battery + hex bolt and tighten it down with a 10mm Ratchet. CAUTION: touch the wire to the bolt first, there might be a spark to discharge any electricity still in the engine, be careful!!!
Now its time for the grounds!
Remove all 3 ground wires from the Battery - hex nut with a 12mm Ratchet seen here:
Next, this part is a bit tricky and you will have to crawl under the truck to reach 2 of the grounds. Follow one of the grounds leading downward into the engine, one will lead to the chassis and branch right, the other will branch left leading to the engine block. I did the chassis ground wire first, use a 10mm Ratchet to get the chassis ground hex bolt off. This is located just inside the front left tire under the wheel well. Unbolt this nut with a 10mm Ratchet. See here:
Then move onto the engine block grounding bolt. This is the hardest bolt to get off and to access. If you crawl under the front center of the truck, and lay on your stomach and look upwards into the engine, you will see the bolt, its on the right side of the engine block and silver in color. See here:
The bolt is in the center of the picture to the right of that black tube. This tube is in the way of the bolt, so try to push it aside in order to get a good grip on the bolt. Use a 15mm ratchet to undo it.
Now that the hard part is done take your new 5' and 4' black 0 gauge wires and connect them to both the chassis bolt and the engine block bolt. Pics here:
Lastly, replace the short ground wire from the Battery - to the frame with the last 1' 0 Gauge wire. Use a 10mm Ratchet to get the nut off and back on. See here:
Now all we have to do is secure all 3 new 0 Gauge ground wires back onto the Battery - bolt! Simply bolt all 3 on in any order with a 12mm Ratchet.
Here is the finished Product with both + and - Battery wires all switched out with 0 Gauge wire:
Overall this mod isn't too complex, This should make a big difference for anyone who is running high power through their truck's electrical system.
I know its a wall of text, but thank you all for reading.
Any + rep or comments / questions would be appricated.
ok my first question for this mod that i have seen people forget about is there an inline fuse in the wire from the alternator i know alot of cars and trucks have a fused link that melts if there is an overload in the system, i tried to upgrade all of my wires in my old car but the car had a fused link inline from the alternator to the battery and i had to custom order a 8 gauge link for 4 gauge wire i love this simple and cheap mod.
None of the wires I repalced had fuses, not even between the Alt and the Fuse Box, i think ALL of the fuses of the car is now in the fuse box. Mine was simple, just replace all the wires, simple.
Mines a newer one, 06 so older cars may be different :smileup:
Excellent write-up! Have the lights stopped dimming on you now? I had the same problem with my '07 Charger, but I never thought about upgrading the wiring.
Nice write up with pictures .
Nice job! I did the same thing back in 05 to my Bee. Factory should have ran bigger wire to begin with.
I must say, that is a great write up! Since I won't be running any high demand stereo stuff I won't have to do this, but it's great to know :rep:
Thanks for the responses everyone, I appreciate it!
I was unaware of that, thats good to know. Its been in my truck for about 3 weeks now and no problems whatsoever, it actually starts a bit faster too. Maybe ill put in a fuseable link later on for precautions sake.
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