AUX switches - stuck passing through firewall.

muff1nman

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So I wanted to get the AUX switches wired up and got the parts for it. Was having decent progress until I got stuck with passing through the cables from the engine bay to the jeep. I first got a coat hanger through with some (a lot) of finagling. Then pulled a small string (think 2/3 mm) through. With the string tapped on the wiring. I got halfway through and it just wouldn't budge even with the help of some grease. Probably too wide for the hole which I believe was intended for this. I was worried to pull too much harder without damaging the rubber housing and whatever else was in there so decided to go the longer route of removing batteries and their associated trays. Here is the resulting mess:

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At least now I have better access to it but still can't get it to budge in either direction. I'm a bit hesitant to cut open the rubber housing. Any suggestions?
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MEHillwalker80

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I feel your frustration. I also did a self install by removing the #2 battery et. al. I had a small tube of dielectric grease that I used to recondition the weather seals on my 85 Vette. That did the trick and the wires finally slipped right in. I did however cut the little rubber tit right off the grommet to reduce the friction drag from the rubber. Good Luck....you'll get it done.
 
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muff1nman

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Well, it was pretty stuck. I ended up cutting the cables out but tried to do so in a way without jeopardizing the rest of the rubber gasket. I started with a utility knife then transisitioned to a scissors. Confirming what others have said, its basically a tunnel of rubber that is isolated from the rest of the cavity where the main wiring harness is exposed. The tunnel is also fused to the top of the rubber piece.

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So then getting the cables through was now easy with extra room for coax for radio in the future. However, I was now not so thrilled with the idea that the wiring harness would be exposed to the elements. That led me to the idea of using an old piece of sprinkler pipe and some glue, but I was concerned about the amount of heat in the engine bay with that material and glue I had laying around. Ended up grabbing an assortment of adhesives and some heater hose (seemed made of rubber) and doing a test to see how the hose and glues would hold together with and without heat. I also tested some bits of the rubber gasket I had from my extraction earlier and the sprinkler hose I had out of curiosity.

I found that the high quality construction adhesive fared the worst in actually holding together the materials. The silicone sealant I had did pretty well while staying flexible. I also tried some super glue of a sort that said it was good for rubber. It was on par with the silicone sealant but more rigid/plastic when set.

I then took the heat gun out and heated up the samples to the point that the sprinkler hose started melting - maybe 5 min on high. So definitely decided not to use that. The heater hose wasn't bothered by the heat at all. However, the glues did seem to no longer hold onto the rubber very well with the silicone fairing a bit better. The specs for the silicone sealant says that it withstands up to 350 degrees for long term heat, so testing seemed to line up with that.

One qualification is that I only gave the adhesives 10 hours of set time, but I figured good enough for testing.

Figuring that this part of the engine bay shouldn't get nearly as hot as my test, I figured to just go with the silicone sealant and heater hose instead of going to the next level with epoxy. I did have some epoxy left over from potting my lockers, but that stuff is pretty thin during application so I think it would have made a mess.

Here is the result:

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Not the prettiest but I think it'll work. I may end up putting some foam in the hose to fill any gaps not used by the cables. Now just to wait for it to cure..

What would I have done differently in hindsight? I maybe could've run a slit from the top of the rubber gasket down into the channel. In theory that could be done without breaching the cavity where the wiring harness sits. That'd probably work well if one didn't want to run anymore cables as it still wouldn't provide much help for threading things through at a later date. Whereas I'm still working on sourcing some coax which I don't think is coming for another couple days. So I don't think I would've done anything differently.

Also thanks for the encouragement MEHillwalker80 :)
 

jlang

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Nice work. The AUX switches were a must for me when buying my JL. This post confirms my decision. Thank you for sharing.
 

MEHillwalker80

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DIY Aux Switches and Genesis Dual Battery setup: I installed both on my JL Sport and discovered a nice little hack. The DIY MOPAR Aux Switch kit gets its power through two power cables to be attached to the main battery positive terminal during installation. These can be attached to the positive Bus Bar of the Genesis System instead, and will be powered by the Auxiliary battery instead of the Starting (Main) battery. This will allow you to power anything connected to the Aux switches without drawing down the Genesis main battery. Probably not a lot of people have installed both on their Wranglers, but thought I would put the information here anyway.
 
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