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Thread: Coil & Bulkhead Connections

  1. #1
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    Coil & Bulkhead Connections

    Since I have my car ripped apart I'm looking at ways to simplify things. That's code word for lots of damned work "while I'm in there" to supposedly make my life easier in the future. Over time I've added stereo, amp, subwoofer, wings aloft, alarm, lighting and of course my EFI. As a result I have a lot of new wires and a lot of now unused wiring. While I've been pretty diligent about adding good connectors or splicing in properly, it's pretty busy in there.

    As floodwater got into my car (just enough to soak the carpets and the wooden bulkhead board), I need to rebuild/replace the bulkhead. I'm pretty wood-handy so I'm thinking about extending it a little higher, building a top deck and giving myself a full width access door to the electrics areas. These can now be cleaned up and spread out a bit to make life easier. I haven't designed this yet but I'm getting some ideas together.

    One thing I am definitely looking to do is remove the coil/bulkhead connection box from inside the engine bay. I've never liked that kluge look and the ill fitting closure. I now only use a fraction of the electrical connections too since I went EFI. Aside from the complete black harness (rear lighting), I only use 15 others out of 45 available. I'm thinking one good sized (24 pin) Molex type would work fine. Maybe bigger and add the EFI ones to it too.... Does anyone have a picture of what the engine bay looks like without that box? Anyone done anything like this? I figure moving the coil is easy and I'm sure I can find a way to protect it from the elements.

    If I do some diligent wire tracing back from those bulkhead connectors I should be able to remove a fair amount of wiring from the fuse compartment area. For a brief moment I even considered rewiring things by adding a fuse box up front so that there wouldn't need to be so much back and forth under the center console. Then I came to my senses and realized just how many connections there are (and crazy too when you think about all the lights controls going through the hazard switch etc..) I used to have a digital copy of the electrical schematic that I was able to edit with Paint or some other editor. I had modified a copy to reflect all the EFI changes I made. Somehow I have lost that but I still have an unedited one and a hard copy of my edited one.

    This car is NEVER going back to stock and rather than try to preserve legacy wiring and have it be a source of frustration, I'm going to start surgically removing stuff.
    If you have any good pictures of what you or others have done or any connectors that you may have seen, please feel free to post.
    Wish me luck!
    Owen
    Tour the country and visit breweries through the eyes of our two puppy dogs. http://www.twobrewdogs.com
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  2. #2
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    I'd suggest something more waterproof than standard molex connectors. Take a look at modern car connections, typically using weatherpack connectors that are completely waterproof.

    If I were going to do what you suggest, I'd lift a bulkhead connector from a junkyard car and make a new corner plate to fit it, or even buy a new connector and terminals to avoid lots of wire splicing. Sorry I can't think of anything that is compatible, but there should be something you can adapt with some work. If you use weatherproof connectors then you can skip having to figure out a way to cover it, other than for appearances.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    dswingle@DeLorean.com

  3. #3
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    22 pin weather pack bulkhead connector from amazon. This old picture of mine below looks crude since I didn't trim the RTV or polish anything but at least you get the idea.

    -----Dan B.

  4. #4
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    Dave, Dan... great suggestions. Weatherpack seems the way to go. I would ask what stock wire gauge was but I'm sure there are several different sizes going through to the engine bay. Dan, is that a steel or aluminum corner plate you made? I assume the screws holding it go into the holes left behind by the original one? I also don't see where you moved your coil to. Did you make some kind of protection for it?

    I'm going to brave the 101* Houston weather today and hope my swamp cooler can keep me cool as I start surgery on the wires. Ugh.
    Owen
    Tour the country and visit breweries through the eyes of our two puppy dogs. http://www.twobrewdogs.com
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  5. #5
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    The plate is fabricated out of 5052 sheet aluminum and I used my metal brake for a clean bend. I didn't really polish it prior to install because I knew it would never stay polished. The stainless screws are indeed set in the rivnuts from the original plate.

    The weather pack connector had options from 12 to 20 gauge and for the majority I used 18-20 and have had no problems.

    I am running EDIS so I have a coil pack located on the front of the engine but no coil like original. My original engine compartment prior to the swap lacked the coil cover for many years and stood just fine against all elements daily for years. If I had continued with a coil, I would put it in the same place as original and would have incorporated a portion of aluminum on the plate that would have been bent over above the coil, continuing without a cover. It would be bent in such a way that not only would it overhang the coil, but have the side and front portions of the overhang bent at a downward angle 45 or so to allow water to run off without running under the metal and dripping wherever it felt. I had to make a cover for my air filter and bent the ends the same way which has been working great.
    -----Dan B.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    There are lots of options for connectors. You could go "mill spec" with gold plated pins if money was no object. I found a water tight connector that I love but it does cost. I can only think of a few circuits that require higher current. The starter solenoid is one which I would recommend 14 or 12 AWG wire.

    More connectors are probably better than one large one. It keeps the cables more manageable and in the event of new or repair much less work. You probably want crimp pins as opposed to solder cup pins. Soldering is great on the bench but a PIA on the car.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  7. #7
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    There are lots of options for connectors. You could go "mill spec" with gold plated pins if money was no object. I found a water tight connector that I love but it does cost. I can only think of a few circuits that require higher current. The starter solenoid is one which I would recommend 14 or 12 AWG wire.

    More connectors are probably better than one large one. It keeps the cables more manageable and in the event of new or repair much less work. You probably want crimp pins as opposed to solder cup pins. Soldering is great on the bench but a PIA on the car.
    That is one thing about the weather pack crimp connectors, you will need the weather pack crimp tool as well. It does work very well and on the plus, once you start using it, you will want to change more of those damn original corroded, troublesome connectors. I bought bulk 2, 3, 4, 5+ pin weather pack connectors and have been slowly changing the original ones throughout my car. Radiator connectors were the first to be changed to weather packs.
    -----Dan B.

  8. #8
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    I want to know who had the wire concession for Delorean! Good lordy there is an excess of ground and power wiring in this car. I see no reason not to implement Bill R.'s ground bus setup now that I've seen the light.

    I think the designers could have done themselves an immense favor (and therefore us) by running a power wire up to the dashboard area. From there they could have supplied the front lighting, the fans, etc. by putting a separate fuse/relay compartment there. So much of the wiring of this car is 'parallel' runs up and down the console.

    I removed the coil/bulkhead connector box today and removed all of the connectors. Each wire I actually use is labeled and now I'm trying to slowly untangle the mess in the back so that I can re-harness them into my setup. I pulled out half a mile of unnecessary wiring now that I'm EFI'd. I've pulled out my Wings Aloft alarm and door poppers for the time being since it does a great job of entangling everything. I'll add it back in later once things are cleaned up.

    I think I'm going to clean up the removed coil/connector box frame and replace it with a new, singular connector through it, keeping the coil mounted in its original position. Rather than using that silly plastic cover however, I will create a cover to protect the coil from the elements as Dan suggested. I need to figure out how to block off the other holes.

    Thank god for the swamp cooler thing I have in my garage on loan from a friend. It was Africa-hot today and so long as I stay within the air flow of the unit it was perfectly acceptable. It goes through a lot of water in the process, but it works! Step away from the breeze and you start to melt like the wicked witch. Brutal. Tell me again why I live here?
    Owen
    Tour the country and visit breweries through the eyes of our two puppy dogs. http://www.twobrewdogs.com
    Help us spread the word! @twobrewdogs on Twitter, twobrewdogs on Facebook.

  9. #9
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    Got lucky today.... I remembered that I had an old amplifier power wire lying around somewhere but couldn't remember anything about it. Well, it turns out it is a 16 ft long Rockford Fosgate 4 AWG, high performance, 1862 strand, super flexible, with lugs on the end piece of good luck! I should be able to get most of a ground bus done with that and a few lugs. I also ordered one of these for the bulkhead: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I think I'll tack weld a thin plate behind the holes left by removing the bulkhead connectors. One single hole through it for the above connector and it will be nice and clean. Keep the post with all of the brown + wires attached to it and to the battery. The negative post will stay on the same side that the coil is mounted on. I'll make a thin gauge tin cover for over the top of the coil. The metal will probably get a coat of black or black rubberized paint to not stand out in the engine bay. A couple of simple modifications in the wiring in the engine bay will eliminate one or two wires going back and forth through the bulkhead too.
    Owen
    Tour the country and visit breweries through the eyes of our two puppy dogs. http://www.twobrewdogs.com
    Help us spread the word! @twobrewdogs on Twitter, twobrewdogs on Facebook.

  10. #10
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    I did the ground bus back when Bill was completing his. I found my volt gauge to read higher and steady, even more so now with my new, used Volvo alternator! I thought the ground bus was worth it.
    -----Dan B.

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