Willys jeep electrical system

Willys jeep electrical system DEFAULT


Early production Willys civilian vehicles were all equipped with 6-volt electrical systems. Later production Willys civilian vehicles were all changed to volt electrical systems.

The majority of Willys MB and Ford GPW military vehicles were equipped with 6-volt electrical systems.  A few of these vehicles did in fact have volt electrical systems for use with special equipment such as radios and generators.  Later production Willys military vehicles were all equipped with volt electrical systems.

For a quick check to see which system your vehicle has, just look at the battery.  A 6-volt battery has three cells with three filler caps.  A volt battery has six cells with six filler caps.  A volt system uses two volt batteries connected in series.

As the electrical circuits remain the same, the wiring diagrams represent the 6, 12 and volt wiring. However, bulbs and electrical components are not always interchangeable and a replacement item of the correct voltage must be secured.

We offer every part to convert your vehicle from 6-volt to volt systems and volt to volt systems.

OEM equipment suppliers to Willys included the Electric Auto-Lite Company, the Prestolite Company, the Borg-Warner Corporation, the Wagner Electric Corporation and the General Electric Company.

Throughout this Group you will note that Willy Jeep Parts offers more new OEM parts and more rebuilt OEM parts than any other supplier anywhere!

Sours: https://www.willysjeepparts.com/Electrical_System.htm


The new fuse panel

When I picked up this old CJ3A it still had its original cloth covered harness and 6 volt generator. There were a few patches hither and thither performed over the years to keep it going, but age and neglect ultimately rendered the wiring unsalvageable. The generator was crusty and sticky too. My enthusiasm for replacing and rebuilding all the 6 volt parts was dampened when I added up the costs of a new cloth covered wire harness and generator rebuild. So I investigated converting to a 12 volt system as a less expensive alternative.

Original harness CJ3A coming through firewall

There are universal 12 volt electrical system &#;kits&#; that offer everything you need, but they are relatively expensive and have features a simple CJ3A wiring system doesn&#;t need. Jeeps originally used ring terminals on most every wire termination, so there&#;s no need for custom connectors or bulkheads. I found that all the piece/part components to make a scratch built 12 volt system can be sourced from local parts stores and online, and it can be put together with a soldering iron, heat gun and harness tape. Doing it this way keeps costs well below the stock 6 volt restoration, and the practical benefits described below are hard to beat as well.

12 Volt System Components

After spending a little time looking over electrical schematics for cars from the 60&#;s to 80&#;s, I came up with a simple system that supplies plenty of power, utilizes fuses and relays for safety, and can accommodate extra circuits for turn signals and a heater motor. These are some of the components that this system will use:

  • Delco "3 wire" alternator (internally regulated)
  • Fuse panels: one 6 circuit (always hot), one 6 circuit (hot when keyed ON)
  • Bypassable ballast resistor for hotter spark during starting
  • Signal Stat turn signal mechanism
  • Relays for headlamps and horn circuits

Besides swapping out the 6 volt generator for the Delco 3 wire unit, other 6 volt components will need to be changed or modified:

  • 6 vollt ignition coil to 12 volt
  • 6 volt bulbs and lamps to 12 volt
  • Original Ammeter*
  • Fuel gauge and sender**
  • 6 volt starter motor***
  • 6 volt to 12 volt battery

* Caveat 1) The original ammeter might work okay, but since current flow will be halved with a 12V system, you won't see much needle movement. You may want to consider changing to a voltmeter (which is what I did).

**Caveat 2) With a little work, the original fuel gauge/fuel sender set can be kept by using a simple home made voltage regulator (a device that steps voltage down to acceptable levels for the gauge and sender). Details below.

***Caveat 3) The starter motor can be operated at 12 volts as long as cranking times are kept reasonable.

Besides the presence of the alternator under the hood, these changes are pretty much invisible. The original Willys switches and dash lamp housings can all stay which helps maintain the vintage look.

The Schematic

I sketched up some point-to-point drawings and settled on this:

First cut Willys Jeep electrical schematic

I then made a finished, more schematic-like version of the design with a free "app" from digikey.com:

Willys CJ3a CJ2a wiring schematic 12 volt conversion

You can click on the schematic above and save it as a PDF file.

With the design in hand, I started in on the system build:

The original electrical system was spartan and had no central
"fuse panel". But with all the new parts required with the conversion, I needed a panel to house all these things in a central, hidden, yet easy to access location. Here are the things I want to put on the panel:

Fuse Blocks:

I wanted to use standard large spade type fuses. There are quite a few options available on Amazon and I selected a very simple 6 position unit with 1/4" spade connections and a central stud feed.

6 position fuse panel

I chose to buy two blocks and wire them separately: One is fed with an always "hot" source from the battery, and the other is to be "hot" only when the key is in the ON or ACCESSORY postition. This follows typical convention; the always hot panel feeds lights, horn, and ignition switch, and the switched panel feeds turn signals and future options such as heater blower motor.


I used relays primarily to avoid running high current through my original switches (which is good for them and safer too). I bought a 5 pack of standard type relays (with sockets and pigtails too) from Amazon also.

Relay kit from the place that sells everything


I needed a flasher can for my Signal Stat turn signal set up, so I purchased a CEC flasher can that is compatible with LED lamps which I intend to use in the grille parking lamp locations. I got a standard 3 pin socket to fit that to the panel.

Flasher can with socket

Voltage Regulator:

As mentioned before, I wanted to keep my original fuel gauge/sender which can only be used with a 6 volt system. To keep it, I would need a regulator to cut down the 12 volts to 6 volts. You can buy ready-to-use reguators, but you can also make your own. There are IC chips that can do this for you which can be purchased from (yep) Amazon also. I used a IC chip which regulates down to 5 volts. There is a chip which regulates to 6 volts, but I found that my gauge worked fine with 5 volts. These IC "chips" are crazy cheap; something like 10 pcs for 6 bucks. They can handle up to one amp which is fine for just the fuel gauge. You can simply ground it, feed it 12 volts and it will output 5 volts. See the schematic for pinout.

Voltage regulator 12 to 6 volts Willys

I installed extra components as shown on the Texas Instruments datasheet. It is recommended to use capacitors to help smooth output, which is probably not necessary for use with battery power but I did it anyway. Note too the diode for some reverse polarity protection.

I used a tiny piece of "perf" board, soldered in the capacitors, and also two solder tabs for the input and output leads. The "circuit" assembly was screwed to the fuse panel plate through the metal tab of the IC chip which also serves as a heat sink if the chip gets hot. The 5 volts is fed to the gauge per the wiring diagram.

The home made regulator for CJ3A 12 volt conversion

The Fuse Panel:

I fabricated an aluminum plate with enough space to fit 4 relays, two 6 position fuse blocks, the turn signal socket, and the voltage regulator (reducer). 

12 volt conversion CJ3A Jeep fuse panel

I decided to suspend it under the dash on the driver side with four brackets that I just bent up from scrap. It is completely out of sight but accessable for maintenance. Ignore the clutch pedal in the foreground (picture below).

Electrical Fuse panel willys Jeep custom

Charging System

Likely the cheapest and most reliable charging system option is a classic Delco alternator. The early ones (like the 10DN) require external regulators, so consider the later 10SI and 12SI with internal regulators which means less wiring. There are millions of them in use out there and odds are good you can find one at swap meets, recyclers, or parts stores.

I went for a rebuilt unit at my local parts counter. I requested an alternator for a Camaro V8 and they handed me a Delco 12SI. This unit is a bit heavier duty than the 10SI so I was happy to go with this one. These OEM style units feature 3 wire hookup which, according to my research, are superior to aftermarket "one-wire" alternators. (Do some research and I think you'll agree.) Note the two terminals at the top labeled 1 and 2, and of course the "Bat" stud.

Rear of Delco 12SI

I adapted the 12SI unit to the engine with a home made bracket, but if you're not handy, a bracket can be had by some Jeep suppliers online.

The Delco "3-wire" alternator hookup connections consist of:

1) Field (Terminal 1)

2) Sense (Terminal 2)

3) Battery (BAT)

The BAT (battery) terminal stud feeds power to the battery. Typically, 8 or 10 gauge wire is used. Depending on vehicle, the wire can be run directly to the positive terminal of the battery, or a more convenient location such as to the "hot" side of a horn relay or starter relay. I chose to wire it to the starter stud of a Ford style starter relay. Note that it is wise to wire in a fusable link in series with this wire. Take a look at my schematic above and you can see the details.

The Field (Terminal 1) on the alternator is basically how the alternator is turned "on". A wire is run from the ignition switch "ON" terminal to this Field terminal. It can be a light gauge wire (I used 14 gauge because that's what I had). A diode, resistor or incandescent bulb must be wired in series with this wire; this basically prevents the alternator from backfeeding voltage to the coil when you turn the ignition off (backfeeding would prevent the engine from shutting off). I like the idea of using a bulb, since it also functions as a charging indicator (otherwise known as an "idiot light"). I found what I believe to be a Delco schematic with the three recommended ways to wire this feature into the field terminal circuit:

How to wire Field Wire Delco Alternator

The Sense (Terminal 2) samples what the voltage is in your system at all times for the voltage regulator inside the alternator. Best practice is to run a wire from a point closest to where your electrical power is distributed. I run mine right to the "always hot" fuse panel stud. This tracks voltage drops from your accessories most accurately. However, some folks simply jump it a few inches to the "BATT" stud on the back of the alternator. (I did it this way on my Allis Chalmers 12 volt conversion page.)

There's actually a 4th connection too: A ground. The mount I used on the engine will provide a decent connection to earth ground by itself, so I won't need a discrete ground wire to the alternator housing.

A note about mounting the alternator to the engine: I made my own bracket to fit the base of the alternator to the engine plate. Mine looks much like the ones that folks sell online. For the top adjustable strap, lots of folks use the original adjuster strap for the generator and use the nearest waterpump bolt on the engine end. There is an issue doing that however in that the geometry leads to binding of the strap on top of the alternator. Moving the end of the strap down a little bit will prevent binding but of course there's nothing to bolt tounlessyou make up a metal strap that spans from the waterpump bolt boss down to the top of the engine plate where there is a convenient hole. The adjuster strap can be bolted to the middle of that new strap (with a spacer) and the strap doesn't bind with the alternator housing.

Alternator adjuster engine plate strap for Willys L

Every application is unique of course, so just roll up your sleeves and make something work!

Alternator strap for Delco from Generator Willys Jeep

Starting System

Original CJ3A starters are about as about as basic (electrically) as it gets. Run a battery cable to it. Done. The engagement is all mechanicalwith your foot. I used my original starter for a while, but it was tired. They're expensive to replace. For later model tooth flywheel L's, and F's, there is the possiblity of fitting a certain Toyota starter. But these tooth flywheel Go Devils can't use that type of starter.

There are Denso OSGR (Off Set Gear Reduction) type starters made to fit tooth L's, but they're close to bucks. I started looking into finding another candidate Denso to adapt to my engine, and stumbled upon a used, (20 dollar) aftermarket "Power Master" small block Ford starter # which is based on the Denso OSGR. This one had an 11 tooth pinion, and of course a small block ford adapter. It looked like I could make it work so I started modifications.

I swapped in a new 9 tooth pinion which are readily available on the internet:

Swapping pinion gear in Denso starter

Then I made a zillion measurements and machined myself a new adapter (I am very fortunate to have a crusty benchtop CNC machine).

Home made starter adapter

Can you tell which one is the Denso? (haha)

Autolite versus Denso

The power stud is on the wrong side, so I made a 3" copper bar extension so the starter cable attaches more easily. You can see it emerging from behind in the picture below.

Power Master starter on Willys engine

The Denso has a built in solenoid but I had already begun installing a classic remote Ford type solenoid on my passenger fender. The Denso solenoid can be bypassed by installing a short jumper on it's terminals.

solenoid jumper on Denso OSGR

I decided to stick with the remote Ford solenoid because I prefer having it close to the battery and alternator.

Ford solenoids have studs for the battery cable IN, and the starter cable OUT. Two small terminals on the side are "S" for "Start" which activates the solenoid to connect power to the starter. The other terminal is labeled "I" for Ignition. This can be used to provide a full 12 volts to your coil while the solenoid coil is engergized (operating the starter). Run a wire directly to the "+" terminal of the coil to bypass the ballast resistor. This boosts ignition power for cold starts. See wiring diagram for specifics.

 Ford type solenoid in Willys Jeep

The starter system works perfectly. I think another possible starter candidate would be a Harley Davidson Sportster starter. Those already have 9 tooth pinions, the power stud is on the correct side, and the front housings have features to bolt on an adapter plate. Of course you must still make a custom adapter for the tooth flywheel Go Devil engine.


For the 12 volt conversion, I used a Standard brand (SMP) UCX coil which requires an external resistor. For that, I chose an SMP RU13T ohm ballast resistor that has a convenient mounting tab. It's visisble to the right of the coil in the picture below. The power lead from the ignition switch goes to one side of the ballast resistor, then a lead from the other side goes to the coil "+" terminal.

12 volt coil with ballast resistor


Original wire routing seemed to have simply been point to point on the switches and gauges under the instrument panel. There weren't alot of wires in the orignal setup, so this worked out okay. With the new panel and more wire to be routed, some order was necessary so I spanned a piece of scrap tubing across the firewall behind the dash.

 Behind the dash support for all the wires CJ3a

I flattened the ends of the tube and fastened it (with nuts) to bolts that were sticking through the firewall. I zip-tied the wires (initially green velcro) that run from the fuse panel and along the firewall to this tubing as they exit out the firewall holes (no grommets installed yet in picture.) The tubing helps keep the wires neat and away from the speedo cable and parking brake cable. Some wires take a short route from the new fuse panel out to a hole on the driver side firewall and these didn&#;t need any support.

For wire terminations, I used simple crimp style ring terminals. I wired one circuit at a time. The terminal ends were crimped, then soldered, and I used heat shrink tubing around the joint rather than the cheezy plastic insulators that come on the connectors (pulled them off before using). It's much neater and less bulky with heat shrink. Solder makes it more reliable long term. Here's a closeup of the terminations on the fuse panel:

wire terminations

I should have used flag terminals (90 degree connection) on the bottom row of terminals but I couldn't find any locally, so I just used plain ol' straight spade terminals and bent the wires 'round.

Most all of the wire I used is new 14 gauge which is probably unnecessarily heavy duty for 12 volts, but it can't hurt.

I was going to use double row terminal strips on the fuse panel but since I had some old single row strips hanging around, I used those. Not a big deal. I also put a new single row terminal strip on the driver side fender. It has more connections than original to accommodate the additional wires needed for turn signals.

Head Lamps

I love old stuff because a lot of it can be rebuilt unlike modern day stuff. For instance, I was able to press out the terminals of the head lamp sockets and de-solder the old wires from the terminal sockets and solder in new wire. I managed to save and re-use every original terminal, even the flag terminal on the end of the ground lead (which you can see in the back of the headlight bucket in the picture following this one.)

Rewiring CJ3A headlight connector Willys Jeep

The headlight bucket is grounded to the vehicle through the 4 slotted screws with star washers. The headlight connector provides ground to the headlights through the short (now green) pigtail that is grounded to the back of the headlight housing.

Headlight bucket Jeep Willys

I was paranoid about grounding, so I installed a big brass block with provision for extra ground leads in the original battery cable ground location under the battery tray. The cable bolts to the frame through the brass block. (Note also my re-use of a vintage used 6V battery cable)

Battery cable ground block

There are two threaded holes on top of the block that I can run extra grounds from. In the picture above, you can see a 10 gauge wire going from the block, up the fender and then towards the back where my starter solenoid is mounted. I branched off a lead to go to the solenoid case. The main lead keeps going through the harness and ultimately through the firewall and to the fuse panel plate. Right before it gets to the plate I branched off another spur 10 gauge wire to ground to a gusset behind the dash panel. Gotta have good grounds.

I ran another short 10 gauge wire (not shown) from the brass block directly to the bottom lip of the grille to ensure good grounds for the headlamps and parking lamps.

Bullet Connectors

Most wiring can run point to point with no breaks, but in some cases, it's convenient to have connectors for servicability. Bullet connectors were found here and there in the original harness (big hard plastic bakelite type construction) and they work great. I found and used new bullet connectors with soft rubber seals.

Weather proof bullet connectors

A dab of RTV silicone at the ends sealed the boots in place. Here are a set of bullet connectors for the rear tail lights tucked on the inside of the frame:

Weatherproof bullet wire connectors Jeep CJ3A

Tail Lamps

CJ3A&#;s were built with one tail light and no turn signals. Like many Jeep owners, I want to add both. I sourced a pair of used NACO style tail lamps to use. They are new-ish re-pops, and they have the same horizontal bolt pattern as the original tail light.

One thing I didn&#;t like about these lamps was the feeble seal where the wires exit the housing. Water kicked up by the rear wheels will overwhelm these seals. For better protection, I made some splash guards: I made sheet metal steel plates with two holes for the lamp studs, then drilled a center hole and used a tapered punch to deform a chamfer shape into that hole to which I placed short pieces of 3/8" copper tube. The tubes were soldered in place.

CJ3a tail light wire loom flange

The flanges bolt onto the lamp studs on the wheel well side, then wire loom is attached to the tubes and the lamp wires run safely inside over to the frame. I used rubber gaskets on both sides to seal the whole assembly. In the picture below, I've laid out how it all fits (right to left): Lamp, round rubber seal, body tub, another rubber seal, flange, then the loom. I used spring clamps to hold the loom to the flange tube end. Note the star washersthey go on either side of the flange and help dig into the metal parts to ground the lamp housing studs.

 Willys tail lamp seals

Here it is installed.

tail lamp inside wheel well

The tail light pigtails are terminated with bullet connectors and meet the wires coming along the frame from the front (see four pictures above).

Turn Signals (warningthis is a long one)

I found a series Signal Stat turn signal unit to use on my CJ3A. The unit gets spliced into your existing brake light and parking light harness. Internally, there are electrical slides and contacts that "inject" turn signal power into your harness to "blink" your lamps.

Specifically, for the series unit I have, the sliders and contacts are acting like two switches:

  •  REAR: The "switch" for the rear lights acts like a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) type switch: When the lever is neutral, the switch is set so that one throw, the one with the brake light input, connects to the lead going back to the brake light. When the lever is turned, the switch connects to the other throw that has the the turn signal blinker as its input. So the SPDT "switch" allows one of two inputs to pass to the rear brake light filament. Obviously, this function only happens on one side or the other depending on the lever.
  1. FRONT: For the front lamps, unfortunately, it has only one "throw", that is, it's like a Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) switch. When the lever is neutral, there is no input to the lead going to the front lamp. When the lever is turned, the switch connects the single throw to the output lead going to the front lamp. So that means whatever lamp you choose for the front, it can only be a turn signal. It can't be a parking light when the turn signal is off.

Since CJ3A parking lamps have only single filament sockets I would have to give up my parking lights in order to use this series Signal Stat to provide turn signals.

Possible Solution #1: Remove the single filament bulb sockets in the grille and put in dual filament bulb sockets: Then, one set of filaments would be dedicated to the new turn signals, and the other pair of filaments could serve as the parking lights (completely separate from the Signal Stat unit). Doing this modification can require drilling out the grille. I didn't want to do this.

Possible Solution #2: After some thinking, I wondered if it was possible to modify my series unit to be like an series Signal Statthose units DO act like SPDT switches for both front and back.  I popped open the series unit and it turns out it IS possible: The SPDT function for the front circuits is still "baked in" to the series design. If I add a couple contacts and cut some traces, it will work like an series Signal Stat. So that's what I did.

Here's a picture of the series I have. Note the sliders in the unit, and the contacts on the contact plate. If you play with this, you'll see how this clever thing works.

Contact and trace plate of Signal Stat

Rather than take ten more paragraphs to explain how it works (and give myself a sharp pain behind my left eye), I'll just explain how I modified the contact plate to add a second input to the front turn signals (making it into a SPDT switch).

The drawing below shows the "trace" side of the contact plate. The traces are thick copper stampings in the shapes shown. The inputs and outputs are soldered to these plates. The contacts go through the plate and the ends are riveted to hold down the traces at the other side. The version I have has no contacts on the last row even though there are provisions for them. The trace over the absent row of contacts is solid. In the left of the drawing you can see where I drilled holes and cut the trace.

FIrst, drill holes through the trace using the blank holes on the other side as a guide.

Modified Signal Stat cut trace add terminal

I made contacts myself to put into the new holes by using M brass slotted screws with the heads filed down until the slots disappeared.

Home made contacts for Signal Stat

The smooth heads will function as a contact surface. Make sure the head heights fit nicely in the insulating plate. The new contact screws were installed wiith brass nuts. After tightening down the new "contacts", I cut the trace in two places as shown. In the image below, on the lower right of the plate, you can see the new cuts (note too the ground lugs I added for new leads).

Signal Stat modified

The trace is now in three sections: the center section will be the new Parking Lamp input and the outer traces will be outputs that go to the front left lamp and the right front lamp.

The right side of the drawing above shows the new "pinout" of the Signal Stat. Pin #10 is not part of the plate, it's simply the indicator bulb in the unit itself.

When the unit is mounted to the column, there are a bunch of wires coming out that need to go play with the rest of the harness under the dash. These were rather ugly. To hide them, I made up a tube and welded it to a couple home made clamshell clamps. I ran all the wires to and from the signal stat through the tube to keep it neat. The clamshell simply screws together around the steering column. I grounded the Signal Stat through the slider mounting screw inside the case and ran that wire to a ground lug on the fuse panel. You need to ground the housing to get the indicator bulb to work!

Hiding wires on Signal Stat

The turn signals work great, and the single filament front parking lamps work like original when the light switch is pulled "one click" out, but "blink" when I use the Signal Stat!


The original headlamp switch and hi/lo beam switch have little tabs that can be bent open and taken apart which allows them to be carefully cleaned. Yes, I refurbished these switches:

CJ3A switches before refurbishment

I had good luck blasting the insides of my hi/lo beam switch with sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). It's fairly gentle but requires a full cleaning and re-greasing of the innards with dielectric grease. The light switch only needed blasting of the outside.

The ignition switch that came with the Jeep was worn out (it wasn't original anyway) so I bought a universal switch from an auto parts store and it barely lasted for two months. What a piece of junk. I stepped up and got a Cole Hersee MBP switch.

Cole Hersee switch

Ya. Much better. It's got a "start" postition so I can use the key engage the starter. I miss the floor starter so I may abandon the "start" position on this switch and wire in a CJ2A electrical floor mounted switch in the place where the mechanical foot switch plunger was.

Someone popped out the governor "knockout" plug on my dash leaving a hole. I'd love to find a governor rig for my Jeep, but in the meantime, I stuck in a vintage pull switch that I had laying around. It looks purposefulmachoawesomebut it doesn't do anything except fill a hole for now.

Neat old switch


This thing still had it's original horn.

Autolite Horn. Old.

It didn't work, so it was taken apart, cleaned, blasted and painted.

Autolite horn blasted and cleaned

The coil tested okay, so decided to get it working for 12 volts. I figured this would need about a 1 ohm resistor. Rather than a big clunky high current power resistor, I made one using nichrome wire. A few inches of length gave me about 1 ohm resistance, and it can take high current. I insulated it with some ceramic beads (meant for this sort of thing) to insulate it and "take the heat".

Autolite horn with resistor

The black wire in the center of the picture is the original lead from the coil to the terminal. But note how I spliced in my "resistor" in series with that wire. I curled it around to fit inside the housing.

I put it back together with a paper gasket seal, adjusted the points and it works.

Autolite horn refurbished

The Rest

After checking that everything worked, I wrapped all the harness sections with non-adhesive harness tape. A smidge of regular eletrical tape at the beginning and a tuck at the end prevents unraveling. You'll never have to contend with goopy residue.

Harness tape

I managed to save just about every original "P" clip from the old harness and refurbished them for re-use in all the stock locations. It looks great.

That's It

Wiring up a vehicle from scratch is a big job. But the point of this section is to show that, just like the rest of the project, if you take one step at a time, it will get done. You'll have a reliable system that you can trust.

To go back to top click here!


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Electrical Conversions in Early Jeeps

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A good electrical system depends on clean sound connections, free of grease, dirt, or corrosion. The condition of connections to ground is just as important as the hot wire connection because the current must return to the battery via the ground connection. It is good practice to use a grounding strap between the body and frame, as well as the engine to frame, as both the body and engine are on rubber mounts. The battery should be grounded directly to the engine.

Use #14 stranded copper wire (fine strand) with vinyl insulation for general hookup of lights, accessories, primary ignition, etc. Use #8 stranded copper wire (fine strand) for connecting the alternator or generator regulator to the ammeter, and from the ammeter to the battery. If a generator is being used connect the A (armature) terminal on the generator to the A terminal on the regulator with #8 stranded copper wire as well. Terminal ends should be used wherever possible and all connections should be properly soldered.

Wiring should be taped into looms using vinyl electrical tape or plastic looms can be used from late GM cars. This is corrugated plastic tubing split lengthwise that allows fast, neat wiring with the wires readily accessible without having to untape.

On the diagram, the broken lines from the boxes marked alternator and generator designate the charging circuit connections to the main system depending on which is being used. An alternator is recommended, and if used, should be used with the proper alternator regulator. Wiring diagram of alternator regulator is for Delco system with voltage regulator separate from alternator.

The ignition switch on the diagram is the four terminal type that incorporates a start switch. These are a common replacement type sold in auto parts stores. Headlight switch is also the common replacement type. IGR ignition resistor is the standard replacement type that delivers about volts to the coil.

The 6 volt gas gauges on older Jeeps can be used with the 12 volt system by obtaining a 12 to 6 volt dropping resistor and connecting the hot wire to the gas gauge dash unit at the 6 volt terminal of the dropping resistor. The 6 volt gas gauge dash unit and tank unit will be damaged if connected directly to the 12 volt system.

The ammeter is a current measuring device and will work on any direct current voltage. An ammeter that was originally used on 6 volts will work perfectly well on 12 volts. The current rating of the ammeter should be compatible with alternator output. That is, if using a 60 amp alternator, use a 60 amp ammeter. A 30 amp ammeter can be used with the 37 amp Delcotron alternator or a 30 or 40 amp generator.

If electric oil and temperature gauges are being used, they should be connected per the diagram, surrounded by the broken line. Mechanical oil and temperature gauges are preferred for accuracy and reliability.

Converting from 6 volts to 12 volts

This is the most common electrical "swap" on early Jeeps and is usually done in conjunction with an engine swap as all conversion engines require 12 volts for starting.

There are several dual relays and other switching tricks that have been used with two 6 volt batteries to get the necessary 12 volts for cranking but these are more trouble than they are worth and the second battery is a problem to mount and maintain.

By converting the entire Jeep to 12 volt, a simple system that uses easy to obtain lamps and other parts is achieved. One of the most common questions we are asked is – "is 6 volt wiring large enough to handle 12 volts?" Quite simply, it's twice as large as it has to be. When you double the voltage, the amperage is cut in half, so 6 volt wiring is more than adequate but – most vehicles that had 6 volt systems used the old style rubber and fabric insulation that is probably so brittle that it will break instead of bend. Also, most of these older vehicles will have had their wiring modified by any number of previous owners and can be a real mess to sort out. Evaluate the particular vehicle and consider a complete rewire job using new wire and standard parts store switches and controls, rather than trying to patch an old system. Take the time to do it right and the electrical system will be trouble free for many years.

To actually convert from 6 to 12 volts start by changing all the bulbs and sealed beam headlights. Mount the 12 volt battery using a negative ground to the engine. Because the engine and body are mounted on rubber (theoretically at least) a braided jumper cable (sometimes called a grounding strap) should be used between the engine and frame, and between the frame and body to insure a good ground. The positive battery cable should go to the starter solenoid (or relay, if not part of the starter, such as on Ford engines).

For charging the battery we advise using an alternator rather than a generator due to the higher output at low RPM and lower maintenance requirements. If you have a choice, use the internal regulator type alternator for the utmost in simplicity of wiring.

Most 12 volt system coils and point type distributors operate on about volts. In factory installations this is obtained by a special resistance wire to the coil or a ballast resistor. Don't consider anything but the ballast resistor to get volts – the resistance wire method is not reliable over a period of time as its resistance increases with age.

The Jeep should now start, run, and charge on 12 volts. This leaves us with the gauges and accessories. Most older Jeeps used mechanical oil and temperature gauges and these require no power.

This leaves the gas gauge and ammeter. First the ammeter (actually we advise using a voltmeter rather than an ammeter as you will never be surprised by a dead battery and they are simpler to hook up). This gauge, as its name implies, measures amps which is the term for current flow. Because of this, it will work on any direct current voltage. The ammeter must, however, be capable of measuring the total amp output of the alternator. A 30 amp ammeter will work with a 37 amp alternator, such as found on some GM engines. Most GM alternators put out 50 to 60 amps and this will burn out a 30 amp ammeter. You will have to buy a 60 amp ammeter to use with the high output alternators. Once again, we suggest a voltmeter instead, for reasons already stated.

Finally we get to the gas gauge. This is a two part unit, the dash gauge and the tank unit. These will only work properly on the voltage for which they were designed. If you put 12 volts into a 6 volt gauge, it will burn out one, or sometimes both units. This can be solved by a voltage dropping resistor. These are commonly sold in auto parts stores under the trade name Volt-a-drop. If you can't find one of these, use another ignition ballast resistor and run the gauge on volts. It won't be completely accurate but it will work. Don't use the same resistor you use for the ignition as it could affect the ignition by "robbing" voltage from it. The best solution for the gas gauge is to buy a new 12 volt Stewart Warner® dash unit and matching tank unit.

What about the accessories? Perhaps a heater or electric wipers? Once again, the Volt-a-Drop solves the problem but this time you will need the larger size for the greater amperage draw required by these types of accessories.

Refer to the wiring diagram for connection of the previously discussed components.

If possible, have your 6 volt starter wound for 12 volts by an electric motor specialist, or switch to a 12 volt version of the starter motor. It is possible to run a 6 volt starter on a 12 volt system, but the amperage draw is considerably more and increased wire size would be indicated.

Converting from 24 Volts to 12 Volts

This conversion is usually done to simplify a military electrical system and make lamp and component replacement less expensive with easier to obtain parts.

Even though we are doubling the amperage by cutting the voltage in half, the military wiring will work on 12 volts. The biggest problem you will have here will be with old dried out, hard insulation and "tying into" the wiring because of the odd military waterproof connectors.

We have tried using a 12 volt system with two 12 volt batteries, wired in series for 24 volts so they both charged, and tapped off one to get 12 volts for starting. It worked but the dual batteries were a pain and when you need a regulator or generator in 24 volt, be prepared for some expense.

As in the 6 to 12 volt swap, we advise the use of an internal regulator type alternator. If using a GM engine, this will bolt up with stock brackets. Otherwise, a special bracket will have to be made for the engine and a wide pulley made up for the alternator to match the early style wide belt, or in some cases, dual narrow belts.

If doing an engine conversion, the engine being used will have a 12 volt starter, relay, etc. If simply converting a stock M38A1 to 12 volt, you will have to get the 12 volt civilian starter, distributor, and ignition coil.

Gauges are a little more of a problem on 24 to 12 volt swaps. The military "charging indicator" is a combination volt and ammeter. The charging indicator will be useless on 12 volt. The fuel gauge will be operating on half its normal voltage which will make it about 80% incorrect. Once again, we advise using a voltmeter and a new dash and tank unit for the gas gauge.

All bulbs and the sealed beam headlights shold be replaced with 12 volt units. The 12 volt headlights won't be compatible with the military connectors but these can be cut off and standard three-prong headlight plugs used instead. Check your wiring to see that you don't "cross" wires and get the high and low beam wires mixed. You could have one high and one low beam, or both low beam hooked to the high beam wires. The high beam indicator should (obviously) indicate high beam and the civilian connectors wired as such.

This diagram and information is based on the use of GM parts.

Sours: http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/volt

Jeep CJ-2A Rewiring Made Easy

| How-To - Interior and Electrical

Our ’46 CJ-2A gets a Walck’s electrical wiring harness and fuel tank

It doesn’t get any better than bringing your project Jeep’s body home from the paint shop. This technically means you’re rounding third base on the restoration and heading for home plate. But before those seats go in and the fenders go back on, there are some important items to be installed first—the wiring harness and fuel delivery system, for instance.

Keeping the gremlins away from any project sometimes means completely replacing these key drivability and reliability systems to get it done right the first time. Here’s where Walck’s 4 Wheel Drive scored big points with us. Walck’s is a one-stop shop for Jeep restorations, and among its many offerings is a high-quality 2A Wiring Harness made specifically for that Jeep’s lighting, horn, and accessory systems. A steel reproduction fuel tank for the 2A is also available through Walck’s.

The Walck’s period-correct wiring harnesses are custom-made for each Willys Jeep application and come with all the correct-size eyelets, covers, and connectors ready to go for easy installation. Walck’s also has whatever else you might need to finish the electrical aspect of your project, such as voltage regulators, amp gauges, firewall grommets, and even 6V generators. We added an N.O.S. Sterling “Made in USA” 6V regulator Walck’s had in limited quantities to our shopping list, knowing it would add to the vintage appeal of the engine compartment. A new OE-style Olaco reproduction steel fuel tank, as well as the sending unit with brass float, fuel gauge, and steel lines were also ordered up to make sure we didn’t have any issues with rust or any other particles that can cause problems in your fuel lines or carburetor later.

Taking your time and thoroughly reading the supplied installation instruction sheet supplied with the Walck’s wiring harness before diving in will certainly keep things going smoothly and help avoid any wire routing or costly hookup mistakes. Also, when moving to the fuel delivery system, make sure to pre-check the hard line male and female fitting going into the bottom of the fuel tank prior to installing it in the Jeep, as you will likely need to clean some of the paint out of the threads to get a leak-free seal. If you install the tank first and then try to check the line fitment from the bottom of the Jeep, it will be a lot harder than if you have it on a waist-high worktable directly in front of you to clean out the threads.

The best part about this chapter of our ’46 Jeep CJ-2A build is that we didn’t have to be an electrical engineer to tackle the install. Walck’s 4 Wheel Drive made it easy. Check out the following photographs for the major steps, and some tips and tricks we learned along the way, as we installed the wiring harness and fuel system on our nearly finished project 2A.



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Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/jeep-cj-2a-rewiring-made-easy/

Jeep system willys electrical

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G503 Wiring And Electrical (Part 9) Wiring the AMP Gauge and Breakers, Willys MB Ford GPW WWII Jeep

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