Documenting vehicle electrical modifications

When building an overland vehicle it is inevitable to work on the electrical side of it. Adding 12V ports, lights and accessories almost always requires adding custom wiring, relays and fuses. Our vehicle is off course no exception to that rule. Our new cubby box is the center of the vehicles auxiliary circuit and any additions to our vehicle source their power right from the fuse block inside the lower part of the cubby box.

Troubleshooting electrical faults occurring in vehicles can be very complex and time-consuming. A wiring diagram of the vehicles wiring loom can usually be found on the internet and is a very, very valuable tool to determine what the problem might be. It is when the vehicle’s wiring has been customized, altered or adapted when the real trouble begins, since we can not rely on the original diagrams and have to resort to (educated) guessing the root cause of the symptoms experienced. Unfortunately, too often the modifications have not been documented at all, leaving everything to our own imagination.

The advice to anyone modifying the electrics of any vehicle is to minutely document every change and keep this documentation within the vehicle at all times. Make sure the diagrams are always up-to-date to enable quick troubleshooting instead of ‘guesstimating’ in the future, be it for yourself, the next owner of the vehicle or any mechanic having to do work on it.

Please have a look at the supplied diagrams that lay out the additions and modifications we have performed on our vehicle and they may hopefully be an inspiration to you to do the same when working on a vehicle in the future.


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