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Old 08-25-2016, 05:21 PM   #1
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Circuit Diagrams anywhere?

Does anyone have a van circuit diagram I can look at to start pricing parts needed to run some electric around my XLT passenger can?

Is there a recommended thread you for getting oriented to basics?

I'm at electrical 101 level- and there is a LOT of info to wade through here- but thanks for any pointers you can send my way!
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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Not that you want to hear it, but I'm not sure how much consistency there is between SMB locations, let alone even consistency within one location. I think there may be some guidelines, but I'd bet there's some serious variation based upon the individual installers. I'm sure part of the variance is also driven by the options selected.

One of the biggest frustrations I had (having bought secondhand) is the locations of the fuses wasn't documented anywhere that I could find.


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Old 08-25-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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The stock Ford Van wiring is well documented in the Ford books. Look for a used set on ebay that matches your year. Then be patient as you learn to read them, but it's all in there.

If you want to be really nice to any future owners, amend your copy as you add things, after you've completed the work.
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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I would start by figuring out roughly what you want to do....and start a thread here.....

Make a list of things that you want......like:

Heat
Lights (dome lights, map lights, porch lights bumper lights etc)
fridge
microwave
solar
shore power
12V power ports
110VAC power
USB charging ports
backup camera
water pump
water heater
CO detector (plan for this.....not worth dying in your sleep..and hardwire it...ie no switch always on)
etc etc etc etc

....I'm sure there are lots of things I forgot......


As I think I mentioned in another thread, I would recommend mounting a blue sea fuse block on both the driver and passenger side somewhere in the back, and connect them together with some 8AWG or 10AWG wire before laying the floor. If you have a crude layout in your head, take your best guess at where to mount the fuse blocks.

Once you figure out where you are going to stick your house battery(s), either fuse block can then be wired to the batteries to power both of them. That gives you convenient fused 12V power on both sides of the van. I also ended up with another fuse block in the passenger foot well area (under the plastic step piece thingy....it's wired to my house batteries so I can run the radio and a few other things when I'm parked.

You'll probably want a battery separator between the house batteries and the van battery....it will automatically separate the batteries while parked/camping and connect them while driving. The low tech pedestrian way is a simple switch...but humans forget things and you could end up with a dead starting battery when you are done camping. The two batteries/battery banks need to be connected with long fat battery cables.....They get a little pricey. If you have solar you have a few choices about how you will manage both batteries and what type of separator you'll want.

Are you planning an inverter for 110VAC in the van? If so, also run 12/2 or 14/2 romex across the van before laying the floor...depending on inverter wattage.

And leave room for future expansion.....when I fabricated my switch panel, I put in 7 switches (as much as would fit)...at the time I was using about 2 switches, now I have 2 extras...using 5...same goes for the fuse blocks..I started out with 6 circuit blocks on each side, I now have a 12 circuit on one side and a 6 circuit on the other side of the van.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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Also, please provide a little more detail about your van.... Which motor? What year? Does it have a frame mounted battery or batteries?

Ford actually did off a "house" battery option most years with gas motors, so that could give you a starting point, or at least an idea how to package and mount your house battery.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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These are great to have anyway, and cover multiple years as the vans didn't change much from 92 all the way to now, but of course try to get as close to yours as you can.

1998 Ford Truck Shop Service Manual Van Econoline E 150 E 250 E 350 Gas Diesel | eBay

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Old 08-26-2016, 09:16 AM   #7
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I assumed you bought a converted van, but if ust a stock van, then yes, Ford factory manuals are your best bet.


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Old 08-26-2016, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScience View Post
...Look for a used set on ebay that matches your year. Then be patient as you learn to read them, but it's all in there.
Maybe it's just me, but I have the Ford book and can't make heads or tails of the information and I've been reading wiring schematics for years (I used to work for a major electronics manufacturer). I've never seen wiring diagrams displayed in this manner. I guess I need a "For Dummies" version...

Does anyone have any tips/tricks/advice on how to find components and read the schematics? Maybe there's a tutorial somewhere?
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teutonics View Post
Maybe it's just me, but I have the Ford book and can't make heads or tails of the information and I've been reading wiring schematics for years (I used to work for a major electronics manufacturer). I've never seen wiring diagrams displayed in this manner. I guess I need a "For Dummies" version...

Does anyone have any tips/tricks/advice on how to find components and read the schematics? Maybe there's a tutorial somewhere?
It's the way that the auto industry does it......sometimes there is a secret decoder ring/legend in the front of the book.........
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:21 AM   #10
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It's the way that the auto industry does it......sometimes there is a secret decoder ring/legend in the front of the book.........
Maybe just Ford? I have Chevy, Jeep, BMW, Porsche, and Toyota factory diagrams and none are like the Ford that I have. I'll look again for the "decoder ring", thanks for the tip.
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