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Old 06-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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Red wire in dash?

I'm installing a new stereo headunit in my 98 Ford SMB, and as part of the install am cleaning up some electronic accessories installed by/for the previous owner. I disconnected the XM dock with no problem. I also disconnected a Kenwood 10-disc changer that had the head unit and control mounted at the dash and the changer back in a cabinet.

I got everything out with no issues, but am curious as to what a red power cable is to.

The switched hot and always hot wires for the disc changer's control unit were wired into a heavy gauge red wire that runs back into the back section of the van. It appears to be the same gauge and look as the ones that SMB has running into the fuse block under the dinette seats. The thing is, the only thing that wire ran to in the dash was the disc changer power.

Any ideas what it is? SMB does have a fuse and a wire on the block marked "dash." But what does the "dash" wire power in the SMB?
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Red wire in dash?

I suspect that it may be a version of the radio switch. Sportsmobile would take the accessory switched radio power to a switch or relay, you could then choose to use the van Battery or the house battery. Or it could have just been added from PO to wire the stereo unit off directly off of the house battery.

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Old 06-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Red wire in dash?

My first thought was the radio switch, but the wire is now disconnected and the radio switch still works as it should. It looks like the radio switch is a blueish-gray wire that does to the fuse box under the driver's side dash.

SMB added the CD changer for the PO at a later date, so maybe they ran the extra wire. Or, maybe it's the standard "dash" wire that goes to the SMB fuse block, but it's just not hooked up to anything. Gotta love mystery wires!
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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Re: Red wire in dash?

It doesn’t somehow have anything to do with the trailer brake controller does it?

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Old 06-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #5
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Re: Red wire in dash?

No trailer brakes on this van. It looks just like the SMB wires that they ran for the rest of the 12v stuff off their fuse block, so I'm sure it's an SMB-added wire, but it doesn't go to anything. Maybe they just run it to the dash in case it's needed for something, but it wasn't on mine (other than the CD changer).
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:41 AM   #6
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Re: Red wire in dash?

I expect that it was run for the CD changer specifically then. They don't run a standard wire up to the dash. Actually it is nice to have a Van battery power point in the dash area. Sounds like your having fun getting to know the van.

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Old 06-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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Re: Red wire in dash?

Well, I finally had time to chase down the mystery red wire in my dash. It's fused to the "driver's side" circuit on the SMB fuse block. Maybe they added it on to that circuit and ran it to the dash just for the CD changer. I guess I'll just wire-nut/tape it off and leave it in the dash for future use, now that I know where it goes.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Red wire in dash?

Way to go! Always sets your mind at ease when you definitively solve a mystery like that.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: Red wire in dash?

If the fuse only runs that circuit you could just remove the fuse.
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