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Earth returns - Individual or Independent ?? + Light Relays

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I am currently running new wires for my offside front indicators ( and possibly Main & Side Lights ).

The existing wiring has been jointed several times in the past (previous owners) with wrong colouring etc and the joints were just twisted together!!

It seemed that although there were several black wires ( earths ) going to a bolt on the wing panel, that they were all joined to one black wire and spurred off that joint to lights.


1. Is it be better to run an individual black direct to each light and cut out all the spaghetti of linked earths (& wrong colouring )? (See pic ).

I am also thinking about running the main lights of relays as the general consensus seems that this is the better way of doing things.

2. Can anyone give some input with circuit drawings / photos of how this is best carried out?

3. As far as wires are concerned i don't seem to be able to find info in searches on what size wire to use for what circuit. Again any info appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



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Using the body as an earth increases the risk of corrosion, plus the chance of a wiring fault.

Relays alwyas a good idea but buy good quality ones that are rated higher than you need, I always buy 30amp if I can. On a LR I'd avoid fused relays, the dirt seems to play havoc and they end up melting on me.

Cheers for that info.

So the info i'm getting here and elsewhere would seem to suggest running a reasonably heavy gauge earth wire ring direct from the battery to front and rear that is isolated from the vehicle ( body, chassis or both?? ) and then run individual earth returns to these main lines from each service.

Is that the jist or am i missing something?

Also does it matter if there is a split charge/dual battery system in place? ie would the winch earth return have to go back to the aux battery post or could it be connected to the same earth ring??



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run the winch earth cable back to it's associated battery negative terminal. keep it as a totally seperate system except for the split chatge from the rest of the electrics.

Would that apply to anything run off the 2nd battery then Ralph?



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entirely your choice, if you want to run extra earth cables to additional kit fed by your 2nd battery, it'll obviously add to your wiring time for any new electrical items.

my 2nd battery is for my winch & when I get around to connecting the cables/anderson sockets it'll be used as my jump start battery too, simply because it'll be very unlikely to need the winch & jump leads at the same time.

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