sPOD and The Source

By Jeep Experts

There are all types of tasks and modifications that we do to our Jeeps.  Some contain tires and wheels, suspension lifts, axle upgrades…..the checklist goes on an on.  One in style group mods fall in to {the electrical} class.  Off-road lights, energy inverters, wiring in a CB radio, including a 12V on board air system, aux winch controller…..the checklist right here goes on and on as effectively. 

Some of us do electrical tasks very effectively and some want all the assistance they’ll get.  I wish to assume I fall someplace within the center.  My electronics coaching within the Navy supplied me with all of the data I would like for the standard Jeep electrical venture.  I all the time guarantee my connections are electrically dependable however I don’t all the time do a very good job of cable routing and change placement.  I maintain my cables away from put on factors and scorching spots however that doesn’t imply they’re dressed off as they need to be.   While my electrical tasks work effectively, they often usually are not that nice wanting.  On prime of this, my 10 yr outdated TJ as seen electrical mod on prime {of electrical} mod throughout its lifetime…..and a few of these are a little bit cluttered to say the least.

Then alongside comes the sPOD and now the Source from John at 4x4sPOD.com.  If you might be {an electrical} beginner, this two piece management unit and energy heart will put you on the highway in minimal time and you’ll vastly cut back the potential for path failures and worse but, electrical fires.  If you might be extra like me, then you definately’ll really feel proper at dwelling with these two models as a result of the sPOD and Source are prime quality assemblies that may merely your wiring tasks and give you the reliability and performance you demand.

Being energetic in a number of TJ on-line boards, I’ve learn concerning the sPOD because it first hit the market.  Every time you noticed a thread about it, high quality and customer support had been two matters that had been all the time within the dialogue.  I assume I ought to make clear a little bit….that will be prime quality and glorious customer support.  Now that I’ve one in entrance of me, I completely agree that the sheet steel work is nothing in need of superb, for my part.  One of John’s specialties is precision sheet steel design and manufacturing.  (sure, I’ve exchanged a couple of e-mail with him)  Every piece of the sPOD I checked out confirmed this with out query.  The different half, the wiring, leaves nothing to be desired.  Insulated terminals, abrasion guard on the cable meeting, waterproof connectors…..you don’t discover these in Radio Shack (so don’t go in search of them).  The sPOD and Source are made for the TJ proprietor who needs an expert/customized set up at an inexpensive worth.

If you might be simply beginning to construct up your TJ, the sPOD and Source are a wonderful funding proper off the bat.  You’ll have the ability to join these numerous electrical tasks very simply…..and you’ll maintain the muddle to a minimal.  If you might be like me, with an accumulation of 10 years {of electrical} add-ons, the sPOD and Source are nonetheless a wonderful funding.  The time period “Spring House Cleaning” involves thoughts for me…..and that’s precisely what I’m doing.  The sPOD and Source are getting into to my TJ and a pile of relays, wiring, and switches are popping out.  For me, it is going to vastly simplify the prevailing “wire harness factor” that has grown below the hood over time.  My legacy wiring tasks (and Lady) might be getting a face raise, tummy tuck, liposuction, botox injections, boob job, and all that different stuff on the identical time!  How can I’m going mistaken? 

OK…..sufficient intro and background info….time to get this set up on the highway.  This write-up is being executed in two components.  The first part covers the sPOD set up.  The second part concludes with The Source set up.

Note that this set up was executed in my ’98 TJ.  Over the years, among the TJ’s inside modified a bit.  Newer TJs have plastic molding on the windshield body.  Please observe that my set up will differ barely from yours when you’ve got a ’03 or newer TJ.  The set up directions that ship along with your sPOD will present the data you want in your TJ.

Meet sPOD.  The coronary heart of the sPOD is a change panel that may be configured with a wide range of switches and even a stress gauge (for monitoring your on-board air system).  The sPOD change panel mounts right into a header that’s connected to the higher windshield body in your TJ.  The sPOD is obtainable for TJs from ’97 by way of ’06.  Early fashions (equivalent to my ’98) require a relocation bracket (which is included) for the solar visors (extra on that later). 

The sPOD proven above has the newer Contura III rocker switches put in in it.  At first look, they’re much like the rocker switches equipped by ARB for controlling their air lockers.  I actually like them and am glad to see that John is providing them.

If you flip the sPOD change panel over, you see a prime notch wiring harness utilizing proper angle insulated terminal connectors.  The wires are bundled right into a pig-tail cable meeting that terminates in a water-resistant multi-pin connector.  This connector is then connected to an extended management cable which is able to discover its method by way of a gap within the firewall and plug into the Source energy heart (below the hood).

Here is the engine compartment finish of the management cable.  The connector terminals that management every relay are labeled….good consideration to element.

I can’t maintain speaking concerning the Source with out at the very least exhibiting you a photograph of it.  The Source energy heart mounts below the TJ’s hood.  Under that completely cool anodized aluminum cowl (I nonetheless haven’t discovered how John obtained that picture wrapped throughout the duvet) are 6 energy relays, safety diodes, and fuses.  There is a terminal strip for the management cable coming from the sPOD and there’s an output terminal strip that gives you with a + and – energy connection for every of the 6 circuits.  The fundamental energy leads for the Source are protected by a resetting 50 amp circuit breaker and full with warmth shrink coated terminals for attaching to the battery.  You’ll see way more of the Source after I get to that a part of the set up.

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Let me say right here that John’s colour printed set up directions that shipped with the sPOD and Source are prime notch.  It was a real pleasure to make use of first technology documentation.  (If extra producers shipped high quality documentation as a substitute of these seventeenth technology photocopies, it’d put this web page out of enterprise!  LOL)  The directions are particular to your yr car so don’t fear about skipping non-applicable steps….they’re all relevant.

Mounting {hardware} and different wanted gadgets are supplied in heavy plastic luggage which can be warmth sealed to maintain the contents the place they belong.  No sandwich baggies to separate aside and spill their contents throughout transport.  (what, you haven’t gotten a equipment the place the components are “bundled” in a Ziplock bag…..you MUST be a brand new to the aftermarket scene) 


More sPOD

First step is to connect the sPOD change panel to the header.  Use 4 10/32 Phillips head screws and lock washers from the {hardware} equipment.  Once assembled, discover a spot to park the sPOD for 10 minutes when you clear some mounting actual property on the higher windshield body.

Remove each the motive force’s and passenger’s solar visor and all related mounting {hardware}.  A Torx-20 screwdriver or bit might be required for this step. 

Two Torx-20 screws connect the opposite finish of the solar visor to the windshield body.  Remove these screws additionally.  Do not discard any of the mounting {hardware} as you’ll re-use a few of it later.  As talked about above, repeat this course of on the passenger’s solar visor.

If you might have the manufacturing facility roll bar in your car, it’s good to take away the inside Torx-40 bolt that attaches it to the windshield.  Since I run a Toys by Troy sports bar, mine seems a little bit totally different than inventory however none the much less, I had a button head Allen bolt screwed into the windshield body and so eliminated it. 

With the 2 Torx-40 bolts faraway from the windshield body, seize the Torx-20 once more and take away the 2 screws that maintain the footman loop in place.  Some loops at the moment are riveted in place….you’ll must drill out the rivet to take away the loop.  In my case, my Icom 706 mounting plate way back changed the footman loop and used the identical mounting holes.  Hmmmmm…….time to discover a new spot for the radio’s management head. 

Next, seize the shinny mounting bracket that might be used to carry the beforehand assembled sPOD header in place.  There are some small flat washers within the {hardware} equipment….seize these too.  Using the Torx-20 screws that you just faraway from the solar visors, slip a flat washer over the screw and loosely set up 4 of them by way of the mounting bracket and into the windshield body.  Attach the footman loop on the heart of the bracket utilizing the unique screws and mounting holes.  Once you might have the bracket lined up with the sting of the windshield body, tighten the 6 screws that you just put in.

Locate the lengthy management cable (the top with that cool waterproof connector on it).  If you look at the plug on the management cable and the plug on the again of the sPOD, you will note that they’ll solely match collectively a method. 

sPOD and The Source

Carefully push the 2 plugs collectively till the locking tabs snap into place.  OK…..time to get the sPOD and header mounted onto freshly put in mounting bracket  (oh….I forgot to ask…..Have you seen how troublesome that is but?) 

From the {hardware} equipment, take away 4 1/4-20 screws and lock washers.  Position the sPOD header over the mounting bracket and  make sure the cable exits the header to the passenger aspect of the car.   Leave some slack within the cable (behind the header) in order that if you need to take away the change panel from the header, you should have some slack to work with.

Loosely thread the 4 screws by way of the header and into the mounting bracket.  I used the underside fringe of the windshield body and aligned the header to it whereas tightening the screws.  Be cautious to not over tighten the screws.  The header ought to look good and even with the windshield body if you end up executed. 

Next got here the solar visor relocation bracket that John offers within the {hardware} equipment.  Using the 2 small screws equipped with the bracket, I screwed the visor mount onto the bracket as proven above.  The bracket is then connected to the windshield body utilizing a kind of Torx-40 screws your eliminated earlier.  In my case, I needed to take away a small quantity of the plastic visor mount because it touched the sports activities bar a bit which by way of off the opening alignment.  I eliminated about 1/8″ of plastic from the visor mount utilizing a small pastime rasp….absolutely anything will work to supply satisfactory clearance.  Don’t get carried away….clearance it a bit and then examine the match, repeating as crucial. 

The different finish of the solar visor is parked in a slot on the sPOD change panel.  Once I had that finish of the solar visor within the slot, I tightened the Torx-40 screw to maintain all the things in place. 

Repeat the identical course of on the passenger aspect solar visor.  I needed to clearance the visor bracket a small quantity on this aspect too.

The solar visors now contact my TBT sports activities bar a small quantity as I swing them up and down.  It just isn’t sufficient to trigger any points.  Such issues can occur when one begins making use of a number of mods to the identical space of the car.  Neither the sPOD nor the TBT sports activities bar are at fault as each of them enable unobstructed operation of the solar visors when the opposite just isn’t current.  I typically inform people who there is no such thing as a such factor as a bolt on mod…..TJs usually are not precision constructed (sure, there are vital variances in some dimensions) and once we wheel them exhausting sufficient, the physique and body will flex and tweak a bit, and these items could be anticipated.  Hey…..you personal a Jeep…..not a BMW.  Grinding, drilling, sawsalling, welding, plasma slicing…..it’s all a part of getting your Jeep similar to you need it.

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I haven’t routed the management cable down the passenger’s aspect of the windshield body on this picture.  I did wish to present you what the sPOD seems like after the set up is full.

The sPOD set up was painless and comparatively fast.  I say comparatively fast as a result of I take advantage of about double the time the typical particular person would use (as I do on most of my installs) since I’m all the time taking pictures and making a couple of notes for later reference.  If it’s a greasy form of venture (like servicing your Warn hubs), it takes me thrice longer as a result of frequent hand washing…..heah, I actually don’t care to offer my Canon digital a lube job. 

sPOD and The Source

The management cable must get by way of the firewall as a way to connect to the Source.  A 1″ grommet is equipped to guard the cable from sharp edges.  I rummaged round in my non-tool instrument field (that will be the one which doesn’t have wrenches, sockets, ratchets, and many others. in it) and discovered a couple of gap saws.  Two of them had been for 1″ holes and a kind of hadn’t even been used but.

This is a kind of steps the place I needed to ensure I used to be placing the opening within the appropriate location the primary time.  Measure twice…..heck, measure a dozen occasions and drill simply as soon as!  With the carpet pulled again from the passenger aspect flooring board space, I made a decision on the spot for the opening.  I checked for satisfactory clearance on the engine aspect as I didn’t wish to drill by way of and right into a blind spot or one thing on the opposite aspect.  My spot regarded clear so I chucked up the 1″ gap noticed and went at it.  About 10 seconds later, I had a pleasant clear gap proper the place I needed it. 

Small cable ties are equipped, together with self adhesive mounting pads, for securing the management cable.  I wiped down the world with some isopropyl alcohol I maintain within the storage for such issues.  You gained’t get good adhesion on a dusty/oily floor.  I put three of the pads alongside the windshield body adjoining to the rubber molding that holds the windshield in place (see pink circled areas).  I put the remaining pad on the prime of the windshield close to the world the place the management cable exits sPOD. 

It took a minute or two to snake the cable down by way of the nook of the sprint and out alongside the correct aspect of the glove field.  This retains it out of web site and effectively protected and places it into a very good place to undergo the firewall gap.

With the management cable routed by way of the grommet lined gap, I made a decision there was just a bit an excessive amount of of an air hole within the grommet.  Some blue (any colour will work) RTV was sitting on the shelf and a couple of squirts of it did a pleasant job of filling up the opening.  Should I ever have to take away the cable, the RTV could be simply eliminated.

The sPOD is just about put in now apart from hooking up the cable which is now on the opposite aspect of the firewall.

sPOD and The Source

Here is a earlier than picture of the relay financial institution that’s mounted on the underside of my hood.  This will all be going away (sure!) when The Source is put in.  I’ll be spending a while on cleansing up among the different wiring as effectively.  Yes, I do know it wants work.

After a few hours below the hood, this was the primary pile of items and components that had been eliminated.  Five relays, 5 relay sockets, and some misc wiring and wire loom make up the majority of it.  The relay grounds and energy leads had been all eliminated.  I minimize some self adhesive labels and marked the +12V feeds to the assorted gadgets (rock lights, radio, energy inverter, and many others.) as these might be linked to The Source after I get to that a part of the set up.  I didn’t wish to lose monitor of which one did what as it could take additional time in a while to kind all of it out. 

Here is a have a look at the engine compartment after the parts and wiring within the earlier picture had been eliminated.  Still some to go however I’m making progress.  You can see the assorted wires with the white labels indicating their operate.

This was pile #3 from pulling wiring from the engine compartment.  I forgot to take a snapshot of pile #2 which was on the storage flooring yesterday afternoon.  It regarded just about like this one.  I have to admit that in any case these years, the engine compartment had acquired fairly a little bit of wiring.  I pulled all of the outdated wiring for the rock lights and the fogs.  Why?  One of the 2 fog lights was dangerous (it was an inexpensive pair of lights) and the identical was true of the rock lights.  I don’t do night time runs a lot any extra and so the rock lights might or might not be put in once more.  I do wish to set up a brand new set of lights up entrance.

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I eliminated the 2 bolts within the firewall (straight behind the valve cowl) and connected The Source’s mounting bracket.  Note that each of those bolts have floor wires connected to them so ensure they continue to be in place once you connect the bracket.

With the bracket in place, the management cable from the sPOD was connected to the enter terminals.  These are the six change wires which can be used to show the facility relays on and off.  Along with the six management wires, there’s additionally a fused optimistic lead and a floor wire that completes the management circuit cabling.  These are used to provide energy to the sPOD switches.

One circuit at a time, I routed the wires to The Source and linked them.  I soldered ring terminals onto the wires and insulated each with warmth shrink tubing.  The wires had been then connected to the suitable output and floor terminals for every circuit.  In a few instances, the circuit floor was already linked at a distinct location so I used solely the +12V output terminal for these circuits.

sPOD and The Source

With some extra work on the wiring looms, I used to be in a position to mix various runs collectively whereas a number of others had been eliminated or rerouted.  At this time limit, I’ve 4 circuits wired.  These embody:

ARB compressor

CB and ham radios

Aux tranny cooler fan

110VAC energy inverter

The remaining two circuits have a few potentialities as to what they are going to obtain.  As I discussed, I eliminated the fog lamps and so imagine a set of off-road lights might be put of their place.  One circuit might be used for that.  I believe I would use the remaining circuit to regulate my ExtremeAire OBA system.  The jury remains to be out on that one…..unsure fairly but.

With the output circuits now linked to the terminals, it was time to get some energy to The Source.  There are three energy cables that should be connected.  Two are linked to +12V and one to floor.  Why two to +12V?  One of them is the principle energy feed for The Source.  The different is a smaller gauge cable with an in-line fuse that gives energy for the management circuits and sPOD. 

I had checked my connections twice (effectively, perhaps 4 or 5 occasions in some instances) and felt assured that my hearth extinguisher that was sitting on the bench ought to have the ability to quench the flames of most any electrical hearth.  (hey, I’m simply kidding)   I hopped into the motive force’s seat and reached up and flipped the change for circuit #1.  Since I didn’t have something connected to this, I figured it could be a very good check.  Hey, the change illuminated…and a fast examine within the engine compartment indicated no smoke both!  I used to be off to a terrific begin for positive! 

With an empty circuit absolutely energized (are you able to try this?), I flipped the change for #3.  The ARB compressor got here to life and my SwayLOC actuator unlocked itself (sure, I go away the SwayLOC change turned on so it goes into off-road mode as quickly because the compressor pumps up).  OK, circuit #3 was working simply tremendous.  I turned off the compressor and tried the remaining circuits.   Radios checked out OK, tranny fan indicator lit, and the facility inverter’s pink energy mild glowed softly.  SUCCESS! 

I’ve managed to do among the work on my TJ at Troy’s store on my time off (Toys by Troy).  A variety of prospects flow into by way of the store on any given day and I’ve had the prospect to indicate a number of of them the sPOD and Source.  All have been fairly taken with it. 

Troy met John (Mr. sPOD) at this yr’s Easter Jeep Safari.  Troy had seen my sPOD and Source earlier than EJS and so when he noticed John, he was in a position to get a Source for a buyer’s Bronco.  Troy knew I might do the wiring on the Bronco if he requested me so he did.  I snapped a couple of pictures of the earlier than and after to incorporate on this write-up.  As you will note, you should use the Source on extra than simply TJs.

The Bronco’s wiring was put collectively throughout a brief afternoon session in order that the car may make it to an off-road run that needed to be attended.  Orange wire was the colour of the day.

Here is the cluster of energy relays.  A few yards {of electrical} tape had been used to bundle them collectively.  No sockets had been used and there was a LOT of un-insulated terminal lugs on the underside of the relays.

Here was the financial institution of fuse holders used to guard the assorted relayed circuits.  Some electrical tape was used to carry them in place. 

So all of this “stuff” was faraway from the Bronco by me (hey, since I didn’t put it in, I didn’t really feel dangerous about taking it out!) on one in every of my Monday journeys to the store.  I hoped that another person would possibly end it however the entire guys had been very nice and left all of it for me to complete.  (good, eah?)

Here is the ultimate configuration much less a few circuits that I wired through the subsequent go to to Troy’s.  One of the fab techs made a pleasant aluminum mounting bracket that bolted to the fender effectively.  We connected the Source to the bracket and it match like a glove.  I used solder on terminals with warmth shrink for insulation.  The Bronco had a customized change heart in it which carried out the identical operate because the sPOD.  It all got here out very properly and I do know the client was fairly pleased with the outcomes, even when the Source cowl has a Jeep on it! 

If you get an opportunity to place one in every of these in your car, don’t move it up.  It works properly and provides you an simply managed energy distribution heart.  I’m wanting ahead to a few years of use from mine. 

Good trails to you and bear in mind to TREADLightly!

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