Chase Vehicle Mods Part 4: The Big Day becomes the Big Weekend

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By Scott Roberts

As seems typical for these kind of things, today’s work on the Tahoe did not go as far as I’d hoped to go. However, I am pleased with the progress today.

The bulk of that progress came in the power distribution system. Yesterday I mentioned the gap between the body panels which allowed me to run my mains from the battery to the passenger compartment with a single hole punched in a convenient grommet. Here’s what it looks like in its completed state:


0306211503 hdrFor those following along who may not be familiar with vehicle wiring, the loop in the two red wires (the power mains) are there so any water that gets into the door seam drips off at the bottom of the loop rather than following the wire into the passenger compartment.

The other major portion of the power mains is the run to the back of the truck where the system lives which provides battery backup for the amateur radio and some other things.

0306211608a hdr

This is immediately behind the second row passenger seat, on the side wall of the back end. The lighter gray carpet is on the outside of the storage cabinet that was in the back of the Suburban.  The black box attached to the side wall  is an isolation device. Vehicle power comes in on the closest side (the ground is tied to the seat bolt). On the far side, a hot wire leads to the battery and another leads to the load (a distribution block and the radio). The two share common ground via the input side.

This box allows the vehicle to power the load and charge the battery, and protects the truck battery from power coming back at it when the truck is shut off. I still need to run a switch to turn off the load in the back so the main battery doesn’t get drained. That project isn’t likely to get done this weekend, but right now the radio will be the only thing on the load side so I’m not too concerned.

While running the power wires down the passenger side, I also fished the control and speaker wires for the amateur radio remote head through the dash and along the wiring troughs to the back of the truck.

Tomorrow: putting fuses in the mains, mounting the radio, completing the antenna wiring run, wiring in and mounting the USB power up front, mounting the dash cam, and finishing the laptop mount. I ran out of daylight to show the laptop mount progress today.

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