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Author Topic: Running Cables Thru Firewall  (Read 11911 times)
WOODSTER2
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« on: February 06, 2012, 10:37:16 AM »

Does anybody have any suggestions, experience, or otherwise on a good route to run antenna and power cables thru the firewall into the cab on a 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel?
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 12:03:37 PM »

Given what limited room there is under hood I would "suggest" that you find a area on firewall that has access from both sides and use a small hole saw to cut a hole in in and insert a grommet in hole and route wires through it and seal it when you are done. I have done this before on vehicles.
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 12:16:29 PM »

another method that doesn't involve a hole saw - can you run cables through the fender area into the driver's door opening ? That worked on my Honda Element - I used a section of mobile whip antenna as a leader, poked it through from the door opening into the hood/fender area, taped the wires to it, pulled back through. I used split-tubing cable duct from Radio Shack to neaten up the wires from the door opening, past the door gaskets, and up under the dash. Used cable ties to secure things where appropriate to keep wires out of the way. It's been working for several years now, no issues with crushing in the door gaskets.
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AD7GU
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 04:10:28 PM »

does your truck have a clutch? the dodge's had a plastic plug on the firewall where the clutch pedal would have connected to the master cylinder (hydraulic clutch). pop the cap (and save it) put in a grommet and you're on the air
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K3GM
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 05:42:49 PM »

That's exactly how I ran mine, although my Dodge Ram was a few years older.  The grommet is there only with an automatic transmisson.  It's huge and I just just a cross slit in it, and pushed the power and coax with PL-259 already attached thru it.  I used a fender mount antenna on either side.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 09:55:34 AM by K3GM » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 05:05:31 AM »

Usually there is a large grommet there with a bundle of wires fed through the firewall already.  That grommet has plenty of space for more wires--through the rubber boot.  Those are the fan power wires from the fan speed selector switch.  Again, usually they're in a position where the access to that grommet is good from the inside of the vehicle, but poor from the outside, in the engine compartment. 

I usually push though a stiff coat hanger after I've made a tiny slit in that boot with a penknife.  I then pull the two power wires through and seal the area with a little silicone rubber.  When it's time to remove the wires, simply pull them out and apply a little more silicone sealer, and it's almost like they've never been there. 
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N6AJR
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 11:52:28 AM »

For the coax and positive lead , finding or making a hole and running the cables through is fine.  but for the negative  battery post I do it different.  I select a spot on the floor boards on the passenger side , up above the carpet line.  I run a bolt through the hole and run a nut down on it. I connect the engine side of the neg cable to the bolt and I put a big fat fuse ( like they use on stereo  power leads) on the neg Post.  this will blow if you ever get a dead short. I hook the fuse to the neg power cable ( you can find a black "starter" cable for under 10 bucks . I also run a short wire from the fuse to the chassis on the neg post.

Now when you install a radio or what ever, you hook the neg post to bolt sticking out of the floor boards.  This gives a great ground to the radio and also takes care of any possible shorts as he neg post is well grounded, and fused, and if you also ground the "shield" side of the coax to ground, you get rid of most types of ground loops to boot.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 04:52:56 AM »

Take your vehicle and cables to a local, auto stereo installer.  If they can't safely route the wiring, NO ONE can!
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WOODSTER2
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 11:16:18 AM »

Alot of great feedback folks. I will surely explore the options mentioned here. I will post the results when done.
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 11:59:03 AM »

Take your vehicle and cables to a local, auto stereo installer.  If they can't safely route the wiring, NO ONE can!

I have seen some pretty flakey stereo installs. Also they have no clue about possible RFI problems from routing.
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KE5PPH
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 10:35:51 AM »

Take your vehicle and cables to a local, auto stereo installer.  If they can't safely route the wiring, NO ONE can!

I have seen some pretty flakey stereo installs. Also they have no clue about possible RFI problems from routing.
   I agree about the bad installs. The grounding bolt set-up would also help with the "bonding" steps, for a good mobile install.
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KD8RFT
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 08:55:08 AM »

I worked my way through school as a auto stereo/alarm installer. If you are running power, find an existing rubber grommet with more room or an unused one. Go to the auto parts store and buy a universal straight length of hard brake line tubing that is large enough to have all of your wires run through the INSIDE without any fuss. I usually buy three foot lengths. Take the brake tube to the grinder and grind off a nice tapered angle to a very sharp point on one side. Poke the brake line through the grommet, making sure to stay clear of other wires on both sides. fish the power wire through the center of the brake line to the engine side. Pull the brake line back out, leaving the wire. The grommet will close up around the wire/hole. Always use corrugated split loom tubing to protect the wire. Use zip ties to secure.

You can do the same thing with coax. Solder the ends on after you route it. Never run through a sheetmetal hole that does not have a grommet for chafing protection. Do not run through the door jam.

If you are not comfortable doing this, then take your vehicle to a local 2-way commercial radio shop that does installs. A second option would be a stereo shop that has a good reputation.
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K0BG
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 05:05:10 PM »

Unfortunately, you've been given a lot of bad advice. All Chrysler products since about 2002 (depending on the model) have an extra teat on the main wiring harness grommet. In most models, it is rather difficult to get to, but is large enough to pass a pair of #8 AWG conductors. You almost have to have a fork lift to even see the grommet from the engine side of the firewall. Obviously, it isn't all that convenient.

It is this fact, that most after-market sound installation companies drill their now firewall holes. If it is done correctly, replete with grommets, and weather seal, no ill effects will be encountered. The unfortunately part is, not all sound system installers are worth the trouble. Knowing which is which, is about as difficult as doing the job yourself.
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WOODSTER2
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 12:25:38 PM »

Okay so here was my solution. There is a plate so to speak where the clutch linkage would go thru the firewall. Obviously on standard shift trucks this opening would be occupied. There are two nuts that hold this plate on and are easily accessed from under the dash. I popped it off, drilled a whole just big enough to run the power and antennea cables thru. Bolted it back in to place, a shot of rtv to seal the opening and I am in business. By the way, on this year vehicle it was very difficult to find someplace to mount the antenna but Pro-fit sells a fender mounting bracket made for this year vehicle. 10-4 good buddy!

KF7TXC
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K3GM
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 01:18:04 PM »

Okay so here was my solution. There is a plate so to speak where the clutch linkage would go thru the firewall........
That's the one!  They use to plug the hole with just an elastomeric grommet.  Now they must be covering it with something more substantial.  Glad to hear you got it in.
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