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Power Inverter Install (long w/ lots of pics)

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Old 05-05-2009, 09:07 PM
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Power Inverter Install (long w/ lots of pics)

Well I was going to put this in the electronics forum but it looks like not many
people go there so I figured I would put it here.

I took lots of pictures when I did the install, and I like to see pictures when I
read an install post so I figured I would include lots of pictures.

I had the inverter setting around and now that I have some free time on my
hands due to "lack of work" I decided to install it permanently in the truck.

I started by taking everything out of the truck I took it down to the metal
this gave me a chance to really clean the truck good. It was amazing what I
found in every nook and cranny, dog bones to hair clips.


To get the rear seat out I found it east to un bolt from the floor then tilt
forward and un-bolt the support rails. I put a movers blanket around it then
secured it in the folded down position using a few tie downs.




Look at how much crap was where the seat bolted down.




These are the two rails that supported the back seat.




Iím starting a nice pile of trim off the truck.




The rear end after I got everything out. (notice the felt washers that go
under where the rear seat belts bolt down, if you accidentally suck one up in
the shop vac now is a good time to get it out not later after the clinking
sound annoys you to death.)




A blurry picture of how much gunk was in the wire way near the door.




I guess one of the previous owners had a dog because I found a dog bone
under the passenger side seat.




There was lots of gunk between the driver seat and center consol, thatís a
hard place to vacuum.




Got most of the stuff cleared out, now I need to start taking trim off so I can
pull the floor mat out.




The 4X4 lever cover was a bit hard to get off I had to use the compressor to
blow the screw holes out because there was a bunch of dirt in there.




I was amazed at how much oily dirt there was in the wire way next to the
doors, itís where the water goes when you get in the truck and your feet are
wet or snowy.




The rear felt was just held in place with a few push in things I guess it has
been off before.




The holes in the floor where the seats and seat belts bolt down needed some
new sealant.




When you have to move the truck you gotta do what you gotta do.

on to the next post
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:09 PM
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A word about the inverter. I got it at Sams club a few years ago for about
$80. It says itís a 1500W inverter but given the right conditions it will run
quite a bit over that, more on that later.




The inside of the power inverter 120V side.





The 12V side, for a really cheap inverter this thing is really made good much
better than the one I got at harbor freight, it was rated at 2000W but would
only push about 1000W.




An over view of the inverter, notice the row of fuses in the center bottom of
the inverter, that was pretty impressive to me.




Some electrical supplies.




This is a cross sectional comparison of the original wire on the right with the
new one I got. The inverter came with 4AWG 6ft leads but that would not do
for a permanent mounting. I had some 4AWG setting around from my car
audio days so I decided this would be a good use for it, wrong! Luckily I did
some bench testing before I did the install. My wires needed to be 16 ft long,
at that length there was too much voltage drop along the wire to push much
over 1000W. Using a clamp on meter to measure amperes and a volt meter at
the battery and another at the inverter to measure the voltage the inverter
was pulling around 100A 12V the drop along the 4AWG was about 3V this was
making it so that if the truck was not running the inverter would cut off at 10
. Also at that current the wire was getting a bit warm. I was thinking this
wont do. 1/0AWG was the answer; I picked it up at the local welding shop
for about $2 per foot. The same set up as before this time with the inverter
pulling 100A 12V the voltage drop was only about .5V much better. With the 4AWG
the limiting factor was when the voltage drop along the wire was enough to
drop the voltage below the 10V auto shut off. With the new 1/0AWG that is
not the case so it was time for some more testing, Iím one to push things to
the max abilities. I took it up to 1500W 120 and it was pulling about 160A 12V
no problems, next I took it up to 2000W 120 and it was pulling 225A 12V by
now the trucks batteries are getting a bit low so the voltage is dipping,
quickly I take it up to 2200W 120 and it cuts off. Iím pretty happy with the
results from an $80 inverter.

I should also add that you have to run a ground directly back to the battery
because there is no way for the factory ground to handle the currents
involved here.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:10 PM
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The 1/0AWG is pretty big so I decided to run it under the truck until I was
under the rear seat then come up through the floor. How convenient that
there was already a hole there, as you can see with a little help from Mr.
drum sander I was able to thread a conduit fitting in and silicone it down.




The wire passes through the fitting that has a rubber fitting that fir the wire
perfectly.




The wire going through the fitting, it is covered with plastic wire loom. I need
to put some silicone around the fitting on the outside. I did spray the whole
area with rust-oleum.





The wire passed through he fitting and all siliconed up. To get it through I
had to use some lube on it since it was rubber on rubber.




As you can see we are not dealing with little lugs here I had to use a blow
torch to solder the lugs on then heat shrank them to look good.




Just testing, I still need to get a fuse holder but I think it looks good.




My testing setup.




I didnít want to mount the inverter directly to the floor so I made some
brackets to hold it to the bottom of the rear bench.




The earth ground needs to be hooked up to the ground source so itís not left floating.




Inverter under the rear bench.




I cleaned this up, I was just testing it, I wrapped it with tape then a thing of
heat shrink.



Well that was really long but I hope you can get some ideas from it.

This will come in handy on our road trips because I have a little microwave
from when I was in college that it will run so we can eat good on the road.

Patrick
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:40 PM
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Wowwwwww very clean install. Looks great and I hope it works well for you. May be a project for me in the future.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:44 PM
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Looks good! I'm thinking of doing something similar to mine.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:48 PM
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Very nice detailed write up. This is on my to do list somewhere down the road.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:55 PM
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Great write up. I have been thinking about doing this for some time.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:59 PM
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Now thats impressive!

I also really like your rubber flooring.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:07 PM
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Nice clean install!
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:17 AM
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You can do electrical work on my truck. I couldn't find a single place you seriously compromised.

I would have used different hardware for the mounting brackets, and maybe heavier stock, but those are real, real minor things.

Maybe I'd use split-looming on the positive cabling where it meets the frame for some additional abrasion resistance, but that's all.

I'm assuming your fusing is as clean and appropriate.

Nice work!

Pop
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:36 AM
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I assume you have a dual alternator truck? Drawing 160A at 12V is some pretty major draw! What are our alternators rated at anyway?
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:39 AM
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Thanks for posting this up! Very clean and detailed install. I would love to do something like this on my own but I don't have the courage to get involved with electronics.

Can the alternator(s) keep up with this kind of load?
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:20 AM
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im in shock... LOL sorry i had too.

Very nice install!
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabeyd View Post
What are our alternators rated at anyway?
The standard 6G alternator used on the '99-up 7.3's and 6.0's is a 110-amp unit.

The second unit in a dual system is "clocked" differently, thus carries a different part number, and is also 110 amp. However, I have seen them listed with a derated current value, and is (I believe) PCM-controlled. The pully size is also sometimes slightly larger, thus it runs slightly slower.

Pop
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:09 AM
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nope just a single alternator, although i would like to add the lower unit, that means that i can only draw those kinds of current for a very short amount of time then have to jet the truck recharge the battery
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