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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Drill Electrical Access Hole In Door Jamb/Sill Plate Channel

 
  #1  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:58 PM
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Drill Electrical Access Hole In Door Jamb/Sill Plate Channel

Installing an amp eventually under the rear seat in my supercab and was thinking about how to run the two rca cables.
Thought crossed my mind about the convenience of a hole at the front of the door channel that is covered by the sill plate. Whereas the wiring right now for the dome light snakes up between the metal and the plastic kick panel cover, is there a reason why I can't drill (and grommet) a hole going straight into that cavity?

No desire to do it if there is a downside to it so interested in whatever thoughts you all might have (moisture, etc).
 
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:54 PM
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I wouldn't be installing wires inside of any 30+yo sheet metal cavity next to water.

The brown wire behind the kick panel leading upwards is for the optional rooftop marker lamps, there's a gray, single-conductor disconnect behind that kick panel. Dome light & other rear-cab wiring is bundled together and rides in a channel below the door sill plate and upwards at the B pillar. All this stuff rusts and wiring damage here is common.
 
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:18 PM
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Hey Chris,
Not sure I entirely follow. It actually wasn't the wiring I was worried about (maybe I should be) but rather if the hole could let moisture up into the cavity (and harm the truck itself). The cavity being the space where the dome light harness comes out from, wraps around the door jamb and then idown nto the channel below the sill plate.

So I wasn't really concerned with the wiring since there was already wiring in both the cavity (albeit not as low) and the sill plate channel.

Could you elaborate on you concern?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:40 AM
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There are a lot of pre cut, plugged holes you could use in the cab floor pillars etc to get a wire run where you need to go.

The door sill plate already screws through the cab floor, water gets up those screws from under the truck and rusts out rockers (if you have rubber mats it gets into the padding and stays... Rusting it out). Rubber plugs also hold water and rust out sheet metal.

All my plugs and screws are going back in with sealant to prevent this from happening again.

I'd find a existing hole and run with that.
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:32 AM
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I will warn you about one thing I ran into. Most of the instructions with these amps tell you to run the signal cables on one side, and the power cables on the other. Of course I ignored the instructions and I had a lot of background noise in the amp. I moved the rca signal cables over to the pass side where there is no wiring, and it cleared right up. Even though those cables are shielded, they still pickup noise.

Run your amp power cables with the trucks power wiring on the driver's side, and run the rca cables by themselves on the pass side.
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kramttocs View Post

Could you elaborate on you concern?

Thanks!
That whole door sill area is rusted as crap on my truck, mine looks like this:









The wiring that was originally there was abraded resulting in exposed copper & intermittent dome lamp problems, I pulled some wiring from a local JY ~10 years ago to replace it.

But I guess the BIG thing that I think about was a beautiful but burned-out truck I came across in a JY once, the thing was obviously garage-kept, clean and well maintained. But there was a stereo amplifier mounted beneath the bench seat with burn marks in the carpet leading up to and through the firewall to the battery where the power wire had been run underneath, apparently whoever installed that thing didn't put a fuse into the circuit and didn't protect the wiring well enough.

 
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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Franklin2 Thanks for the heads up on running the power and speakers wiring on opposite sides. I know ethernet cable running parallel with electrical has that issue so makes sense audio would too.

ctubutis Appreciate the photos. I was going to snap some tonight so you saved me some time I'll definitely be installing a fuse for the amp and going out of my way to protect the wiring to avoid anything like that burning situation.

Just to add to the visual part, the place I am talking about making the hole would be about 4 or 5 inches below the white Christmas tree for the kick panel in your first photo.

To be clear, I am not set on drilling this hole and am not just arguing until someone tells me what I want to hear. Quite the opposite in fact - I want a good reason not to.

This area is prone to rust as the photos show but I am not sure that this hole will contribute to that anymore than without it. Considering that there isn't a drain hole under the sill plate I assume there shouldn't (under normal use) be any moving water under there that could flow forward into the kick panel cavity. Knowing that there will be high humidity at times in the channel I can get behind the grommet trapping moisture. Better than the grommet would be making the hole right at the end of the channel so it's more of a tunnel into the cavity. So the wiring would just continue from the channel and rule out the need for a grommet (wouldn't be against a sharp edge like in a drilled hole).

My whole thought process on this is that the two rca cables will cause the kick panel to bulge out where they wrap around the door jamb since they will be larger than the dome light harness. Maybe they won't though? I haven't got the amp install kit yet to test so I am just trying to plan ahead since if I do end up cutting anything I can do it before the painter does the jambs.
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:42 PM
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You better look that area over really good before you go drilling any holes.
That is the rocker / floor area and it is NOT boxed so if you where to drill a hole and run it down you would be on the outside of the truck on the bottom side.

Power is on the other side of the truck (right side) but because you should not run the power & speaker wires next to each other or any power wires I would either run the power down the left side next to the wires Chris pictured and run the speaker down the other side on top like the dome light wires are.

The only other place would be down either side of the drive shaft hump under the rug. Other than the weight of the rug no one would be walking on that part of the rug to hurt the wires.
Dave ----
 
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:07 PM
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I may not be describing this well (the picture below should help). I am not looking to drill down but rather on the same plane as the sill plate cavity. I admittedly didn't do a close look last night so just went to the shop and checked it out. Looks like I may have been overthinking the concern as there is already a hole. Not so much a hole I guess but rather a gap.You can see in the photo the path the black wire takes. I would want it to go straight up and not out that hole on the side (into the cab) like it is but that's the hole I finally convinced my 5yo was free of spiders so she would reach in and grab it.
That eliminates the moisture concern in my mind.
Now comes the concern about structural integrity if I enlarge that gap enough to fit the rca ends through.

I 100% realize I am making a big deal out of just running some wires.


 
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:08 AM
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On my supercab, I ran the rear speaker wires under the carpet on either side of the transmission hump, roughly halfway up. That area never gets stepped on, and has worked great for me.
 

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