Jeep WK Alternator swap

Hi all. A few updates to go with Chirpz very good well explained alternator write-up.

Overall you are good to go with the info here.

Please do yourself a favour and order and install the alternator splash guard from Jeep. It is $8, and may save you problems down the road.


Alternator Swap Write-up

2007 WK CRD Air Intake and Turbo Resonator Modification

Just throwing this up as a place holder since a couple people recently saw photos I posted of my engine bay and were looking for explanations. I will add more to this explaining after I check my notes.

Above: See engine bay with air intake mod and turbo resonator delete pipe in place.

Jeep CRD modified Air intake

You can see the parts used here are a long aluminum 90 degree bend pipe inverted. A 90 degree silicone elbow, a short length of aluminum pipe. At the air filter end there is a reducer to go from larger diameter outlet from filter box.

From the little straight pipe there is a 90 degree longish degree pipe (Sadly not silicone) It is smaller diameter to match the turbo intake.

Proper stainless steel T bolt clamps for turbo pipes are a must. Vibrant makes good ones, as do others. For the intake side this is less an issue since there is only vacuum and no boost.

Everything below is for the Turbo resonator Delete mod.



Stock “Kidney” Turbo resonatorIn bottom right of center you can see resonator delete pipe installed. 
Above: This is a product you can buy online from CB Engineering. 
About a 33 degree bend. 
Here you see dimensions of Resonator delete pipe

More to come soon. 













Jeep WK rear storage solution.

Looking at all the options I decided to build my own rear storage drawers. In retrospect if there was a decent available option for less than $1500 I would probably take it.

The amount of time effort, and problem solving that went into making a version 1 of this WK drawer is a lot, plus the costs start adding up quick. I used 1/2″ marine grade plywood, which had to be special ordered where I live. In the end I am happy to have it and feel there will be less chance of swelling. Given the quality of coating (paint) I used I probably could have gotten away with regular plywood, but who knows. Having a drawer that swells and binds kind of renders the whole operation useless.

The 500 lb lock in lock out drawer slides themselves cost more than $200 USD a pair. Incidentally I have an extra pair, as I decided it was ridiculous to go for two side by side drawers with slides and construction that heavy. The drawers are never going to hold more than a 150 pounds, so why lose space and add weight and expense by adding a second drawer?

This is all my logic and the process I went through, and by no means is right for anybody else. My build is for long term expedition travel. A big part of my process was figuring out how I would use it.  Also I built the drawer to be able to house a Webasto CR 36 refrigerator as half the drawer if the future decides that is what we need. In this case the drawer will be halved.

This is my WIP final product.

Jeep WK Grand Cherokee Rear Storage

The single large space is adaptable, and in it you can see one wooden box, of which the drawer holds 4, and still has space left over. These can be used to break up space as needed. The current cargo load in this photo is just what I stuffed in after working on it before going on a solo camping trip. Instead of bringing tools into garage, I just left them in drawer in case I decided to do more work over the weekend.

Drawer removed. Photo shows left rear corner.

I began by mocking up rough space with chipboard. Most of the cuts I have done are with a table saw, or circular saw.

Deciding how to utilize the stock storage space (Ridiculous small space plastic Jello compartment) had me going back and forth many times to decide whether to leave it or take it out. In the end I took it out, and made a semi hidden storage space with this area.


Above: Initial build started pretty simple. I began using Dado slots for extra strength, but did not continue the practice for all joints.

Above: Initially I was going with the two drawer option, and made a double glued wood divider on which to mount center hinges. I still have this divider, and if I opt for the Webasto CR 36, I will use it.

Above: Engineered I-beam slotted into receiver for layout on drawer bottom.


Above: Here you can see the engineered I-beam and locking slots fit into stock receiver tab. This is not the strongest setup, but unless the Jeep is inverted, it should hold over bumps and bounces. It is all heavily glued and screwed.


WK Switch panel placement search

Above: As you can see I struggled with how to mount electronics, relays, switches, battery etc. This was one idea, but it involved overly complicated slides and extra wood and not using the stock Tupperware. This option did not a lot of positive support.

Above: Little things like correct overhang, width of top spacers, load spreaders went through several stages, and in the end it was not perfect. Sometimes a design idea was implemented only to be cut off in a fashion that was less than perfect. More time in design phase would of course be a good idea, but in the end I needed to figure it out as I went along.

Above: Here is the primed semi-complete drawer Left side is left side, and the part down to the floor is what pushes against the rear seat. Since we are travelling with kids, the rear seats or some version of will stay. At the bottom you can see the locking tabs that fit into the stock Jeep receiver tabs for the plastic Jello compartment.

Above: Drawer assembly and final gluing. I used an overlap technique that allows for slightly less lost space from hinge width. Maybe a little heavier, but stronger and more work. Not sure it is better.

Above: Drawer gluing and spot putty of screw holes.




Above: Here you can see a test fitting. The white panel on the top is a door opening up against the cargo barrier. It is measured and designed so it will flip up and lean back against the barrier and stay, and has enough space to be able to do so, while still be able to access cargo through the top when necessary.



Rear storage center
Rear storage Left
Rear storage Right

Above: you can see the raw storage space available as well as steel for mounting hiding, etc.


Drawer slide 500 lb LI/LO

Above: Numerous fitments and tests were necessary throughout the build. Here you can see drawer slide bolted in to primer only version.


Zinsser BIN Shellac based primer Stain Sealer

Above: Zinsser BIN sticks to glass without sanding, and seals in resin stains. This stuff has serious priming ability, and don’t expect to get it off of anything you spill it on. I had some left over from house repair.

Sherwin Williams Alkyd Enamel Oil Based

Above: Paint and primer used were high quality, and specialized for sealing. The top coat is an Industrial genuine oil Alkyd Enamel. Most Alkyd Enamel are water based these days, specifically anything you can get at a big box store. This is basically a rust paint, but with more pigment and binder, essentially making a better overall paint. Don’t be surprised when you start seeing color accents on my Jeep that match my rear storage drawer. Have already started painting steel wheels. This paint takes close to 30 days to fully cure, although it is tack free in 7-24 hours depending on temperature and humidity. I just keeps getting harder.

Auxiliary Battery Setup

This is a project I have been working on for awhile, and it is 85% complete. The aux battery project itself was done in combination with the rear storage project since they would need to function together as well as independently.

Aux Battery Setup Ctek Dual DC-DC charger

The rear sliding drawer storage system was built to be removable, and would incorporate some aspects of the rear aux. electrical system, but I needed the battery and electrical system to be totally independent of the drawers when needed, as well as be safe. Electrical system fires are apparently one of the main sources of problems for Overland Expedition vehicles. A statistic that likely does not improve with time, vibration, wear and tear.

I started with this as inspiration:

and ended up with something very different.

I have seen people mount their batteries on WKs in a few different places. Under the hood, but that has included moving the stock electrical fuse and relay boxes. Anything that runs the risk of lowering reliability and increasing the chance of hard to troubleshoot electrical issues is not an option. My family owned a Land Rover growing up, and I owned a 1971 MGB GT, so I am very familiar with reading electrical diagrams and tracing electrical faults, even manually simulating the alternating signal on a DC fuel pump in the back seat of said MGB to keep it going while my gf drove it home.

I have seen people mount them under the left hand side rear tire next to the subframe, but in the event of a rear quarter crash, or off-roading and dropping that tie off a rock this was not an option. A Jeep forum member showed me where his was, and this made sense to me.

I bought a fairly solid aluminum minimalistic battery holder meant for Optima “6 cylinder” batteries. I bought it off Amazon, and here is the link:

When the link is dead I will kill it, and the photos will remain.

I still have to add some venting, but this should not be too much of a problem with these batteries and the Ctek charging system. As I understand it, hydrogen gassing tends to happen more often if a battery is being overcharged.

Step 1. Mounting Battery

After struggling with how to mount it, I opted (no pun intended) for what was available at my local hardware store.

Cut where red line is and fold over 90 degrees where black lines are. Vice, Sawzall and hammer helped

I bought a four foot length of lightweight drilled angle steel, cut a 1 inch line on the angle, and folded the ends over, overlapping holes, drilling out as necessary and ended up with “perfectly” fitting mounting struts. I used stainless steel bolts drilled through the fender well with the nut on the inside, and silicone seal to keep moisture and dirt on the bottom side of  the wheel well.

Below: By request are some additional detail photos showing how the Optima tray is mounted.

I purchased a length of slotted angle steel from my local hardware store. Made a cut along the angle, and folded the tabs over.

Here I used double nits and lock washers to make sure nothing would vibrate loose. As you can see I only used three out of the four mounting positions for the tray.

Above: Here you can see the process used to align and level the battery tray. In all honesty this seems to me to be the best tray to give battery a solid footing and take minimal space.

I used a fair amount of washers as necessary to level the battery tray, and nylon lock nuts as well as lock washers as needed.

Above: Attempt at making nice straight uniform lines to make an even cutout for battery poke through.

Below: Semi final product. Eventually I will add some border or moulding, flashing etc to it to give it a less chainsawed look. For now the fender liner functions to hold the electrical panel in place, still holds the cargo cover, and also serves as a mount for the Travall Pet Guard cargo separator.

Eventually I took a half assed attempt at putting the plastic fender liner back in. It all started pretty civilized, but in the end I was hacking i tup with a sawzall in my driveway at dusk.

Now that I had a battery mounted the question became how to get power to it. Currently I am not using a ground wire, but just grounding the battery to the steel unibody. Paint having been wire wheeled off, and bolted solid. Still I know this is not as good as copper, but for the charge coming through from the alternator, it should be fine. (for now). I will do some more advanced testing once the project is finalized.

As mentioned above, I started with a basic idea for charging a second battery, but decided to get something more or less foolproof, and reliable that did not require any manual intervention, and actually charge battery more effectively and faster than the alternator and a direct line of heavy gauge wire would.

Ctek D250S Dual:


CTEK DC-DC charger

It is called a “Dual” because it can also take a solar panel current direct and act as an MPPT charger. If you know anything about Solar and MPPT chargers, this Ctek box actually comes in at a pretty good price point just to be used as an MPPT, or at the very least a proper solar charge controller because most for sale on the market undercharge the battery. If you are unfamiliar with Ctek, check out a coupe episodes on Jay Leno’s garage were he explains the benefit, and how much better they are for batteries in the long or short run.

Using the United States Coast Guard USCG wiring chart for reference on all my wiring

The most important tools and parts for an electrical project like this are proper terminal crimpers, proper correctly sized terminals, heat shrink, (heat gun) and research.

For the bigger gauge wire, 8 gauge and below, this is the real deal in my opinion:

Amazon (again): TEMCo Lug Crimper Tool TH0012 – 8 AWG – 0000 AWG(4/0) DIELESS Indent Electrical Battery Terminal Cable Wire 5 YEAR WARRANTY 

After looking at the issues with hydraulic crimpers, and matching dies to crimpers, I opted for old school mechanical power. I must say this is one of the manliest tools I own, and I still have machetes and snake sticks left from my time living in the rain forest in Costa Rica dealing with Terciopelo aka Fer-de-Lance.(venomous snakes) Anyway, this makes crimping AWG 6 child’s play and $60 -$80 it is a bargain. Try to buy pre made battery and alternator cables  and you will see this thing pays for itself very quickly. 

Given that I am also wiring up the solar powered system in my trailer it will get more use. Big wire is not used out of necessity for voltage or amperage, but to lessen voltage drop which is prevalent in DC applications. (See USCG chart above)

Keep in mind when buying heat shrink tube you need it big enough to cover the terminal housings, not just the wire. (Not that I made that error) Let’s just say I have a lot of extra terminal ends, and heat shrink laying about.

Before anybody feels the need to comment on the sloppy cutting of the inner plastic fender, and the sacrilege of cutting into sacred irreplaceable Jeep “Tupperware” I was unsure I would even put these plastic inner wheel-well  liners back into place. In the ned it was a little difficult to find the lines and cut, but if anybody is considering this, please contact me and I am sure I can come up with more accurate templates o measurements to help. Finally I put it back because it made it all simpler to mount the wiring board, still use the cargo cover when desired, and protect the stock wiring hidden by the plastic.

The Ctek ended up getting mounted on a piece of plywood down and out of the way. Probably important to remember, some of those steel terminals are direct to the battery, so proper insulation, or coverage is needed. Mine are normally covered by the rear storage drawer.

Step 2. Running wire from Alternator/battery

I removed the passenger and rear seats, (super easy) as well as the center console, which I have removed a dozen times battling the Shift Control Module problem. (Final solution, replaced it)

I used a backup set of 8 gauge booster cables. I don’t know if they are UV resistant, but they should not see any sun to speak of.

Above: Here is wire going through firewall. I put it through large grommet on right of steering. I used plastic cable protector here, and for much of the 15 foot run, but also used red rubber coolant hose under the floor carpet and rear seat.

Above: There is a nice natural channel above the heating duct to run the wire to right of LHD WK driver’s legs. You can see the imprint on the carpet from the line of the plastic center console.

Above: here you can see I taped a small low voltage wire to the side of the main charging wire. Although I did not really plan this out in advance, from experience, I know running wires while you have the chance is a good idea. The light gauge orange wire may be used for a switch from the front panel, to a relay i the rear for pretty much anything. No idea at the moment.


Above: Here I followed the natural curvature of the floor, and used the stock wire protection as much as possible. Here I used rubber heater hose I had laying around (Elephant hose mod) as protector. I feel the corrugated black plastic would be easier crushed and compromise the wire and insulation inside.

Above: Coming up the right hand side, I used Zip ties to hold it in place. Another reason I put the stick inner wheel-well grey “tupperware” back in place.

Rear seat back in place.

Above: Rear seat back in place. Being careful not to pinch wire with rear seat bracket.

Above: Cut the carpet slightly to allow a cleaner exit for cable and insulation.

Above: Zip tied the front section, and put console back on.

Above: With main wire now in place, time to put inner fender with “laser cut precision battery hole” back into place. IN all honesty may two main concerns for the batter were that it was “level” stem to stern with the jeep, and that it cleared the slide in rear drawers easily. In order to mount a fuse and relay panel I was considering building a frame, over the battery and all sorts of things, and then decided, “well if the rear storage space is going to be full most of the time, I will not be able to see anything anyway, so who cares about light through the windows.”

Left: At some point I began wiring up the fuse block. It is a Bluesea Marine panel, and has both a positive and Negative post. That means all pos and neg wires run to this panel.

Here you can see an AWG 4 gauge  wire with ring terminal and heat shrink waiting to be crimped and terminated.

Originally I had the fuse panel on the outside for easy access, but after a bit more use, decided I needed the real estate for the Dc-AC Inverter. Originally I had holes going through from relays n the back to fuses in the front.

Above: Photo is from testing, prototyping phase. Red LED I added, because I wanted to incorporate a few things that “added a cool factor” and while at the electronics store grabbed things that I felt might come in handy. In all seriousness, this is switched to the off position for the on board Air compressor relay. Using a 40 amp relay with a Viair 450 (or something like that I will check) allows me to leave it on all the time when a hose is attached. The light is just an extra to let me know it is off or on and is visible from the driver’s seat, which is how I positioned it in the board.

Above: Relay board now looks like this. I considered moving the inverter to the other side, but for the high amperage cables needed, I figured it was best here. There is enough room for some air flow top and bottom, and the cable organization works perfectly this way. This is a Stanley 750 watt non-sine wave inverter. I did not do any great amount of research on this, just grabbed it on 50% off end of season sale at local hardware store for $75.  I have used a rice cooker plugged in to cook rice I have plugged my RV TV in to it and it draws almost nothing, and I have plugged in my Ctek battery maintainer charger to keep the RV trailer battery topped up overnight, so essentially going Solar/alternator to DC battery via Ctek DC-DC to Dc-AC inverter to AC-DC charger to let me run DC lights etc in RV. Maybe to the least inefficient, but all part of experimenting with new system at the moment.

Fitting the window shaped plywood electrical board into the window opening took a few tries. When I ordered two sheets of 1/2″ Marine Grade plywood for the drawer system, it came protected by two sheets of chipboard, which gave me a lot of material for mocking up stuff. It fits into the natural contour of the plastic interior window liner, behind the Travall Pet guard.  Holding it in place I drilled a hole and with large flat washers mounted a 1.5″ 5/16th bolt coming out of the plastic wall. There is a hole in the plywood that slips over it, and I use a flat washer and wing nut to tighten and remove. Its not perfect, because it can be dropped easily, but works for now.

For the switch panel I found a “Marine switch panel” on Amazon. I am a little suspect, but it feels pretty good, and 6 switches, and panel plus USB, lighter socket, and dodgey Volt meter for less than $50, is hard to pass up. Considering it all comes wired up, and a pretty nice job at that, and it is a winner, at least for now.

I say dodgy Volt meter because it does not give you real accurate battery level. For that you need a shunt and proper meter.

I have a template fo the wooden board shape, and will be making one for the other side, as well as replacing this one eventually, maybe.


Above: One word of warning I will give, and you will pick up on this pretty quickly. This is what the relay board looks like to the civilian passerby in the right/wrong light. I plan to spray tack a mesh fibre to the window to block any view inside. I have gone through US-Canada border a couple times so far, but do not want to return to my Jeep to see it surrounded by a SWAT team and demolition team trying to diffuse my refrigerator battery during these heightened times of security.

40 Amp Relays also purchased off of Amazon. Five of them for $12 with mounting brackets. They click lock together which can be a good thing to save space and make assembly more rigid, but will be a real pain to take apart, or replace with one that is not exact same design

N.B. I use an 80 Amp relay for the inverter.

For the switch panel something else I need to adjust for security purposes is the lighting. Currently I have set it up in the safest way for electrical shorts and load protection (I think), but I have no easy way of turning off LED switch lights or voltage meter while still keeping power flowing. The switch panel has three hot leads running into it all separately fused. One for LED backlights, one for Voltage Meter, USB charger plug and lighter socket, and one for something else.

I will probably set up a big mechanical kill switch, but for now main power flows direct from battery to the  100 amp fuse panel. The run is so short, I am not sure it is worth the extra hassle to put in a breaker or fuse. With only 1.5-2 feet of AWG 4 cable, I am unsure what could happen that fused protection would help. Anyway, more to the point, all those pretty LED lights sure do attract passerby’s attention at night.