Making A Case For Justifiable Homicide, Automotive Edition

Ladies and gentleman, before we proceed any farther, I must, out of common decency, issue a VERY STRONG WARNING that the following post contains graphic images that may not be suitable for children, people with weak stomachs or anyone with a lick of common fucking sense.

Anyone who has ever worked on a car or truck may find these images especially infuriating as what is depicted can arguably be considered capital crimes in the automotive world.
Proceed at your own risk, you have been warned.

When I bought this Bronco recently, I opened the hood to take a look at the condition of things and immediately saw some things that disturbed me.

There were strings of non factory wiring tied in all over the engine compartment.
When I opened up the drivers door and started looking around, I saw things that disturbed me very greatly hiding under the dashboard on the drivers side where the fuse box is placed.

Lots and lots of extra wiring.

So I knew when I bought this thing that I had some serious issues I would be dealing with right off the bat that most people with any sense would have run from screaming for good reason.

Today, I started tackling some of those issues and the results are even uglier than I expected.

Whoever got under there adding electrical goodies should have been locked up.

Allow me to present Exhibit A,



These crappy cell phone pictures don’t really capture the full glory of what an electrical clusterfuck of biblical proportions this little project really turned into.


It took me several hours to yank, cut and pull the things out I did get before it got too dark to continue, yes, I am not done yet.

I also don’t know what does and doesn’t work anymore at this point but am pretty confident that most of the following stuff was added on and hopefully will not affect the factory installed features.

I know I lost count of just how many Scotchlok connectors I had to unhook and pry apart. That doesn’t include the 7 fuse holders, the two wires crimped into one connector  bullshit or my favorite piece of all that went through the firewall and snaked around up to the grill and then disappeared into a seam in the sheet metal that I never did find the end of,



Count  ’em.

SIX butt connectors on two fucking wires, four feet long.

So when I finally stopped a bit ago, this is what I wound up with.


As far as I know, every bit of that went to shit out of a J.C. Whitney catalog and someone took all that shit off before they sold it.


Oh I almost forgot, there was another real head scratcher under the hood. The heavy gauge wiring on the right?

One end of a 10 gauge black wire bolted to the ground bracket on a 40 amp circuit breaker up by the battery went into a rubber hose. When I tracked it back I found the other end of the rubber hose connected to one of the factory plastic emissions vacuum lines. They were using the wire to plug a vacuum line.

Yep, that kind of shit should be fucking criminal.


The sad thing is, I figure I am only about 60% done with pulling all this extra crap off the rig, there is still a bunch of it under the hood and I have to trace a bunch of these wires out to their final destination where they take off under the dash, up interior panels and underneath the carpet.


All of this started innocently enough when I went to check the fuse for the dome light and as far as I can tell, it’s good but the light on the ceiling doesn’t work. The cargo light comes on when the door is opened but that uses a different fuse. They do share the same door switch however so I do know that works.


There is an aftermarket stereo/CD player stuffed in the dash but I already know it isn’t wired in right because it only comes on when the key is in the Run position and not the Accessory position also and the station memory function wasn’t wired into an Always Hot circuit so it won’t remember what preset stations you program into it.


It’s all good though. I used to do this shit for a living and I will get all this extraneous bullshit culled out before I get done.

After that I have a few goodies that I want to add on like a CB radio and some driving lights.

They sure as shit won’t get wired in like this mess though.

I will go down to the U Pullit yard and find me an Accessory Fuse box off some Ford product and snag it along with some of the harness to use to power things up with.  Any wiring runs will have proper routing and run inside plastic wiring harnesses. I will also use quality switches instead of the Cracker Jack brand I just took out and most importantly, anything I add on that takes a bunch of juice will have a fucking relay installed into the circuit that can handle the amperage.


Whoever the clown was that did the dirty deeds I just removed better hope I never run into them  though, With just the evidence provided here, I doubt a jury of my greasy handed and bloody knuckled peers would ever convict me.

21 thoughts on “Making A Case For Justifiable Homicide, Automotive Edition

  1. Geez, how many hidden compartments will you find? Sounds like someone either Tijuana specialed it or it got Bubba-fied.

    Please keep us updated with what you find. Who knows, you might find Jimmy Hoffa.


    • I knew what I was getting into but it is still quite irritating to have to spend quite so much time getting all that shit outta there without fucking up the factory stuff.
      I’ll get it and it won’t take quite as long now because I did the hard stuff first.
      Like I said, I used to do this shit at the dealership all day long.


    • I ran into something like that thirty five years ago on a MGB some guy brought in to the shop I was working at. He wanted me to fix his headlights.
      From just off the switch all the way to both headlights, someone had put in red wire.
      Solid copper house wiring.
      He kept bugging me for a quote and I couldn’t give him one. I kept telling him it would be time and materials. He wouldn’t accept that so I finally got pissed off and told him $300 fucking dollars for a new harness plus $500 for installation. Never saw him again.
      I probably would have charged him two hundred to just fix it if he hadn’t been such a pretentious prick.
      Never piss off your mechanic people.


  2. I must be a bit strange. I see wiring like that and it is fingernails on the chalkboard time. Time to cut it and rip it. I rewired my first pickup when I was 16 and have been doing my own systems since.My friends looked at my latest and accused me of making my dashboard a copy of and as complicated as the Space Shuttle. Cheaper than buying a Painless Wiring system though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I wasn’t out in the weather in the driveway it wouldn’t be quite so interesting as it is. I’m having to dodge rain bursts.
      I have done a couple of custom jobs like you are talking about. It takes a lot of time to do it right but damn does it look good when you are done.


  3. I bought a Starcraft aluminum boat about 6 years ago, and it ended up looking a lot like that under the dashboard. There was less wiring than you have just because there was less places to put shit.

    The guy who did the boat didn’t bother with crimp connectors. He just stripped the wires, wrapped them around each other and then wrapped the whole mess in black vinyl tape. It was an epic mess. Looked like the ball in your first picture.

    I think you said something the other day about you and I have the same luck. Another example.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Convict you of beating the shit out of an idiot? hell no, I’ll be standing in line behind you to get in a few of my own punches, after seeing all that electrical crap.


  5. Sad, and here I thought Larry, Darrell and Darrell were from Vermont.

    Sounds like you bought a bubba special that has gone through at least 3 generations of the same family. I am pretty sure (not quite 100%) that it did not leave the factory that way. Hope their “expertise” did not extend to mechanical (though your vacuum hose plug is an omen).

    Good on you for pulling it all out, a fire hazard waiting to ignite otherwise. Good luck and may there be few additional surprises though that would cut down on the entertainment value on this side.


  6. Well I got a whole bunch more of that shit straightened out right before the rain hit again today. I also got an aftermarket voltmeter and bracket mounted that I have had kicking around for twenty years. It even lights up when I turn the lights on. I also got both of the rear facing little cargo lights up on the ceiling working. No love on the dome light though and it ain’t the bulb.
    The running lights on the visor don’t work anymore because I cut the wires that power them up as part of the shit show under the dash and the stereo doesn’t work at all anymore.
    Like I give a shit about that.
    There isn’t a decent radio station in this entire part of the country anyway.
    All that crap can wait until I feel like fucking with it again.
    All the other lights still work and the wipers too so fuck the rest of it for now.


  7. Just be thankful it is not a 70’s Fiat. They had only one color of wire, red. Every damn wire in my 76 Spyder was red and the electronics were of British design.


  8. I agree with Andrew. When i saw it, the first thing that crossed my mind was “hidden compartments,” especially when you’re talking about a Bronco.
    Reminds me of the guy who bought a seized boat at a Customs auction in Florida several years ago. While he was doing some work on it, he removed a hidden panel and found 2100 pounds of cocaine.


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