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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,
I've seen a lot of discussion on other threads about how to install a high-power (1000W+) inverter, so I'm taking this opportunity to show you all what I just completed.

The Unit
I picked up a Xantrex ProWatt SW1000. Which is a 1000W True sine-wave inverter. Not the crummy square wave ones you see for cheap. The unit has a surge rating of 2000 Watts. I highly recommend this unit as the best compromise between size, power rating and price.

Wiring Choice
With high power units like this wiring is critical. 2000 Watts at 12 Volts is 167 Amps! That's a lot of current. So (as the manual recommends), using *thick* wire is mandatory as is keeping the supply wire lengths as short as possible. 1 AWG wire is what I decided would be best. But finding high quality 1 AWG can be difficult. There's a lot of crap sold out there - esp some of these sketchy car stereo install kits that claim they're 2 or 1 AWG. In fact, I've found they're typically not 100% copper, but instead of a lot of aluminum. I found some nice 1 AWG at a local marine supply shop. Picked up some 1 AWG lugs, a fuse block, and a 150A ANL fuse.

Install Location
I've read everything on this site about where to install the unit (and most agree with my assessment that you want to keep the 12V side as short as possible), so under the passenger seat is really the only option. Back in the rear panels would be too far IMHO and under the hood is kinda crazy WRT rain, mud, etc. Since I recently installed Cruiser Larry's Dual Battery (which is located on the passenger side of the engine bay), a run to the passenger seat would only be 6 -7 ft which is not bad. Unboxing the unit, my first thought was *wow*, this thing is big - it ain't gonna fit under the front seat. But with some creative adjustments I found it will work just fine.

The Install
First I started by unbolting the passenger seat and tipping it back. Under the seat, you'll find 5 or so wiring connectors mounted on the bottom of mounting plate. Those connectors must be unmounted for the inverter to fit. Each plug slides off after prying up a retaining tab. Here it is with the plugs removed:



Next, you'll want to move all the connectors to rest on the top of that mounting plate. Some will reconnect right onto the original tabs, but this time facing upwards.

Next, the goal is to get the unit to sit as low as possible. To do that I cut a 10 in or so slit in the plastic mat, which allows for the right foot of the inverter to rest all the way to the metal floor. Here we see where the unit will sit. The Red Line indicates roughly where the cut was made.



Here's a close-up of the slit:



You want the unit to fit as far forward as possible. If placed correctly, the seat will slide all the way forward and back without touching the inverter.

After cutting the slit, you need to remove the A/C duct which ventilates the rear foot well. Here it is removed:



Removing this, gives you another much needed inch or so of clearance. I then pre-drilled 4 holes all down through the metal floor plate and mounted the unit with 4 sheet metal screws. Positioning it left/right such that the bit metal slide release handle fits nicely on both sides. Here's a shot showing the final alignment of the passenger pull handle and the mounted inverter:



Note that there is plenty of room of the passenger to reach under the bar to manipulate it.

Now its time for wiring. I'll be going through the passenger side firewall (since I have a dual battery installed on that side). On the 2010 FJ, there is an unused hole which is plugged right behind the battery. I had to ream that whole a bit bigger to get my grommet to go in. I then drilled a 2nd hole for the ground wire. Be sure to thoroughly deburr and sand the hole, so that nothing can wear through the grommet/shielding. In hind-sight, I'd have used one of these, just so I don't have to worry about that 1 AWG wearing through the shielding and grommet over time.

If you're wondering why I didn't just use a local chassis ground, its because I didn't want to tax the vehicle ground. Also, Xantrex requires this as well. Here we see both wires in place (the fit was a bit tight, so I used some oil to help pull them through). Here we see the 2 supply wires in place.



And here is the wiring connected to the battery terminals with a fuse block in place:



I soldered on the lugs using a normal propane torch, and use high quality heat shrink (the kind that are glue lined and provide a fully watertight seal).

On the inside, run the wire along the passenger wiring raceway. There's plenty of room for the 2 large wires in the raceway. Here they are before and after being put in place:



Next make a 3 inch slit in the plastic flooring as shown here, to allow the pair of supply wires to come up to the inverter:



Here are the lugs mounted to the inverter coming up through the flooring:



Here's the final run before being buttoned up:



Lastly, the unit has a local chassis ground to which I attached a 4 AWG 10 inch ground wire, which goes to one of the seat bolts.

Here's the finished product. You can hardly notice it in place:



I also taped some red electrical tape around the possible lug and terminal so that nothing dropped under the seat could short anything out. Still looking for a nice rubber boot of some kind that would cover everything.

Remote Panel

I also picked up the Xantrex Remote Panel which I plan to mount hidden to the left of the glove compartment. There is an unused face of plastic there that gets covered when the glove box is closed. I'll add pics once that's done.

I hope you found this useful!
 
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Nice writeup. I am thinking about installing one.

Questions:

I understand that a shorter wiring distance is preferable. So if you had to install it in the cargo area, what would you recommend changing?

Can an extension cord with power strip be used to carry the power back to the cargo area?

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice writeup. I am thinking about installing one.

Questions:

Can an extension cord with power strip be used to carry the power back to the cargo area?

Thank you.
Yes, if you want power in the rear area (which I do as well!), its best to make the long run be on the A/C side. That's because the A/C run will draw 10 times less current than the DC supply side (since the A/C is operating at 120 V). What I plan to do is to buy a high quality extension cord and run that to the back area, and like mount a normal duplex receptacle somewhere in the back.
 

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I plan on putting mine in the rear, and have some 0-gauge wire to run from the front to the back. I don't want to mount it under the seat as we may be getting in wet from time to time and I want to keep all the lines insulated and above floor level. I plan on putting the remote either in the glove box or the center console.

There is some loss due to a long run but I've done 1000W/2000W runs before and never had an issue.
 

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Just curious, what equipment do you plan to run off it that requires pure sine wave?
Nice install & pics.
 

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I don't know about Machego, but I will be running about $50k work of wireless network controllers and hardware for some field testing. it's a small extra price to pay to make sure the power supplied is as clean as possible. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know about Machego, but I will be running about $50k work of wireless network controllers and hardware for some field testing. it's a small extra price to pay to make sure the power supplied is as clean as possible. :)
Well I wish I'd be running $50k of gear... All I know is my wife was running her breast pump off a 400W El Cheapo inverter and the thing was hardly pumping at all. :clap:

The baby's thirsty so I delivered. F*** if that thing doesn't pump now.
 

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I am very interested in something similar - I did not thin you could get so much space from under the passenger seat.
Anyway, I do not know of many devices that require a sine wave output, especially electronics. Manchego, my wife's breast pump is a 12V unit :)

This said, isn't 1AWG too oversized? 2000W is the peak power, so I would dimension for 1000W or 100A, and most ampacity tables I've seen show that for a relatively short 6' run, 6AWG should be enough. Also, a direct run to the battery for the negative wire is probably needed for very clean output, but again, especially with electronics that use an insulated SMPS it should not matter.

Thanks for any clarification!
 

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Hi All,
I've seen a lot of discussion on other threads about how to install a high-power (1000W+) inverter, so I'm taking this opportunity to show you all what I just completed.

The Unit
I picked up a Xantrex ProWatt SW1000. Which is a 1000W True sine-wave inverter. Not the crummy square wave ones you see for cheap. The unit has a surge rating of 2000 Watts. I highly recommend this unit as the best compromise between size, power rating and price.

Wiring Choice
With high power units like this wiring is critical. 2000 Watts at 12 Volts is 167 Amps! That's a lot of current. So (as the manual recommends), using thick wire is mandatory as is keeping the supply wire lengths as short as possible. 1 AWG wire is what I decided would be best. But finding high quality 1 AWG can be difficult. There's a lot of crap sold out there - esp some of these sketchy car stereo install kits that claim they're 2 or 1 AWG. In fact, I've found they're typically not 100% copper, but instead of a lot of aluminum. I found some nice 1 AWG at a local marine supply shop. Picked up some 1 AWG lugs, a fuse block, and a 150A ANL fuse.

Install Location
I've read everything on this site about where to install the unit (and most agree with my assessment that you want to keep the 12V side as short as possible), so under the passenger seat is really the only option. Back in the rear panels would be too far IMHO and under the hood is kinda crazy WRT rain, mud, etc. Since I recently installed Cruiser Larry's Dual Battery (which is located on the passenger side of the engine bay), a run to the passenger seat would only be 6 -7 ft which is not bad. Unboxing the unit, my first thought was wow, this thing is big - it ain't gonna fit under the front seat. But with some creative adjustments I found it will work just fine.

The Install
First I started by unbolting the passenger seat and tipping it back. Under the seat, you'll find 5 or so wiring connectors mounted on the bottom of mounting plate. Those connectors must be unmounted for the inverter to fit. Each plug slides off after prying up a retaining tab. Here it is with the plugs removed:



Next, you'll want to move all the connectors to rest on the top of that mounting plate. Some will reconnect right onto the original tabs, but this time facing upwards.

Next, the goal is to get the unit to sit as low as possible. To do that I cut a 10 in or so slit in the plastic mat, which allows for the right foot of the inverter to rest all the way to the metal floor. Here we see where the unit will sit. The Red Line indicates roughly where the cut was made.



Here's a close-up of the slit:



You want the unit to fit as far forward as possible. If placed correctly, the seat will slide all the way forward and back without touching the inverter.

After cutting the slit, you need to remove the A/C duct which ventilates the rear foot well. Here it is removed:



Removing this, gives you another much needed inch or so of clearance. I then pre-drilled 4 holes all down through the metal floor plate and mounted the unit with 4 sheet metal screws. Positioning it left/right such that the bit metal slide release handle fits nicely on both sides. Here's a shot showing the final alignment of the passenger pull handle and the mounted inverter:



Note that there is plenty of room of the passenger to reach under the bar to manipulate it.

Now its time for wiring. I'll be going through the passenger side firewall (since I have a dual battery installed on that side). On the 2010 FJ, there is an unused hole which is plugged right behind the battery. I had to ream that whole a bit bigger to get my grommet to go in. I then drilled a 2nd hole for the ground wire. Be sure to thoroughly deburr and sand the hole, so that nothing can wear through the grommet/shielding. In hind-sight, I'd have used one of these, just so I don't have to worry about that 1 AWG wearing through the shielding and grommet over time.

If you're wondering why I didn't just use a local chassis ground, its because I didn't want to tax the vehicle ground. Also, Xantrex requires this as well. Here we see both wires in place (the fit was a bit tight, so I used some oil to help pull them through). Here we see the 2 supply wires in place.



And here is the wiring connected to the battery terminals with a fuse block in place:



I soldered on the lugs using a normal propane torch, and use high quality heat shrink (the kind that are glue lined and provide a fully watertight seal).

On the inside, run the wire along the passenger wiring raceway. There's plenty of room for the 2 large wires in the raceway. Here they are before and after being put in place:



Next make a 3 inch slit in the plastic flooring as shown here, to allow the pair of supply wires to come up to the inverter:



Here are the lugs mounted to the inverter coming up through the flooring:



Here's the final run before being buttoned up:



Lastly, the unit has a local chassis ground to which I attached a 4 AWG 10 inch ground wire, which goes to one of the seat bolts.

Here's the finished product. You can hardly notice it in place:



I also taped some red electrical tape around the possible lug and terminal so that nothing dropped under the seat could short anything out. Still looking for a nice rubber boot of some kind that would cover everything.

Remote Panel

I also picked up the Xantrex Remote Panel which I plan to mount hidden to the left of the glove compartment. There is an unused face of plastic there that gets covered when the glove box is closed. I'll add pics once that's done.

I hope you found this useful!
Yes, very nice! Except all your photos are no longer showing up, as this is an old post. Care to re-insert them?
 

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Yes, very nice! Except all your photos are no longer showing up, as this is an old post. Care to re-insert them?
Shoot em a PM, it'll fwd via email. Hasn't been here since Sep 2018.

Hover over/click on usernames and it'll reveal those last seen here dates.
 
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