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Hot Rod Wiring Do’s and Don’ts

dash wiring in progressAre you building your dream car or are you contemplating buying a custom one-of-a-kind car that was built by someone else? I have bought a few custom built cars over the years. Many of these car builds were done by “professional” builders. Others were done by guys just building their dream machine. For me,  many of them had one big mistake in common. You would think, with all the very nice after-market wiring kits out there, rewiring an old car or building a new one would be easy and without any mistakes. Well, from my perspective,  a very common simple, overlooked problem plagues many “one off” builds. Even cars built by “big time” builders.

Has this every happened to you? You are driving down the road in your custom ride. It’s got a super paint job. It has an awesome interior, a thunderous engine, and a head turning sound. You’re crusin. You’re getting looks and “thumbs up”.  Your car suddenly quits… Dead… You are sitting there thinking “what the heck happened?” After a little help and advice from bystanders watching you ponder your problem under the hood of your ride, you think “the electric fuel pump isn’t working.” Somewhere you come up with a test light and discover you have no “power” at the pump. Well, all you have to do now is look at the “fuel pump” fuse. “Holy Crap!  Where is the fuse block!?”

Well you can bet the fuse block is in the car somewhere, but where? I’ve been there.  Most builders put fuse blocks in a very logical place, then build the car around it, hiding the fuses from plain sight. If you didn’t build the car,  you probably didn’t get any instructions on how to access the fuses. Finding the fuse block can be a nightmare. Once located,  seeing, checking or removing a fuse can only be accomplished by a contortionist!

If you are building a car, spend a lot of time contemplating the location for your fuse block. If you buy a custom built car,  ask and document the location of fuses, relays, and wire looms. Troubleshooting an electrical problem with poorly placed fuses and wiring can be a nightmare! If a wiring diagram didn’t come with your custom build,  see if you can “pick the brain” of the builder.  Take notes.  If you can’t trace the build history… well…. good luck!

Sooner or later you will have to check a fuse. If “Murphy” has anything to do with the timing for a fuse check, it will be at a time and place that will have you exclaiming, “who put it there!!?”