Electric Fun

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Here at American Off Road we don’t always consider ourselves car heroes, even though we do save a lot of SUVs from a mundane grocery-getter life, and we save a lot of pickups from life threatening cancerous rust and corrosion. We make vehicles safer for themselves and their passengers by installing roll cages, suspension seats, harnesses, even off road lighting. But this rat rod’s terminal case was a little different than that: poor wiring. When it comes to aftermarket lights, winches, radios, and electronic accessories, wiring is a key factor that should be taken into consideration. Make sure whoever is doing the wiring has the knowledge and tools to select the proper terminal fittings, fuse ratings, and wire gauge or this could be the outcome:


What happened here was first of all, no fuses were inserted in the circuits, although you make think that fuses are those annoying things in hard to find place and even more impossible to reach that make your accessories not work in your vehicle, you may consider them an opportunity to try that new string of curse words that you have only been thinking for the past 2 weeks while your fingers cramp and your nails break as you try to remove their vice grip like sockets, however fuses are in reality, a crucial safety measure. Fuses are made to melt before the wire melts, therefore preventing fires in cars. Also preventing the wire insulation from developing leprosy. Real life example shown below.


Between undersized wire, zero fuses, bare connections that were rapidly decaying, and the grand finale: electrical tape used as conduit from one end of the car to the other. This scar screams professionalism in a twisted, sick, redneck sort of way. Proper wiring should include fuses, relays, soldering, shrink wrap, plastic conduit, and yes sometimes it is appropriate to use zip ties, SPARINGLY! And no, I’m not talking about using them on any engine or mechanical work or pieces of any kind. Zip ties should only be used to keep wires neat and orderly as well as away from any moving parts. Wire ends should be properly covered, making shorting a wire much less likely as well as reducing the risk of electrical shock. Shrink wrap is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Splicing should always include a little bit of solder and some shrink wrap. If your car has had any aftermarket electrical additions and you have any questions or concerns about the wiring, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can do everything from finish the project for you to giving you tips and tricks as well as technical advice.