Muscle Cars

Hot Rod Burn Down: Check Your Wiring.

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By Mark Weisseg

A picture can say a thousand words. You hear that saying on a regular basis. This picture says much less. Ouch. One must wonder what happened. Generally a fire such as this is an electrical issue. Wiring is a rotten deal when rebuilding or restoring your car. My master mechanic brother has done two restorations for me in recent years. Both had to be rewired from stem to stern. In the case of my ’49 vehicle the wiring was old, hacked up and at times missing.

So, I remember him tearing out all the wiring in the vehicle and laying it on the floor. It was a huge mess of wires that had seen better days. So, I bought all new wires, connectors, and terminals. It was a painstaking boring task for him. Everything that should have had a wire going to it now did. When he finally finished the wiring he wrapped all of it in plastic conduit or similar. The end result is everything works as it should.

Shortcuts could have been taken but why go through all that effort only to do something dumb at the end and that is what happens at times. People will get close to the end and cut corners. Or, they simply do not understand wiring. Meaning you cannot “over wire” something. I also hear about people who will replace a 15 amp fuse with a 30 thinking more is better. No no no. Follow the instructions, think, do it right, and you will thank yourself later.

The other no brainer is a fuel leak. Check and double check every fuel line, connection and Hose. Any hint of any leak and stop. Get help or a friend to help you track down the issue. Burn the hot rod to the ground and you might burn the house down as well. So, Smokey says only you are responsible for your own safety.

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