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Automotive Electrical Handbook: Learn How To Wire Your Car From Scratch

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Knowing how to properly rewire a vehicle is required knowledge for the serious DIY mechanic, and if you are looking for an easy-to-understand guide to automotive electrical wiring, this it it!

  • Restoring a car?
  • Building a race car?
  • Need to build a wiring harness for your hot rod?
  • Maybe rewire a trailer?
  • Building a kit car?
It does not matter. You can wire it yourself!

In Automotive Electrical Handbook, author Jim Horner shares his wealth of knowledge and years of experience with you, and does so without the need of technical language.

You will learn about basic electrical theory, how electrical components work, how to draw a circuit diagram, and more. Plus you also get valuable tips on how to use electrical test equipment and troubleshooting electrical problems.

Best of all, step-by-step instructions and more than 350 close-up photos, illustrations and diagrams, show you how you can build your own wiring harness from scratch.

A must-have book for anyone working on automotive electrical systems.

Book Excerpt


In a car, electricity performs work in one of two ways: It creates heat or it creates magnetism. All electrical components work on one of these two principles. Electronic components like radios and some voltage regulators work on other principles.

But you don't have to deal with their inner workings directly when you wire a car, so these principles are not covered in this book. Just one word of advice when dealing with electronic components: Make sure they're hooked up correctly!

Heat is created by resistance. Think of it this way: When electrical current moves through the wires and other conductors, they either permit easy passage or they try to restrict current flow.

Restricting flow isn't exactly friction, but you can think of it that way. When the electricity rubs its way through a resistance, the "friction" makes heat. It's similar to sliding down a rope. Your hands get hot from the friction.

One of the main automotive uses of electrical resistance is light bulbs. The bulb filaments get so hot they emit light. It's like when you use a coat hanger to roast hot dogs over a campfire. After a while, the coat-hanger wire holding the hot dog get hot and begins to give off light.

Other automotive applications of electrical resistance are the coils inside sending units of some instrument-panel gauges, the rear-window defogger, the cigarette lighter and the clicker mechanism in turn-signal flashers.

Electric motors work by magnetism. Basically, a magnetic field is generated by coils in the motor, which act on an armature that drives the motor shaft.

The principles of electric-motor operation are covered in detail on pages 56-58. Electric motors used in cars include the wiper motor, washer-pump motor, starter motor, electric fuel pump, heater-fan motor, and motors for power windows and seats.

  • Introduction
  • Electrical theory
  • Charging system
  • Electrical paths
  • Electrical controls
  • Displays
  • Electrical loads
  • Supplies
  • Locating and installing components
  • Designing and drawing circuit diagrams
  • Making a harness
  • Installing a harness
  • Rewiring an electrical system
  • Converting from 6 to 12 volts
  • Trailer wiring
  • Wiring a race car
  • Metric conversion chart
  • Glossary
Subject: A ste-by-step photo guide to replacing electrical components, troubleshooting electrical problems, even building an automotive wiring harness. ISBN-10: 0895862387 | ISBN-13: 9780895862389 | HPBooks 387

  • Publisher: HPBooks
  • Pages: 160 - Over 350 b&w photos and illustrations
  • Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
  • ISBN: 978-0-89586-238-9