Automotive Wiring: A Practical Guide to Wiring Your Hot Rod or Custom Car

SKU: MB-39923
Automotive Wiring: Hot Rods, Custom Cars
Automotive Wiring: Hot Rods, Custom Cars
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Item Description

If the time to wire or re-wire your custom vehicle or hot rod has finally arrived, this is the how-to guide you've been waiting for.

It seems that automotive wiring projects have always been surrounded by mystery, and when it comes to determining the right kind of wire your project needs, or what's the correct type of fuse, and then add weird-sounding words like "diodes" or "solenoids," and the mystery, in reality, turns out to be nothing more than a bunch of misinformation or, in most cases, a lack of the correct info.

And that's the moment when you should reach for your copy of Automotive Wiring, by Dennis W. Parks, and available at The Motor Bookstore.

This how-to manual will provide answers to all those questions and much, much more, giving you the necessary knowledge and confidence you will need to troubleshoot small electrical problems all the way to completely rewiring your hot rod or custom.

Want to add the latest and hottest modern accessories?

No problem; Automotive Wiring shows you how to add electronics such as GPS, Bluetooth, iPods and more.

This book is a must-have guide for the serious automotive do-it-yourselfer. The car restorer, customizer or builder.

Book Excerpt: Automotive Wiring: A Practical Guide to Wiring Your Hot Rod or Custom Car


Saying that automotive wiring is something that mystifies many people is an understatement if there ever was one. Yet, it really doesn?t need to be so mysterious.

Wiring and electricity are simple subjects and can be done by most anyone willing to take the necessary time. The tools required are not exotic or expensive, so not having a roll-around chest full of tools is no excuse for not knowing your way around a wiring opportunity.

Wiring (automotive or otherwise) must be done in a methodical manner to avoid problems. So, if you are an impatient person or want to see results immediately, doing it yourself may not be for you.

If you can safely modify your vehicle?s electrical system, however, there is virtually no limit to the electrical gadgets available to you and your passengers.

In Chapter 1, we?ll discuss the basics so that you get off on the right foot. This will include a bit of electrical theory, an overview of components, and then tools and equipment.

Chapter 2 will discuss the major components of typical ignition and charging systems and how those components interact with each other. Likewise, Chapter 3 and 4 will discuss lighting circuits and switches, respectively.

The information included in these chapters will not only assist you in traditional applications, it will be useful in designing custom applications as well.

Chapter 5 will discuss engine monitoring systems, while Chapter 6 will discuss specific, yet common accessory circuits. Chapter 7 discusses audio and video installations.

Chapter 8 discusses some specific types of wiring, ranging from using a vehicle-specific kit to completely rewiring a vehicle, to using a universal kit, to do-it-yourself, and then the book wraps up with some troubleshooting tips.

Switches are merely a method of controlling the flow of electricity. After all, with proper wiring, the electricity is already present. Switches allow us to turn an accessory ON, OFF, up or down by closing or opening a circuit or by controlling how much voltage is allowed to reach that accessory.

Switches come in two types: those that are controlled manually and those that are controlled electromagnetically when voltage is applied across its coil. This latter type is known as a relay and has specific situations in which it should be used. After a discussion of various manually controlled switches, the uses for a relay will make more sense.


Regardless of the type of switch, there are some concerns that must be addressed when choosing a switch. These are:

  1. Will the switch fit in the desired location?
  2. Can the switch carry the required amount of current?
  3. Does the switch have enough internal circuits?
  4. Does the switch have the required terminals?
If you are replacing or installing a new switch, you must chose a switch that will actually fit where you intend to put it, or find a different location. Quite often, the area behind the dash is filled with gauges, air conditioning and heater ducts, stereo equipment, and who knows what else from the outside.

So before you replace a headlight switch, you should check for available room before buying just any switch. You do not want any of these electrical components shorting out against each other.

To ensure a long service life of a switch, you must also verify that you do not overload it. Each switch should list the amounts of volts and amperage that it is rated for. Exceeding these maximums is likely to cause problems that can and should be avoided.

The more jobs that a switch is required to do, the more internal circuits it must have. If a switch is to control just one operation, such as turning a fan ON or OFF, it requires just one circuit. A headlight switch that controls headlights, parking lights and dome lights will require more internal circuits.

Any switch must also have enough terminals to enable you to connect the necessary wires to it. Ignition and headlight switches typically have the most wires connected to them. This is why a simple toggle switch is not used for these applications on street-legal vehicle. Vehicles that are not street legal usually do not have the various lighting and accessory options that require as many circuits.

Subject: Transportation: Automotive: Custom Cars: Hot Rods: Do-It-Yourself Electrical Wiring Systems. ISBN-10: 0760339929 | ISBN-13: 9780760339923 | Motorbooks 39923

  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Author: Dennis W. Parks
  • Pages: 144 - Hundreds of color photos
  • Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
  • ISBN: 978-0-7603-3992-3
Table of Contents
  • Automotive Electric Basics
  • Principles
  • Circuit Protection, Control and Components
  • Wire Protection
  • Tools and Test Equipment
  • Ignition and Charging Systems
  • Master Disconnect Switch
  • Neutral Safety Switch
  • Lighting Systems
  • Exterior and Running Lights
  • Interior Lights
  • LED Lights
  • Switches: Toggle, Light, Dimmer, Ignition, Solenoid
  • Engine-Monitoring Systems
  • Accessories Circuits
  • Audio and Video Applications, GPS
  • Wiring Installations
  • When to Solder and When to Crimp
  • Vehicle-Specific and Universal Wiring Kits
  • Do-It-Yourself Wiring
  • How to Install Mobile Electronic Accessories
  • GPS, Bluetooth, MP3 Players, Computers, Internet, more
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Automotive Wiring: A Practical Guide to Wiring Your Hot Rod or Custom Car
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