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C1 Electrical Issue’s
Larry Pearson, #5
Automobile electrical systems are Direct Current (DC), contrasting a home electrical system which is Alternating Current (AC). The source for powering a automobile electrical system is the DC battery (12-Volt) which supplies a positive voltage to the electrical components (lights, wipers, heater fan, starter, etc.) and each component to function properly MUST have a return “path/wire” back to battery (Negative terminal). Obtaining the positive 12-V to each component is performed by the electrical wire harness containing individual wires (of various sizes and colors) connected (through fuses) to a specific auto component (radio, heater, ignition, etc.). The return path to the negative battery terminal in most automobile relies on the metal body which is connected to the Negative terminal on the battery. However, our C1’s are a nonconductive fiberglass body and the various components must rely on grounding through return wires, engine metal grounding or frame grounding. This background is the basis why Larry began by describing the grounding system for the C1.
The primary electrical ground is the large wire from the battery Negative terminal usually and is connected to the engine block. The second significant ground is a wire in the wiring harness coming from the fuse block and bolted to the rear drivers side engine valve cover. Larry pointed that this latter connection is one of the most missing items as when the valve covers are removed and reinstalled they many times are left off. Larry continued to indicate other grounding straps:
•Strap between engine motor mount and frame.
• Strap for electrical Wiper motor.
• Heater grounding straps.
• Radio antenna grounding.
• Gas Tank Gage.
• Etc. This list is extensive and could become a subject topic for a future Tech Session.
Larry continued with another subject from the wire harness and describe the various connectors in our C1’s and the proper method for dismantling and removing wires if needed.
Southern California Solid Axle Corvette Club
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