Tech, Tests & Installs: The Dodge Gets Wired
You may recall that I had an electrical fire in the trunk of the Dodge last season. My alternator developed a dead short and it overheated the wire running back to the battery. Then, VOILA!... smoke and fire. It was at that time that I realized the wiring in the Dodge had to go. Not just some of it, but ALL of it. I spoke with my friend and fellow Englishtown bracket racer Steve Russell, who's a bit of a Mr. Wizard when it comes to wiring and electrical. He took my thought a step further and suggested not just replacing the wiring but upping the size, making a new fuse block, adding relays, and installing a nice switch panel.

Racers, we documented the before and after here. Not only is the Dodge safer, but it also starts easier and the fuel pump, water pump and fan work better. It also looks great under the hood. If you race a vehicle that still has the original wiring, trust me. Replace it. It's a great investment. If you're in the NJ/PA/DE area of the country and are interested in having Steve do the job on your car, his contact info is at the end of the article.

This is what the Dodge looked like under the hood: a mess. This was the factory wiring to which I kept adding as needed over the years.

You can see the blue switch panel with toggles on the underside of the dash, between the water temp and trans temp gauges.

There's Steve assessing the situation and then getting to work starting to remove all of the under hood wires.

One of the first items Steve added is this little junction box for the starter wires. We'll see more about this later...
Guard dog Brenna keeps an eye on things in the shop.
Pull it, cut it out and toss it!
The wires that were on the driver's-side inner fender have been removed. It already looks cleaner.

Likewise on the passenger-side inner fender.
Steve has a fully-equipped shop where he constantly maintains his dragster and wife Arlene's 9-second Vega, as well as works on customer's cars.

Wow! It's really coming along under the hood! Look at how clean the passenger-side inner fender is now! Next look at the overhead shot; you can see where Steve repositioned the ballast resistor to the inner fender right next to the coil. He also went the extra mile and cleaned up the engine compartment with satin-black paint.

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Photos: The Dragtime News & Arlene Russell