Wiring a car from scratch can be a daunting task, especially before the days of companies like Painless Wiring. We can recall wiring one of our first projects years ago in our driveway using individual bundles of wire and a standalone fuse box from an auto parts store; all the while there's got to be a better way—these days, there is. We're definitely not auto electricians by any means, and honestly, most gearheads we know hate wiring. It's tedious, time consuming, and can be one of the most annoying things to diagnose if there's an issue. The folks at Painless, however, have a whole catalog of kits designed to make wiring a car a breeze, so the days of wondering what gauge wire for what accessory and tracing unlabeled wires are over.
Sure, we can turn wrenches, but when it came to the electrical system of the Hellion, we contacted the professionals at BCR Motorsports in Arcadia, California. Whether it's a multiple nitrous system heads-up car, a stock restoration, or even a simple street machine setup like ours, the Baglieri's have been working on performance applications since 1980 and are vastly experienced when it comes to wiring up a performance vehicle. Also, since the owner is an NHRA Tech inspector, it meant we'd be getting a system that had all the dragstrip-legal items, such as a neutral safety switch and battery cut-off. BCR was a tremendous help in getting our car powered up, and the clean and simple installation will make adding on other systems down the road a snap.
Besides Painless Wiring, who supplied us with their 8-Circuit Race Wiring Harness/Panel Kit, we also teamed up with other companies that made getting the Nova powered up possible. Since this car is designed for an NMCA class, where hot lapping the car is part of the competition, we chose a pair of Optima's Red Top Batteries mounted in the trunk of the Hellion. Our idea was to run our electric fan and water pump in the staging lanes before each run, without the worry of a stalled hot rod. The dual batteries also promotes better weight bias over the rear wheels. Feeding amperage to our system is a Performance Distributor's Mr. Amp alternator. At 150 amps, this piece can adequately keep our system charged and the one wire connection made hooking it up a non-issue. Since the batteries would be mounted in the trunk, we needed a solid way to secure them. Speedway Motors is a great source for affordable-yet-nice hot rod items under their brand, such as their 3-Bolt Deluxe Billet Battery Mount and 18-foot Battery Cable Kit.
Another main part of wiring the Nova was the instrument cluster. We learned of Classic Instruments line of muscle car gauges at the Goodguys show in Ohio and immediately fell in love with their '63-65 Nova Gauge Cluster. Using the factory bezel, this setup is worlds better over the factory setup and the pre-terminated harness made hooking everything up incredibly easy. We'll reveal the features and the detailed installation of the Classic Instruments dash in a future issue. One of the final pieces to the electrical puzzle was the battery cut-off; if the batteries are in the trunk, then NHRA requires a master cut-off switch in the rear of the vehicle, so we contacted Flaming River for their Big Switch with Lever Kit. The long lever gives you multiple mounting options in the trunk and it even comes with a bracket to mount the switch itself.
Our Hardtop Hellion Project has moved right along over the past year, and you'll soon be reading about the dragstrip test results from our aggressive street car. However, in the meantime, look for a few additional articles where we continue to piece together this pump gas brawler.
|Classic Instruments||'63-65 Velocity Gauge Cluster||NO63VSB-F|
|Flaming River||Big Switch & Lever Kit||FR1003-2|
|Optima Batteries||Red Top AGM Batteries||910-66411|
|Painless Wiring||8-Circuit Race Harness/Panel Kit||50005|
|Performance Distributors||Mr. Amp Alternator||MR-150|
|Speedway Motors||3-Bolt Deluxe Billet Battery Mounts||91666601|
|Speedway Motors||18-foot Battery Cable Kit||91064505|
|TCI Automotive||GM Extreme Racing Starter||351109|
|Year One||LED Taillights||TJ75SET|