We been talking a lot as of late about how we’ve been spending so much time prepping Grandma for wiring, so it’s about time to give a little more in-depth preview to the wiring it self. Check out a few highlights from our upcoming tech article on installing a Spaghetti Menders wiring kit in our 1979 Malibu.
There are many ways to wire a race car, some better than others. We’ve spent enough time stringing wires around a car to ask the question, is there a better way? In our search for that answer we came across Spaghetti Menders. These guys custom build wiring kits for many different types of applications, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg.
This is the owner of Spaghetti Menders, Bob Lapp. Bob is an accomplished electrical master who works on everything from high end drag racing cars, to billion dollar government projects wiring prisons. If you are looking for someone that really understands the flow of electricity, and designed a product based on that knowledge, then Bob is your guy. Lets take a look at his wiring system.
Unlike traditional forms of wiring race cars, the Spaghetti Menders system does away with the rat nest of wires loosely strung throughout the car and replaces them with a set of 9 pin computer cables. Each system is custom fitted to your car so it does exactly what you want it to do. One neat thing to point out about this system is how it is completely self-contained. Bob hooked up power and plugged everything in when the kit was sitting on a table and he was able to operate everything without it even being in the car!
It all starts here, at the switch panel. Spaghetti Menders offers their hand built switch panel in 5, 6, 8, and 10 bay configurations. Then the switches are connected to the main connection panel using the computer cable. That means there is only one wire (or two – in our case…) running above the driver.
From the main connection panel there are three fuse/relay boxes – one in the trunk, one in the passenger compartment, and one in the engine compartment. Each of these are linked by the same type of computer cable that connects all of the other boxes to the main relay panel. And power and ground is run to each relay box independently. This does two things: reduces the amount of power running across the vehicle, and secondly, gives you a floating positive/ground system that gives you 100% flexibility to remove/activate grounds or positive power.
As explained, each box contains it own set of relays to control other devices. The built in fuses and circuit can be quickly analyzed by looking at the series of LED lights, allowing you to quickly diagnose any issue you may be having.
From there, all of your accessories are wired into the corresponding box where the device is mounted in the car. For example, the fan and headlights are wired into the box in the engine compartment, while the fuel pump and brake lights are wired into the box in the trunk.
Bob and his team take the time to label each connection. Not only does this make installing it easy, but should there be a problem, you can figure out where its coming from.
The only other wires that needed to be run through the car are battery positive and negative. That’s right negative. Bob’s system uses what is called a floating ground. It basically means that all of the wiring in the car is grounded through a wire instead of using a chassis ground. This eliminates the possibility of device not working correctly due to a bad ground or any other common problems. It also means that when the kill switch in the back is turned to ‘OFF’ that all power will shut off immediately.
One of the best benefits is the amount of weight it saves in a race car. The entire system weighs around 15 pounds. For the car already on a diet, like Grandma, this is a MAJOR plus. As mentioned before, all systems are custom built. They can be set up for 12 volts or 16 volts like we choose to do.
Bob designed this system to work on street cars and race cars alike, and he can custom build anything to anyone’s specific needs. So whether you need switches for trans-coolers or turn signals, Spaghetti Menders can do it all!
For now, check out www.racewiring.com – and wait for our complete tech article!