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Tech Article

Ron Francis Wiring

Where To Put The Fuse Panel

Where to put the fuse panel and where it should go

Over these past 29 years I have been asked many times what I thought of installing the fuse box in the rear of the car which I will refer to as the trunk. There are many reasons some of which make good sense until you consider the consequences. There are many things that get in the way and use up dash board free space. Air Conditioners, Air ducts, Pedal assemblies, Recessed fire walls, Ignition boxes hidden behind the firewall and many more that really do seem like a good excuse to make a decision that the wiring panel must go.

Lets be realistic here guys and gals. certain vehicle components need to be in a certain location with no excuses. I'll get into trouble here but the engine is always in the front. Sorry Corvairs I think your’s should be up front too. All of the items I mentioned above and including gauges need to be up front and have a perfectly good reason to be in front of the driver too. My Humble opinion is that the wiring needs to be in front also.

Ok, why? Think of where the big 10 (no longer the big 3) put theirs? Under the dash? Under the hood? Under a seat? In the trunk? These guys have spent a lot of time engineering the electrical system but you never see it in the trunk.

Number one, with the fuse box in the front-left corner the wires are physically shorter. The steering column dash gauges, dimmer and headlight switch and other driver controls and switches are right there too. This means shorter wires. Shorter wires mean several things, less voltage loss (something known as resistance) which helps provide all the juice your system can muster for the all important like cranking and cooling fan power. When your high torque, high horse power and high compression motor says: give all you have or it won't start. You need as much voltage as possible. If you have problems starting now, this could easily be part of the problem.

Number two reason is to remember that the upholster does his thing after the car is wired and is known for running that extra screw into the transmission case, gas tank, thru a body panel, definitely thru that big bulky wiring bundle running from the fuse box in the trunk and back up front where everything else it located. Between voltage loss, physical damage and lots more wires to run, I feel I have made my case.

I had a friend who came to me and insisted he could mount the fuse box in the very back of the car and never have a problem. He obviously survived the upholster that I talked about (or never mentioned it) and several years of reliable service. BUT after a couple years he started with the questions: I can't figure out why my Alternator won't charge right. Then is was a light that was dim, cooling fan seems slow, or the A/C motor that was getting hot (from low voltage)

Now some of these problems may have been generated from a bad ground (which is another book by itself) but they are all compounded by the combination of improperly installed components. Your best bet is keep the wires short and up front. That way you don't have to call us with your serial number and hear the same thing I said here. I'm willing to concede to under the drivers seat or forward. Maybe right behind the front seat if that helps. REMEMBER, NO MORE SPAGHETTI.....

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