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Old 09-29-2007, 08:23 AM
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Battery Relocation in '71 Nova

I am relocating the battery to the trunk (passenger side) in a 3rd generation Nova. Mounting the box was no problem, but now I am scratching my head about how best to run the wiring. The Summit kit came with about 10' of positive (red) wire and maybe 2' of black ground, both about 1 gauge. I'm planning on taking the red directly to the starter solenoid, then coming from the solenoid lug to a junction block on the firewall, where it would also join the positive lead from the alternator. From that junction block I would power everything else.

My first question is how to route the power from the trunk to the starter. It looks like the easiest way would be to route the red on the inside from the trunk along a wiring channel that follows the passenger rocker just inside the door. From there, however, I'm not sure where to go. The passenger side of the engine has long tube headers and there doesn't seem to be any easy way to get to the starter and stay away from the heat. Another way would be to take it down through the trunk floor and then up the tunnel past the bellhousing, but that seems more complicated. Can someone tell me how you routed your wiring from the trunk?

Second question is where would I put the fusible links? I guess one would go between the alternator and the firewall junciton block, but how do I do that with the hot wire coming up from the trunk?

Thanks for your help...I'm feeling really stupid with this!

Dave
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:57 AM
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If it's a street car, your concerns are understandable. On my Corvette, I ran the positive cable underneath, along the frame rail, encased in heater hose for added protection. The negative cable (and you should also run a negative cable all the way to the engine) I ran through the interior on the passenger side, up against the console and under the carpet.
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:13 PM
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Did you use a bulkhead connector (like Summit SUM-G1431) or just run it through a grommet?
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:10 PM
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I just used a grommet that fit the ground cable snugly where it passes through the upper floorpan area, just below the firewall. I used a little clear sealer to make sure it was water-tight. The battery's actually in a recessed storage area behind the passenger seat, under a hinged lid. (coupe, no trunk) I did the same thing on the positive cable (with a grommet) where it passes out of this compartment to run under the car.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:14 PM
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Just be sure to use a grommet, or 2 in the trunk, to pass the wires through. Clean the frame where you are going to put the ground, run the positive along the frame with retainers to hold it in place. There will be ample clearance by the headers to hook it to the starter. Summit also has some high temp wire sleaving just for this kind of application. Also be sure to run a ground cable from the frame to the engine, and body.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:59 PM
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The ground that came with the kit is obviously intended to terminate in the trunk 'cause its so short. I was thinking of running 8 gauge from there to the engine, with ground straps from the engine to the subframe and from the subframe to the body. Does that sound OK to you?

Dave
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:20 AM
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The main positive battery cable usually does not have a fusible link; however, your long cable runs makes your cable much more exposed to damage than in most cars. If a fire starts in the trunk, its also right next to the gas tank.

This company sells fusible link wire in large sizes http://www.champcable.com/pdf/RADXL%...ink%20Wire.pdf
If you want to be safe from unexpected shorts, you could add a section of the #6 gauge fusible link at the battery end of your cable. A #6 gauge Fusible Link is usually used to protect #2 gauge battery cable, and should be big enough for your Nova.

Bruce
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:04 AM
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Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the tips.

Dave
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:33 AM
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bluesman,

#1....get a starter motor heat shield or make one.....your headers are cookin' the sh## out of the solenoid and starter motor (based on you can't hook up the remote cable).....they won't last long with that much heat

the NEG side of any circuit is just as important as the POS side...in-fact on neg grd systems, the flow path is from the neg to the positive

#2....add a #8 or #10 ground wire from the batt neg post to the alt grd post...that make a all copper circuit for charging...run a grd wire from that lug to the ign ground wire.....for more volts to the ign due to less grd resistance

#3....a grd cable from the chassis to the starter motor mount bolt (or the alum bell-housing)....starters pull a gazzillion amps when hot and need as many ground sources as possible (and now with the neg post attached to the "body" (not the motor) the body is the direct ground path "cable" for the starter)

#4....in as many places as possible.....wire grds connections to other grd connections and connected finally to a batt direct copper grd source....literally a spider web with the batt as the center especially for higher amp devices like headlights and fans.....(helps alot to reduce voltage drop in older harnesses)

#5....go ahead and add any additional grounds that even only might have a small chance of helping....ex: a grd from each cylinder head to the firewall for more spark grd source on a high compression motor.....they can only help, never hurt

#6....grd the heater core and rad....slows down electrolysis

#7...grd wire from the batt to the tailights grd.....makes brighter brake lights and turn signals (front and rear)

got any old cables lieing around....

#8....add a second grd cable to the batt neg....

#9......add a second and third chassis to motor grd (spark is 14,000V x a gazzillion sparks per hour...... trying to get back to the batt thru the body where before the batt grd was direct to the motor!)

the goal and point is....as many "copper" paths back to the batt as possible.... for peak electrical devices performance....

("extreme"=rubber mount isolate every device and copper wire grd everything)

for stone protection on a cable under the car I use conduit spiral flex cover...for cable thru the car a length of water hose works

Last edited by red65mustang; 09-30-2007 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:50 PM
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re battery in trunk

I have yet to see any battery terminal corrosion on a Optima battery. When locating a battery in the trunk, I suggest using one of these batteries. Corroded terminals causes more battery and terminal heat. I have installed several of these in the trunks of hotrods with no problems.
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Old 09-30-2007, 01:23 PM
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It´s best to relocate the starter solenoid to the rear as well.
Read through this at MadElectrical.

It makes good sense to put the START’M UP solenoid next to the battery (in the rear)–to avoid routing a “full-time battery live” cable all the way forward to the starter. (If a “live” starter cable ever became shorted, a fire or battery explosion would be likely.)
MAD.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:57 PM
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A trunk mounted solenoid sounds interesting. I think I'll check that out. If I do go that route, can I still use the stock starter by just attaching the pos wire from the battery/solenoid to output side of the solenoid on the top of the starter? Then just take the starter wire off the starter solenoid and route it back to the solenoid in the trunk? Am I missing anything here?

Then take a heavy 8/6 gauge red wire from the pos side of the battery forward to the alternator? Fusible link at the battery end of that wire, and another between the alternator and the rest of the harness? If I'm putting the fusible link in the charging circuit (instead of the starter circuit) what size should I use?

Thanks again for all your advice!

Dave
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:20 PM
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solenoid? not

I have had no problems mounting a Optima battery in the trunk and running the positive cable along the frame rail,(3 times through a hole in the frame), to the starter. I also failed to suggest a gear reduction starter as well. They ,(matched to the compression ratio) will use less amps while cranking. Check my pictures and look at the 1973 Corvette, It has a gear reduction starter and a positive battery cable, from the battery to the starter, with no fuse or fusible link. They do make a switch that you could mount that is lockable, albeit it uses a plastic key, that they call a quick battery disconnect. Mounted in the trunk near the battery would be a good spot, (I have never mounted one there yet though) to locate one of those for security reasons.
ps that 1973 Corvette could be yours for a meere $70,000's.
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:28 PM
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I agree with re65mustang that "the more the better" ground wires.
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:02 PM
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Thanks again guys. I mounted a Ford starter solenoid in the trunk today ( http://novaresource.org/starter.htm ) according to this website. That gives me a dead pos cable except when I am starting. Then I will run a #6 red from the alternator back to the battery (actually, to the hot terminal on the solenoid) with a fusible link by the alternator. I will also run all the grounds you recommended, plus maybe a few more!

Love this site!

Dave
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