1962 bel air wiring - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Lake Guntersville, AL
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1962 bel air wiring

is the wire from the battery to the ignition switch a fusible link?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 09:45 AM
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"You Bettcha Red Ryder" or something to that effect as stated on a comedy show I used to watch before late at night because I needed my beauty rest, not that it ever helped. It is in the wiring either practically touching the battery or above the fire wall so you can see the sacred smoke come out when the car stops running with the hood closed. As with everything electrical when the sacred smoke comes out you can put a fork in it because you are done.

Good news is the wiring industry sells fusible links by amperage rating which you can buy cut to length off a reel at NAPA, or you can buy replacement rated fusible links on line (keep in mind that it is a resistance wire made of nickel-chromium metal so the longer the wire the greater the voltage drop across the wire). I went looking for fusible link wire without finding any though I know American Automotive Wiring sells a direct replacement. They were probably the guys that bought this e-Bay 50 foot roll of NOS GM Delco 20 gauge fusible link cable(wire), part # 6292997.

Found this so far; Dorman carded replacement part:



Doesn't list amperage which is a bad thing and it looks to be short, but there is little frame of reference other than the terminal. By the way Chevy used the same fusible link wire from 1961 through 1976 once again sold by amperage.

Another reference this time by the gauge of the wire which due to it's size is for a much more modern car that has a heavier amperage load than your car has:


If you were to put this in, it would never blow as your primary wiring isn't this heavy a gauge.

Since I hate repairing things (I'm lazy and don't care if it is politically correct since I build hot rods and not restoration projects) I would replace the fusible link with an automotive circuit breaker of the correct amperage. The advantages are it will not drop voltage, it automatically resets if blown (so you are not stranded on the side of the road), and you can easily wire it in using normal copper wiring. Additionally you can upgrade it in ten AMP increments to a bigger circuit breaker if your load increases due to added electrical loads such as a bigger sound system, electric fans, or my favorite a HD high volume electric fuel pump. Just keep in mind at some point your factory wiring will become a fusible link going up in smoke if the load exceeds it's limited capacity due to it's small gauge.

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 10-04-2014 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Found a replacement part
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Swedesboro, NJ
Posts: 48
Originally Posted by huffhuff View Post
is the wire from the battery to the ignition switch a fusible link?
No it is not. There is a secondary 10 gauge red or black wire that comes from the battery cable (it is not fuslink protected... GM did not start doing that until 1967). The end attaches to the Generator regulator, and the Front Light harness also attaches there. When it plugs onto the firewall connection, it transfers unfused battery power to the ignition and headlight switches (as well as the lighter assembly).

Donny (aawtech)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Donny knows more about old cars than I do.

I owned a whole bunch of (ten or twelve of them anyway) 1955 Chevys, About two thirds had a SBC and the rest a 427, but all of them had my own personal wiring as I ripped out all of the factory wiring and replaced it for a heavier gauge with circuit breakers. I did this because my 409 powered 150 two door sedan '53 Chevy nearly burned to the ground because of overloaded factory wiring.

I probably should have done the same to my '61 Corvair with its quad Lucas "Flame Thrower" matching rectangular driving and fog lights but I had them on a relay to a second battery kept in the trunk to power my stereo and added lights (because the tinny factory battery location was in the back of the car with the equally tiny generator).

I did this because I was working after school at my Local NAPA jobber and got all of my parts at cost. A spool of 14 gauge wire cost me the same as a spool of 18 gauge wire, with 10 and 12 gauge costing the same so I up scaled everything. Even using six volt battery cables for the 12 volt ones because they were huge by comparison, and not much more back in the days when there were still cars on the road with a six volt system.

If, as Donny say there are circuits that are unprotected I recommend adding a 40 Amp circuit breaker that is soldered into the line as it exits the positive terminal (main feed wire).

It is a much better way of protecting the car from an electrical fire than what the factory used from 1967 and up which is a fusible link:

The Chevy fusible link is covered with thick foamy red plastic insulation and can be easily found by the two black plastic ferules at the beginning and end of the ni-chrome wire.

I know Copper has gone up in price since the sixties, but I believe that heavier than stock wiring is required if youi are going to add two to three times the electrical load than the factory engineers anticipated.

Big Dave
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