The "positive cable" only goes to the starter and no further. So they decided to put in a wire that could apply battery power to the important stuff while the starter was sucking lots of amps from the positive cable.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WIRE IN THE ENTIRE CAR. In fact it is NOT a wire, but a fusible link. It should be very flexible, if it appears to be a regular wire, replace it immediately with the correct fusible link available at auto parts stores.
The large wire off of the battery (+) goes to the starter of course, able to hand the massive current flow.
This little "wire", protects the underhood wiring against fires. If a devistating short would take place, this wire would fuse, or melt, disconnecting the (+) 12 volts from the car many circuits.
This wire can literally leave you stranded, so don't try to alter it.
It feeds--All of the accessories, all of the lamps/lighting, the actual starter solenoid (so your car won't start without it regardless if the big starter wire is left un-touched)all guages, ignition system components etc.
Chevrolet was actually pretty smart using fusible links. In fact they are still used on current model year vehicles. They burn-up without arcing, and are able to protect the "long runs" of wiring where it would be inconvenient to have several fuse holders with fuses.
i used a "standard" parts store replacement positive cable that had the "extra" wire attached. Would this be a fusible link? From what you said, it needs to be, but do the cheap replacement cables have this?
Rick 72 El Camino
To be honest I'm not sure. Most of my stuff has been cut-'n-splice. By right, if the proper battery (+) wire replacement has been selected, it should have this fusible link. Look carefully at yours, is it "squishy" or really flexible? If it is chances are it is a correct fuse link. Some acutally say FUSE LINK on the actual wire in tiny print. If your doubtful, let me know.
I have no idea if it is fuseable link. The old one was not original, and I can tell you how I know.....I got to takin in off, and the wire that went into the wireing harness what about 2 times bigger than this one, and plus they were connected by being wrapped around a screw. My friend said 10 guage was pretty good for my car, he has the same on his 67 Camaro. Plus...most of my accesories that this runs don't work.
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