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Username Post: Electric Cutoff Switch
Jim Streib 
Senior Member
Posts: 452
Jim Streib
Loc: Saint Louis
Reg: 03-20-03
01-01-18 01:40 AM - Post#2719616    
    In response to Shepherd

  • 50sChevys Said:
A short in your electrical system can catch your ride on fire while your at work or sleeping or driving down the road for that matter. Maybe even worse, it can be fired up and stolen in a flash. There's a simple, effective and inexpensive way to prevent either of these from happening.

While a short in an electrical system is never desired, the cutoff solenoid can give one a false sense of security. If the cutoff switch is off, then power is not coming out of it and then into any wiring connected past it and then if a short were to occur past the switch, then no damage will occur which is good BUT if there is a short past the switch and then the switch is turned on, damage will occur to things and depending on the quality of the switch, when the contact close they might weld themselves together to where when a secondary signal is sent to the cutoff switch to turn it off and stop the flow of power it doesn't disconnect.
Another false sense of protection also occurs as people don't realize that before the cutoff switch this section is always hot and if a short occurs there, the switch being past this spot cannot do anything about it.
Ideally, one needs to add the proper size fuse right at the battery positive post to where if a short does occur, the fuse will open automatically and protect the wiring.
While you did not show the complete installation with the battery in place, ideally you want to have the battery enclosed and vented to the exterior of the vehicle. While I do not know what type of battery you have, even the Optima style batteries have pop off vents on them and some have provisions for adding vent tubes to them. I had a buddy that a trunk mounted battery exploded in his face when a spark occurred in the trunk and the trunk was full of battery fumes. It was not a pretty sight.
Automotive batteries can pack a lot of power and the more one can do to make the installation safer, the better.

  • Shepherd Said:
Great, sure looks like a Ford starter solenoid.

While it looks like a Ford starter solenoid, the one the OP has is a latching style in that when the proper signal gets sent to the solenoids activation coil, the main power input stud is then connected to the output stud and then power is allowed to pass through the solenoid. If then another proper signal is sent to the activation coil, the solenoid then disconnects the main power input stud from the output stud. Once the solenoid is either in the closed position or in the open position, the activation signal is no longer required to leave it in that state.
A Ford style solenoid differs in how it is activated and requires power to stay being applied to the activation coil of the solenoid to keep the main input and output studs connected inside the solenoid's body.
As far as others using Ford solenoids to run driving lights, running lights or whatever for hours on end, they may have gotten either a well built solenoid or a solenoid that was made for continuous use. Years ago I bought a standard Ford type of solenoid that was not of a high quality and after about an hour of having the activation coil powered up, the internal wiring inside melted and opened up and then the solenoids main terminals disconnected.

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