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Words by Todd Ryden

Photos courtesy Painless Performance


When you park your muscle ride or weekend racecar during the week, do you disconnect the battery cable? Think about it. Chances are that most of that wiring is over three decades old and has been modified or hacked into more than several times. And your car is sitting there with voltage just looking for a place to jump to short or jump to ground.

Even if you have rewired the car, the chances of a short or problem in your wiring harness that could result in a fire is, in most cases, slim. However, after a weekend of cruising or some fun drag strip abuse, connections can vibrate loose, heat can melt through sleeves
or circuits can simply break apart. By simply disconnecting the battery altogether the odds of a fire occurring are much higher than finding a low mile, unrestored ’69 Camaro in the original owner’s garage. But opening the hood or trunk, getting a wrench out and scarring up your battery terminals can be a hassle. 

Painless Performance recently developed a heavy duty Remote Master Disconnect Kit that makes disconnecting the battery’s power as easy as flipping a small toggle switch. Simply install the heavy duty solenoid/relay assembly on the battery positive cable before the starter solenoid and mount a small toggle under the dash – instant power kill!  The relay is capable of carrying up to 250 amps continuously so there should be no trouble with a multitude of electronics.

The solenoid is the part that is responsible for physically opening the circuit. The trouble is having a control that allows you to switch the solenoid so it is on (closed) or off (open). That is where a relay comes in. A relay is a handy device that allows a switch with a small amount of current to control a circuit that uses a lot of current. 

It is important to note that this kit does not pass for a legal cut-off switch such as the ones required in drag racing [although we have seen it used on Pro Street cars --Ed.]. It simply serves as a safety switch or even as a theft deterrent for your car and is extremely helpful in cases where the battery is in mounted in a hard to access position.

Our installation took about an hour and has given us a piece of mind when parking the car overnight or during a long storage period.



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