Automotive wiring has always been a crucial product for electronic cable manufacturers. It has become even more important with the growth and popularity of various types of motorsports.
Fortunately, automotive wiring has had a good track record for the most part. OEM cable manufacturers have been able to create quality, durable cables and products, such as connectors, that can meet the rigorous requirements of racing. One of the main reasons for this quality is the incorporation of military specifications into automotive wiring.
How Mil Spec Wiring Supports Motorsports Activities
Today, the electronic systems of racing cars are considered as important as the engines. They help keep the driver safe, provide speed and agility, and even help the car adapt to different driving conditions.
Therefore, the wiring must be precise in terms of design, qualitative in terms of materials, and durable in terms of manufacture. Military specification cables are of great help when designing and manufacturing sports vehicle wiring.
Classic example: If you were to look at the wiring and connectors on an established racing car, you would find that most of the connector seals would still be good; the wiring would be stiff but not cracked, and it would still have its flexibility.
Then and now
Previously, the wiring design was used to increase the glamor quotient of the vehicle. Designers and engineers would talk about using a variety of complex components and processes such as:
Metal shell connectors
Concentric torsion for airframes
This would also lead to high costs and large product warranties. Today, what OEM motorsports cable manufacturers have come to realize is that the cabling simply needs to perform the tasks for which it is designed. They followed the lead of military specification wire engineering and focused more on factors such as reliability, small sizes, light weights, and durability. The main goal was to make the cabling suitable for racing environments.
How it was made?
The wiring engineers analyzed specific factors that would hamper the overall performance of racing vehicles and found a solution for each of them.
Weight: In racing, heavyweight is a car’s greatest enemy. The weight of the car is decisive for factors such as speed and maneuverability. A compact and lightweight design helps reduce the weight of the car and allows the driver to quickly increase and maintain speed. It also allows for better maneuverability.
Racing vehicle manufacturers use a variety of millimeter specification products to save space and weight. Some examples include:
o Small size 30 gauge wires
o Circular connectors for tight spaces
o Concentric twist for compact wiring packages and wiring flexibility
Adhesives: While adhesives are important when using certain plastic components, they can also act as a deterrent as they easily adhere to cables and hinder the function of connectors. Therefore, the adhesive creates problems for engineers during repairs and remodeling. A temporary solution for this is to use Kapton tape. It does not leave any residue and can be used until further repairs are made.
Performance: The overall performance of a motorsports vehicle can be vastly improved by using certain mil-spec components. Some examples include:
o Protective boots shrunk with glue
o Shrink tubes and tube labels
o Service loops to reduce stress
The use of mil-spec components has helped race cars become lighter, faster, safer, and more efficient. Therefore, military specification wiring has become an ingenious solution to enhance motor racing technology.