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 Poor contacts on fuses
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EdinburghJoe
Starting Member

United Kingdom
22 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2017 :  13:35:58 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Hi all,
I've been having repeated trouble with the fuses on my 96, which has the original fusebox with the torpedo shaped fuses. They don't make reliable electrical contact with their holders, and so I keep finding that various items of equipment stop working (lights/ indicators / instruments / wipers / horn etc). All I need to do is spin the offending fuse a couple of times and it's then fine... until the next time.
To try to get a better fix I removed all the fuses and gently sanded their ends, plus the contacts, and then squeezed the contacts together slightly so they grip the fuses more tightly, but the sporadic problem persists.

My next idea is to gently 'drill' into the small locating holes on the fusebox contacts using a fairly large drill bit, just enough to shine up the edge of each hole, hopefully giving them a slight recess which should increase the surface area to make contact with the end cap of the fuse.

I'm guessing I'm not the only person to have this problem - and does anyone have any good suggestions as to how to fix it, or is what I've suggested above a good bet?

I'm hoping to avoid replacing the whole fusebox, but if that's the only way...

Joe

Woody
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2373 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2017 :  15:25:42 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Sadly a long standing problem with fuse box and fuses. I would advise an emery cloth rather than a drill bit which could rip the contact out.
The fuses themselves corrode over time so the ideal is to have a stock of them in the car, as they are not that expensive.
Have been considering a spray Electrical Contact cleaner for the contacts of the fusebox and the joints in the rest of the wiring system as circuits keep failing. The loom is 45yrs old so it is bound to start misbehaving.
Well known motorists shop has an offering which I shall try out.
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Zagato
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
740 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2017 :  16:38:13 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Funny as i have just cleaned my fuse box up today I was going to ask if there was a modern equivalent to these fuses. I will spray my fuses with ACF-50 as it is also good for electrics . I have done the fuse box contacts already. I use it a lot on Land Rover electrics which as you can imagine are rubbish and exposed. ACF-50 is a conductor so it prevents them corroding but does not block the current. The paste type is used a lot in the marine industry when sealing plugs!

Cleaned it up with a Dremmel this afternoon and a dab of AFC-50 on the contacts and fuses will sort the problem.



I was going to stock up on the fuses in case the supply dries up.

Edited by - Zagato on 20 Mar 2017 16:47:01
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967220
Starting Member

United Kingdom
8 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2017 :  17:41:51 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I have recently been round the whole car cleaning up the contacts, especially the fuse box. I found "WD40 electrical spray" and a pencil rubber to be the most efficient way to keep them clean. The rubber on the end of a pencil is especially convenient. This just polishes the surface of the contact without damaging the metal, gets fiddly on the actual fuses but it seems to work.
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2017 :  23:58:18 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
I use petroleum jelly on the fuse box contacts (and on the battery terminals).

www.saabv4.com
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andydeans3
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
938 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  13:37:12 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Joe
Unless you're a stickler for originality, do yourself a favour and convert it over to modern fuses boxes.
I nearly had a fire at the top of the fuse box last year, because one of the pi** poor contact had started to arc/spark, and generating heat.

See photo below.

It can become a bit untidy because with the original set up, cables all come in at the top, and all go out along the bottom. With these boxes, the cables go in at the top on a common point, but come out, all round the sides.
You need, 1 of 6 way, from a common point for normally live, 1 of 6 way with a common point for ignition live, a 4 way straight through box for the side lights- the smaller box on the left.
Just out of the photo is another 4 way box from a common point, connected to ignition live, that feeds all the extras. In my case, rev counter, electric fan, Dash cams, radio etc etc.
Come to the breakfast meet next month at Dalkeith, (3rd Saturday), and you can have a glower at my set up.


[/URL]

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo

Edited by - andydeans3 on 21 Mar 2017 13:40:51
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iceman_ca
Starting Member

Canada
29 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  19:15:02 Show Profile Reply with Quote
There are twelve position fuse blocks that should be modifiable for the purpose on hand.
Example https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Systems-Blade-Fuse-Blocks/dp/B000MMH1GC?th=1
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iceman_ca
Starting Member

Canada
29 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  19:18:21 Show Profile Reply with Quote
or this one https://ceautoelectricsupply.com/product/atc-ato-style-fuse-holders-with-independent-circuits/
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andydeans3
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
938 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  19:46:15 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Iceman

It's not exactly clear, but I think these fuse boxes may be simple straight through fuse boxes. The problem is that on both the "always live", and "ignition live" parts of the fuse array on the 96, you have to tie several lines together. ie from memory the "always live" fuses 1 to 4 are tied to common point, on the power side, dto fuses 5 to 8, "ignition live", 9 and 10 are tied, as are 11 and 12. Now you can do this with jumpers cables, but that leads to a lot of extra cables, and crimped connections.
Much better is you get a fuse box where each fuse line is tied to a common point. You can see the common point on the top of the right and middle fuse box on my car. ie where the large grey cable at the right on top comes straight from the battery.
You can get them on E bay.
You can see them here:-
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sis.html?_nkw=1+Power+in+6+way+Fusebox+fuse+blade+box+fuseholder+kit+car%2Fboat%2Fmarine%2Flandrover&_id=390580273031&&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2658

1978 LHD SAAB 96
1978 MGB Roadster
2008 LHD "Classic" Renault Twingo

Edited by - andydeans3 on 21 Mar 2017 21:00:24
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2017 :  12:59:34 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
I think I'll try and mount a C900 fuse box under the glove box (my 96 is LHD) or in the plastic storage bin at some point. The advantage over a generic blade type fuse box is that it'll also house all relays (my 96 has a couple aux relays). I may do a complete rewire as well, the loom isn't getting better after nearly half a century.

www.saabv4.com
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1778 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2017 :  23:12:30 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Bottom line really is that there isn't much wrong with the original fuse box. Like all fuse boxes and fuses they just need a little servicing now and then. Keep all the contacts clean and bright. Set the holders to give good contact pressure. Use a smear of Vaseline or zinc anti corrosive paste on the fuse ends. New fuses now and then every few years won't break the bank. Be sure you get proper ceramic fuses and not the plastic look alikes. Plastic ones shrink under tension when they get warm, reducing the contact pressure, which makes the contact less reliable. Be thankful that pretty well everything has its own fuse. That makes trouble shooting easier. Keep some spares in your glove box then you won't need them.
Yes I'm just giving a +1 to Joe's original post but I don't think you need to drill out the holes at all.
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UK_Sub
Moderator

United Kingdom
2103 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2017 :  09:13:46 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Where do you get the ceramic fuses from?
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Zagato
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
740 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2017 :  10:15:44 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Googling brings loads of suppliers up. Wether they are actually ceramic or described as ceramic style I don,t know.

My EBay link imploded the thread so I have deleted it but you should find some Simon. I need some also so will dig around now for some!



Edited by - Zagato on 23 Mar 2017 10:20:37
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1778 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2017 :  13:49:08 Show Profile Reply with Quote
The ones I have are packaged as Durite. The shrinking plastic ones cause problems on the Volvo 240 where they look after the fuel pump. They can get pretty hot. That is what started my serch when I realised the ones I had were made from plastic.
Try here. The company has a stand at many car shows and exhibitions.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Durite-Fuse-Continental-White-8-amp-Bx50-0-230-58-/361099418822?hash=item541333dcc6:g:-l4AAOxyM89ScScX
10.08 for 50 with free post is cheap enough I think and should last a lifetime! Packs of 10 also available but much more expensive pro rata. You can always ask if they are proper ceramic ones.
You can recycle the ceramic part and use the metal fuse part from a plastic one. A bit fiddly, but easy to do.
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velo200
V4 Beginner

United Kingdom
50 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2017 :  14:42:25 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Try these
http://www.sheridanmarine.com/product/ceramic-fuses
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velo200
V4 Beginner

United Kingdom
50 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2017 :  15:08:35 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Urgent update on previous post.
Just spoken to sheridan marine and they have no stock of 8 amp at the moment, and their supplier has stopped stocking them. they hope to be able to supply again in a few months, will keep you posted.
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