Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fuse Block Conversion

Another of the evidence of 37 year-old technology in the car is the fuse block.  It uses Good-And-Plenty sized glass fuses that are held in place by heavily oxidized and dirty copper spring contacts.  Electrical system glitches waiting to happen.  I bought a modern, swap-in replacement from J West Engineering, and here are the steps to swap it out.

Here's the original, disconnected from the underside of the dashboard.  You can see the spring clips.

And here is the top.  You can see the round relays, along with a bit of dirt..

Here's the J West replacement.  It's shaped as a bolt-in replacement, but uses modern fuses.  It also comes with nice fuse labels, for each 914 model year.

Here I'm swapping wires from the old fuse block to the new one, one wire at a time to avoid problems.  I removed a bunch of the cloth tape to give more wire access.  This cloth tape has given its life.  I plan to remove it all throughout the car and replace it with split-loom cable protector.

Here's the completed swapover.

I then moved the relay bases over to the new unit.

I bought all new relays right at the start of the project, so in they go.

And here it is mounted back into its proper place.  I've placed an order for a second fuse block and will mount it under the dashboard too, to provide fuses for new electrical devices in the car such as the stereo (switched and unswitched), Droid charger, GoPro video camera charger, windshield washer pump motor and eventually heating and cooling systems.

The one downside of the unit is it doesn't have bars across multiple input terminals like the factory one, you have to make up little jumpers which is OK, but not optimal.

Edit: I have been notified that there are indeed bridged terminals built into the unit, I will investigate later.