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Aftermarket 308 fuse box?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Birdman, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,687
    North shore, MA
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    THE Birdman
    Hi Everyone,
    I seem to remember someone mentioning a source for a generic fusebox that can be modified to work in a 308. I can't find the thread in either FChat archives, so now I'm wondering if I hallucinated?

    Anyway, after cleaning the contacts in my fusebox to fix a non-functional cooling fan for the third time since I got the car, I have decided that the crappy fusebox has got to go and I'm not replacing it with another crappy Ferrari fusebox. Anyone know a generic alternative that uses a more modern fuse in a more reliable mount?

    Thanks.

    Birdman
     
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  3. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
    73,162
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    Bubba
    Well cmon, it's lasted twenty years! Soldering of the brads that hold it together has also been noted...if you did that on a new one it'd be a lifetime fix, IMO.

    Poor brad contact leads to heat buildup that melts the mounting base. old malfunctioning loads don't help either, so don't be too hard on the fuse block component.

    Buss makes the standard glass fuse blocks with 8, 10, or 12 slots whatever you need, but before you start on this task, grasshopper, CAREFULLY examine and note the tie bars top and bottom on the back of the stock black block and the white block. Even using OEM replacements I've noted some differences between years, so be careful.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    Rereading my post, the point was "these tie bars will have to be replaced with wire jumpers of adequate capacity..."

    You'd think 12V wouldn't be so much trouble!

    15KV goes where you point it! LOL
     
  5. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,687
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    Hey Speedy,
    Oh, my fusebox has had all the rivets soldered. The issue here is the whimpy means by which the fuses are held by the little pointy ends. The contacts oxidize and the fuse doesn't make contact with the holder because they are just not held tightly enough.

    Birdman
     
  6. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    i believe mine came from Napa, uses regular glass fuses. it was installed by Mike procopio, ( whom i bought the car from) pm him if you need more info. )
     
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    agreed, that's the weak link, but if it's an original unit your fighting 20 years of metal fatigue as well.

    I have replaced my boxes with OEM and it's happy now....but agreed it scorched my wallet to shell out $110 x 2 for something that would be $20 here in US. A careful "As Built" of your circuits should do it.....

    Not sure I would tackle the rewiring, but I RELAX from electrical work when I go home!!

    Lot's of candlelight, soft music...stuff like that!

    I use a Nomex wallet these days!! :)
     
  9. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    THERE ya go! Thanks Reaper..

    I followed a trail on better stainless steel fuses instead of the open stock ones, and Buss finally admitted they make no distinction between the two, stationg they are electrically the same..

    Yea, well, until it goes in an Italian car anyway...
     
  10. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    lol , welcome, ive used Painless Wiring for the muscle cars, seems they could make a oem correct harness for you if you needed. hell we make whole harnesses and replace whole wire runs in aircraft all day. nose to tail, thats a lot of wire man!!!!!!!
     
  11. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    Your fuse box lasted 27 years....seems most of the problems with 308 fuse boxes has been in the last decade (they're getting old...). I sure a new one should give you another 15-20 years of reliable service. Especially if Verell does his little "hop up" trick of soldering the rivets... :)
     
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  13. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2003
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    Andy
    I "second" Dave's suggestion. My fusebox had exactly the same problem - inoperative cooling fans. I labeled the wires, removed the fusebox, got out the soldering iron and in less than a half hour had all the rivets flowed nicely with solder. I have not had an electrical problem since (five years). If you don't know which end of the soldering iron to hold, no problem if you have a buddy who does electrical repair or work. It is relatively easy. (and if you are already thinking of buying a replacement, what would you have to lose by trying?)

    Andy
     
  14. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 28, 2003
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    Just when I thought I had the search feature all figured out!!!! I found a thread in the archives a few days ago that was great, pictures and all. Now I can't find the stupid thing. I think I sent a link home I'll look later.

    Bottom line is Napa has a fuse box that will work with some slight modification. As noted above you need to be sure to jumper several of the new fuses together.

    I just got the parts today and am into it so far for about $35. All I need now is some wire for the jumpers and some time to do it.

    I will find that thread and post a link here even if it kills me!!!
     
  15. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Ha Ha Ha I win again!!!!!

    Here is the post I was talking about. Some of the prices have gone up, the fuse blocks were something like $9.95 each now.

    Good luck and wish me luck as I hope to be trying this in a couple days!!!

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/discus/messages/112/307297.html

    John
     
  16. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
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    Thank you, that is the post I was looking for!

    Birdman
     
  17. Harta320

    Harta320 Karting

    Nov 6, 2003
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    Sarasota, FL
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    Bill Smith
    Hey Birdman,

    This was the first mod I did to my car. I tried soldering with no luck. I think that was mostly due to my crappy skills, so I just tossed the fuse blocks and made new ones with the Napa stuff. I think I spent 70 bucks. This mod fixed all kinds of stuff in my car that I did not know I even had. Easy mod, good luck!!

    Bill
     
  18. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    That's the thread. Two fuse blocks bought from napa online; one aluminum piece from lowes; and a bunch of little "step" blade connectors, available from pep boys, checkers, etc., which provide two male spade connections by fastening to the single male spade connection on the individual fuse "cells."

    A bunch of AGC (if I recall) fuses, rivets from sears (rivet gun), and you're golden. Make sure to take good digital photos before and after... And be liberal about writing on the plastic insulation that attaches the wires to the fusebox--I had a nice numbering system going (top/bottom; front/rear; then numbered 1 to n from left to right) w/ pencil, this helped tremendously.

    That's all you need! Seriously, this was all of $75 when it was all said and done. I learned how to rivet, and I have 100% confidence in the new fusebox. They will never, ever be an issue again, period.

    Nice pic reaper, reminds me of several nights spent in the garage. This was a fun project: cheap, not too many problems, an awesome upgrade, and it just worked. Reaper I want my car back! hehehe :) :) :)

    The 328 has all the fusebox issues fixed. Blade type fuses. At the same time, you can't get to any of the wiring, either! :)
     
  19. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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  20. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    Sep 3, 2002
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    It is nice to see that my old repair post is back from the dead. This was a fantastic repair that fixed tons of little problems on my car. Since the fuse block change there have been no electrical issues at all with my car and most of the accessories run with more gusto than before. One thing that has not been mentionned yet is that for the 'originality enthusiasts' the old fuseblocks can be swapped out in about 20 minutes with a grand total of 4 accessible (when can you say that about a Ferrari) screws. Good luck with the project.
     
  21. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    4,358
    NY
    I went the NAPA way but after I did it there is an easier way then what I did. The fuse block comes in a attached row of 12 fuses. You don't need to break them apart. just put 18 fuses on a 1" piece of aluim. and buy yourself some 1 to 2 push on connectors at Radio Shack. There are spade connectors that have 1 femail and 2 male terminals ( the 2 males are stacked 1 on top of the other). What I did was take a piece of solid copper wire(#12) and solder it to the male terminals on the fuse block. This is a buss bar that joins the adjacent fuses just like the OEM. Then replace all of the terminals and you are done. May be confusing but simple to do. Also if you look down at Radio Shack they have mini fuses holders that you can gang together and get the same affect.
     
  22. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
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    Yesterday I got the fuse blocks, the right size rivets, the aluminum to make the mounting bracket and all I need are some dual spade adapters. I'll probably solder the terminals in the "buss bar" configuration just to have fewer jumpers to deal with. The old fusebox is just a bad design, and I'm tired of dealing with it. This fixes the bad design of the old fusebox and also allows the car to use modern, readily available fuses. If I ever sell the car (unlikely) and the new owner wants the original crappy fusebox (unlikely) I can re-install the originals in 5 minutes.

    Just to clarify from above, I have soldered all the connections in the stock fusebox. The problems I'm having stem from the small contact area where the fuseholders grip the fuses. There is very little contact area because the ends of the fuses are conical and they fit into a small hole in the contact, so the contact with the fuse is just a tiny ring of metal where the holder touches the conical section of the fuse. Bad design! Even if you clean the contacts and bend the contacts in so they hold with more force, it only takes a few months for the connections to start getting flaky again. Then things randomly start running poorly or not at all as the small contact area oxidizes (copper contacts oxidize quickly). I see no reason to spend hundreds to replace the poor fusebox with another equally poor fusebox, even if it does come in a yellow box. About 90% of the electrical issues in 308s addressed on this board turn out to be the stupid fusebox. No more for me!

    FYI, I was going to order the fuseblocks from Napa's website, but just for the heck of it, I stopped in at my local Napa and asked about them. They looked in the computer and had the fuseblocks in the local warehouse. They put them on the daily delivery truck and I picked them up 3 hours later.

    This is such an easy mod, I'm surprised someone here hasn't gone into production on a replacement fusebox for these cars! (Verell, another unobtainium product?) Once you have all the parts in hand, these things can be assembled pretty quickly.

    Birdman
     
  23. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
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    BTW,
    I've never popped the fuse/relay cover when judging at a concours,
    so unless someone puts a bee in the judges ear, it'd most likely never get noticed. Even so, shouldn't be more than 1 point, most likely 1/2 point off.
     
  24. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    1,837
    Drop a note to Steve Rochlin.
    I did the fuse panel in his Euro 308QV. The car had intermitent electrical gremlins. I replaced the fuse panel and IT ALL WENT AWAY! I used a the same NAPA panel shown in the thread. I recommend this proceedure. I want that car back.
    J
     
  25. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Oct 19, 2002
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    Some good notes here.

    One more: Yes, you have to specifically identify the "jumpered" / bussbarred sections of the OEM fusebox and implement them on your own. For me, I used heavy-duty 10 or 12 gauge wire on the back spades of the top of the fuse box. In one case when I needed three connections, I did a careful solder of a third wire around an exposed section of the primary wire and used heat-shrink tubing when done. I found this to be a reasonable way to approach the problem.

    One thing I didn't do that I would suggest: photocopy the fuse section in the manual or fusebox decals themselves and put a copy there; my 78 308 didn't have the fuse identification on the back of the fusebox area cover panel.

    And seriously, let's all thank Tazio. He made it clear enough, and provided enough information, to where I felt confident in tackling the job. Extraordinary post on his part from way back when. Thanks, Tazio (Rob)!


    --Mike
     
  26. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
    10,189
    San Carlos, CA
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    Mitchell Le
    Napa Autoparts special orders these 10 (or 12) position fuse boxes. You need two nine-positions.

    You can cut and mount them onto an metal strip, or, you can just mount them as a strip onto the car just as they come. In the latter case, you need a little extra space.

    Napa does not sell the 1 to 2 spade connector ends, but Kragen does. You need to make up jumper wires for those end-to-end bussed connections.

    Take real good notes, and take pictures just to be sure. You cannot afford a miswiring.
     
  27. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    Sep 3, 2002
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    Mike,

    Thank you for the kind words but I have to thank Steven Rochlin for his input. He sent me the pictures of his install and when I went to do it myself I figured out the aluminum mounting to yeild a true plug & play retrofit that uses the OEM mountings. Once I finished I was so pleased with the results that I first thought of all the times the F-Chat guys saved me literally thousands in sharing their wisdom. You only get what you give so I put the instructional thread together. It is just so great to see other F-Car owners being able to do this and save so much money and hassle in the meantime.
     
  28. Meister

    Meister F1 Veteran
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    Apr 27, 2001
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    The Meister
    I did this last year and have been very happy. Tha only thing I can add is that I put rubber spacers bewteen the new aluminum back plate and the metal part of the dash it was mounted to. My thinking was that it would cut down on vibration. I also put anti-oxidation gel on all the contacts.
     

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