Birdman Fuse Blocks -- Great, easy upgrade

Discussion in '308/328' started by uberlink, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. uberlink

    uberlink Formula Junior

    Apr 23, 2012
    760
    Twin Cities, MN
    Full Name:
    Mark Johnson
    #1 uberlink, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
    Just installed Birdman's replacement fuse blocks in my 1980 F 308 GTSi. It was slightly daunting when I first opened it up, but once I got my nerve up, all went well.

    A few observations:

    Once I got past my nervousness about frying something, the hardest part was just finding a good Sharpie to mark the wires. A quick trip to Target, and I was in business. About 30 minutes later, the job is done and all is well.

    I substituted 10amp fuses for 8amp and 15amp for 16amp, as I was not able to easily find direct replacement fuses of the modern variety. Birdman suggested 15amp for 16, but he didn't say anything in his instructions about the 8amp fuses. A little searching here on FChat suggested that would work okay.

    After the job was done, I reconnected the battery and tested everything electrical. The interior light is brighter. The windows go up faster. The wipers work better. The a/c fan blows much, much harder. In short, everything seems to have been slightly starved for power before. Now it's all running as it should have been -- but perhaps never was before.

    Some spots on the old block had gotten fried over time with prior owners. They had been bypassed. I left them out of the block for now, for fear that I wouldn't get it quite right when rewriting it. Next time she's in with someone who knows what they're doing, maybe I'll get those looped back into the system.

    I think I'll make a nice xerox of the fuse box covers, laminate them, and tape those inside the leather panel that covers the fuses. I'll hang onto the old blocks and covers for the next owner, but I really can't imagine anyone ever putting them back in. The OEM parts are just inferior.

    Thanks, Birdman! Great product!!!
     
  2. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
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    Jun 20, 2003
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    Thanks Mark. The OEM fuseblocks do suck!
     
  3. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
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    Jun 25, 2006
    14,155
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    PDG
    I need to do this upgrade sometime soon as well....hope you dont plan to stop making them anytime soon.




    PDG
     
  4. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
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    Jun 20, 2003
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    Patrick, they are made to order. When someone orders, I make them. Sometimes turn around can be a week or two, but eventually they get shipped! ;) If I'm on road for work, it can be a little longer. I endeavor to not keep people waiting too long. But as I am not a real company and I don't really have to keep them "in stock" I can't see any reason to stop making them if there continues to be the occasional order.

    Jonathan
     
  5. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
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    Jun 25, 2006
    14,155
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    PDG
    I plan to get one for my QV, but I just have too many irons in the fire and have overspent what my wife has allowed me on Ferrari stuff to this point. Aside from that I will be gone for an extended time in the very near future. Maybe when I get back from that I hope I will have some time and cash to get one so it wont sit around my house and get lost in the meantime.



    PDG
     
  6. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    Scott
    I bought one and the shop is going to install it during my car's current visit.
     
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  8. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2004
    5,088
    I have a set for a QV that I didn't use. Comple kit, never touched. If interested let me know (PM). John said I could return them but since I bought them I figured I'd keep them.
     
  9. uberlink

    uberlink Formula Junior

    Apr 23, 2012
    760
    Twin Cities, MN
    Full Name:
    Mark Johnson
    It is ridiculously easy. Don't let time stop you!
     
  10. Matto

    Matto Formula 3

    Dec 26, 2011
    2,051
    Mooresville, NC USA
    Full Name:
    Matthew
    Birdman's fuse blocks are fantastic. Proven every day in my '85.
     
  11. Patton

    Patton Karting

    Feb 22, 2012
    74
    Greenville SC
    Full Name:
    Robbie
    Put mine in this past Saturday. Took about an hour. I was probably a little over cautious labeling the wires but all went very well.
    Did have to bend the prongs on the fuse block down just a bit because they were bowing the cover out. Not a big deal though. 1985 gts.
     
  12. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    Norwood Perf installed Birdman fuseblocks while the 308 was in for assorted items, got it back on July 29.

    My primary reason for going ahead with the Birdman was one of safety. I'd lost turn signals and brake lights in traffic and the culprit was poor fuse contact, remedied on the spot by taking out the offending fuses and polishing the copper ends.

    I've noticed some differences with the new fuseblocks.

    The power windows do operate smoother and seemingly faster, as does the electric side mirror adjustment. I need to time the window operation and compare with my "before" times.

    The car has always started right up and no tangible improvement there, but the fast idle now works consistently where before it had a mind of its own.

    Everything else functions crisply, headlight pods seem to raise faster.

    On the first time I restarted it after bringing it home, my wife told me the exhaust sounded different from in the house...a deeper rumble.

    Noticeable improvements or not, I feel much more at ease knowing that the turn signals, brake lights, and other critical components are now far less likely to fail on account of poor fuse contact.

    Got four new Dunlops as well and the car feels noticeably different and better on the road.

    Along with the newly repaired/repainted front decklid - paid for by insurance - I'm a happy man. :)
     
  13. John M

    John M Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 18, 2004
    783
    Kentucky
    Guys,

    Do the original covers fit back on these new fuse boxes, or do they come with their own covers, or neither....they are exposed?
     
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  15. Hotzos

    Hotzos Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 19, 2004
    1,003
    Parker, Colorado
    The original covers do not fit and the new fusebox does not come with a cover. It is all hidden anyway.
     
  16. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
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    Jun 20, 2003
    6,682
    North shore, MA
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    Guys, thanks so much for the kind words. I won't be happy until every 308 ever made is rid of those horrendous piece of crap OEM fuseblocks! At least half the fuseblock sets I sell are due to melted contacts on the fans or fuel pump circuit.

    LOL! That's the first time I ever heard that one. They are good but not that good! (I wish I could tell people they get 10 HP from the fuseblocks!! LOL!) But your wife is awesome! She was just making sure you felt like you got your money's worth! Now the next guy is going to tell me he needs his money back because his car doesn't sound any better!!! ;)

    I get this question a lot.

    The OEM fuseblocks have covers on them because those weird European-style fuses have an exposed fusible link that throws molten metal when it pops. They literally go "pop" and shoot a little bit of hot fuse material. Without the cover, that could start a fire. (It's a long shot, but it could theoretically happen.) The Birdman fuseblocks use AGC fuses which have the fusible link inside a glass tube to contain the mess. So the cover is entirely unnecessary.

    That being said, if there were an easy way to make my fuseblocks hold the old covers, I would do it just to satisfy people's aesthetics. Also, they have the fuse ratings on them so it's easier to replace a bad fuse. Alas, short of having an entire fuseblock custom molded in large quantity, I can't come up with an easy way to attach them. I just don't sell enough to make them in the volume required for a custom mold. On the other hand, you can't see them anyway once the dash is closed up.

    My advice is to keep the covers with the original fuseblocks so you have the original parts in their entirely stashed away.

    Birdman
     
  17. Tostapchuk

    Tostapchuk Formula Junior

    Aug 19, 2004
    278
    Connecticut
    Full Name:
    TJO
    The Birdman Fusebox was the second upgrade I did... Right after the fuel hoses. Excellent product!
     
  18. malh001

    malh001 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2007
    35
    Fitted mine in less than an hour. Excellent product and worth every penny.
     
  19. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    True story, I swear.

    Mrs. likes the perceived better sound, but is most happy about the improved safety aspect the new blocks provide.
     
  20. ltshaneclarke

    ltshaneclarke Rookie

    Dec 22, 2011
    26
    Fort Collins, CO
    Full Name:
    Shane Clarke
    I just put my fuse blocks in my 308 and my cars electricals are resurrected!

    My headlights weren't going up before, my dash lights were dim, etc. etc. After putting the kit in I saw my lights pop up for the first time! My dash lights are bright, everything is better!

    Thank you Birdman!

    Very respectfully,
    Shane Clarke
    CPT, US Army
    '81 308 GTSi
     
  21. newark_308

    newark_308 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2004
    107
    Newark DE
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    Glenn Frenck
    I just ordered the Birdman fuse block and set about to get the fuses.When I went to get the 15amp agc fuses they come in 2 styles, 32v and 125/250v, which is correct? Any hints are appreciated.
     
  22. Crowndog

    Crowndog F1 Veteran
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    Jul 16, 2011
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    Robert (Scrounger)
    I wouldn't have considered my resto-mod project without them. Noticed as others have claimed immediate gremlin extermination. If you own a 308 you need these PERIOD. Thank you again Birdman.
     
  23. Argento839

    Argento839 F1 Veteran
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    Oct 21, 2005
    8,601
    Texas
    If you haven't made this upgrade yet, what are you waiting for?
     
  24. Big red

    Big red F1 World Champ
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    Dec 10, 2003
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    Clark Kent
    My 76 still has the Ferrari OEM box and I have owned the car since 2007, nothing wrong with the original box for me yet. I also know a few gt/4 owners with their oem box with no issue. Not sure what all the hype is?
     
  25. Crowndog

    Crowndog F1 Veteran
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    Count your blessings. Glad to hear that some cars made it through the years unscathed by burned up fuse blocks.
     
  26. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
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    #24 JCR, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    These fuses and their holders are junk and always have been. Inferior to the AGC and newer Blade types.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  27. Big red

    Big red F1 World Champ
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    Of the cars I know with the oem boxes, many of us don't understand how they are junk when windows go up and down quickly, fans come on and off,and no burnt fuses.

    Assuming that these birdman boxes are better, did anyone go direct to an oem box when they had an issue to compare correctly. Could it be that the original box being replaced is just so old that anything would work better than what is older at the end of its life span? I'm assuming in 25yrs, 27 yrs even the birdman box would need to be replaced then ?

    Junk is a relative term I suppose.
     

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