Birdman Fuse Blocks -- Great, easy upgrade

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

  1. AHudson

    AHudson F1 Rookie

    Jul 7, 2005
    2,642
    Alabama
    Full Name:
    A Hudson
    Sam, always like reading your posts, and have huge respect for your products.

    Having dabbled in building 'upgrades' (a term of convenience), your/our goals are generally not financial, or to fill up empty time, or to 'see if we can screw something up', but indeed to use present-day methods to correct, update, improve.

    If not for this, none of us would upgrade tires. Or use iridium plugs. Or high torque starters. Or more impervious hoses. Or better fuseblocks.

    A staunch preservationist may certainly insist that OEM is 'better' in all regards simply because of the "O" in that appellation, but 'better' to those intent on improving function choose otherwise.

    As a result,

    My Pantera doesn't overheat. And it handles as good as anything with 20 years of its age. My 328 doesn't flood the cockpit with heat, is less noisy than its OEM counterpart, and outhandles the NCT-equipped tires of its youth. My E-type runs cooler, starts better, stops faster, and is more reliable because 50 years of smart people have enthusiastically addressed its period-correct shortcomings. My 911 has air conditioning that works better, eats less power, and is less drip-prone than the one blessed by Ferry in 1985.

    No one at Ferrari (Porsche, Ford, et al) was "wrong" when they made their best efforts for the showrooms. It's just that modernity has "righted" what would've taken a time-machine to have done in the first place.

    Long live the improvers. Thanks Sam.
     
  2. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 8, 2004
    2,606
    Edmonton, AB Canada
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    Sam Saprunoff
    Good day Adams,

    Thank you for your kind words, they are most appreciated!

    BTW, you and your prose/wit are missed over in the Boxer Section :)

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  3. keysmatt

    keysmatt Karting

    Oct 31, 2014
    78
    Key Largo, FL
    Full Name:
    Matt Anderson
    I just replaced the original fuse blocks (in my 81 GTSi) with the Birdman kit. Here are the results:

    Installation time (including trip to Autozone for some 7.5 and 15 Amp fuses): 2 hours.
    Left window down (before/after): 4.4 / 3.1 sec
    Left window up (before/after): 6.3 / 4.1 sec
    Right window down (before/after): 8.5 / 5.8 sec
    Right window up (before/after): unable/ 11.5 sec

    Headlights went up/down faster, and had a brighter beam. I didn't measure these, but it was obvious. No change in the way the engine ran, but no change was expected.

    So based on my impartial observations, I believe that the electrical system is operating more efficiently with the Birdman fuse blocks versus the original blocks.
     
  4. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    20,601
    I Expect you to do this exact same test and result numbers in 34yrs with the birdman boxes again to see the numbers :)
     
  5. Crowndog

    Crowndog F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 16, 2011
    6,403
    Hagerstown, Md
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    Robert (Scrounger)

    Thank you for the verification. Suspected this would be the outcome but it's nice to see an experiment verify it.
     
  6. 76Steel

    76Steel Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2007
    1,273
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Mike
    I replaced mine and made a nice difference. Windows are quicker and it might be me, but the car seems to run better. I saw no melting of my OEM fuseboxes like some others did, but there was one spot that might have been just that.

    I just decided to try and followed Birdman's directions. Great satisfaction that I did it myself. Now, I can tell others that I replaced fuseboxes on my vintage Ferrari and sound like I know what I'm doing, lol ... which is still very debatable!

    I'd definitely recommend it. It seems easy enough to return to stock if someone wants to later.
     
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  8. aero281

    aero281 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2014
    1
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Ian De Barros
    Birdman, I've heard great things about your fuse boxes! I need to order one for my '78 308 GTS! Please let me know how to go about ordering one! Cheers and happy motoring!
     
  9. URAS

    URAS Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2014
    955
    Canada
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    vince
    Installing with aftermarket is either compensating for the symptoms and not treating the cause, or it was just plain and simple time to replace the OEM panel. Everything wears out and a new mousetrap is not necessarily a better mousetrap, when an OEM mousetrap would have lasted another 30 years. No disrespect to any after market system.
     
  10. URAS

    URAS Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2014
    955
    Canada
    Full Name:
    vince
    And for Matt- if it takes 11+ seconds now to put up the window when u could not do it before, is there something else wrong! Don't you think at this rate of 11+ seconds more heat is building up in the wires so that something else goes - is that not why the panel was first fired - it did what it was supposed to - and now u have overridden the safety switch!
     
  11. dflett

    dflett Formula 3
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    Jun 24, 2005
    1,336
    NY
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    David
    #60 dflett, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

    In this case the OEM fuse box design is demonstrably poor for conducting electricity. Rivets are for making mechanical joints not electrical ones. This is a case of a better mouse trap and not just a different one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. RBV24961

    RBV24961 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    May 23, 2006
    283
    Rye, New York
    So easy to install as well!
     
  13. NoGoSlow

    NoGoSlow Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 29, 2014
    501
    Republic of Texas
    Full Name:
    Mark Jacks
    The OEM connectors on a GT4 fuseblock are flat, and they are installed behind the opening in the glovebox wall. The awesome Birdman block spades (connectors) are angled up about 30°.

    I have installed one of the Birdman blocks but the angled connectors make it difficult to tuck back in behind the glovebox opening. Has anyone tried to bend the connectors flat? I don't want to crack the metal if it's brittle.
     
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  15. NoGoSlow

    NoGoSlow Formula Junior
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    Jul 29, 2014
    501
    Republic of Texas
    Full Name:
    Mark Jacks
    Buehler? Buehler? Buehler?
     
  16. stonker

    stonker Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2012
    327
    Surrey UK
    Full Name:
    Stonker
    Received my Birdman fuseblocks a couple of days ago. Thanks Jonathan. Hopefully will fit them over the weekend and will report on how the installation went and what improvements I notice. If anybody in the UK needs the glass fuses to fit these fuse blocks Maplin sell them. Quick blow 8 and 15 amp 32 x 6.5 mm.
     
  17. stonker

    stonker Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2012
    327
    Surrey UK
    Full Name:
    Stonker
    #65 stonker, Feb 21, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I was a bit skeptical about all the claims of faster windows & brighter lights etc UNTIL I fitted Birdman's fuse block myself. Guess what? Yep the windows are faster and the lights particularly the dash ones are brighter. My original fuseblocks were not melted or corroded which made me feel my car has probably led a pretty pampered life so far but still the Birdman blocks made a difference.

    It's a bit scary once you've labelled all the leads and then disconnect them but all went well and it didn't take long maybe an hour or so. The jumpers are a bit fiddly and some of the connectors need persuading to go on but all in all a very worthwhile upgrade. Fuse are a solid, tight fit btw which inspires confidence in the connections.

    I'd advise taking pics before and during so you can go back and check connections if you're not sure about your labeling.

    I've attached a few of pictures of before, during and after in case they help anybody else thinking of upgrading.

    Thanks to Jonathan for his help and advice.
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