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What is going on with my fuse/relay panel?

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by decampos, Oct 11, 2021 at 2:11 PM.

  1. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    I thought I would reach out to experts in trying to reconstruct the W connector on my '88 Mondial's fuse panel. As you can see, a grievous crime has been committed here.

    As far as I can tell, at some point in my car's past, it suffered the usual infamous W connector burn up, but the weird hacking of wires and those terminals has me scratching my head. I'm guessing some of this is remnants of an alarm/immobilizer? The application of this black substance (some kink of shielding paste perhaps?) is truly horrific.

    Can anyone shed light on this abomination?
    Thanks

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  3. stasha

    stasha Karting

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    I can only respond to the black substance -- I would guess that someone used rubberized black paint (the kind you can use to coat the handles of pliers, etc. -- or maybe even black Leak Seal that is advertised on TV recently -- to act as an insulator between terminals that likely were melted through due to the heat.
     
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  4. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Yes, that's what I thought. Drunkenly applied Plasti Dip or similar. At first I thought it was some kind of dielectric grease.
     
  5. greatscott73

    greatscott73 Formula Junior

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    They make a black liquid for electrical insulating where tape wont work, but it generally isn't put on with a trowel. What a mess. I know the metal clips are on back order apparently, but maybe its a good idea to talk to guido about his fuse box replacement. It uses readily available spade connectors, but is a bit more labor intensive to install.
     
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  6. theunissenguido

    theunissenguido Formula 3
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    Ouch, those pictures hurt my eyes...unbelievable what people do. Time to change that board I think....
     
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  8. ronfrohock

    ronfrohock F1 Rookie
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  9. mike32

    mike32 F1 Rookie

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    You just have to hope that who ever did that does not work at the local power station
     
  10. stekkefun4

    stekkefun4 Formula 3
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    ouch - the horror !!!
     
  11. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
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    Is it working ok?
     
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  13. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #10 Steve Magnusson, Oct 12, 2021 at 11:35 AM
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    Most likely just the usual high current circuits burning up their terminals from (I^2)*R heating (even at very low R because the I is large):

    2nd down = brake lights and sunroof (incandescent brake lights use a surprising amount of current like ~8A and is enough to burn the terminal on its own, but if the sunroof was operated with the brake pedal pressed = probably near 12~15A)
    7th down = CIS fuel pump (9~10A)
    8th down = HVAC system (this is typically the highest current circuit, not just steady-state, but has a long, huge inrush current as it takes a while for the blower to get up to speed)

    That does belong in the Hall of Shame for Hackery ;)
     
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  14. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks for asking Moysiuan. The voltage is a little low when the car is running. The battery is brand new and the alternator has just been rebuilt, so I'm curious as to whether the state of this wiring is part of the problem.
     
  15. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks for that info, Steve. That's very helpful. The sunroof is currently inoperable, I haven't explored the issue yet, though the brake lights are fine (though a have replaced the brake light switch).

    The three wires that have those crimped on terminals (2nd, 7th and 8th), do you know why they each have several wires before consolidating to a single wire?


     
  16. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Consolidating those multiple wire to a single wire before reaching the w connector is something that the Repairer did. In the stock arrangement, those multiple wire are joined (swagged) together in the connection barrel of the (single) female terminal of the w connector. It's a way to do some wire "branching" while minimizing the number of connections:

    2nd down: one wire goes to the hazard switch (which also runs the turn signals); the other wire goes to the brake light switch and the sunroof switch

    7th down: the large P wire goes to the fuel pump; the smaller P wire goes to run the AAV heater and WUR heater

    8th down: the large MN wire goes to the blower motor; the smaller MN wire runs other (less current hungry) components of the HVAC system (fan speed ECU, hot water valve, aux. hot water pump)
     
  17. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks Steve. It's sometimes hard for a lay person to parse those wiring diagrams, I appreciate the info.
    I'm having an issue of the car's voltage runner lower than I'm comfortable with. Do you think this appalling hack work might be at least part of the problem? My battery is new and the alternator has just been rebuilt.

     
  18. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Are you saying that the voltage measured between the battery terminals is low when the engine is running? If so, what are the numbers vs RPM?

    Maybe, the two red wires in the 5 & 6 positions down in the w connector need to have a good connection to the fuse-relay panel as do the large red cables at the upper LH corner bringing +12V from the battery to the fuse-relay panel (wouldn't hurt to unplug, inspect, replug that connector). With the goop on there I don't know if this is possible, but an interesting measurement would be the voltage between the red wires in the w connector and the positive battery terminal with everything plugged in and the engine running = should be 0V DC.
     
  19. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks for your reply, Steve. Starting from cold, with the car car idling, the voltage between the battery terminals is around 12.2. With the headlights, radio and a/c running, it's about 11.5 at 3000RPM (or so).

     
  20. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes, that's way not good, and is like the alternator is not working at all. Any chance that the wrong style alternator was installed? There are two types of alternators:

    2 wires connected -- just the big +12V cable on the threaded post going to the battery cable at the starter solenoid and one small wire (usually on a spade connector) going to the alternator warning light

    3 wires connected -- the big +12V cable on the threaded post going to the battery cable at the starter solenoid, a small wire (usually on a spade connector) going to the alternator warning light, and another +12V small wire (also usually on a spade connector).

    Your model should have the "2 wires connected" style alternator (so just the big stud and one spade connector). Does that match what you have, or does your alternator have places for two small wires to be connected?

    If you've got the right style alternator (and it test OK at the auto parts store) only other thing I can think of is that the large cable going between the battery cable at the starter solenoid to the alternator is not connected or bad -- have you measured the voltage from the big stud on the alternator where this cable connects to ground to confirm it is +12V?
     
  21. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks again, Steve. I'm not 100 per cent sure the alternator is correct or original for my car, but the shop that just rebuilt it is very reputable. Here's a photograph before the rebuild (note the black gunk on the nut, a running theme with my car).

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  22. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes, that looks like the correct 2 wire style (so can't add any more to what I posted previously).
     
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  23. milko1969

    milko1969 Formula Junior

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    I would be scared for fire when the wires are open like this, you can see the copper!!!!
     
  24. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    I just checked, it's the same reading as the battery.

    So this is interesting. I've starting to clean and repair the fuse panel, and voltage is already better. Now it's reading at around 13.45V idling and around 13.65 at 3000 RPMs (without any accessories running). Still low, but promising.
     
  25. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
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    If your battery was/is significantly discharged, this can reduce the amount of voltage that the alternator needs to put out to deliver the max rated current. I wouldn't be too worried about those values until you know the battery is fully charged -- and they aren't even that terrible now ;)
     
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  26. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
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    It certainly looks gnarly and would be nice to restore for sure. But they are just wires and if they are connecting securly to the fuse board despite the broken white connectors, then if it works it works. Not obvious to me what connectors are actually used at each wires end that affix to the fuse board pins, the factory connectors need the white block to keep them connected, they would slip off on their own. The joke here is that as bad as it looks the connections to the fuse box may be more secure than the factory connectors!

    Keeping with the don't mess with it if it works theme, I would just put electrial tape and or more liquid electircal tape goop to ensure you don't have wire exposed that can cause a accidental short, and then plan for a more professional fix when you are up for it. Would need to chop the old wires, splice in new ones with factory type connectors and get a new white plastic block, and assuming the board itself is ok and not delaminating or heat damaged that would look much nicer.

    The part number for the factory connectors is 12278744, Ricambi has them. GT Cars parts has them to as well as "new" 3 d printed plastic connector blocks.
     
  27. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior
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    Thanks moysiuan. I do have one of those GTCP replacement connectors. I bought it when I thought this would be a simpler job. GTCP are sold out of those little terminal pins (12278744) and Ricambi have a few left but told me they have zero interest in seeking more. But that's cool as I've since decided to use beefier terminals than OE, and that's how I'm repairing the previous owner's handywork.
     
  28. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
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    If I may ask, what beefier terminals have you found? Will they fit in the stock connector block?
     

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