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JamesR

Your ideas on fuses and wiring

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I think both fuses and fusibles can be used and will do their job. I pointed out the 2 vehicles in the last post to show that you can make all the safety precautions you want sometimes they do not always protect the way we want them to protect. With the 71 Dodge we replaced the fusible with a fuse only because we were not sure what caused the fusible to burn and do to its close location to the plastic bulkhead connector we did not want to have to replace that a second time if we did not find the cause of the failure. It was good that we did it the way we did because it took a couple of fuses blowing before we found the faulty regulator. I generally do not recommend using universal wiring kits for the novice, I know they are usually less money, but you spend more labor time making it fit. They also require changing to negative ground, getting rid of the ammeter in favor of a voltmeter, glass fuse for blade and other items. They become cookie cutter. These cars and electrical items worked well for years and now our suppliers to make their life easier are telling us we need to change things do to safety or poor quality. It is the same situation when mechanics or friends tell people they must convert from 6v to 12v to get their vehicles electrical system to work properly.  Just because they do not know how to fix these older systems does not mean there aren't people out here that can. Just because the box auto parts store cant afford to stock the correct part does not mean that you should have to change. Find a source that does have the correct part.

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46 minutes ago, certjeff1 said:

Just because the box auto parts store cant afford to stock the correct part does not mean that you should have to change. Find a source that does have the correct part. 

This point can't be emphasized enough. Do the research and acquire the right stuff.

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18 hours ago, certjeff1 said:

Most recently we had a 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger that the fusible link from the starter relay to the fuse panel fried, but by the time in burned thru it damaged the bulkhead connector beyond reuse.

 

The melted bulkhead connector is a well-known problem that can happen even without the stuck regulator you experienced. The charging circuit can overheat due to localized heat from corrosion. That isn't the usual reason though. As built, Mopars of that period had 35 amp alternators, or 45 amp if the car was equipped with air conditioning.

 

A high percentage of "remanufactured" alternators of the 80s and 90s had 60 amp stators in them. The bulkhead connector cannot take that. It will melt. Factory 60 amp charging systems from Chrysler (optional, usually police) had separate heavier wiring through the firewall for the charging circuit. They did not run charging current through the bulkhead connector.

 

It is just another example of the wrong parts, as mentioned in your other post.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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3 hours ago, certjeff1 said:

. I generally do not recommend using universal wiring kits for the novice, I know they are usually less money, but you spend more labor time making it fit. 

  This is certainly true...and then some. I've gone very slowly for the sake of caution - only a couple of hours a day (though much "thinking time" beyond that) - so the project took me over two months. There's a video of Mike Finnegan of "Roadkill" rewiring his brother's old car in one night! He'd never done it before either, but he did use a Painless kit that I'm sure was designated for that make and model. (He's also pretty adept at such things.) I should say, however, that there were a couple of small side projects also included in that time - refurbishing the entire heating system and refurbishing the interior surface of the tailgate. It made sense to do them while I had access to the areas or components. 

 

The thinking time required is the big drawback to the universal kit. Somethings are straightforward, but trying to figure out things like how to interface the turn signal wiring to a kit that isn't specific to your car can be a challenge. But you learn a lot, too. Still, if I ever have to rewire a much more complicated car like my '65 Thunderbird, I will definitely use a model and option specific kit.

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YAY! I finally started and ran my car after completely rewiring it, and everything worked great. At this point, it looks like I did things like they were supposed to be done. Many thanks to those of you who gave advice help and education! Car running well, too - I was a little worried that the gas would be bad since I haven't started it in ten months, but it seemed to be fine. The temp gauge and fuel gauge got fried when the ign. switch shorted out last year, but I figured that would be the case before starting it up today. I've found a replacement temp gauge, but I think the fuel gauge will be harder. Any ideas about the fuel unit are appreciated.

 

Question: I've found out that I will be able to reuse my original light switch knob because Ron Francis was able to sell me a blank shaft (without a knob) that I can mount the original knob on (so YAY to that , too.) Problem is...the original knob is still attached to the original shaft, and I don't know of a way to get it off without damaging it. The original shaft won't work with the new unit.  Any ideas how to get the knob off the shaft without damage? Seems like it's epoxied on or something. It's on tight.

 

The link below approximates my original knob and shaft, though it isn't exactly the same. The knob is plastic, and while it's fairly sturdy for being so old, I'm worried about cracking it by using too much force. Can't find original looking'54 replacement knobs on ebay, but if you can tell where I can get any, I'd appreciate it.  Dennis Carpenter offers a wide selection but nothing for '54.

 

https://picclick.com/1955-1956-1957-Ford-Thunderbird-Headlight-Switch-Knob-391956997092.html#&gid=1&pid=2

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