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Reaching fuse panels?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mike51Merc, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Why is it that auto manufacturers, from the beginning of the industry to the present day, decide to bury the fuse panel in such places that are impossible to see and reach? Even today's aftermarket harnesses copy the idea of hiding the fuses.

    I've owned some (foreign) cars that had easily accessible trap doors to get to the fuses, but my American cars require the flexibility of a contortionist and the eyes of an eagle just to change (or even just check)a fuse. I can't say how much I hate crawling under there and how many times I "cricked" my neck under there. No wonder so many guys hate auto electrical work.

    I can only figure that they wanted the consumer to be left in the dark (excuse the pun). But seriously, wanted to stop people from messing with the fuses, either to leave it to the professionals, or to prevent home made disasters.
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,359

    squirrel
    Member

    Newer chevy trucks are pretty easy to get to. big one under the hood, facing up where you can see it. Smaller one on the end of the dash, accessed when you open the door and remove a snap in panel.

    The old volvo I've been working on has it right where it should be, under the hood, on the top front of the firewall next to the brake fluid reservoir, very easy to access. Of course, it needed to be replaced because of corrosion problems.

    I think the reason most of them are so hard to get to, is because they put the fuse panel where it should be, considering all the criteria EXCEPT ease of working on it.
     
  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Dodge trucks used to have an easy access fuse panel beside the glove compartment. Don't know why they changed it or why everyone makes them so hard to get at.

    Only reason, there is no profit in it. It is not a feature anyone looks for in a new car and it probably won't matter for years. And then only to the mechanic or service tech and since when did anyone care about him?
     
  4. tbill
    Joined: Oct 21, 2007
    Posts: 303

    tbill
    Member
    from central ny

    oh the horror! you have no idea......

    i work at a chevy dealer, some of these fuse boxes are crazy, and with the advent of the newer 'mini' plastic fuses, good luck, you almost need tweezers to get the fuse out, if you can even reach it.....provided you can actually see the damn thing.

    the cool part, now they hide fuse boxes all over the place.
     
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  5. So, I assume that when you wire your next car, you are putting it on the face of the dash so its easy to work on? :D
     
  6. The fuse box in my Chrysler 300 is in the trunk, under the floor in the spare tire well. It's easy to get to IF your trunk is empty and there are 100 fuses and no label. Very frustrating!


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    My daily driver has two fuse blocks, one conveniently located under the hood and another one not so conveniently mounted inside the trunk. You have to remove two nuts and a large panel drops down, then you have to get inside the trunk and lay upside down to get at it. :(

    On my 27 I made a flip down panel under the passenger side of the dash with the fuse block mounted to it. If I need to change a fuse I pull it down and they are staring right at you.

    Don
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,359

    squirrel
    Member

    Usually the fuse panel is where the wires are. So...if you are gonna work on the wiring, it's gonna be a pain too.
     
  9. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,062

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    so, just a rant or are you looking for ideas on where/how to make access easier?
     
  10. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621

    deto
    Member

    The bottom of my front seat lifts out of the seat frame. Mounted my fuse panel underneath my front seat for easy access.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  11. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,232

    The37Kid
    Member

    In an ideal Roadster with NO EXTRA electrical crap just how many fuses should there be? What do they use in a NASCAR or SCCA race car for fuse panels? Bob
     
  12. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

     
  13. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Imagine if they were easily accessible from the driving compartment and you left a kid with add in the thing.
     
  14. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,752

    62rebel
    Member

    my '51 has one fuse in the factory block with two circuit breakers, one fuse inline to the clock.... i'm redoing the dash my own way and re-using as much out of the '51 as possible, except replacing all the wire and adding a fuse panel that i plan on putting dead center of the dash where the radio would have been, facing down. i could PROBABLY get by with the same setup the factory put in, as i don't intend adding ANY power stuff, and am actually removing some equipment as i go....

    i might even make it a hinged panel that i can release a clip on and it will swing down facing the front seat.

    that's ONE detail i liked about working on old British stuff... Jags had their dash wiring accessible behind removable dash panels!
     
  15. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,832

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Pretty much a rant, and an open question as to WHY anyone would design things this way. As an example, my 63 Falcon has the fuses integrated into the headlight switch---- wouldn't be so bad if they faced downward, except they face in sideways towards the driver's door where nobody with an adult sized head can see them to check or replace them. The bottom line is you have to remove the headlight switch to check a fuse.

    On my 51 Merc, the tiny fuse/breaker panel is buried under the dash and nearly impossible to access under any circumstances.

    On my 95 Merc Marquis, they're way under the dash and you have to remove a panel to even see the panel and the fuse markers are impossible to read.

    On my Audi, there's a removeable panel on the driver's side dash in the door jamb. Pop the panel and the fuses are staring you in the face. Brilliant.
     
  16. The Mythbusters had a show a couple years ago about glass automotive fuses.
    It seems as though a guy replaced a glass fuse under his dash with a .22 long rifle round.
    There was a short in whatever circuit the fuse blew on,& after a few minutes with the 22 round in there,it got hot and went off...(dont remember if it got him or his passeger in the leg or not,,lol)
    They tested it a few times by purposley shorting something, & it wasn't a myth.
     
  17. Try finding the fuses in a 50's Mopar.
     
  18. i have an early '90's dodge truck the fuse panel drops down and can be tilted up to look directly at the fuses. they left enough wire to pull it out from under the dash. i think this is a good way to do it.
     
  19. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,339

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    If you ever take a good look at pictures from the 50's and 60's you will see very few folks of the "rotund persuasion" so it wasn't hard to get at things in the less cramped 50's and 60's and 70's cars of the era.Now cars are more compact but people are not.Rebel Wire just came out with a trunk mounted wiring harness as of late.
     
  20. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,707

    Weasel
    Member

    Detachable Fuse Panel From Ron Francis

    <small>May 14th, 2010 </small> [​IMG]If you&#8217;re thinking of changing your wiring system, hold everything. Ron Francis started 2009 with a brand-new, magnetic-mounted fuse panel you can pull free and bring out into the open where you can see it&#8212;even with the car running.
    The pull-out fuse panel is the centerpiece of a brand-new harness package called the ACCESS 24/7, a high-capacity system that can handle 24 fuses and seven relays. The panel itself mounts to a magnetic base, with an extendable wire bundle that hides behind a feed hole to keep the slack wire out of sight. When you pop the panel off its base, 1 1/2 feet of slack lets you bring it out into plain sight so that you see what you&#8217;re doing.
    All of the wires in the ACCESS 24/7 are factory pre-installed, and any additional wires are connected via supplied connectors that enable you to plug them right in. Just tell them what kind of car you have and which accessories, and they&#8217;ll do the rest.
    For more information, contact Ron Francis Wiring toll-free at 800.292.1940 or visit them on the Web at www.ronfrancis.com.
     
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,359

    squirrel
    Member

    That inspires confidence
     
  22. dt50chev
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 596

    dt50chev
    Member

    Rebel Wire has harnesses with rear mount fuse panels. Plenty of extra wire to mount the fuse panel behind the seats, in the trunk or in a center console if you desire. Makes access to the fuse panel easy and gives you lots of flexibility in mounting options.
     
  23. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,752

    62rebel
    Member

    real fancy.... looks real impressive at first glance, but pricey. i think HAMB minds could duplicate the result without dumping a paycheck into it.
     
  24. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,707

    Weasel
    Member

    Yes detachable fuse panel solution - it's called Velcro....
     
  25. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,310

    Model T1
    Member

    As I have mentioned a zillion times, we've used a lot of E-Z-WIRE kits we've gotten from Florida vendors at shows. Under $200 and can be installed in a weekend. Actually much of the time is getting all the old crap out. We put the fuse panels on or near the driver side kick panel using velcro. So easy my kid does it.
    We've seen others bitch and moan about where their factory fuse panels were, and stick the new one in the same place! Do'oh!

    I do not get a discount on those kits. In fact I didn't even get a discount on a gauge kit when I had to buy another oil pressure sending unit. That pissed me off!
    Same company, different brother, It's-a-snap and their gauges are not what I'd recommend. Nuff said. May have changed owners , locations, or quality by now. Rumor is theses formerly made in Bunnell, Florida companies are now made in China.............. Would they? Bunnell is just north of Daytona.
     
  26. Been thinking that the best place to do this in my 57 Ford will be under the in-dash speaker grille. Build some hinges similar to the glove box. Use a pair of speaker cabinet magnetic latches, the kind that you push on and they pop out half inch or so. Put some dark felt under the screen so that the panel is not noticeable. Will have to wait to see if there is room once I move the windshield wiper motor inboard.
     
  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,359

    squirrel
    Member

    If you wire the car properly, you don't need to get to the fuse box very often.
     
  28. fordor41
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 917

    fordor41
    Member

    Use a fuse panel out of a 90's Ford taurus/sable. They are hinged. Pull the lever and they drop down from under the dash. Fuses, flasher on the panel. extra fuses and fuse puller mounted inside the cover. have a ton of fuses and ratings plus they can be seperated by hot with the ign. on or hot all the time. I got mine from a junk yard for $5
     

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