The Infamous Series 2 Fusebox

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#21
Given that my memory is sometimes unreliable these days, I thought it prudent to sketch up the connections :) :




And this is what it looks like now I've extracted and tagged all the connectors:



Got the fusebox and bits on order from VWP. I've gone for a 12-way side-entry box (which should just fit in, rather than 2 x 6-way as horizontal space is limited. I'll have to space it away from the bulkhead to allow the power feeds to pass under and connect onto the odd-numbered lower terminals. The P6 fusebox, whilst unreliable, is quite a compact unit in LxWxH, the 4 links being internal via brass strips.

You can see from the first pic how many of the connections are doubled- or even tripled-up. Only 8 of the 24 terminals on the new fusebox will have a single female spade onto them, the rest will also have at least 1 piggyback...a total of 43 connections as I'll have to make up separate link leads as well.

Wish me luck! :D
 
#22
From many years experience with these type of fuse holders I would say, yes, squeezing the contacts helps to maintain contact. But......
Defeat the Prince of Darkness and get rid of that old box if peace of mind is something you would like while driving.
 
#23
Dear All,

Have been following this tread with interest as I have heard very bad things about these fuse boxes and after spending years restoring my 3500 auto I do want it going up in smoke due to me turning my lights on.
It appears the only way to fix the problem for good is a modern box. However, I have seen in the P6 Rover Owners Club classified ads 'fuse support spring clips'. Does anyone know what these are although the description seems to suggest that it could be the answer to our prayers. If they have been used are they effective and how do they work?
Lots of questions I know but I am not looking forward to dealing with several dozen very short wires in a space as big as a shoe box having to stand on my head.

Regards

Alan
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#24
MUNKSJOE said:
Dear All,

Have been following this tread with interest as I have heard very bad things about these fuse boxes and after spending years restoring my 3500 auto I do want it going up in smoke due to me turning my lights on.
It appears the only way to fix the problem for good is a modern box. However, I have seen in the P6 Rover Owners Club classified ads 'fuse support spring clips'. Does anyone know what these are although the description seems to suggest that it could be the answer to our prayers. If they have been used are they effective and how do they work?
Lots of questions I know but I am not looking forward to dealing with several dozen very short wires in a space as big as a shoe box having to stand on my head.

Regards

Alan
Hi Alan,

The P6, without question as we all know, is a wonderful car and Rover are constantly to be applauded for their innovative design and solid engineering.

However, I've come to the conclusion that, either through bad advice from Lucas or others at the time, this Series II fusebox is fatally flawed. Harvey has mentioned that, even when the Series II was newish, fusebox replacements were listed by Rover as available. It's not just the proliferation of 30mm v 32mm fuses, but the actual fusebox material is questionable together with the propensity for the fuse clip tension to weaken over time and the quality of the original terminal crimps.

I agree with your comment that the best way to fix the problem for good is to upgrade to modern solution. Not at all good for the blood pressure and heart rate when you're driving to the accompaniment of smoke puthering from the passenger shin bin...and probably even worse when there's no smoke, but wondering whether there will be soon! :shock: IMHO I'd discount the "fuse support spring clips" as akin to the extra O-ring they designed into the Challenger Space Shuttle.

Anyway, these are all my humble thoughts. Parts have arrived from VWP - in 2 batches, but more of that anon - and in between decorating the lounge chez my good lady and helping my mate move furniture from his place in Glossop...I hope to be posting pics of my progress in the next week or so.

Stan
 
#25
Hi Stan,

Thanks for your reply. I had already made my mind up that the fuse box had to be changed but was clinging to hope that someone was going to come up with a miracle cure that just slotted in, but as we know its usually not as simple as that.
I will be following your excellent tread to see how you get on so please keep us informed and as many pictures as possible please as I will be following your every move when I get round to doing it.

Again thank you for your help and kind regards

Alan
 

harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#27
I don't like those porcelain fuses. (And it's not just because it says "Continental"....)

I've seen that type with glass fuses, but TBH if I was doing it I think I'd go for blade fuses anyway.
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#28
rp61973 said:
Found this link on line with a 12 way fusebox.

Screw in terminals, so could be far easier to install?

http://www.thetoolboxshop.com/0-234-12- ... wwodek8A2Q
Thanks Paul.

Yes, I've seen those continental-type boxes but, again, they're relying on an end-grip on the fuse.

Screw terminals may get rid of the need to make new crimps, but I don't think you can beat good old 1/4" Lucars for connection. Plus, without prior sight/knowledge, it's hard to say whether the terminals would accommodate up to 3 cables..some of which are around 5 sq. mm.

And, also, I'm convinced blade fuses are the reliable way forward.

Cheers,
 
#29
On reflection, I agree with both Harvey and Stan. A good 12 way fuseboard with blades is the way to go.

Not sure about the Lucar piggybacks, Stan. To me these always seem to be a bit fragile. Pity you aren't near my neck of the woods as I have the VWP hexagonal bullet crimper - a tool worth its weight in gold. On the fused side, you could make up some separate link leads where you have more than one feed off a fuse and connect these with bullets and the black rubber covered receptacles - would also maintain a bit of originality (to the untrained eye).
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#30
rp61973 said:
On reflection, I agree with both Harvey and Stan. A good 12 way fuseboard with blades is the way to go.

Not sure about the Lucar piggybacks, Stan. To me these always seem to be a bit fragile. Pity you aren't near my neck of the woods as I have the VWP hexagonal bullet crimper - a tool worth its weight in gold. On the fused side, you could make up some separate link leads where you have more than one feed off a fuse and connect these with bullets and the black rubber covered receptacles - would also maintain a bit of originality (to the untrained eye).
I've used piggybacks quite a few times before with no problems but yes, I agree they do need to be handled carefully...and I shan't be using them on this job now. As they don't fit! :shock:

It's not obvious from the VWP web page but the male spade terminals on the new fusebox are semi-recessed into the moulding and it's impossible to get a full connection onto them with a piggyback. :roll:

Had a look on the VWP site and found a 3-into-1 connector...

http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu/VWP-onlinestore/terminalsnonins/noninsblades.php (towards the bottom of the page - Order Code: SBD)

I wish I'd come across these earlier ( :oops: ) but had a word with VWP and, once I'd explained the problem, they said they'd post 20 out to me FOC. Good service, but I suggested they might like to add a relevant warning note to the fusebox product description.

Anyway, early start to Glossop today but hope to be getting on with this job early next week.
 

redrover

Active Member
#31
Following this with great interest.

I lost some and then all of my main beam on the Croston Moss the other night. :| Stopped and checked the fusebox and thankfully everything was fine - I was religious about fitting the 32mm fuses and squeezing the terminals, but accept that only goes so far. Concluded that it must be the contacts in the dim dip switch, as some of the lights came back after a while when I toggled back up. Relays going on at the weekend to take the load away, but I really don't have much confidence in the fusebox as it is, and this scare has spurred me on to do something about. Looking forward to seeing you solution, Stan.

Michael
 
#32
vaultsman said:
Thanks Paul.

Yes, I've seen those continental-type boxes but, again, they're relying on an end-grip on the fuse.

Screw terminals may get rid of the need to make new crimps, but I don't think you can beat good old 1/4" Lucars for connection. Plus, without prior sight/knowledge, it's hard to say whether the terminals would accommodate up to 3 cables..some of which are around 5 sq. mm.

And, also, I'm convinced blade fuses are the reliable way forward.

Cheers,
I might be getting confused here, didn't one of us on this forum note that their S2 fusebox had soldered (or even crimped-then-soldered) connections? Does that alleviate the melting fusebox syndrome?
 

arthuy

Well-Known Member
#33
I soldered mine when i swapped the boxes.

The problem was head light fuses when I had standard sealed beams. After the soldier job i fitted halogen and the were ok though the car was little used.

When folks would tell me they had fault lights I recommend rotating the fuse insitu with their thumb. They think you are mental until they do it and it works.

The box is a poor design but wiring faults else where can be the cause. Dirty and grotty connectors along with bad earths dont help. I have seen a few P6 with blackened wires which I have been told is down to bad earths. All increases the heat in the wires leading to a melted box but could easily become a loom fire.

There are lots of p6 never had fuse box problems so makes you wonder.

I would be tempted tin the fuse connector for a better flow.

Colin
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#34
Finally got a bit of garage time this morning :)

12-way fusebox complete with the necessary adaptors fitted. You can see how it starts to grow...


All cables terminated in 1/4" female Lucars...


...and the box growing a tad more...


I have to say the original fusebox, in terms of it's compactness only, is a little masterpiece of design.

Popped in a temporary bracket to check...


...and as I feared, the shin bin fouls the lower cables when closing :evil:

I need to have a further play tomorrow/Thursday to see if I can get the box far enough up to clear. There is enough give on the cables to swing the top of the fusebox rearwards (towards the passenger seat) through 90 degrees and mount it horizontally, Or, ideally a bit less than 90 degrees for ease of viewing, and mount it (with some imaginative bracketry) on the surface above the temporary bracket.

I did reconnect the battery though and tested all circuits for half an hour, both singly and in combination with main beam, wipers and heater motor on together for a good while. Happy to say all seemed fine with no sign of excessive heat anywhere. I can't say I'm too enamoured by it's neatness (and I may revisit the solution) but at least it seems to work.

So...still a good way to go yet!
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#36
colnerov said:
vaultsman said:
the shin bin fouls the lower cables when closing
Do you think flag terminals would have been a more compact solution there?

Neat installation though!

Colin
You're right Colin, flags would help...particularly with the link leads.

I don't particularly like those triple adaptors though so I'm giving some thought on ways of getting rid of them.
 

arthuy

Well-Known Member
#37
Looks good and when you tidy the wires up it will be fine.

You could cut a recess in the the glovebox, but trying to mount horizontally is probably the way to go.

I would have probably put bigger terminals on to tidy it up a bit. I am not sure the highest Amp rating but think that it is 30amps. Bit of solder and heat shrink to secure.



Colin
 
#38
Is it worth pointing out now that I personally have had problems with these spade fuse type boxes?

Not on a P6, but an 80's car I once had, which had the spade fuses, managed to melt a couple of the fuse holders. I didn't realise that this was the case until I examined the box properly, and couldn't crimp the terminals back up. I wouldn't like to say how I got round the issue, as looking back maybe it was a bit stupid (I'm young so allowed :) ) but I'd just like to put it out there that these fuse styles can also cause trouble.

Maybe though it is a lot less common that the spade types cause problems.
 
#39
Looking at the pics above, I would concur that flags on the bottom connections would make a big difference. This would enable the cables to run straight back and then up and behind the fuse box. VWP sell the flags and insulators, but I recall when using flags they are a bit of a faff to crimp neatly, but by no means impossible.
 

vaultsman

Well-Known Member
#40
Well...in between hospital visits with the good lady and friend-visiting at the weekend, I got an early start on Occie today.

As I said in a previous post, those triple spade adaptors had to go. Yet the problem remained of connecting the multiple cables on to each terminal, whilst retaining reasonable visibility/accessibility to the fusebox, and allowing the shin bin to close without fouling.

After a bit of head-scratching last week over a couple of pints I thought I might do something with these connectors from VWP:



I'd need 5 of the 4-blade and 9 of the 3-blade so I ordered them up. The wiring schematic would look like this:



I've made up all the link leads in 3mm thinwall cable which is rated at 33A continuous and should be ample.

The connectors were too wide to mount in a single row, so I doubled them up in two rows one on top of the other. In true Blue Peter fashion, double-sided sticky tape came to the rescue... :)



...2nd row on, fusebox mounted, and connected up. The upper link leads are in black....purely because I ran out of red and black was all I had around! :roll: Many thanks to colnerov, by the way, for the heads-up on using flag terminals. They don't really help on the upper bank as there's a limit to how high the fusebox will go due to the sheer bulk of the cables, but they're just the job on the lower bank. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice the link lead at the bottom left wasn't fully home on its spade....but it is now. :roll:



Fuseways labelled up...




It's difficult to get a photo showing the clearance for the rear lip of the shin bin, but it does clear the flag connectors...just! :)




The original glass fuse ratings given in the handbook are blow rating figures, whereas blade fuses ratings are for continuous current so, initially at least, I've gone with this:



10A may be a tad too low to replace the 25A glass fuses, but I'd sooner start low and go up to 15A if necessary. I've gone with 15A for the inner main beams (fuse 11-12) as I'm running a pair of 75W sealed beams on them which together with the panel warning light will, in theory, draw around 12.75A. The outer main beams are 55/60W halogens and will draw around 9-10A across fuse 13-14 so I've upped the 7.5A in the fusebox pic further up to a 10A as per the listing above. Time will tell.

Anyone any other views on the fuse ratings?

Started Occie up and tested all the circuits for 20 minutes or so, and all seemed fine...no sign of heat on any of the cables...but the car needs a good run (with the shin bin off and a spotter in the passenger seat!

All in all it's not been the easiest of jobs and I might not have ended up with the most elegant of solutions. I do think there would be some mileage in looking at a rear entry box to help with the clearance issue but I still think there would be a need for multiple connector blocks as well.

Right...time for a pint I reckon!

Stan
 
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