Hey guys I don't want to sound Stupid but I am not clear on what a Fusable Link is! I have posted from time to time and have heard that term but what Exactly Is it? Where would I get one if needed, which I am sure I do.
Well, when I use the term "in-line fuse", I really mean a fuse in a fuse holder. Don't know anyone that uses fusible links inside a car.
A fusible link is not a real fuse but does act like a fuse in line with something.
This link help? It has some pictures. Better than me typing. http://22.214.171.124/articles/fuselink/fuselink.html
You are correct. Not disagreeing. Only trying to clarify that there is a difference if you go to a store and try to find what you need.
[This message has been edited by John_Muha (edited 03-29-2002).]
With all this talk of fusible links, I thought I'd chime in. Besides I heard John's been busy trying to track down that imposter Easter bunny that has been raiding his fridge...
A fusible link can easily be identified from the other standard underhood wiring. It is very "squishy" or flexible to the touch. The special insulation has properties that allow it squelch heat, rather than burst into flames.
Inside are HYPALON conductor strands. This is a special material that "fuses" upon a great overload--it is much more forgiving than a standard fuse, whether it be a fast-acting or slow-blo variety. That's why GM implemented them and still does this VERY day. The reliability factor can't be beat!
Since they don't fuse at an exact current measurement, they are only sized by guages, typically 2 guages smaller than the wire they protect. When a massive overload occurs they "poof". BUT beware, some look perfectly good (insulation still in tact) after an overload event, SO you have to use good troubleshooting skills.
The reliability I speak of comes in two forms:
1)they don't give until their is a 'real' problem, so you don't have to change one every time there would be a larger than normal "surge" --like an audio amp or other accessory drawing more current instaneously than typical if something isn't up to par.
2)since it's a link, and not a fuse in the typical sense, theres no fuseholder, hardware or other connectors to age, weather, or build resistance over time. You must be careful when doing custom work in your car and going with aftermarket fuse holders and accessories. There is a LOT of crap out there. Just because a fuse holder is rated for a current, doesn't really mean it's up to par. Many rubberized holders simply don't have enought surface area on the end contacts or enough pressure on the fuse connections to reliably form a solid connection. These only worsen over time as dirt and moisture play a factor and soon you have a voltage drop and power dissipation, equally heat, and then a melt-down of components!
Thanks for the link John, and thanks Coppertop for the specifics. I finally understand. My application is very similar to those that have posted. I have a one wire Alternator and currenly do not have a fusible link or fuse holder attached to it. Where would I get the correct fusible link? Is that something I can buy at an auto parts store
Auto store should have them.
Generically the links are:
A 14 gage fusible link protects the 10 gage battery charging circuit.
A 16 gage link to protect 12 gage unfused wiring. Maybe near horn relay.
A 20 gage link to protect the 16 gage wiring maybe around the idiot light field wiring.
Two fusible links 20 gage protect the ammeter circuit.
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