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Discussion Starter #1
OK, this weekend I fried the fusible link that extends from the + battery post. I seem to remember that I had turned on my lights while driving and then maybe 5 mins later I lost all power and could smell the burning wire. Now, I am aware that the harness does incorporate these fusible links. My question is how do I replace it?? Do I jsut buy some insulated copper wire?? I have read previous posts that state that GM typically would go 4+ on the links (a 14 wire would have an 18 fusible link), is that correct? Also, I would imagine that I need to first find what caused the link to blow. Thanks for your help.

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1971 Malibu
(350 cu. in.)
1994 Cavalier Z24
(3.1L V6)
BOWTIES FOREVER!!!
 
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find the problim first fix it buy a new link they are a harnest saver DDPELL 396 beaumont
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Also, I would like to eventually replace the entire engine/front harness setup. Has anyone had any experience with Painless Wiring?? I checked their site and they have these kits under a general description of 68-72 GM musclecars. Or, maybe an OEM harness from Ausley's, Year One, etc.??

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1971 Malibu
(350 cu. in.)
1994 Cavalier Z24
(3.1L V6)
BOWTIES FOREVER!!!
 

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Hey 71boo, I recently replaced all my engine compartment wiring,it seems to be the harness to go first(all the heat and weather I guess)anyway it was really easy. I reccomend M+H fabricators they have a web site under wiringharness.com (I think)The painless actually is more painful.

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71 malibu 350/350
TC member#566
 

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I bought a engine harness from NPD and was real happy with it. I had them switch it from the points style to HEI. I was satisfied. Although I know that they don't make it themselves, you can probably buy direct and eliminate them if you want to. Good luck.

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Steve
 

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Actually I'm still interested in the answer to the original question:

How do you replace a burned-out fusible link (without replacing the entire wiring harness)? Thanks, TK
 

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71boo;

Even before you replace the fusable link, you have to find the problem!!

I'd recommend that you splice in an "in-line" fuse holder and run that for a week. Nothing pretty, but it will verify that the problem is gone, or solved.

When you go to replace the fusable link, you should be able to locate some an any auto parts store on the rack that has all the vacumn sealed packs of terminals and wire.

DON'T USE ANYTHING THAT ISN'T CLEARLY MARKED AS "FUSABLE LINK"! I buy a large length when I do stuff (I do a lot of "stuff") and it appears to be about 12 gauge. You want a length that is about 3 to 4 inches long. Any longer and it will tend to go out faster. Any shorter and it will not go out fast enough.

Use "butt" crimp splices and solder the connections after crimping. Use heat shrink tubing. (there should be information in the "technical reference" section of this site)


As for a "loom"; most of the suppliers sell the kit from M&H and from what I understand, it's REAL top quality. (if in doubt, ask them where they get it from!) If you are doing a (close to) stock replacement, it would indead be a lot easier than the "Painless" loom. If doing something different from stock, the Painless loom would leave you with more options (more options=more possible mistakes)

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Wes. Vann
Technical Reference section
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Most electrical problems of things not working properly are ground related. When fusible links blow that is more a sign of a short to ground somewhere. Lots of juice gets to run directly to ground very quickly. This increased current heats up the fusible link and melts it.

It is always prudent to check and clean the contacts for the headlamp connectors. Also check and clean your ground connectors. But I think that your problem is deeper than this. I think that there may be a short to ground somewhere. Check the integrity of any and all hot wiring associated with your headlamps being on (i.e. running lamps/turnsignals, side markers, headlamps, tail lights, even dash wiring, etc... front and back, everything.)

Electric problems can seem like voodoo. Corroded contacts are much easier to locate and fix than shorts. Shorts may not be apparent and may only be intermitant (i.e. jiggling a wire). If they exist in the heart of the wrapped harness than there may be no finding it without unwrapping the whole thing. If you don't find out WHY the link blew than you'll propably have to live through another blow at some other time. To make matters even more confusing, it could be possible that the link blew simply due to age and fatigue. If you are doubting the intergrity of your harness overall than replacing it with an M&H harness is the best course of action. It is certainly the easiest if not more expensive. Sometimes the cost of the harness is far better than the aggravation of tracking REALLY pesky problems.

Once you find out why the link blew and fixed the problem, repairing the fusible link is no trouble. Simply buy a fusible link from a parts store (links selected by going 4 gauges smaller than the wire it is connected to. If you have 12 gauge wire, you need a 16 guage fusible link.) Most auto stores carry pre-assembled and lengths ready to butt-slice into place. Cut the old link off and connect. Wes V's descriptions and suggestion of an inline fuse connector is GREAT.

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??michael j Team Chevelle Gold #77
70 Chevelle SS396 4sp, Fathom Blue/White Stripes - Canadian built
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the tips guys. I realize electrical gremlins are often hard 2 trace, and I know it won't just fix itself. I have always had problems with flickering lights, so my guess is that would be a good place to start and check for good ground contact. It just kinda throws a monkey wrench in my plans because you know how it is when you have a goal of finishing certain things, and then something else rears its ugly head. Just as I was saving up for a good posi 12 bolt, I gotta worry about this. Oh well, such is the life of a hopeless Chevy motorhead. I love Bowties!!!

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1971 Malibu
(350 cu. in.)
1994 Cavalier Z24
(3.1L V6)
BOWTIES FOREVER!!!
 

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I love bowties, too.

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??michael j Team Chevelle Gold #77
70 Chevelle SS396 4sp, Fathom Blue/White Stripes - Canadian built




[This message has been edited by michael j (edited 02-15-2000).]
 
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