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Old 10-10-2005, 06:45 PM
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Painless Harness and Fusible links

I'll be re-wiring my T-Bucket shortly, using a Painless wiring harness. I notice in the wiring diagrams from Painless that they don't mention the use of fusible links. They do have a Maxi-Fuse in the system but that's about it in the way of major short protection based on how I read the diagram.

I have read much on this forum about wiring, grounding, and fusible links. I have a good understanding of the grounding requirements, Doc's treatise on grounding is a winner. I have wired several fiberglass aircraft from scratch (they don't use fusible links for other reasons) and you get to know grounding very well.

Fusible links make a great safety valve for the wire in the event power suddenly finds an unintended new path to ground.

My questions are:

Should fusible links be used with the Painless product or is the product designed not to need them?

If fusible links would provide additional protection on the Painless harness, on what circuits should the fusible links be installed for optimum protection?

I've read many threads here that say a fusible link should be placed here or there, but I can find no threads that summarizes all the locations where they are beneficial. It seems like a person could get carried away.

I'm thinking of the following are potential locations:

Main positive cable from the battery to the starter or battery terminal block
Alternator to battery terminal block
Battery terminal block to fuse block
For that matter, any circuit that comes off of the battery terminal block
Primary power input to relays (lights, fans, pumps etc)?
Anything else?

Many thanks to all who respond.

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:49 PM
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painless

My opinion is that Painless is the best to answer this question. 800 423-9696, xt 1004. If Mike Burke is out, leave your number and he'll call you in short order. I'm sure that they have thought this through, and will give you their rationale and explain all questions to your satisfaction. Just relating my experience with them. Bill
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:14 PM
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Cucumber1949 -- your list is a good one. I wound up researching fusible links last year and the more I learned about them the more respect I garnered for their use!

I share what I learned Here

And I also put them to use off of every connection that comes from my terminal blocks:


Alan
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:16 PM
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Fuse Links

Doc here,

I generally prefer to Separate My harness into 4 categories...

*Switched main Buss

*Unswitched Main buss

*Accessories main buss..

*Alternator output

With a single 10 gauge lead from each Buss to a separate (or bundled 3 + 1 ) fuse link located at the main Starter solenoid Bolt..

If the link, or just one leg of it goes All power on that leg of it to the car goes down..

(I.E. if you have a bundled 3 leg, and say, the switched power goes down due to catastrophic short, every circuit that receives power from the key goes silent..,

Direct wire and ACC and Alternator still remain, provided they didn't open links, If the main side of the link ,the larger side of the wire opens it all goes dead..)

The best location for a fuse link (s) is right on the starter solenoid..OR if you wish you can provide a single terminal junction block to couple all your links and battery feed at or near source current..either way is good.

NEVER install a fuse link INSIDE a vehicle cabin..It does it job by melting, and hot PVC can drip and set carpet and upholstery on fire, melt other circuits perpetrating more shorts on different link circuits, and the fumes in a closed cabin can knock you out! Always in the engine compartment.

If you have Other high current items in your harness , such as cooling fans, power seats/warmers, and old convertible top motors, It is best to run source current from a link to the relay to power each component... simply because it IS high current, and will not be susceptible to Spikes and blow a fuse (even a slo blow) when that occurs..

A link requires "Heating time".. Also motors that momentarily "rotor lock" (hitting an end stop/limit switch) will draw multiples of rated current for a second or two until the limit shuts it down..

A fuse will not handle this as a link can..yet in a true rotor lock, (plastic bag caught in a cooling fan) the motor may draw up to 90 amps trying to "Free" itself..the link will heat a few seconds then open..Good and safe, and not constantly opening on every little "spike"..

Doc
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:18 AM
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Thanks to all who replied.

Hotroddr - I will definitely call Painless, actually again, and ask for Mike. I did call them when I was trying to decide what harness product I was going to use. I made a casual mention of fusible links and whether they used them, they said they used a Maxi-Fuse and didn't elaborate further. I didn't press the issue at the time but have been thinking about it more now that I have the product.

Horvath & Doc - I think we are pretty much saying the same thing here, and it seems we are in agreement about where links should be used. Horvath, thanks for the link to the very informative article on links, and Doc, thanks again for your detailed and lucid explanation.

So, assuming that fusible links are usable with the harness, the one other area that I'm thinking should be fuse linked is the main battery cable from the battery to the starter soleniod. In a T-bucket, the battery is usually in the 'pickup bed' or under the seat. Mine is currently in the pickup bed which is a cable distance of about 9 feet from the battery to the solenoid. Seems like lots of opportunity along that length to experience some wear due to vibration or striking an object under the frame that might cause the cable to ground to the frame. I currently have the cable covered with split wire loom and secured with rubber cushioned Adell clamps. It's a fine-wire 2AWG cable and seems to crank the engine very well.

Should I install a 6AWG fusible link attached right at the battery's positive post? Will this affect the cranking power or cause the link to blow if the starter is cranked for a long period? Am I being overly cautious here?
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:05 PM
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Fuse link

Doc here,

If I understand what you have posted Correctly , you Can not link protect the starter Main power At all...

The CCA at that point is in the triple and quad Digits...No link will withstand that. You can go Remote or Manual Disconnect.

Only the taps leading away from it..to the main busses...

Doc
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:12 PM
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Thanks, Doc. That is an answer to the exact question and issue I was considering.
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