Want to install new fuse panel?? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 11, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Want to install new fuse panel??

After doing searches I came up with nothing so I'm looking for some help.
I'm going to be doing some interior work on my 69 camaro here the next few months and one of the things I want to do is upgrade the stock glass fuse panel to the blade fuses. I've got all of the accessory blades tapped into as well as most of the circuits so needless to say I have plenty of wires plugged into the fuse panel. I want that cleaned up and I figured the best way would be to add a new blade fuse panel. Can I just get away with adding the fuse panel like this one http://www.painlessperformance.com/webcatalog/largeview.php?SearchField=30001 or this one
http://www.painlessperformance.com/w...rchField=30003 without changing the wiring or should you change the entire wiring harness in the compartent as well? If possible, I would like to change out the fuse block only without having to change all of the wiring.

I've read that painless can be anything but so if you know of a better route, maybe like AA, all I'm all ears.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 04:25 AM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

You should check out American Auto Wire's update series if you are going blade style fuse block and customize it to have as many as you need.

I would just cut to the chase and call them as is the best way to get the right setup.

I have had nothing but PITA issues with painless over the years.


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 05:28 AM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
You should check out American Auto Wire's update series if you are going blade style fuse block and customize it to have as many as you need.

I would just cut to the chase and call them as is the best way to get the right setup.

I have had nothing but PITA issues with painless over the years.
X2....great products.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 05:43 AM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

Painless is not painless. Also give M&H Fabrications a try. They make excellent harnesses also.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 06:19 AM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

From the way it sounds from your post I would just re-wire the whole car.

The Fuse box and dash harness is the bulk of the wiring so to do the front end and rear doesn't take much more time or $.

I really like AAW Classic Update. (used it on a 67 and 69)

Comes with EVERYTHING including courtesy lights, new updated Headlight Switch, horn relay etc. as well as wiring for aftermarket gauges and more.

Does not support external reg alternators and ammeter (I would not run full power to the interior of my car anyway) They do offer a Volt meter that is a direct replacement for the console ammeter.

You can do the whole job in a weekend.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

I thought about doing the whole car and may do it eventually, but for now I just want to focus on the interior. The engine bay can be done at a later time. I'm going to try giving AAW a call to see about their kit and what other recommendations they have. I wanted to just switch out the fuse block only but if I'm going to be replacing the gauge panel, that would be the time to be changing out the wiring harness.

Thanks guys.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 10:50 AM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

Dan -

I don't know if AAW will sell just a modern fuse box separately, but I know who can answer.

Call AAW on the toll-free line, use the dial by name function, and input "Bock". That will get you to Donny Bock, who has been a good friend to me and a source of tech support for a lot of guys here. You can tell him that Team Camaro and/or I sent you his way.

My guess regarding using the modern block with the OE harnesses is that you would spend a lot of time trying to get the circuits arranged correctly; I never sat and looked at the GM diagrams vs the AAW Update circuits, but I know that the main power feed circuit is totally different.

The OE GM harness feeds the main 12V supply from the battery to the junction block behind the battery, and from there across under the rad support lip to the horn relay/electrical buss on the driver side near the OE voltage regulator, and then from the buss bar back to the fuse block.

The Update harness takes its main 12V supply from the starter terminal, and the horn relay is located inside the car under the dash (I mounted mine in the clip for the OE flasher unit on the center dash brace). Both flasher units mount on the Update fuse box, so there is that OE flasher circuit run to the center of the dash that you'd have to re-route back to the new fuse box.

As always, I am sure there is a way to make a new fuse block mate to an OE harness, but... if you really want the blade fuses, I am not sure why you would not want to use the whole 69 Update Kit. I don't know how you value your time, nor do I know you skill at setting up and re-routing circuits, but I can tell you that a complete update kit costs $450 to $500 depending whom you get it from. You would then have all new wiring, and running and completing the Update wires cannot be harder than trying to fit a modern fuse block to an OE harness.

Unless you like working upside down and/or are built like an elf, you'd have to remove the complete dash harness from the car, and then sit and figure things out on the workbench or floor. Then, hoping you got things hooked up right on the first try, you reinstall all that old wiring and new fuse block, and then you get to start re-routing the underhood harnesses. As I noted, the main power feed would probably move from the front light harness to the engine harness. I think for the most part the other wires for each harness stay in the same side of the connectors, but some would likely need to be re-pinned (removed and then installed in a different location on the harness plugs).

Seems like a really long process, with a lot of potential to hook things up wrong, and wind up with either fried circuits/gauges/senders etc., or at worst an electrical fire.

Anyway, talk to Donny, and he can tell you if it is even a possibility to do what you want to do. I don't think Painless has anyone in tech support that has 1/1000 of the knowledge, particularly for GM wiring, that Donny does.

And if you decide to go with a complete Update harness but purchase from one of AAW's resellers to get a better than "list" price, AAW tech support doesn't care. They have great customer support.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

Hey Eric, thanks and good info. I'm going to call him here shortly and I'll let you know what he says. I don't want to rewire the whole car if I don't have to. I'll have the interior tore apart here in the next few months so I don't mind doing that harness. But if I can get away with that harness only while adding an updated fuse box I'll pull the trigger.

I'll just wait and see what he has to say and I'll post his recommendations.

Thanks again.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

Well Eric, you were right. I just got off the phone with Donny Bock and he said you can't hook up a new fuse panel to an old wiring harness. He also said, as you stated Eric (again), that the glass fuse panels are better than the blade fuses.

He recommended that I do the whole car kit due to me adding more accessories and for what I already have. Interesting enough though is that the new kits come with the ATO fuse panels. I guess that's because you get more circuits in a small space.

Anyway, he is a wealth of information on this topic. Right now I'm leaning towards getting the whole car kit and installing it first before adding any more interior accessories.

Thanks for all of the advice.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 01:41 PM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??????

You won't regret doing the whole car now.


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 02:04 PM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??

FYI. I replaced my fuse box with an OE style that I bought from Firewheel Classics in Tx. If I remember it cost around $70 a couple years ago. And oh yeh.....it was a bear bending over for about four hours, replacing and soldering one wire at a time.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 02:10 PM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelknots View Post
FYI. I replaced my fuse box with an OE style that I bought from Firewheel Classics in Tx. If I remember it cost around $70 a couple years ago. And oh yeh.....it was a bear bending over for about four hours, replacing and soldering one wire at a time.
Thats why I like the factory fit line of American Auto Wire, it is easy as pie with right lengths and connectors already in place.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??

Yeah, I don't think I would like being bent over like that either.

I do have a question for you guys who put in the AAW wiring, did you buy the crimping and splicing tools? They go for a bout a $100 a piece. I don't think I want to drop another $200 on tools after dropping $500 on a wiring kit. Did you guys buy these tools or rent them? Are they really needed to make the job easier?
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 08:14 PM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??

I bought both crimping tools ($100 ea) from aaw and a ratcheting wire stripper ($40) from Ideal. All well worth the investment to me. You can rent the crimping tools from aaw and if it takes more than a month to get it done, you have the option to purchase at that time.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 11, 08:34 PM
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Re: Want to install new fuse panel??

I got one of those new, I mean like they went back in time new, fuse boxes also from Firewheel. They are quite a bit more than $70 now. It will be an easy install with the harness already out. I would recommend going that route. One wire at a time. I crimp with needle nose and then solder it to the connector.
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