Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 13, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Location: Roseburg, OR
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Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

I think I messed up my fuse block from the outside. I lost the bolt that holds the "block" of wires into the back of the fuse block. So I tried one that seemed to fit. As I was screwing it in, I heard something like plastic cracking (very faint). I stopped and tried to unscrew the bolt, but it does nothing but turn and not unscrew out.
Exactly what does the bolt screw into? A captured nut?
If someone can help me understand exactly how this works, maybe I can undo my mistake.
Also, what size bolt goes in the firewall side of the "block"?
Thanks,
John

69 SS350 Coupe, 4 speed- under construction- "resto-mod"
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 13, 09:44 PM
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Brian
 
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Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

I think you are speaking of the bulkhead connector block on the firewall where the two sides of the engine and lighting harness connect to the backside of the fuse panel.

You should be able to unscrew the fuse panel front and see the wiring harness connections and the connector to the bulkhead connector's connection and see if the frame is cracked.

All in all you can replace the holder and fuse panel with repair parts from Lectric Limited or M & H. http://www.lectriclimited.com/repair_components.htm


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 13, 09:47 PM
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Lynn
 
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Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

Takes a 1/4 inch standard (course) thread bolt.

If you heard a crack, then you broke the inner part of the fuse block. Yes, it is a type of captured nut. It has three spikes or fingers that dig into the plastic.

I don't believe the part is being reproduced. Lectric Limited will sell you a complete under dash harness kit for something like $432, but they refuse to sell parts, other than a few parts listed in their catalog. I believe they only have such parts for Corvettes.

The one in the pic I have attached is for sale, if I don't need it. I don't believe I need it, but won't know for sure until final assembly of my car. I have already pirated lots of wires, and other pieces from this harness, so it would be very difficult to make complete.

Are you in a big hurry? If so, it is possible to do an emergency fix. First, disconnect the battery!!!!
You will have to take out the two screws holding the outer fuse block to the firewall. Take the two halves of the fuse block apart (only two clips). That will expose the nut that used to be imbedded in plastic and is now spinning. You should be able to get some vise grips on it and remove your errant bolt.

You can either epoxy things back together (if things aren't too damaged) or you can use a nut and washer. Make sure the washer isn't in contact with any wiring. If you go the epoxy route, use something very strong, such as PC-7 available at most hardware stores. Needs to set 24 hours minimum.

If using a nut and washer, then you will need to attach your engine and front end harnesses BEFORE you put the two halves of the fuse block back together, so that you can hold the inner nut. That also means you cannot take them back out without disassemling the fuse block.

Really sucks breaking 44 year old plastic.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 13, 11:01 AM
Fred
 
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Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bilodeaulynn View Post
First, disconnect the battery!!!!

You can either epoxy things back together (if things aren't too damaged) or you can use a nut and washer. Make sure the washer isn't in contact with any wiring. If you go the epoxy route, use something very strong, such as PC-7 available at most hardware stores.

If using a nut and washer, then you will need to attach your engine and front end harnesses BEFORE you put the two halves of the fuse block back together, so that you can hold the inner nut. That also means you cannot take them back out without disassemling the fuse block.

Really sucks breaking 44 year old plastic.
Really good advice from bilodeaulynn. The best is disconnect the battery first. I'll share a few experiences.....

Sometimes epoxy or super glue works, but sometimes it just doesn't. If it works the first time, your golden, and don't stress test it. If not figure out a "Plan B" because every time I tried to re-bond something after an initial failure, it just gets worse. And more frusterating.

I've had luck using nylon nuts, bolts and washers instead of metal screws for electrical fixes. Might require a rework of the fuse block to accommodate the new fasteners, but it eliminates the possibility of a short or electrical problem. A well stocked Ace hardware tends to be better than Home Depot or Lowes for nylon types of fasteners.

If you really want (or have no alternative...) to replace with a GM part, I've always been able to get something from GM Sport and Salvage in San Jose, CA. They aren't alwways cheap, but they will sell something way less expensive than a whole new harness. Call them during the week, they have been parting out F-bodies and other GM products for well over 20 years. If necessary shoot them a photo then call them, and they can help you with a part from a donor car. Sometimes they know about other alternatives that work better too.

Fred - Scotts Valley, CA
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 13, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

Thanks a lot guys!!! Very useful info. I've had pretty good luck w/ JB weld, bonding things back together. I will try the "take the inner part apart" route and see what I can see. I'll let you know.
I was real stupid not to take the engine compartment block off and study the female threads to see what was needed (it was a 1/4 bolt I used?). It was one of those "let's see what I can get done real quick" (stupid) moments
Thanks, John

69 SS350 Coupe, 4 speed- under construction- "resto-mod"
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 13, 07:26 PM
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Dan
 
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Smile Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

I was able to find one of those type of nuts at my local hardware store stainless steel 1/4 X20 threads worked great. I think they are used in furniture applications also. I had the same thing happen on mine when I was replacing my resistor wire. just cinch it up not to tight.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 13, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Re: Help-I Messed Up Fuse Block?

Thanks to you all, I got the fuse box apart and removed the bolt. I had the correct threads, they were just messed up and "binded" in the captured nut. I can't get the nut out, as it just spins, but won't move front to back. I'm going to drill some small holes (2) in the outer ring of the nut and epoxy some small pins in those holes as well as around the "flange" to try to keep it from spinning. I will be very careful when tightening from the firewall side.
Kind of "jury-rigged" I know, but I've got all my wiring done and am ready to move on. I'll up grade to a new wiring harness after the car is back on the road and the need arises.
Thanks again,
John

69 SS350 Coupe, 4 speed- under construction- "resto-mod"
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