[Healeys] New Classic Technologies Fuse Box

Gil Rockwell gilrockwell at gmail.com
Thu Dec 17 13:48:15 MST 2015

OK Richard, I won’t take offense to your reply, we will just agree to disagree when it comes to safety.




From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of richard mayor
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:57 PM
To: healeys
Subject: Re: [Healeys] New Classic Technologies Fuse Box


I'm in agreement with Josef.  In America it is known as the "KISS" principle.........."Keep it Simple Stupid".   For those not familiar with American slang, "Stupid" refers to the person that is trying to make it complicated.  


On Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 6:35 AM, josef-eckert at t-online.de <josef-eckert at t-online.de> wrote:

I am working as an electronic engineer in the automove industry. The company I am working for parttime is one of the big parts sellers for classic British cars here in Europe. In my spare time I work on my classic cars and help friends with their car electrics. Often I get additional grey hairs when I want to fix something on a friends car and see a wiring harness nobody is anymore able to find the routes of  the cables and circuits. A network of additional cables, additional fuses and relais added without any documentation, cable colours not as they should be and all mixed together or all in one colour!!. A network of cables under the dashboard which reminds me to a telecom switching centre - nightmare.
I see your point and you and many others feel saver the more fuses and relais are installed in the car. Don´t forget they can also fail, and the more you add the more can fail. Its usually the connectors and connections which fail. When you double the fuses and relais you eightfold the connections in the wiring system. So 10times more causes for trouble.
When an electric device fails, it usually causes a short circuit or an open cirquit. Open cirquit means no harm to the system. Short cirquit means any fuse, 5 Amps or 50 Amps blow off before the wiring melts. There are only very isolated failures which can cause real trouble like the overdrive solenoid, when its internal contacts do not open when engaged. This is a point to fit an additional fuse. Another one is the not originally fused back light cirquit.
Your point  "Losing just one smaller circuit rather than disabling a major portion of the car can make  the difference between getting back home or being completely disabled alongside the road."
This I see as a valid point for those drivers who have only marginal skils with electrical systems and are not able to find the issue by their own. But when you can read a wiring diagram and know how to use a volt meter, it shouldn´t be a problem to find the source of the problem and isolate it. I think there are much more who get stranded with generator failure (No, I have to say alternator failure, as these are morre prone to fail than the old LUCAS generator) or electronic ignition failure.
You see my experiance is more from the other side and I am really happy when I have an original wired car with an electrical problem, than one of these with modified electrical systems which usually cause havoc.
Don´t forget, British classic cars were simple cars and the engineers were clever enough to keep them simple. If you want a complex classic car there are so many mainly Italian, French, classics where you can find these gimmicks and they always cause troubles. That´s why they very hardly won an indurance rally.  Austin-Healeys came through and one reason for that was their elementary but very reliable electrical system with the LUCAS name on it.
Josef Eckert

Betreff: RE: [Healeys] New Classic Technologies Fuse Box
Datum: 2015-12-17T14:14:57+0100
Von: "Gil Rockwell" <gilrockwell at gmail.com>
An: "josef-eckert at t-online.de" <josef-eckert at t-online.de>, "'Oudesluys'" <coudesluijs at chello.nl>, "'Healeys, Forum'" <healeys at autox.team.net>


I think the point is when you have more than one fuse, a problem is isolated to the smaller circuit with its own fuse rather than taking out a large portion of the electrical system in the car.  Losing just one smaller circuit rather than disabling a major portion of the car can make  the difference between getting back home or being completely disabled alongside the road.  I always vote for having more fuse circuits when I am re-wiring any car.  I've done many over the years and have never regretted doing so.  Keeping a few extra fuses in the storage area is not a big deal.  Also, having a fuse sized to the smaller circuit's task means that a fault of a part will be detected by a more appropriately sized fuse rather than a large fuse that might not blow when a smaller part fails internally and causes it to smoke or catch fire before the large fuse finally fails.  This is when the wring begins to take the abuse and overheat due to the large fuse not failing in time.  My 61 BT7 has the original fuse setup and a new wiring harness installed by the previous owner, but if it ever fails, I will certainly take advantage of a new fuse distribution box like the one being discussed and I will have the peace of mind knowing that a single failure will not take out the entire car.   I believe any automotive engineer will agree with me, but you are entitled to your opinion based on keeping a Healey original.

61 BT7

-----Original Message-----
From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of josef-eckert at t-online.de
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:32 AM
To: Oudesluys; Healeys, Forum
Subject: [Healeys] New Classic Technologies Fuse Box

Sorry, but you wrote switches are old and have worn a fair bit.

That may be right, but when you have a look to the internals of an original Austin-Healey ignition switch or light switch, the contact design and switching abilities are far superior to anycar box relay you get in today´s market. So they are more than capable to cope with the high currents. Its different with i.e. MG B switches used in the 70s.

You also wrote:
Also having only two large fuses causes a lot of damage when something goes wrong and there is a short.

I see you are not much in electrics. It doesn´t matter if you have 2 or 30 fuses in your car. When there is a short and the line is fused, via one of the 2 or 30 fuses, the fuse blows and no damage is caused. So when you fuse each line seperately there is no improvement. Critical are those connections which are not fused at all. There I see an improvement with additional fuses. But there are only two or three additional fuses needed, when you want to savegard this.
The original electrical system of my original Healeys are more reliable as any of my modern cars. To my opinion many fuses do not help, the cause even more trouble.

Josef Eckert

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