V8 Bike Riders Forums banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spending a few hours with this today I thought I would pass this on for those of you with bikes a couple of years old.

Noticed that the alternator voltage has been dropping lately and today after one to many high rpm runs the alternator dropped another diode and the voltage dropped to 11 volts at 1900 rpm and about 10 at idle. TBH assessed the issue and determined that the alternator was indeed failing and replaced it but that is only the beginning of this saga and where others might benefit.

After charging the battery for several hours and testing the new alternator Curtis felt something else was amiss with the electrical system. The voltage being shown at the gauge was 12.5 at 1500 rpm jumping the alternator output to the gauge showed a little over 14 volts verifying correct alternator performance. My bike has more driving lights added which places additional load on the electrical system but only about 200 watts worth (we did the mathematical calculations to convert watts to amps and are well within the operational parameters of the alternator) however, the wire used between the master relay and the fuse block is only 10 gauge and would be offering some resistance so it was replaced with 8 gauge. Tests confirmed a slight gain to but not at the desired idle output of around 13.0 to 13.5.

This is a well known design flaw (TBH has a box of fuse blocks in stock) with our bikes and but still I will relay my findings of the post mortem of the fuse block later! Finding that heat cycling had impaired the functionality of the fuse block by several of the fuses being loose (one actually had almost no tension and fell partially out when the fuse box was inverted) in their individual housings adding resistance and voltage loss was replaced. A simple test of starting the engine verified between 13 and 13.2 volts being delivered at idle!

The post mortem of the fuse box included disassembly which was tedious because of the dried and brittle condition of the plastic housing notwithstanding, the task was accomplished and the individual metal parts were inspected closely. In almost all cases the metal was discolored particularly where the fuses made contact with the retaining areas originally formed in the metal. What was readily apparent is that the tension retaining ability of the metal was nil or almost nil. Each small piece was reformed with very small needle nosed pliers to its original configuration and then the box reassembled and the fuses reinserted.

What was learned by this seemingly futile experiment was that the tension holding ability was gone and the fuses upon removing and reinsertion had returned to the previous existing condition. The metal had completely lost its ability to retain memory.

Lesson---carry a spare fuse block(they are cheap 24.00 with fuses)with you at all times especially you southern boys whose bikes see operational conditions not experienced in the great white north. Hopefully, the factory will rectify this poor design as most would expect that this component would be permanent not a consumable like a tire or a brake pad.

This concludes the "Tip Of The Day"!! Hope it saves someone from having to trailer in!! :D

Had fun with a large group of sportbikes today but that is another story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :biker3:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Dave:

I ending up installing the "Blue Sea System" fuse block from West
Marine. A first class marine unit.

This was recommended by Jack or Lamont, can't remember which.

Time will tell if it holds up to the adverse conditions.

Geezer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Geezer said:
Dave:

I ending up installing the "Blue Sea System" fuse block from West
Marine. A first class marine unit.

This was recommended by Jack or Lamont, can't remember which.

Time will tell if it holds up to the adverse conditions.

Geezer
Please send me the PN and source!!! This is something that it does not pay to take chances with!!!!!!! When the fuse block goes then you are pretty much stranded!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Dave:

The Blue Sea part number is # 5029 - 12 position - with positive bus.

You can see the block via the Blue Sea web site, easy to find with
Google search.

West Marine can order the part from Blue Sea as I don't believe they
stock this part number. Took me about a week to get mine, shipped
direct from Blue Sea's.

You will have to convert your circuit connectins on the wiring to eyelet
type, vs the spade type used on the BH block.

I think you will be impressed with the quality.

Geezer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
That was me that suggested the Blue seas fuse box . I installed one on my bike and have had Zero problems with electrical since . Very nice unit . The factory fuse box is definitely junk and is an electrical problem just waiting to happen .

Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks---will be putting one of these on next time we do anything----tire is almost worn out again (400 miles) so a couple of weeks maybe then new fuse block!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,598 Posts
I can't say this enough times. Use dielectric grease on your fuse prongs and the box will not overheat. This is so easy and affter having a melted and non-functional box, I finally got with the program and have never had a problem since. Simple, easy and IT WORKS! The heat that fries the box is the heat produced by poor contacts between the prongs and the receptacles. The dielectric grease makes the contacts excellent and the fusebox is fine. Can't say anymore but please listen!....Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry Dr I just talked to another Dr but he is an EE and designed the Power Distribution Control System of one of the most technologically advanced aircraft that flies does not understand your rationale. The application of grease actually does nothing to enhance the functionality of the box and could have a long term detrimental effect.

The application of the grease has no effect whatsoever of the ability of the plastic fuse block and the apparent use of "pot metal of unknown composition" in the internal structure of the fuse block to withstand additional heat cycling and in fact, will over time attract dust and dirt becoming integrated within the fuse block and this is not desirable. The problem lies in the design and materials used in the fabrication of the fuse block and the heat that is transmitted directly into fuse block from the engine and transmission. This is the systemic cause of stress cracking caused by heat of the plastic/metal expanding and contracting over time creating the poor connections(other places not visible unless disassembled)within the fuse block and because of a combination of its poor design and materials it is prone to failure in the high vibration and heat environment of our bikes.

Please advise as to your theory of how a substance that does not have the ability to penetrate into the metal or plastic will alter the properties of said materials?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
I think Joe is referring to the grease as helping conductivity as well as sealing the contact point from moisture and corrosion.

As an electrical dude myself, I am of two minds about that theory. Yes it works in the case of a puck diode where there's pressure between the plates, but in other instances where dirt and grime can collect, it may not be so good in the long run.

Joe says it works in this case so I'll go with that. I haven't tried that myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I for one would agree with Joe with the use of Dielectric grease on electrical contacts... especially on the fuse block and even battery terminals. The dielectrics do very little in aiding in the conductivity itself, but they make an excellent oxygen block to the electrical contacts. It also seals out moisture from the contacts. Without oxygen and moisture, you virtually eliminate a corrosion problem. The oxidation is what breaks down the flow of current, and causes the contacts to heat up. It's especially important in the fuse block where the blade fuses are not a rigid connection. They may look messy, but they work. I use a q-tip to clean the smaller areas. They are not known to attract dirt, just harbor it. If the grease wasn't there, it would be on the contacts, further reducing conductivity. The grease is cardinal in keeping dirt, moisture, and oxygen away from the contacts. Must be dielectric... Permatex makes a great one. Its needed to maintain the quality of the electrical contact. It does not help if the electrical contact was poor to begin with. The factory fuse block is only average in quality. Protect it early (before it degrades) and it should be fine. I rate it a 3 out of 5. The Blue Sea System fuse block is a 5. Tighter contacts and covered. Worth the $40

TJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
As an Electronic Engineer, I agree with using die-electric grease. In fact, any time I pull apart ANY connections that are electrical, I coat them with die electric grease. If ya keep the contacts from oxidizing (via the die electric grease) which will reduce or eliminate contact resistence buildup, there will be little to NO voltage drop across those two contact points which will reduce or totally eliminate the heat buildup! This means that the factory fuse box should last a long long time! It is only a time bomb if you DONT take the right preventative maintenance (die electric grease)!!!
Milos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,681 Posts
Next time you guys do anything like changing your tire or using Dielectric grease on electrical contacts I think you should check with Busa Dave first to make sure you are doing the right thing. :roll: Good thing he wasn't around when I put my two speed in a single speed frame and had to cut, weld, drill and bolt new components to a frame that wasn't meant to have a two speed in it. ;)

Busa Dave said:
Sorry Dr I just talked to another Dr but he is an EE and designed the Power Distribution Control System of one of the most technologically advanced aircraft that flies does not understand your rationale. The application of grease actually does nothing to enhance the functionality of the box and could have a long term detrimental effect.

The application of the grease has no effect whatsoever of the ability of the plastic fuse block and the apparent use of "pot metal of unknown composition" in the internal structure of the fuse block to withstand additional heat cycling and in fact, will over time attract dust and dirt becoming integrated within the fuse block and this is not desirable. The problem lies in the design and materials used in the fabrication of the fuse block and the heat that is transmitted directly into fuse block from the engine and transmission. This is the systemic cause of stress cracking caused by heat of the plastic/metal expanding and contracting over time creating the poor connections(other places not visible unless disassembled)within the fuse block and because of a combination of its poor design and materials it is prone to failure in the high vibration and heat environment of our bikes.

Please advise as to your theory of how a substance that does not have the ability to penetrate into the metal or plastic will alter the properties of said materials?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
I think the negative bus would be connected to good ground and then you could ground what ever you wanted to the bus terminals on the negative bus on the fuse box . You don't really need the negative bus feature but the fuse box would still work , just don't use the negative bus feature . I would think the 5026 would have to be slightly larger than the 5029 .

Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,433 Posts
Thanks Jack, Yep it's larger but it's in stock and I'm tired of waiting on stuff. My bike has been down too long already. West Marine has that fuse block in stock. I guess I'll go ahead and get that one and hope that it will fit. If not, I can take it back. If it does fit, I'll have some ready made ground locations in addition to a much better fuse block.

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
You might have a problem with the size . I think mine just fit verticaly in the same space as the stock unit . Of course you could probably mount it horizontally by fabricating a bracket . Why not order the 5029 , next day air if you want it now and need it now . I know the feeling , I hate waiting for **** .


Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,433 Posts
Well that brings me to another question then. The only place I find online or walk in retails is West Marine and they say that they do not have the 5029 in their catalog. Where can I order it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
I would try http://blueseas.com , click on fuse boxes and you will see the one you want 5029 and then show west marine . They could have it drop shipped to your house right from blueseas .

Jack
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top