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    Thread: My fuse box swap thread

    1. 09-14-2006 01:18 AM #1
      Hi folks,
      The cabby's fuse box and connectors have a couple burnt plugs:


      The most burnt plug is the one for the heater blower fan. With the rainy season coming up, I really need to fan to be able to defog the windshield.
      My first idea was to rebuild the burnt harness, replace corroded connectors, and clean up the fuse box to get things working again.
      The topic came up recently and Ron mentioned in this post that the a westmoreland fuse panel can be spliced into the early wiring harness for trouble free operation. This was exactly what I wanted to hear, and off I went to the junk yard and picked up a fuse box:

      I got as much of the harness with it as I could, though I'm likely to just wire it without any of the connectors I got. For comparisson, here's a front and back shot of the german and westy fuse panels.


      As an other benefit, I will get to switch to blade-style fuses. I'll be documenting the process, including which wires go where and so forth. I'll be soldering everything and insulating with heat shrink wire.
      - Fab

    2. 09-14-2006 01:27 AM #2
      wurth makes pins for those plugs,,i have them,,and ive been there
      what i did is extract the pins,and cannabalized another bunny harness for good plastic connectors,and spent a fun time with solder and new pins
      its doable what you are doing,but theres other options
      run stuff thru relays to take the load off the fuse panel
      mine had a sorta burnt headlight circuit,but that one is easy to relay


      Modified by dieselfolk at 10:29 PM 9-13-2006

    3. Member jonny_breakz's Avatar
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      09-14-2006 09:50 AM #3
      wow...worthy cause but talk about exciting....Have fun...
      LUNAR LOUNGE
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    4. Member
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      09-14-2006 10:10 AM #4
      Looks like a fun way to spend a rainy Saturday or 20.....
      Way to get after it, looking forward to progress updates.

    5. 09-14-2006 12:40 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by dieselfolk »
      wurth makes pins for those plugs,,i have them,,and ive been there
      what i did is extract the pins,and cannabalized another bunny harness for good plastic connectors,and spent a fun time with solder and new pins

      Yeah, though it takes two to tango - the pin in the fuse box is pretty charred too, and replacing the fuse box is $100. Not to mention that finding unburnt plastic connectors can be difficult. The fuse box from the westy rabbit, along with all that wire, was $20 at the junkyard. With the amount of the wiring harness that I got, I won't have to splice anything to the steering column, which is nice.
      Quote, originally posted by dieselfolk »
      its doable what you are doing,but theres other options
      run stuff thru relays to take the load off the fuse panel
      mine had a sorta burnt headlight circuit,but that one is easy to relay

      Yep, the headlights are on relays. However, putting every high-load accessory on a relay because the stock fusebox can't hack the load isn't really that great. It actually complicates the wiring, requires a bunch of inline fuse holders for each relay, and so forth. Plus, the cost of adding more relays is more than the westy fuse panel and the heat shrink tubing.
      Anyway, I totally agree that there are other options. I'll see how this comes out, but I think it will be the most cost effective (assuming I don't account for the time).
      - Fab

    6. 09-14-2006 01:42 PM #6
      I have a similar situation with my '82 Convertible.
      Here's my plan;
      Part 1 - fix the dumb thing
      new fuse panel
      used/serviceable wiring harness connector shells (junkyard)
      remove all un-damaged pins from existing harness ends - install them into the replacement connectors
      cut/splice only the burnt/overloaded pins with pigtails into the existing harness
      Part 2 - make it so this never happens again
      aftermarket fuse panel + relays for all high current loads
      in other words, move the high current/troublesome circuits from the OE wiring to a custom (stout) relay/harness
      Think of it like relaying the headlamps and the fuel pump and the rear defroster and the heater blower...
      That's my plan anyway.
      Good luck with your approach, please keep us informed.
      fat biker

    7. 09-14-2006 02:05 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by fat biker »
      Part 1 - fix the dumb thing
      new fuse panel
      used/serviceable wiring harness connector shells (junkyard)
      remove all un-damaged pins from existing harness ends - install them into the replacement connectors
      cut/splice only the burnt/overloaded pins with pigtails into the existing harness

      The weak link in the harness isn't the wire, it's the connector at the fusebox. The westy wiring harness has all the same color coded wires as the german wiring harness, so splicing shouldn't be too difficult. I'm eliminating the weak link altogether.
      Granted for headlights the head light switch can also be a weak link, so relays for them is good, especially if running stronger than stock bulbs.
      Quote, originally posted by fat biker »
      Part 2 - make it so this never happens again
      aftermarket fuse panel + relays for all high current loads
      in other words, move the high current/troublesome circuits from the OE wiring to a custom (stout) relay/harness
      Think of it like relaying the headlamps and the fuel pump and the rear defroster and the heater blower...

      That's going to be a lot of extra relays, just to work around the weak fusebox connections. Anyway, I'm using the harness from the race bunny as a model so I can figure out where everything goes. When I get to the cabby, I will be cutting all the connectors to the fusebox out. I'll save them for you if you'd like.
      - Fab

    8. 09-14-2006 03:20 PM #8
      Bst of luck to you. I'm really considering doing the same this winter. Though with mine I'm just going to trim all the crap that isent used.
      My setup is carbed and is using a later westmoreland FI setup, so there is a ton of crap to be trimmed.
      Best of luck dude.

    9. 09-23-2006 11:09 PM #9
      So I had some time (and no rain too) to work on the car today. Not a lot of time, but I cleaned up the engine bay wiring. The headlights had been relayed, but the installation was a bit of a hack job. I also wanted to move the cooling fan circuit since it's a single speed fan - no need to have the wires run all the way to the fuse box and back to the fan just for a fuse.
      First came the radiator fan wiring. You can see the positive lead to the fan thermo switch from the fuse box:

      and here where it comes out in the engine bay:

      I cut the fusebox connector and pulled the wire out the front:

      Splice an inline fuse holder to the wire:

      And then spliced to the headlight relay wires:

      With the radiator fan circuit shortened (fuse relocated), I moved on to clean up the headlight wiring. The relays are actuated by the driver's side headlight circuit, so the passenger side was not connected. The wiring from the relay to the passenger side headlight was zip tied to the core support, with some nasty crimp fittings on the headlight connectors (no insulation!).
      Since the passenger side headlight circuits are not used with relayed headlights, I decided to pull those wires from the fuse box and splice them to the relays, thereby reusing the original wires and connector to go from driver's to passenger side.
      The passenger side headlight relay is on plug C in the fuse box, solid yellow and white (the driver's side is yellow/black and white/black). There's a plug like those used in computers for supplying power to hard disk drives that connects the lights from the C harness to the A harness:

      I cut after the connector (rather than at the C plug):

      You can see the yellow and white wires in the engine bay at the tip of my thumb. Note also the "high-tech" connection from the original headlight plug to the control wire to the relays (the mess wrapped in electrical tape):

      I pulled the wire through:


      If you've ever soldered, it's a heck of a lot easier if someone holds the wires while you man the iron and solder. Lacking a helper, I devised a simple wire holder that let me stage the wires nicely:

      Works great - hold wires:

      Add solder:

      The end result is that the yellow/black (driver's side low beam) and white/black (driver's side high beam) wires from the fuse box now is spliced directly to the blue wires supplying the relays (relay pin 85), ground out of relay pin 86. Power from the battery goes to relay pin 30, and the wires from relay pin 87 are spliced into the original headlight plugs. All solder joints where covered with heat shrink tubing (don't forget to put the tubing over the wire *before* you solder!).
      The net result of this is I've eliminated three circuits form the fuse box. Next up is making the connections between the fuse box plugs that normally go through the fusebox, and then splicing the westmoreland fusebox into the remaining wires.
      - Fab


    10. Member -teknien-'s Avatar
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      09-24-2006 02:22 AM #10
      awesome idea...
      Quote Originally Posted by g60vw View Post
      If I thought like that I would have gotten out of mk1's back when they were still A1's
      Quote Originally Posted by goosler View Post
      screw all of you & your stupid cars.........see you at madness!
      I'm a 1%er

    11. 09-24-2006 03:29 AM #11
      why not swap the harness over to ce2??

    12. 09-24-2006 11:13 AM #12
      I don't actually want to pull the harnesses out of the car. Or do you mean splice in a CE2 fusebox into the existing harness?
      What does the CE2 fusebox look like? This car is unlikely to ever have an engine swap - I just need the electrical stuff to work, and the German fuse box is toast.
      - Fab

    13. 09-24-2006 11:27 AM #13
      darn i had a pic or 2 of the box in my 91 jetta,thats ce2 isnt it??
      lookin good on the upgrade man
      make yourself a little wiring diagram too,so if you have to ever go in there again,you can trace out stuff easier

    14. 09-24-2006 11:39 AM #14
      Lookin groovy. Though albeit a little scarry lookin. I'll have the pics of mine up shortly. I spent the last week cleaning up the crap from the harness, rewiring some stuff, and deleating the sealtbelt interlock.

    15. 09-24-2006 12:35 PM #15

    16. 09-24-2006 01:02 PM #16
      Does it fit and fasten in the standard rabbit fusebox location? Did you put the CE2 harness and just splice in the connectors at the non-fusebox end? Or did you splice the rabbit harness at the CE2 connectors?
      Looks like a nice way to go!
      - Fab

    17. 09-29-2006 01:37 AM #17
      Ok, so I think I have all the wiring figured out. The only odd part of the cabby's wiring harness was that D5 was connected to something - it supplied power to the horn relay. I haven't seen any wiring diagrams that use D5 to power much of anything.
      Anyway, there are 15 fuses in the German fuse box. My westy fusebox has 16 fuses. The big difference is that the german fuse box has fuses inline to circuits, while the westy fusebox has the fuses between the power source and whatever circuit is powered. Take the rear defogger for example. In the cabby's original wiring, power goes to the defogger switch, then to the fuse, then to the defogger element. In the westy power goes to the fuse, then to the defogger switch, then to the defogger element. Having the fuses as the first link in the electrical system actually makes a lot more sense. Due to how the fuse prongs are setup, there is only one fuse in the westy fusebox that is an inline fuse - that is, neither side connects to power. This is the fuse for the instrument lights. The german wiring doesn't put a fuse for the instrument lights. I tried to devise a way to get that to work, but I could only protect 3 lights out of all the different instrument lights. The other oddity is that there are no fuses for the headlights in the fuse box. This poses a problem since the german headlight fuses are inline to the headlight circuits.
      Ok, so rather than blabbing, let me break down the fuses on the two setups:
      German
      S1-4: low and high beam, left and right.
      S5: rear defogger
      S6: brake, hazard
      S7: interior lights
      S8: turn signals
      S9: backup, horn
      S10: heater fan
      S11: wiper/washer
      S12: license plate lights
      S13-14: side marker, parking, tail lights
      S15: radiator fan
      Westy
      haz/stop
      dome/clk
      lighter
      horn SW
      heater-A/C
      R. defog
      F. wiper
      R. wiper
      turn signals
      radio
      backup
      rad fan
      park lps
      horn relay
      inst lps
      fuel pump
      Main differences in Westy vs. German:
      - single fuse for all side markers, tail, and parking lamps.
      - backup lights and horn are split up.
      - dome light + clock are split from cigarette lighter
      There are a few fuse locations that aren't used:
      - radiator fan: the cabby has a single speed fan and I put an inline fuse right off the batter. No reason to run the radiator fan circuit to the fuse box and then back to the fan.
      - rear wiper: no rear wiper on the cabby
      - instrument lights: no point in trying to wire it into the german harness since the lights are on a variety of different circuits.
      The radiator fan and rear wiper fuse locations only produced a single prong, the instrument lights provided two. This gave me enough fuse prongs to setup two locations for low beam/high beam circuits feeding the headlight relays next to the battery.
      Up next is pictures of the different fuse/relay locations on the fuse box, along with which wires go where.
      - Fab

    18. 09-29-2006 03:06 AM #18
      Turn Signal Relay:


      Green/Black wire to D1 + E3
      Black/Green wire to D12
      third prong is ground.
      Load Reduction Relay (X Relay):


      Only one connection to the harness, Black/Yellow to D7.
      Horn Relay:
      Main difference in the horn relay wiring is the change in polarity for the relay. The horn relay in the cabby closes the ground connection - the horns have constant 12V, the horn relay terminal 86 is powered from D5, the horn switch connects between horn relay terminal 85 and ground, ground wire from horn goest to relay terminal 87, and relay terminal 30 goes to ground. The westy wiring puts the relay in the supply side of the horn. The horn switch still brings the control side of the relay to ground.


      Black/Yellow is power to horn, A11.
      Brown/Blue is connection to horn switch, E11.
      Ground from horn is A7
      Note that as an optimization, it would be possible to just gound the horns to their mounting bracket and spare the wiring back to the interior. Not sure why they didn't just do that.
      Wiper Relay


      E20 and E7 where originally bridged in the harness. E7 is not connected to anything, only E20.
      From the F. Wiper fuse is a Black/Gray wire. It is connected to the Black/Gray wire leading to the wiper relay (left prong) as well as to C13 + E15 (+ D5). Since D5 powered the horn relay and we've already covered that, I'll leave D5 unconnected - hence the parentheses.
      The picture of the terminals isn't great, but here's where things go:
      Middle prong, Green/Black to C9
      Bottom prong, Green/Red, two wires from this terminal, one each to C17 and E20.
      Right prong, Green/Black to E16
      Top-right prong (small), Brown/Black to E8
      Rear Defogger

      Black/Yellow from fuse to E13
      Heater/AC
      The cabby doesn't have AC, but this is the pin that burnt out (see first post in thread for pictures). This is the whole reason for all this work.

      Black/Red from fuse to D19
      Cigarette Lighter

      Black/Green from fuse to D14.
      Dome/Clock

      Red/Gray from fuse to F14.
      Hazard/Stop Lights

      Two wires from fuse:
      Red/Yellow to A14 (stop lights)
      Red/White to D21 (hazards)
      Backup Lights

      Green/Blue from fuse to A15
      Park Lamps (and side markers and tail lights)

      There are two wires from this one. I couldn't figure out where the second one went (the Red/Black one). I will eliminate it or connect it and the other one in parallel (in case I figure out where it goes later).
      Gray/Red from fuse to D3.
      Note that this is a change from how the cabby is originally wired. The original wiring has unfused power through D3 to the light switch, and then return from the light switch to the fuse box to the fuses for the left and right tail light fuses (S13, 14). The westy fusebox has the fuse before feeding power to the light switch, and no fuse inline to either side. The wires that connected to/from the original fuses are bridged, but I'll get to all the bridged connections later (I have a table of these).
      Seatbelt warning/interlock


      From left to right, top to bottom:
      1: Bridged to 3.
      2: Ignition switch (Brown/Red). Connects to 'su' terminal
      3: To seatbelt switch (White/Violet)
      4: Red/Black, to A10 + C10. Note jumper to 10
      5: To ground
      6: empty
      7: Black, to circuit 15 (switched power)
      8: Brown/Gray, to door switch
      9: White/Purple, to seatbelt light in dash
      10: Red/Black, to E17. Note jumper to 4.
      For those of you with seatbelt interlock relays, jumpering 4 to 10 bypasses the interlock relay. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Fuel Pump
      Normally, the fuel pump relay is on a separate relay holder that clips into the top of the fuse panel. There's a relay spot with the same pin locations on the fuse panel for the oil pressure warning relay. Since the cabby doesn't have one of these, I decided to consolidate and put the fuel pump relay in this location.


      Note that the pin layout is rotated 90 degrees clockwise from the way the fuel pump relay normally sits. I just moved the wires from the modular relay plug to this location. From left to right, top to bottom:
      1: empty
      2: Red wire from fuel pump fuse
      3: ground
      4: Red/Black, to C19 + D15
      5: empty
      6: Black, circuit 15
      7: Black/Green. Two wires, one to A8 (fuel pump), the other to the Aux Air Regulator and Controp Pressure Regulator.
      Note: the german fuse box has pin 4 go to A3, which loops to A5, which then connects to C19 through the fusebox. The above setup removes connections to A3 and A5.
      D15 is the tach, so cars without a tach may not have a connection there.
      The Aux Air regulator and CPR connectors in the cabby have a T-connector from A8. I eliminate the T and use one of the two wire to connect directly.
      Turn Signal

      Black/Blue from fuse to D20
      Ok, next up is the table of all the circuits wires from each harness plug...
      - Fab




      Modified by ftillier at 12:09 AM 9-29-2006

    19. 09-29-2006 03:15 AM #19
      been there done that
      ask yourself.. wouldnt you rather have a simple fusebox where you know everything without a book?
      hotrod harnesses is where its at

    20. 09-29-2006 03:19 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by ensone »
      been there done that
      ask yourself.. wouldnt you rather have a simple fusebox where you know everything without a book?
      hotrod harnesses is where its at

      With the hotrod harness, you have to either eliminate the stock harness and rewire from scratch, or splice into the stock harness. The latter requires figuring out where to splice everything, which still requires the books to figure out where to connect what. I don't see how the hotrod harness is any better than what I'm doing - it does cost more, but other than that.
      - Fab

    21. 09-29-2006 03:29 AM #21
      man.. i got the ezwiring harness and i thought it was gonna be hard
      all you gotta do is use common sence and your original diagram to help you wire the stock switches and get some relays + fuses... all it is; is a power distribution board.. thats it
      you can use your factory harness and all that.. just no pin searching.. and eazy maintanance

    22. 09-29-2006 03:44 AM #22

      this is what it was a week ago

      this is what it was before
      i couldnt find the finished look of either one but beleive me im pissed off for ever messing with the vw fusebox

    23. 09-29-2006 03:48 AM #23
      yeah, if I were to tear the car apart I'd try to do it a bit better. For now I just need my heater fan and stuff. I've been driving the mk3 GTI and I miss the cabby. I'm not allowed to tear the cabby apart until I get the racecar finished.
      I'll be wiring the racecar custom. Not sure what I'll use for a fusebox yet, I might try to get another westy box and just wire it my way from there. It's really not that bad, the weak link in the harness is the connections to the fusebox, so once you eliminate those you should be golden.
      - Fab

    24. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      09-29-2006 04:04 AM #24
      Impressive write up! Excellent!! The write up looks to have been almost as much work as the swap itself.
      I like the clothespins, elegant simplicity!
      Since you have spare fuse locations and relayed headlights, hopefully the high current part of your relayed headlights are fused at or near the relays, use one of the spare fuse locations to fuse 56 to protect the rest of the headlight circuitry, a 5 or 10 amp fuse should be plenty, only high or low headlight relay coils will draw at any one time.
      __________
      Quote, originally posted by ensone »
      been there done that
      ask yourself.. wouldnt you rather have a simple fusebox where you know everything without a book?........

      No book is needed with this swap either, the end result is totally maintenance free. Only failed relays ever need attention, fix water leaks and those will be rare.
      __________
      I feel a touch of Deja Vu about now.....
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    25. Senior Member Muffler Bearing's Avatar
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      09-29-2006 04:21 AM #25
      Quote, originally posted by ftillier »

      great idea, ive just always used one of these

      im gonna need to store this idea away in the archives because i know it will come in handy.
      -j
      A Rabbit is not to be wasted on the tentative or weak. Only the worthy are invited, and then only at your own risk. If you have even a modicum of hesitation, DO NOT buy one of these cars. Instead, leave it for a worthy soul who has already matriculated to the sublime ecstasy of what those in the know refer to as a "MK1"

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