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Old 06-04-2010, 12:36 PM   #1
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Red Hot Fuse Relay.

I have an '88 Ford B700 Diesel bus conversion which I am preparing for a huge road trip next week. I just realized a running light fuse/relay (gray metal thing looks like a fuse) which controls my running lights, dash lights, horn is becoming red hot and is loose in the socket as well....I have zero knowledge of electrical systems....can anyone enlighten me on what could be causing this and where I should start as far as diagnosing and fixing this problem as quickly as possible. Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

When you say red hot, do mean the metal is actually glowing red? If that is the case, I would pull the relay to avoid a possible fire until you track down the problem.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

Go to a ford dealership!! explain it and ask them to come outside and take a look. if its not a light or something i would so pull that. find it odd a 88 has driving lights...
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

Thanks guys for the info...I have replaced the fuse with the closest thing i could find from advance auto....still not working and still getting hot....im def. not using it till i figure out whats going on...im just glad I noticed it before I got on the road! Any other ideas now that I have changed the fuse and still cant get the lights to work? When I was using the old fuse i could wiggle it and get the lights to come on but with the new one ive got nothing...
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

all i can recommend is a dealership or big truck dealership. the big truck ones would probably know more what it is your needing.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

Gonzo, since by your own admission you do not know much about electrics, you need professional help with this right away -- before the bus catches fire. Might want to disconnect the batteries in the meantime.

Just one "do it yourself" question for you: Does this dramatic overheating of a component by any chance happen only when you start the engine, and then it cools off again? If so, then you would have no ground from the starter back to the battery, and the starter current would be returning thru any conductive path it can find. You can investigate this by connecting jumper cables from the engine block to the battery negative terminal. If the "red hot" problem goes away, then an engine-to-battery ground strap has failed. But I hesitate to tell you to perform this test... until we are resonably certain the bus is not about to catch fire.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

What you're describing is a self resetting circuit breaker. Is it getting hot enough to trip and not work? How hot is too hot? Well...if it's a 20 amp breaker and it's not tripping...well...I'm not sure I'd be that concerned about it. There is a lot of current flowing through that circuit. Replace the breaker with a smaller fuse (not a breaker) and see if it pops right away to give you an idea of current flow as I fear it will be too high to use a standard DVOM to check.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Red Hot Fuse Relay.

The breaker/fuse/whatever was getting so hot it was glowing like a coal in one corner. It seems to get hot when the engine is running but also if I turn on the headlights which also is supposed to turn on the running lights. I need to take this vehicle on the road tomorrow...i've removed the breaker and am contemplating running all new tail lights temporarily until I can get someone to help figure out the problem. Do I need to disconnect anything besides the fuse/breaker itself so I can safely drive without turning into a rolling fireball?
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