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Old 01-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #1
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Gillig Phantom Fuse Box Clean Up

I was going to add this effort to my dashboard thread but that thread is getting looong... and this seems like it rates its own thread so, here it is.

As I began finalizing the dashboard rewire, I started "ringing out" the wiring from the fuse box to the dashboard. I want to be 100% certain of where each wire is coming from and going to...

Here is a pic of the fuse box. It looked mostly intact but there were 5 add on in line fuses in there. Today I figured out why.


This burned up fuse slot belonged to one of the passenger heaters.


Here is a pic of the back side, not pretty. Fuse slots 2 and 3 in that row went to the other two passenger heaters.


All three were clipped from the fuse block and given in line fuses which isn't that bad. However, for some reason the gauge illumination feed was also clipped from the fuse block and was spliced in unfused.


As I mentioned there were 5 inline add on fuse holders; the other two inline fuses were for the interior lights (another boogered up fuse holder in the fuse block) and an added "aux" power wire. I have decided to add an additional fuse block, and am leaning towards this one:
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:32 PM   #2
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You are a brave soul. Will your bus still start?

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Old 01-20-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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You are a brave soul. Will your bus still start?

Ted
Ha. Will the bus start? Someday...

I decided on this 12 circuit fuse block. It was actually cheaper than the 8 circuit model, and I decided that I will replace all "ignition switched" circuits with this fuse block.


In this pic of the existing fuse block, you can see the six rows of four fuses. The first three rows are ignition switched and will all come out and be replaced with the new block.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Ha. Will the bus start? Someday...

I decided on this 12 circuit fuse block. It was actually cheaper than the 8 circuit model, and I decided that I will replace all "ignition switched" circuits with this fuse block.


In this pic of the existing fuse block, you can see the six rows of four fuses. The first three rows are ignition switched and will all come out and be replaced with the new block.
Same unit I just bought, has 2-6 banks
Camera angle makes the separate fuse in the lower left look like a map light.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:34 PM   #5
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Same unit I just bought, has 2-6 banks
Clearly great minds think alike. First the Speedhut gauges, now the Blue Sea fuse block.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:39 PM   #6
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Very wise move again Rick to tidy things up, replace blocks that are past their due date. I see a few butt splices that look weak or poorly crimped. I'd remove all you can and shrink wrap any new ones you might add.


You are really the only one here who has tackled such work that I am aware of and this along with your new guages will give you lottsa payback over the years ahead.


I have no doubt it will start up when asked for, nice work.


John
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #7
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I have no doubt that your fuse block and electrical compartment will be as clean and elegant as your dash. I'm sure you bus will run fine when your done since you will know exactly where every wire goes and will have checked every connection. I had to make the comment since it seems like every week someone posts "I cut the (pick a color wire) and now my bus won't start."

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Old 01-21-2019, 01:16 AM   #8
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You are really the only one here who has tackled such work that I am aware of and this along with your new guages will give you lottsa payback over the years ahead.
Not quite! I've also spent a LOT of time going through my bus's entire electrical system to restore it as much as practically possible to how it was when it left the factory in 1990; the school district did some weird things with some add-ons and "upgrades", so I've restored everything to how Crown would likely have done it. Fortunately I have the full factory electrical schematics and color-coding charts, but even then it wasn't always easy to work out what was connected to what and where. My bus has an electronically-controlled engine, making it's vitally-important that all electrical connections are 100% reliable otherwise the ECM may stop working.

I've also replaced some of the original Teleflex gauges with Speedhuts and VDOs, primarily to get away from the difficult-to-read original quarter-sweep gauges and instead have full-sweep gauges everywhere; they have three times the resolution and are probably more accurate as well. With 24 reliable gauges in total I've now got no excuse to not know exactly what's happening!

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Old 01-21-2019, 06:41 AM   #9
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You are really the only one here who has tackled such work that I am aware of...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Not quite! I've also spent a LOT of time going through my bus's entire electrical system to restore it as much as practically possible...
BlackJohn did say caveat his statement with the phrase "that I am aware of". And it does sound like you've done a lot of great work on your bus.

I work really hard but often feel like I don't get recognized for it (especially from my family). I have found that a "daily self-affirmation" helps me get thru times that I feel unappreciated. I'm not saying it's right for everyone, but it may be worth a try...

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Old 01-21-2019, 08:49 AM   #10
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Iceni John,
My choice of words could maybe been better as I am sure you and others have invested considerable time and money restoring your rigs.
I seemed to read Rick's progress from day 1 where your work hasn't completely passed me by. You are a very knowledgeable man and contributor in my mind.
Sorry to have ruffled your feathers if I did.
I just see so many people with no clue as to where to begin to clean up a 20 year old rats nest of wiring, faulty connections, fuse blocks burnt out, relay bases burnt out etc and think they can expect the bus to perform as new.
But they won't invest the time either to learn, just jump right into the build dream.
I spent 2 years driving, cleaning, replacing, removing all those troublesome items before building the inside to my liking.
I wanted my platform to be a proven performer first and it is. It will be around for a good long time yet as will yours and Rick's.

Sad but a machine became the love of my life so to speak after loosing my wife in death.



John
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:55 PM   #11
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Sad but...
John, been thinking about you this week...


I decided to replace the OE fuse blocks in their entirety. One panel will be for ignition powered fuses and the other for battery fuses. I hope to get them wired up this weekend.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:45 PM   #12
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Thomas didn't even put the outside fuse/wiring box on my bus. I'd say I got lucky but I'm sure its all hidden in various places. I'll see how this pans out.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:07 AM   #13
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Thomas didn't even put the outside fuse/wiring box on my bus. I'd say I got lucky but I'm sure its all hidden in various places. I'll see how this pans out.
"outside fuse box"? What you talkin' about?
And what's that pic about? Dude were you baked when you posted this?
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:20 AM   #14
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"outside fuse box"? What you talkin' about?
And what's that pic about? Dude were you baked when you posted this?
Most buses have an outside electrical access box full of breakers, fuses, solenoids... Mine came without that. It would normally be located where the stop sign mount is in the pic I posted.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/i-...ere-14909.html
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:08 AM   #15
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Most buses have an outside electrical access box full of breakers, fuses, solenoids... Mine came without that. It would normally be located where the stop sign mount is in the pic I posted.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/i-...ere-14909.html
Ah, I didn't realize that. Sorry about that. This old Gillig really is simple; pretty sure the electrical box above the driver seat (pictured below) is all there is except for a few odds and ends in the engine bay.

There's really not that much in here...
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:16 AM   #16
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And yes... very baked! lol
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:22 AM   #17
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You are really the only one here who has tackled such work that I am aware of ...
I'm still in the middle of my effort ...

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Old 01-25-2019, 11:46 AM   #18
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Nice work Marky, this stuff takes time but sure cleans things up if not necessary to the bus operating.
Rick's work is all about the actual wiring for the bus to run, start, charge etc.
He can really make that distribution cabinet a thing of beauty to a trained eye and a few new parts. All electrical apparatus has a finite lifesyle and seen better days in our mostly 20 year old vehicles.

I like my wiring to meet its connection point at right angles mostly for ease of installation and/or removal in future. A few stickybacks for tyrapping too, some terminal strips and ventilated raceway to hide most of the wiring until it is at the connection point.

Good wire strippers and wire markers are essential.
For anyone considering doing this, google Panduit. They have stuff you never imagined for panel building.
If you can drill and tap 8/32 holes anyone can do a nice layout.


John
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:54 AM   #19
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Nice work Marky, this stuff takes time but sure cleans things up if not necessary to the bus operating.
Rick's work is all about the actual wiring for the bus to run, start, charge etc.
He can really make that distribution cabinet a thing of beauty to a trained eye and a few new parts. All electrical apparatus has a finite lifesyle and seen better days in our mostly 20 year old vehicles.

I like my wiring to meet its connection point at right angles mostly for ease of installation and/or removal in future. A few stickybacks for tyrapping too, some terminal strips and ventilated raceway to hide most of the wiring until it is at the connection point.

Good wire strippers and wire markers are essential.
For anyone considering doing this, google Panduit. They have stuff you never imagined for panel building.
If you can drill and tap 8/32 holes anyone can do a nice layout.


John

I still have even more I can get rid of, but that was most of the "low-hanging" variety. Houston really did a number on their buses, and it really wasn't pretty.



I'd really love to see a picture or two of what you are talking about. I used to work on the pipeline (i.e. oil/gas), but its been about as long as these buses are old and my memory isn't what it used to be. A quick refresher would be welcomed. Please, Rick, post pics along the way (heh, like you aren't...).


Checking out Panduit....
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:50 PM   #20
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John, been thinking about you this week...


I decided to replace the OE fuse blocks in their entirety. One panel will be for ignition powered fuses and the other for battery fuses. I hope to get them wired up this weekend.
Those are the blocks I will be going with as well. as always good attention to detail layout and maintenance.....
my biggest beef with Electrical/electronic engineers is layout and the severe lack of ease they are to maintain.
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