1964 Fuse box upgrade or rebuild

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
Hello All,

My mother is very sick and I am not able to work on the bird very much right now plug - state transfer inspection firstly so I can get it in my name.

However, I can design things and think of projects. As most of you know I have had some weird/strange/hacked up electrical issues with my 64. The fuse box is no exception. I have connectors in it that are rusty on the back and so on. I can/have cleaned it up, but I want the cleanest power possible. Not to

I want to upgrade to blade style fuses(put a nice clean box in) and replace my fuse box. I want to keep it simple. I will keep the same breakers & relays and may mold/create a special box for them(or maybe somehow include newer breakers and relays into the new box. I want to keep everything else where it is, just a box swap so to speak. Also, the terminals for constant power (and those ring terminal wires that connect to them) need to be kept. I also know that a starter relay and ampmeter need to be fed as well.

Do you all have any suggestions on where to start? I see all these Chinese boxes on eBay but I really wanted something solid. Maybe a later make of car? I am thinking about marine applications as well just case they get wet. My goal is for it to be as modern as possible and CLEAN from corrosion. If someone makes replacement fuseboxes or kits to rebuild a fuse box I am all ears as well. I am totally willing to rebuild mine
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
I was looking around and found this:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-repair-a-65-67-falcon-or-mustang-fuse-box/

His video is nice, voice over has a heavy accent, makes it hard to understand, but looks good. Wondering if these clips are easy to get. I searched eBay, but there are many choices. I think I would like to refurb my box like this one outlined in the link. Wondering if replacing my circuit breakers is a good idea as they are 55 years old too. hmm Well, just planning now.
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

I have been mourning the loss of my mother and coming off of caretaking...having a hard time.

Went out and messed with the 64 tbird to try and get some thunder therapy. I noticed that the fuse box, no matter how much I clean and work on it, seems janky as best. I have tried many things. I have decided to upgrade it to block fuses.

Right now I am looking at options from Blue Sea - but also looking at eBay and Amazon. I am a little afraid to remove the block and start a rewire. I thought maybe about mounting a fuse panel next to my current one and solder wires from the posts in the old one, then silicone it up, and put the connections over to the new box. This seems though like a band-aid - What do you all think about an all-out replacement? Has any done a conversion? I have been thinking about buss bars, constant and switch in the box. From looking at what little wiring diagrams I have, and what @fordrodsteven provided (THANK YOU) and don't see a common hot and ground coming out of the original box - I am assuming it was/is just a holder not so much a distribution block except for the circuit breakers of course.
When I do this, my plan is to video it and take plenty of photos and creating a resource for others. No, I am NO EXPERT by any means - but I can work through this - with a little help from you all lol - and create something useful for others as well.
 

Rom324

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

I have been mourning the loss of my mother and coming off of caretaking...having a hard time.

Went out and messed with the 64 tbird to try and get some thunder therapy. I noticed that the fuse box, no matter how much I clean and work on it, seems janky as best. I have tried many things. I have decided to upgrade it to block fuses.

Right now I am looking at options from Blue Sea - but also looking at eBay and Amazon. I am a little afraid to remove the block and start a rewire. I thought maybe about mounting a fuse panel next to my current one and solder wires from the posts in the old one, then silicone it up, and put the connections over to the new box. This seems though like a band-aid - What do you all think about an all-out replacement? Has any done a conversion? I have been thinking about buss bars, constant and switch in the box. From looking at what little wiring diagrams I have, and what @fordrodsteven provided (THANK YOU) and don't see a common hot and ground coming out of the original box - I am assuming it was/is just a holder not so much a distribution block except for the circuit breakers of course.
When I do this, my plan is to video it and take plenty of photos and creating a resource for others. No, I am NO EXPERT by any means - but I can work through this - with a little help from you all lol - and create something useful for others as well.

Well I must say that in my 30 years of working on T Bird‘s I have never done a fuse box replacement unless it was with another original set up. You might be better off trying to get a used or new fuse box if yours is that bad. Can you send a picture of the fuse box so I can see how bad it is. I’m not sure I would attempt this unless you have somebody that has done it before and can tell you what the pitfalls and drawbacks might be.
 
I'm thinking about moving my fuse box. Placing it near the front radiator frame. Like near the regulator. What A pain, stooping under the passenger side dash board. This way it will be easy access and if I want to add items to my 64 T-bird, it would be so much simpler. Dan(Forest Hill, Md.)
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
Okay Folks,

I have not taken the brave step of actually taking the fuse box out yet, but I am trying to figure out the ground situation. I have a couple of wiring diagrams for general 1964 Ford's but the detail is not that great. @fordrodsteven created this fantastic diagram - I really think this should be a sticky - his diagram - so AWESOME!

3649_4a050db1769fb7130aedcd778481d28b.jpg
I see the constant and I see the switched. What I was wondering about is the actual ground. Are each of these grounded at the accessory or does the box contain a common ground? If it does not - that makes things easier - at least in my brain. If each or some need a ground then I will need to find a better box solution. Once I figure this ground situation out, I will share my amazon wishlist and let you folks see what I am looking at buying.
 

fordrodsteven

Well-Known Member
No ground at the fuse box. The ground circuit is a separate system. These connections at the fuse box are all positive power circuits. Just think of the fuses as if they are just connecting wires together to continue the circuit.
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
No ground at the fuse box. The ground circuit is a separate system. These connections at the fuse box are all positive power circuits. Just think of the fuses as if they are just connecting wires together to continue the circuit.
Excellent, this makes it so simple - @fordrodsteven you are awesome. Let me share my amazon wishlist"
https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1S9JWRO2VOWXV?ref_=wl_share


Open to any and all criticisms, tweaks, and "slaps upside the head." lol

Now, this has a few extra items on it.

Firstly, I was going to use: WATERWICH 4-Way Blade Fuse Box Standard Circuit Fuse Holder Box Block DC 12-32V with Waterproof Protection Cover for Car Boat Marine Trike Auto Car Truck Vehicle SUV Yacht RV Ship (4-Way) -I would install this for probably the constant circuits - using the constant feed wire to feed the block.

Secondly, I was going to use 6-Way Blade Fuse Box [LED Indicator for Blown Fuse] [Protection Cover] [100 Amp] - Fuse Block for Automotive - for the switched - seems like there are more switched - and using the switched feed to feed the panel.

Thirdly, as you can see on the list I have looked at various circuit breakers and will replace the current ones with factory style.

Lastly, I was looking at using: Bussmann CB185-100 100 Amp Type III Circuit Breaker - at the battery to switch off the whole system in case of overload - of course - maybe I should go with a bigger breaker but 100amps seemed enough - maybe.

I installed the "painless wiring 7 circuits 70207," under the hood. I really regret this. It is a wonderful unit and works well, but it is really overpriced - and the unit you shared would have been better for my purposes, and cheaper as you pointed out at the time.

I am also working on a relay box. I will share the details of that once this is complete and if you all are interested.
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
I wanted to ask:
"Lastly, I was looking at using: Bussmann CB185-100 100 Amp Type III Circuit Breaker - at the battery to switch off the whole system in case of overload - of course - maybe I should go with a bigger breaker but 100amps seemed enough - maybe."

Is a 100 amp breaker at the battery enough to deal with the system if an overload happens. I don't want to trip it all the time, I can buy a 150amp or 200amp - price goes WAY up on 200amp. Do these cars pull that kind of amperage? Most I will have in it is a basic stereo, some Cadillac 4 note horns, and eventually A/C.

I just want a breaker that will help save the car.

OH - I will also have an ignition box as well.
 

fordrodsteven

Well-Known Member
Excellent, this makes it so simple - @fordrodsteven you are awesome. Let me share my amazon wishlist"
https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1S9JWRO2VOWXV?ref_=wl_share


Open to any and all criticisms, tweaks, and "slaps upside the head." lol

Now, this has a few extra items on it.

Firstly, I was going to use: WATERWICH 4-Way Blade Fuse Box Standard Circuit Fuse Holder Box Block DC 12-32V with Waterproof Protection Cover for Car Boat Marine Trike Auto Car Truck Vehicle SUV Yacht RV Ship (4-Way) -I would install this for probably the constant circuits - using the constant feed wire to feed the block.

Secondly, I was going to use 6-Way Blade Fuse Box [LED Indicator for Blown Fuse] [Protection Cover] [100 Amp] - Fuse Block for Automotive - for the switched - seems like there are more switched - and using the switched feed to feed the panel.

Thirdly, as you can see on the list I have looked at various circuit breakers and will replace the current ones with factory style.

Lastly, I was looking at using: Bussmann CB185-100 100 Amp Type III Circuit Breaker - at the battery to switch off the whole system in case of overload - of course - maybe I should go with a bigger breaker but 100amps seemed enough - maybe.

I installed the "painless wiring 7 circuits 70207," under the hood. I really regret this. It is a wonderful unit and works well, but it is really overpriced - and the unit you shared would have been better for my purposes, and cheaper as you pointed out at the time.

I am also working on a relay box. I will share the details of that once this is complete and if you all are interested.
The 100 AMP unit will be fine. You will probably never get to pulling 100 amps at any time. Even with every single electrical circuit, switch and relay actuated at exactly the same time. Many people just install a battery disconnect switch at the battery so the can switch the electrical system on / off. There's no need to overcomplicate your wiring. I've rewired many a motorcycle and a few cars. You just consider one circuit at a time and it actually becomes relatively simple. I agree that having one unit for constant and one for switched can make it easier for you when troubleshooting.
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
The 100 AMP unit will be fine. You will probably never get to pulling 100 amps at any time. Even with every single electrical circuit, switch and relay actuated at exactly the same time. Many people just install a battery disconnect switch at the battery so the can switch the electrical system on / off. There's no need to overcomplicate your wiring. I've rewired many a motorcycle and a few cars. You just consider one circuit at a time and it actually becomes relatively simple. I agree that having one unit for constant and one for switched can make it easier for you when troubleshooting.
Thank you @fordrodsteven . I wanted to also say that you really "sparked," my interest to automotive electronics. Your help has led me to fixing my dad's Buick as well as getting my car on the road and legal.

I will buy a 100amp and call it a day - thank you sir!
 

fordrodsteven

Well-Known Member
FYI - You find frequently that ground wires come out of the taped harness right alongside the power wire. This confuses many people because they think the ground is tied into the harness. If you were to take apart a complete harness you would find the ground circuit breaks away at some point and is bolted /connected to the body or frame, sometimes in various places. Most of the power wires go through the fuse box (just for circuit protection) in case there is ever a direct "short" to ground. Sometimes when people have one dim headlight( common in old chevy's) they will strip a little of the ground wire near the light where the ground wire comes out of the harness. They then make a connection from there to a fender or frame for a good ground connection at the light and the light is then nice and bright. The only issue I have with that is that they are not tracing back to the point where the ground got weak and a bad ground can cause battery drain with a car just sitting,
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
FYI - You find frequently that ground wires come out of the taped harness right alongside the power wire. This confuses many people because they think the ground is tied into the harness. If you were to take apart a complete harness you would find the ground circuit breaks away at some point and is bolted /connected to the body or frame, sometimes in various places. Most of the power wires go through the fuse box (just for circuit protection) in case there is ever a direct "short" to ground. Sometimes when people have one dim headlight( common in old chevy's) they will strip a little of the ground wire near the light where the ground wire comes out of the harness. They then make a connection from there to a fender or frame for a good ground connection at the light and the light is then nice and bright. The only issue I have with that is that they are not tracing back to the point where the ground got weak and a bad ground can cause battery drain with a car just sitting,
Interesting, this has ALWAYS been a mystery to me. Makes me want to buy a bunch of harness tap, a thread ripper and check my harness lol - I won't, but I will check for bad spots for sure. This did confuse me a great deal. I sort of thought the accessories would be grounded at their source or to a common source - just wasn't sure if it ended up in the box - this really helped me understand - thank you. I agree with the headlight business, it would seem that it is a bad band-air and they should find the short.

I have been reading how you can wire an independent harness for the headlights and put them on their own with relays and get them to brighten up. I like the isolation, but at the same time, it seems like you are pushing the system if you are using original wiring not used to a load like that. I thought about doing this for a minute, then backed off after I thought about it.
 

fordrodsteven

Well-Known Member
I have been reading how you can wire an independent harness for the headlights and put them on their own with relays and get them to brighten up. I like the isolation, but at the same time, it seems like you are pushing the system if you are using original wiring not used to a load like that. I thought about doing this for a minute, then backed off after I thought about it.
That conversion is done frequently and is actually an improvement for the system. If you think you would like to do it. It won't hurt anything.
 

s1nemesis1s

Well-Known Member
That conversion is done frequently and is actually an improvement for the system. If you think you would like to do it. It won't hurt anything.
Guess I have a new project :) I found some videos and wiring diagrams for a ford. I think I may try to do a completely independent harness for the lights.

I need to decide the direction for my car. I feel like the engine is a bit tired and would love to do a rebuild on the drive train. I just don't have the cash. I guess best thing to do is build around what I have then redo some later as part of the "project." :) I would pull the engine myself and do most the work as I want to learn, so I see a hoist and stand in my future house.
 
Need help with wiring of fuse panel on my 64 bird. If someone could take a picture of it and where the wires connect to the circut breakers along with the color code of the wires that would be great. My bird doesn't have power seats or air if that makes a difference. Thanks to all, Larry.
 

jack-in-sac

Well-Known Member
Need help with wiring of fuse panel on my 64 bird. If someone could take a picture of it and where the wires connect to the circut breakers along with thec olor code of the wires that would be great. My bird doesn't have power seats or air if that makes a difference. Thanks to all, Larry.
You may find a wiring schematic in your shop manual. It would give you the wire color coding. good luck, John
 
I have no power to my windows, dash or driver's power seat. I have replaced circuit breakers, fuses, and bench-tested window motors. No power going through my circuit breakers and possibly no power to breakers. I also replaced the power safety relay switch and checked engine ground.
 
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