Introduction: How to Repair a Rusty Fuse Box on a Classic Car. Mustang, Falcon, Truck...
I've got a 1965 Ford Falcon from my father, it was his first car and now it's my turn to take care for it.
Some parts need to be replaced or rebuilt and it's a great challenge to figure out how to do it or find spare parts, specially in my country.
When I was rebuilding the electrical system the problem was to find a replacement, because I could't find it I had to figure out how to rebuild it and this is how I did.
*** Updated on June '16 ***
Step 1: Identify Your Fuse Box
This guide can be used for a lot of cars from the 60's up to the 80's but I'll try to write specifically about the ford falcon/mustang/cougar ones.
Users have reported succesful applications on:
64 to 68 ford mustang, falcon, galaxie, fairlane.
68-73 pick up truck and mavericks.
Dodge charger, super bee and most Mopar B body cars
84 Mazda B2000
Your fuse box must look like this:
Step 2: Get Everything You´ll Need
For this job you will need:
10 or more SFE fuse clips according to your fuse box.
Fuses according to your application.
A 40 watt (or better) soldering iron
flux, solder, pliers, hammer, terminals (optional)
You can find the right clips and fuse kits at my own site www.customretrostuff.com
Step 3: Remember the Original Wiring Order & Remove the Box
Mark every cable before remove the fuse box, this schematic shows the right configuration in case something goes wrong.
Remove the box from the car cutting the wires as close as possible from the box connections.
WARNING: Do not cut the radio cable, it is the one in the front, it's better to remove the box with the radio wire still attached, is just a few inches long.
Step 4: Remove Fuses and Rusty Clips
We can see a lot of rust on the box, this is because most of the clips are made of ferrous materials instead of copper or brass, which allows terminals to oxidize, and rust does not allow current to flow, causing car accessories to fail.
To remove the rusty old clips is necessary to insert a flat small screwdriver pushing the retainers that hold them in place, then you just have to push the clip to release it.
Then remove 9 clips, except the one in the picture, this one is usually made of copper and it only needs to be sanded and cleaned.
Step 5: Clean the Box
Once the clips are gone, it is a good idea to clean the entire box, once finished it will look a lot better than before.
Step 6: Install New Clips
Next, with a clean box it's time to put the new clips in place.
9 Littelfuse quarter inch clips (cheap and easy to get)
a 40 watt (or better) soldering iron
a flat tool.
The type of clip needed has a flat base and retainer clips to hold each one to the fuse box.
The first step is to "tin" the flat base of each clip, this will allow us to solder each cable back in place again.
After that, we only need to push every clip in place gently with a flat tool and a hammer.
Step 7: Make Internal Connections
Now we have to make two bridges "Tining" about one inch of 12 gauge cable and soldering to every corner opposite to the mounting holes.
Use a "before" picture as a reference to place the connections.
Step 8: Insert a New Set of Fuses
With all the clips in place and the connections done it's time to Insert a new set of fuses in place and we are ready to the last step.
For a 1965 Falcon we need:
3x SFE 14 Amp Fuses (1/4" x 1-1/16", 32V 14A)
1x SFE 7.5 Amp Fuse (1/4" x 7/8", 32V 7.5A)
1x AGA 2.5 Amp Fuse (1/4" x 5/8", 32V 2.5A)
Step 9: Rewire the Box and Reinstall Into the Car.
You can rewire the box using terminals and soldering them to the flat side of the clips or you can solder the wires directly into the box, a 40 watt soldering iron is just fine for this task.
Repeat this step to every wire attached to the fuse box and we are done. The fuse box finally looks and works as good as new!