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moosens

Fire breathing Fusible Link !! Serious issue

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1992 Legacy fWD Wagon 

started up , began driving and had to hit the brakes pretty hard but was on gravel. Then I nailed it off the gravel and hustled my way across the intersection to avoid traffic. 

Continued straight and after about 100 - 200 feet the car was loosing power and not restarting. @@@ There is no battery hold down installed - my laziness etc. 

Pulled over and got back to it a few hours later. Took the Main fuse box cover off in the engine bay and found a fried fusible link and the underside of the cover showed a heavy burn/blast.

Got another link and went to install with battery still hooked up and the link started to crackle so I didn’t install and then removed the battery neg. , then installed the link , then the battery neg. and sure enough the link fried and caught fire.

Unhooked the battery ground and made sure all was cooled off , closed the hood and went home.

The car is just a block away. Have to sleep and work. Looking forward to any thoughts. 

It’s the black fusible link that sits up front all by itself. And I could use a couple of them now. 

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My thoughts would be that something is causing an excessive current draw on the circuit that is protected by the fusible link.

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once you get some spare links one way or another, and preferably once you determine which circuits that black link handles:

A. pull all the cabin fuses and retry - see if it still does it. 

B. disconnect the alternator and starter and see if it still burns up links.

look up the FSM or owners manual and see what that fusible link powers.

It sounds like the 93 has only one fusible link?  Just in case - If it has more than one - how certain are you that this black fusible link is in it's OEM location?  (you wouldn't want someone telling you what the black fusible link circuit drives if it's not actually the black fusible link circuit - i've seen the switched before on older cars. 

NAPA sells (or used to) fusible link wire -  or get it from amazon or something - its enough to make quite a few fusible links.  Buy spade terminals that will fit your fusible link box or creatively clamp/solder/wrap a set of spades from one of the burnt fusible links (this is ideal as they're perfectly fitted - some aftermarkets will be "close" but not quite right).  this way you'll have an easy and large supply of sacrificial fusible links. 

Edited by idosubaru

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Check the small hot wire from the battery feeding the fuse block. You have a major short, it wasn't there before your skid stop. Something shifted most likely due to the battery moving.  

It COULD be unrelated to your road crossing but I would look long and hard at how the power gets in and out of that fuse block. 

follow the others suggestions about pulling fuses to isolate what system is  shorting.

Use a very light gauge wire held with needle nose pliers to "test " the fusable link connection for a continuing short. If it sparks your short is still there.

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Paul, that's a major short there. Don't bother pulling the smaller fuses, they would have blown already.

Not remembering how the circuit path is on those, I'm gonna say the alternator is the most likely first place to check.

Unhook the big wire from the alternator and test with a jumper like montana tom said. 

Don't try to run the engine unless you pull the small wire plug from the alternator as well.

If that's not it, start looking for a damaged area in the harness after the underhood fuse box.

Check in the drivers fenderwell. Could have had a tire come apart or road debris tear into it there.

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Lol , ok , ok , hang on folks.

Pardon me for skipping the last few posts but I need to make clear a couple of things. 

Sure I realize how it happens. Was really tight on time , and still am. Had just hoped another unlucky knucklehead had the same issue and could make a quick solution.

Thanks very much all of you. Even from skimming I could see you were really trying.

So here’s what I saw given a minute to observe that I didn’t have before while with the car.

Its the alternator. Wham bam , totally blew out the connector that sits closest to the driver side. The power off the post. That sucker is now totally free of the alternator , but my hurried eyes didn’t catch it.

 

So I’ll grab an alternator I have at storage and try to dig up another black wire fusible link. Just thinking I probably have a warranty on this one so I could hit the parts store for that since it’s coming to me. 

Can I find that black wire link at a store ? As you may know for yourself , I just can’t find any in storage but I’m sure there’s one there. Grrrr

Thanks guys. If it fails after the new alt and link I’ll cry back here.

Cheers! 

Additional fun reading:

probably the loose gravel I had to stop hard in and then launch from to clear an intersection caused my overload from what I can tell.The car got thru the intersection (50-75ft) and then cut out a second or so later. Reman garbage alternator.

Edited by moosens

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Got another alternator from my lifetime warranty at AutoZone. Yeah , I know.

Dealer has fusible links coming from Jersey in the morning. 

You think I should get a fresh battery too ? Or anything else you think might have taken too much load ?

Going to stop at the car in a few and give a good look at all. Battery was strong , can’t recall how old but it still looks like it has life left judging by condition I’m used to seeing. Which means little. Lol , will check for date. 

 

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A few hours before you posted I did the hack method. Installed new alternator previous evening , left battery unhooked , then came back the next afternoon with my fusible link and hooked it up and looked and listened. All seemed well. My personal “meter” showed GO ! And so I did. 

So many things going on I’ve only got minutes sometimes , at certain moments , to evaluate , diagnose , and repair. Chunks of time are tough right now. So I really appreciate all the help !!! Sorry to be a bit frazzled at times. I work the worst possible hours and sleep is naps. Makes for difficulties with memory , vocabulary , ambition , etc etc

Thanks for understanding. 

  • Like 1

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Yeah , I was in such a rush I hit the panic button. The problem was right under my sniffer and I should have taken 30 seconds to check thoroughly. 

But I was already late for an appointment. Etc etc etc lol

Thanks again everyone for being here. Comfort factor , having folks like you at times like that.

Cheers !

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