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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if you have ever put an auxiliary fuse block on your Wing? I'm looking to do so on mine and have a couple of questions.

  • Is there any significant difference between a $15 dollar block and a $60 dollar one?
  • What does the rating of 30A/circuit, 60A max mean? If there are 4 30A circuits, can only 2 of them can run simultaneously?
  • If the block has fuses for each circuit, as opposed to a buss bar, do I need to put a fuse in-line with the hot wire coming off the battery? If I do, what should the amperage be?
Thanks. Ed
 

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  • Is there any significant difference between a $15 dollar block and a $60 dollar one? Yes in fit and finish and ease of installation
  • What does the rating of 30A/circuit, 60A max mean? If there are 4 30A circuits, can only 2 of them can run simultaneously? The wiring and circuit board will only handle a total of 60A and each circuit is only wired for a 30A load.
  • If the block has fuses for each circuit, as opposed to a buss bar, do I need to put a fuse in-line with the hot wire coming off the battery? If I do, what should the amperage be? Yes you need an in-line fuse and it usually is a 30A. I prefer to put a breaker in-line so if it does trip it will reset after a minute or so
 

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First thing, I am NOT an electrical guru, but I have installed secondary fuse panels on all my wings. (Five so far). That being said, the answer to the last question first-always, always, always have a fuse as close to the source (battery)as you can, in the line. The value of that or those fuses should be no greater than the design limits of whichever fuse block you intend to buy. Can I assume your planning to install a manufactured one as opposed to making one up on your own? To the second question, if you have two 30 amp circuits, and the design limit is 60 amps, your fuse block is full. DO NOT CONNECT ANYTHING ELSE TO THAT FUSE BLOCK. Now to the first question, usually, again, usually "you get what you pay for". Yes, you can build your own block for shorter money than buying a manufactured one, but the research and mistakes have already be done for you. Others will chime in with suggestions of which block to purchase, most of which will be fine. Easy of install and reliability should determin you choice. Again, these are only my humble opinions, but I have been there and done that.
 

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Do a search on this board, there is a ton of info. I read dang near every post on the subject so when I installed my PC-8 I knew how I was going to hook it up, what to look for if something didn't work and got ideas on tools, like crimpers.
 

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Cost is not necessarily the determining factor in quality. Some cheap blocks are higher quality than ones cost 3 times as much. $10-15 blocks are usually bare blocks that require you to add your own wiring and do your own configuring. They require a little extra knowledge of wiring, and sometimes soldering. They also take much longer to plan and build. If this is not you, then cross them off your list.

The more expensive blocks like the ones from Fuzeblock, Eastern Beaver, Centech, etc., have all been preconfigured. All you need to do is wire them to your battery, hook up your accessories, and you are done.

The only drawback to pre-configured blocks is that they are pre-configured. the designer builds them to satisfy what he thinks will be the largest percentage of buyers, and they don't always fit your needs. If you find one that does, you are all set.

Many of the pre-configured blocks are also a bit larger, making them difficult to fit into your planned location. Look closely at the dimensions, and plan your install location before you buy.

I used a $10 block not only because it was much cheaper, and because I knew how to build it, but also because none of the other blocks on the market did what I wanted. I won't go into the details of those reasons because I have a funny feeling that what you really need is a pre-configured version.

Take all the links everyone has been giving you and sit down and look closely at the specs to see which one fits you right.

Also keep in mind that the individual totals of your fuses can exceed the capability of the box. Your devices typically pull much less current than what the fuse is rated at. The totals of the fuses for my Gerbings, two sets of foglights, and trailer harness exceed the 60 amp rating of my block by about 30 amps. I know that not only will those devices never be running all at the same time, but even if they were, their typical current draw is much, much lower.

Besides, if you have a 60 amp block, you better hope you never exceed it anyway. That's over 800 watts. If you ever got that high, you would be overloading your alternator once you add all the bike's normal systems to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only drawback to pre-configured blocks is that they are pre-configured. the designer builds them to satisfy what he thinks will be the largest percentage of buyers, and they don't always fit your needs. If you find one that does, you are all set.

LarryM:
Can you tell me how different blocks would be configured differently. Thanks.

Ed
 

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  • I prefer to put a breaker in-line so if it does trip it will reset after a minute or so
I am not a big fan of resettable circuit breakers on vehicles. Especially self-resetting types.

Why? Because a lot of people when a circuit breaker trips, they just reset it without bothering to investigate why it tripped.

If the breaker trips because of a fault in the line, there may be damage to the wiring. The breaker resets, current flows and possibly more damage occurs.

But they can be OK if proper attention is paid to wire sizes and current. User should be aware of possible problems. And if the breaker trips, inspect the wiring before blindly resetting the breaker.
 

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Blue Sea 5025 and FuzeBlock FZ1. The Blue Sea is rated for 30 amp per slot...and has a negative bus. It is on the big side but it will handle a load. The FuzeBlock is a smaller package and has the neat feature of being able to choose between switched or un-switched service by simply moving a fuse. The FZ1 will handle 10amp per slot but only 30amp over-all....so not well suited for high-draw accessories. It has a negative bus as well.





Fabbed up.


Powder coated.


Visualizing.


I rigged up one of each for a special application. The Blue Sea is wired for major power and I used the FZ1 as a sub-panel off the Blue Sea as you can see. In many respects, I used the FZ1 as a terminal block on light-draw accessories, especially, where I may want to change from switched to unswitched.



Everything fits.


Ther is a CB radio, an iPod interface and a Battery Tender pigtail under the fuse block panel.



I installed one of the small fuse blocks that mounts below and to the right of the battery on another Wing. It was useless as +i+s on a bore hog to me.

I'm wired.

Z
 

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The inline fuse must be blow the max capacity of the fuse panel and the max carrying capacity of the positive wire leading to the panel. verify your wire rating.
 

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Zackybilly very nice install. Wish I had that type of knowledge before I installed mine under the seat. :bow:
 

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I am not a big fan of resettable circuit breakers on vehicles. Especially self-resetting types.

Why? Because a lot of people when a circuit breaker trips, they just reset it with bothering to investigate why it tripped.

If the breaker trips because of a fault in the line, there may be damage to the wiring. The breaker resets, current flows and possibly more damage occurs.

But they can be OK if proper attention is paid to wire sizes and current. User should be aware of possible problems. And if the breaker trips, inspect the wiring before blindly resetting the breaker.
That is a very good point. However, there are three types of circuit breakers, Type I, Type II, and Type III. I don't remember which is which, but one type will reset automatically, one type resets with a manual push button, and one type will only reset if power is removed. You don't want to have to disconnect your battery every time a breaker pops, so the only type good for use on a motorcycle is the manual reset type.

The only place I put a manual breaker is the main one that protects the fuse block at the battery. Breakers are expensive, and it is a wasted expense. If your system is designed correctly, you should never blow a fuse during the lifetime of your bike. You should not design your system expecting fuses to blow. They are there as a last resort to protect your bike and your devices. If you find yourself regularly blowing fuses, you need to take a step back and look at the design of your system.
 

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LarryM:
Can you tell me how different blocks would be configured differently. Thanks.

Ed
More than any other accessory, a fuse block installation needs a plan, and that plan will affect what fuse block you buy. We have very tight constraints on a motorcycle, which limits the options available to us. I had too primary criteria with my installation.

1. It had to be easily accessible.
2. It couldn't take up valuable storage space.
3. It could not interfere with doing maintenance on the bike.

Based on that criteria, the only viable place to install a fuse block was right next to the OEM fuse box.

Preconfiguring a fuse block almost always makes the block larger than it needs to be, and despite the best intentions of the designer, they rarely meet the needs of the customer exactly. Installing a relay on the fuse block, and supplying ground points are my two biggest pet peeves.

You want your fuses accessible, but you don't need your relay and grounds to be easily accessible. So there is no reason to put them at the fuse block. Relays and grounds can and should go under the seat. This eliminated the Fuzeblock and many others when I made my decision.

It's not just a size issue. Running all your grounds to the block makes for a rat's nest, and a big installation problem trying to figure out how to run twice as many wires to your block. I want my grounds to run away from the block, not towards it. My grounds are under the seat and are tied together with a bolt and nut. Under the seat is a great location because you should never, ever have to do any maintenance on your grounds. The relay is the same. It doesn't require easy access.

Besides the size issue, you have to decide whether you want switched or unswitched outlets, and not only that, how many switched, and how many unswitched. Most blocks offer a fixed amount of both. Fuzeblock did a really nice setup with their block, allowing the installer to select between switched and unswitched just by changing which tap you install the fuse. But in my opinion, this just wastes space. This is a one time decision, one that is made during installation, not something you will change often. It's a great solution. But on a motorcycle, it is too much of a space penalty to pay.

I addressed the switched vs unswitched question by installing my block with all fuses hot at all times. This made the install much easier.

If you really stop and think about your needs, you will probably realize that you don't need any of your taps to be switched either. Most of the devices you install that need to be switched will be low current devices. You don't need a fuse block for those. These can all be installed at either the 5 amp accessory connector under the pocket, or attached to the 5 amp accessory terminals at the main fuse box.

Most high current devices either don't need a relay, or come with one. Your heated gear doesn't need to be switched. It turns off when you disconnect them. (the controller won't kill your battery if you leave it turned on.) Your foglights already have their own relay. So does a trailer harness.

If you do find a situation where you really do need switched tap, you can very easily install your own relay under the seat.

Keep it simple and small. All these options seem like a great idea on the surface. But when you break it down, you will realize that you really don't need them, and many times just cause unnecessary installation hassles.

Zak did a beautiful, professional install in the cubby hole, and many others have installed their blocks in the same location. But it violated at least two of my criteria. It not only used up storage space, but it is not easily accessible when your trunk is tightly packed while on a trip. What could be easier than just popping off the side cover to access your fuses. Installing in the trunk is still much better than installing it under your seat.

Zak felt it was the best option for him, and I won't question his reasons. You have to decide what the best option is for you. Fortunately there are many solutions on this site to help you decide.

If I were in a position where I felt I really did not have the necessary expertise to build my own block, the Eastern Beaver PC-8 would be my choice. It is small, very well made, fairly versatile because they have many custom harnesses available, and how much it costs depends on how much you are willing to do yourself. I don't care for the ground taps, but there isn't anything that says you have to use them.

I like the Fuzeblock. But it was very shortsighted on their part to limit the unswitched outputs to 10 amps each. They claim this limitation was necessary to keep the block small, yet there are may blocks out there half the size that can handle twice as much current per circuit. This was poor design, plain and simple. That is a shame, because it is a nice block otherwise. Since nearly every Goldwing owner installs at least one set of foglights that needs a 15 amp circuit, it makes the Fuzeblock a non option for most owners. You also can't hook up a full set of Gerbings or a trailer harness either.
 

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Larry,

I saw your hook-up on another thread...very tidy, very compact...nice job. Most of us don't have your abilities when it comes to electrical wizardry.

But in my opinion, this just wastes space. This is a one time decision, one that is made during installation, not something you will change often. I use the switched/unswitched feature for "timed" long-distance riding. I hook my GPSs to unswitched on a "timed" ride to keep from loosing my ride statistics. Off of a timed ride, I move it back to switched service. My GPSs are fed from two different power sources so should I have a problem (which I shouldn't), I won't drop both GPSs at the same time. I, also, flip-flop on my TPMS during timed rides to prevent waiting on the transducer to connect with the unit.

Most high current devices either don't need a relay, or come with one. Your heated gear doesn't need to be switched. It turns off when you disconnect them. Amen. On any high-draw requirements, I use a dedicated relay. Heated gear, I always run direct from the battery with the provided fused pigtail.

Zak did a beautiful, professional install in the cubby hole, and many others have installed their blocks in the same location. But it violated at least two of my criteria. It not only used up storage space, but it is not easily accessible when your trunk is tightly packed while on a trip. This is for a rig that will have a trailer attached full time. I use the trunk for my ball cap, gloves and ammunition. No worse than my Wing with a CD changer. I'm feeding two "under-trunk" plugs for a multitude of various oddities and that was my simplest solution to keep it adaptable in the future.

What could be easier than just popping off the side cover to access your fuses. Installing in the trunk is still much better than installing it under your seat. I have some "additions" that make the side cover removal more than just simply popping them off! For normal people, that is a good option, though.

Zak felt it was the best option for him, and I won't question his reasons. There was/is a method to the madness....but some how you knew madness would enter into the equation.

If I were in a position where I felt I really did not have the necessary expertise to build my own block, the Eastern Beaver PC-8 would be my choice. I agree. I'll just have to plead ignorance on these as I was un-aware of their existence at the time. It's not uncommon that I find out about a better alternative two days after I complete a project.

I like the Fuzeblock. But it was very shortsighted on their part to limit the unswitched outputs to 10 amps each. ...and 30 amps total. Agreed, again. The FZ1 is only good for light loads and I wouldn't never hook up anything that would tax the relay.
I've got a second FZ1 mounted on the front of the bike that I use more or less as a junction block for some switched/unswitched items. Sometimes, farkles come and go...no biggie here.








Some of us are plagued with an electrical monkey on our backs.

Z
 

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And now you know WHY I wasn't going to question your reasons. Thanks for explaining however. It will give everyone some reasons why other methods are preferable.

Ed, I had hoped some of the guys who have intalled pre-configured blocks would have chimed in and showed pics of their installs. I only showed mine as one option. If you do a search on this board for "fuse block, you will be busy for hours just looking at pics. There are some really good ones out there. You will probably see the option you want in one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LarryM:
Thanks for your very thorough response. The PC-8 looks to be a good unit for my purposes. Before I push the button on that one, let me ask another question.

I am also looking at the Blue Sea 5026 ST. This unit seems to have no switchable circuits. However, if I understand things correctly, I would make all of the circuits switchable when I put a relay in-line. If that's the case, I don't think I need any constant hot circuits; I'll be connecting my Gerbings, Battery Tender, fog lights, and a couple other things that don't require a constant hot. Does this sound like a reasonable approach, or should I have some circuits switchable and some hot? Thanks.

Ed
 

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LarryM:
Thanks for your very thorough response. The PC-8 looks to be a good unit for my purposes. Before I push the button on that one, let me ask another question.

I am also looking at the Blue Sea 5026 ST. This unit seems to have no switchable circuits. However, if I understand things correctly, I would make all of the circuits switchable when I put a relay in-line. If that's the case, I don't think I need any constant hot circuits; I'll be connecting my Gerbings, Battery Tender, fog lights, and a couple other things that don't require a constant hot. Does this sound like a reasonable approach, or should I have some circuits switchable and some hot? Thanks.

Ed
Ed...love the post...but I am just curious....what year is your bike....the newer bikes come already prewired for the fog lights....thus no secondary block needed.....second, why would you want to put your battery tender through any secondary fuse block....I would not recommend that, battery tender should go directly to the battery and no where else...fuse blocks are to pull power from...not push power into....just curious....Safe Wiring
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lab Rider:
My Wing is a 2007. I installed EC fog lights not long after getting the bike. I just followed the directions that came with the light kit; I wasn't aware that the bike is pre-wired for fog lights.

With respect to the battery tender, I was just listing the items which currently have a direct connection to the battery. But you make a very good point about drawing power away from the block, and not pushing it into it. Thanks.

Ed
 

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Ed...love the post...but I am just curious....what year is your bike....the newer bikes come already prewired for the fog lights....thus no secondary block needed.....second, why would you want to put your battery tender through any secondary fuse block....I would not recommend that, battery tender should go directly to the battery and no where else...fuse blocks are to pull power from...not push power into....just curious....Safe Wiring
All of the GL1800's came prewired for foglights. But that wiring will not work with the EC lights, for two reasons.

1. The OEM foglights are only 35 watts. The wiring cannot handle the current of most aftermarket foglights, which are usually 55 watts. (The Showchrome 35 watt lights are an exception.)

2. The OEM foglights do not use a relay. All power is sent directly through the switch. The switches are already burning up just with the 35 watters. The 55 watt bulbs would destroy the switch. This was a major cost cutting screwup on Honda's part.

Electrical Connection supplies a dedicated harness and relay for the GL1800 for a very good reason.

I will address the battery tender problem in my next post.
 

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LarryM:
Thanks for your very thorough response. The PC-8 looks to be a good unit for my purposes. Before I push the button on that one, let me ask another question.

I am also looking at the Blue Sea 5026 ST. This unit seems to have no switchable circuits. However, if I understand things correctly, I would make all of the circuits switchable when I put a relay in-line. If that's the case, I don't think I need any constant hot circuits; I'll be connecting my Gerbings, Battery Tender, fog lights, and a couple other things that don't require a constant hot. Does this sound like a reasonable approach, or should I have some circuits switchable and some hot? Thanks.

Ed
That Blue Sea unit is really nice. But keep in mind that it is very large at 10 inches long.

Yes, you are correct about the relay. You have to make them either all hot, or all switched. It is a common bus to all circuits.

There are a few problems with your idea. But that is what message boards are for, to work them out.

First, there is no problem with connecting a battery tender through the fuse block. But the line has to be a constant 12 volts. It can't be switched. If it is switched, the charger would only work while your ignition was on, and you obviously can't do that.

Secondly, if you switch your entire block with a relay, you will no longer have a 100 amp fuse block. It will be limited to whatever the rating is of your relay. Most relays are 20-30 amps. When you add up all your high current devices, like heated gear and foglights, you are going to find that they exceed the capacity of the relay.

And since your EC foglights already have a relay, they would be running through 2 relays, which is not something you really want to do.

There are also other problems with making the entire block switched, but those are the two big ones.

Even though heated gear does not need to be switched, there certainly isn't anything wrong with it. Many people do. But IMO, it's just one more unnecessary part to fail. If you are going to switch your heated gear, it needs to be on its own dedicated relay, just like your foglights. Use Honda's layout of the bike's electrical system as an example. There are about 30 relays in that relay box.
 
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