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Old 10-06-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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1976 27' Overlander
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fuses getting hot

I have a 1976 overlander i am restoring. Electrical is in a mess. PO somewhere along the line fried the univolt and probably at least one battery. The fuse panel was really corroded and had a ton of loose connections so I have pretty much replaced it all. I know you can buy a new panel but I am not wanting to spend the money since it's not that hard to replace most of the parts and it's fairly simple wiring. To test the 12v system I am just using one battery. I am getting a wire or two that's getting really hot. I mean to where it's smoking. Right now I see the purple circuit smoking. I know this goes to the back bathroom lights, does anyone know what else would be on this circuit or what would be making it so hot?
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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Heat equals excess current caused more than likely by a short some where so the recommendation is with an ohm meter (multimeter) check the wire resistance to ground wit wire disconnected. If po had wire burn may have melted wires touching them. Always check the electrical resistance when working with wires befor applying power. Current kills and can start fires.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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If the wire is smoking hot, somehow you don't have a fuse in it to limit the current. AS fused all the branch circuits at 15 or 20 amps. No wire will get that hot carrying that load. Check your fuse layout, you must have a problem there with no fuse.

Only then can you start to look for the short which is causing the excess current flow. And believe me, with a smoking hot wire, you do have a short, not an overload situation.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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Does anyone know what all is on the purple circuit?
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzyashdown View Post
I am getting a wire or two that's getting really hot. I mean to where it's smoking. Right now I see the purple circuit smoking. I know this goes to the back bathroom lights, does anyone know what else would be on this circuit or what would be making it so hot?
In electrical terms, heat comes from resistance. Resistance can come from many sources. Bad connection. Damaged wire. Wire gauge too small for either the load or the distance run. Short-circuit (bad insulation so the wire is grounding somewhere it shouldn't).

If the resistance is so high that you see smoke, then it should have blown the fuse, unless the fuse is rated at too many amps. Which is possible; the PO may have had a problem and gotten tired of replacing fuses so he plugged in a bigger fuse as a stopgap measure. Which is pretty stupid, if he did.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
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I know this won't answer the original question but it is a related issue. The 12 volt "cigarette" outlets that AS uses is connected to a line that is fused with either a 15 or 20 amp fuse. However, the wires on the back of that outlet are not large enough to carry that current. We used that outlet to run a 12 volt vacuum cleaner that was rated at 10-12 amps. The wires caught fire but the fuse did not blow. Winegard, the manufacturer of the outlet, clearly state in the installation manual that the outlet is rated for a maximum current of 7.5 amps. I love AS, but after talking with them they insist what they have done is safe.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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funny you say that i thought in the back of my mind it might have something to do with those. I thought about just taking them out as we will never need them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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The purple circuit pretty much feeds all the vanity / bathroom lights and will also power the 12 volt outlet in the bathroom. Do you have the interior skins removed? If so you may want to trace it by hand, could be nicked, had a rivet / drill hit the line somewhere. Chasing electrical gremlins can be a nightmare!
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