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Old 01-09-2014, 01:42 PM   #81
Tom Bryant
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Thank you, Signmaster, for your thoughtful comments.

Regarding OldNuc's latest post on this thread:

I took the time to consider, for a couple of days, whether or not I should even respond. As I have previously indicated, it has been my observation that quality is often inversely correlated with quantity, so by responding at all, I run the risk of decreasing my own quality.

However, I felt I had to explain two things:

1. I cannot be run off, back to Volvo land, by insults; if I don't respond to any such comments in the future it will be because I have nothing to say that I feel would be productive.

2. When I made the observation that OldNuc had validated my point, I was not trying to be flip; I really felt, and still do feel, that he had validated my point about at least some "F5" type failures actually being inside the fuse box. That is the point that I was referring to, and nothing more that anyone might have inferred. However, I was too brief in my response, which left it open to misinterpretation.

It struck me at the time, and still does, that we have here a case of what my son likes to refer to as "Violent Agreement". Since I still can't post a URL, you can google that phrase and find out more about what it means.

I think that OldNuc and I agree on several things. If I misunderstand his position on any of the below, he is free to correct me:

1. Saturn fuse boxes suffer failures.
2. Some of those failures are inside the box.
3. Heating and melting often occurs at the "F5" connection.
4. That heating is caused, at least in part, by high current at the "F5" connection.
5. It is possible that the heating and melting at "F5" is either a cause or a symptom of a bad connection at "F5."
6. It is reasonable to repair or augment the "F5" connection when it is bad.
7. When the failure is found to be inside the fuse box, the easiest approach is to replace the fuse box with a known good one.
8. Ideally that should be a new fuse box.
9. In lieu of a new fuse box, the next option would be a junk yard unit.
10. My approach to repairing a defective fuse box is difficult.
11. Such a repair probably should not be undertaken by most Saturn owners.

I think that where OldNuc and I differ is not so much on the facts, as on what we believe to be the "best" approach to fixing the problem. Now, there are several measures of "best". Best can be decided on any of the following criteria:

1. Cost
2. Time
3. Availability
4. Expediency
5. Longevity
6. Reliability

Where the problem is found to be a poor connection at "F5", outside the fuse box, I think that both he and I agree that the "best" approach is to fix that connection, or to augment it in some manner.

But when the problem is inside the fuse box, is where we seem to reach slightly different conclusions:

It seems to me that OldNuc, after weighing all those factors, believes that the best approach is to install either a new fuse box or a junk yard unit.

For the most part, I agree with that assessment. But, I point out that new fuse boxes are not readily available. I certainly tried to find a new fuse box for my wife's 1999 Saturn, and I failed. If there are any still out there in the supply chain, they're hard to find, and their numbers are continually decreasing toward zero. Each time someone is successful in making such a find, there are fewer out there for other Saturn owners to find.

In the absence of a new fuse box, that leaves either a junk yard unit or repairing the existing one. Once again, I would probably opt for a junkyard unit, if I were the average Saturn owner. But, I'm not the average Saturn owner. I'm not even a Saturn owner; my wife is.

I chose to repair my wife's fuse box only after having purchased two junk yard units, neither of which worked for any significant time after installation. The first had probably already failed, and the second one failed within four months and only a couple thousand miles of installation.

I wanted a reliable fix, one that would not leave my wife stranded on the road, so I chose to fix her fuse box. This is not the right choice for everyone, but for those who have the ability, or know someone else whose help they can enlist, I believe it to be a viable option.

So, it seems to me that about the only thing OldNuc and I disagree on is what fix is the "best" fix for those Saturn owners who:
a. Have a bad connection somewhere inside their fuse box, and
b. Are themselves able to repair that fuse box, or can get someone else to do so.

That's precious little area of disagreement, so I believe we are in what is essentially "Violent Agreement".

Now, if I have misrepresented OldNuc's position on any of this, it was unintentional, and he is free to set the record straight. All he need do is say where we differ and why his position differs from mine.

I trust that in this marketplace of ideas, the public is able to sort out whether or not I'm telling the truth as I see it. Accusations of falsehood, without describing exactly what those falsehoods are, and why they are false, are not productive, and will convince no one.

Tom Bryant

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Old 01-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #82
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bryant View Post
...
So, it seems to me that about the only thing OldNuc and I disagree on is what fix is the "best" fix for those Saturn owners who:
a. Have a bad connection somewhere inside their fuse box, and
b. Are themselves able to repair that fuse box, or can get someone else to do so.
...
Tom Bryant
Having spent several years actually teaching precision soldering skills the proper prep, soldering, and clean up is far from a trivial task and is not a good --my first major soldering project-- for the vast majority of people. I doubt that you can find anyone who will open and repair one of these things for what a used panel costs unless it is a good friend of yours. A UHJB or I/P Panel is a $25.00 part in this part of the country and seems to be close to that price in the remainder as well. The remove and replace is a 1 to 2 hr job for just about anybody with basic hand tools. As I mentioned previously the issue is presenting information without the clear disclaimer that this is not a simple, easy, quick fix and advanced skills and tools are required. I do not disagree with either A or B, my original concern was and still is that the information you provided required a disclaimer that this is an advanced repair project and will require skills and tools not generally found in the home garage.

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Old 01-09-2014, 02:30 PM   #83
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

I believe that my blog post provides ample warning of the difficulty of the job, as well as cautionary information for the reader.

I have no plans to revise it at this time.

If there is sufficient support, from other readers, for providing additional warnings, I will reconsider that decision.

Tom

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Old 01-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #84
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Tom,

Having read your blog very completely I agree 100% that it should contain a very solid and upfront warning. Since you have already very well covered the time and complexity of the job, along with all details, I would suggest something similar to the following:

"Those lacking reading comprehension who skim over this blog and look for reasons to nit-pick it may find themselves confused or otherwise overwhelmed by the facts presented. I suggest they go find something better to do."

This might discourage those that feel they can dictate exactly how you present your concise and complete information.



I find no need for any disclaimer. The person suggesting such doesn't post a disclaimer when they present misinformation, so I can't see any reason why anyone would feel obligated to do so when posting factual information.

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Old 01-10-2014, 05:24 AM   #85
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Folks, I came to this forum, not seeking assistance, but offering fellow Saturn owners what information I had on what I see as one of Saturn's most intractable problems. I feel that my mission here has been accomplished.

Since my primary automotive interests lie elsewhere (mostly Volvos, SUs and Diesels) I probably will not come back here very frequently. But, if I need advice or if I feel I have some beneficial piece of Saturn information to share, I will return.

I feel that I've made a few new friends here, and I hope, no enemies. My new-found friends are all invited to visit at our home in Wiscasset. Full contact information may be found on my blog site thosbryant dot wordpress dot com. We know where the lobstah hide out.

Since I am unlikely to return here with any great frequency, anyone who wishes to contact me will probably find that a private message is the best approach.

Au revoir.

Tom Bryant

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Old 03-16-2014, 05:32 PM   #86
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

I am having a similar issue with my car. It's a Saturn SL2, 1999, automatic. My mechanic recommended that I have a new fuse box installed as the dome light, alarm system, automatic door locks, radio and starter all cut out on me. I noticed that if I jiggle the wires going to the fuse box that my car will start up again, but I do not know if it is because there is a short in the wires or if it is a problem with the fuse box.

The car is still to factory specifications. I do not have any additional electronics in the car. Factory radio, no amps, subwoofers or other gadgets.

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Old 03-16-2014, 05:38 PM   #87
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

There is a problem with the connection at F-5 and if you first disconnect the battery negative and then remove the black 68 pin connector on the back of the inside fuse box you will be able to tell if you need to replace that panel or not. the 98 and 99 vintage panels do swap.

That red(pink) wire is a direct connection to the IP BAT fuse in the UHJB. If you have decided it is the problem fixing is usually not that bad. You disconnect the battery negative terminal and then unbolt the center bolt in the black 68 pin plug. Once the bolt spins free grab the wire bundle and wiggle it all the way out. take a small chunk of scotch brite and clean up the F-5 pin in the panel. Just get it clean on at least one side. To fix the connector in the plug you remove the blue connection assurance clip that is on the side of the plug. pull the one that holds F-5. Once that lock is out you look at the face of the plug and locate F-5. Look closely and you will see that one side is rounded under. On that side you insert the end of a flat type of bobby pin under that rounded side and when it stops you can gently pull on the back end by the red (pink) wire and it will slide out when unlatched. If it does not slide right out slightly twist the bobby pin to lift the latch. Once out re-spring the latch slightly and clean up the section that slides over the pin. Use scotch brite instead of any abrasive paper. Reassemble and reconnect negative lead at battery.

Picture links and other useful info.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=182826
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=183082

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Old 06-30-2014, 02:40 PM   #88
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
There is a problem with the connection at F-5 and if you first disconnect the battery negative and then remove the black 68 pin connector on the back of the inside fuse box you will be able to tell if you need to replace that panel or not. the 98 and 99 vintage panels do swap.

That red(pink) wire is a direct connection to the IP BAT fuse in the UHJB. If you have decided it is the problem fixing is usually not that bad. You disconnect the battery negative terminal and then unbolt the center bolt in the black 68 pin plug. Once the bolt spins free grab the wire bundle and wiggle it all the way out. take a small chunk of scotch brite and clean up the F-5 pin in the panel. Just get it clean on at least one side. To fix the connector in the plug you remove the blue connection assurance clip that is on the side of the plug. pull the one that holds F-5. Once that lock is out you look at the face of the plug and locate F-5. Look closely and you will see that one side is rounded under. On that side you insert the end of a flat type of bobby pin under that rounded side and when it stops you can gently pull on the back end by the red (pink) wire and it will slide out when unlatched. If it does not slide right out slightly twist the bobby pin to lift the latch. Once out re-spring the latch slightly and clean up the section that slides over the pin. Use scotch brite instead of any abrasive paper. Reassemble and reconnect negative lead at battery.
Good advice from OldNuc here.

In my earlier responses to this thread, I indicated that our own Saturn's failures all seemed to be internal to the fuse box, rather than at the F5 connector, and I provided information about how to fix any such internal failures.

Now, roughly 6 months later, my wife's Saturn has failed again, and this time, it is clearly the F5 connection that has failed.

I still can't post a URL here so, if you'd like information on what I did to fix the F5 problem on our Saturn, please see:

thosbryant dot wordpress dot com/2014/06/28/saturn-fuse-box-repair-1998-1999-redux

The fix shown there will not be for everyone, but it should provide a very effective, reliable, long-term (i.e., permanent) fix for those who wish to put the effort into it.

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Old 06-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #89
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bryant View Post
I still can't post a URL here so, if you'd like information on what I did to fix the F5 problem on our Saturn, please see:

http://thosbryant.wordpress.com/2014...98-1999-redux/
Fixed the link... you're only 4 posts away from being able to link
Thanks again for the writeups

http://thosbryant.wordpress.com/2014...98-1999-redux/

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #90
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

That is one of the things you do when you can not find a replacement box in the local JY. Not for the amateur solderer either.

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Old 08-11-2014, 05:24 PM   #91
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

I've been having somewhat of the same issue with my 95 SC2, power windows work intermittent (replaced switches), door locks all of a sudden don't work, cigarette lighter doesn't work, found the 20 amp fuse for the power locks was blown, replaced it, still doesn't work. F5 wire? Seems like a real pain to get to.

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Old 08-11-2014, 10:02 PM   #92
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Left center kick panel, pull it off and look, it is easy to see and check from there. Be sure to disconnect the negative battery terminal before rooting around in there or the problem will be getting worse rapidly as power is always applied to that connector.

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:30 AM   #93
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Yesterday i removed both panels, tried to remove the whole harness that the f5 wire is apart but it wouldn't budge, didn't want to get too aggressive and break anything. The wire itself from what I can see didn't have any damage, I was reading somewhere that the power locks and cig lighter are on the same fuse? 20 amp for locks and like a 10 amp for body? I remember tinkering with the cig lighter and it shorted out probably blowing that fuse or another. I found the fuse for the door chime removed, replaced it and that worked but left it out anyway since the power over load is the f5 issue I figure the less the better. I will probably run separate wires with a 20 amp fuse strait from the battery for the cig lighter so I could use it for a GPS.

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Old 08-12-2014, 09:20 AM   #94
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Quote:
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Yesterday i removed both panels, tried to remove the whole harness that the f5 wire is apart but it wouldn't budge, didn't want to get too aggressive and break anything.
To remove the wiring harness, you need to use a 7mm socket and handle to remove the screw that holds it in. Piece of cake, really.

Hooking up the cigarette lighter through a separate fuse will do you basically no good. You need to augment the F5 connection so that it becomes reliable. Further details are in my blog:


thosbryant dot wordpress dot com/2014/06/28/saturn-fuse-box-repair-1998-1999-redux/

(I still can't post a URL.)

There are numerous other approaches that will accomplish the same goal, but running a separate wire to the lighter isn't one of them.

Tom

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #95
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

I removed the bolt in the middle, harness didn't want to budge, everybody says the F5 problem is due to overload and not to use the cigarette lighter for anything like phone charging, GPS, etc. That's where I got the idea to wire it separately.

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:23 AM   #96
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Once the bolt is loose grab the wire bundle and wiggle and pull, it will come out then eyeball f-5 connector and pin.

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:41 PM   #97
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bryant View Post
Hooking up the cigarette lighter through a separate fuse will do you basically no good. You need to augment the F5 connection so that it becomes reliable.

There are numerous other approaches that will accomplish the same goal, but running a separate wire to the lighter isn't one of them.

Tom
These are FALSE statements. All you have to do, which is more easier than his method is to run a separate Aux fuse block to the UHJB Battery positive to the inside of the car and hook up your cig lighter and acc's including the radio to the new box. You can see my setup on the same post that you are reading. OldNuc and many others will agree with this setup. The other way involves a lot of extra soldering and moving wires and a possibility of messing up your fuse panel. The choice is ALL YOURS. I am in no way going to get into an argument over this with the other individual.

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:57 PM   #98
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

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You can see my setup on the same post that you are reading.
Here is the post that I was in reference to http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=174747 post 12

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:56 PM   #99
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Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

I gotta get back in there and check it out when I get a chance. I replaced the door lock 20 amp fuse and now my locks are working fine. Never had an issue with the dome light/fuel pump/radio, etc. Not to sure about the cig lighter but I want to wire it separately anyhow because my main purpose for it will be to power up a GPS/Phone Charger. I think my power windows work intermittent because of weak window motors or bad switches (replaced with junk yard switches but still have some slop) because when they do work the motors sound weak and roll up/down slowly.

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:58 PM   #100
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fixing the F5 Issue (No power in fusebox to chime, dome light, fuel pump)

You need to actually lube the window tracks and mechanism with SilGlide, very light coat or you make a mess.

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