Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » August 25th 2020, 2:17am

I love when things look OE -- so I decided to try and use that empty Maxi fuse spot inside my fuse box to power my electronic fan. The Maxi-fuse bus has an empty slot -- so all you need is the proper terminal and some properly sized wire to add a circuit. Hattip to CopperFireMist (is there anything about these vans he doesn't know?) for the inspiration -- he knew this was possible as he discovered it during his trailblazing LS swap.

This is how I did it:

Step #1: Harvest some terminals/wire
You need a connector that looks like this:
Image
Image
Image

This is an "800-Series" Metri-Pack Terminal. You can get them in all different sizes -- but I'd go for 6-8 gauge for a high amp draw like an e-fan.

Option 1: Get them from the U-Pull.
I think the easiest way to get these terminals, is to go find another AstroVan (or another GM vehicle) that uses this style of fuse block and diassemble them and remove the terminals. I removed all of them -- because I wanted some extras.
IMG_4854.jpg

IMG_4855.jpg

IMG_4868.jpg


Once you get the fuse box disassembled, to extract the terminals you need to depress this retaining clip from the back-side of the fuse box while you pull out on the wire:
clip.jpg
clip.jpg (28.49 KiB) Viewed 435 times


I used a Lisle terminal tool like the red one in this listing
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WQQHA2/re ... rFb68HJJFE,
but a small-flat blade screwdriver would probably work fine too.

Option 2 -- Pay a bunch of money for some terminal connects
Or if you aren't near a salvage yard, you can buy connectors via Mouser or on eBay -- or you can ask me and I'll grab a few more next time I'm at the yard.
https://www.mouser.com/Aptiv/Connectors ... ezZ1z0xara

Step 2: Disconnect both the positive and negative cables from your battery
If you don't know how to do this -- then stop here -- you probably won't be able to complete this job.
IMG_4859.jpg


Step 3: Disassemble your Fuse Box
- Take off the fuse box cover and take a picture of what it looks like so you have a reference.
- You'll notice a vacant Maxi-fuse slot -- that's the circuit we're going to add.
IMG_4857.jpg


- Remove all fuses/relays and place them into the fuse box cover for safe keeping. Your fuse box should now look like this:
IMG_4860.jpg


- Remove the bolt holding the fuse box to the mounting cradle -- set it inside the fuse box top so you don't lose it.

- Next remove the fuse box from its cradle by moving the fuse box so you can get this tab out of its slot on the cradle:
IMG_4862.jpg


- Next there are a few places on the upper part of the box that "snap" into place to hold the upper and lower part of the fuse box together. Lightly pry on these areas with a small screwdriver to get them to come apart. You need to be firm here - but be careful, this plastic can be quite brittle. All the more reason to practice on a junkyard dog first.
This part was hard to photograph -- but when you get your hands on it, it'll make sense:
IMG_4864.jpg

IMG_4865.jpg


- Now that the two halves are separated, you can remove the white plastic retaining clip out the side. Use a pick here to pull it -- you may have to depress a couple of the tang of the white retaining clip to get it out of the fuse panel.
IMG_4867.jpg


- Insert your terminal/wire into the empty slot in the fuse box. I got a bad picture -- but you should get the point:
IMG_4869.jpg


Step 3: Reassemble the Fuse Box
- Now that your wire is installed replace the white clip
- Route your wire and then clip the two parts of the fuse box back together
- Place the fuse box back into its cradle
- Insert bolt into right side of fuse box to attach it to the fuse box cradle
IMG_4885.jpg


Step 4: Connect your Appliance
- I connected my efan to this circuit -- I used a crimp terminal and high quality shrink tubing with adhesive.
IMG_4886.jpg

- [Optional] make it pretty and factory-as-**** using wire-loom
IMG_4889.jpg

IMG_4892.jpg


Step 5: Finish it up
- Re-insert all fuses according to the reference picture your took (or the schematic on the lid of your fuse box)
- Add a properly sized fused in the "empty" Maxi-fuse spot you just connected
- replace fuse box cover
- re-connect battery terminal connections
- test your appliance
- celebrate
IMG_4898.jpg
IMG_4900.jpg



If you like factory/OE looking mods -- this is for you. Also -- you may want to upgrade the wire from the battery to your fuse box to account for the new load. I put in another 6 awg wire to account for the additional load.
Attachments
IMG_4889.jpg
Last edited by WinnieVan on August 25th 2020, 4:36am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby M_a_t_t » August 25th 2020, 2:22am

Nice write up. I thought you got rid of your Astro? Or do you have 2 vans now?
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby SportsBoy » August 25th 2020, 3:48am

Nice! Thanks for posting
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » August 25th 2020, 4:35am

M_a_t_t wrote:Nice write up. I thought you got rid of your Astro? Or do you have 2 vans now?


I have two vans currently -- other one is sitting on jack stands with the entire front suspension pulled waiting for me to get some time to install the solid front axle... so I use this one in the meantime :)
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby sixsix » August 28th 2020, 2:17pm

Hey Winnie, had this post open since you 1st did it, forgot till now, sorry.
Had a couple qs and whys, hope you don't mind.

I really like your presentation, well written and doced. Man after my own heart. There are only a few here that present as well as they work and do the maint/mod/update. ....but...

- not sure how they look to you or others, but all 3 of your "connector" photos have the phtofckt logo right across the middle - right where the things are sitting in the pic.

- why pull both pos. & neg. off the Battery ?

- why pull all the other fuses and gadgets ?

- you got a gazillion pics of box removal, disassembly and reassembly - then just one (1) blurry, crappy ( sorry ) pic of the "conn." being put in.

- after all that and a "Crimp Conn" was used - Really ? - no solder ?

I really wish the Gen I Vans had as easy a Fuse Panel to work on.
Having to get on your chest or knees to change a fuse is so stoooopid.
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... “Everything needs to change except the asshole culture and stupid way of life of the avg. antifa, BLM follower - slobs, cowards, killers w/o any thought that they, IN FACT, are now the Racists.”

.
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » August 28th 2020, 10:51pm

sixsix wrote:- not sure how they look to you or others, but all 3 of your "connector" photos have the phtofckt logo right across the middle - right where the things are sitting in the pic.

Stole them from another forum -- here's what it looks like to me:
Capture.JPG


sixsix wrote:- why pull both pos. & neg. off the Battery ?


No real reason -- just extra safety I suppose.

sixsix wrote:- why pull all the other fuses and gadgets ?

I assumed it made it easier to separate the fuse panel -- but now that I think of it -- you probably don't have to do that...

sixsix wrote:- you got a gazillion pics of box removal, disassembly and reassembly - then just one (1) blurry, crappy ( sorry ) pic of the "conn." being put in.

Point taken -- I thought I had better pictures but I was in a bit of a rush. Honestly -- it's really self explanatory at that point though -- you just press the connector into the empty slot and it "snaps" into place. Not that easy to photograph that process anyways.

sixsix wrote:- after all that and a "Crimp Conn" was used - Really ? - no solder ?

I know. I know. I was going to use a solder-seal connector -- but didn't have one in the correct size. My skill level isn't great for soldering 10AWG --- I always end up melting some insulation so I just went with a crimp terminal.

I honestly was going to remove the wire from the fan relay terminal and crimp/solder the wire onto that terminal so that the wire from the fuse box to the relay was solid -- but I couldn't get a good crimp/solder on the terminal so I went back to plan B. I'm sure a better electrician could have done it - but I wasn't too worried aboutit.
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby sixsix » August 29th 2020, 12:37pm

Nice - that will help some poor slob down the road.
Thanks, I appreciate the update.
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... “Everything needs to change except the asshole culture and stupid way of life of the avg. antifa, BLM follower - slobs, cowards, killers w/o any thought that they, IN FACT, are now the Racists.”

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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby dit » August 29th 2020, 2:26pm

Sweet work! It's good to see others that will take "days" to make something look right. 8-) Inline fuses are for sissies. :D
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » September 7th 2020, 6:58am

Honest to god. If you have the terminal on hand — this is a 20 minute job.

The fuse panel comes apart faster than you think.
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby AstroWill » September 7th 2020, 9:26pm

Thanks for posting!

I always love it when things are done professionally.
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Re: Adding a Maxi-fused Appliance to your Factory Fuse Box

Postby Sailing_Faith » September 9th 2020, 6:28pm

Just grabbed a couple of terminals yesterday at my local pick and pull... thanks for the write up.
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