March 1, 2022 at 10:47 am #89598
I am installing a new wiring harness in my Alpine Series IV and I understand that the number of fuses is generally considered to be inadequate. There area number of articles about remedying this, however I am wondering if anyone has a list of what extra fuses may be required and where to put them, for example an extra fuse box or in line fuses? A diagram or schematic would be helpful with the size of fuses recommended and where to buy them.
Additionally I have seen recommended “a 350A in line fuse with the battery, placed at the battery” along with “a 30A-50A fuse in line with the wire, that provides the battery feed to the ignition switch, placed close to the starter solenoid(relay)”. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? Finally is a battery cut off switch a good idea?
March 2, 2022 at 10:32 am #89619Gary and Maureen CorbettParticipant
John – Hi, I too have pondered the wiring and fuses for my Alpine V restoration – there is much to improve! I would recommend installing a fuse panel with blade-style fuses, under the dashboard inside the car. This will protect the fuses from exposure to heat and moisture under the hood. I think it could be adapted to your new Alpine-specific wiring harness without too much trouble, and will clean up the underhood wiring quite nicely. Another advantage is that any blade-style panel is going to give you enough fuses to have a circuit for every individual electrical system.
The following are some of the different style panels available:
CDD Autogear – https://www.cddautogear.com/shop Although a bit expensive I actually like this one for the vintage look with its cover on.
Painless Wiring Systems – https://www.painlessperformance.com/wc/p.php?s=customcar This is a complete wiring system with a blade-style fuse panel – it could be an option if you’re not worried about originality.
Amazon – A source for different style fuse panels at what looks like reasonable prices.
I think a fuse in the main wire to the ignition switch is a good idea. A fuse in the main battery cable sounds like a good idea too, but I think it would need to be inspected regularly. Given the amount of current that flows through it there is the potential for corrosion to affect conductivity and possibly lead to arcing within the fuse holder.
Another recommendation would be for a modern single wire alternator to replace the generator. This will provide much more electrical power along with fewer electrical components under the hood. Joe Parlanti did a Rootes Review article some time ago on an installtion on his Tiger – if you can’t find it on a TEAE.org site search he may be able to point you to it.
St. Lawrence Region Rep
March 2, 2022 at 8:51 pm #89625
Gary, Many thanks for your reply. I have discovered that Sunbeam Car Parts (formerly Sunbeam Alpine & Tiger Spares) in the UK sell a 4 way fuse box with spade connectors for around ₤20 as an upgrade to the original. The link is https://sunbeamcarparts.co.uk/upgrades/fuse-box-4-way
I guess if one is not enough two could be installed. Under the dash is a good idea except that access for fuse replacement would not be as easy as under the hood. There is also the option of inline fuses and people talk about using relays though I am not sure where and how.
I am still wondering what additional circuits to fuse. For example I burnt the wiring when the dip switch on the floor broke off and shorted out, so that’s one obvious target. It’s too bad there isn’t a diagram around with recommendations on upgrading the fusing and wiring.
I have been wrestling with the alternator option, but it requires changing everything to negative earth. Moreover, most of the posts I have read discuss a modified bracket required though I have the impression that this is mainly with respect to Tigers. It appears that, apart from being more modern technology, the advantage of an alternator is that it puts out more current at lower revs and therefore does not discharge the battery and can supply a bunch of accessories that require power. That said I don’t have lots of accessories and the car ran well for over 50 years with the generator (dynamo) for which it was designed, so I don’t think the extra expense for an alternator, possible installation issues and the hassle of changing to negative earth is worth it. One site I came across sells a Positive Earth Dynamator Alternator Dynamo to fit a Sunbeam Alpine or Rapier. I looks just like a dynamo and would presumably fit and would have the advantages of an alternator without going to a positive earth. Sounds almost too good to be true. I have emailed them for more info. The link is https://www.qpbaid.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=614309.
It’s interesting that even with extensive internet searching, Tom Wiencek’s articles keep turning up http://www.team.net/www/rootes/sunbeam/alpine/mk1-5/techtips/altconv.html and http://www.team.net/www/rootes/sunbeam/alpine/mk1-5/techtips/cvtgrnd.html. If you have the link to Joe Parlanti’s article I would appreciate it as I couldn’t find it.
It seems that there are many owners with good mechanical skills but fewer electrical experts!
March 6, 2022 at 4:56 pm #89655David and Trudy BlundellParticipant
Is this the article you referred to written by Joe?
I have a SIV as well and I have similar electrical concerns. I found this site for a Dynalite alternator with positive earth. They are awfully expensive (more than my budget) but thought I would give you the link any way.
March 6, 2022 at 7:45 pm #89657
David, Many thanks for the link to Dynalite. I have had a good look at the site and sent them an enquiry with a few questions. It looks like a straightforward swap and avoids a negative earth conversion but there may be a need to upgrade some battery wiring and do something regarding the ammeter which may not be able to measure the maximum output. Based on their website, they are expensive as you say but given that the electrical domain in Sunbeams is a somewhat unreliable weak point it may be worth it, as I am doing a major restoration.
Re Joe Parlanti’s article you may have the correct one, though Gary Corbett may be able to confirm this. It is a very different installation on a Tiger than an Alpine.
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