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HoughMade

Cure for the ailing XS400 Fuse Box

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I road the XS400 to work Friday. I experienced a couple of electrical problems. First, I lost all power- nothing. No lights, no starter...no start, not even with kick. Eventually the power came back...but I did not know why. Later in the day, the bike started, but no lights. Hmmmm.

Saturday, I went through and cleaned every electrical connection, one at a time. All inside the headlight, under the seat, everywhere I could find a connection, I took it apart, used solvent on a q-tip, scrubbed it clean, then dried it with another q-tip. Guess what- still had the intermittent problems (though all lights were brighter when they came on). I even disassembled the ignition lock and cleaned it inside.

Logic told me that when all the power was out, the problem was very close to the battery, either a bad main ground or a a bad positive connection before the power is distributed. I knew that at some time in the bike's past, someone had replaced the main fuse with an add-on, so I started there...and that was it, in part at least. The junk aftermarket, AutoZone add on fuse holder was not holding the fuse firmly. that add-on had to go.

The other 3 circuits still used the original fuse box. When the bike ran, but with no lights, there was another problem. Turns out the brass clips that held the glass fuses were breaking down and I was getting intermittent contact with the lights fuse too. Knowing that the rest of the fuse holders would follow in losing integrity, I decided to replace the holder for all 4 fuses and try to get the main fuse back into the fuse box.

I went to Radio Shack (sorry UK riders, I do not know your equivalent). The Shack had this 4 place fuse holder available:

fuseholder.th.jpg

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062258

This holds 4- 1/4" x 1 1/4" automotive type glass fuses. The original fuses are closer to 1".

I removed the fuse box and removed all of the original fuse holders. I then used a Dremel to remove the mounting tabs for the holders so the bottom of the fuse box is flat so I could mount the fuse holder in it.

On the holder above, you will see 8- 1/4" male tabs for terminals. I bent these down so that now the wires will enter the fuse box from beneath instead of from the side as is standard. The fuse holder is too wide to fit in the original box with the wires coming from the side. I then cut slots in the bottom of the fuse box to provide a place for the wires to connect to the tabs from underneath. I used insulated female 1/4" terminals on the wires as below:

prs1c2266039w345.jpg

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103499

I used very small bolts to bolt the fuse block inside the original fuse box, then plugged the terminals into the appropriate places so that the fuses were in the original order. I then glued the original sticker that had been in the fuse box (carefully removed earlier) onto the new fuse block, installed the new fuses (20A main, and 3-10A), and tested it. Everything works- no more power loss. Only down side is that because the fuses are longer, only 2 spares store under the cover instead of 3. I will post pics of the finished product later, but if you have had fuse block issues and want a clean, mostly original look, this is an inexpensive way to do it- soldering skills a plus.

For a couple of hours (including all the cleaning of connections mentioned) and less that $20, I have a pretty nice result.

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Here are a couple of pics that hopefully explain the process and result a little better.

dsc01473wn.jpg

dsc01478v.jpg

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I actually bought that fuse block before I got one with a used wiring harness. I never installed though. Yours looks great.

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nice install, will add to the xs400 links etc

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Thanks for posting the notes & pictures! I've bought the same Radio Shack fuse block & hardware, but was kind of stumped on how to mount it without creating shorts, etc. This fills in the blanks for me, and looks good with the original fuse box. I'm going to try it this afternoon if time permits. Thanks!

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Not sure if it the same as the RD fuse box but for £20 THIS is a good item

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Not sure if it the same as the RD fuse box but for £20 THIS is a good item

That's what I did with my XS400. It's a nice product. Using the 4 fuse block in the original case does keep things looking original, though. Other methods that seal in the fuse are probably better as they will stop acid fume deterioration (if battery not vented properly) or effects of moisture.

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