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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a couple of questions regarding the way I spliced in an automotive fuse holder on my 450 project. Also had questions regarding the suitabilty of breakers, both the manual reset and the auto-reset types.

It was all prompted by a short that developed during reassembly (pinched wire) - I went through my supply of metric glass-tube fuses in a real hurry, and it honked me off.

This is a re-hash of a post I made over at the 450 forum (wonder what will happen to that place?).

The good news is that you can get a 15-amp circuit breaker that fits neatly into a regular ATO blade-type holder.
That gives you the option of using a regular blade-type fuse or a circuit breaker, either in the same holder.
So go ahead and splice in the holder, cheap at any auto parts store.

As for the merits of circuit breakers in this application - I'm not an electrical engineer.
I do know that most circuit breakers are subject to the effects of aging and multiple "firing", as they are mechanical devices.
Witness the fact that the breakers in your home will get progressively "weaker" with repeated tripping, causing them to trip out at progressively lower currents.
I've dealt with this plenty of times in my old house - some of my older 20-amp circuits are nearly maxed out, and once a breaker has tripped a number of times (not that many times in some cases), I simply have to replace it - Wifey's hair dryer is a case in point......

I do not believe that automotive breakers are immune from this characteristic. It is possible that the auto-cycling types may even excaberate this process. It may get you home ok, but then you may need to replace the breaker anyway, as it's tripped repeatedly during the process. It may be prudent to carry a spare fuse even if you use a breaker.
The breakers themselves are not awfully expensive ($5-$10 range), the holders only a couple bucks. And of course fuses are cheap.

And it all may be moot, considering the primitive electrical systems on our old bikes.

Anyway, again, I'm no electrical engineer - those are just my thoughts.
By all means, splice in an ATO type holder, then decide for yourself whether to plug in a breaker or a blade-type fuse.
Either one is preferable to the old metric glass-tube fuses (hard to find and too expensive). And if they're not metric, they don't fit into the clips well and won't work right.

I'd be real interested to hear anyone else's thoughts or experiences with this issue.

 

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Bill, If your talking about what I think you are, I can weigh in on this one!

If your talking about a self resetting, spade type circuit breaker that will plug into a GM style (everyone uses them now, but I believe GM was first to use) fuse holder, I've used them for 15 years on Fire Apparatus vehicles that I worked on. All the Apparatus builders, ambulance builders, ect. use those type breakers in their electrical systems.

When tripped due to a dead short, they trip, cool down and reset themselves, turn back on and will trip again, and again, and again and so on, until the short is fixed. The good part of that is, it wont melt down your wiring, they make an audible click so its easy to figure out which breaker is tripping and if its a minor short, will let you run for a while until they get hot enough to trip again. At a fire scene, believe me, no ones looking to figure out which fuse is blowing, and unless it shuts the truck down, will not get fixed until they return to station. If you have a wire worn thru and going to ground, you can usually find it pretty easy by pulling your wire harness away from metal in areas and when the fuse quits kicking, you found the area where the short is. On a bike, thats a bundle of wires maybe 1/2 inch in diameter, 5 feet long. On a fire truck, thats a bundle of wire, 2 inches in diameter, 30 feet long. It saves allot of time and grief chasing wires, believe me! They are suprisingly tough little buggers. They will last a long, long time. They are available in every amperage size you would ever need. They are very reliable. The ones that I used had spades that were scored at about 1/8 inch intervals and you could trim the spades to whatever length you needed.

I used Cole-Hersee brand, which I believe NAPA auto parts can get, along with heavy truck parts departments or heavy truck independent parts distributors.

The drawback, they are pricey compared to regular gm style fuses.

So, thats my two cents, for what its worth!
Henry
 
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