Missing Fuse Block

Q.

I was asked by a good friend for assistance resolving some electrical problems he was having with his 1949 Ford F1 pickup. After searching for awhile I could not locate the fuse block. Where is the fuse block located?

A.

Cars and trucks prior to the 1960s seldom have what we think of as a “Fuse Block”. Rather they have two, three or four circuit breakers that look like little metal boxes with a couple of threaded studs sticking out of them. On the ’49 Ford F1 the Breaker is sort of 2-in-1 but it’s still a block with metal posts sticking out, and wires attached (see photo).



Many times the circuit breakers are tucked beneath the dash or behind the kick panel cardboard and occasionally mounted to the outside firewall or inline. There will also be some electric devices that have inline fuses (i.e. radio, blower motor, clock, etc.). I believe your circuit breakers are under the dash on the right side of the instrument panel, but it’s been awhile since I last worked on an F1, so crawl under and take a look.

Circuit breakers do go bad, but normally when they’re working properly, if blown, they reset themselves. It’s important to note that circuit breakers do have amperage ratings like fuses and if replacing a circuit breaker it should be matched to the original circuit load.

Discussion
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4 Responses to “Missing Fuse Block”
  1. W. Ritch
    W. Ritch

    2 circuit breakers on back side is inst. panel fed by yel. wire which passes thru charge indicator. 1 for headlight circuit 1 for ign sw.

    Reply
  2. Walter Schomaker
    Walter Schomaker

    Just installed a compact mini starter on my 34 coupe with a 350 GM motor. It turns over but doesn’t engage the flywheel. And suggestions, I suspect it’s a wiring issue?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Walter,
      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:

      I had a similar issue on my ’35 Chevy… The GM crate used the small flexplate and when the high-torque starter was engaged the drive gear on the starter would just run into the side of the flexplate gear and never engage.
      I tried everything to get it to work… shims, clocking, beveling the teeth on the starter to get it to engage better, etc… it did sort of work but occasionally took several turns of the ket to get it to engage.
      Frustrated and with a local car show I wanted to attend just days away, I went to the local auto parts store and purchased a cheap $24 remanufactured starter for an 80’s Camaro to see if that could help as they too used the small flexplate.
      I bolted it in and it started right up, as opposed to the starter I paid ten-times as much for, I told myself after the car show I’d finish sorting out why my high-tech starter wouldn’t work … that was 9-years ago… I suppose I should look into it one of these days.
      My first thoughts are what size is the flywheel/flexplate? Does the starter have mounting holes for both large and small flywheels or does the block have dual mounting holes? Is your motor a crate GM motor or ?? Is it a flexplate or a flywheel (automatic or manual transmission)? If I read correctly the starter is spinning but not engaging the flywheel… if that’s correct, bench test it… you can do it under the car too, simply unbolt the starter leaving the wires attached, and use a jumper cable to ground the starter to the engine block.
      Have someone turn the key with the engine free of the engine and check to see if the gear extends and rotates. (Naturally have your car properly supported when working beneath it). If the starter checks out, double check that the flywheel gears are visible through the starter opening and they are in the correct area to engage the starter.

      Sincerely,
      Mark
      Classic Car Restoration Club Expert

      Reply