In Reference 1, I show how to disassemble a Saturn fuse box and solder the internal connections. Several months after publishing that post, our 1999 Saturn developed problems with the “F5” connection. The F5 problems were quite possibly at the root of the issues that I was trying to fix in Ref 1. To permanently solve our F5 problems, I added a jumper wire, as detailed in Reference 2.
When I added the jumper wire shown in Ref 2, I had the advantage of being able to easily remove the front and rear cover plates from the pins to gain access to F5 for soldering in the jumper wire. Since most people who might want to add a jumper wire will not be able to easily remove those cover plates, I thought it was time to show a way to do the job without removing the cover plates. No one wants to do that, unless it’s really necessary, and I suspect that, most of the time, it will not be necessary.
In this post, I show how to add a jumper wire to the F5 connection in a Saturn fuse box that has never been taken apart and had its internal connections soldered.
Here’s a view of the back of a 1999 Saturn fuse box that had never been previously disassembled:
Note the melting around the F5 connection, located third pin from the left at the top of the photo. That pin is also covered with melted plastic and other deposits, making for a very poor electrical connection.
Here’s that same fuse box after removal of the rear housing:
Next is a photo of the Dremel tools I used to cut a hole in the cover plate to gain access for adding a jumper wire to F5:
Next a view of the cover plate after using the cutter wheel to partially cut out a hole:
Next time, I’ll dispense with the cutter wheel and just use the carbide burr as shown next:
Next, break away a piece of the cover plate, using a pair of pliers:
And the other side, as shown below:
Next, I drill a hole for my jumper wire:
And here’s the hole:
Notice that I’ve pushed the wire in as far as it will go, such that it hits against the plastic cover on the other side. That’s allowable because there are no electrical components there for it to hit against, so shorting is not a worry.
Next is another shot of the wire after insertion into the hole:
Here’s a shot of the completed soldering job:
Notice that there is a bit of plastic inside the clip, at the end of the wire, that prevents that wire from going all the way through the clip.
Here’s another view of the clip, which also shows that bit of plastic, as well as the Ace Hardware package and the item number (34566):
Now, if I were going to install this fuse box in our Saturn, I would use three of those clips. I would place one at the end of the jumper wire, as shown above, and the other two, I would drill out that aforementioned piece of plastic so that I could install the other two clips over both wires. That would give me three of these clips to carry the current, as well as the original F5 pin, for whatever that has to offer.
You see, I really don’t trust these clips in a high current situation like this, so I would use three of them, with the F5 pin making a total of four connections to share the load.
I so much mistrust these clips that, on my wife’s Saturn, I chose to solder the jumper wire to the red wire going to F5, as shown in Reference 2. For those who have the necessary skills, I highly recommend soldering instead of these clips.
Here’s a view of the completed repair, with the jumper wire sticking out the side of the fuse box: