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Many of you know my Subaru converted FF Californian Speedster broke down while driving two weeks ago. I had some type of electrical issue that I couldn't figure out. Special Edition converted the car to Subaru Power a couple of years ago and their work and the car's performance has been amazing and flawless. After the breakdown I contacted Carey to draw on his extensive knowledge of how their conversions are wired. He spent considerable time helping me trouble shoot the issue but we had no luck getting the car running. I was feeling a bit down about the lack of prospects to get the car diagnosed and repaired because I have no shops in my area that I would trust with my car even if they would take it on. This is where I was amazed and blown away. Carey contacted me and informed me that Mike would be driving close to my home on his way back from delivering a new car and picking up a couple of consignment cars and he would be happy to stop by to look at my car. Customer service of this type is rare in my experience but the norm for Special Edition. Mike arrived at my home yesterday around 4:30 PM. He brought a loaner ECU and extra relay cluster. He found that swapping the ECU and relays didn't fix the issue. We then lifted the car up on my lift and Mike started ripping into the main harness bundle located just under the ECU on the underside of the Speedster. Mike is the one who did most if not all of the conversion work to my car. He was looking for a 25 amp main fuse holder. Upon finding it he discovered that it had disintegrated. The wiring showed no signs of overheating so he thinks it may have been a faulty fuse holder that had been arcing current for some time and finally fell apart. We bought a new one at the local auto parts store and Mike soldered it in place and the car started and ran fine. Mike hung around while the car ran for the next 20 minutes of so with no issue or hot wiring. I am still going to be watching for any overheating wiring in the days to come. I hope it was only a faulty fuse holder. That said, I want to thank Carey and Mike for their help and amazing service. We are all fortunate to have them supporting our replica car hobby.

Last edited by Jimmy V.
Original Post

The inside of the fuse holder including the fuse were toast. The fuse holder was taped up in a bundle of wiring tucked under the car by the rear torsion tube. My car was converted at their shop so your statement makes no sense Bruce! Do you think I am making this up as I go!  My car was all custom work for them and most if not all of it is different from their Beck cars. Mike checked the wiring for any signs of damage or overheating and found none. We may be wishful thinking that something other than a bad fuse holder is in play. I will find out in the days to come. If I have additional issues the car will probably go back to Special Edition with Mike in a couple of weeks when he is returning from Chuck Beck's shop with a load of Chassis.

@Jimmy V. posted:

Many of you know my Subaru converted FF Californian Speedster broke down while driving two weeks ago. I had some type of electrical issue that I couldn't figure out. Special Edition converted the car to Subaru Power a couple of years ago and their work and the car's performance has been amazing and flawless. After the breakdown I contacted Carey to draw on his extensive knowledge of how their conversions are wired. He spent considerable time helping me trouble shoot the issue but we had no luck getting the car running. I was feeling a bit down about the lack of prospects to get the car diagnosed and repaired because I have no shops in my area that I would trust with my car even if they would take it on. This is where I was amazed and blown away. Carey contacted me and informed me that Mike would be driving close to my home on his way back from delivering a new car and picking up a couple of consignment cars and he would be happy to stop by to look at my car. Customer service of this type is rare in my experience but the norm for Special Edition. 

Customer service like this is not just rare, it's almost non-existent. Good for Beck and great for you Jimmy!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting a fuse there, since it is covered and mostly waterproof. I do agree that all fuses should be in a central location but it is not always possible or advisable to do so.

Most of my fuses are underdash. All are labeled. I have 3 on the ignition board behind my passenger seat, one for ignition unit power, one for coil power, and one for an ignition-unit-controlled relay.

I also have a couple directly off the battery, one for the oil cooling fan and one for the backup lights. ALL of these circuits are relay-controlled.

I even have a fuse on the pigtail for my float charger cord.

OUTSTANDING customer service from SE! Glad you're back on the road Jimmy.

Jimmy.......Sorry if I offended you or Carey or Mike or Limited Edition. I know you were happy that they solved your problem and I know that you were paying Limited Edition and their staff a compliment. Since I will be the owner of a Suby powered Spyder in the near future I am interested in any and all comments / information regarding Suby powered cars. You are very fortunate to have had the excellent service provided by Limited Edition. Without it you may have been looking for a long time before you found the problem. In my experience that was a very poor place to install a fuse.  Especially without telling the owner or at least providing a note somewhere informing the reader/owner that a fuse is located under the car in a wire loom and wrapped in tape. Even if it was unavoidable and had to be there. In my view, for example, it is not unlike making a splice or installing a fuse in a conduit run in a shop power circuit. If the fuse blew, how would you ever find out what/where the problem is. Granted, there are factory installed fuses in cars in addition to the ones in the central fuse box and as others have said, for good reasons. They are also indicated in the wiring diagram as well.  Limited Edition may very well have a reason for doing this and I'd like to know why the fuse was installed there.  Perhaps Cary or Mike could comment on my behalf.....Bruce

The fuse placement is Small Car's factory placement for a Bus conversion.  

In a Beck this fuse is deleted and the main ECU power fuse is integrated into our main fuse/relay panel.  BUT our stock wiring harness is specifically made with the intent of having extra wiring for both aircooled and Subaru powertrains, with all of the added wiring required.  In this conversion, due to a difference in ECU location, wiring harness routing, battery location and the fuse panel, it was left in the stock "Bus" location and determined that it is a sealed fuse in a sealed harness and although placement was less than ideal, it wasn't impossible to get to and was in a better location than directly off the battery which would require removal of the rear wheel and custom battery box to access.  

With roughly 200 Subaru powered cars on the road, this is the first instance of a melted fuse holder we've seen.

So Bruce, basically it is a one-off installation. Subaru into CMC. Probably never happen again for Carey and the boys at SPECIAL EDITION. It's not Limited Edition.

And Small Car Specialties has been in business doing Subaru conversions for years, maybe 20? I think they know a thing or two about adapting a Subaru harness to fit into a VW(albeit mostly Vanagons).

I agree with Alan - Stuff happens and I don't see a big deal, here.

When I built my car I used a fuse/relay block that had everything that I would ever need - I thought - 12 fuses, 6 relays and even a few extra wires running here and there, just in case.  It wasn't enough.

Even though I had all that pre-installed, I added two more in-line fuses, one way out back for my Air/Fuel meter heated sensor and another way out front for my gas heater.  Both were done to keep the wires short for max power.

Both times, I looked at several different versions of everything to get the one I thought would hold up because, as we all know, there are a lot of junk parts out there and sometimes even what looks like a good part fails for some unknown reason.  $#!+ happens, for sure.  

So I don't see a big deal, here - A purchased assembly failed for some unknown reason and was replaced by something hopefully stronger/better/faster and now you know there's a fuse back there and what it does.  Write that down somewhere for the future.  Kudos to Carey and Mike for jumping on it with the luck of having Mike traveling nearby.  Time to get out there and drive it!

 

 

@Jimmy V. posted:

Many of you know my Subaru converted FF Californian Speedster broke down while driving two weeks ago. I had some type of electrical issue that I couldn't figure out. Special Edition converted the car to Subaru Power a couple of years ago and their work and the car's performance has been amazing and flawless. After the breakdown I contacted Carey to draw on his extensive knowledge of how their conversions are wired. He spent considerable time helping me trouble shoot the issue but we had no luck getting the car running. I was feeling a bit down about the lack of prospects to get the car diagnosed and repaired because I have no shops in my area that I would trust with my car even if they would take it on. This is where I was amazed and blown away. Carey contacted me and informed me that Mike would be driving close to my home on his way back from delivering a new car and picking up a couple of consignment cars and he would be happy to stop by to look at my car. Customer service of this type is rare in my experience but the norm for Special Edition. Mike arrived at my home yesterday around 4:30 PM. He brought a loaner ECU and extra relay cluster. He found that swapping the ECU and relays didn't fix the issue. We then lifted the car up on my lift and Mike started ripping into the main harness bundle located just under the ECU on the underside of the Speedster. Mike is the one who did most if not all of the conversion work to my car. He was looking for a 25 amp main fuse holder. Upon finding it he discovered that it had disintegrated. The wiring showed no signs of overheating so he thinks it may have been a faulty fuse holder that had been arcing current for some time and finally fell apart. We bought a new one at the local auto parts store and Mike soldered it in place and the car started and ran fine. Mike hung around while the car ran for the next 20 minutes of so with no issue or hot wiring. I am still going to be watching for any overheating wiring in the days to come. I hope it was only a faulty fuse holder. That said, I want to thank Carey and Mike for their help and amazing service. We are all fortunate to have them supporting our replica car hobby.

@Jimmy V. Class act for Carey 👍☝️

Carey....Thanks for the prompt and conclusive response. Your commitment to excellence is appreciated by all of us out here. Even me, although some may think not. Because of your reputation I just couldn't believe that you or your workers would place a fuse in such a place without good reason. By virtue of your explanation. you don't like to put the fuse down under there either but rather in the fuse block. In this instance it appears that you had no choice with out a significant additional cost to the client.  Again than you for taking the time to respond.  I will pay close attention to the position of this fuse on my build in the near future. By the way, you are the one who convinced me to go Suby on my next build .........Bruce

I don't have an issue with the fuse placement, every now and then a fuse is needed to protect wiring away from the main fuse block. What I would want to see as an owner is documentation of the fuse purpose, size and location on the wiring diagram for the conversion so I knew where and what to look for if it acted wonky. Then again, I'm a hands-on type who wants to know every detail of every vehicle I own, because I do a lot of my own work. I agree regarding the outstanding customer service, that's a rarity these days. Hats off to Special Edition!   

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