1992 Dodge B350 Van 5.9L (VIN "Z") Electrical Mess

dodge
electrical-wiring
van
ram

#1

Was driving along on a 95+ degree day recently, with the A/C on max and the blower motor running full blast, and suddently the blower motor and a/c shut down.



I checked the fuse, which was fine. At that point, being very weak on electrical stuff, I was officially out of ideas.



So, I took the van to my local, highly recommended, AAA-approved shop. After two hours (at 90.00 per hour) of diagnostics, they found a burnt fusible link and some other burnt wires.



They fixed the fusible link and burnt wires, and also replaced the lock cylinder and ignition switch, as well as the blower motor. Almost $900.00 and several days later, I had my van back.



The blower and a/c worked beatutifully. For exactly one week. At which point I was tooling along with the blower and a/c running full blast on another sweltering day, and the thing cut out again. Checked the fuse again, which again looked fine.



So, I am back to square one. What should I do now? Take it back to the same shop, and let them have another crack at it to the tune of 90.00 per hour plus parts? Do I take it to an automotive electrical specialist? If I go the speciallist route, does anyone know a reaaally good auto electrical shop in the Northern Virginia/DC area?



I am also open to ideas on further things I can check myself.


#2

You said the fuse looks good. That is not always a reliable way to check it. Try swapping another fuse in and see if that works then post back.
I believe that Dodge issued a TSB regarding this. I will see if I can pull it up.
~Michael


#3

OK will do. Never knew a blown fuse could visibly look OK.


#4

I have attached the TSB put out by Dodge on your van. It indicates the symptoms being repeated blown fuse or bad blower switch so the fuse may be fine.
The process for repair is explained in the bulletin. If you feel up to the task great or you could print the information and take it to a qualified electrical tech. Hope it helps.
~Michael


#5

Hey thanks, Dartman…


#6

No problem. If you need anymore help let us know.
~Michael


#7

One update I have is I went ahead and replaced the 30-amp fuse and there was no change - blower still inoperative.


#8

Well, after a lot of thought I went ahead and took the van to an automotive electrical specialist shop. And here is what he found. Get this – the (general mechanical) shop that previously replaced the burned fusible link replaced the burned 20-guage fusible link with a 20-amp fuse. The blower draws more than 20 amps on full blast, so the 20 amp fuse blew. The second shop replaced the blown fuse with the proper fusible link, and my blower and a/c are running like champs again.

I can’t for the life of me imagine how one would confuse a 20-amp fuse with a 20 guage fusible link. But that is what the guy at this shop told me had happened at the previous shop…


#9

It is good to hear that you have your heater working again. It no longer surprises me that a shop will patch stuff together instead of repairing it correctly.
My concern at this point is the burned 20 gauge fusible link. It takes a dead short to burn this link out. It is only installed as a fail safe. Even if your blower motor froze it should have blown the 30 amp fuse in the fuse block not melted the link. This indicates to me you have a potential short in the wiring between the fusible link and the fuse pannel.
~Michael


#10

Yeah, the first shop also told me (I should have mentioned this before) they traced for the short, and did find some and spliced/repaired the shorts they found. I suspect what may have happened is in the rush to finish up for the weekend, the 20 amp fuse got installed instead of the 20 guage fusible link.

I have another question on this van, resulting in something the latest shop told me. Will post in another thread.