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Old 05-04-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Electrical problem and need help

I am looking for some help with an electrical problem that occured this weekend in my SMB. I have a Ford 2007 e350 6.0 diesel sportsmobile 4x4. I went camping/fishing at a ranch about 3 hours from my home. I was off road for about 20 miles on basically fire roads with some minor stream crossings. I was driving the SMB around for two days on the ranch and on the third day after driving for about an hour the SMB stalled. I still had electrical power but it was like it stalled, and when I tried to turn over the engine nothing. I could tell the fuel pump was not making its usual noise when you turn the key and wait for the glow plugs. We pulled and looked/tested every fuse and relay under the hood, nothing. We finally found a bolwn fuse in the fuse pannel near the drivers foot area. It was a 15 amp small fuse for the power control module. I replaced the fuse and it started right up. I drove back to the ranch house with no problems. Alittle later we drove out to the pavement (20 miles) and it continued to blow that same fuse. I went through 8 fuses to get to the pavement and then had it towed from there. It was not safe to drive on the road because as soon as it died all of the power steering and brakes went away. My guess is there is some short in the wiring but there was no specific thing I was doing when the fuse blew each time. It blew when I was giving it gas, when I was just coasting, on uphills and down grades, in 4wheel low, 4wheel high and 2wheel drive. Has anyone had a similar issue like this? The van is at the dealership but with an electrical problem like this I think it will be difficult to figure out.
Thanks for the help
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

Electrical problems are the weirdest, and yours is no exception. Good job on figuring out the fuse and having enough spares. Glad to see you got it to the dealer. I haven't a clue, so good luck. You will be more knowledgeable after the repair, and we all will be the same through your report.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

I think the wiring harness is chafing and grounding out. I just made a pass through Deisel Stop website and didn't find anything on a search. I think I will become a member of their site and post the question.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

Well here is the outcome. I spoke with the Ford dealership early Monday morning and gave them all of the info I had regarding the electrical problem. They took the van for a drive around the block and nothing happened until they were pulling into the dealership parking lot and the fuse blew agian. The mechanic then spent some time disconnecting and reconnecting wires on the circuit to isolate the problem. He finally found it, a set of wires had been rubbing agianst the PCM metal box and luckily it was located just under the hood in a somewhat easy to get to location.
I am very glad that I bought and carried a bunch of spare fuses. It took me 8 of the same fuse to get to a location to have the van towed.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

They used to make small breakers that took the place of those glass fuses. The breaker will close itself after a short time period. They probably make something similar in the new style type fuses configuration. Mght be nice to have a variety of these on board. Most fuses are rated higher than what the circuit actually uses so you could put in a slightly smaller size breaker if you had to. Could save you a tow just keep it sized lighter so you don't burn it to the ground.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

You shouldn't have to downsize the fuse or breaker. A properly fuse circuit will support that amount of current, indefinitely, without burning up. Now, the actual failed part or frayed wire/short circuit maybe a fire hazard, but downsizing the fuse won't change that much.

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

Ya I might keep a fire extinguisher on hand I'm not really up on those breakers. I had the same problem in a work truck and the shop added a 20 amp breaker to replace the 20 amp fuse that kept blowing. It finally burned up the wiring harness. Maybe it would have burned up with a 10 amp breaker. The circuit never pulled over 10 amps during normal operation according to another mechanic. He blamed the guy who put in the breaker for destroying the harness. Of course they didnít like one another.

I just don't know how fast the breakers will trip as compared to the fuse. Fuses can be designed to blow at different speeds while rated at the same amps. So I would feel a little safer downsizing. Maybe itís not needed.

One thing a bit off topic is I found that Ford now runs wire that is rated for a specific load. Care must be taken when taping off something like the radio circuit to feed other devices. Some of the electrical wires are a very small gauge. This posed a big problem in my new truck. They had to add relays and tap off the battery directly for some add ons. I'm not sure about the new 08 vans.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

The mechanic said that he put a breaker in the place of the fuse that continued to blow so he could tell when the circuit grounded. I assumed that it was some sort of resetable device he had so he wouldn't just eat up fuses and could reset easily. The circut was covered with a 15 amp fuse. I would feel safe with replacing it with a 20 or 25 amp fuse to limp out. But when my buddy said just stick a wire in to replace the fuse I asked if he would ride in the van next to me with the fire extinguisher ready to go. Even though I went through 8 fuses its better than burning up half of the wrining harness and causing a real headache or worse.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Re: Electrical problem and need help

Yes I would never install a wire shunt to replace a fuse unless my life depended on it. I don't know if they offer the auto resetable versions anymore but I do know they make ones that can be manually reset. I'll probably throw a couple in the tool box. Good post.
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