Les Lothringer's Deconstructionist Approach to Replacing Cartridge Type High Current Fusible Links in 2004 Australian Built Toyota Camrys. May be applicable to other Toyotas. This Camry has two Fusible Links bolted to the bus: Alternator - 120 Amps, ABS - 60 Amps, front compartment of Fuse & Relay Box, inside engine bay, left side. Description to be read in conjunction with notes in photographs.
- Difficulty Level: Easy once you know how.
- Duration: 20 minutes one person estimate. Note: It took me longer than this, figuring out the correct and shortest approach.
- Discussion: I am uncertain if North American Toyotas have different fusible link arrangements. Haynes 2002-2005 Camry WSM p12-3 says " ... simply unplug and replace ... ". On Australian Camrys, these Fusible Links are bolted in. Internet discussions suggest North American owners have faced this problem of bolted in Fusible Links. If this is your situation, refer below - "What You Really Need to Know".
- Cost: Fuse, about A$25 vs. retail motor workshop additional labour charges. Costs are 2011 A$'s Toyota dealer Melbourne prices. Probably cheaper in North America.
- What You Really Need to Know: As per photos, two small bolts secure each of two Fuse Cartridges under what I call the Fuse Board / Fuse Compartment. Attempting to extract the Fuse Cartridge will break it. Thus, that approach cannot succeed.
The Fuse Box must be dismantled by lifting out the forward Compartment - carefully - and there is a specific sequence, to minimize time. The Fuse & Relay Box has two compartments. The forward compartment is unclipped [5 plastic pedestal clips] and lifted up to access the Fuse retaining bolts, beneath. I first extracted the rear compartment - unnecessary, once it became evident how to approach the disassembly. Thus, some photos do not strictly depict the quickest approach.
Bolts either side of Fuse Cartridge are different, forward facing bolt requires a 10 mm socket, rear facing bolt an 8 mm socket.
Bolts are short and so difficult to manipulate in a Fuse Board that is limited in orientation by the Wiring Harness. Unless you have the hands of a three year old child, magnetic sockets / screwdrivers that clasp the bolt would definitely help.
- Reference: No satisfactory reference found. Neither aftermarket service manuals I examined nor website "how to's" discussed how to remove Fusible Cartridges that are bolted down.
- Parts: Cartridge Fuse of correct amperage.
- Special Tools: New technology screwdrivers that clasp the bolt would help, if large enough for 8 mm and 10 mm bolts, or magnetized sockets.
- Other Tools: 1/4" drive sockets. Magnetic Extension Rod to retrieve dropped bolts. Background music according to your taste and from a separate source as you will disconnect the Battery.
- What Can Go Wrong: Breaking plastic fittings. Dropped bolts that cannot be easily retrieved. Have on hand spare short bolts. Attempting to perform this operation without disconnecting the Battery would be to invite an especially warm and visually spectacular yet brief pyrotechnic outcome, the cost of which to you will be enduring.
- Les Lothringer's Disclaimer [My Short Form One]: This describes my approach. If you choose to follow it and make a mistake, remember - at all times, it really is your fault, your risk and your cost. If you choose to follow it and get a different outcome, that's because you need to know more than what is described here. If you choose to follow it and something subsequently and in the rich fullness of time goes awry, you bear the consequences, deservedly or otherwise. Recognize that your car may have been worked on by a previous owner who knew less than you do [scarey!!], who may not have applied good workshop practice or whom may have been a qualified workshop technician operating to unrealistic "industry standard job time" pressures and so took yet to be revealed shortcuts with unfortunate or even dire consequences. If you lack the confidence, ability, manual dexterity, clear eyesight, intelligence, mental clarity, patience, emotional stability, knowledge, focus, correct tools, time and a firm, level under-cover location free of rain, flood, high winds, blizzards, sand storms, ground instabilities, ionizing radiation, blood sucking insects, inadequate lighting, excessive noise, distractions, subterranean volcanic activity, very low flying aircraft, terrorist actions, foreign invasion, etc etc etc, or otherwise believe in the power of prayer to keep you from screwing up in the performance of these tasks or even worse, possess a wife [or wives] or partner [or partners] pestering you to complete the work in what seems to her [them] to be more than a very reasonable affluxion of time, engage someone who does not. No responsibility accepted for srorre, omissions, misguided and unjustified assertions. Every car can be different. Your car may have design defects courtesy of the manufacturer [probably does] or aftermarket manufactured parts applied [quite possibly and made to another engineer's standards or maybe a committee of engineers with the usual interference from cost accountants (I did cost accounting)] or outstanding campaigns issued against it, as yet unapplied or applied incorrectly or components designed / manufactured under no intention of being serviceable [built-in obsolescence]. Torque settings as per Toyota WSM's.
Approach- refer photos:
A. Set Up
1. Lift bonnet and secure.
2. Disconnect Battery, -ve terminal first. I removed the Battery - probably not necessary.
3. Remove front end of Air Induction System - Snorkel, twist and lift (may be unnecessary), plug hole with cloth because if you drop the bolt down there ... , Air Filter Assembly, in two parts [3 internal bolts].
4. Remove top of Fuse & Relay Box black Plastic Cover.
5. Remove Relays - Dimmer [black], Fan #2 [brown] , MGCLT [grey] from front side compartment, for access to one of 3 x retaining bolts, or use ring spanner [slower] unless ratcheting type [faster].
B. Accessing Small Bolts that Secure Cartridge Fusible Links
Sequence to Access Fusible Link Bolts,
1. Remove Fuse Box 3 x retaining bolts - two left side, one revealed after removing Air Filter Assembly. 10 mm socket.
2. Remove small nut, front top side in Fuse Box interior front compartment.
3. Press entire assembly downwards, release Wiring Harness, engine side.
4. Unclip front side Fuse Board / Compartment from base - 5 x Pedestal Clips. This provides access to underside of Fuse Board. Note: I first unclipped and raised the rear side compartment but this is unnecessary.
5. Raise and angle front side Fuse Board as far as wiring bundle permits. Bolts are now visible. Remove using 8 mm and 10 mm sockets. Take care not to drop them - very short.
6. Replace Cartridge Fuse.
7. Bolt new Fuse in place. Ensure that cable ends do not slip down, otherwise you do not have an electrical connection. Note: I dropped the front side bolt into the unknown regions and so used the bolt that holds the front side of the Battery Clamp in place. Is slightly longer but not too long for this application.
8. Carefully clip the Fuse Board back into the Fuse Box Base.
1. Reverse of disassembly procedure.
2. Retune radio.