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The fusebox on my 1.8L T new beetle recently melted and warranted a further look. This issue appears to be pretty common among this and other similar VW's so I've decided to share my findings and what I feel will be a long term solution.

I agree, the problem is excessive heat at the connection interface between the wire terminals and the fuse, not excessive current in the wire (remember the fuse didn't blow and the entire wire isn’t melted). I believe that the root of the problem is that the connection on the non-battery side of the high current (i.e. alternator and interior) fuse loosens slightly over time. This creates increased resistance, which tends to soften the black plastic housing base, reducing clamping pressure which causes even less contact, more resistance and more heat until everything spirals out of control. Poor design from the get go.

The battery side of each of the fuses tightens up with nuts that are all metal-to-metal clamping everything together and remain tight over time. This side never gets hot and never has a problem. The non-battery side of the fuses (towards the rear of the car) is different because they are all individual. Each individual bolt comes up from the bottom, and comes thru holes on the black plastic housing. There is a thin drawn sheet metal washer that is supposed to support the clamp load of the tightened nut. The problem is that this sheet metal washer is totally inadequate to support the clamp load and crushes easily under the clamp load of a tightened nut. (Clamp loads on a tightened M6 nut can be hundreds of pounds) A better design would have been to use a metal screw with a shoulder washer with some thickness that wouldn’t deform under load. I’ve looked at several different manufactures fuse blocks including Genuine VW parts and they all share the same poor design.

Here is what I did to solve the problem. Get a new fuse block. Remove the bottom black plastic flap to expose the back of all of the hex screw heads. You’ll need a small screwdriver to open all the snaps. All of the 10 M6 bolts will need to be increased in length on both sides of the fuse. I left the thin drawn sheet metal washers in place, but added an additional nut on the topside of the plastic so that the fuse now bottoms on the new nuts above the black plastic rather then crushing the drawn sheet metal washers. I used some Loctite on this nut and let it dry before final assembly. You’ll need to add a nut to both sides of the fuse to lift up both sides so that the fuse stays horizontal and isn’t cocked at an angle. The basic idea is that when the nuts are tightened up the top outside nuts clamp the fuses to the wire crimp terminals and then bottom on a new Loctited nuts instead of the flimsy sheet metal washers. All stresses remain in the metal, bolts/nuts/fuses and terminal ends and there’s no load clamping the sheet metal washer or the black plastic base. The nuts will stay tight, Consider adding a split washer in the stack-up to retain clamp pressure.

Pay attention to get the correct size fuses back onto to the correct wires! Different years and models use different fuse values.

Remember when you put the bolts back in they need to be rotationally aligned to fit into their black plastic hex receptacle in order be able to shut everything back together. Pay attention to this otherwise you will go thru multiple assembly cycles like me.

There’s no need to over tighten the nuts. They wont come loose over time. Overtorquing will just spin the hex head in the hex of the plastic base and ruin it making the base hard to close.

To verify everything’s working well once you start the car back up and the alternator is charging the battery with max current, the top of the rear bolt on the fuse block should remain pretty cool to the touch. If it’s too warm there will be a voltage drop between to B+ side of the fuse (front of car) and the eyelet terminal of the alternator wire. Even a .1-volt drop at this junction with 80 amps of charging current will generate 8 watts of heat in a very tiny area. The lower the voltage drops, the cooler and better! Check it over time until you are sure everything is steady state.

As for the three 30 amp flat bade fuses, I’ve also had the same problem with intermittent AC fans and or ABS brakes due too poor electrical contact. My diagnosis is similar. Its not excess current but poor connections caused but cheap terminals that cant support the current loads.
To solve the problem at one point, I out boarded a 30 amp Air Con fan fuse (got my solder iron out), which worked but wasn’t pretty. In my most recent iteration with a new start over fuse block I noted that the sheet metal fingers which contact the 3 fuses were rotated 90 degrees giving substantially better metal contact area with the fuse terminals and so I added silicone grease to the fuse blades and kept the aftermarket manufactures rotated design. If you have the original design (contacts all in the same plane) I suppose I would outboard all three fuses. Not pretty and a lot of soldering work. Make sure you use fuse holders (Amazon has 30 amp fuse holders) which can support the 30 amps…….Volkswagen didn’t. If they did ,we wouldn’t have the problem and there wouldn’t have been class action lawsuits.

(I don’t think you can determine which design you have unless you take it apart)

Good luck, hope my pictures help

Cheap sheet metal stamped washer, which is sandwich thru the black plastic base.
This is the root of the problem because it gets crushed.



This is basically my fix to add nuts to the top of the sheet metal part. Note Loctite.

Nuts were also added to the battery (front) side to allow the fuses to remain horizontal.

All bolts were exchanged for longer pieces to allow for the extra nuts.






The bolt hex heads need to be rotationally aligned to fit back in their respective plastic recess’ allowing re-snapping everything back together.



30 Amp Fuses

My original fuse block I had to outboard the AC fan fuse because of poor contact. Note the orientation of the tangs contacting the fuse blades are all in the same flat plane. It’s a Poor design with minimal metal contact to the fuse blades, hence the need to outboard the fuse.



Once I had the alternator fuse over-heating issues, I decided to start over with a new fuse block (modified as shown above), which happened to have improved 30 amp discrete fuse holder contacts. This design looked much better with more surface area of metal contact so I decided to keep it with no modifications, except to add silicone grease, however I do periodically do the same voltage drop test I did above. Remember voltage drops generate heat, causing melt down.

 

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Great write up, thanks! All makes sense. This is now on my list of jobs to do. I don't suppose you know the dimensions of the longer M6 bolts that will be needed?
 

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So stupid and so sad that manufacturers do foolish things like this. I have to assume the aftermarket/replacement fuse boxes are worse?

I have never had a problem with mine or had to replace one for anyone else, but I had always said that this was not an over current problem, but a clamp load/connection issue as is pointed out here.

What is really scary is how some "Design Engineer" actually thought the 30 Amp blade sockets were adequate. What a bunch of garbage the narrow side of the terminal grabbing the 30 Amp fuse blade.

Electrical connections need to be tight and very low resistance as mentioned otherwise heat will be a side effect once a big enough load is present.

Once the plastic gets soft with the original design, then the connection just get looser, then hotter, then looser, then hotter. Just a thermal run away nightmare!

Some people believed and suggest the cable from the battery to the fuse box was the problem. Many recommended upgrading this cable. But this clearly is not the source of the melting fuse boxes. While the battery pigtail might be wise to update, my 13 year old NBC still has the original pigtail installed.

Glad someone finally figured out and posted a solution.
 

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Many of us have experienced this issue; it is interesting, to note the different ways, the aftermarket has attempted to address the original design flaws: (e.g: standard motor products/techsmart amd motorking/"no more breaking")):

https://newbeetle.org/forums/questions-issues-concerns-problems-new-beetle/116050-melting-fuse-boxes-new-improved-design-solutions-tech-smart.html#/topics/116050?page=1&_k=1cov10

I thought the motorking full contact fuse holders; made particular sense to me, as a logical upgrade compared to the original thin fuse contacts. I have seen where; the small contact point, seems to almost burn though the fuse spade and cause loss of contact, killing things like the a/c compressor function. The aftermarket "fixes"; seem to address many other areas, their engineers saw as weaknesses.

You doubling up on the nuts for the flat fuses; would definitely isolate the tightening aspect from the plastic and create a superior contact point.

Aside from the fuse box itself; checking other wiring and components for problems, failures, makes sense as well.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fDdgs5bqzZg

It would be interesting to do a autopsy on both the techsmart and motorking aftermarket fuse boxes. That way we could see the design/component upgrades they decided to do.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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My alternator cable was the culprit of my melting fuse box - just replaced with a thicker gauge wire. No problems since.
 

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My alternator cable was the culprit of my melting fuse box - just replaced with a thicker gauge wire. No problems since.
I doubt this is the case, this seems to be a common thought, but I call BS on this. As mentioned, resistance causes heat which causes the plastic to melt.

The cable was not the problem, the loose connection to the fuse box was the problem.

Do not fool yourself.
 

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connections

The fusebox on my 1.8L T new beetle recently melted and warranted a further look. This issue appears to be pretty common among this and other similar VW's so I've decided to share my findings and what I feel will be a long term solution.

I agree, the problem is excessive heat at the connection interface between the wire terminals and the fuse, not excessive current in the wire (remember the fuse didn't blow and the entire wire isn’t melted). I believe that the root of the problem is that the connection on the non-battery side of the high current (i.e. alternator and interior) fuse loosens slightly over time. This creates increased resistance, which tends to soften the black plastic housing base, reducing clamping pressure which causes even less contact, more resistance and more heat until everything spirals out of control. Poor design from the get go.

The battery side of each of the fuses tightens up with nuts that are all metal-to-metal clamping everything together and remain tight over time. This side never gets hot and never has a problem. The non-battery side of the fuses (towards the rear of the car) is different because they are all individual. Each individual bolt comes up from the bottom, and comes thru holes on the black plastic housing. There is a thin drawn sheet metal washer that is supposed to support the clamp load of the tightened nut. The problem is that this sheet metal washer is totally inadequate to support the clamp load and crushes easily under the clamp load of a tightened nut. (Clamp loads on a tightened M6 nut can be hundreds of pounds) A better design would have been to use a metal screw with a shoulder washer with some thickness that wouldn’t deform under load. I’ve looked at several different manufactures fuse blocks including Genuine VW parts and they all share the same poor design.

Here is what I did to solve the problem. Get a new fuse block. Remove the bottom black plastic flap to expose the back of all of the hex screw heads. You’ll need a small screwdriver to open all the snaps. All of the 10 M6 bolts will need to be increased in length on both sides of the fuse. I left the thin drawn sheet metal washers in place, but added an additional nut on the topside of the plastic so that the fuse now bottoms on the new nuts above the black plastic rather then crushing the drawn sheet metal washers. I used some Loctite on this nut and let it dry before final assembly. You’ll need to add a nut to both sides of the fuse to lift up both sides so that the fuse stays horizontal and isn’t cocked at an angle. The basic idea is that when the nuts are tightened up the top outside nuts clamp the fuses to the wire crimp terminals and then bottom on a new Loctited nuts instead of the flimsy sheet metal washers. All stresses remain in the metal, bolts/nuts/fuses and terminal ends and there’s no load clamping the sheet metal washer or the black plastic base. The nuts will stay tight, Consider adding a split washer in the stack-up to retain clamp pressure.

Pay attention to get the correct size fuses back onto to the correct wires! Different years and models use different fuse values.

Remember when you put the bolts back in they need to be rotationally aligned to fit into their black plastic hex receptacle in order be able to shut everything back together. Pay attention to this otherwise you will go thru multiple assembly cycles like me.

There’s no need to over tighten the nuts. They wont come loose over time. Overtorquing will just spin the hex head in the hex of the plastic base and ruin it making the base hard to close.

To verify everything’s working well once you start the car back up and the alternator is charging the battery with max current, the top of the rear bolt on the fuse block should remain pretty cool to the touch. If it’s too warm there will be a voltage drop between to B+ side of the fuse (front of car) and the eyelet terminal of the alternator wire. Even a .1-volt drop at this junction with 80 amps of charging current will generate 8 watts of heat in a very tiny area. The lower the voltage drops, the cooler and better! Check it over time until you are sure everything is steady state.

As for the three 30 amp flat bade fuses, I’ve also had the same problem with intermittent AC fans and or ABS brakes due too poor electrical contact. My diagnosis is similar. Its not excess current but poor connections caused but cheap terminals that cant support the current loads.
To solve the problem at one point, I out boarded a 30 amp Air Con fan fuse (got my solder iron out), which worked but wasn’t pretty. In my most recent iteration with a new start over fuse block I noted that the sheet metal fingers which contact the 3 fuses were rotated 90 degrees giving substantially better metal contact area with the fuse terminals and so I added silicone grease to the fuse blades and kept the aftermarket manufactures rotated design. If you have the original design (contacts all in the same plane) I suppose I would outboard all three fuses. Not pretty and a lot of soldering work. Make sure you use fuse holders (Amazon has 30 amp fuse holders) which can support the 30 amps…….Volkswagen didn’t. If they did ,we wouldn’t have the problem and there wouldn’t have been class action lawsuits.

(I don’t think you can determine which design you have unless you take it apart)

Good luck, hope my pictures help

Cheap sheet metal stamped washer, which is sandwich thru the black plastic base.
This is the root of the problem because it gets crushed.



This is basically my fix to add nuts to the top of the sheet metal part. Note Loctite.

Nuts were also added to the battery (front) side to allow the fuses to remain horizontal.

All bolts were exchanged for longer pieces to allow for the extra nuts.






The bolt hex heads need to be rotationally aligned to fit back in their respective plastic recess’ allowing re-snapping everything back together.



30 Amp Fuses

My original fuse block I had to outboard the AC fan fuse because of poor contact. Note the orientation of the tangs contacting the fuse blades are all in the same flat plane. It’s a Poor design with minimal metal contact to the fuse blades, hence the need to outboard the fuse.



Once I had the alternator fuse over-heating issues, I decided to start over with a new fuse block (modified as shown above), which happened to have improved 30 amp discrete fuse holder contacts. This design looked much better with more surface area of metal contact so I decided to keep it with no modifications, except to add silicone grease, however I do periodically do the same voltage drop test I did above. Remember voltage drops generate heat, causing melt down.

I did this already a year ago on the 30A amp fuses. I bypass the fusebox sockets and hooked up a thicker wire with good solid connectors, used dielectric grease .......and guess what it still got hot and melted after about 4-5 months. I still believe it's too much current flow, then the connections get hot and develop a resistance because of that and keeps getting worst and worst until they melt. But it starts because of too much current flow, that's why a certain circuit or wire get's hot to begin with.
 

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1. DO NOT use dieletric grease, it is an INSULATOR!!!!!!!!

Dielectric grease is used IMPROPERLY ALL THE TIME. DO NOT USE IT ON ELECTRICAL CONTACTS. Its main purpose is for spark plug boots so they do not stick the the spark plug.

2. The problem is not too much current flow. If something gets hot, there is TOO MUCH resistance. Something is undersized and/or poor quality.

3. It is true that SOME connections will loosen up over time with thermal changes, often these thermal changes start out small, but depending on the material and how the material was hardened or annealed it may loosen up with heat cycles.

Here is what everyone needs to understand.

A fuse is to PROTECT THE WIRING of a circuit.

A fuse is typically over rated by 25%, so if you have a 10 Amp fuse for a circuit, it should draw no more than 7.5 Amps continuously.

I have seen MANY after market fuse holders that are not designed properly that will not handle the amount of current that may be put through the fuse holder and pigtail. Just because you can plug a 30 Amp fuse in a fuse holder does not mean the fuse holder and pigtail wiring will support the load that is put on the fuse holder and pigtail.

A properly designed and installed circuit/fuse holder will not get significantly warm when the rated amount of current is passed through the parts.

This is really not that difficult, it is just an issue of sub part equipment that is not capable of handling the constant high current that is being applied.

If "too much" current it being drawn or passed though the circuit, the fuse will blow.

Instead of talking about the current flow, MEASURE it. You will not find 35-40 Amps of current passing though the 30 Amp fuse for any length of time.

If the circuit it drawing a level of current that is too close to the fuse value then the item(s) that are being powered need to be closely inspected and replaced if needed.
 

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I doubt this is the case, this seems to be a common thought, but I call BS on this. As mentioned, resistance causes heat which causes the plastic to melt.

The cable was not the problem, the loose connection to the fuse box was the problem.

Do not fool yourself.
Hi, I'm the guy who diagnosed and replaced the cable, in October of 2015, after another shop had replaced the fuse panel twice. It fixed the problem.

Moisture gets into the alternator lead, causing corrosion, creating resistance. I'm a VW tech, and although the loose connection on your fuse panel was the issue you experienced, I quite often see alternator cables acting as a 2 foot long resistor, and melting the fuse panel. Amazingly enough, more than one thing can cause this issue. Do not fool yourself.
 

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Bandi, have you noticed; if VW has revised/improved, the alternator charge harness or fuse box, to address this common issue? Many claim the wiring harness; is too small a gauge, for its intended role in the charging system. We can see, that the aftermarket and individual shops; have attempted to address, inherent weaknesses in the original parts designs. Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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Hi, I'm the guy who diagnosed and replaced the cable, in October of 2015, after another shop had replaced the fuse panel twice. It fixed the problem.

Moisture gets into the alternator lead, causing corrosion, creating resistance. I'm a VW tech, and although the loose connection on your fuse panel was the issue you experienced, I quite often see alternator cables acting as a 2 foot long resistor, and melting the fuse panel. Amazingly enough, more than one thing can cause this issue. Do not fool yourself.
Are we talking about the cable from the alternator or the cable from the positive battery terminal stud to the fuse box??

Not sure if there are different cable routing configurations, but my fuse box has about a 12" cable that connects to a stud on the back of the positive battery terminal.

I am not doubting the cable to the fuse box on the battery may be too small, but if the Voltage drop is in the cable, the end terminals should not get so hot that the fuse box melts. Heat will build up in the cable, not on the end terminal.

As for moisture/corrosion on the battery to the fuse box, I have never seen this, never had this problem on my car. Not sure how moisture gets into the cable, maybe silicon sealer should be put on the stranded end of the cable.

All of these problems can be caught LONG before a meltdown if a Voltage drop test is performed, BUT, to do a proper Voltage drop test you have to test the cable/connection under load. If you cannot load the cable/connection with internal loads in the vehicle, you will need to use a carbon pile load tester.

You can also use an IR thermometer to measure the temperature at the connections while under load as well.

It is CLEAR for anyone that has replaced cables or fuse boxes more than 1 time, the root cause of the problem has been overlooked.

This is not that difficult, the OP has posted the best fuse box solution that I have seen, I can see for what ever reason the fuse box in my convertible has never been a problem, I am the original owner and the ONLY problem I have ever had is when the dealer did not tighten the jumper from the fuse box to the battery terminal tight enough that I had a whine in the Monsoon radio system from the alternator.

If I would ever have run into any of these problems, I would have posted a solution like the one in this thread many years ago. Electrical problems DO NOT challenge me in any way, this is one area I am VERY strong in and you will not get an electrical problem like this past me at all.
 

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Bandi, have you noticed; if VW has revised/improved, the alternator charge harness or fuse box, to address this common issue? Many claim the wiring harness; is too small a gauge, for its intended role in the charging system. We can see, that the aftermarket and individual shops; have attempted to address, inherent weaknesses in the original parts designs. Any thoughts? Thanks.
I don't believe anything has been revised in the fuse panel design, it just seems to be a bad combination of things that can cause this to happen.

After seeing a car with a "crispy" fuse panel, the first thing I do is check the resistance of the lead to the alternator. There shouldn't really be any on such a heavy gauge of wire. If there is, I replace the lead (and the fuse panel). I've yet to have a car come back a second time with a crispy fuse panel again.

I don't think the gauge of harness is an issue at all, I have nearly 700,000 on my car with the original fuse panel and alternator lead, and my previous alternator (which was the original one) ended its life in a dramatic manner a couple year ago, by shorting its internal windings to the housing- nothing caught fire, the fuse panel didn't melt, the lead was fine.

And Jfoj,
I work on about 100 VWs a week, so I see all kinds of interesting things. Sadly I don't have time to check every single car I work on for a voltage drop between the fuse panel and alternator, or for a temperature difference, but I always check the fuse panel for damage on these older cars as it's a great way to prevent things from going up in smoke.
 

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dielectric grease

1. DO NOT use dieletric grease, it is an INSULATOR!!!!!!!!

Dielectric grease is used IMPROPERLY ALL THE TIME. DO NOT USE IT ON ELECTRICAL CONTACTS. Its main purpose is for spark plug boots so they do not stick the the spark plug.

2. The problem is not too much current flow. If something gets hot, there is TOO MUCH resistance. Something is undersized and/or poor quality.

3. It is true that SOME connections will loosen up over time with thermal changes, often these thermal changes start out small, but depending on the material and how the material was hardened or annealed it may loosen up with heat cycles.

Here is what everyone needs to understand.

A fuse is to PROTECT THE WIRING of a circuit.

A fuse is typically over rated by 25%, so if you have a 10 Amp fuse for a circuit, it should draw no more than 7.5 Amps continuously.

I have seen MANY after market fuse holders that are not designed properly that will not handle the amount of current that may be put through the fuse holder and pigtail. Just because you can plug a 30 Amp fuse in a fuse holder does not mean the fuse holder and pigtail wiring will support the load that is put on the fuse holder and pigtail.

A properly designed and installed circuit/fuse holder will not get significantly warm when the rated amount of current is passed through the parts.

This is really not that difficult, it is just an issue of sub part equipment that is not capable of handling the constant high current that is being applied.

If "too much" current it being drawn or passed though the circuit, the fuse will blow.

Instead of talking about the current flow, MEASURE it. You will not find 35-40 Amps of current passing though the 30 Amp fuse for any length of time.

If the circuit it drawing a level of current that is too close to the fuse value then the item(s) that are being powered need to be closely inspected and replaced if needed.
it's not an insulator , it's mostly to keep moisture away from electrical contacts. everyone in the automotive industry uses it. I did measure the current before and when the fans would come on it was pulling 22-24 amps on that one wire alone that provides power to the FCM and fans. The power formula is voltage (14vdc when alternator is charging) times current 24 is 336 watts.....way too much wattage for those wires and so it get's hot.
 

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it's not an insulator , it's mostly to keep moisture away from electrical contacts. everyone in the automotive industry uses it. I did measure the current before and when the fans would come on it was pulling 22-24 amps on that one wire alone that provides power to the FCM and fans. The power formula is voltage (14vdc when alternator is charging) times current 24 is 336 watts.....way too much wattage for those wires and so it get's hot.
Yes, dielectric grease IS and insulator. If it was a conductor it would cause all sorts of problems in electrical connections.

It is used INCORRECTLY all over the automotive industry. I understand it can help keep moisture away from connections, but if there should not be moisture at a connection, the WRONG connector system is being used.

DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DIELECTIC GREASE. IT IS USED INCORRECTLY ALL THE TIME!

I see you can do basic math, BUT you seem to be missing some basic electrical/physics principles.

So you measured the current draw of the fans, this is good.

You measured 22-24 Amps, this is what I would probably expect.

So the circuit has a 30 Amp fuse that never appears to blow. this is fine.

75% rating of a 30 Amp fuse is 22.5 Amps, this is right in the 25% rule of thumb over head for circuit protection, so a 30 Amp fuse is just right.

Now one to you 336 Watt comment. So you DO UNDERSTAND that the wire is not the circuit load, correct?? This is not an electric heater circuit, right? The 336 Watt load is the FAN, not the wiring. The wiring is not consuming 336 Watts, it is PASSING the current to the fan motor(s) that are doing work and dissipating the majority of the energy/heat.

Assuming the wire is properly sized and the connections are properly tight, there will be NEGLIGIBLE heat within the wiring and connectors. If the wiring heats up, it is undersized and/or has loose connections with too much resistance.

I mean based on your comments the fan control module with the small relay contacts would also be dissipating 336 Watts and this stupid little module would by no means last 13+ years.

With your thought process all the wiring in your house would be running hot and melting insulation as well. Keep in mind the wiring in your house only uses 12 AWG wire for a 20 Amp circuit for typical wire lengths.

You can look at this site for typical wire sizing, but it only has 15 minimum lengths listed - http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/amps-wire-gauge-d_730.html

You need to get a better grasp on your thought process.
 

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DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DIELECTIC GREASE. IT IS USED INCORRECTLY ALL THE TIME!

I see you can do basic math, BUT you seem to be missing some basic electrical/physics principles.

You need to get a better grasp on your thought process.
Maybe get off your high horse? At least be polite about your thoughts and comments.
 

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dude

Trust me, I am being polite!
yea, you need to calm down dude we are trying to figure out why these cables are melting and based on years of experience people are posting their opinions and you act like you are the only knowledgeable person in this forum. Good luck to ya :p

@Bandi, good to have ya here in the forum. we can always use opinions from an experience VW tech.
 

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yea, you need to calm down dude we are trying to figure out why these cables are melting and based on years of experience people are posting their opinions and you act like you are the only knowledgeable person in this forum. Good luck to ya :p

@Bandi, good to have ya here in the forum. we can always use opinions from an experience VW tech.
I am calm, I am one of the few knowledgeable people on this forum and when it comes to electrical issues, there are few that have my experience.

Melting wiring and fuse boxes is SIMPLE, something is loose/resistance is too high.

It may be that the fuse boxes take a long time fail because of the design the plastic/stud boss softens over times and the more it softens the looser and hotter the connect becomes.

Even the guy that says he sees hundreds of VW's a week, he should have invested the problem after the 2nd or 3rd one that showed up and figured out exactly what is happening.

I think the bolt solution the OP has posted here looks very solid and will not likely have problems. Even if the fuse box starts to melt for any reason, which I would doubt if the nuts are tight and low resistance contacts, then the clamp load would not be lost if the plastic shrinks or deforms, the clamp load is between 2 nuts that if tight enough will not get warm or even hot.

25 Amps is nothing to pass through the proper size wiring and/or connections. This is clearly not a problem of over current because the 30 Amp fuse is not blowing and should not be blowing if the current is consistently 25 Amps or less.

Now maybe this is more of a problem in certain areas of the country where the temperatures are consistently warmer like the Southern part of the US, South West, Texas and Southern CA where the duty cycle of the fan(s) running on high may be greater than fans running on high say in Canada??

Any conductor or connection that gets warm enough to be detected by your hand or melting a connection is a PROBLEM. The connection was loose, corroded and had too high of a resistance. This is the bottom line.

Multiple fuse box failures should not occur and the Bolt Mod in the beginning of this thread is a good solution for the flat fuses, the ATC fuse ends, well not sure these are adequate either. The need to be full contact female spade sockets, not something that only pinched the width of the fuse lug.
 

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I am one of the few knowledgeable people on this forum and when it comes to electrical issues, there are few that have my experience.
That does sound very condescending.

Even the guy that says he sees hundreds of VW's a week, he should have invested the problem after the 2nd or 3rd one that showed up and figured out exactly what is happening.
If you had read his post, you would see that he was the one who fixed mine properly THE FIRST TRY after someone else failed to fix it MULTIPLE TIMES. Bandi seriously knows what he's talking about. Beetles are his passion.

"Hi, I'm the guy who diagnosed and replaced the cable, in October of 2015, after another shop had replaced the fuse panel twice. It fixed the problem."
 

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That does sound very condescending.
I know electrical systems inside and out both automotive, residential and consumer electronics, you seem to think I am condescending, you are entitled to your opinion, but I know I am doing and what my capabilities are.

If you had read his post, you would see that he was the one who fixed mine properly THE FIRST TRY after someone else failed to fix it MULTIPLE TIMES. Bandi seriously knows what he's talking about. Beetles are his passion.

"Hi, I'm the guy who diagnosed and replaced the cable, in October of 2015, after another shop had replaced the fuse panel twice. It fixed the problem."
I read the post, but I also thought it funny the guy that sees hundreds of Beetles never bothered to figure out what the real problem was because he said he did not have time. After the 2nd or maybe 3rd one I saw, I would have sorted out 100% what the problem was.

While a cable was replaced, somehow not sure this is a 100% fix. Too many of these are failing, I have yet to see a failed fuse box.

The problem is not the current draw as some have claimed, the problem is something is loose or corroded, but more likely loose. The box design is lackluster, the aftermarket boxes may be worse.

Glad your problem has been fixed, the OP longer bolt option is a very good mod, the original blade fuse connections in the boxes is foolish for 30 Amps or in reality supporting something like 25 Amps continuous.
 
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