All Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile models covered in this guide are equipped with fusible links in their electrical systems. The link itself is a piece of wire that is several gauges smaller than the supply wires to which they are connected. The link functions like a fuse in that it will blow (in the case of the link, melt) in the event of an overloaded or short circuit, thus protecting the rest of the circuit.
An example of a burned-out fusible link would be headlights operating while the rest of the vehicle's electrical system is dead, or vice versa. When a melted fusible link is found, the cause of the link failure should also be found and repaired. Some causes include short circuits, component failures, loose or poor connections, or overloaded circuits (often caused by improperly installed aftermarket accessories drawing too much current or overloading one circuit).
There are generally two fusible links on the vehicles covered here, up to 1983 models. Both on these models are connected to the lower ends of the main supply wires that connect the starter solenoid, and the links are usually black or red in color. On 1983 and later models, there are more links. Typically, V6 models will have two black links and one brown link at the starter, and one red link at the generator. V8 models, both gas and diesel, will have three at the starter; one brown and two black.
See Figures 1 and 2All Models
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Cut the wire next to the fusible link splice and remove the damaged fusible link and splice.
- Strip about 1 / 2 in. (13mm) of insulation from the end of the new link and from the harness wire so that each will project halfway through the soldering sleeve.
- Crimp a soldering sleeve over the stripped wire ends and carefully solder the joint. Cover the new joint tightly with a double layer of electrical tape.
- Install a new link connector eye on the solenoid terminal. Connect the negative battery terminal. To check the new link, simply feel and/or gently pull on each link. A good link will be intact and feel solid.