2008 Toyota RAV4 Fusible Link

I goofed, blew a fusible link on my wife’s 2008 Toyota RAV4, and had to figure out how to replace it. It took a while to figure out, but there is nothing fundamentally difficult in the process.

Background Story

Yesterday I replaced the water pump in my wife’s 2008 Toyota Rav4 4 cylinder. After a few tries to get the old water pump out, I finally admitted that I had to pull the alternator. But I was in a hurry; it was the sparks that reminded me I hadn’t disconnected the battery.

After I disconnected the battery, correctly removed the alternator, buttoned up the water pump, and finally reinstalled the alternator, the electronics came on when I turned the key, but the starter did not even attempt to turn the engine.

Turns out I had blown the 120A fusible link to the alternator. shame

Google “toyota fusible link” like I did, and you’ll find that such screwups are not uncommon. But replacing the fusible links seems to be a bit of a black art. Few pictures and much speculation. My near-useless Haynes manual dedicates a mere phrase:

Replace the fusible link...

Sure, clearly that is the task, but the question is “how?”

I forced my way through the disassembly, replacement, and re-assembly. It took about 3 hours. Now that I have the experience, I think a subsequent replacement (hopefully never to happen) could be rather quick.


I took pictures of the reassembly process, but I attempt to present there here in disassembly order.



With that in mind, suppose you have your fuse box all torn apart.

Install new fusible link

6 mm

8 mm


It is crucial to understand how the fuse box is constructed:

* Upper frame
* Lower support
* Modules that plug into the upper frame

If you are disassembling, you want to first separate the lower from the upper, then slide the modules of interest out of the upper.

Many clips hold the upper and lower frames together. You cannot reasonably be expected to have enough flathead screwdrivers on hand to pop all clips at the same time. My solution was to cut strips of plastic (from a quick-serve mac’n’cheese cup, although thicker plastic might work better). Cut a strip, pry the clip out, slip the strip in to prevent re-engagement. Repeat. Once all are jimmied like this, pull the upper and lower frames apart.

Oh wait, cut the zip-ties.

November 30, 2015
408 words





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