Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: hump180 on September 13, 2008, 10:36:45 AM

Title: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: hump180 on September 13, 2008, 10:36:45 AM
I had a strange problem on my 1990 yesterday. I went to start the engine, the blower ran, the key buzzed, the buzzer faded as typical with glow plug engagement (normal?), then when I pushed the starter button there was a fraction of a second of engagement or click, then nothing; no power at all to the engine panel. I pushed the circuit breaker at the panel and it was engaged, so I turned the key on so that I could listen for the buzzer and went below and moved some wires around and the buzzer started intermittently activating then stayed on. I started the engine and it ran fine, then I turned it off and the same problem happened again except monkeying with the wires did nothing, so I removed the panel to look for something obvious. After looking at the wiring on the engine panel I put it reinstalled it and thought I heard an arc or two. I tried again to start and this time the circuit breaker was popped. I pushed it in and started no problem. This whole experience was unnerving to me because I am a novice sailer who may depend on that engine starting in lake Erie (shallows, freighter traffic) to bail me out of trouble or increase my comfort level. I am new here and eventually I want to know my boat inside and out, but right now I am scratching my head. Perhaps I need the upgraded wire harness that everyone speaks of?? If so I will move it to my priority list. So far my main priority had been a chainplate moisture issue that I am going to fix, thankfully with the helpful info collected here.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 13, 2008, 01:29:17 PM
hump180

"Perhaps I need the upgraded wire harness that everyone speaks of??"

You're kidding, right?

You NEED to make this change now because it is a   FIRE     hazard.

That's one of the reasons we keep mentioning it.

Just recently responded to another "starter starts when motoring" thread here: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4529.0


From the May 1997 Tech Notes (by Ron Hill):  

Engine Harness Upgrade  – Do It NOW!
Our November ‘96 Mainsheet article on electrical systems really stirred up some
interest. Hank, Duane, and I have all received a number of requests for our electrical schematics. But, I still am hearing from people who have not made the engine harness upgrade. So much has been written and talked about that modification, I surely hope that nobody really wants all of the power from the alternator going direct to the key switch in the rear of the boat, then coming back to the battery selector switch, and finally (the few amps left) to the
batteries.
A few years ago Bill Beck, “Prosit”, hull #1186, had just anchored and took
their dog ashore in the dinghy. His wife, Dot, was on the boat by herself when all of a sudden the engine started itself. She tried to shut the engine off but it kept restarting. Dot dove overboard to get off that “crazy” boat. One of the harness connectors had shorted out keeping the starter engaged.
Fortunately the starter burned out before it started a fire. Bill had NOT modified any of his C-34 electrical components and had NOT upgraded the harness.
In the spring of 1991, I installed my high dual output alternator (each output
goes to a battery bank bypassing the battery selector switch). I had the engine
harness upgrade but had not installed it. I did, however, take the harness connector at the engine apart, inspected the terminals, and disconnected the old alternator lead to that connector. Everything looked good so I rewrapped and wire tied the connector. I thought the upgrade installation could wait as  only low amperage would be passing through the connector. The next spring I added Bob Bierly’s (C’Mon Wind, hull 913) VHF radio modification in the cockpit (Mainsheet article May 1995). Had to take out the engine instrument panel anyway so decided to do the half of the engine harness upgrade at that end.  Maybe a month later I got around to the other half of the modification at the engine. To my surprise, when I took the connector apart, the side with the male pins crumbled in my hand.
If you haven’t made the engine harness upgrade, you may want to reconsider.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stephen Butler on September 13, 2008, 01:58:53 PM
Hump180,

Cannot over stress Stu's recommendation for installing the new/upgraded wiring harness.  When we had our 1990 boat surveyed, one of the first items checked by the surveyor, was whether this electrical upgrade was done.  This is a major "must-do now"...not too expense, nor too time consuming.   

Also, there is a fuse in the engine enclosure that will from time to time, cause starting headaches.  It is in the wiring bundle and you need to locate it, and if possible, place it in an easier location to check.

Finally, the glow-plug circuit upgrade and having a separate starting battery are well worth considering for a winter project.

Hope this is of help.

Steve

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: hump180 on September 13, 2008, 03:49:44 PM
Guys, just got back home from the boat. I was going through some old paperwork from the boats archives in the chart table and found a receipt from 1995 from seaward for an updated engine panel and a I believe it said a non-A wiring harness upgrade (unfortunately I forgot the receipt when I came home just now). So maybe I do have the upgrade in the boat. Is there an obvious way to distinguish the updated one from the old one?? The only thing I can say from memory that stands out is the long two sided plastic strip that the wires go into and screw down. The strip is just suspended in the engine compartment by the wires going into it. I can try to take a digital pic later tonight and post it so you guys could see the wiring. Also, I could not find the notorious fuse in the in the wiring even after following the wires under the exhaust. Thanks

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 13, 2008, 07:31:08 PM
Is there an obvious way to distinguish the updated one from the old one?? The only thing I can say from memory that stands out is the long two sided plastic strip that the wires go into and screw down. The strip is just suspended in the engine compartment by the wires going into it. I can try to take a digital pic later tonight and post it so you guys could see the wiring. Also, I could not find the notorious fuse in the in the wiring even after following the wires under the exhaust.

Voltmeter?  Then probably yes.  Black thingy with wires going in and out, screw down.  Probably yes.  Have you checked behind your panel to see if there's another black thingy there, too?  Just takes a mirror to peek around the corner under the lazarette.

The "notorious" fuse is on the wire TO the starter solenoid from the start button on the panel -- use the wiring diagram in the engine harness link to Projects to find the color coding.  That end of the wire at the starter solenoid should have a female quick connect fitting on the end of the wire which slips onto the quick connect male fitting on the the internal side of the starter.  Perhaps a PO took it out, I recall a 15A should do it.

A search on "fuse" finds this: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=1637.0, and http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=997.0

A search on "starter fuse" finds:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4247.0
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Ron Hill on September 14, 2008, 08:41:28 AM
hump : Your 1990 should not have an ammeter, but check to be sure.
The best way to check if you have the upgrade is to look for the 8 pin trailer connectors. There is one on the port side of the engine and one at the engine instrument panel.  Both are wrapped in black electrical tape.  Unwrap the tape and you'll find a wire tie holding the two ends together.

The old wiring harness in not only "unnerving" but it's a FIRE Hazard .  We (Mainsheet and this web site) have been preaching to change it since 1991!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: hump180 on September 14, 2008, 10:00:29 AM
Ron, Stu, Steve, Thanks for the replies. I have the updated harness and I have been going over the wiring and found something very disturbing. I disconnested some wiring at the engine to pull it out from under the exhaust and I found two wires(larger black and larger red wires that were spiraled attached to NOTHING) these wires had connectors on them just no attachment. I traced them to the engine panel in the cockpit and the black one is connected to the left forward stud on the tachometer and the red one is the lower stud on the ignition switch. There was also a small orange wire with I think a blue/black strip from the alternator to nowhere also hidden under there. Can anyone help or help me find a wire diagram??
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: hump180 on September 14, 2008, 10:01:50 AM
Here are the pics at the panel of the same wires.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 14, 2008, 12:52:10 PM
Please read the Engine Wiring Harness thread in Projects (see: http://www.c34.org/projects/projects-harness-upgrade.html).  It has the complete wiring diagrams.  Only you can trace the wiring on your boat.

PS -- That's because, if it was my boat, I would examine and identify EACH of those wires and determine what they were by a process of elimination based on all of the wires that are supposed to be down there.  For instance, some boats have two wires from the 1-2-B switch: one to the starter and one from the alternator, OR only one wire which serves both purposes but then has a small orange wire connecting the alternator output and the starter.  Trace and label and then it might become obvious.  I really hesitate to tell you about something I cannot personally see and identify.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: hump180 on September 14, 2008, 02:42:45 PM
Your correct Stu, I am working through the wires and have found the spot for the black ground wire on the side of the port block. Embarrassingly, this is where I removed it from earlier. I will use the diagrams and my multimeter to try and figure out the rest. I just wish the diagrams were more detailed at the engine end. Thanks, Bill
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 14, 2008, 06:22:23 PM
Try this in addition to the last suggestion:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4548.0 (http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4548.0) [Alternator Regulator and Harness Wiring Diagrams]

It's the Alternator Regulator Wiring Diagrams post I made with the sketches of the wiring.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Ron Hill on September 15, 2008, 07:14:40 PM
Hump : Don't place too much value in the wire colors, trace each to where they go/are attached.  Seaward/Catalina were really bad about keeping the same color into and out of the "trailer plugs".
Trust only your multi meter!!  Good luck.   
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 15, 2008, 10:53:19 PM
Bill, you last wrote: "I just wish the diagrams were more detailed at the engine end."

How so, because by a process of elimination, most of them are pretty straightforward.  For instance, eliminate the thermostat signal/wire, find the ignition, find the rest of the obvious ones, and then go from there. 

Only problem is the one Ron mentioned, but if you use temporary jumpers you can easily work on those with a helper in the cockpit.  There are only 7 wires...
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 16, 2008, 01:18:39 PM
Bill, maybe this will help.  Try page 5 of this: http://www.c34ia.org/manuals/Operators-Manual-2of2.pdf
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 18, 2008, 08:59:10 PM
Bill's saga continues at: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4553.0

But for the rest of the thread on WIRING HARNESS FIRES, go to page 2 on this topic!!! :D  Please, it could save your life.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 12, 2009, 08:31:51 PM
For those of you who think we've been joking all these years and if you STILL have the old harness (yes, they are out there!!!), try this:

http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?p=633998#post633998

I started the engine normally today. The engine turned over normally and ran. After about 45 seconds of running at 500 rpms, I increased the throttle to 1000 rpms. Everything sounded normal. I then noticed that the Tachometer reading simply dropped to nothing and the needle passed zero and went to the 6oclock position on the tach. I kept the engine running and went below to see if the alternator had seized or otherwise stopped turning and thus did not send a tachometer reading. I observed that the engine appeared to be running satisfactory and the alternator was spinning and the belt was not slipping at all.

I then looked back into the cockpit from inside the cabin and noticed large amounts of smoke billowing from the vicinity of the ignition/instrument panel aft in the cockpit on the port side. I immediately dashed to the panel pulled the engine stop lever and turned the electrical key to the off position. I then secured a fire extinguisher from the cabin and switched the main battery/power switch to the off position. The smoke continued to emanate from the vicinity of the ignition/instrument panel. It smelled like an electrical fire. The total time from lighting the glow plugs to turning the engine off was approximately 4 or 5 minutes.

I quickly unscrewed the instrument panel and the back of it was burning. The wires were burning and melting and smoking. I was able to extinguish the burning without discharging the extinguisher. Most of the wires on the back of the instrument panel were burned and charred and the fiberglass on the hull above the panel was hot and sticky. I went to the engine area once I was certain there was no fire at the instrument panel. I noticed the other end of the wiring harness at the engine was also hot and seemingly melting. It did not seem to catch fire at the engine.

My theory is that there was a short behind the instrument panel that caused the fire/burn. What doesn't make sense to me is why the harness at the engine side was hot, and seemingly melting. Wonder if anyone else has had something similar happen. She is a 1990. Universal M-25xp
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on June 13, 2009, 08:34:24 AM
Guys : What Stu and I have been saying for years and years is really serious!!  You are sitting on a bomb and will eventually go off - if you don't get that wiring harness upgrade. 

As I wrote in the Mainsheet over 12 years ago : 
"A C34 owner took the dog ashore and left the first mate on his anchored boat.  The engine started all by itself!!  1st Mate, scratches her head, and pulls the engine off handle.  She goes below and thinks it was strange but.  Moments later the engine started itself again!!  She panics and jumps off "that crazy boat" into the water.  Captain with dog arrives and finds wife in water with the boats engine running!!
Funny story, but this wiring harness is serious stuff.
 
I had the kit upgrade for about a year, but had installed a hi output alternator which I wired direct to the batteries.  I thought that with that alternator rewire I did I was OK for the time being.  One day I finally got around to installing that harness upgrade kit.  WOW, to my surprise the trailer connector at the engine disintegrated in my hand when I took off the black tape.  A real fire hazard. 



t

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on July 11, 2009, 11:07:48 PM
I suppose you could say that the boat's been working since 1986 with this piece of crap inside it and didn't catch fire

YET

photo courtesy Joe Torszok, #77, Dreamcatcher
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: mtullier on August 20, 2009, 06:10:35 PM
HI,

Has anyone purchased the wiring hardness upgrade from Seaward Products lately?  Noticed on the Wiki page that the upgrade kit was $50.00.  Just ordered the kit and was charged $150.00 with shipping!??  Its a must, but a 300% price increase?
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on August 20, 2009, 06:42:10 PM
Guys : For those of you that have not read my recent Mainsheet article on "Removing your engine", I stated that you'd be better off HARD wiring all of the wires (forget the connectors).  So unless you need a Voltmeter to replace the Ampmeter(1986/87 & some 1988 production years) the cost of replacing the faulty "trailer connectors" is almost ZERO !!!!  You'll need some heat shrink, solder/butt connectors and a short piece of #4 wire/connectors.

The reason is when you ever have to remove the engine it's easier to remove all of the connections at the engine
I'd recommend those that do not subscribe to the Mainsheet (join our C34IA & you get a Mainsheet subscription) you might just learn something about your boat!!  A few thoughts
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: MarkT on August 21, 2009, 10:05:17 AM
The additional cost is most likely for a voltmeter to replace the amp meter you have now.

I just did this upgrade and found that I had to chase down several wires and figure out what they were. Well worth the effort. I do agree with Ron that removing the trailer connector and just hard wiring from end to end would do the job for less but seeing as I needed/wanted the voltmeter and Seaward provided a complete package which makes for an easier project. For a boat that is over 20 years old it sure is nice that we have manufacturers that continue to support and upgrade their products.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 08, 2009, 02:48:13 PM
Mark, I'm not so sure they're "standing by their products."  It's more like they're covering up a design issue which occurred because people actually started putting electrical gizmos on their boats.  I wrote this for the co.com guys during a discussion about Yanmar harnesses.

*********************************
Quote from: Steve Dion;656416
Neil: Do not be so sure about the Catalina owners. They had a problem with the entire wire harness going bad on some of the C'34's. I do not know if it was a Catalina 34 issue or different models.

Steve, I'm surprised at you. Ain't true, never happened. :D :D :D

The engines ALWAYS started. Just not always when you wanted them to, 'cuz they'd start by themselves!

The REASON the wiring harness on Catalinas was a problem was because they ran ALL of the power from the batteries up to the cockpit panel and the ammeter that used to be there, and then back to the engine. In #10 wire!!!

The wiring was fine and didn't have the reported Yanmar multiple butt connectors.

Associated with the harness replacement was the fact that the connectors used in the older design were trailer connector wire plugs that had this odd tendency to MELT and then connect two wires together that should NOT have ever been touching. See: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4546.0.html Read both pages. [That's this thread - don't bother clicking!]

Inherently, as many of you know (and all of you should), an ammeter is a shunt which requires ALL of the current to flow THOROUGH it. The "FIX", as discussed in the wiring harness article linked many times, see below, was to replace the ammeter with a voltmeter, which can be placed anywhere in a circuit across the (+) and (-) and to change the wiring so that it goes directly to the engine.

The wiring harness consisted of two parts, the voltmeter and the new wiring and connectors.

The link to the wiring harness, which no one at Seaward or Catalina would ever admit was faulty (those twerps! - enhancement my foot!) is here: http://www.c34.org/projects/projects-harness-upgrade.html

So; It was a basic design issue, and the harness wiring didn't go bad, the connectors did. This happened on all diesel engine boats produced by Catalina, including the 30, 34, 36, and I'll bet some of the early 28s, but I don't know that for sure.

They only fixed it when they ran outta the big batch of old harnesses Frank had layin' around the factory. It's $ and cents, fellas, their $s and our problems.

What they claimed was "it wasn't so bad when it was 1957 and people didn't have much electrical stuff on their boats. It's only a problem now because those nasty boaters actually want to add electrical stuff to their boats!" Jerks!

Oh, BTW, some folks haven't changed their harness, yet, either. I just can't wait for their boats to start all by themselves or catch fire.

You don't have to have a Catalina - if you have an ammeter in the cockpit panel of your boat, be very suspicious.

[search link: harness history]
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 14, 2014, 06:42:23 AM
I know that this is a very old thread, but it is new to me.  I just bought a 1986 Cat34. This is the first boat I have owned and am a novice to boat maintenance. I am working my way through the critical upgrades list.  How can I tell if the wiring harness was already upgraded by a PO? If this is already somewhere else on this board, sorry, I was not able to find it.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 14, 2014, 07:31:27 AM
Steve, Welcome.

There are three "basic parts" to the wiring harness issue:  

1)  the wiring itself - which is usually not an issue and discussed in the Critical Upgrades topic

2) the ammeter in the cockpit and Even IF you have a voltmeter, you could still have the OLD stupid connectors.

3)  those pesky trailer connections.  Really, that's all.

If you have a voltmeter in the cockpit, then you still have to check for and eliminate the trailer connections.  It's really that simple and between the Critical Upgrades topic and this one, there's really nothing else.  

Except the tons of posts about this issue.  :D :D :D

PS - Steve, with hull #686, you most likely have a later boat than a 1986, probably a 1988.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on June 14, 2014, 09:17:30 AM
Steve : The old trailer connectors are easy to check for:
1. Look down on the port side of the engine and look for a large wrapping of black electrical tape which covers the trailer plug.  Unwrap that tap and you'll see the plug held together with a lateral wire tie.
2. Pull the engine instrument panel and follow the wires . If they also come to a wad of black electrical tape, unwind the tape and you'll find the same trailer plug.

If you come to a connector that has a wire IN on one side and a wire OUT on the other side with the wires held in place by small screws - you have a "euro connector" and the wiring harness has been upgraded

Then look for the output from the alternator and see it if goes a short distance to the lug on the starter solenoid.  If that is inplace then the second part of the wiring harness upgrade has been done!! 

Hope this helps. 
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on June 14, 2014, 10:00:37 AM
Did mine on my "new to me" 1990 a few months ago. Although it passed a pro survey when I bought it!  Was a eye opener when I dug into things. Just a matter of time before my boat was "Fire City". Changed harness, alternator wiring and engine panel. Next is main panel this week. Electical is/was not Catalina's strong suit.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 15, 2014, 03:27:21 PM
Thanks Stu, Ron and Noah.

My boat has an ammeter, so I guess I need to change that out.

The next time I am at the boat I will check for the trailer connections. If I cut off the trailer connections, will there be enough wire left? I noticed that Catalina Direct sells a new, longer, wiring harness. Is this something I should consider?I only day sail now and only use the motor for 20 minutes or so when I go out, so I am thinking this is something I can plan to do on a windless day, or am I being naive?
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 15, 2014, 04:55:03 PM
Stu (I don't want to get off track, but in response to your comment above)
My registration says: CTYP0130B686. That means hull #686, right?
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 15, 2014, 05:00:37 PM
Steve, I guess this is where we start to pull our own hair out on your behalf!  :cry4` :cry4` :cry4`  Sure, if it hasn't caused a fire on your boat in the past 27 years, why bother making the upgrade? Just kidding.  

We really think we've said about all we could on the matter by using the phrase: It could cause a FIRE on your boat.  Repeatedly.  And the links to Maine Sail's discussion of this issue mirrors our own:  How can people be unaware of this? "It amazes me how many boats are out there still using this unsafe set up."

Of course, this is more about your PO, certainly not you.  You should be applauded for recognizing the importance of fixing it.

I understand that you are new to all this, but please note that among the posts on this issue is the one that says it could start a fire on your boat even when you're not even there.

As always, your boat, your choice.  

One of the Critical Upgrades posts on this subject discusses the wiring, as a separate issue from the connectors themselves, as well as different ways to do so.  Nothing to add to that.  You can always add short lengths of wires to the ends of the existing.  Only YOU can tell how much wire is left on your own boat.  In general, we've see little reason to replace the entire length of wiring, but CD does sell it, and many skippers have done it, but certainly not all.  Also answered in #1) in Reply #23 above.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 15, 2014, 05:02:37 PM
Stu (I don't want to get off track, but in response to your comment above)
My registration says: CTYP0130B686. That means hull #686, right?

No, it's hull # 130.  See http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq-hin.html (http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq-hin.html)
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 15, 2014, 05:08:46 PM
Stu - Thanks for all of your advice. So much to learn!  :thumb:

Regarding the hull number - Thanks I will change my profile

Regarding the wiring harness - I want to do it right. I will go to the boat tomorrow to see if it has the trailer hitches. If so, I will order the harness from CD tomorrow and replace it.  If I also change the ammeter for a voltmeter, does it need a change in wiring?

Also, I will check the 4AWG wire from the alternator to the starter.  I guess I have some work to do this weekend!
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 15, 2014, 05:26:34 PM

1.  Regarding the wiring harness - I want to do it right. I will go to the boat tomorrow to see if it has the trailer hitches. If so, I will order the harness from West Marine tomorrow and replace it.  

2.  If I also change the ammeter for a voltmeter, does it need a change in wiring?

3.  Also, I will check the 4AWG wire from the alternator to the starter.  I guess I have some work to do this weekend!

1.  If it has the trailer connections, you only need to remove them and resplice the wires based on the options in the Critical Upgrades post. http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg44056.html#msg44056 (http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg44056.html#msg44056)

2.  Just a slight one at the cockpit panel, per the original FAQ article from Seaward, in the Tech wiki.  That's because the wiring is different for an ammeter than a voltmeter.  Maine Sail's writeup also covers it.  http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=135558 (http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=135558)

3.  This can remain until you change the wiring from the alternator output.  It now (most likely, given the PO's lack of attention to detail) goes to your 1-2-B switch.  The change is to run it to the house bank.  Don't worry about this now. Maine Sail's article explains this, too.

Steve, take a BIG, LONG, DEEP breath.  You've done well to identify the issue.  Now is the time to start planning.  Don't get overwhelmed.  Take it a step at a time.  Trailer connections.  Voltmeter.  Those are the first things to do.

Here's a tip:  There is SO much written on this website about this subject, and you've read them all.  Sometimes, I find, reading stuff on a screen is not half as helpful as printing it out, and maybe even taking notes.  There's a Print button, lower right, on all of these forum topics.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 16, 2014, 04:01:49 AM
I will work my way through the list. The last step will be to install the step through transom kit and I will have a 2014 boat! :D
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Footloose on June 16, 2014, 09:57:23 AM
Steve,

If the wiring harness hasn't been upgraded, I am wiling to bet that the Glow Plug Solenoid upgrade has not been done either.  This will get you much quicker and sure heating of the glow plugs.  Also, you should check the ends of the battery cables.  If the lugs are corroded replace them to get less resistance through the system.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on June 16, 2014, 12:15:56 PM
Thanks footloose.  I will check the glo plug upgrade.  Battery terminals are great. PO installed 3 new batteries and updated terminals ans wires as far as I can see.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on June 16, 2014, 02:42:47 PM
Steve : You'll have sort thru the Critical Updates and make a priority list and then work your way down that list.  Don't let it overwhelm you!!

The wiring harness is at the top of your list - it is a fire and safety hazard!! I'd get that done soonest and like I've mentioned I'd hard wire and ship the "Euro Connectors".

The glow plug solenoid will make that circuit more efficient and lessen the time the glow plugs are engaged, but the wiring harness is the most important modification you need to make ASAP!

Hope this advice helps

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on June 24, 2014, 12:24:44 AM
Just note that RC has cautioned that the glow plugs are 10 volt so the long cockpit run is not necessariky a bad thing.  With the gkow plug slave relay installalled, make sure they aren't fired up much more than 10 secs at a time or life can be shortened.

Kk
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on July 07, 2014, 01:27:59 PM
I didn't mean to leave everyone hanging, but we moved from one side of town to the other, and I got caught up in the move.

I had a mechanic look at my wiring, and it is in need of replacement, so I ordered a new complete wiring harness, the engine wiring harness upgrade kit and a voltmeter today from Catalina Direct. I will have the mechanic look to see if the 4AWG wire from the alternator to the starter was done. If not, I will probably have him do that while he is there. Hope to have everything done before the weekend.

Footloose: I am thinking the Glo Plug upgrade can wait until I get the next paycheck!  I am feeling a little tapped out.

After that it is back to the Critical Upgrades list. Hopefully I will be able to do some of these myself. I don't want to be a scholarship fund for my mechanics kids.

Thank you all for the encouragement.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 07, 2014, 08:35:45 PM
It's beyond me how CD and Seaward have been able to snow owners into buying that stupid (IMHO) connector upgrade, and a harness that's (at the outside) worth $50 in copper.  Overwhelmingly, there's nothing wrong with the harnesses - only the ends and the Gummy Bear plugs.  Everything in between is fine and can be kept.

The european terminal strip and 4 crimp terminals (not EVEN heat shrink!!!!l) are worth about $9.00 from Radio Shack.

Why/how CD/Seaward would/could flim-flam owners into introducing 30+ more potential trouble/corrosion points into the system is beyond reasoning. There's so much better and reasonbly cost options.

Plus the CD/Seaward 'upgrades' still leave vulnerable parts of the system below current state of the art, like:

    Terminals behind the panel and at engine components, that have absolutely NO place on a boat!!
    Leaving currently exposed, non-tinned wire to corrode along its length!!
    Introducing new, non-tinned wire ends to corrode.

The real kicker, is that older systems (harnesses and panel wiring) are STILL left non-compliant re: ABYC over current protection and a real fire hazard!!  It's relatively so easy to make it 90% compliant and protect the wiring harness.

Again, IMHO - a mechanic who doesn't recognize the above issues/shortcomings and identifies the 'fix' to be to install a new over-priced harness and two $3.49 terminal strips, demonstrates no knowledge/background of marine electrical, and would never be allowed back on my boat.

I'm currently working on the harness wiring on a CTY in cali and a CS in Mich, and am making relatively 'easy' (though tedious) changes that correct the issues and protect the wiring rather than fill vendor's pockets who are not doing owners any favors with stupid, stupid 'upgrade kits' that don't address the real/entire issues.

Again IMHO and JTSO.

No apologies for being passionate about owners wasting money that can and should be put toward better improvements. 
It just makes my head want to explode when I see this going on that I get the canthelpits.

Ken
 |
V (stepping down from the soapbox now)






Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on July 07, 2014, 11:02:57 PM
ken, I think you are being a bit harsh. I disagree with the need NOT to replace the harness. Take a look at the attached photo of my 1990 wiring prior to replacement. I was just a cruise or two away from a fire. 24-year-newer tinned wire of the correct gauge, is an undeniable plus. The terminal strip connection scheme, not so much. I didn't use them--wired direct.

No argument about the need to replace the non-compliant main panel, with its non-cover-protected A/C side, etc. ---and I just did replace it with a Blue Sea 360 model custom-designed panel to fit my specific power and onboard equipment needs (photo attached)... and replaced my batteries with 4 trojan 6v bank, added new house bank on/off switch, a  group 24 starter battery with dedicated switch and an emergency cross connect switch ...and replaced my charger...and added an inverter...and, and, and...yes, expensive, and time consuming, but it now gives me piece of mind that things are done right, to today's specifications and it makes me happy!
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on July 07, 2014, 11:43:24 PM
Here is my schematic for my recent wiring upgrade.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on July 07, 2014, 11:53:26 PM
And more...
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 09, 2014, 11:26:33 PM
Hey Noah,

Nice electrical upgrades!  Very sweet looking.

Now - I really appreciate your comments and to your points...

A bit harsh?  Yep.  I thought I should back off on a family forum instead of letting loose with what I really thought.

My remarks were in no way toward owners who decide to replace their harnesses -- that's a personal decision and I applaud everyone who takes the time to "learn" their vessels and make those kinds of decisions.  They were about Seaward and CD marketing a product that is substandard.  Yes, I said it -- WAY substandard for marine use.

Also, I was speaking of only the harness upgrade kits and non-compliant engine panels -- the absurdly undersized battery cables and distribution panel are another issue.

That on the table, I believe that your comments make my case! 

Your pics appear to be of the cable end, not the remainder of the harness?  At least I think I see the solenoid fuse, so I believe that's the case. 

I am wondering -- when you replaced -- did you use the CD harness?  If not, why not?
You said you didn't use the terminal strip -- what did you do for wire termination on both ends (panel/engine) and at the Gummy Bears connectors?

I'll talk 'generically' because I don't know for sure the condition of your harness beyond your pic.  The vast majority of harnesses are perfectly serviceable between the Gummy Bears.  However, the SW/Cd upgrades do not correct issues on the wire ends outside the harness extension -- only at the point of the Gummy Bear plugs.  The longer harness that they tout -- is only to facilitate installing the stupid, stupid terminal strip -- and they even state that the longer harness is because some are too short to install their strips.

Agree or disagree?

The upgrade does nothing to correct the non-compliant panel and protect the harness from over-current, and it's very easy to do that 90% of the way, which is better than doing nothing.  The upgrade kit should address that, instead of selling two $3.95 terminal strips and four 25-cent NON-MARINE-GRADE ring terminals ($9.00 retail) for $32 boat bucks.  That's unconscionable, IMHO, when it doesn't address the wiring issues.  Or a $156 harness that's worth less than $50 retail -- and it still leaves the non-compliant situation after you're done -- and can make the situation worse.  They supply it with no sheath/wire protection, knowing that an owner is not going to strap the harness down every 18" so it complies.  Once again, CD/SW should know better better and it's just wrong, wrong, wrong to give owners a false sense that they are addressing the issues while they have their hands in there emptying our pockets.   

The kit can make the situation worse -- it opens up 8 x 2 x 2 wire ends to potential corrosion, and for corrosion to travel up the conductors.  Not to mention possible corrosion on the strip itself.  Not to mention a strip that involves putting strain on the wire connections themselves. Would you install a terminal strip using ring terminals such that it could be strained by the harness?  I bet not, yet that's what SW/CD wants owners to do.  That's HOW THEY show it installed!  That in itself is non compliant.

Agree or disagree?

SW/CD touts a harness that doesn't address known issues at the wire ends themselves -- if they were looking out for owners, they would sell a harness that has proper, complaint, marine grade wire termination installed to match what's needed at each panel gauge and engine component, and include a heavy Alt B+ post to solenoid B post cable, a heavy Alt B- post to bell housing cable, and compliant overcurrent protection at the solenoid for the panel power feed.  As it is the harness is unprotected and can burn (corrected on the B series engines.)  Again, the kit and/or longer harness that CD/Sw touts does absolutely nothing to correct those issues.

Agree or disagree?

The termination at the engine components and panel are non-marine grade, open-end terminals, on untinned wire, and are out of sight/out of mind.  They are as, or maybe more of, a problem than are the Gummy Bear connectors, and the touted fix from CD/SW does nothing to address that.  But it can leave owners with a false sense that they have corrected the wiring issues.  It simply does not!  in fact, that is a false sense of security because the kit is not state-of-the-art and is not proper marine wire connection or termination.

Agree or disagree?

If you had a mechanic work on Jete' who sold you on the need to replace your harness wires -- and,

1. Installed the new wires using open end, non-heat shrink, non-marine-grade "stake-on" terminals,
2. Left bare copper wire ends open to corrosion,
3. Kept original, corroded, open-end, non-marine-grade "stake-on" terminals in place -- and spliced on the new wires to those pigtails.
4. Left terminal strips hanging in the air -- subject to strain (non-compliant!!!),
5. Installed an under-sized charging cable and and 
6. Left a corroded, questionable ground on the equipment
7. Installed no over-current protection (ABYC required!!!)
8. Installed the harness with no physical protection/conduit, nor tied it down every 18" (non-compliant!!!)

Would you say that person was a craftsman .... or a butcher? 
And that the materials installed hit the mark for marine use .... or fell well below your expectations?

When you boil away CD's/SW's hype, marketing, and BS about the "upgrade kit," and assess it by the numbers -- the 8 items above are exactly what it does.  That's simply wrong, wrong, wrong.

Agree or disagree?

Noah, I am interested in further thoughts on this and whether you disagree with any of the specific points I make.

Cheers,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on July 09, 2014, 11:52:53 PM
Ken,

Wanna tell us how you really feel?   :cry4`  :D

Unless I am mistaken (been known to happen regularly), the wiki & the Critical Upgrades pretty much nailed the details, and Ron has often mentioned hard-wiring the ends anyway.

Look, the issues are simple:  it was a 1970s solution to 1990s electrical needs, compounded by the ammeter in the cockpit panel.  Since no one knows what and how an ammeter works, it was hocus-pocus for years. 

We've tried hard to explain it.

I can't wait for Noah's answers.

Noah, darn, you shoulda made a new post for your great job.  Some of you may know this, but I had the great pleasure to meet Noah's brother, Jeremy, who came to visit Aquavite one day and we spent a lot of time discussing boat electrical systems, which Jeremy used to help Noah design his new system.



Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: scotty on July 10, 2014, 07:37:52 AM
A minor detail, Noah.  You might want to add post protectors (rubber boots) to your batteries.  This is to protect the circuit if somthing metallic falls into the battery locker.  The Coast Guard Auxillary told me  that this is a Coast Guard requirement.  Great job on the wiring work - including the diagram.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 10, 2014, 10:05:08 AM
Ken,

Wanna tell us how you really feel?   :cry4`  :D

Unless I am mistaken (been known to happen regularly), the wiki & the Critical Upgrades pretty much nailed the details, and Ron has often mentioned hard-wiring the ends anyway.

Look, the issues are simple:  it was a 1970s solution to 1990s electrical needs, compounded by the ammeter in the cockpit panel.  Since no one knows what and how an ammeter works, it was hocus-pocus for years.  

We've tried hard to explain it.



Stu,

I am too passionate when I see owners wasting their money?  :-)

If it's a knowledgeable owner, ok - it's their issue to waste money and not fix all the problems.  
However when it's a newbie, then it really spins my head seeing CD and Sw taking their cash for a substandard product.  This is the 2000's -- and a 2000's solution to a 70's mistake should be sold to owners, not smoke and mirrors.  

If I had an outlet, I would do what I do for CTY and CS owners on a larger scale and same 'em a lot of cash!!

Cheers,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 10, 2014, 10:19:01 AM
A minor detail, Noah.  You might want to add post protectors (rubber boots) to your batteries.  This is to protect the circuit if somthing metallic falls into the battery locker.  The Coast Guard Auxillary told me  that this is a Coast Guard requirement.  Great job on the wiring work - including the diagram.

Scotty,  Noah is completely compliant because;

1. USCG electrical standards pertain to ONLY gasoline-powered vessels.
even with that,

"(b) Each battery [on gasoline-powered boats -kk] must be installed so
that metallic objects cannot come in
contact with the ungrounded battery
terminals."

They are installed that way - in their own, covered compartment.

2. And ABYC recommends (interpretation of USGS regs and applying to all electrical systems):

"10.7.7 To prevent accidental contact of the ungrounded battery connection to ground, each battery shall be protected so that metallic objects cannot come into contact with the ungrounded battery terminal and uninsulated cell straps. This may be accomplished by means such as;

10.7.7.1 covering the ungrounded battery terminal with a boot or non-conductive shield, or
10.7.7.2 installing the battery in a covered battery box, or
10.7.7.3 installing the battery in a compartment specially designed only for the battery(s)."


If USCG Aux courtesy inspection or a surveyor tells you otherwise, they're either uninformed, misinterpreting, or overreaching.

cheers,
-kk
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on July 10, 2014, 11:33:44 AM
 :shock:
Gee Ken, you are apparently way more passionate about this then I am.  I replaced my wiring harness with the "new" long harness from Catalina Direct and am satisfied. I took the advice of fellow Forum members and wired directly to the panel and engine/components with heat shrink ring terminals, bypassing the supplied terminal blocks. I also enclosed the harness in flexible conduit and secured it appropriately the entire run. It gives me comfort to know that I have new, adequate gauge, tinned wire, replacing 24-year old stuff. The long length also works well for me as I have enough slack to pull the panel out into the cockpit if need be, to get easy access.  I did change thing up a bit recently with the install of my new electrical/charging/distribution upgrade.  I have now run the the alternator output from my new 90 amp alternator directly to my new house bank with an echo charger feeding my new start bank.  I also added a Balmer 614 MaxCharge regulator with battery and alternator temp sensors.

Over the past six months I have owned my boat,  I have purchased several items from Catalina Direct and they have always treated me well and given good customer service and free advice.  Price? While I am always looking for a bargain, fortunately I am at a point in my life where I am not opposed to paying a bit more to save time and aggravation.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Stu Jackson on July 10, 2014, 04:32:19 PM

Stu,

I am too passionate when I see owners wasting their money?  :-)

If it's a knowledgeable owner, ok - it's their issue to waste money and not fix all the problems.  
However when it's a newbie, then it really spins my head seeing CD and Sw taking their cash for a substandard product.  This is the 2000's -- and a 2000's solution to a 70's mistake should be sold to owners, not smoke and mirrors.  

If I had an outlet, I would do what I do for CTY and CS owners on a larger scale and same 'em a lot of cash!!

Cheers,
Ken

Ken, I do NOT disagree with you.  We have been writing about this issue since 1987!!!  Even then, as Maine Sail has mentioned, people still don't get it and still have ammeters in their cockpit panels, and I reported on one Ericson guy who asked about whether or not he should install the M25 engine alternator bracket!!!

We do what we can, and we try, as you have, to explain why.  Things, electrically on our boats, were a LOT different in 1987 than they are now.  For example, I'm sitting at anchor with my laptop and inverter.  The inverter/charger I installed when we bought the boat in 1998, the PIO only had his TV and a microwave usable at the dock.  We decided that it would be nice to get rid of the TV but use the microwave wherever we are.   :clap
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 10, 2014, 07:30:55 PM

Ken, I do NOT disagree with you.  We have been writing about this issue since 1987!!!  Even then, as Maine Sail has mentioned, people still don't get it and still have ammeters in their cockpit panels, and I reported on one Ericson guy who asked about whether or not he should install the M25 engine alternator bracket!!!

We do what we can, and we try, as you have, to explain why.  Things, electrically on our boats, were a LOT different in 1987 than they are now.  For example, I'm sitting at anchor with my laptop and inverter.  The inverter/charger I installed when we bought the boat in 1998, the PIO only had his TV and a microwave usable at the dock.  We decided that it would be nice to get rid of the TV but use the microwave wherever we are.   :clap



Stu,  I KNOW you agree!  LOL

We and other responsible owners like Noah etc KNOW when we're being smoke and mirrored, and can compensate.  But there's those who and always be who just don't know better for whatever reason.  Maybe it's valid for their situation, but we can't understand why (passion?)

If there were products out there that made it foolproof -- for even those folks -- I wouldn't have my head exploding so much. LOL!  Unfortunately the CD/SW product isn't one in that category. :-((
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 10, 2014, 07:51:39 PM
Gee Ken, you are apparently way more passionate about this then I am.  

Back at yah, Noah,

Not less passionate at all -- you are an informed owner who didn't buy into the smoke/mirrors that the touted product cured the design/installation ills.   You found your own way to solve it.  Kudos!

I replaced my wiring harness with the "new" long harness from Catalina Direct and am satisfied. I took the advice of fellow Forum members and wired directly to the panel and engine/components with heat shrink ring terminals, bypassing the supplied terminal blocks. I also enclosed the harness in flexible conduit and secured it appropriately the entire run. It gives me comfort to know that I have new, adequate gauge, tinned wire, replacing 24-year old stuff. The long length also works well for me as I have enough slack to pull the panel out into the cockpit if need be, to get easy access.  

Ok we agree -- and you've reinforced my verbose ranting.  Here's what I understand that we agree on:

1. CD sells an over-priced product that some owners are willing to buy (18' feet of wire, 2 terminal strips, and 4 terminals totaling 180 boat bucks.)  

2. A conscientious installer such as yourself will:
    a. Throw away 32 boat bucks of CD's material (two $3.95 terminal strips and four 25-cent terminals.)
        (So far the wasted amount is at 32 boat bucks.)  
    b. Ignore the CD/Seaward's BS to clip the ends and sandwich in the new harness wire.
    c. Purchase the correct marine-grade, heat-shrink terminals plus sheathing for the harness.
    d. Install the new harness correctly, tying it down at least every 18"

3. In addition, to correct ills that the new CD/Seaward harness does not address, the conscientious installer will:
    e. Purchase and install a heavier cable for the Alt output (or run a separate charge wire straight to the batts as you did.)
    f. Purchase and install a heavy cable to ground the Alt frame.
    g. Fuse the #5 harness wire (power to panel.)


............... I have purchased several items from Catalina Direct and they have always treated me well and given good customer service and free advice.  Price? While I am always looking for a bargain, fortunately I am at a point in my life where I am not opposed to paying a bit more to save time and aggravation.

I'm haven't commented on CD's other products, customer service, etc.  I'm speaking about only this "upgrade kit."   So with this specific product -- let's see how CD helps us out...

Let's discount anything spent on the additional materials above -- the owner would do that anyway.  

So, to be succinct, -- the owner has:
1. Sent 88 boat bucks (plus shipping) to CD.
2. Thrown away 32 boat bucks of CD's product.  
3. 18-feet of 9-conductor harness wire left to use to improvise his/her own solution to the ills.

An owner can buy 18-feet of tinned, marine-grade, harness wire and fasten them together every couple feet like CD does, for 44 boat bucks (plus shipping.)

Ok, the math says, 188 boat bucks - 44 boat bucks = 144 boat bucks that could be spent on other upgrades, and the landfill wouldn't have the four terminal strips and four crimp terminals taking up space.  

My head is exploding trying to fathom WHY we buy CD's kit and how it benefits us?  And remember -- after wasting 144 boat bucks, the owner ends up with ONLY the wire to solve the problem and still has to go source and purchase the remainder of the materials!!)


Noah, I'm also not bashing your decision -- I'm truly just trying to understand from an owner who is conscientious and has also gone thru the install -- wy they chose the CD kit, and how it "saved aggravation"  -- because the product is substandard, you had to also go thru the additional steps anyway?   I guess one "aggravation factor" would have been to source the harness wire instead buying CD's ready cut?  I appreciate your commenting on this?  I admit that have an ulterior motive here for wanting to understand the thinking -- I want to develop a kit that solves the problems and offer it at a fair cost.

Noah, I just did a similar upgrade for an owner in Cali -- can I suggest the following (if you haven't already)?:

You have an 18-foot, "permanently" hot, power feed to the panel, #5 harness wire with no overcurrent protection per ABYC.  

I fix that this way:

1. Get an 8 AWG in-line weatherproof maxi fuse holder (I haven't found a 10 AWG holder.)
2. Crimp a non-insulated FTZ #8 x M8 post, Starter Lug or Power Lug onto the maxi holder.
3. Crimp the maxi holder to the panel feed wire using an FTZ 8 x 10 AWG non-insulated, step-down butt connector.
4. Heat shrink using heavy wall, not just double wall, HST (for better wire support.)

I use a maxi holder instead of an ATC because the latter is hard to find in 10 AWG/true "in-line", and I can also use a resettable maxi circuit breaker, rather than fuses.  With a glow plug slave relay installed, 20-a would be enough.  If not then 30-a.  Although the 14 AWGs in the new harness can take 30-a -- the lowest amp fuse on that wire the better because -- for panels that are non-compliant -- that fuse will also protect over current on the lighter panel wiring (lights, etc.)

Cheers,
Ken

Oh, PS:  I'm still trying to understand what it is that we do not agree on?
Is it that I said 'most harnesses extensions are okay (between the Gummy Bears) and can be kept in service'?  
I have no statistics -- only experience and my gut.  Maybe it is a low percentage, I don't have proof of that.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Noah on July 10, 2014, 08:26:23 PM
Ken, i've got no ax to grind here. I am just a guy trying to fix up my boat the best I can and go sailing! I think you/I have exhausted this thread and I'm moving on.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: waterdog on July 10, 2014, 08:37:14 PM
For what it is worth guys, an impassioned content-rich exchange like this is fantastic.   It leaves the whole issue well exposed and allows the new owner who joins this site a couple of years from now to be well informed, understand what they have, and be better educated to make the right decisions going forward - no matter which path they take.    It helps people figure out what to pay attention to.   

I think I should start another anchor thread... 



Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 10, 2014, 08:43:54 PM
Ken, i've got no ax to grind here. I am just a guy trying to fix up my boat the best I can and go sailing! I think you/I have exhausted this thread and I'm moving on.

Roger on that -- understand and I have not taken issue with any of the great improvements you have done and are continuing on with.

You are doing it right (despite CD's "assistance" -- LOL). 

And I hope you haven't taken my quest to understand, with any attack on your work / upgrades, which are top 'o the line?

ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 12, 2014, 10:58:57 AM
We have been writing about this issue since 1987!!!  Even then, as Maine Sail has mentioned, people still don't get it and still have ammeters in their cockpit panels, and I reported on one Ericson guy who asked about whether or not he should install the M25 engine alternator bracket!!!

We do what we can, and we try, as you have, to explain why.  

Stu,  You will appreciate this one....!

A CS-36T (Westerbeke W-30) owner who I'm currently doing a panel and harness job for, told me on the phone the other day.....

"OK, I think I know the connector you mean that the wires go to -- there's a plug on the engine, and more times than not I have to go below, remove the ladder, get the engine compartment cover off, wiggle the plug, put it all back together and see if she starts.  If not, do it all over again until she starts.  And, being 71, it's getting to the point I just don't wanna do it anymore."

HUH?  WHAT?  D'UHHHH?    What happened to 70, 69, 68, 67,......... 71-n ?

Sheesh,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on July 14, 2014, 04:40:54 PM
I just replaced the harness today.  My boat has been a freshwater boat for almost all of its life.  We don't have the same corrosion issues that salt water boats have, but I thought I would share with everyone that when I inspected the trailer plugs, they were brittle and broken, but not corroded.  Despite what I had heard from others on the Great Lakes,  the trailer plug issue is NOT limited to saltwater boats.

I also wanted to share that purchasing the harness may have cost me a couple extra bucks, but I saved that extra cost with reduced mechanic fees.  Btw it took about 3.5 hrs for the mechanic to finish the job.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 16, 2014, 05:12:54 PM
they were brittle and broken, but not corroded.  Despite what I had heard from others on the Great Lakes,  the trailer plug issue is NOT limited to saltwater boats.

I also wanted to share that purchasing the harness may have cost me a couple extra bucks, but I saved that extra cost with reduced mechanic fees.  Btw it took about 3.5 hrs for the mechanic to finish the job.


Steve, You are SPOT on about that!  
See my Gummy Bear plug -- 100% freshwater Ontario/Erie.

[attachimg=#]

The cause is that CTY did not purchase the Universal harness extension -- instead fabricating the Gummy Bear plugs onto the harness wires.  The Universal/Westerbeke half of the connections hold up relatively well, but the result of saving a dime is that the engine heat destroys the fabricated Gummy Bears...  The cockpit end rarely disintegrate like the engine end does.

When I got her in '93, I cleaned up the pins/sockets and wrapped the connector with tape to seal from moisture.  A very good decision -- that's all that was between the terminals and possibly a fire until I unwrapped it again while doing some re-wiring 3 years ago.  

Steve, can I ask a couple questions....  I understand you got the CD/Seaward harness kit...

Did you use the longer, or standard-length harness?

Did the mechanic use the terminal strips at both ends?  
Or if not, how did s/he make the connections to the existing panel pig tails and/or engine-side pig tails?  

Or did s/he run the harness right to the panel gauges/switches and the engine components?


Cheers,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on July 16, 2014, 05:56:54 PM
Ken
Your plugs look worse than mine, but not much better.

I bought the longer harness,  my mechanic said that he might route differently if he has the added length.  In the end I don't think he needed it, but it is hard to tell.

I also purchased the upgrade kit, but it seemed to just be 2 terminal strips. He did use both strips.  I eventally want to replace some of the gauges, so having the terminal strip will probably make it a little easier.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on July 16, 2014, 06:05:02 PM
I first wrote about the wiring harness failures back in the early 1990's

Guess people just don't believe what has been written or are living in a cave!!!
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 16, 2014, 08:08:26 PM
I bought the longer harness,  my mechanic said that he might route differently if he has the added length.  In the end I don't think he needed it, but it is hard to tell.

I also purchased the upgrade kit, but it seemed to just be 2 terminal strips. He did use both strips.  I eventally want to replace some of the gauges, so having the terminal strip will probably make it a little easier.

Thanks Steve,

That helps me understand the thinking a little better.  I won't rant on using or not using the terminal strips-- that's a personal decision that owners make.  i figure that if I can understand why owners buy what they do, I can put together a package that makes the most sense at the best dollar.

Thanks again,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 16, 2014, 08:51:14 PM
I first wrote about the wiring harness failures back in the early 1990's

Guess people just don't believe what has been written or are living in a cave!!!

Hey Ron,

Horse, water, drinking... something like that...

Seriously ...

There's likely as many reasons as there are owners why they do (or don't do) whatever it is..... many unfortunately, are not as knowledgeable and passionate about their vessels as are the most conscientious members.  Most fall somewhere in between on the bell curve.

My main issue isn't whether they fix their harness or not -- as long as I'm not the absent slip neighbor when it burns.  

My issue is -- when an owner does make the decision to upgrade, WHY they spend presumably hard earned money (or they wouldn't be sailors  :lol: ) for something that doesn't do the complete job, and in some ways can perpetuate, or maybe even exacerbate certain problems.

I just CAN'T fit my head around  :donno: why owners spend (if my math  is correct) $188 at CD for what they can buy every day of the week for $53 and then (some, many, most?) throw away $32 of the CD kit.  

Yet many of the same owners will, I bet, search the 'net to find a filter at $2 below what they can buy it for at a local place.  

Is it CD marketing?  

Is it that they don't really know what ALL the issues are and how to address them -- So "trust" CD that the kit is the ultimate for them?

Taking the easy way out instead of researching and understanding the issues/fix?

Sold a bill of goods by their mechanics?  

Help me here?

Cheers,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: SPembleton on July 17, 2014, 04:25:24 AM
As one of the owners that you speak of, let me explain my position.  I am a new boat owner.  I have been sailing for 50+ years, but never owned.  I just bought my Cat 34 this spring.  I could have put together a wiring harness by going to Radio Shack and buying the wire, but I would have had to research the appropriate gauge for each wire, the correct color coding, ensured that all of the wires were marine grade, stripped and tinned them..  Altogether it would have taken many hours to do that. And BTW there is A LOT of conflicting data(opinions) on the internet.  I would rather be sailing.

I am hoping that as I learn more about my boat I will be willing to take on more complex projects.  Maybe one day I will be at your level of understanding of my boat that I can do as you suggest.  For now I really want to ensure that I am safe. $150 is a small price for that.
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on July 17, 2014, 03:08:24 PM
Ken : Had I known what I learned after reinstalling the old engine twice and then replacing that engine - I would have told people to hard wire everything. 

That wire harness is for the ease of the production line.  A thought
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 17, 2014, 03:34:21 PM

 I would have had to research the appropriate gauge for each wire, the correct color coding, ensured that all of the wires were marine grade, stripped and tinned them..  Altogether it would have taken many hours to do that. And BTW there is A LOT of conflicting data(opinions) on the internet.  I would rather be sailing.

I am hoping that as I learn more about my boat I will be willing to take on more complex projects.  Maybe one day I will be at your level of understanding of my boat that I can do as you suggest.  For now I really want to ensure that I am safe. $150 is a small price for that.

Steve,  Thanks for the come back.  I really appreciate the further input -- it helps me understand what/who to target in developing a product that works the best that it can owners.  I hope to be able to do that for about or below the CD cost, but will be the "complete" job -- ie, solve all the inherent problems with the OEM harness and CD's upgrade.

If I may -- a couple tips since you kept the OEM pigtails on the engine end....  Have your mechanic --

Check/replace the 1/4" quick connect at the solenoid "S" terminal -- it is notorious for starter-no-crank problems.  The type of terminal crimp had poor wire support, corrodes, and I have seen them fall off in my hand when wiggled.  For that matter, replace all the engine-wire ends with with marine-grade heat shrink terminals.  The cockpit panel ones are not as critical, but still...

Also, if you have the in-line fuse on that solenoid "S" wire (with the 1/4" quick connect I speak of above) clip it off and go right to the solenoid terminal (eliminates any future issues with that fuse holder, corrosion, etc.)  The fuse has no value whatsoever -- it's at the wrong end of the harness wire !! and indeed Westerbeke realized that and eliminated it after the XP model.

Pull the red wire off the solenoid (battery) post and crimp on an inline weatherproof fuse holder -- the lowest amp fuse that doesn't blow when you preheat is the best.  25 or 30 if you have nn preheat slave relay for the glow plugs -- 20a if you have the slave relay.  I use an inline maxi-fuse holder because I can insert a resettable maxi circuit breaker rather than a fuse.  That will be one really important addition because you're naturally concerned about safety -- and the CD upgrade leaves the harness unprotected against a short, and well, a fire can ruin one's day.

Lastly if your mechanic didn't, have him run the heavy charge cable to the solenoid B post, and a heavy ground cable to the bell housing.  They will greatly improve charging efficiency.


Cheers,
Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 17, 2014, 03:47:37 PM
Ken : Had I known what I learned after reinstalling the old engine twice and then replacing that engine - I would have told people to hard wire everything. 

That wire harness is for the ease of the production line.  A thought

And of course the 8-pin connector mates up to the Westerbeke-supplied over-priced harness to its panel   I see a proprietary pattern there.....

Realistically though, what else could Wb/Unv do?  Selling engines as quickly as they could, to who know who, for who knows what use, they couldn't possibly supply complete attached harnesses they met every install situation.  I suppose they could have mounted a terminal block somewhere....  But I fault CTY for not clipping off Unv's connector and hard wiring it...  And also for putting the Gummy Bear plug/socket at the cockpit -- that was totally a whoops - none was needed there.  That was just introducing a future failure point.   At least the Wb/Unv provided connector half was somewhat stout compared to the fabricated Gummy Bear half.  It's too bad that Wb still installs those plugs on it's engines.

Ken
Title: starting/electrical problem - WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on June 22, 2018, 09:35:43 AM
Quote

I have been also experiencing an issue this season where I have been hitting the start button, after 20-25 sec glow plug warming, and just get a click down below.  No chug chug of the engine turning over like usual.  If I go through the sequence 2 or 3 times more she then turns over.  Didn't do this last season.  Based on my research here I will start by assessing\cleaning the ground wire on the engine after I drop the alternator to change the bolt.  It should be more easily accessible without the alternator in the way.  I also read where the starter might need cleaning but I will start with the wiring assessment and move from there.

Thanks again everyone!  You all, and this site, as usual are invaluable.

Bryan

Bryan

I appended the question to an old thread to get it off the alternator topic.  And an old thread because I find it useful to page back and see what others might have posted about the same or similar/related problem/topic.  I acknowledge some will say "you should start a new topic, don't post to an old one."  Well, frankly, its MPMC (my post, my choice.)

Here's some info... I have no idea your knowledge/expertise with the wiring/starting circuits, panel, and starting issues.  Fill us in. 
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg59213.html#msg59213
Also search the forum and 101.

There's probably 20 different reasons why you may have a no-start.  From a key switch or start switch with burned contacts, to a sticking solenoid, to a bad cable connection, to a loose quick-connect terminal on the "S" wire.   Fill us in with the details of your engine and wiring and PHOTOS!!! Many photos.  What engine (put the specs in your signature or the sidebar.) Do you have the gummy bear plugs, or was it rewired?

As soon as I can get my Outlook top stop crashing I will post a list of recommended work I sent to an owner last week.  It may be food for thought for you to check some things out on your engine.

-ken

Title: starting/electrical problem - WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on June 22, 2018, 09:41:07 AM
Quote

I have been also experiencing an issue this season where I have been hitting the start button, after 20-25 sec glow plug warming, and just get a click down below.  No chug chug of the engine turning over like usual.  If I go through the sequence 2 or 3 times more she then turns over.  Didn't do this last season.  Based on my research here I will start by assessing\cleaning the ground wire on the engine after I drop the alternator to change the bolt.  It should be more easily accessible without the alternator in the way.  I also read where the starter might need cleaning but I will start with the wiring assessment and move from there.

Thanks again everyone!  You all, and this site, as usual are invaluable.

Bryan

Bryan

I appended the question to an old thread to get it off the alternator topic.  And an old thread because I find it useful to page back and see what others have posted about the same or similar/related problem/topic.  I acknowledge some will say "you should start a new topic, don't post to an old one."  Well, frankly, its MPMC (my post, my choice.)

Here's some info... I have no idea your knowledge/expertise with the wiring/starting circuits, panel, and starting issues.  Fill us in. 
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg59213.html#msg59213
Also search the forum and 101.  Use the search box on the C34.org main page

There's probably 20 different reasons why you may have a no-start like this.  From a key switch or start switch with burned contacts, to a sticking solenoid, to a bad cable connection, to a loose quick-connect terminal on the "S" wire, to a battery that's ready to chunk.   It's probably the most prevalent problem, and the most difficult to troubleshoot.

Fill us in with the details of your engine and wiring and PHOTOS!!! Many photos.  What engine (put the specs in your signature or the sidebar.) Do you have the gummy bear plugs, or has it been rewired?

As soon as I can get my Outlook top stop crashing I will post a list of recommended work I sent to an owner last week.  It may be food for thought for you to check some things out on your engine.

-ken

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: britinusa on June 22, 2018, 12:49:33 PM
Just in case it's of some use: Here's the pdf of my new (2016) engine harness.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzhALZsJd3D4UUppeEpkVXhHQTA/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzhALZsJd3D4UUppeEpkVXhHQTA/view?usp=sharing)

Paul
Title: Re: starting/electrical problem - WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on June 22, 2018, 01:34:27 PM

As soon as I can get my Outlook top stop crashing I will post a list of recommended work I sent to an owner last week.  It may be food for thought for you to check some things out on your engine.

-ken

Bryan,

I sent the below to a CTY owner who was having a similar problem.  His wiring/panel looked like a mess and, although he had planned for me to do a new harness and reburb the panel in fall, he had to have the yard take care of it immediately cuz he ended up not being able to start at all.

Your cause may be the harness, gummy bears, a terminal, the battery, a battery cable, the solenoid itself, or anywhere in between.  If you find you need to replace the solenoid let me know beforehand and I have a better one for our engines.


IIWMB to do:

Replace the key switch with Cole-Hersee ignition switch w/ rubber weather boot.
Ck resistance on preheat and start switches - if questionable, replace w/ Cole-Hersee switches w/ rubber boot.
 
The panel is a mess, needs complete refurb w/ weatherproof terminals and proper wire coloring per ABYC.
 
Use only FTZ brand lugs and heat-shrink terminals (way better than Ancor brand.)
Use only tinned starter lugs on ALL alternator and solenoid wires (no ring terminals that flex and break from vibration)
 
charge and start improvements:
Install a negative power post (blue sea #2002) or negative 100 amp common bus bar in the engine compartment.
Terminate the harness negative (wire #1) and other negatives (fuel pump, bilge pump etc.) to that new post or bus (avoids wire runs back to panel and the voltage loss.)
 
Move the neg battery cable from the bell housing to a starter bolt
a #6 neg cable from the new neg post/bus to the starter bolt
A #6 alt ground cable (alt neg to the new neg post/bus)
a #6 pos cable from the alt output to solenoid "B" terminal
 
**Solder < female quick-connect terminal w/ 6" #10 yellow pigtail >  to starter solenoid "S" terminal, heat shrink over,
put <male weatherproof quick-connect  and #10awg AGC fuseholder> on end of 6" pigtail (to receive the #3 "S" wire from starter switch.)
 
original harness # (thru the 8-pin plug), new wire schedule:
#1 - negative - #10 black
#2 - preheat - #10 white
#3 - solenoid "S" wire - #10 yellow, mark red stripe with permanent marker (per ABYC color coding.)
#4 - unused (was orange charge)
#5 - 12v to panel - #10 red, fused <7" at solenoid to comply with ABYC.  *** (AGC fuseholder w/ weatherproof cap - M8 lug)
#6 - Alt field excite - #14 purple
#7 - low oil pressure alarm - #16 light blue
#8 - coolant temp gauge - #16 tan
 
OEM harness not thru original plug:
#9 - fuel pump power - power this off wire #6, alt field excite (tap into @ engine compartment.) (Was redundant unnecessary wire in OEM harness.)
#10 - Tach AC signal - #14 gray
 
unnumbered OEM harness:
fuel level gauge - #16 pink
fuel level negative, bond to tank
fuel tank bond - #14 green to new neg power post or bus
 
Add these additional conductors to harness:
future #16 brown - (in case you want to add a hi-temp alarm switch)
future  #16 dark blue - (in case you want to add an oil pressure gauge)
 
optional for harness
future #10 red (in case you ever need a high power receptacle in the cockpit (for a spotlight, etc.)
**** #14 green - thermostat cap bond to ground  (overcome the ####ty ground thru the Tstat cap and engine.)
 

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: NewToTheRoad on July 13, 2018, 09:39:38 AM
Ken,
  I apologize but I missed this post, as I didn't realize that it had content directed to me in it.  I just found it after I searched on "solenoid 10awg" and stumbled on it via dumb luck.  I had read the solenoid upgrade post, and was having trouble locating some #8 wire so I wanted to see if anyone used #10.  TBT, I was looking for a cheaper way out as I would have to purchase some lug crimpers as well.  Searching around Amazon I may be able to get some prebuilt short cables (18") with lugs but I want to measure to see if they would be adequate length.  My plan is to use the heat exchanger bolt for attaching\grounding the new solenoid.

Backstory:  I cleaned the connectors at the starter and ground.  They didn't look corroded but i did so anyhow.  I don't think that took care of my problem as it still happened again, however the engine then turned right over when I slightly jiggled the key back to the temp position.  Being 30 years old I figured it wouldn't hurt to replace the ignition switch.  I got the one through Catalina direct with the rubber boot, Sea Dog brand I believe.  I went that route because I wanted to make sure it fit and was the right fit, the first time.  I plan to install this weekend.

I also decided to do the Solenoid upgrade and purchased the Wells F496 that Stu had recommended in the post.  I have yet to install and still need to get the #8 wiring.

My engine is the M25XP.  I'm fairly certain that no wiring upgrades have ever been made.  My plan is to replace the ignition switch and see if that takes care of the issue.  If not I will take lots of pics as requested.  I have been behind the panel and while original it looks fairly clean (not a rats nest) with no visible corrosion at the switches.

To answer your question my electrical skills don't go much beyond a high school electronics class.  That being said I have already replaced the bilge pump and wired in float switch and manual\auto fused control switch.  I also wired in a solar panel and battery controller and installed a few bus strips in the battery compartment.  Also, changed my glow plugs 2 seasons ago.  I now know where the starter and engine ground is after cleaning the ends.  So, little by little I'm learning my way and overcoming my fears to step into it a little deeper.  Everything I have done has come from research and tips on this forum.

Bryan
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 13, 2018, 11:57:11 AM
Hey Bryan,

Thanks for the update.

Questions:

1) Did you clean/tighten the "S" wire terminal on the starter solenoid? That, the fuse there, and the panel switches are the most prone to starting issues.  There is a fix for the terminal at the solenoid, but it requires some soldering (eazy peazy.)

2) Do you preheat and start thru the key switch, or do you have preheat and start push buttons?  Catalina installed panels with basically 3 different glow/start methods - not sure one(s?) were on the 34.

2) What is your purpose of, or want to accomplish by, or issue trying to overcome via, installing the solenoid?

Please understand that it does nothing to help you start "better".  Its sole purpose is to cut the preheat time down from, say, 30-45 seconds, to 10-15 seconds.  Then you sit at the dock (for what 10? minutes) warming up the engine, readying lines, stocking the beer, etc. 
So yes, the preheat mod is great -- it cuts the time to shove off from a highly unmanageable 10.75 minutes down to a much more palatable 10.12 minutes.

Meanwhile, you've added additional unnecessary failure points in the starting system, more terminal corrosion points, the need to carry a spare solenoid (just in case.)  Better yet, you will be delivering full voltage (13+ volts) to glow plugs that are rated for 10 volts.  And if you are out and say the battery remaining is very marginal, it wastes starting capacity activating a switch (solenoid) that is rated to handle say, 250 amps.  The glow plugs pull a whopping 18 amps thru that solenoid.  No, it isn't a ton of energy waste and probably won't make a difference, but does that make sense when it's a totally unnecessary "appendage" in the first place?   If that 0.63 seconds "savings" is that important to offset the added cost, complexity, and failure points, we should all simply buy turn-the-key-and-go powerboats (but then we'd be sitting there waiting for the engine blower :shock: .)

IF YOU do the mod (YBYC), there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to use #8 wire.  At 18 amps, #10 awg increases the V loss from about 0.02 v (w/ #8 awg) to about 0.04 volts.  Really?  Remember that's going to glow plugs that the mod is already over voltage-ing.

IF YOU DO the mod (YBYC), see my note on the TechWiki (right after the description of the solenoid mod) about using a 40-amp headlight relay instead of a 250-amp starter solenoid.  They are <$10 at any auto parts (think of the cost of a spare) and it plugs into a standard wired socket, so all you do is pull one out, push the other in to replace it.

Bottom line, I've soapboxed about this mod so many times -- (ITSHO) it is one of the worst ones devised, and it's unfortunate that it's caught on "so well."  It is not a magic bullet to improve poor starting, and masks actually correcting poor wiring.  There are many more upgrades that will actually go toward eliminating poor-starts or no-starts ("starting" (ugh :rolling ) with replacing panel switches as you are doing.)  Another is running a 10 awg "S wire" (if yours is lighter) from the start switch to the starter solenoid.  THERE'S where you need full voltage.  Some harnesses had 16 awg "S wire."  If you did the ammeter to voltmeter switch, there's a 10 awg conductor (orange) sitting there waiting to be used.


Thud (stepping down from the soapbox)
-Ken
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: NewToTheRoad on July 13, 2018, 12:50:16 PM
Ken,
   I'm not sure about the "S" wire terminal.  What I found was 2 ring terminals on one post (pretty sure one was battery power, thicker red cable) and then a flat terminal connector on another one (maybe "S" ?) both facing forward and somewhat under the alternator.  I am assuming that was the solenoid of the starter.  Admittedly, multiple assumptions being made here.  In any event I cleaned the rings and unseated\re-seated the flat.

   I have a separate key and start button.  I hold the key in the spring loaded temp position for 30 secs then back off to the start position, then hit the start button.

  Understood that the solenoid does nothing to help starting problems and I agree that you are just buying yourself 20 seconds.  I also get the fact that you are introducing more failure points.  The potential of a low battery is not a huge concern as I do have a portable start battery with jumpers aboard and we rarely use any juice (no overnights yet, no refrig, no inverter).  My logic, FWIW, is that if the engine is cold and we are sailing there are times when I need the engine to get me out of a bit of trouble - stalled on a tack or needing to give way fast in close quarters, etc.  Then, if it doesn't start, repeating the same sequence (thinking i didn't wait on the glow plugs long enough).  So, I guess I was looking at it as a fairly easy and cheap upgrade for a pressure relief.  More psychological than anything.  Also, makes it easier for the admiral to start her if needed.

  I do already have the instrument panel with the voltmeter.

  Of course I saw your relay idea, in the tech wiki, after I purchased the solenoid.   :cry4`  Actually, I saw it before, but it makes more sense now that you walked me through it.  Maybe I will rethink my approach now.

 One question while I have your attention.  After holding the key in the temp position, and consistently at about the 25 sec mark, there is an audible click at the instrument panel itself, almost like a notification that the plugs are warmed up.  I haven't read anything about this.  Is this anything that you are aware of?  I'm definitely not imagining it.

Thanks,
  Bryan
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: KWKloeber on July 13, 2018, 01:40:56 PM
Bryan,

Do you still have the gummy bear RV/trailer connectors, or have they been removed (on both engine and panel ends of the harness)?

If PO did the voltmeter mod, and your S wire is lighter than #10 awg, use the orange harness wire to up-size it.

The "S" terminal is the 1/4" quick connect (flat as you say). That can loosen, corrode, and that type terminal should not be there on a marine engine.  Can be fixed fairly easily.  Also, you may still have a barrel fuse on that wire 6" from the solenoid? -- also bad news for starting.

Yes the #10 red conductor is the power to the panel (NOTE it is unfused and a fire hazard.)  Should be fused.

I've never heard of the panel clicking after 45 secs. Strange doings.  Maybe pull it and determine the source?  Kubota had a timer for the preheat circuit, but it's not on our boats.

You **never** need to preheat to restart the XP unless you're sailing in the Arctic or it had been a long, long, long time since shutting down.  Try it next time under the longest time you can.

Note, I never use a "ring terminal" on the starter "B" post, nor anywhere else (e.g., alternator) where there's vibration/harness movement and you have heavier wire.  The rings are too weak (not enough meat on them) and typically the ring isn't any larger, the hole is just enlarged (i.e., an M6 ring terminal has more meat than an M8 terminal.)

-k

Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: Ron Hill on July 17, 2018, 02:29:32 PM
Guys : When I installed a Hi-Output alternator I also installed a #4 wire direct from the Batteries to the case of the alternator.  When I installed a battery monitor I installed a #8 wire from the negative shunt direct to the negative 12V bus bar (above the battery selector switch on inside ot the main panel).
NEVER had a problem starting in over 25 years.

As Ken mentioned - if you turn on the key switch and you see the temp gage come up and read at least 100F - you don't need the glow(preheat) plugs!!

A few thoughts   :thumb:
Title: Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
Post by: NewToTheRoad on August 07, 2018, 06:16:08 AM
Quick update on this.  I installed the new ignition switch and that seemed to fix the issue with the starting.  I have had no issues in 3 weekends. 

Bryan