Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: Tom Glennon on September 22, 2008, 09:15:29 AM

Title: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Tom Glennon on September 22, 2008, 09:15:29 AM
Well, it was a lovely day on Buzzard Bay Saturday, as I motored from Onset Harbor to Mattapoisett for my haul.  After hanging on a mooring while I finished up stripping sails,etc. so the mast could be hauled, I pressed the starter and there was nothing!  Knowing I had plenty of juice in the batteries, I suspected the starter button, so I pulled the panel, and found everything to be fine.  Going below, I discovered that the wire exiting the fuse holder at the end away from the starter had corroded off.  I stripped some bare wire, cut the fuse holder off and did the same at that end, attached my trusty "jumper wire" I keep in my tool box, and she fired right up.

Now the question is.... what size wire should be used for this when I reinstall the fuse holder?  The schematic in the engine manual says a "#6" but the wire that was there with the fuse holder looks to be no more than 14 Ga.     I picked up an in-line fuse holder at an automotive store with 12 ga wires and it certainly looks more substantial than what was on the engine.
Slow Dance is an '87 with an M25XP.

your thoughts and empirical wisdom would be much appreciated!
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Craig Illman on September 22, 2008, 10:21:35 AM
Tom - How big is the fuse? That should give you an idea of the required amperage. Then go to: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm and figure in the  15-odd feet of one way distance to the starter button on the panel. That should get you close. I think 12 gauge should be fine. All this circuit provides is voltage to activate the solenoid.

Craig
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Tom Glennon on September 22, 2008, 10:58:38 AM
Its a 20 amp bus type fuse.

Thanks for the guide!
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 22, 2008, 12:26:20 PM
Tom,   Starter Fuse Flix

Keep it simple:

1.  Use a step down butt connector from the fuse holder to the existing wire

2.  Use a 12ga (identical) wire from the fuse holder to the quick connect that slides on the starter solenoid (it's way inboard, hard to reach).  Use a new quick connect.

3.  Locate the new fuse holder somewhere (anywhere!) a LOT easier to reach.

4.  We built up from a 5 to a 10 to a 15A fuse, go to 20 only if you have to.

5.  Wire sizing and voltage drop tables don't really bear on this quick repair - the wire's there already, has been working for years except the fuse holder, that's all!   :D

Here's what we did.  I even marked the purpose and size of the fuse on the holder, although it doesn't show up on the picture.  The solenoid is our glow plug solenoid.

Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Craig Illman on September 22, 2008, 12:44:44 PM
Tom - I agree with Stu, except I'd use a blade-type fuse holder. It's easier to identify amperages with blade style fuses and easier to tell when they're blown.

Craig
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 22, 2008, 01:30:52 PM
I sure don't disagree with that, because the old style fuses are impossible to read, even with a magnifying glass.  The ONLY advantage is that I don't have to "stock" different types of fuses on the boat, nor different types of fuse holders.  I have a few auto types on the regulator, but still have to write down which type they are since there are two different sizes of those, and I might simply swap them out to "regular" fuses when and if they do go south.  Our 1986 panel is the old style fuse holder panel, so we have quite a stock! :D
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Tom Glennon on September 22, 2008, 01:48:02 PM
Thanks Stu for the image.  By the way, what is the solinoid attached to? It looks like its suspended there!
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Stu Jackson on September 22, 2008, 03:28:02 PM
Tom, it's a "Sky Hook!"  There are two bolts that you can make out in the vertical position screwed into the horizontal wood strip running athwartships at the aft end of the opening.
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Ron Hill on September 22, 2008, 06:50:57 PM
Tom : Surprisingly, I just had to put in a new starter fuse solenoid holder this last week for the same reason.  The vibration of 20 years had the wire on one end break off!!  Some what of a bear to repair, without removing the alternator, but it got done. 
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Stu Jackson on May 28, 2012, 09:31:11 AM
Just the other day, after a delightful sail across the Bay the engine wouldn't (re)start.  Nothin', nada, zip, zilch.

I went down below, opened up the engine compartment, and opened up (the VERY accessible) fuseholder (pictured above).  While everything looked fine, I cleaned off the ends of the fuse, reinserted it, and the engine restarted!

Point being:  If you're gonna go to the trouble of replacing the possibly decades old fuseholder, at least put it somewhere easy to get to.

I'm also considering one of those more rugged yellow watertight fuseholders, 'cuz the one I put in is black plastic and most likely getting brittle as well as being in that nasty environment down there.  Another option is to run the wire around the corner into the space under the head.
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Phil Spicer on May 28, 2012, 07:12:18 PM
Do you really think you canget MORE under the head sink ?
Title: Re: Fused wire to Starter
Post by: Stu Jackson on May 28, 2012, 07:49:15 PM
Do you really think you canget MORE under the head sink ?

But, of course.  The Admiral has insisted that the Krud Kutter and Odlorlos get moved out of sight.   :D