Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: mainesail on November 10, 2011, 01:12:50 PM

Title: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: mainesail on November 10, 2011, 01:12:50 PM
I know Ron and Stu have been harping on this for years but I still come across boats almost daily without these upgrades. Finally dug out some images from my library and put it into words & pics.. Hopefully this will make it more easily understandable...


http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/universal_wiring_harness_upgrade (http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/universal_wiring_harness_upgrade)

This one's easier to read:  http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=135558

[Stu]
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: David Urscheler on November 10, 2011, 01:38:52 PM
Wow! Terrific post. This belongs in the Tech Wiki.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 10, 2011, 03:15:12 PM
Maine Sail's great http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/universal_wiring_harness_upgrade  has been added to the "Ammeters & Shunts 101" http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6032.0.html (http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6032.0.html) and placed in the tech wiki under Engine, as well as added a link in the Critical Upgrades, page 2 repeat discussion about the wiring harness.

I think we've got it covered.

Now, how many folks STILL haven't done it? :shock:

Please also note that Maine Sail recommends removing the alternator output from the 1-2-B switch C post and running it to the house bank, as he & I have have been suggesting for many years.

Read more in the "Electrical 101" topic in the "101 Topics" sticky.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: David Sanner on November 11, 2011, 12:46:44 PM

Still haven't done it?

That would be me Stu, well kind of...

I've done the short-cut version which is not as good as a full
replacement but far better than not doing anything.

I've removed all the high amperage circuits which were
responsible for the overheating, melting and danger.

First and probably most important (and easiest) I rewired
the output from my alternator removing the long and dangerous
run up and back to the ammeter on the engine panel. I
then replaced that with a volt meter.   It's easy so if you
still have the original ammeter at least do this part.
... actually follow Stu's full recommendation, I'm not an
 example that should be followed  ;)  but it is far better
than not doing anything.

Second I did the glow-plug/solenoid improvement which avoids
the second long/hi-amperage run that goes through the
wiring harness and suspect plug.  It also shortened the
time I have to hold the glow plug button quite a bit.

I have since cleaned and inspected the suspect plug and
one of these days I'm going to do the last step and cut
it out and replace it with a terminal strip... the one that has
been sitting in my chart table for the last few years.

Higher on my to-do list is replacing my Tach/Hourmeter.
Just need to find one that matches the alternator for a
reasonable price... anyone have a good/bargain source?

Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Ron Hill on November 11, 2011, 03:45:03 PM
David : Whether you know it or not you are "playing with fire" and :
You definitely have NOT read my write up in the Mainsheet tech notes from about 1997?.

So, Let me give you a synopsis as it's definitely worth repeating :

I first heard about the wiring harness upgrade from Gerry Douglas at Sail Expo in Alantic City in 1992?  I had had some problems with my Auto Mac alternator (OEM) controller in 1990 and couldn't figure out why.  So I junked the Auto Mac (it was actually seeing alternator voltage instead of battery voltage at the key switch - the screwy + wiring being the cause) so I installed a Balmar duel output alternator in about 1992.
 
Thought I'd solved the problem (just like you) by eliminating that amperage circuit back to the key switch and  back to the Perko switch and then finally to the batteries .  I had a Voltmeter in my engine instrument panel so with the routing of the alternator output DIRECT to the batteries, all should be OK - I thought.  (funny that NOW, direct to the battery is the way to go!)

Previously, as a "Curious George" I had found, opened and examined the 8 pin trailer connector at the engine and put it all back together again.  All was OK
Based on what I had heard from Gerry Douglas, I immediately had purchased a wiring harness upgrade kit from Seaward, but with the new Balmar wiring thought I really had spent some unnecessary money - and put it in with my spare parts on the boat.

About a year later I thought that maybe I should connect the wires to that Euro Block that I had purchase.  
So one day I decided to take that 8 pin trailer apart and finally install the "upgrade" .

TO MY SURPRISE, WHEN I TOOK THE TAPE OFF THE 8 PIN TRAILER CONNECTOR at the engine  - THE CONNECTOR FELL APART/DISNITERATED IN MY HAND !!

I didn't have a short circuit between wires! All I can guess is that between the engine heat and the old amperage heat BOTH helped disintergrated the plastic connector?!?

I can say is that ALL of the Wiring Harness Upgrade need to be install -- or you can still run into problems !!


Guys : Enough said.   The old Mainsheet tech note are available to all of you.  They contain solutions to 99.99% of all problems that previous owners have already encountered and SOLVED!!!!!
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 13, 2011, 08:44:34 AM
Higher on my to-do list is replacing my Tach/Hourmeter.
Just need to find one that matches the alternator for a
reasonable price... anyone have a good/bargain source?

Dave, it sure sounds like you have reasonably addressed the "issues" related to the potential melting of those connectors by doing what you've done so far.

As far as the combined tach/hour meter, I'd try Seaward.  I've looked at the Teleflex models in the WM catalog and couldn't find one with both.  Your choice is to find a combined meter, or just buy a less expensive tach and install a separate hour meter (which doesn't have to be in the cockpit panel).
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 13, 2011, 09:34:35 AM
Here's another update to the Critical Upgrades topic on this subject:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg44056.html#msg44056
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Mark Kasaboski on February 28, 2022, 04:07:20 PM
So I'm a proud new owner of a 1985 Catalina 30... Or so I thought I was until I found this forum [grimacing face].

I won't lie, this is my first boat. I've been sailing for the last 5 years with a friend of mine on Georgian Bay in Ontario. At the end of last year, I decided it was time for me to get my own boat. All in all, this Catalina is in pretty good shape. The survey caught a couple of spots of delamination near the back of the keel and those got addressed by the legendary Larry O'Rourke out of Hindson Marina.

After finding and reading this post by Stu Jackson https://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg44056.html#msg44056 today, I decided to head over to my boat to have a better look at the wiring. See the below images of what I found.

No serious damage yet, but there does appear to be a bit of melting of the gummy bear connector at the engine. The wiring behind the cockpit panel looks terrible and it's gonna get fixed.

So, I think the current recommendation here is to cut out those gummy bear connectors and butt splice the wires, ya? Should I go ahead and purchase a new wire harness from Catalina Direct and dig into the insane job of installing it or am I safe to keep using the current one as long as I don't find any melted insulation? I would be very thankful for any additional advice around this.

I will completely remove the ammeter and not bother replacing it with a voltmeter since I've already made the investment into a bunch of Victron equipment. One of which being the BMV-712, so I'll be able to monitor not only from that, but from my phone or tablet as well.

Further, I will add in a solenoid between the starter post and the glow plugs (assuming one is not already there - I didn't check) and attach the glow plug switch to the solenoid.

Have I groked all of this correctly? Any other suggestions? I should mention that the engine is the M25XP, so it has the proper alternator bracket.

Thank you, Stu and others for all of this information. I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on February 28, 2022, 05:49:47 PM
I would say the wires are okay to re-use assuming you clear the corrosion/oxidation till you see bare copper again prior to butt splicing.  I happen to like harness plugs so those little screw type terminal strips you see at CD for their new engine panels would be a solution I would recommend.  Many others dissagree.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on February 28, 2022, 08:18:12 PM
Mark

What you *should* do immediately depends on what is your long-term plan and how much you want to/can spend.

First will you have the Vicron at the engine panel?  Will you have your phone on all the time and mounted in the cockpit?  It's a GOOD idea to have a voltmeter in your face all the time and only 25 bucks (USD of course.)

One issue about butt-crimping is whether the harness has enough excess to do that.  On some 30s Frank was very stingy with copper.  There's a few inherent issues with wire gauge on the '85 OEM C30 harness plus the major problem is not only gummy bears but the terminals on both ends. 

(IMO) DO NOT buy the CD product.  It's just a bunch of way overpriced wire, and what they want you to do is NOT ABYC approved, and it still doesn't solve 6 out of 7 issues w/ the OEM harness.

To do the improvement correctly you want a ready-made, drop-in harness with the proper wire gauge and properly done, "marine grade," AHS terminals.  There's also a major issue because there's ZERO over current protection on the OEM harness (can you say "fire hazard"?) 
See the article on the C30 wiki
https://groups.io/g/Catalina30/wiki/11336
There's many who have discussed the harness issues/replacement specific to the 30 over on the C30 forum -- feel free to cross post over there.

You could do a minor fix-up now and replace it with a professional drop-in, plug 'n play harness when it's on the hard, with a rewired/improved panel.  Or you could get rid of the ammeter (if you have one,) clean up the gummy plugs well and you'll be fine for a season. Then do the proper job post-season - I've done that on maybe 20 boats w/ Universal/Westerbeke harnesses.

I repeat - DO NOT buy the CD "product." It is NOT a "harness" and I refuse to call it that.

Good luck Mark!

- ken
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on February 28, 2022, 09:36:23 PM
Ken... was reading through the links you provided.  Do you have a part number for the ring terminal solenoid you supply when you make that upgrade?  I found that quick disconnect kn my started and was quite surprised.  I did note that on my solenoid there is a plastic shroud with a "catch" hole in it.  I suspect it must be "expecting some harness plug that mates to that socket to keep it from falling off.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on February 28, 2022, 10:55:19 PM
Alex

I'm interested about what plastic receiver you have on the S terminal.  That's a new one on me, but......always wanting to learn more about what's on Universals.**   
**(even PO mods.)
I presume she's XP?

Yah the p/n is <kwksolenoid-w/postSterminal>   LOL

I ran across these 10-15 years ago (a discontinued part thru a starter distributor) and wondered.... hmmm..
verified w/ Kubota that it would fit our starters, and bought a bunch.   I don't even know if they are still available anymore.
They're $60 (Kubota's solenoid w/ the quick-fall-off terminal is $70) and I think these are better because the B terminal is a titch longer (at least longer than was on my OEM Kubota solenoid -- I had a time getting all my lugs on the post cuz at the time I had an extra btty cable.)  PM me if you want one.

Also, at one time Denso had a replacement cap for "our" solenoid that changed the QC tab to the post terminal.  I also don't know if that's available anymore.

-k
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on March 01, 2022, 07:36:02 AM
Ken,

This is not my starter but this is what I have on my starter solenoid.  It looks like there is supposed to be some sort of molded plug that holds the quick disconnect that snaps into the housing.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on March 01, 2022, 07:43:52 AM
Which engine?

PUT COMPLETE BOAT INFO IN THE PROFILE!! How many numbers of times has that been said on here?  I dunno, I canít count that high.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Mark Kasaboski on March 01, 2022, 07:56:36 AM
Hey Ken,

Thank you for the response.

Good point on the voltmeter. Although, that does now have me thinking that maybe I should just put the BMV-712 in the cockpit panel. I've been struggling to solve where I was gonna put that near the nav table. I was thinking that when I upgrade the service panel to one with breakers (https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/catalina-380390/electrical/electrical-panel-master-acdc-85quot-x-19quot/?SearchResults=1), I'd just cut out the analog battery meter and try to slot it in there. Although, I'm not sure it'll fit yet. TBD.

Ken, you mention ready-made, drop-in harness. Aside from the CD one's, I have not come across links to any others. Not even on https://groups.io/g/Catalina30/wiki/11336 . Have I missed something? If somebody would be able to point me towards them, I'd be very grateful. It's not above me to just build one myself. I'm skilled enough to do that, but these days I do enjoy getting my time back by just paying for something. The one thing I'm definitely not looking forward to is running the harness through the boat. Maybe it'll be easier than I think, but my experience with boats, so far, is very similar to software development (my trade) in that your effort estimate will always be off by a factor of 3 to 5, easily.

I live in Ontario, Canada, so my boat is currently on the hard. As soon as it warms up I'm gonna get to tackling this.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Noah on March 01, 2022, 08:31:30 AM
Running the harness through the boat is not hardódonít let that be a sticking point. Whatever harness you go with (pre-made from Catalina Direct, making your with the appropriately colored tinned wire, or even Ken K. I believe sells one too?) will work. Just make sure you have plenty of length, in order to be able to pull out the engine panel, sit it flat in the cockpit for future access and have lots of slack to work on it. And as Alex said, if your existing old non-tinned wire if useable and not corroded under the insulation, you could maybe get by reusing it. Not as ideal but would work. Use elastic heat shrink ting connector to panel and butt connectors to engine sources. Use wire ties and secure in several places for strain relief. Catalina Direct website and our Forum website both should have a wiring diagram to follow.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on March 01, 2022, 08:45:19 AM
Ken,

I have an M35.  The photo was just to show the plug type that you were curious to see.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: mdidomenico on March 01, 2022, 08:54:26 AM
AHS terminals.

Ken, please expand this.  I'm in the middle of remaking my entire engine electrical system, but i don't think i've come across "AHS" yet in everything i've read.

Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on March 01, 2022, 09:06:52 AM
Adhesive Heat Shrink

Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on March 01, 2022, 09:15:05 AM
Alex

Iíve not seen that terminal on an OEM (Kubota) starter on a Universal m35 or m35A or m35AC engine.
The photo appears that the starter could be on a B series engine (eg, 35B, etc.)
The starter is a common one so perhaps an auto starter rebuilding shop would have the matching wire terminal?
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: waughoo on March 01, 2022, 09:26:09 AM
Ken,

I will look into that.  It would not be exactly marine grade, but perhaps close enough.  Your solenoid solution is also appealing.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Stu Jackson on March 01, 2022, 12:07:05 PM

....................

So, I think the current recommendation here is to cut out those gummy bear connectors and butt splice the wires, ya? Should I go ahead and purchase a new wire harness from Catalina Direct and dig into the insane job of installing it or am I safe to keep using the current one as long as I don't find any melted insulation? I would be very thankful for any additional advice around this.


.......................

Mark,

Welcome here, too :D.

Please read the rest of the Critical Upgrades topic.  There is another discussion that addresses just this question.  https://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.msg44056.html#msg44056

Particularly this one:

Here's another discussion about connections for the harness and whether or not new wiring is "required."

http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6714.0.html
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Mark Kasaboski on March 01, 2022, 01:00:12 PM
Thanks for your response, Noah. I do have the wiring diagrams sitting right beside me.

Hi Stu!

Thanks a lot! I will check those links out.

Ken, is what Noah says true? You sell harnesses? Name your price, sir.

Thank again, guys.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on March 01, 2022, 07:33:07 PM
Hey Mark

Be cautious of wiring diagrams -- they can be incorrect and/or missing info (no fuel gauge?)  As a new owner you'll learn that pretty much everything Universal, Westerbeke, and Catalina can have incorrect documentation (not 100% incorrect, but nearly 100% has something incorrect -- typically insignificant but sometimes significant.  It's just how it is and we live with it.)

Yah, actually the last two Universal harnesses I did were for C30 mk-IIs. 
Noah is correct on the 30 - removing and pulling the new harness is one of the easier things on the boat.  You just run a messenger line and pull the new one from the cockpit to the engine. Remove the galley drawer cabinet - 6 screws - for access where it runs down from the cockpit/hull liner.

I don't keep a harness on the shelf if you're looking for an immediate pop-in.  Why - because every job differs slightly -- there's details/options to discuss before assembling.  I probably should keep a completely terminated one that's comparable to the CD garbage but I'd rather not force anyone into something (e.g., wire lengths don't exactly fit; a specific model alternator needs a different excite terminal; how the fuel pump is powered, whether installing a bus for neutrals and where; etc.)

I've also always done a new harness w/ rewiring the panel -- The harness is fit perfectly to the gauge layout and panels do differ.  I've even had to rewire a spankin new CD panel when I did the harness. 
Why? Here's notes about the garbage wiring after the owner provided a CD panel:
Removed all Catalina Direct wiring
NOTE - 3 terminals were crimped loosely.
             - Portion of panel wiring was not fused correctly per ABYC
Reworked panel circuit breaker to replace push-on terminals with ring terminals.
(no way to rework push-on terminals on oil and temp alarm, so they remain.)
Rewired panel with marine heat-shrink terminals.
Tested operation of gauges and temp and oil alarms
NOTE - bulb on one gauge was not working
            - tightened bulb contacts and seems ok after testing.



Typically a fully wired, drop-in, plug n play, harness is only 15-20% more than the CD hunk of overpriced wire (but materials have gone crazy since 2020 - I just got a notice that wire management stuff is increasing (after we had another increase Jan 1.)  I can't imagine where copper is headed.

PM me if you want to discuss.
PS I attached a BUILD LIST for a typical c30 harness job that might help if you are making one.
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: KWKloeber on March 01, 2022, 07:54:49 PM

Ken,

I will look into that.  It would not be exactly marine grade, but perhaps close enough.  Your solenoid solution is also appealing.


If one wants to retain the OEM solenoid w/ the QC tab the best is to do my solder-it-on option, then use any weathertight connector w/ the weathertight fuse holder. 
https://groups.io/g/Catalina30/wiki/7401#The-22S22-Wire-Terminals
But most do not want to yank the starter to do that fix.

"There's many ways to skin a CAT alina wire"
Title: Re: Universal Wiring Harness Upgrade
Post by: Mark Kasaboski on March 02, 2022, 02:57:12 PM
Hey Ken,

I sent you a PM. Just wanted to check and see if you received it.

Thanks.