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Messages - Dancrosswis

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Main Message Board / Re: Voltage Drop at Fuel Pump
« on: July 05, 2018, 08:29:57 PM »
It wasn't the voltage.

I'm happy to report that my XPB is running and thought I should send an update.  I installed a new Facet fuel pump.  I ran it a long time before I got fuel at the secondary filter bleed screw.  She started, ran for 30-60 seconds, and died.  I pulled the fuel tank take-up tube.  It had both the hose and screen at its end.  The screen was dirty, but I couldn't say it was clogged.  I removed the screen and ran the fuel pump more, without bringing fuel to bleed screw.  I conferred with our local marina diesel mechanic and we agreed I had either or both a restriction or leak in my fuel delivery system.  So, (to use the transition now favored by all the media) I replaced all of my fuel feed lines and removed the original Facet fuel pump which was still in-line but not operating.  The old Facet pump screen was fully clogged.  And, I found cracks in my fuel line that I may have made worse changing the pump.

I ran the pump and fuel quickly gushed from the bleed screw.  The whole system sounded like it was breathing or gulping more deeply than before.  She fired right up and has now run without a hitch for several hours.  I may be misled by the glory of fixing my problem, but I think she's also running better at lower rpm's. 

Thanks for everyone's help.  Through this process, I've learned a lot more about my XPB.  Now, it's time to head to the North Channel!


Main Message Board / Re: Voltage Drop at Fuel Pump
« on: June 26, 2018, 07:44:12 PM »

My new fuel pump will be Amazoned to my doorstep tomorrow.  I'll dive deep into your recommended readings in the morning before I head back to the boat.  Just wanted to make a few quick observations.

1.  I'm having as much fun deciphering your acronyms as I am tracing the wiring diagrams.  I'm not being sarcastic; they're both fun.

2.  I don't appear to have the 1OA circuit breaker or resistor to ground at my solenoid I terminal.  Should I worry about that?  Could it be buried somewhere else in the harness?  Should I install both?

3.  My start button is powered from the I terminal of my key switch, not from my preheat button.  Am I right that I can disengage the preheat button and then press my start button-and avoid powering the glo-plugs and the starter at the same time?

4.  I'm continually amazed at the depth of knowledge available through this association.

I'll send an update after my next boat visit.

Main Message Board / Re: Voltage Drop at Fuel Pump
« on: June 24, 2018, 10:39:46 PM »
I ran a number of multi-meter tests on Saturday to track down my voltage drop, came to an initial conclusion, and proved that wrong.   First, the test results.

Ground.  I first checked the condition of the preheat solenoid ground (the metal bracket the solenoid is attached to), by measuring the voltage at the bracket and at my battery bank negative.  No voltage reading, so Iím assuming my ground is good.

Measurements at Preheat Solenoid Terminals.  I know the solenoid on my motor is not original and do not know whether it differs from the original.  I donít know the make of my current solenoid.  Napa ST81 looks identical to my solenoid.  I donít know whether itís rated for continuous duty.

Here are the results of a number of tests:
DP PowerKey SwitchPreheat BttnS TerminalI Terminal

The third test was done with wire at the S terminal attached, i.e., the solenoid was operating.

After running these tests, I (wrongly) concluded I must have a defective solenoid.   With the pre-heat (glo-plug) button off (i.e., not pushed), there should be no voltage at the S terminal, which the meter bore out, but then why is there voltage at the I terminal?  And, with the pre-heat button on (pushed), thereís more voltage at the I terminal than at the S terminal.  Where is the extra voltage coming from?  I surmised that the solenoid must be leaking voltage from the ďpower-inĒ post to the I terminal.  I replaced the solenoid with a new NAPA ST81.  Retested.  Same results.  I still donít know where the extra voltage is coming from.  I realize that when the engine is running voltage will be back fed to the I terminal from the alternator through the oil pressure switch.  Maybe something else is back feeding to the I terminal when the key switch is turned on?

Measurements at Instrument Panel.  I measured full system voltage at the B terminal of the instrument panel key switch.  My testing at the instrument panel didnít get any further.   I donít know what make instrument panel I have.  I believe it's the boat's original.  Photo attached.
Oil Switch Terminal.  I havenít checked this, yet.  Iíve just begun to read the prior posts about oil switch problems.  Iíll settle on a strategy after I complete that reading.

Oil Alarm Light/Buzzer.  Iím not sure my alarm lights work.  Gotta check that.  The buzzer goes off as soon as I turn the key switch on and before the engine fires.  I assume this is correct.  Thereís been no change in the buzzerís operation.
Engine Wiring Diagram.  My wiring harness at the preheat solenoid matches the wire colors shown in Wiring Diagram #39144 (page 94 of January 2001 M25 XPB Service Manual).  My instrument panel doesnít match either the Admiral or Captain panels of the wiring diagram.  I drew a wiring diagram of my panel, if that helps in deciphering this gremlin.

My Current Plan.  The new Facet pump will arrive Wednesday.  Iíll install it and hope thatís the short term fix.
Production Start.  Yea!  My boatís one year younger!  Sorry.  I got sloppy with my post.

Main Message Board / Voltage Drop at Fuel Pump
« on: June 22, 2018, 08:41:51 PM »
What's Happened:

Started my M25 XPB today.  The fuel pump stopped clicking about 8 seconds into my glow plug routine.  The engine started normally, but then stopped dead (like I'd pulled the kill switch) after about a minute of operation.  No life from the fuel pump.   I pulled the positive feed to the pump to make sure it was getting power.  I only saw about 8 volts at the feed.  I checked the voltage at the powered post of the glow plug solenoid, and it showed full voltage of about 12.8 v.  I jumped a wire from the solenoid post to power the pump.  It ran, but was "arrhythmic", i.e. gave out a fast, muffled pulse, rather than the slower loud click I'm used to hearing.  I ran the pump for a total of about two minutes in short spurts, thinking I might need to bleed the fuel lines.  No response when I tried to start the engine.

What I've Done and Will Do:

I ordered a replacement Facet cube-style fuel pump.  I'm not certain the pump's the problem, but at only about $50 plus another $20 for two day shipping, it's a cheap first installment on a solution.  Thank You so much for the alternate fuel pump posts.  Westerbeke is selling their pump for $178.80 plus shipping.  I'll bench test the existing pump.  If it works on the bench, I'll keep it as a spare.  Tomorrow I'll try to trace down my voltage drop source.

My Questions:
  • Am I right to assume that a drop to 8v at the fuel pump is not normal?
  • Could the voltage drop have caused the fuel pump failure?
  • Or, are the two just coincidental?
  • Any recommendations for tracking down the voltage drop?
  • Any other causes, issues I should be checking for?

As always, thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions,

1985 C34 Ennui Went
(repowered with M25 XPB)


Main Message Board / Re: Head Door Frame and Bulkhead
« on: September 25, 2017, 04:23:35 PM »
Thanks Ron,

do the work when the boat is in the water

Yep, that's good advice.  I've settled on a game plan.
  • Bulkhead.  After checking the prices for good teak marine plywood, with shipping, I've decided for now not to replace the bottom half of the bulkhead, which has already been removed.  Instead, I will add more bolts along the lower edge of the remaining bulkhead, through the hanging locker fiberglass.  I suspect I will end up with a bulkhead attachment which is at least as strong as the original installation.
  • Door Frame.  I plan to trim the bottom so that it doesn't bear on the head fiberglass door sill.  That should prevent any remaining flexing from kicking the door frame out of alignment.  I'll also reattach the lower portion of the frame to the hanging locker.  It's now unattached where the lower half of the bulkhead was removed.  I'll slip a narrow vertical piece of wood (I may have some solid teak that will work) into the dado formerly inhabited by the bulkhead and then fasten that to the hanging locker.

I'll send an update when the project is complete.  BTW, the admiral didn't recognize that I had removed the lower half of the bulkhead.  The now revealed hanging locker gelcoat is in great shape and blends in with the rest of the head.

Ennui Went #159

Main Message Board / Head Door Frame and Bulkhead
« on: September 14, 2017, 07:49:18 PM »
I have two related questions. 

  • The bottom of Ennui Went's head forward bulkhead (attached to the nav station hanging locker) was rotten.  The bottom of the bulkhead had pulled away from the hanging locker, pushing the head door frame aft, so the head door hit the companionway step and wouldn't close.
  • I removed the lower portion of bulkhead.  This process first required the removal of door frame.
  • When reinstalling the door frame, I noticed it was tighter than upon its removal.  I pushed it into alignment.  The bottom half of the door frame now has no direct attachment to the nav station hanging locker.
  • After the first sail, the bottom of the door frame had moved inward and, again, the door won't shut.
  • The bottom of door frame is angled to meet the inward slope molded into the head fiberglass floor pan.

Tentative Diagnosis.  I suspect that, as the hull flexes, it forces the frame downward.  With nothing tying the frame bottom to the nav station hanging locker (originally because the bulkhead bottom was rotten and the screws were not holding and, now, because that portion of the bulkhead is removed), the downward force causes the frame to follow the floor pan slope inward and aft.

  • Should I replace the bottom half of the bulkhead, or replace the entire bulkhead, for structural reasons.  The bulkhead, though with some outward edge rot, is sound at the top and sound where it is through-bolted with the head grab bar into the nav station hanging locker.  The aft portion of the hanging locker that now shows in the head cleaned up nicely.  It's gel coat surface is as good as or better than the rest of the head fiberglass.
  • What to do about the moving door frame bottom.  What comes to mind is (1) trim the frame bottom so that it doesn't ride on the floor pan and, hence, isn't forced inward as the hull flexes, (2)  figure out a way to reattach the bottom to the nav station hanging locker, or (3) any other suggestions?  In considering (1) or (2), I don't know whether a tight and secure frame is needed for strutural support.

Any suggestions and comments are welcome.

Dan Cross
s/v Ennui Went
1986 Catalina 34 #159

Main Message Board / Re: New Traveler - WOW!
« on: June 27, 2017, 11:31:15 PM »
Reminds me to remind all:

TRAVELER TRACKS should be rebedded as part of normal ROUTINE maintenance, like chainplates.

When I replaced our dorade vents over ten years ago, I wrote a Tech Note about it (August 2005).  Part of the work was prompted by a leak below the port dorade.  After replacing them both, the leak persisted.  Rebedding the traveler track fixed it. 

Yeah!  I've been looking for that same leak source.  Hadn't thought of the traveler track.  Thanks, Stu.

Dan Cross
Ennui Went
1986 C34 #159

Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 27, 2017, 11:19:58 PM »
Good advice Noah.  All done.

Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 27, 2017, 10:50:47 PM »
Thanks for all of the great input.  I appreciate everyone's efforts. 

J_Sail.   Thanks for clearly setting out this unfolding discussion.

Issue #1.  You've got me convinced that there's no load on my battery to run the refrigerator when the charger is working. 

Issue #2:  On the second issue, which could be generalized as "is my float charge harming my batteries", I think I'll follow Stu's advice and contact John for an update.  I've also emailed Interstate for their recommended float voltage for my SRM-27's and to ask them whether my charger's' (Xantrex Truecharge 20+) float voltage of 13.5v can harm the batteries.

MPS-35.  Well, I never called it a MPS-50.   And, I only called it a MPS-150 once, before I wised up.  It is a MPS-35, designed for the Danfoss BD35F compressors.  Those compressors operate on either 12v or 24v, so my (limited) understanding is that the compressor will run fine on the MPS-35's 24v output voltage.  The MPS-35 has automatic power source switching (from AC to DC) built in.  No additional relay is needed.  The attraction of the MPS-35 was that it looked to be mostly plug and play.  But, if I don't need it to help my batteries--then I don't need it.

Stu.  I'll follow your suggestion to contact John.  And, thanks for passing along the other solution.

Craig.  Thanks for the suggestion.

I'll send additional information and results as I go along.

Dan Cross
Ennui Went
1986 C34 #159

PS  Got sidetracked the last couple of days.  My bilge float switch died, which led to my first contact with my bilge pump wiring.  Yikes.  The pump runs off an "Auto-Off-Man" panel switch.  I've got an older Rule 3700 that draws from 15A-20A.  The wire run is about 20 feet. My iPhone app says ABYC demands 8AWG for less than 3% voltage drop.  The wire I pulled was about 18AWG at the panel switch, had two unprotected butt splices (no shrink tubing, tape, liquid tape... no nothing) at the bottom of the bilge, stepping down to 22AWG single strandAll unfused.  I think I read that electric bilge pumps were an option in the early 34s.  This didn't look like a factory installation.

Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 26, 2017, 09:13:44 PM »
Hmm.  I'm back again after reading John Nixon's message on battery chargers.  He seems to squarely address my situation.  I'll quote the relevant parts of his post:

First, let me say that I am a mixed-bagger: I keep ( for the last 20-ish years) AC power on the boat 24/7 to keep the beer cold, and to keep the inside temperature of the boat reasonable with my wonderful 16,000 btu of reverse cycle air-conditioning.
All battery do not like having residual charge current flowing through their plates for extended periods of time. However, for our discussion here, I'll limit my comments in particular to deep cycle lead acid batteries. As Stu accurately quoted some of our direct correspondence, the problem created by continuous charge/residual current flow through lead acid batteries in positive grid corrosion.
The stated 35 to 40% maximum reduction in useful life of a deep cycle lead acid battery due to continuous float charging was based upon Concorde's own testing and their experiences in field applications...
So, if 24/7 float charge is bad, what to do about 12 volt refrigeration ( i.e. - your Cold Machine )? The simple answer is to provide a suitable AC-to-DC power supply to run the fridge when you are at the dock, and then run it on the batteries when away from AC power. I have been doing this since 2002. There are a number of inexpensive and suitably reliable small switching power supplies out there that will do the task admirably.

John Nixon at,4352.0.html.  (Emphasis mine).

I guess I'm going to flip flop and install the MPS-35. 



Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 26, 2017, 07:01:41 PM »
Thanks gentlemen.  I suspect I'll return the MPS-35 and put the savings back into the boat projects budget.


Ennui Went
1986 C34 #159

Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:08:15 PM »
Oops.  The photo I posted with my last message has the AC/DC controller installed.  Mine won't.


Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:05:44 PM »
Hi Noah,

Vitrifrigo is the brand of ice box conversion kit I bought.  The "cooling unit" is the compressor/condenser/control box component of the kit.  Photo below.  Sorry if my post was a bit cryptic.

I don't need the MPS-35.  I'm adding it assuming (here I go getting dangerous again) that it's better for my batteries not to be running amps through them to fuel the refrigeration, if shore power is available.  It's essentially the same as putting the Danfoss AC/DC controller on the compressor, but cheaper, and the Isotherm Smart Energy Control doesn't fit the AC/DC controller.

Thanks for your reply.  Hope the foregoing makes some sense.


Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 26, 2017, 10:44:51 AM »
Thanks to all for the replies.

Here's what I'm going with:
Vitrifrigo cooling unit, with 3 meter line set extension (should give me total line set length of about 15'8")
Istotherm Smart Energy Control.  To try to increase efficiency.
Waeco/Dometic/Mobitronic MPS-35.  To allow operation from AC when available.

As I begin the install, I still have a couple of questions, which make take the installation itself to answer:

First, will the Smart Energy Control work with the MPS-35?  The MPS-35 outputs 24v to the compressor when it's running on AC, 12v when it's passing through the battery voltage.  The Smart Energy Control will run on either 12v or 24v.  What I don't know is whether the Control can automatically handle the switching between 12v and 24v.  I've communicated with Indel Webasto.  They just don't know.  BTW, they (Dave responded quickly.  A good shout out to them.

Second, should the MPS-35 be mounted closer to the battery bank or to the compressor?  It will be more convenient to locate it closer to the battery.  I'll then only have a single set of DC lines running back to the compressor.  If I locate the MPS-35 at the compressor, then I need both AC and DC making the long run to the aft lazarette.  My only concern (based upon my lack of knowledge, not a known problem) is:  does the fact that the MPS-35 output switches from 12v to 24 create any fusing/wiring issues?  I plan to run oversize (based upon 12v) DC wires to the MPS-35 and from the MPS-35 to the compressor.  The circuit will be fused at 15 amps (as recommended for the compressor) at the distribution panel.  Will this be okay for MPS output wire when it's sending 24v?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.  I'll report on the installation when its completed.

Dan Cross
Ennui Went
1986 #159

Main Message Board / Re: Where to put the refrigerator compressor?
« on: June 20, 2017, 11:31:35 AM »
Thanks all.  This helps.  A good reminder I took from the threads is:  call 'em.  I've fallen too deep into the click and buy habit.

I'm considering two options and am interested in feedback:
  • Mobiltronic/Dometic/Waeco MPS-150.  This unit inputs AC and DC.  If AC is present, it supplies the power to the compressor.  If not, it supplies via DC.  It appears to be a cheaper option than getting the Danfoss AC/DC controller.  My thought is the house bank will benefit from fewer amps flowing through when AC is present.
  • Isotherm Smart Energy Control.  This unit attaches to the Danfoss controller and purports to save energy by modifying compressor speed and cooling temperature to cool quicker and deeper when extra current is available.  I think this may help during our summer cruise when we're at dock every 3-5 days and want a quick cool down.

Ennui Went's home port is in cool Menominee, MI (UP above WI).  When not cruising, our dock/anchor ratio is about 70/30.  We take a 5-6 week cruise to the North Channel each summer.  During that cruise the dock/anchor ratio flips to about 35/65.

Dan Cross
Ennui Went
1986 C34 #159

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