Join the C34 Association Today!
[C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [Join!]
Please login or register.
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Ignition Power Universal M35  (Read 226 times)

Jim Hardesty and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Mark Stein

  • Forum - Seaman Apprentice
  • *
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 13
  • "And all I ask is a tall ship..."
    • View Profile
Ignition Power Universal M35
« on: June 10, 2021, 12:47:53 PM »

Hello Fellow C34 Owners,

I hesitated to post this question knowing the extent to which the general topic is already covered within the MB, but this specific diagnostic is driving me nuts, and I can't seem to find anyone who can help identify the likely culprit.  So I'm appealing to the experts and taking a risk that while I did a thorough search of the MB to find this problem already posted, I didn't miss something.  So, here goes...

I have a 1997 MkII #1357 and had no power to the engine panel at the helm when I first tuned on the ignition while "on the hard" this spring. The engine breaker (mounted on the engine - whose idea was that?), and engine panel breaker were fine.  It turned out that wiggling the positive terminal leads on the battery resulted in the power being restored.  I assumed I had a bad wire crimp, bad wire terminal or dirty leads, etc., but everything looked good seemed to work fine after my discovery.  Fast forward three weeks and it had happened only one other time with the same remedy.  However, last weekend, when I tried engaging the glow plugs, the power went out at the engine panel again.  I needed to completely remove and then reconnect the battery wires (either positive or negative) for about 30 seconds to restore the power to the engine panel but when trying again, engaging the glow plugs caused the power to go out.  This now happens consistently.

I've opened up the engine compartment and checked for any loose wires.  My mutimeter says I have about 13.4 volts coming out of the batteries and with the engine panel face removed, I was able to measure about 11.6 volts at the ignition switch before trying to engage the glow plugs.  Out of desperation, I tried just engaging the starter before trying the glow plugs and the starter worked, after which the glow plugs would engage without loosing power and get the engine started.  Once running, the tachometer was not working and the ammeter on the engine panel read barely above 12 volts regardless of the engine RPMs.  I assume isn't quite right.

My theory after reading more about this (and unfortunately getting myself more confused), was that somehow the alternator is involved in the problem and may have faulty components that are causing the power supply to be interrupted when the power draw increases to engage the glow plugs. If true, I don't know why the starter would work given that is huge draw as well. 

I'd really appreciate any advice or guidance on what might be causing the problem or what else I should be checking.

I'm so grateful to the C34 community and have learned a great deal from other's experiences and expertise.

Thanks in advance and hope everyone is well and having a great sailing season.

-Mark Stein, SteinWay IV #1354
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Logged
Mark Stein
SteinWay IV #1357

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 01:38:14 PM »

Do you have an ammeter or a voltmeter?  Ammeters don't read in volts.
Do you still have the Gummy Bear plugs (engine AND behind the panel?)  Original harness?
Pictures!

Quote

The engine breaker (mounted on the engine - whose idea was that?), and engine panel breaker were fine. 


It's ABYC's idea.  An overcurrent device (ie, breaker or fuse) must be w/in 7" of the power source (battery cable.)   It isn't, but it's closer than no breaker or fuse at all as on most of the Universal engines.)

Do you have an M35A(C)?  The M35 did not come with a breaker on the engine.  A P.O. add-on?  Pictures!

The breaker is fine how?  How did you test it?  Do you know that it's good, no faults?
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Ron Hill

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 58
  • Posts: 7492
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 01:52:24 PM »

Mark : You have a MKII C34 with a Voltmeter not an Ammeter!!  You also have a M35BC engine (by your hull #)!! 
The voltage at the key switch (OFF) should be similar to the voltage at the batteries !!

A few thoughts
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 01:55:20 PM by Ron Hill »
Logged
Ron, Apache #788

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 71
  • Posts: 7961
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2021, 05:01:27 PM »

Mark Stein


I have a 1997 MkII #1357 and had no power to the engine panel at the helm when I first tuned on the ignition while "on the hard" this spring. The engine breaker (mounted on the engine - whose idea was that?), and engine panel breaker were fine.  It turned out that wiggling the positive terminal leads on the battery resulted in the power being restored.  I assumed I had a bad wire crimp, bad wire terminal or dirty leads, etc., but everything looked good seemed to work fine after my discovery.  Fast forward three weeks and it had happened only one other time with the same remedy. 

Mark, whenever there is an INTERMITTENT electrical issue it is 99% the fault of an electrical connection.


However, last weekend, when I tried engaging the glow plugs, the power went out at the engine panel again.  I needed to completely remove and then reconnect the battery wires (either positive or negative) for about 30 seconds to restore the power to the engine panel but when trying again, engaging the glow plugs caused the power to go out.  This now happens consistently.


This is not an unusual and not to be unexpected, because when a high load like the glow plugs are engaged, resistance in a faulty connection builds up.

I've opened up the engine compartment and checked for any loose wires.  My multimeter says I have about 13.4 volts coming out of the batteries and with the engine panel face removed, I was able to measure about 11.6 volts at the ignition switch before trying to engage the glow plugs. 


That is a significant voltage loss right there.  11.6/13.4=86% or an almost 15% voltage drop, and it’s even bigger if you do the same math on a dead battery being 10.5V rather than 0.

There is great merit in checking your trailer connections as Ken suggests,


Out of desperation, I tried just engaging the starter before trying the glow plugs and the starter worked, after which the glow plugs would engage without loosing power and get the engine started.  Once running, the tachometer was not working and the ammeter on the engine panel read barely above 12 volts regardless of the engine RPMs.  I assume isn't quite right.

This was a good idea to try.  Most likely the reason it worked is that while high the load from the starter is of very short duration, whereas the glow plugs are much longer assuming you held them in for at least 10 seconds.

My theory after reading more about this (and unfortunately getting myself more confused), was that somehow the alternator is involved in the problem and may have faulty components that are causing the power supply to be interrupted when the power draw increases to engage the glow plugs. If true, I don't know why the starter would work given that is huge draw as well.

Starter vs. glow plugs discussed above.  Had you had any other alternator “related” issues prior to this?  Reason I ask is that it sounds a little like you’re grasping at straws here simply because the tach didn’t work, which could be because of a loose wire at the back of the alternator, or…wait for it…the selfsame TRAILER PLUGS which carry that tach wire from the engine compartment to the cockpit panel.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  :D

Here’s what I would do it ITWMB:

I’d stop visually looking and essentially guessing about wire conditions, and start to really examine them.  Hold each end near any and all connections and pull on them.  Don’t just “wiggle” them.  If “wiggling” made power come back, what do you think is happening?  I’m sure you know the answer.

Next, go find out about or re-read the info about the connectors (trailer plugs, a.k.a. gummy bears) and find out what condition they are in.  There is tons of information especially in the Critical Upgrades that cover these.

Next, go back to the questionable battery connections and confirm them, too.  You could also check behind the 1-2-B switch but experience suggests that usually isn’t an issue.  Do you have dialectric grease?  If not, go get a small tube of it at an auto parts place and read the directions.  Applying it will assure that you REALLY clean the battery terminals and lugs.  Before you take the lugs off, give ‘em a yank.  Also check the grounds and check the ground at the engine.

I doubt you have an alternator issue that would affect your system they way you describe.

Give these ideas a try and get back to us.

PS – I’m sure you meant voltmeter, don’t let the small stuff bother you.
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 08:15:55 PM »

Quote

because the tach didn’t work, which could be because of a loose wire at the back of the alternator, or…wait for it…the selfsame TRAILER PLUGS which carry that tach wire from the engine compartment to the cockpit panel.  Are you seeing a pattern here?


Stu from the hull no. can you tell which engine Mark has?

Just for accuracy, if it's the M-35 the tach AC signal doesn't run thru the Gummy Bear plugs.  Why? Because like the fuel gauge, Catalina installed the wire, not Universal. 
Why didn't Universal install it?  Who knows??  Maybe UM figured that some of its engines would go into boats with a mechanical tach pick up?
If he has the M-35A then he has the convoluted Westebeke "A & B engine" waiting and all bets are off.  I could count on two hands things that might affect power to the engine panel.   
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

mark_53

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 6
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 12:42:45 AM »

Once running, the tachometer was not working and the ammeter on the engine panel read barely above 12 volts regardless of the engine RPMs.  I assume isn't quite right.
You would be correct.  Barley 12 volts with the engine running doesn't sound right.  I'd check the alternator output at the source.  How many batteries doe you have?  Is there a dedicated start battery?  Clean terminal connection with a terminal cleaning brush.
Logged
1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP Danforth 25lb, adjustable backstay, fin keel, EV100 autopilot, CDH diesel heater

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 71
  • Posts: 7961
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 08:37:21 AM »

You would be correct.  Barley 12 volts with the engine running doesn't sound right.  I'd check the alternator output at the source.  How many batteries doe you have?  Is there a dedicated start battery?  Clean terminal connection with a terminal cleaning brush.

Mark and mark,

Not necessarily.  If the engine was just running at idle, one would expect the voltage to remain low.


Stu from the hull no. can you tell which engine Mark has?

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

I have no clue, why would you think I would?  I'm sure Mark would know.
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Noah

  • Administrator
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer
  • *******
  • Karma: 19
  • Posts: 1994
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 08:48:38 AM »

Mark : You have a MKII C34 with a Voltmeter not an Ammeter!!  You also have a M35BC engine (by your hull #)!! 
The voltage at the key switch (OFF) should be similar to the voltage at the batteries !!

A few thoughts
Stu and ken—put this one on Ron. It was he who called out engine based upon hull number. :abd: 8)
Logged
1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

mark_53

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 6
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 09:30:48 AM »

You would be correct.  Barley 12 volts with the engine running doesn't sound right.  I'd check the alternator output at the source.  How many batteries doe you have?  Is there a dedicated start battery?  Clean terminal connection with a terminal cleaning brush.

Mark and mark,

Not necessarily.  If the engine was just running at idle, one would expect the voltage to remain low.

Stu at 1000 rpms my OEM alternator is putting out close to 14 volts.  Never 12 volts.  You are right though. it may be possible with an aftermarket alternator and regulator.

Logged
1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP Danforth 25lb, adjustable backstay, fin keel, EV100 autopilot, CDH diesel heater

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 71
  • Posts: 7961
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 10:34:43 AM »


Stu at 1000 rpms my OEM alternator is putting out close to 14 volts.  Never 12 volts.  You are right though. it may be possible with an aftermarket alternator and regulator.

mark, that's true.  But IIRC he said his cockpit voltmeter was reading 12V.  If his house bank wasn't topped off, the system voltage plus voltage loss to cockpit panel (in many cases could be 10-15%!) could well be that as reported, even if the alternator was doing 14V.  I see it on my Balmar MC-612 all the time:  calculated voltage of say 14.3 vs. system voltage of 13.2 when charging starts.
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ron Hill

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 58
  • Posts: 7492
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 12:46:50 PM »

Ken :  FYI,  I know from the hull # that Mark has a MK II C34.  Catalina straightened out the wiring harness issue with the MK II and powered it with the M35BC engine!

A thought
Logged
Ron, Apache #788

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 12:50:55 PM »

Ron, what do you mean by "straightened out"?  Are you saying that the 35BC doesn't have the convoluted fuel pump/alarm/oil switch wiring?

-k
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Mark Stein

  • Forum - Seaman Apprentice
  • *
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 13
  • "And all I ask is a tall ship..."
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 12:53:45 PM »

You guys are the best.  Just sayin'

Hi Ken,
Yes, volt meter is what I meant (thanks for the pass Stu).  I have gummy bears at the helm panel, the original harness that connects to a terminal bar in the pod at the helm and I'll send pictures this weekend.  Great point on the breaker(s) that simply trying to push them hardly constitutes a test of their working or not.  I didn't test them and honestly, not sure how to do that.  I've had the boat since 2008 and I don't think the previous made changes to the engine so will send more pics of this too.

Hi Ron,
Thanks for the corrections and I'm a little embarrassed since I actually do know enough to understand the difference between ammeter (I fly Cessna 172s and they have one) and a volt meter. I'll also confirm the voltage at the ignition switch in the off position to make sure it's showing a fall off.

Hi Stu,
I did replace the alternator about 6 years ago and had a slip neighbor/marine mechanic do the work.  It hasn't given me reason to worry, but then again, I certainly could have missed signs with which I'm not familiar.  Thanks for the suggestions on checking the wiring thoroughly and to your point about the extent of the voltage decrease from battery to ignition switch (and from Ron), it gives me a place to start. Tracing that wire, it appears to come into the engine compartment and go to both the starter (where the main power cable attaches) and the alternator. I confess I'm timid about tugging on wires that connect to a 24 year-old engine with my unfamiliarity of how and what they are for, but completely agree that if they're bad,  I need to address it.  I checked behind the 1-2-B switch and found nothing in behind the panel that looked loose or damaged.  I will be picking up dielectric grease today and going over all terminals to clean and apply. Will review the critical upgrades section as well.  I'm glad to hear that you don't suspect the alternator, but it would have been much simpler to correct I bet.
I will do the checks and get back to you all.

Hi Mark (great name by the way),
Thanks for the confirmation about the voltage.  The two 4D house batteries are on "1" while a smaller starting battery is on "2" (I did this modification my self about 4 years ago).  I'm going to grab a cleaning brush along with the grease today and will get to work.

I'll post back after I get a chance to get down there this weekend and do more work.

Thanks to you all for the insights and guidance. I'm thinking I might actually be able to track this down now that I have a few ideas of where to look.  I'll be back in touch soon.
Logged
Mark Stein
SteinWay IV #1357

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 12:54:30 PM »

Quote from: Stu Jackson link=topic=11067.msg87709#

why would you think I would?


Carnack: cus you know more bout those things; admittedly I know zero bout engine changeovers on 34s. (I failed to see Ron’s first msg re: the hull no.)

I’ll need to give this multi-symptom deeper thought.  :cry4`
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 01:06:02 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 34
  • Posts: 3990
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Ignition Power Universal M35
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2021, 01:05:37 PM »

@Mark_S

SuperLube gel is an excellent dielectric and great to have aboard for many lube needs.  Many hardware stores carry it (byw, those are places where you used to be able to walk in and the owner (your neighbor from down the road) would help you out and behind the counter had just what you needed (even though you didn't know what you needed and no less what it was called.))  Horror Fright also carries it. (SL also sells a "dielectric" but is in fact the same product with different marketing.)

I'll give the symptoms more thought now that I know more about your iron genny.


Completely unrelated aside - I took a borrowed 172 on my cross-country -- nice, more ooomph than the N3673J 150 that I learned on in the 70s (which unfortunately met an untimely demise in 2003.)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 01:17:01 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up