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Author Topic: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD  (Read 35264 times)

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SPembleton

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #30 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!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 05:23:55 PM by SPembleton »
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Steve Pembleton
Holland, MI
1986 Mk1 Fin, Tall

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #31 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

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

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.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 08:24:23 PM by Stu Jackson »
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SPembleton

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #32 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
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Steve Pembleton
Holland, MI
1986 Mk1 Fin, Tall

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Footloose

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #33 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.
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Dave G.
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SPembleton

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #34 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.
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Steve Pembleton
Holland, MI
1986 Mk1 Fin, Tall

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #35 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

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KWKloeber

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #36 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
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SPembleton

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #37 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.
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Steve Pembleton
Holland, MI
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"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails."

KWKloeber

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #38 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
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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

Noah

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #39 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!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 12:08:44 AM by Noah »
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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2014, 11:43:24 PM »

Here is my schematic for my recent wiring upgrade.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 11:45:35 PM by Noah »
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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2014, 11:53:26 PM »

And more...
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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #42 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
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Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Stu Jackson

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #43 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.



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scotty

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Re: Strange starting/electrical problem WIRING HARNESS FIRE HAZARD
« Reply #44 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.
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