Re: [omc-boats] Starter Assist Solenoid follow-up

From: Ethan Brodsky <brodskye@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 08:47:19 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 30 Apr 2007, Gregory B. Fell wrote:
> I had previously written that I had diagnosed by starting problem to the
> starter assist solenoid. I purchased a new one (only $13.00) and attempted
> to install in this weekend. I started off being a very simple remove and
> replace procedure. However, it didnít turn out that way. My wiring is so
> brittle that any stress on it causes it to break apart. The wire on the
> blind side (stern) of the solenoid had broken. I donít know if I did it
> during the removal or whether that was the problem in the first place.
> Bottom line, I need to replace all the wiring. Iím hoping to do some
> patching to get me through the summer then do a complete replace over the
> winter.

I'm in much the same situation right now - I had some starter issues and
after blaming it on the neutral safety switch, starter assist relay, key
switch, neutral assist switch again, and main connector in the engine
bay, I realized it's bad wiring between the starter assist relay and the
starter solenoid. I'm hearing the assist relay fire, but the starter
nevers turns over and I don't even hear the main starter solenoid fire.
Some of the high-current wires to the assist solenoid are down to three
strands (out of a dozen or more), and they break every time I bend them.
I still haven't fixed it (usually I can just turn the key a bunch of times
and eventually it fires), but I plan to replace those two wires with 12 AWG
automotive/primary wire this week.

While diagnosing it I managed to break the charging circuit as well. Of
course I similarly blamed the alternator, then voltage regulator before
realizing it was wiring. I'm guessing I damaged it near the main
connector, but I'm nervous about pulling it apart again and screwing up
more stuff. As my dashboard ammeter doesn't work, I'm going to bypass all
the wiring to the front and run a single 10 AWG wire from the alterator to
the 12V post on the starter (central node).

> 2. Is this a DIY project? Iím pretty capable; but, I donít
> have the desire or skill to remove major engine components in order to get
> to connections.

I'd definitely consider rewiring the entire boat to be DIY. There's not
that many components, wiring diagrams are available, and everything is very
accessible.

You should buy/borrow good tools (stripper, high-quality crimper, heat
shrink gun) and supplies (automotive or marine wire in the appropriate
gauges and colors, crimp splices, various sizes of ring terminals, 4:1
heat-shrink with sealing glue) and get some practice using them before
starting.

Depending on your layout, nearly all the wiring should accessible with
removal of the engine cover, battery, belt shield, bilge vent hoses. The
two main connectors are fairly difficult to access on my boat, but once I
removed the two bolts securing them (replace all the flat-blade pan-head
screws with stainless hex-head bolts) they came apart easily and we're
fairly accessible.

Unlike modern vehicles, there are almost no specialized connectors on each
of the components. You'll have to find a replacement for the two large
connectors (which includes some fairly large conductors) or clean and reuse
them. The downside to the lack of connectors is that you're going to end
up retaining some of the old wiring, as the components have pig-tails and
you'll have to splice into the old wires.

I haven't done the dashboard, but it appears to come out in a few pieces
and be fairly simple to work on. I'd like to replace mine entirely, but
what I have is working well enough, so I just clean corroded stuff as
necessary.

Ethan
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Received on Monday, 30 April 2007

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