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Zombie

Need a little help

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Zombie

I had posted recently about some low voltage warnings and occasional hard start. Never had an issue until I had a shop do the stereo install. Anyways, just got to my boat and confirmed some suspicions I was picking my brain about. I'm now trying to back to square one in a sense. My main question is does the helm bus ground off one of the batteries? I traced wires this morning and found a clump of wires tucked into a rat nest behind the observers seat area. Looks to me like the installer took the main ground from the engine and ran it into a distributing block. Then took the bus negative and tied into the block. He also replaced the 2 ga negative battery grounds with 4 ga. I'm trying to figure out why he used the block in the first place. My thoughts are to dump the block, rewire the engine ground to one battery negative, wire the bus negative and stereo ground to the same negative. Jump negative battery 1 to negative battery 2 and rewire the both positive battery cables to the Perko with 2 ga battery wire. Sound right?

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REW

I had posted recently about some low voltage warnings and occasional hard start. Never had an issue until I had a shop do the stereo install. Anyways, just got to my boat and confirmed some suspicions I was picking my brain about. I'm now trying to back to square one in a sense. My main question is does the helm bus ground off one of the batteries? I traced wires this morning and found a clump of wires tucked into a rat nest behind the observers seat area. Looks to me like the installer took the main ground from the engine and ran it into a distributing block. Then took the bus negative and tied into the block. He also replaced the 2 ga negative battery grounds with 4 ga. I'm trying to figure out why he used the block in the first place. My thoughts are to dump the block, rewire the engine ground to one battery negative, wire the bus negative and stereo ground to the same negative. Jump negative battery 1 to negative battery 2 and rewire the both positive battery cables to the Perko with 2 ga battery wire. Sound right?

Is your "bus negative" your grounding bus at the helm?

The reason for grounding blocks or buses is to have a neat location to ground all accessories. You should have a ground bus under your helm for all accessories this should be grounded to a battery or engine block. Your stero should have a dedicated grounding bus or dedicated grounding wire to eliminate feedback possibilities.

My batteries are linked on the negitive side, so this sounds correct however I doNot have a perko sw just an isolator (200 amps IIRC).

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Zombie

Yep the positive and negative helm bus cables to go from the helm under the floor to the observers storage area where the batteries are. I went down to my local Interstate battery place and they made me two new 2 ga positive cables and a short negative jumper cable. I took the block out of the battery equation and reattached the engine ground and negative bus ground to one of the batteries. I'm back to where it should be.

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nuttyskier2002

Are you experiencing the low voltage issue only when the stereo is on or all the time? The bus or distribution block is not a bad thing. But as you add more circuits to it you need to increase the primary conductor size that goes from the block to the battery (or engine block what ever the case).

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Zombie

Its so intermittent it's hard to tell. Usually after running the boat a bit then restarting. I always run the stereo while sitting of a designated battery. Seeing how this was wired I can easily see the potential for issues. I think this will fix it because it never did it until the bozo touched my boat. It's back now the way it used to be so I'm optimistic.

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nuttyskier2002

I just re-read your original post. By hard starting do you mean slow cranking or just not firing off right away? Also.....did you go back with the 2 AWG cable vs the 4?

Edited by nuttyskier2002

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Zombie

Hard starting meaning sometimes it starts right away other times it cranks a bit. This may or may not address that issue but I do think it will resolve the low voltage problem. Yes it's all 2 ga now. Never had one issue with either starting or voltage until the stereo got rewired. The installer also didn't fuse each JL amp and used 4 ga to the block then 2 4 ga to the amps. I've since put in fuses at the amps and installed a relay with a bus bar for the turn on (4 devices). I'm going to just rerun 0 ga to a new block and add a third JL amp. Amp grounds will be 0 ga as well.

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