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braindamage

Electrical problem

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braindamage
Posted (edited)

I put my ‘00 SSLXi in water April 24 and have only used 2 or 3 times since. I took it out for our first dinner cruise of the season last night. Fast there, 7mph idle back. Playing tunes, running lights, dash lights, heater pump, heater blower.

suddenly everything went black. Dead boat.   Nothing when turning key. Switched to backup battery. Dead. Cycled power a few times and it started. Turned on run lights and immediately black. Dead boat. It never started again. 

Had to be towed back by my friend’s MC. 😢

put on battery charger overnight. Today starts easy and everything works no problem. Checked voltage while running out of alternator and no matter what accessories were on it was a steady 13.25v using my voltmeter. Battery connections clean, tight, and free from oxidation.

2 yr old batteries. the only thing that can drain batt while sitting is Bluetooth for stereo. I’ve had that for a couple years so I doubt that is draining enough to be measurable.

ideas??

Edited by braindamage

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Eagleboy99

Load test the batteries.  A DVM is not enough to ascertain battery state.

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Bozboat

when you say “suddenly went black” do you mean the lights went off as in all accessories turned off or just the engine died?

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braindamage
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Bozboat said:

when you say “suddenly went black” do you mean the lights went off as in all accessories turned off or just the engine died?

Lights went off. Engine shut down. No beeps or sounds. Heater turned off. Stereo shut down. Everything dead

Edited by braindamage

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braindamage
Posted (edited)

Update: took her out last night. Bow light wasn’t working. Stern light works fine. Got up this morning to troubleshoot. Light works. Checked bulb and it’s got 0 ohms so it checks out. Both bow and stern light on same switch.

checked wiring: no obvious exposed wires or loose connections

confused.

Edited by braindamage

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Bozboat

I think you have two problems working together.

Double check the grounds?  Seems like it could be a bad ground connect between battery and the ground bar under the dash. 

Also, do you have the original style push in kill switch?  

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braindamage
15 minutes ago, Bozboat said:

I think you have two problems working together.

Double check the grounds?  Seems like it could be a bad ground connect between battery and the ground bar under the dash. 

Also, do you have the original style push in kill switch?  

Good call on the grounds. I did a visual and “wiggle” on the grounds, but will see if I can isolate the bow light and/or just tighten all. I’ll also see if the ground wire from batts is tight.

my kill switch was bypassed by the PO. There are no wires to or from the switch. No idea what they did or how they did it. 

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braindamage

Checked grounds at ground bar. All are tight. Impedance between battery ground and bar is 0.33 ohm, but am unsure if this is within “acceptable range”. I would think it would be 0.

battery voltage is 12.7 at both.

started engine: alternator output at battery terminals is 13.5v regardless of rpm or load. Not sure if this is normal.

irritating that my the alternator only charges the battery that is connected through the isolation switch. Not sure if that’s normal either.

bow light magically works again after taking apart to check bulb (which was fine)

my gearhead friend says it’s a bad alternator.  

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tvano

bow light could be something as simple as a tiny bit of corrosion.  add a touch of dielectric grease to that cheap connector when you re-assemble.

i'm betting your walk home failure is a marginal or intermittent at or near the fuses and ecm.

with engine run and a few accessories on, run your wiggle test in that ecm area to see if you can get it to die?

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braindamage
4 minutes ago, tvano said:

with engine run and a few accessories on, run your wiggle test in that ecm area to see if you can get it to die?

I’ll try this next.

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braindamage

batteries passed a load test.

@tvano I did the wiggle with the engine running and all works good

took the alternator to oreilly. Flunky took 20 mins to figure out what alternator I had and did the test. Fail. I wasn’t sure whether I should believe him and went to the auto parts store that has people that know things. They said that cuz it’s a marine alternator their test unit wouldn’t be accurate. We talked about the situation and their opinion is that alternator is good. Even though I wish it was as easy as just buying a $235 alternator, I think they are right.

im going to run it this weekend and periodically check the battery to see if it’s holding a charge. 

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tbullard

Wonder why a marine alternator would be any different from a standard? Spin the pulley and output DC power.

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Eagleboy99

Explosion protection is the answer (and your friend)  :) 

Spark screens that meet U.S. Coast Guard standards to eliminate the alternator as an ignition source

Double-insulation to eliminate electrical shock in wet conditions and prevent sparks

Dual fans and large heat sinks for self-cooling under high, continuous loads

Stainless steel bearings, corrosion-resistant metals and heavy-duty coatings

High output at low RPMs to match marine diesel engine operating conditions

Battery sensing regulators for high-efficiency battery charging and detection of battery cell failure.

Alternative to $$$ - https://www.dbelectrical.com/alternators/marine/indmar/

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tbullard

Yes,m I know all that I just meant for testing its should be the same and either outputs power when you spin the pulley or it doesn't.

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UWSkier

Everything going completely dead like that I wouldn't suspect alternator. Do you have a main fuse? Check that? Also the fuse on the ECM. 

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OLDGUY

May be you have a short in your battery switch or a loose connection.

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braindamage
1 hour ago, OLDGUY said:

May be you have a short in your battery switch or a loose connection.

This is an interesting idea. Any thoughts on how to check it?

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OLDGUY

I would check the cable going from the positive bus to the battery switch. It's like your losing all power at once.

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braindamage

I load tested the batteries. They are good.

On Saturday night while on sunset cruise I had my PP go crazy like it was an under voltage problem. I checked standing voltage the next morning and its at 12.04v

Sunday night I idled for about 20 mins and checked voltage and it read 10.4v on digital. The analog meter showed a bit lower. I sped up to 4000 rpm for about 1 minute and voltage went back up to 12.4v

idled with stereo and running lights on for about 5 mins and voltage decreased to 11.5.

is there a voltage regulator or do I have a bad alternator?

 

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justgary

Can you hear a distinct whir from the alternator that changes pitch with engine speed, but that whir didn't used to be noticeable?  If so, I would suspect that you have blown a diode in the rectifier in your alternator.  If you don't have the whir, I still suspect that you have a blown diode in the rectifier.

Take your alternator to a real starter and alternator shop.  They are hard to find these days, but they generally have oscilloscopes to watch the output and pinpoint the problem.  They would also have the diode plate to fix it.

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braindamage

@justgary no whir, but it seems the diagnosis is the same anyway😉

ill call around to see where I can get it tested.

I wonder if it’s worth trying to fix my alternator or if I should order a new one. 

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justgary
2 minutes ago, braindamage said:

@justgary no whir, but it seems the diagnosis is the same anyway😉

ill call around to see where I can get it tested.

I wonder if it’s worth trying to fix my alternator or if I should order a new one. 

If you have a handy electronics friend, put an oscilloscope on the alternator output and look at the output.  It's a lot of money to just buy a new one, especially based on a diagnosis made by some dude over the internet.

But realistically, a blown diode will lower the power output yet the alternator still puts out some power.  The problem is that it isn't full DC anymore.

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Eagleboy99
19 minutes ago, justgary said:

It's a lot of money to just buy a new one,

While I agree it is money wasted if it is a simple fix, but new ones - unless they are biggies - are pretty cheap.  You have to remove it to test it anyway. https://www.dbelectrical.com/alternators/marine/indmar/

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braindamage
Eagleboy99
5 minutes ago, braindamage said:

am I crazy

Nope.  They charge what they can charge.  And half the time one of the characters in the model/serial number is the only change.   These are not rocket engines. Caveat emptor (BTW, it is like some of the stuff here on the buy/sell - crazy prices so you should do your homework)

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