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Looking for Help - Loss of CAN signal - 2013 247


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I am looking for help.  Last weekend I experienced the "loss of CAN Signal" with some erratic behavior.  It was inconsistent, but affected seemingly all areas of the boat except ballast controls, audio, and aux switches.  Sometimes it would start immediately after the 4th digit of the code was entered, sometimes it would not start at all, sometimes it needed key start.  I tried to disable the 4 digit code and it started as soon as I hit the power button (Scary!)  Most times I need to hit the main power button to stop the engine.  Gauges all seem to freeze, showing no rpms, voltage, etc.  I do seem to see engine, air and water temp.  I have gone everywhere that I can find to check grounds, loose connections, etc.  I left the one year old batteries on a trickle charger all week. so I am pretty confident in them.  

Over the past few months I have seen some occasional issues flare up wit the depth finder.  For example, when I am floating in 20' of water, the depth might read 2' for a minute or 2 then revert back to a reasonable number.  Is there any easy way to isolate this from the system to identify if a bad transducer might be the issue?  When I trace the depth finer transducer wire form the depth finder, it disappears into a stringer before any connections... 

What other steps can I take?  I really don't want to haul this ting out of the water if I can avoid it and I am sure that anything but routine maintenance from dealer mobile crew is begging for a long and expensive process just to troubleshoot.

We have alot of summer left and I would really appreciate any advice / education that any of you can offer.  I am pretty sound mechanically, but I never have been good at all of that mysterious electrical stuff!

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This thing might be what makes me officially go crazy!  The boat is now starting on its own!  On occasion that it starts normally, with code and touchscreen, when I hit stop engine it shuts off for about 15 seconds and then the engine turns over on its own.  This seems to be repeatable.  I am able to “trick it” by putting it in gear during the 15 second “break” to prevent it from starting, but this is crazy!
about a 2 week wait to get it into the dealer for service,  They told me that running it won’t hurt anything, but I am really hesitant to go too far from the dock in this thing right now!

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So maybe a stupid question, but is there any type of diagnostic tool to troubleshoot this?  I can get it to the dealer in about 10 days, but that will likely put Labor Day Weekend on ice unless they fix it pretty quickly.

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All of the symptoms you describe are consistent with poor electrical connections.  Start at the battery(s) and remove, clean, and tighten every connection you see.  It doesn't matter if it is a screw lug or a pinned connector; clean it.  It doesn't matter if you think it's the problem or not; clean it.  I'm also a fan of using light spray oil or grease on each connection as well.

You might spend a few hours on your back under the helm, but you might also fix the problem.

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11 minutes ago, justgary said:

 I'm also a fan of using light spray oil or grease on each connection as well.

 

What kind of spray oil would you use? I assume the grease is dielectric grease.

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1 minute ago, drh said:

What kind of spray oil would you use? I assume the grease is dielectric grease.

Whatever I have around.  Anything from WD-40 to Power B'laster will do fine.  The idea is to get the connection clean and then keep oxygen away with something that will last a while.

All grease is dielectric, and generally not conductive unless you specifically buy it that way.  HP grease has clay in it to improve the pressure characteristics, so I wouldn't use it for this.  I either use the red (or blue) stuff that I use on my trailer axles or a spray can of grease for bigger jobs.  Of course, you can use grease specifically sold for electrical connections, but it might cost a bit more.  No-ox for aluminum wire might be a great choice, but I have never used it for the boat.

Sadly, it looks like LubriMatic discontinued their Corrosion Pro spray grease.  The standard is probably LPS-3 if you can find it.

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1 hour ago, justgary said:

Whatever I have around.  Anything from WD-40 to Power B'laster will do fine.  The idea is to get the connection clean and then keep oxygen away with something that will last a while.

All grease is dielectric, and generally not conductive unless you specifically buy it that way.  HP grease has clay in it to improve the pressure characteristics, so I wouldn't use it for this.  I either use the red (or blue) stuff that I use on my trailer axles or a spray can of grease for bigger jobs.  Of course, you can use grease specifically sold for electrical connections, but it might cost a bit more.  No-ox for aluminum wire might be a great choice, but I have never used it for the boat.

Sadly, it looks like LubriMatic discontinued their Corrosion Pro spray grease.  The standard is probably LPS-3 if you can find it.

Interesting. I've never considered using WD or PB for that purpose before. I have some WD-40 spray silicone that I might start using...or white lithium spray grease.

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Justgary - Thanks for weighing in.  I have hit all of the "Major" connections and will keep moving on to the the smaller ones.  I don't mind time on my back under the helm - I fit there much better than I do in the lockers next to the engine!  I think that I am going to get stuck in there every time that I shoe horn myself in there! 

Are you suggesting hitting things like the 18 pin Cannon plug (I think that is correct terminology) with WD-40 as well?

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46 minutes ago, amartin said:

Justgary - Thanks for weighing in.  I have hit all of the "Major" connections and will keep moving on to the the smaller ones.  I don't mind time on my back under the helm - I fit there much better than I do in the lockers next to the engine!  I think that I am going to get stuck in there every time that I shoe horn myself in there! 

Are you suggesting hitting things like the 18 pin Cannon plug (I think that is correct terminology) with WD-40 as well?

Yup.  And you can gently spread the male pins on the cannon plug to make sure they make good contact.

I'm also suggesting that you spray the entire engine with it as well (except the belts and pulleys).  Do it a few times a year.  I normally crank the engine to get it warm, then hose it with a garden hose, then crank it again immediately to dry it.  After that, I spray it with light oil.  I try to get under the oil pan and everything.

Heh heh heh, and you thought you didn't need to crawl into the lockers again!

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So I may be getting somewhere.  I started through all of the connections in the battery compartment and under the dash (that I could get to without too much disassembly.  Broke connections, brushed with a wire brush, sprayed with WD-40 and re-connected.  Not much noticeable difference.  I then moved back to the engine compartment and think that I may have found my culprit.  After breaking the 16 pin connector (I believe this is the CANNON plug), I brushed and coated with WD-40.  There was a bit of di-electric grease at one of the connector (see pic below).  After cleaning I re-assembled and boat started and ran normally.  After testing with various start / stop cycles, I backed out of the slip and lost the can signal (gauges froze, etc).  After a 5 minute cruise, it returned to normal  just as I pulled into the slip.   

I pulled the engine side CAN connector again.  I then went to gently "spread" the male pin to ensure that it is getting good contact.  The last pin on the top (in picture below) was "floppy", telling me that the its likely breaking / broken and making intermittent contact.  One thing about this connector - the male side is fully populated, but the female side is not - this port is connected to the red wire that "dead ends" in the second picture.   

Any idea what the purpose of the red wire is?  I am somewhat hesitant to try to source and re-wire this connector as it is hard to get to and screwing it up could be a pretty bad deal I imagine.

Cautiously optimistic that I can avoid pulling it out of the water and taking it to the dealer...

IMG_5924.jpg

IMG_5925.jpg

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Any pin without a wire crimped on it may flop around more than one with a wire.

Inspect the female side of that connector to make sure the sockets aren't pushed in or bent by someone trying to probe it by shoving a round meter probe into it.

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The loose male pin definitely has a wire routed to that pin.  As a matter of fact, the male side of the connector is fully populated I believe.  Any idea what the dead headed red wire on the opposite side of the connector is for?  It is a heavier gauge wire that the others and has the plastic piece shown above connected to the end of it.

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If you remove the purple pin socket retaining cover on the female side of the main engine plug you may find that the female pins are also worn or corroded.  The female pins have a small spring loaded connector in the center that contact the male pin on the other plug.  If that center connector on the female pins gets worn out it will not make good contact with the male pin.  I recommend replacing them.

Once the front pin retaining cover and the rear wire retainer are removed, there is a small plastic clip in the connector for each pin.  Gently move it with a pick or release tool and pull the pin and wire out the front of the connector.  New pins and crimping tools are available online.  If any of the plastic retainers are damaged then replace the connector housings or TPA retainers as needed.  These are the housing and include links to the pins.

https://www.delcity.net/store/GT-150/280-Female-Housing/p_915526.h_915532

https://www.delcity.net/store/GT-150/280-Male-Housing/p_915536.h_915542

https://www.delcity.net/catalogdetails?item=990174

 

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Appreciate all of the feedback and suggestions.  While I don't feel like I have "fixed" anything, the problem seems to have stopped occurring (knock on wood!).  I am pretty sure that the issue is in the 16 pin connector as described above, as I can create the problem by wiggling the connector with the boat running.  After all of my breaking connections, cleaning, inspecting, and troubleshooting, I put about 8 hours on the boat this weekend without any issues.

I think that I will go ahead and source the parts listed by CSLEAVER - thanks for that - as they are pretty cheap to have around just in case.  Having the fine motor skills to re-wire it without screwing something up may be a different story though - have then never heard of a service loop?

One more question so that I can refer to this thing correctly if I do eventually get it worked on by the dealer - Is the proper name of this connector the cannon plug?  It looks like it is part of the larger engine wiring harness.  Apologies for my ignorance on the electrical side of the boats!

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Yes, lots of people call that the cannon plig, or it is the 16 pin main engine harness to boat harness plug.  The dealer will probably know what you are talking about either way.  Let them know that the problem occurs when you wiggle it.

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  • 11 months later...

So this must be an annual thing for me as it reared it ugly head again yesterday.  I am kind of wondering if it has something to do with heat, as we had our first real "HOT' week of the summer tis past week, with another one coming up.  It hasn't yet gotten as "extreme" as last year when the boat was starting once the power button was pushed, but it is seemingly getting worse as I troubleshoot it.  A couple of observations that I have noticed:  1.  The loss of can signal error will pop up after the boat is turned on even if I don't start the engine.  2.  It seems to take longer to pop up after a power cycle via battery switch than a power cycle with the power button.  3.  the timing of how quickly it occurs can be anywhere from 5 second after start to 2 minutes after start.

I understand that the CAN system manages signals from all kinds of sources in the boat, including engine diagnostics.  Is there a way to tell from the Malivue diagnostics screen which signal may be causing the problem?  When in the diagnostic screen, I am getting values for all but a few items.  I am showing zeros for ballast, but I believe that is to be expected since all is empty.  I am hoping to be able to narrow down the search.

I have been breaking and cleaning connections for the past 5 or 6 hours with no luck.  The connector that I "fixed" a year ago is still of concern to me.  As with most things, once the problem went away I forgot to follow up and take a closer look at this connector.  I have opened it up and cleaned it several times this go around with no success.  I am still concerned about the loose pin on the make side,  but it is certainly no worse than it was a year ago.  I am also perplexed as to what this pin is even going to, as it deadheads into some type of plastic pressure compensator (see picture above).

Finally, any insight into running the boat this way.  Obviously I won't have use of wedge, ballast or gauges.  Do the engine sensors (oil pressure, temp, etc.) that would trigger an alarm work on a separate system.  I have no reason to work about any problem areas as of now, but don't wan tot turn an electrical issue into a new block either!  I was planning an oil change this weekend, but am putting that off as I am not comfortable without an oil pressure indicator for a few hours after change.

Thanks for any suggestions and at least for letting me vent!

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I would still recommend checking the female connections on the engine harness plugs and the crimp to the red and black CAN wires, if you haven't already.  There is an identical plug under the dash on the other side of the main harness you may want to check as well (see my earlier post).

This is what a worn female pin looks like, just on a slightly different connector.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9oc9lqzhulqgvzg/20210728_132335.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v57mz3hpj0ld9wh/20210728_131241.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uus6voq86310slq/20210728_132655.jpg?dl=0

 

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3 minutes ago, csleaver said:

I would still recommend checking the female connections on the engine harness plugs and the crimp to the red and black CAN wires, if you haven't already.  There is an identical plug under the dash on the other side of the main harness you may want to check as well (see my earlier post).

This is what a worn female pin looks like, just on a slightly different connector.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9oc9lqzhulqgvzg/20210728_132335.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v57mz3hpj0ld9wh/20210728_131241.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uus6voq86310slq/20210728_132655.jpg?dl=0

 

Thanks for the quick and good advice.  I have not doubt (well as close to none as possible!) that the issue is with the 16 way plug on the engine side of the boat.  Since I broke this thing apart so many times and was getting different responses each time, I kept at it.  After cleaning the best that I could I loaded it up with some dielectric grease and after a couple more cycles, I "fixed it".  The loose pin that I was worried about came out with the female side of the plug.  I put it back together, idled in the slip for a while then took it out on a shakedown.  All functions are working as intended and I felt good enough about it to take the kid out for a quick ski.  No performance or operational issues that I can find.

This really leads me to question what in the heck this thing is:

image.png.f7f4fe399f0bde00d99a39c1bc6b2182.png

Unless the male pin miraculously went back together perfectly and made contact, that circuit is broken and there is no longer any functionality there...

Electrical problems make me want to trade it in and buy new (with even more electronics!).  Even as the complexity increases in these boats from an electrical perspective, the technology and lessons learned have to increase reliability, right!:biggrin:

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A faulty connection or component on the CAN like at the depth transducer, paddlewheel, stereo module, viper, or MTC can prevent CAN communication.  Turn off the ignition power, unplug a component, turn the power back on and see if the CAN is connecting to the helm display.  A "wiggle test" can help narrow down a bad connection by physically shaking the wires near the connectors to see if get the loss of can warning when shaking a certain set of wires.

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It may be better to replace the connector housing and pins.  I put links to the parts in my previous post.  Take plenty of photos ahead of time so the connector gets put back together correctly.

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9 minutes ago, csleaver said:

It may be better to replace the connector housing and pins.  I put links to the parts in my previous post.  Take plenty of photos ahead of time so the connector gets put back together correctly.

I am under no illusion that I have actually fixed anything.  I just am not really confident that I can re-wire that connector in place.  I need to find a very small handed contortionist to be able to wire this thing!  I appreciate the links provided earlier and will likely source the components for if and when I do tackle this thing.  I am more inclined to wait until November (if it lasts that long) and let one of the fine young men at the dealership have all of this fun.

Any idea what functionality the deadheaded wire / plastic "Housing" has?  I can't believe that it is there for no reason...

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That single red wire connector is part of the boat main wiring harness, it is referred to as a dummy plug, and has no function according to the harness drawing or for anything that I am aware of.

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