View Full Version : Help needed
05-21-2007, 06:27 PM
Not the mastercraft (x-15) but our glastron 17 footer since new has continually drained batteries and about 20% of the time refused to start ,sometimes like now , dead even at the horn. The dealer has replaced controls/actuator as originally thought it was the neutral safety switch. Checked the wiring, many on site calls, replaced a batter, starter and some sort of pre-starter capaciter. But hasn't fixed it in 2 years +. Any suggestions? Could a bad alternator have a dead spot that would ocassionaly discharge? Or is it more likely to be in the key switch or fuse board ? (None of which is replaced yet) They get all types of different readings on the electrical lines dependant on the incident and god knows what. I like the hull and was hoping to keep it as my fishing/alone time boat. Can't sell it like this. Glastron/Grumund pay parts and labor but won't admit it is a lost cause. Dealer just wants me to go away. I have too many days stuck at the ramp or not being able to go when I want.... I always check before leaving home now! Help !!! Am hopeing the experience here will give me some additional clues.
05-21-2007, 06:31 PM
What type of motor do you have?
Have you ruled out accessories like a radio, CD player, lights, bilge pump, etc. draining your batteries?
05-21-2007, 06:48 PM
Not a dead spot, a bad bridge rectifier. It's a diode or diode pack that shorts, often from jump starting another boat or car/truck. If you have a digital multi-meter, connect a known good battery to only one cable, set the meter to Amps, install the test leads correctly for using it as an ammeter and measure the current. If you see more than 15mA - 50mA, you have a drain caused by a device that may be on, like a small light. 15mA is usually the memory circuit on a stereo. If you see 200mA - 350mA, it's a bad bridge and it'll need to be replaced (this can be done without a full rebuild but at this point, why bother?)
If you see something like 50mA, start removing fuses, one-at-a-time until you find the cause. If it's something that's wired hot all the time, use a relay that's triggered by the ignition switch to keep it from being a problem.
05-21-2007, 09:44 PM
The motor is a volvo penta 4 cylynder caburatored, stern drive. The radio is drawing a 1/2 of 1/10 of a amp. Some times the horn will work but the motor just will not turn over not even engage the starter. Can't bring myself to sell and pass it along. The biggest problem with this is is seems to come and go. I have had it not start, wait a few days after bringing it home on the trailer and it starts. But 2/3 rds of the time it just drains the battery within a week or a few days. At first I thought I was leaving something on but not now. Driving everyone nuts. Will check the diods on alternater. The latest suggestion is to put in a isolation switch (perko whatever) and shut it off at the end of the day. One day I drove it to the boat shop. He tested it seeming to get power but it wouldn't start. He opened some relay between the starter and the battery fideled and tested, said it might be the issue. Then magically it started about 5 minutes later when he was showing what he thought the problem was.
I would make sure every 12V + connection is perfect and every ground is perfect, too. Check at the ignition switch, battery cables, motor ground point, the boat plug, where the motor gets power from the boat, everything. Directly ask the people working on it if they have a strong background in electrical circuits and troubleshooting. If they used to work as a car stereo installer, there's more hope in finding the cause than if they're befuddled by simple electrical things. Nobody wants to admit being outsmarted by mechanical objects but electrical can be incredibly frustrating to someone who doesn't know exactly what they're looking for and what the readings should be.
What is the service history on this boat? When were the starter and alternator replaced, has it ever been swamped, does it get rained on/in repeatedly, does the cover breathe well, does the cover have a lot of leaks, etc? Just as importantly, what accessories were added to the boat and who installed them?
I have a cousin with a '94 ProStar in So Cal and her dealer had the hardest time getting it to crank reliably. I was out there in '98 for Christmas and found all sorts of problems that they had never touched. It's a matter of knowing what to look for and where to find it.