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mjb100798
04-05-2011, 05:37 PM
Ok, heres the deal, boat is a 97 ps 205 chevy 350 so i get on the boat to clean it and was going to start with the engine bay... so i lift up the doghouse and in 5 seconds smoke starts coming up from the altenator area, immediately i pull the battery cables off...i know should've been disconnected anyways but it was a blessing in disguise, would've probably found out on the lake this weekend...

back to the problem..so i dig into it to find that someone an incorrect gauge wire for a short section from the engine block circuit breaker to the altenator(first pic)

then i can see that the burnt wire runs all the way back to engine block circuit breaker and looks like its tied into a bundle of negeatives (second Pic)

My questions are these

Does anyone else maybe have the same setup as far as the bundle of negatives ( i know i need to replace the burnt one, should i go up a gauge?

Where should the wire that burned be connected to on the back of the altenator?

If I have left something out, feel free to let me know...

thanks, Jay

mjb100798
04-05-2011, 05:39 PM
sorry second pic is wrong, its this one....

Matt L.
04-06-2011, 12:31 AM
Can't help with the wire routing, but here is an old wiring post of mine:

This is an old post of mine for what I did a few years ago. My 1990 MC was wired with straight up copper automotive grade crap wire. After 20 years every connection was very corroded. I don't carry much H2O in the bilge at any time, and the wiring has never been wet, ever! I was only getting 7.5V to the coil causing the EI to fail. Replacing all of this wire with marine grade fine strand tinned copper was the best thing I've ever done to my boat! 2+ years on and every connection looks brand new!

www.genuinedealz.com is a great place to get boat wiring stuff. I just rewired my boat from the batts to the Distributor with their stuff. Less than half the price of Westmarine.com and great quality marine grade stuff. they ship quickly and it is free shipping. I bought the $29? hammer crimper it worked great. I also soldered everything and shrink wrapped with their self sealing shrink tubing. I used the milspec stuff on all battery connections. I also used Deoxit products to clean and Deoxit Gold liberally on all connections to hold off future corrosion issues. http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.188/.f

Good luck,

Matt

JimN
04-06-2011, 05:28 AM
Can't help with the wire routing, but here is an old wiring post of mine:

This is an old post of mine for what I did a few years ago. My 1990 MC was wired with straight up copper automotive grade crap wire. After 20 years every connection was very corroded. I don't carry much H2O in the bilge at any time, and the wiring has never been wet, ever! I was only getting 7.5V to the coil causing the EI to fail. Replacing all of this wire with marine grade fine strand tinned copper was the best thing I've ever done to my boat! 2+ years on and every connection looks brand new!

www.genuinedealz.com is a great place to get boat wiring stuff. I just rewired my boat from the batts to the Distributor with their stuff. Less than half the price of Westmarine.com and great quality marine grade stuff. they ship quickly and it is free shipping. I bought the $29? hammer crimper it worked great. I also soldered everything and shrink wrapped with their self sealing shrink tubing. I used the milspec stuff on all battery connections. I also used Deoxit products to clean and Deoxit Gold liberally on all connections to hold off future corrosion issues. http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.188/.f

Good luck,

Matt

So all of the cars and trucks that were manufactured since who knows when have "straight up copper automotive grade crap wire"? It's not the wire, it's the method of termination that matters. Hundreds of thousands of boats were wired the same way yours was and they're still running fine- usually, it corrodes because someone didn't leave the motor box open during winter and condensation ocurred.

JimN
04-06-2011, 05:29 AM
sorry second pic is wrong, its this one....

Who is the original owner? Those splices aren't from the factory.

mjb100798
04-06-2011, 08:11 AM
MattL, thanks looking online now to order what i need....

JimN, dont have a complete boat history...in your opinion what would be the best way to tie in those negative(at least thats what they look like)?

Thanks

Bouyhead
04-06-2011, 08:20 AM
MattL, thanks looking online now to order what i need....

JimN, dont have a complete boat history...in your opinion what would be the best way to tie in those negative(at least thats what they look like)?

Thanks

IIRC the negative wires should be soldered together w/ shrink wrap and the mouting point should be on one of the bell housing bolts behind the plastic cover that holds the main circuit breaker.

mjb100798
04-06-2011, 08:30 AM
mcantamessa, thanks, its hard to tell, but if you look where the four wires are crimped together there are two larger (10-12 gauge) one does go to the block and the other to circuit breaker bar i beleive...i just want to make sure when i resolder the wires that it's right...
Jay

Bouyhead
04-06-2011, 09:21 AM
Jay, reach out to Indmar,1 800 238 7112 and ask for customer service. They should be able to provide a wiring diagram. When I was having some engine issues they e mailed me the diagram for the EFI set up.
Good Luck.
Mike

JimN
04-06-2011, 09:39 AM
MattL, thanks looking online now to order what i need....

JimN, dont have a complete boat history...in your opinion what would be the best way to tie in those negative(at least thats what they look like)?

Thanks

You should see a long stud near the circuit breaker on the block and all of the ground wires are attached there. The way the wires were spliced may be OK if they were soldered but the gauge looks inadequate. Use a bare butt splice, crimped and soldered, with Heat N Seal shrink tubing. I wouldn't go any lighter than 10 ga from the splice to the block.

mjb100798
04-06-2011, 09:57 AM
JimN, thanks thats what i was gonna do, what about the ground from the altenator, what gauge should it be?

here's my thinking... the picture where the ground wires are crimped together, i'm going to butt splice the two big(10ga) back together and take the other two and run them back to the ground on the circuit breaker block? Does that sound like what you are recommending?

Thanks again for your help... I can always count on you guys for great advice...

Jay

mjb100798
04-06-2011, 10:15 AM
Can i use this instead? It's marine grade for 10/12 ga...

JimN
04-06-2011, 10:17 AM
JimN, thanks thats what i was gonna do, what about the ground from the altenator, what gauge should it be?

here's my thinking... the picture where the ground wires are crimped together, i'm going to butt splice the two big(10ga) back together and take the other two and run them back to the ground on the circuit breaker block? Does that sound like what you are recommending?

Thanks again for your help... I can always count on you guys for great advice...

Jay

You should have two wires going to the alternator and it should ground through the bracket and bolt. It should have a thin purple wire (18ga, doesn't carry much current) and an orange or red wire that goes to the main harness, which should still be wrapped neatly. If it's not wrapped neatly, someone got in and cannibalized it, possibly looking for a problem that didn't lie where they were looking.

If the two wires are 10ga, use 8 ga from the splice. You don't need to buy this stuff online- just go to a car audio shop and they should have scraps of wire. NAPA has in-line butt connectors that are crimped and heated to shrink and seal the connection.

JimN
04-06-2011, 10:18 AM
Can i use this instead? It's marine grade for 10/12 ga...

The grounding bolt won't fit through the hole. NAPA has the proper ring terminals, too.

Matt L.
04-07-2011, 12:07 AM
So all of the cars and trucks that were manufactured since who knows when have "straight up copper automotive grade crap wire"? It's not the wire, it's the method of termination that matters. Hundreds of thousands of boats were wired the same way yours was and they're still running fine- usually, it corrodes because someone didn't leave the motor box open during winter and condensation ocurred.

Compared to the tinned copper, fine strand, marine grade wiring, terminals, and self sealing mil-spec shrink tubing I used; the factory automotive grade wiring and terminals were just that, crap.

I agree the termination is usually the primary problem. However, I decided that since I was in there I was going to upgrade everthing at least 1 guage larger. On the battery cables I did Diesel's automatic switching dual battery relay set up with a blue sea cut off switch. I went from 2 guage to OO guage. I get battery voltage all the way to the coil with almost no drop.

My boat is in AZ and is stored bone dry every time. After 20 years any wiring is going to show some corrosion and an increase in resistance the further you get from the battery. My point was, that if you are going to go to the trouble of running new wire, use the best materials available. Besides that, the tinned copper, fine strand stuff is really easy to work with.

Later,

Matt

mjb100798
04-07-2011, 07:10 PM
You should have two wires going to the alternator and it should ground through the bracket and bolt. It should have a thin purple wire (18ga, doesn't carry much current) and an orange or red wire that goes to the main harness, which should still be wrapped neatly. If it's not wrapped neatly, someone got in and cannibalized it, possibly looking for a problem that didn't lie where they were looking.

If the two wires are 10ga, use 8 ga from the splice. You don't need to buy this stuff online- just go to a car audio shop and they should have scraps of wire. NAPA has in-line butt connectors that are crimped and heated to shrink and seal the connection.

JimN, how can i verify that it's supposed to ground through the bracket and not to connect on one of the post (see pic), i think the P.O. had run a ground from the alternator and connected it into that bundle of grounds in one of my earlier pics, does that sound correct to you? again thanks for your help...

JimN
04-07-2011, 10:06 PM
JimN, how can i verify that it's supposed to ground through the bracket and not to connect on one of the post (see pic), i think the P.O. had run a ground from the alternator and connected it into that bundle of grounds in one of my earlier pics, does that sound correct to you? again thanks for your help...

For starters, that's not the original alternator (no pun intended) and if it's mounted to the engine through the bracket, it's already grounded. Look at the condenser- it's attached to the case and it needs a good ground in order to be effective. The OEM alternator has a terminal marked 'EXC', which is the field exciter and the other terminal used should be marked 'Batt'. I would contact the rebuilder and get a schematic for the one you have.