Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

The boat is new to me and when purchased the previous owner replaced ALL 4 house batteries (not the best but suspect we all would have done the same) and the engine/starter was assessed to be "good".

I'm having trouble starting the boat, the battery won't turn it over. Yet, I took the battery out, took it to Advance auto, they tested it under load and told me it was good. They charged it and said it was fine!? When all the batteries are checked with a digital multi-meter the house come back at 13.02 +/- .01 and the starter is at about 12.65, no better, water level(s) are good. The system charges off of a MasterVolt that has 3 LED type indicators to show you the state of the batteries and how full they are. With the multi-meter on the terminals of the charger it gives 13.02s for both circuits. In general the third lights to tell me that both banks are full (suspect).

When I splashed the boat and tried to leave for the first time (I had the boat on a pig-tail on the hard and was generally charging, or so I thought) the boat would not start, tried pulling forward the brand new house batteries (they are dual use starter/deep cycle; remember he went cheapest) but that didn't help. The yard brought out the little jumper/briefcase thing and it cranked over the diesel on the first turn of the key.


For whatever reason there are two Perkos on the boat when one would seem to handle this system. The lower one is wired directly to the starter. Contact to the starter is immaculate, cleaned the ground to the engine, checked multiple connecctions etc etc...am at a loss.

the 13V from the charger seems a bit low from what I read? Any thouhts?

F15E_WSO + 1
Deale Md, to Caribbean Oct 2012-Aug 2013
Boat Type Irwin 43 Mk III Center Cockpit--Sold it
Boat Yr, 1989
Boat Length 43'

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post #2 of 29 Old 09-02-2012
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

I would bet on connections or wire condition. If the voltage drops from 13.02 to 12.65 from charger to start battery battery something is wrong. Either connection(s), wire condition itself or wire gauge too small.

Is the wire from the charger to batteries direct?

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #3 of 29 Old 09-02-2012
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

A battery switch direct to starter?
Battery Good.....Starter good.
This leaves only connections.

0.3 voltage drop is probably due to line loss.

I would look at your perko switches for the connection issues.
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Thanks for the thoughts.

This mornings actions.

Put one of the new batteries for the starter and no change? Disconnected the cable from the "fusible link" (which is good or appears good) and skipped it and engine started?! OK that's good. But why does fusible link which has a good copper link visible and with the multimeter shows resistance of .04 kill my start sequence. Cleaned the link with a brass wire brush and all connections to the link and rewired correctly and it started. Really? where was the decay or corrosion in this connection? I couldn't see it.

OK, now I need to be sure that the new battery will start the boat after a 24 hr period of doing everything we've been doing for a week. So I put the "new" battery in the starter slot, the old battery into the house bank and try and start the engine again--no go! Dead again. OK, now I remove the old battery from the house bank and go with new battery in starter, 3 new batteries in bank and the old battery as ballast. Engine starts. Clearly the old battery MUST be bad when others tell me it is good? Thoughts?

Now it gets weirder; with engine running alternator is pushing 14.05 volts to starter battery. Good. NOTHING is going to the house; the house is sitting at 12.7ish and nothing is coming from the alternator to the house. We tried multiple configurations of the Perko(s); recall this has two for reasons unknown. Always careful to not go to off and fry the alternator.

Course of action; let the day progress normally and see if current configuration will start the boat tomorrow AM, doing everything like we have in the past week. If so more indications that the old battery is good for recycle. Next issue is why alternator (really the wiring) skips the house bank?
Any thoughts on how to track this?

The perko leaflet (it's just one small little paper) has some various wiring that does NOT apply to me but it does say that after sitting a LONG time cycling quickly and forcibly through the switches can prove helpful....anyone ever had success with that? But that wouldn't explain the no alternator charge to the house.

clear as mud? Same at this end.

F15E_WSO + 1
Deale Md, to Caribbean Oct 2012-Aug 2013
Boat Type Irwin 43 Mk III Center Cockpit--Sold it
Boat Yr, 1989
Boat Length 43'

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post #5 of 29 Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

F15EWSO - exactly what are the 'symptoms' of non-starting?

A. You push the starter button and ABSOLUTELY nothing is heard?
A1. you dont hear the starter solenoid go 'click'?

B. the Starter doesnt fully turn or turns 'slowly' and not enough to 'spin' the engine?

What's the engine? Model and year.
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Proper start up sequence engine/battery


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post #7 of 29 Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Did your crew chief ever say something like "All you fly boys better bring my airplane back in one piece!" ?

If the battery is good and the engine won't start, the diagnostics are always the same. Check battery, check wiring, check starter. One or more of those will be bad. If you get it to the point where the starter spins up the motor but it just doesn't fire up--then you've got engine problems. If it doesn't spin up:

Check battery, check wiring, check starter.

Quick check, carefully use jumper cables to directly connect the starter to the battery. If it spins up, you've got a wiring problem. Loose or corroded wiring usually. If it doesn't spin up--off the starter goes for a bench test.
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
F15EWSO - exactly what are the 'symptoms' of non-starting?

A. You push the starter button and ABSOLUTELY nothing is heard?
A1. you dont hear the starter solenoid go 'click'?

B. the Starter doesnt fully turn or turns 'slowly' and not enough to 'spin' the engine?

What's the engine? Model and year.
Rich,
it starts in an instant when provided with proper battery power. Its a 66Hp Yanmar Deisel; 1989. With the engine start battery it just goes "grrrr grrrr grrrr" but does not turn over. I think your "B" above captures it.

F15E_WSO + 1
Deale Md, to Caribbean Oct 2012-Aug 2013
Boat Type Irwin 43 Mk III Center Cockpit--Sold it
Boat Yr, 1989
Boat Length 43'

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Re: Enging/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Did your crew chief ever say something like "All you fly boys better bring my airplane back in one piece!" ?

If the battery is good and the engine won't start, the diagnostics are always the same. Check battery, check wiring, check starter. One or more of those will be bad. If you get it to the point where the starter spins up the motor but it just doesn't fire up--then you've got engine problems. If it doesn't spin up:

Check battery, check wiring, check starter.

Quick check, carefully use jumper cables to directly connect the starter to the battery. If it spins up, you've got a wiring problem. Loose or corroded wiring usually. If it doesn't spin up--off the starter goes for a bench test.
I've done the "quick check" and it started right up. I've eliminated some issues, cleaned up a bit of the connections though they looked really clean. I'm just working through the system hoping to stumble across it. I do NOT think the alternator was sending voltage to the house? I think something is draining the starter battery during normal day to day use and the trickle charger can't keep up the charge--hence the no start from the engine battery. The condition of the wiring et al seems pretty good, I just think a mistake was made in the setup and am trying to find it. For example with the engine running why no alternator voltage to the house? That's totally contrary to most setups

F15E_WSO + 1
Deale Md, to Caribbean Oct 2012-Aug 2013
Boat Type Irwin 43 Mk III Center Cockpit--Sold it
Boat Yr, 1989
Boat Length 43'

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post #10 of 29 Old 09-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Engine/starter battery pretends to be good but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Did your crew chief ever say something like "All you fly boys better bring my airplane back in one piece!" ?

If the battery is good and the engine won't start, the diagnostics are always the same. Check battery, check wiring, check starter. One or more of those will be bad. If you get it to the point where the starter spins up the motor but it just doesn't fire up--then you've got engine problems. If it doesn't spin up:

Check battery, check wiring, check starter.

Quick check, carefully use jumper cables to directly connect the starter to the battery. If it spins up, you've got a wiring problem. Loose or corroded wiring usually. If it doesn't spin up--off the starter goes for a bench test.
I've done the "quick check" and it started right up. I've eliminated some issues, cleaned up a bit of the connections though they looked really clean. I'm just working through the system hoping to stumble across it. I do NOT think the alternator was sending voltage to the house? I think something is draining the starter battery during normal day to day use and the trickle charger can't keep up the charge--hence the no start from the engine battery. The condition of the wiring et al seems pretty good, I just think a mistake was made in the setup and am trying to find it. For example with the engine running why no alternator voltage to the house? That's totally contrary to most setups

F15E_WSO + 1
Deale Md, to Caribbean Oct 2012-Aug 2013
Boat Type Irwin 43 Mk III Center Cockpit--Sold it
Boat Yr, 1989
Boat Length 43'

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