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Old 12-16-2012
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Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

I have a 1976 S2 8.0 CC, on a trailer, that I am about to use as a live aboard for a couple months while I transition from UT to TX gulf (house hunting and all). The problem is, I took out the old diesel motor and have yet to replace it so, my electrical system is no longer grounded. I am cleaning up and replacing a lot of the wiring and was wondering the best option for this. It has a typical 30 AMP 120V shore power system that grounds to shore and a 2 battery bank that was grounded to the engine. I am not changing the wiring configurations that were factory installed, just updating wire, lights, and such. I would like to keep the batteries charged when plugged in to the shore and use them when day sailing around the harbor. I intend to put a motor back in eventually, unless I come to enjoy life sailing without it, but as evidence by a move donít have a lot of time and money on my hands now. So Iíll make due with an out an outboard for a while.

Any advise on an easy temp solution or am I over thinking this and should I just ground back to the batteries?

Note: DC system runs a fridge, water pump, 4 interior lights, radio, depth sounder, knot meter, and autopilot. Though I would only be running minimum systems for day sails and AC in port.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-16-2012
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Re: Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

You are saying you removed the eng, and the starter and ground leads are hanging loose in the eng room, right? Just tape them up, but NOT TOGETHER, it shouldn't be a problem? .02
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Re: Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
You are saying you removed the eng, and the starter and ground leads are hanging loose in the eng room, right? Just tape them up, but NOT TOGETHER, it shouldn't be a problem? .02
Yep removed it all including the engine wiring harness. Omly thig left is a grounding lead from the bar that i am inclined to just omit.

Last edited by Surfagoody; 12-16-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Re: Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

Can you remove the 'ground' lead, and maybe leave the 'bus bar', to ground anything else you might want? Just take, or tape, all the leftover leads that were for the eng out, I think you will be fine. Do you have a 'batt' charger for your shore power, to keep the batt's charged?
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Motor is out and now Iím confused on electrical grounding.

A lot of boats run a common ground point using a bolt on the engine block or engine mount. There's no telling where or how a PO wired on your boat, since there are so many ways to do it and all of them work.

Simplest & ssafest bet? Take all the ground wires, bolt 'em together firmly, and from there run a ground cable to the battery negative or to whatever ground bus you have that goes to the battery negative.

If there's literally a grounding busbar that was used for everything that was removed, and there's now nothing attached to that bar except the battery...Sure, you can remove it, as long as all the stuff that was attached to it has also been removed.

If you've got a prop and shaft that were only bonded through the grounding system and the engine connection, remember you can still take expensive galvanic damage to them if they are dosconnected and no longer bonded/protected, as well as any metal hull fittings. That may all have been tied into the ground system, or bonded separately.

And of course your shore power system should have a GFI or other safety device installed as close to the shore fitting as possible. You want to make Real Damn Sure the boat side of that is protected, not just rely on what is on the shore power post.
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