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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Catalina > C27 > Ignition problem, stumped!
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Thread: Ignition problem, stumped! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-24-2013 05:17 PM
postwarcomet27
Ignition problem, stumped!

Got the engine cranking today. Blown 20amp inline fuse. Replaced it and engine turns over. But for some reason the blowers still aren't working properly. They did turn on, but when I went to turn them on again nothing happened. Could be the blower pull switch, it is old. Wires and connections looked good though.
07-23-2013 11:53 PM
erps
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

Quote:
Where would the the ignition panel fuse be located in the engine compartment?
It's my recollection that it came off the positive terminal on the starter and it was a little inline fuse. When I troubleshoot stuff like this, I use a jumper wire with alligator clips quite a bit to bypass wiring harnesses to help isolate the problem. Catalina had pretty good owner association websites, at least they did for the 34. They may have one for the 27 as well and if it's a common problem, you'll find a fix for it there.

International Catalina 27/270 Association
07-23-2013 07:48 PM
kd3pc
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

Quote:
Originally Posted by postwarcomet27 View Post
Where would the the ignition panel fuse be located in the engine compartment? Closer to the batteries, or closer to the panel? I left the boat for the day, so I can't look behind the panel and follow the wires. I will check it tomorrow to see if it's blown. Do the keys have to be turned "on" to have power to the blowers? I have a seperate pull knob switch for the blowers. It seems like this fuse could be the problem. Ammeter is working on the panel, so I know it's getting juice. Just could be sending that charge nowhere if the fuse is blown I guess.

Thanks everyone.
since it is a gas engine, you may start with the blower switch, you may have to have that switch ON, as an interlock to get ignition to come in. IF there is no blower activation, then NO ignition. Most gas engine boats I have worked on or used did not require the switch to be on, as that could cause problems in the presence of gas fumes/vapors. You want to run the blowers a few minutes PRIOR to an attempt to start the engine. IE, the blowers are powered at all times, just pull the switch, no key required.

What was your start sequence, begin to end, when there was only the charger providing power?

Fused links are usually fairly close to the battery, but are not easily identified, certainly a smaller gauge, perhaps what looks like a fat #10 or #12 wire.... A trouble light or a good voltmeter is going to be required to indicate whether power is present.
07-23-2013 05:51 PM
hellosailor
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

A voltmeter reads state of charge, an ammeter shows only if power is flowing, being produced or consumed. So if there's a voltmeter it is just showing that your battery has a charge on it. If there's an ammeter, different story.

Old boats usually didn't have a battery primary fuse, which would be located within a foot of the positive terminal generally. You'd have to follow the battery positive lead to see where the first fuse(s) have been installed. If nothing at all works, that's a good sign there's a blown fuse, or a primary wire has come loose, or corroded badly.
07-23-2013 05:21 PM
postwarcomet27
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

hellosailer, the only reason I don't think it's a starter solenoid, or wire going to the starter is because I can't even get the blowers to work. The only thing working on the ignition panel is the ammeter. Which was reading full charge.
07-23-2013 05:14 PM
postwarcomet27
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

Where would the the ignition panel fuse be located in the engine compartment? Closer to the batteries, or closer to the panel? I left the boat for the day, so I can't look behind the panel and follow the wires. I will check it tomorrow to see if it's blown. Do the keys have to be turned "on" to have power to the blowers? I have a seperate pull knob switch for the blowers. It seems like this fuse could be the problem. Ammeter is working on the panel, so I know it's getting juice. Just could be sending that charge nowhere if the fuse is blown I guess.

Thanks everyone.
07-23-2013 05:12 PM
hellosailor
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

Take any shop manual, for any car or gasoline boat. Check out the pages on diagnosing a starter problem, they're all pretty much the same.

When you hit the key and nothing happens, that usually means you are not getting power to the starter solenoid. If there's no "kerchunk" or "klunk" from the starter, there is no power getting to the starter solenoid. That usually means a loose or corroded wire, and you need to just run hands and eyes along the wiring to find that.

Yes, it could also be the ignition switch but again...any shop manual will give you the list of thing to check, in sequence. There's nothing that should be unique to the A4, or to a boat versus a car, for this one.
07-23-2013 05:00 PM
kd3pc
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

you are missing something major...interlock, battery switch in the wrong position, key switch, fuse or fuse link, etc.

if properly wired, you should have blowers and when you turn the key, at least a click of the solenoid.

Got to fix the "nothing" first, do be careful, since it is a gas engine, you don't want spark where it should not be.

If you are not comfortable trouble shooting, get a helper who is familiar with gas engines. They are a bit different than diesels.
07-23-2013 04:58 PM
imasaluki I reread your post. I think erps is steering you in the right direction.
07-23-2013 04:51 PM
erps
Re: Ignition problem, stumped!

A common problem with the Catalina 34 was a fuse located in the engine compartment that powered the instrument panel/starter switch. The fuse would blow and everything was dead at the instrument panel as a result. Put a 12 volt test light on the backside of your instrument panel to your ignition switch and see if you have juice.
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