Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-17-2017 Thread Starter
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Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

This season I'm updating my shore power (added a SmartPlug, ELCI, and galvanic isolator) and much of the DC system. The AC side is nearly finished without too much trauma. However, now I've moved on to the DC side and today I discovered one MAJOR issue and a minor issue.

The major issue is shown in the third photo. I removed the negative cables that are attached to the engine to find that the bolt that was originally threaded into the frame of the Yanmar, was nearly completely stripped. It appeared tight, but only a light turn with the wench revealed that it was barely holding the negative cable to the engine. Not to mention all the corrosion and gunk on the metal frame. I'm interpreting this as having dodged a potential bullet. My guess is that this would have eventually failed, maybe even this season and upon failure, could have caused significant damage.

Any suggestions on how best to remedy this problem? What I'm thinking about doing is to clean off all the corrosion and then through bolt the cables (with a lock washer of course) rather than try to drill it out and cut new threads in the casting. Does that sound reasonable?

The minor issue is shown in the other two photos. I'm guessing here, but this doesn't look like the proper way to connect the two smaller wires. I don't know whether this is acceptable under current or past ABYC. Can anyone tell me? My current plan is that the smaller wires will be attached using their own lug.

I guess the moral of the story is that no matter how good the survey (and I believe that my surveyor did a very good job), there are always unseen issues, sometimes very big issues. I'm very glad that I've been slowly going through all the systems, not only to familiarize myself with them, but to correct any inadequacies.
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-18-2017
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

Yes, even a good surveyor will not catch everything. The stripped ground bolt on the engine is a good example as it looks fine. However the small wires taped to the battery cable should have been picked up. If there's only a couple smaller wires, just put lugs on them. If more, then you need a bus.

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post #3 of 35 Old 04-18-2017
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

Through bolting with locking washer sounds very practical. I would also coat that bolt with battery terminal gel to prevent corrosion and maintain good contact.

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post #4 of 35 Old 04-18-2017
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

Hey,

Seems like you have things under control.

As you wrote, the surveyor can't find everything. For a prepurchase inspection any testing must be non-desctuctive or visual in nature only. Imagine if the surveyor put a wrench on the ground bolt and it broke? Now I think YOU could be liable for the repair. Same thing with sounding the hull or rudder. Tapping with a mallet is OK, drilling holes is not.

Good luck,
Barry
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-18-2017
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

It looks to me like the two smaller wires are crimped under properly in automotive I would be happy with that,possibly some shrink tubing or shrink tape to seal it...connectors crimped on and put under the bolt (although easier to take apart seperatly if necessary)is just more problem connections under the ground bolt,....I would tap it out,put a proper bolt in ,but also put a lock nut behind...after cleaning well and coating with terminal gel as Krisscross said......Ralph

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post #6 of 35 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

I think I would set up a nice ground bus bar. You can have a single wire going from the ground point on the engine, and take the other grounds from there. Make sure you have several unused posts so you can add things later without having to stack. It will tidy that up quite a bit. You should be able to use a through bolt and lock washer. Do things right, so it is easier to do PD work in the future.

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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

Sometimes, in some sizes, you can tap an sae one size up to metric without too much work....same thing going the other way.
And you can also find a different ground on the engine....
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

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Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Yes, even a good surveyor will not catch everything. The stripped ground bolt on the engine is a good example as it looks fine. However the small wires taped to the battery cable should have been picked up. If there's only a couple smaller wires, just put lugs on them. If more, then you need a bus.
Not as a apologist for the surveyor, however, that wire is on the back of an old Perko two battery switch and is otherwise not visible. So my guess is that removing a battery switch is beyond the scope of a survey. My guess is that it was probably done at the factory, but I don't know that for sure.
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

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Through bolting with locking washer sounds very practical. I would also coat that bolt with battery terminal gel to prevent corrosion and maintain good contact.
Thanks, I think that's the route that I'm going to go for now. I plan to clean up the corrosion and I already have some NO-OX-ID.
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Re: Even with a good survey, there are many unseen horrors

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Originally Posted by Towguy View Post
It looks to me like the two smaller wires are crimped under properly in automotive I would be happy with that,possibly some shrink tubing or shrink tape to seal it...connectors crimped on and put under the bolt (although easier to take apart seperatly if necessary)is just more problem connections under the ground bolt,....I would tap it out,put a proper bolt in ,but also put a lock nut behind...after cleaning well and coating with terminal gel as Krisscross said......Ralph
I had already cut away the heat shrink before taking the photo.
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