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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guys this might seem foolish to ask but Im going down to the boat tomorrow on my ongoing project...and time is of the essence...

one thing I havent tackled yet(on my projects) is my electrical system

this is whats left of my engine/electric room



last time around I was trying to test out my system and hooking up my battery and got no juice no matter what I did to my panel

I do get juice to the bus bars on each side of this pic...not seen though

my newb question is Im pretty sure the engine block(old palmer) was used as a common ground

so what would be the simplest way of getting a common ground now, going back to battery terminal? ground plate in bilge? what?

...at this point my main goal is to eliminate all ENGINE related wiring which is the big mess you see here...the panel has the old style breakers with fuses...

Im quite limited in boat eletrical systems...I can get my way around motorcyle looms and stuff but never have really tackled a full "rewire" job on any of my boats...

any and all help appreciated...

thanks
christian

ps. if it helps any I have no external grounding strap or copper plate, and none of my thruhulls are bonded

I do however have one aft keel bolt that has a wire to it...I do not know if it is a lightning ground or what...

my keel is iron...
 

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so what would be the simplest way of getting a common ground now, going back to battery terminal?

Yes.

Done.

Don't use anything else.

It always was your electrical ground which was then, itself, grounded to the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
awesome thats what I wanted to hear

first thing is first eliminate the engine harness crap...

thanks guys
 

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I want this as KISS as possible, if possible!
Christian, if you want KISS as possible and you don't mind having wires in the engine bay, to save yourself much effort and make it easier for someone if (when!) the engine goes back in, I'd suggest:

Instead of going all the way back to the battery terminal like Stu suggests, just mount a plain old bolt somewhere convenient close to where the original grounding point was for the engine and hook the old ground wire(s) up to that. Google "grounding post" and use one of those if you want to do it properly.

You can also then easily bond from there to the shaft log if you want and it will be clear to anyone looking at it later exactly how it's all connected...
 

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Second what Classic suggests... Wrap the old engine wiring up neatly and leave in place...If you want to get fancy use a negative bus bar instead of the simple bolt...

The trick to electrical work is to never let the magic smoke out...if you see smoke you can be pretty sure that something electrical is about to quit working...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Christian, if you want KISS as possible and you don't mind having wires in the engine bay, to save yourself much effort and make it easier for someone if (when!) the engine goes back in, I'd suggest:

Instead of going all the way back to the battery terminal like Stu suggests, just mount a plain old bolt somewhere convenient close to where the original grounding point was for the engine and hook the old ground wire(s) up to that. Google "grounding post" and use one of those if you want to do it properly.

You can also then easily bond from there to the shaft log if you want and it will be clear to anyone looking at it later exactly how it's all connected...
can you help me out here(I appreciate it)

so the engine block was the common ground...was that then grounded to something else?

Ill be honest I havent looked for a ground to hull scenario on this boat...I dont see one except for that 1 bolt in the aft bilge that does have a black wire running to it...

ill need to chase that to see if it does happen to be a "post"

its quite possible the reason I got no voltages at the panel was cause all the grounds were lose and not together tied to anything

Im not a fan of bonding to the sea if you will

I dont want my thruhulls and whatnot getting current through them and whatnot and I didnt want this thread to become a lightning or no lightning hit thread

im not in a marina so im not in hot water if you will but all my boats have never had bonded thruhulls and chainplates and such

thanks

illlook up grounding post:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Christian, if you want KISS as possible and you don't mind having wires in the engine bay, to save yourself much effort and make it easier for someone if (when!) the engine goes back in, I'd suggest:

Instead of going all the way back to the battery terminal like Stu suggests, just mount a plain old bolt somewhere convenient close to where the original grounding point was for the engine and hook the old ground wire(s) up to that. Google "grounding post" and use one of those if you want to do it properly.

You can also then easily bond from there to the shaft log if you want and it will be clear to anyone looking at it later exactly how it's all connected...
the part in bold...do I then have to ground that out to water? or is the post a sufficient amount...

by mount it basically that can be anywhere? bulkhead, hull, free standing?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Second what Classic suggests... Wrap the old engine wiring up neatly and leave in place...If you want to get fancy use a negative bus bar instead of the simple bolt...

The trick to electrical work is to never let the magic smoke out...if you see smoke you can be pretty sure that something electrical is about to quit working...
jajaja...now we are talking...

I already have both a positive and negative buss bar(its where others electrical are tied into)...but I need to find where the others "loose engine ones) tied into the engine....

I think thats what Im missiing

thanks guys
 

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Christian... the ground that you need is an electrical ground...as in a connection to the negative terminal of your battery...run a heavy battery cable to a bolt or bus bar and then connect the negative wire of everything that requires power to that...you aren't needing any such ground to the water or the rest of the world only to your battery...positive and negative...
 

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I agree. There are thousands of boats without inboard engines and they have no electrical connection except to the negative battery post.

Run from the battery negative to a bus and lead all your negatives to it.

Lightning and radio grounds are different and are not part of the electrical system.
 

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Your ground should be as close as you can come to one big piece of copper, from mast steep, to keel, batteries fused both neg and positive for lightning strikes probably wont help, but we try. All small electonices should have a seperate ground buss, more fuses. Fuses in the ground are catastrophy fuses so they are larger. What should be done to protect the system is a nightmare so the ground fuses are usually not used, they can be far more of a pain than protection.
 

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There is absolutely no reason to fuse grounds.

You are confusing the lightning ground with electrical grounds. Lightning ground from base of mast to keel bolt (or ground plate in ballast is internal with a heavy wire - I would use 2/0 in Christian's area - run as straight as possible. There should be no other connection to this.
 

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Miti floating grounds have always been a serious pain to me. If the ground isn't good enough as an iron keel should be a huge high voltage surge "can" migrate up into other systems. Fuses in the ground are a real pain but my parinoiah goes off the scale at the thought of lightning in a confined space.
 

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What AIC rating must a fuse have to work properly when hit by lightning?:)

I doubt a fuse that is blown (and maybe still passing current anyway) will hinder lightning from passing.
 

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Best way, and only "proper" way, would be to bolt everything up to the battery negative terminal.

Quickest simplest way? The odds are that everything was fitted with big ring terminals which were all put on one of the engine mounts (or a similar bolt) and joined there. And you could just put a nut and bolt through them all to connect it all quickly and quiet effectively. Sure, that leaves too much cable and might even give you a .2 volt drop that you don't need...but it would give you power in about thirty seconds without having to buy or fabricate anything. Wrap the exposed connection with insulating tape, and then relocate all the wires, put new terminals on them, etc. when and as you have time and can get fittings.
For "here and now so I can do the rest of my work quickly"....Yeah, that's probably all it needs if you just want to restore power.

If you DO have the time and materials to reroute everything to the battery terminal, obviously that's the better way to go. If you just want to kludge something solid till you replace the engine and change the wiring at that point...That'll work too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I agree. There are thousands of boats without inboard engines and they have no electrical connection except to the negative battery post.

Run from the battery negative to a bus and lead all your negatives to it.

Lightning and radio grounds are different and are not part of the electrical system.
I know... thats why I specifically stated I REMOVED MY ENGINE!

when we remove it Im positive(jaja) that we undid many negatives on the engine block

I guess ill try to find them again and tie them back to the battery negative

thanks:)
 
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