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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Setup: House bank of two 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series. Few years old, good shape. Boat has very low amp needs. Starter battery: 7 year old Napa Grp24 dual purpose, used to start a 22 hp Vetus Diesel. Batteries separated by a Blue Sea Charging Relay and Switch. Wiring is 4 years old 1/0. Appears clean and tight.

Symptoms: Starter slow, or intermittently does not engage. This has been going on for the last two seasons. Bit worse this year.

Tests: Start battery at 12.6 or 12.8 volts between posts. When cranking, voltage drops to low 10's, possibly high 9s. Combining house and starter batteries using the Blue Sea switch does not help. Having fully charged batteries does not help.

Where is the problem?

1. Battery? Starter battery at 7 years old certainly is on its last breath. However, I've had it load tested and they tell me it is still fine. And, combing batteries does not help. I believe house batteries to be fine, though I've not checked them recently. Symptoms persists with all batteries fresh off the charger in the spring.

2. Wiring setup? I've got a 150A Blue Sea BusBar for the various ground wires. The ground from the starter connects to this Busbar, with a separate wire to the negative stud on the battery. Could I be loosing voltage though the busbar? Better to connect starter ground directly to battery?

3. Poor Connections? I did this wiring myself, using good quality 1/0 wiring, and an Anchor Lug Crimper and a vice, with heat shrink over the joint. Do I simply have a loose/bad connection?

I'm aware that there are more indicative tests to help find wiring issues specific to which circuit, but in my situation they require longer leads on the multi-meter, and three people, which I don't have at the moment.

I'm thinking there's a connection issue, but I'd love to hear from the experts on this.

Preserved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 10s/9s were measured at the battery posts while cranking. I get 12.6+ under no load, then low 10s while starter in cranking. The thing is, when I take the battery to Napa they load test it and tell me the battery is fine. And, wouldn't combining the batteries (house and start) help if it were the start battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Common problem with wiring in older boats. Simplest solution is to install a relay. I finally bit the bullet and did that with my 26 year old boat. And I had new batteries! Get a relay from NAPA. Half hour job and the engine will start every time you push the button.
Rick,

I'm not sure I understand? Is this to address an engine control panel switch issue? In my boat, the engine control panel is about 12 to 15 years old, but all other wring is new?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Find Your black wire engine ground. Remove it from the engine, and clean it with sandpaper or put on a new lug and then screw it back onto the engine.
Thanks Tropicat. All wiring is shiny new clean. I don't think corrosion is an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you take a known good battery, and jump it directly to the starter with short fat jumper cables, that will tell you if the problem is internal to the starter, or out in your wiring.
This sounds like a good idea, thanks!
 
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