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Old 08-31-2015, 01:55 PM   #1
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Problematic pods

I just wanted to forward along a little story of what a guy on our dock is going through. He has a relatively new Viking sportfish with Cummins QSM11s and the Mercury Marine Zeus Pod Drives. He has owned the boat for almost a year. The autopilot has never worked properly. It is something he has fought with Mercury and Cummins and Viking and the broker that sold it to him. They have not solved the problem. In fact is has gotten worse. The left engine will not even start now.

Left engine??? What has that got to do with the autopilot??? An excellent question and the reason for this post. The problem with pods and the new age control system is that every associated with the control of the boat is integrated and overlapping. If you or I had a problem with our A/P, worst case scenario, we rip it out and replace it. Can't do that here. They have had technicians from Mercury, Zeus, Viking, Cummins, the broker on it for months now and still no solution. The only solution is a buyback.

Anyway, not trying to bash any particular vendor up above. But it seems the Mercury control system(I forgot the proprietary name for it) is at fault but they don't know how to fix it. And also shows the complexity of these systems and if they do break, even the people that are supposed to know what's going on can't fix it. These are factory technicians that were flown in...not the average joe authorized local technician.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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I spent my career selling high-end data systems and later developing software systems. I learned early on that usual issues in a customer-ready system end up being "layer one," meaning physical systems or connections. Over the years I solved multiple mysterious problems by having a technician re-terminate each and every wiring connection.

I'll bet your friend's problem is a gremlin caused by a weak or corroded ground wire connection. The higher-level techs all assume the layer one has been checked and tested. If it were me I would unplug, clean and plug back in all connectors, unscrew, clean, and re-tighten all connections, look for chafed wires and water drips. In three or four hours I'll wager the problem vanishes.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:39 PM   #3
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I'll bet your friend's problem is a gremlin caused by a weak or corroded ground wire connection. The higher-level techs all assume the layer one has been checked and tested. If it were me I would unplug, clean and plug back in all connectors, unscrew, clean, and re-tighten all connections, look for chafed wires and water drips. In three or four hours I'll wager the problem vanishes.[/QUOTE]

That's exactly how a "gremlin" in my Garmin plotter/sonar/Radar was fixed after futzing around for over a year.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:41 PM   #4
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WOW, a Viking is a high end boat. This guy could have cost well over
$1,000,000.00.

I think I will keep my mechanically controlled diesels with straight drives boat.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #5
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A guy on my dock with Volvo IPS drives fought a starting problem for almost a month. The authorized Volvo dealer spent 10 hours at $100 an hour troubleshooting with no success. He brought in another mechanic who climbed on the boat, unplugged and replugged a loose connector and fixed the problem. The authorized dealer stood by their $1000.00 bill for troubleshooting.
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