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Old 01-20-2011, 05:21 AM   #21
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Which Battery Switch

"Anyway you can protect the switches with high amp fuses."

No P/F, fuses won't protect the switch. I hope you don't do your own electrical work.

Opening the switch under a heavy DC current flow will create an arc that can destroy the contacts and their mounts and can start a fire. The current doesn't increase above what it was when the switch was closed so your fuses won't do squat. Even though the condition is intentionally induced, it is a form of arc fault and can be very destructive.

Please please please stop giving advice about things that are beyond your area of knowledge. You consistently advise people to do things that are either dangerous or can lead to a dangerous condition.

-- Edited by RickB on Thursday 20th of January 2011 06:21:36 AM
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:06 AM   #22
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RE: Which Battery Switch

"No P/F, fuses won't protect the switch. I hope you don't do your own electrical work.

Opening the switch under a heavy DC current flow will create an arc that can
destroy the contacts and their mounts and can start a fire."

Fast acting DC rated fuses are designed to protect the entire system, including switches.* You can easily get proper DC block fuses up to 800 amps which will blow instantly when their rating is exceeded.* If the DC fuse is rated lower than the inrush or intermittent rating of the rotary switch the switch is protected and armaggedon avoided.* Here's the type I have:* http://www.amplepower.com/products/fuses/index.html

Rotary switches have stated amperage ratings, one for continuous and one for cranking or inrush current.* The 600 amp Blue Seas switch I use has a 10 second rating of 2,750 amps and is protected with a 500 amp block DC fuse.* Ample Power offers one designed as a starter disconnect with similar ratings and more compact design http://www.amplepower.com/products/switches/index.html.* Long before those switches have a problem, the fuse has blown or the wires have melted down.*

Good advice about not offering advice in areas "beyond your area of knowledge," but unless I'm missing something, what you said was correct Phil.

It still sounds Tom has a starter problem, so papering over it with switches and fuses (hatchets?) seems less direct than replacing the starter after making sure the starter switch is disconnecting properly, which you can check with a voltmeter on the solenoid while someone starts the motor.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:42 AM   #23
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RE: Which Battery Switch

"... but unless I'm missing something .."

Yes you are missing the fact that the current rating of the contacts on those inexpensive (even if they seem pricey) switches are not the current rating they can break or make. They are designed to operate under little or no current flow because they have sliding contacts and make or break very slowly compared to a solenoid. The first and last bit of contact is a tiny area and that is what starts the arc.

Even a start solenoid makes the contacts only under the load required to start spinning the armature. The heavy current occurs after the bendix engages and the cranking load starts, long after full contact area is made. The solenoid breaks the circuit after the bendix is spun off the ring gear and the starter is just spinning under no load, at minimum current and the entire contact area is separated nearly instantly. The fast acting nature of the solenoid allows the occasional failed start but even they weld themselves together sometimes.

A manually operated sliding switch does not provide the contact surface area of a solenoid at the instant of make or break so it is all but guaranteed to create a large and destructive arc when slowly switched by hand under load.

Neither of you seem to understand the difference between making and breaking a switch, particularly a DC switch conducting a heavy current, and the current carrying capacity of a static set of contacts.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #24
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Actually, I was thinking the other route to test it. By disconnecting the key switch and engaging it with a jumper, if the problem happens again, the key switch is not the issue. More than one way to skin a cat I suppose. Still, it WOULD be nice to be able to stop the motor from spinning should it happen again without the fireworks show of yanking the wires off the battery.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:02 AM   #25
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Which Battery Switch

All you need is a short piece of wire between the battery lead where it connects to the starter and the solenoid. Disconnect the solenoid supply coming down from the start switch (at the solenoid) then jump between the battery lead and that terminal. The engine should crank. If it keeps cranking after you remove the jumper then it has been confirmed that your solenoid is bad, not the starting switch circuit.

Many installations are such that a long heavy screwdriver or pair of pliers will serve as a very good test jumper.

There is another side to this that you have to determine. You mention a shower of sparks. If the starter remains engaged because of a stuck bendix it will spin up but the current draw will be fairly low since the engine is driving it, not the other way around. The starter may well be de-energised already. The sparks (which none of us have seen so can't evaluate) could just be coming from the normal DC loads and the dying gasps of runaway alternator voltage.* Depending on where you take starting/charging control *circuit power off the battery it is possible that the engine quits when you remove the battery lead because the run solenoid is de-energised. The bendix then retracts and you are set up for another entertaining round of electrical antics.

-- Edited by RickB on Thursday 20th of January 2011 11:13:53 AM
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #26
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Having a battery switch that can disconnect the battery in case of emergency is an excellent idea. I've had a starter hang up before.* I had 49 passengers aboard, and had no idea there was even a problem until one of them mentioned smoke coming out of the engine room.* Without a battery switch positioned OUTSIDE the engine room, there would have been no way to disconnect the starter without opening the engine room door, never a good idea when there is smoke indicating possible fire.*

On the other hand, using the switch to routinely disconnect the starter while trouble shooting may not be the best idea.* Doing so once or twice probably won't destroy the switch, but there are better ways to trouble shoot.** Also be aware that disconnecting the battery while the engine is running, runs the risk of blowing the diodes in the alternator unless there is a field disconect circuit on the switch.

My guess is that if you have pulled the small wire that energizes the solenoid, and the starter continues to spin, you've got a starter / bendix / solenoid problem.* Why not replace it?* I've seen new 6.354 starters on Ebay, as I remember for under $200.00.* I carry a spare, just because I have one from a core engine I bought to rebuild. My guess though, is that I'll never need it.

As for a battery switch, having one located OUTSIDE the engine room might some day be a life saver. Easyer to install is a remotely operated solinoid switch, I think Blue Seas offers a suitable one....................Arctic Traveller
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:25 AM   #27
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RE: Which Battery Switch

"Yes you are missing the fact that the current rating of the contacts on those inexpensive (even if they seem pricey) switches are not the current rating they can break or make"

Blue Seas HD-Series switches Agency Standards:* UL Listed - UL 1107 Electric Power Switch Meets UL 1500 and SAE J1171 external ignition protection requirements, meets American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) requirements for battery switches.

Stop digging Rick.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:37 AM   #28
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RE: Which Battery Switch

I have reread this thread from start to finish. I can't seem to determine if the bendix is the problem or the starter motor itself.

I had a similar problem with a starter that was giving me problems. Sometimes it just would not start unless I beat on it with a hammer and *jumped it with a screw driver. Other times the bendix would just keep spinning.

It turned out that the shaft in the armature* as it sets in the stator had developed a flat spot where the magnetic force would pull the shaft against the stator and bind it.**we are talking tolerances in the microns

Testing the starter didn't show this because it would only happen when the flat spot on the shaft aligned perfectly with the wear spot on the stator.*

It wasn't untill a new armature was installed in the starter moter was the problem solved.*I had that starter apart so many times I know it by heart.

SD
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:52 AM   #29
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RE: Which Battery Switch

I am pulling the starter tomorrow and bringing it home to goto a starter/alternator shop here in Raleigh. I already took it back to the guy that rebuilt it the first time. He bench tested it and said it was fine (and I trust him), but I feel like I need to get a second set of eyes on it. When I called the Raleigh shop, he was pretty sure it would be a rusty shaft. So we'll see next week if it helps.

Thanks for the insight SD.

I still would like to have a switch there somewhere, but I can't see that it wouldn't just toast the switch. And a blade switch doesn't seem very safe.

Tom-
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:05 PM   #30
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Tom,
Anytime I install a new/ rebuilt starter I keep the negative cable loose enough to remove until I go through a few start cycles. Just in case it were to "hang in" as your is doing. I don't remember you saying if this happens while cranking over and continues to hang in after the engine starts.
You have studs and wing nuts. Maybe you could leave the negative wingnut off, have someone else start your engine while you hold the negative cable "levered" against the post by lifting at an angle. That way you can be sure the problem is solved.
I also suggest that you check the voltages to your starter WHILE spinning over. I usually would check these with the engine starting disabled. I am always looking for 10.5 volts at the battery post on the starter. And the minimum "switch wire" voltage I look for is 9.5 volts. Phil, the extra solenoid you saw installed on your starter was a "step up" solenoid. It is a way to assure 9.5 volts or more to the switch wire. Instead of the switch wire voltage source tracking through the harness, key switch and neutral safety switch before energizing the pull in coil on the starter- the switch wire leaves the neutral safety switch and then triggers the step up relay. The step up relay then connects the battery post on the starter with the switch wire terminal on the starter. Instead of 20' of wiring and several voltage drop potential areas, it shortens the circuit to about a foot. Hope this makes sense- it might be easier to draw out
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:19 AM   #31
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Quote:
Forkliftt wrote:

Hope this makes sense-
Not even a little.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #32
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Steve thanks for the explanation.* I figured it was something like that as the there was a delay between pushing the start button and the time it took for the start to turn over. So it came back with the second external installed.* Now the starter turns over right away.****If either*the 671 or the gen set does not start in 5 seconds somthing is wrong.*
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:49 PM   #33
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Phil,
Glad to help. BTW- it's great to see you on the forum. The site has really taken off. It's great to see participation from so many parts of the country and so many parts of the world
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:59 PM   #34
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Which Battery Switch

A few little update:

I talked to the "new" starter guy today (not the guy that originally rebuilt it... a new guy). Apparently, the "stop lock" (?) that prevents over-extension of the bendix (?) was not replace when it was rebuild in New Bern. This, according to him, could easily be the source of my starter's hyperthyroidism. So he replaced that and slapped on a new soliniod. It all cost about $40

He has built us a new gear reduction starter that should give us a more powerful starter motor in a smaller package. We have been talking about having a spare for a while now, so we'll likely retire the old Delco down to the ranks of the backup unit and use the new one as the primary. Cost is about $200. (and like any good boater... replace the most expensive part first and work your way down to the cheap fixes)

Finally, Forkliftt sent me his phone number via Private Message and I called him today. He was a joy to speak with and gave me a few voltage tests to do before bringing the new starter online. Just as a quick checkup to make sure the rest of the system is good-ish to go. Thanks for your time!

I still plan on putting a switch between the battery's positive terminal and the starter. But it has been put on the back burner for the time being.

Of course, even the most awesome starter can't start an engine whose fuel system is spread out on the dining room floor...

Tom-



-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Tuesday 1st of February 2011 10:02:37 PM
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #35
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:

A few little update:

I talked to the "new" starter guy today (not the guy that originally rebuilt it... a new guy). Apparently, the "stop lock" (?) that prevents over-extension of the bendix (?) was not replace when it was rebuild in New Bern. This, according to him, could easily be the source of my starter's hyperthyroidism. So he replaced that and slapped on a new soliniod. It all cost about $40

He has built us a new gear reduction starter that should give us a more powerful starter motor in a smaller package. We have been talking about having a spare for a while now, so we'll likely retire the old Delco down to the ranks of the backup unit and use the new one as the primary. Cost is about $200. (and like any good boater... replace the most expensive part first and work your way down to the cheap fixes)

I still plan on putting a switch between the battery's positive terminal and the starter. But it has been put on the back burner for the time being.

Of course, even the most awesome starter can't start an engine whose fuel system is spread out on the dining room floor...

Tom-



-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Tuesday 1st of February 2011 10:02:37 PM
Tom,

I'm glad you got this sorted out but I think it was suggested several weeks ago by me and at least one other person to just get a new starter and be done with it.* All of the indicators pointed to a bad starter.* New, rebuilt or not.

On the same note I think you are wasting time, energy and money to put a switch in that may turn out to*be more of a problem than you want.* There are thousands of boats with starters*that do not have*such a*switch.* There is a reason for that, they are not needed.

Put the new starter in and enjoy you boat.

BTW the fuel system looks really neat. Good luck with that.*

How are you liking the drive down to the new marina?
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:01 PM   #36
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RE: Which Battery Switch

The drive time is the same... The distance is just a tad further... But I-40 is a pretty boring road thru Duplin and Pender counties. I mean, jeez... even a few billboards would be nice to break up the featureless view. ZZZzzzzzz.....___ Still, it's totally worth it so far. While it's too cold to boat (and while my fuel system is all over my dining room floor ) there is so much more interesting things to do in ILM that EWN. Yes, we miss the sense of family and community at NWCM, but once Spring breaks, we'll have more people at Joyner. Both residents and transients. And short of getting burglarized on New Year's Eve, we love the new place.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #37
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RE: Which Battery Switch

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:

The drive time is the same... The distance is just a tad further... But I-40 is a pretty boring road thru Duplin and Pender counties. I mean, jeez... even a few billboards would be nice to break up the featureless view. ZZZzzzzzz....._

Boring for sure.

Yes, we miss the sense of family and community at NWCM, but once Spring breaks, we'll have more people at Joyner. Both residents and transients. And short of getting burglarized on New Year's Eve, we love the new place.
There haven't been many at the creek for the past couple of months either.* Aside from the New Years party that group out on E & F hasn't been around.

Glad you are enjoying the new marina.* Maybe sometime this summer we will wonder down or we can meet at Wrightsville.
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