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Old 01-18-2015, 11:13 AM   #1
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More scary PO wiring

I was upgrading my dying Delco alternator to a new 105A unit this week when I noticed a large lump in what I thought was the original engine harness. Wrong again! One wire changed wire color 3 times in 4 feet. The real masterpiece was under a walnut sized ball of rescue tape. The bottom "splice" was a 3-way splice to the original wire. The homemade spade connector to the starter solenoid was loose. I can't believe the engine would even start. More work to do... See attached pics.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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Sadly, all too common. Even in house wiring. People will work on the electrical system themselves where a failure will cause a fire or maybe an electrocution death but if a tap leaks or a toilet stops up a plumber is called right away.
Seems like you might want to work your way through all the wiring looking for PO modifications. That is what I am doing on this boat.
I find things like yours and also things like- 14 inches of wire and 4 butt connectors.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:26 PM   #3
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Not to mention changing wire gauge 3 times.. 10 to 12 to 14... at least green wire wasn't used on the hot side..
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl34Mainship View Post
Not to mention changing wire gauge 3 times.. 10 to 12 to 14... at least green wire wasn't used on the hot side..
Oh but it was. The large terminal (solder only, no crimp) is the end of the B+ wire from the Alt to the starter sol + from the battery switch. The solder job tapped onto the harness orange +. There was melted insulation on some of the wire.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:58 AM   #5
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OUCH... I just rewired my aft bilge pump.. at least the PO used dark wires for hot side and light color for neg side.. cut/fix one wire at a time.. works OK now..
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:29 AM   #6
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I feel your pain! I'm tracing all the old wiring back and have found multiple butt connectors and even two crimped on round ends bolted together. Mostly it's old wiring that was cut at both ends and goes nowhere. So far nothing that would cause a fire (or anything that would turn the bilge pump on) but making progress.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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To me, it's a love-hate thing when finding those types of PO F-ups. I hate the fact that they were on my boat all this time and could have caused a huge problem. I love the idea that I found it and it's been rewired correctly by me.

It also makes me wonder how many other crappy splices are in the wire bundles under 3 layers of electrical tape!

Good job finding and fixing High Wire!
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:56 PM   #8
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Maybe our PO's went to the same electrician school.. sure - I was elated that I found the problem and fix it.. even bragged about it... You probably already know about liquid electrical tape.. I used that in the ends of the butt connectors, and it dried to the consistency/hardness of the butt connector itself.. better than heat shrink sealing I think.. no gaps..
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:34 PM   #9
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Yes this is one of the interesting and challenging things about previously owned boats. The electrical and plumbing systems and propping set up are common issues. Sometimes a good survey uncovers the issues sometimes not so. New boats are not totally immune and some weird things pop up.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:42 PM   #10
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I suspect many of these are repairs intended to be temporary, done under pressure to get going or keep going, which achieve that, and the proper fix just gets forgotten.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
To me, it's a love-hate thing when finding those types of PO F-ups. I hate the fact that they were on my boat all this time and could have caused a huge problem. I love the idea that I found it and it's been rewired correctly by me.

It also makes me wonder how many other crappy splices are in the wire bundles under 3 layers of electrical tape!
I always wonder the same thing. I've found and corrected a few things that were fairly bad, but I always wonder what else I haven't found YET? In addition to fixing things that were obviously wrong, I've added a lot of fuses that should have been in place.

Ken
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