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Old 02-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #21
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What makes you so certain it's not the battery cables? And how about the connections? How about the negative cable attached to the engine?
*sigh* You guys REALLY need to pay closer attention. I spent all last winter fixing up my DC system.

Winter Project I: Charging System Upgrade

The night before was in the 20's.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #22
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Any time you do anything new you always have to go over it a couple of times Just to be sure it is as intended. A connection could have vibrated loose. A little corrosion. anything. Most electrical problems are usually due to the ground wire.

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Old 02-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #23
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The FL120 does not have glow plugs or any sort of intake air pre-heat system on it. Our Onan generator, on the other hand, has both. Its start battery is a 4D. Even on the coldest of days that we've been out (rarely below 32 degrees, however), the generator always fires up nice and smooth after a minute of pre-heat (one minute is the limit on pre-heat time).

There have been a couple of instances in years past when we've been out on cold Christmas or New Year's cruises and have started the generator in the morning to power a heater in the engine room to get its temperature up before starting the Lehmans.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #24
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There have been a couple of instances in years past when we've been out on cold Christmas or New Year's cruises and have started the generator in the morning to power a heater in the engine room to get its temperature up before starting the Lehmans.
If that makes you feel good there's no harm in exercising your generator but its unlikely to have much impact on those old Lehman blocks. Next time you do this take your infrared thermometer (you do have one I hope - Marilyn likes to use mine for bread making - but I digress). Shoot the ouboard side of each engine before and after you warm up the engine room air.

Back to the OP, one big impact on startability is oil viscosity. If you happen to be running 40W that could explain hard starts around 20F. If it isn't oil then I'd take that same IR thermometer and shoot every connection between the batteries and the starter after a cranking episode. I know you just rewired it but s*** happens. Like Ron said, its your money, go ahead and throw parts at it if you want but that's an expensive way to solve a problem.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:50 PM   #25
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*sigh* You guys REALLY need to pay closer attention. I spent all last winter fixing up my DC system.

Winter Project I: Charging System Upgrade

The night before was in the 20's.
And how am I supposed to know this?

But even if you spent all last winter fixing up your DC system, how do we know it was done correctly and how do we know nothing has happened to it since last winter?

I assume you started this thread because you wanted help with your problem. I'm just trying to help. If you don't want my help, just say so.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #26
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #27
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If that makes you feel good there's no harm in exercising your generator but its unlikely to have much impact on those old Lehman blocks. .
We're not trying to heat up the blocks although after an hour of heating the engine room they are no longer cold to the touch. We want to warm up the air and the fuel in the lines that are going to go into the engines on startup.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #28
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But even if you spent all last winter fixing up your DC system, how do we know it was done correctly and how do we know nothing has happened to it since last winter?
Why, because I used TINNED wire, of course!
(Sorry, I figured you were in on at least one of the threads I had going about it.)
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Why, because I used TINNED wire, of course!
(Sorry, I figured you were in on at least one of the threads I had going about it.)
You screwed up big time unless you had a pro do it ....or had one lecturing over your shoulder anbout ABYC recommendations with the grand finale of having a surveyor report to the insurance company how your boat is better and safer than everyone elses....
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #30
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You screwed up big time unless you had a pro do it ....or had one lecturing over your shoulder anbout ABYC recommendations with the grand finale of having a surveyor report to the insurance company how your boat is better and safer than everyone elses....
OH DAMMIT!!! I guess I will just rip it all out.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:13 AM   #31
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Wow, Sure is purty.
I would like to ask. have you had any voltage drop from your main buss to the batteries?

The wire I used is for the artic it is blue and flexible at extreme low temperature. It has very small stranded wire and i find less of avoltage drop than standard wire. Depending on how long the run was
Trouble shooting electrical is never easy. I see lots of connections that I would check first. before I worried about anything else.
The way you have it set up should make checking things out a snap.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:27 AM   #32
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Why, because I used TINNED wire, of course!
(Sorry, I figured you were in on at least one of the threads I had going about it.)
I probably was, but with all that I put into my brain, I have to delete things from time to time so I probably deleted your rewiring post.

As for trying to help, my entire career involved finding out why things didn't work and making them so they did. I learned to troubleshoot and I learned to think about what could cause them not to work before jumping in and making assumptions.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #33
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A Diesel engine ignites the fuel on the compression stroke by the heat in the compressed air.

The cold (50 isn't cold) block will absorb more of the heat of compression , a cold battery has far less power than a warm one so the cranking speed may be lower.

Additionally the summer oil is thick , and the unused engine has little oil left on surfaces to assist crank speeds.

For many engines there IS a minimum crank speed to start.

Sure a block heater is a fantastic cure, if operating, but there are other techniques.

First in the cold ONLY (cold is below 32F on most diesels) a single shot of ether will do the task, as the ether firing will help heat the cylinder to fire diesel.

Ether as an alternate fuel in the cold poses no danger on a non auto sourced engine.

Not for a VW , or Yannmar Toyota, BMW marinization.

The basic start technique is fior those folks that still have those 8D batteries specified by the engine converter.

Crank for 15 to 30 seconds (look in Da Book) , stop and allow the starter to cool about 30 to 60 seconds, do it again , usually 3rd time there will be the start as the cylinder will be warmed from the compression strokes and some oil put out on the cylinders .

The start will be with MASSIVE amounts of smoke , as the engine will be injecting fuel during the crank periods.

You could say its great for killing mosquitos , but there seldom a hassle at 32F.

Below 0F usually only the alternate fuel ETHER , will get the start.

Those old heavy 8D were specified for a reason , not needed in South Fl, but a great help where 32F or below is not uncommon.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:00 AM   #34
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The use of ether is what blew the rings out of my genset and cost me a $1500 rebuild. So I am understandably timid over the use of ether.

Sounds to me like I may have a few other things to check. Although, most I have checked already.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:12 AM   #35
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The use of ether is what blew the rings out of my genset and cost me a $1500 rebuild. So I am understandably timid over the use of ether.

As noted Ether is for bigger diesels than in most gen sets.

Usually ether causes destruction as folks use it in warm times to attempt to get an engine started and suck fuel from the tank, and fill the injection pump, rather than bleeding the fuel system properly.

Were you using a SHOT of ether below freezing , when the rings cracked?
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #36
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The use of ether is what blew the rings out of my genset and cost me a $1500 rebuild. So I am understandably timid over the use of ether.

Sounds to me like I may have a few other things to check. Although, most I have checked already.
You shouldn't have to use ether to start your engine. I'm assuming that at some point in the past it would start fine when cold so something has changed. Find what has change, correct it, and you're back in business.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:20 AM   #37
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We have 4D batteries starting and house, Our lehman 120 starts right up at 50 degrees same as 75.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:54 AM   #38
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It wasn't cold. The temps were in the 50's by noon. The engine room was in the 50's at least if not warmer all night. It may have gotten to 29* for two minutes at night but the water temp is still high at out marina.

NS hit on it. What oil weight is in the engine? Your battery may be a little light for 30 wt oil in 50* temps. 4 D is probably enough.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #39
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My Perk has always been hard to start, warm or cold. Always takes 10 to 15 seconds to get her to fire. Low compression perhaps?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #40
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My Volvo starts within one second of turning the key.
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