Need some help please.  After running for an hour I loose my electronics and my gen will shut off from what I believe to be to much heat in the engine compartment. I don't run fast but all vents are moving air. The boat is a 1970 42 commander with 427 Fords any ideas? Thanks

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Steven,

I do not think your problem is too much heat in the engine compartment but I do think your problem is heat related. I suspect that you have a loose connection in the DC circuit side of your boats wiring, probably a ground cable stud. As the heat builds from running and current flow, some connection is losing continuity and causing your problems.

Technically, your symptoms don't match up with how most of the 42 normally are wired. Do you know if your generator has a generator starter battery or does it use one of the other boat batteries? Which generator do you have?

When you say you loose your electronics, exactly what do you mean by that? Do the gauges on both engines continue to work or is it just one engine and or do the engines quit?

To help you troubleshoot this, we need more specifics and details.

thanks for the help, My gen is hooked up to a engine battery, I need to install new batteries this winter and add some. Loosing electronics, radar,chartploter, depthfinder, all shut down, all engine gauges work,gen is a Kohler 6k
 
steven young said:



Ronald Zick said:

Steven,

I do not think your problem is too much heat in the engine compartment but I do think your problem is heat related. I suspect that you have a loose connection in the DC circuit side of your boats wiring, probably a ground cable stud. As the heat builds from running and current flow, some connection is losing continuity and causing your problems.

Technically, your symptoms don't match up with how most of the 42 normally are wired. Do you know if your generator has a generator starter battery or does it use one of the other boat batteries? Which generator do you have?

When you say you loose your electronics, exactly what do you mean by that? Do the gauges on both engines continue to work or is it just one engine and or do the engines quit?

To help you troubleshoot this, we need more specifics and details.

That helps. How long does it take for the power to return?

Why I'm asking is that your electrical problems are on what would be considered auxiliary power circuits. The installer probably has either tapped into the DC bus or else added an new circuit. Either way they would have needed to add a fuse or circuit breaker for this new circuit. With what you have described as symptoms so far, I'm thinking that they added a single DC circuit to supply power for the generator and the associated electronics. This is probably being protected with an auto-reset circuit breaker. These do fatigue with age and use and will start to trip more easily (less than rated load). This will give symptoms like you are experiencing.

I'm going to assume that you do have a single circuit breaker at this point and attack your problem from that assumption. If this assumption is incorrect, then your problem will be a little bit more complicated to sort out.

Depending on the exact location of this breaker, it is also likely being exposed to engine room heat which would also exacerbate the problem. If this is your problem, replacing the defective breaker will fix the problem.

Another problem that is occurring that probably is not noticeable is that the total load on the circuit is too close to the rated capacity of the circuit breaker. Good electrical design would suggest that a breaker be sized at 150%-200% of the load. This is somewhat subjective depending on the type of load. For example a high inertia motor load needs a higher rated breaker than a purely resistive load and the wire sized accordingly. What I'm getting at is that you probably have to many fancy gadgets on a single circuit. The cure for this is to add more properly sized auxiliary circuits.

It sounds like you may have two separate issues, maybe three. First it sounds like there is a loose battery cable somewhere. When you're hooked up to the dock, the battery charger keeps the battery the electronics are wired to charged. As soon as you leave the dock the electronics begin to discharge the battery because one of the wires from the engine to the battery is loose corroded or both. For the battery to only last an hour seems very quick, but I don't know what else is running off it. You should get a few to six hours out of it.

Since you didn't say you had to reset any breakers (or maybe I missed it) I don't think you have a single circuit problem. 

As for the generator; 

Is the generator running for an hour before it stops or are you trying to start the generator and it will not stay running after the motors have been running. 

A more detailed description of the sequence of events would be more helpful in diagnosing your problem.

Billy K.

I have not reset any breakers, gen is running before it shuts down, engine gauges still working, 12v electronics shut down. I believe the batteries to be standard car batt., need to be replaced with new deep cycles.
 
Bill Kaiser said:

It sounds like you may have two separate issues, maybe three. First it sounds like there is a loose battery cable somewhere. When you're hooked up to the dock, the battery charger keeps the battery the electronics are wired to charged. As soon as you leave the dock the electronics begin to discharge the battery because one of the wires from the engine to the battery is loose corroded or both. For the battery to only last an hour seems very quick, but I don't know what else is running off it. You should get a few to six hours out of it.

Since you didn't say you had to reset any breakers (or maybe I missed it) I don't think you have a single circuit problem. 

As for the generator; 

Is the generator running for an hour before it stops or are you trying to start the generator and it will not stay running after the motors have been running. 

A more detailed description of the sequence of events would be more helpful in diagnosing your problem.

Billy K.

Is your genny a load required starter?  Mine is and this will drive you nuts if you aren't aware.  If so it needs 100Watts to start.  If your electronics load drains a battery that is not part of the genset load, or a load that is less than needed to pull in the genny circuit you would be what is technically labeled screwed.  This may not be the problem but it and the afore mentioned bad ground connections are the best easy conclusions.  Car batteries are not the best choice but...supply of 12VDC is okay and its method is not the problem at this point save facts not mentioned or determined.  Good Luck

Thanks for all the help, will be checking these things out next weekend , as I forget that there is a house to take care of also during boating season,again thanks
 
Timothy Miller said:

Is your genny a load required starter?  Mine is and this will drive you nuts if you aren't aware.  If so it needs 100Watts to start.  If your electronics load drains a battery that is not part of the genset load, or a load that is less than needed to pull in the genny circuit you would be what is technically labeled screwed.  This may not be the problem but it and the afore mentioned bad ground connections are the best easy conclusions.  Car batteries are not the best choice but...supply of 12VDC is okay and its method is not the problem at this point save facts not mentioned or determined.  Good Luck

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