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Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-29-2014, 2:36 PM Reply   
OK, try to stay with me on this one.
Also bear in mind my boat runs uncommonly well. It starts in one turn without pumping or anything first time every time. It is no different than starting a modern automobile. Its a Chevy with a Webber carb and Mercruiser ignition. 'nuff said.



I just put the boat in the water following a pretty large list of work to include:
Replaced flywheel to allow top mount starter.
Replaced steering cable on general principles.
Re -packed shaft log with the black stuff.
Finished and installed new rear seat and bolsters.
Installed a new stereo, amp and four speakers along with all related wiring, breakers and distribution blocks.
A decent list yes?
So the boat wont start. Huh? What gives? I had dry fired it before leaving the house and all was fine/ I had, of course also run it on the hose following the work and all was fine/ Now it wont start, cranks fine, good gas, no fire.

Hmmmm.. scratch head... Well, no sense clogging up the ramp, maybe its flooded or something right? So I drag it back up the ramp and try it again. Boom! lights right up and runs fine. Back in the water... nothing... back up the ramp and no problem....back in the water and nothing...Back up the ramp, starts right up. This time I just pull it out of the water a little and have my son hit the key. It fires right up so I back down and as soon as the bottom gets wet it dies.

Scratch head some more. Now Im thinking screw through wire etc etc so I unplug the harness and hot wire the bitch and go skiing and boarding for two hours because thats what rednecks do.
Well this morning I went back down with my Fluke and OHMed out the harness.

Tachometer feed dead short to ground on the boat side when wet, Open when dry.

So I figure I molested the harness inside the tube when romancing the new cable through. No biggie, 1 new wire coming up!
Not so fast.....
When I looked under the dash, this time with a flashlight and my reading glasses, (I'm 48 don't laugh.) I saw the impossible:
I had managed to get a loop of the gray tach wire inside the steering cable helm nut and tightened that sucker all the way down. How the F*&k did I do that? Probably not wearing my glasses.. LOL.
So remember I run in sea water which happens to be a very good conductor.
What was happening is that the tach wire which is the - side of the ignition coil was contacting the steering gear. When the boat got wet, enough of an electrical connection was made through the water between the rudder and propeller shaft to basically short the coil to ground and shut her down like an outboard.
Never would have happened in sweet water but you may have gotten a tingle off the wheel. The wire never quite severed and the tachometer kept working fine.
I never cease to amaze myself.
Jesus was a bare-footer.............
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-29-2014, 3:14 PM Reply   
The fourth time it started out of water I started looking for hidden cameras.
Thought for sure I was getting punked...
Old    D (tx_foilhead)      Join Date: Apr 2009       03-29-2014, 10:09 PM Reply   
Wow, for second there I though you were going to ask here for some troubleshooting advice.

Nice catch, I bet there's 3 people who can make sense of that.
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-30-2014, 6:27 AM Reply   
True enough my foiling friend but in the defense of youth my eyes glaze over on the audio threads.
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       03-30-2014, 7:35 AM Reply   
It's interesting that chemistry will sneak up and bite you...
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-30-2014, 10:10 AM Reply   
Funny story.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-30-2014, 10:47 AM Reply   
Oh wow. That's crazy. If you were going to ask for advice, I would have probably told you that a cat snuck on board in the off season, died in your boat, is now haunting it and still hates to get wet.
Old    Scott (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       03-30-2014, 12:51 PM Reply   
Great story, thanks for sharing. PS. You were on hidden camera. You really never did find the problem....

Just kidding...
Old    William Burell (williamburell)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-30-2014, 1:02 PM Reply   
I would have flipped out trying to figure that out. Well played. Reminds me of a problem I had a few years back. I had a loose connection in a deutsch connector for my LP fuel pump. Would run great on a hose (with doghouse open) forever. Every time after 5 min on the water the plug would heat up and go into limp mode. Chased the problem with new pumps, etc and after 2 weeks finally figured it out by removing the plug entirely. Sometimes weird crap happens in a boat.

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