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 One battery losing voltage
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2017 :  13:59:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got some electrical issues with my 22, hoping to tap some more experienced minds to help me sort out what is happening and how best to proceed. I'll try and cut to the chase on what the problems are, maybe glossing over a lot of trial and error I went through to isolate a lot of different issues (trouble starting, electronics dropping voltage, etc.)

Current situation: 2 new batteries, between them running a (older but new to the boat) 200hp Merc Verado. Guy set up the motor said to run (through the ubiquitious Perko - Off > 1 > All > 2) in the ALL position...
But boat will not reliably start on ALL, especially if it has been sitting long. Same with position 1. But it will always start on 2. If its been running in the previous day it will start on ALL or sometimes even just 1.

So both batteries independantly "can" start the motor. 2 is probably supposed to be the starter batt, 1 the house batt, correct?
The engine fires right up from 2, runs great, and all electronics and accessory switched items (bilge, running lights etc.) function flawlessly as far as I can tell. And I can switch to ALL without interruption, again all systems GO. But isn't switching while the motor is running bad for the batteries in dissimilar states of charge?

Now what I don't get, is why my ALL doesn't work. It seems batt 1 is draining and I'm getting voltage drop across the two batts as a result. Merc doesn't like that and ECM wone let it crank, I get that part. But I can't for the life of me figure out where the drop is coming from. Verified its not from bilge pumps, radio or GPS running. And other than those and engine and gauges (sensors, etc.) nothing else is powered (boat is old, there are little to no accesory electronics anyway). SO why does the battery drain, sometimes as fast as over night? A short? Ground issue? I'd think yes, but there is a master On/Off switch in front of the Perko, so every time the motor is off, that goes to off which should kill the whole circuit, yes?

Any thoughts on what I should be looking for and how to go about finding it? Sorry if my explaination or thoughts seem scattared. Please ask, I'll try my best to clarify anything. Truth is I don't know much about what I'm doing here, trying my best to educate myself and get this set up and operating the correct way.

Thank you!

1971 Mako 22

Justin
Fortune Favors the Bold

USA
4354 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2017 :  14:30:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Battery 1 is bringing battery 2 down when you have it on ALL and are cranking.

Battery 1 is likely bad -- replace it.

ROGUE I
1978 235 CC
Newburyport, MA
ROGUE II

1987 17' Montauk
Camden, ME
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radioman
Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2017 :  18:37:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What are the types of batteries you are using? - marine cranking batteries? - Deep cycle?
From my experience, Mercs like a lot of cranking current.
My Opti complains if I accidentally try to start it on the house battery...but it usually does start.

You should have a good group 27 or 31 cranking battery to turn you Merc.

Glen Campbell, Pa.
Mako 211 w/175 Optimax
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ssfishx
Pitt Master

3769 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2017 :  21:22:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the batteries are both rated to crank the motor you either have a draw on batt 1 while the switch is off or the batt is bad. unhook the questionable batt and charge it fully, let sit for a couple days disconnected and see what the voltage reads. if that's ok then you need to isolate the circuits on batt 1 one at a time to find draw. it can be a real eye opener what can draw a battery down in a very short time.

connecting the batteries at dissimilar states of charge while the motor is running is hard on the charging system of the motor. if the switch isn't a make before break it can cook the voltage regulator. most 4 strokes have actual alternators that are not as sensitive to this as the stator based charging systems on the two strokes.


76 25 "Aenigma"
73 17
Richland/Long Beach, MS

http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14182



17 project
http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=56176

Edited by - ssfishx on 03/10/2017 21:33:52
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2017 :  12:31:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Both batteries are identical, less than 6 months old, purchased and installed at the same time. Marine deep cycle, I don't recall exactly, but I believe 800amp, at the advice of Merc service center. I'll try pulling the one and monitor the voltage drop - that seems like a good place to start.

1971 Mako 22
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Justin
Fortune Favors the Bold

USA
4354 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2017 :  12:48:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Load test both batteries.

I've seen brand new batteries not hold a charge.

ROGUE I
1978 235 CC
Newburyport, MA
ROGUE II

1987 17' Montauk
Camden, ME
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radioman
Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2017 :  17:32:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An 800 amp marine deep cycle battery is not equal to a marine cranking battery.
The Merc dealer where I got my Optimax said that Merc recommends a 1000 cranking amp minimum on starting batteries.

I'm thinking one of your batteries is soft and when in the "both" position they are trying to equalize each other.

Deep cycle batteries are designed to provide low to moderate current over a long period of time, not the high current, near "short circuit" current needed to crank over a cold high compression outboard.

Glen Campbell, Pa.
Mako 211 w/175 Optimax
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BlueCrab
Member

USA
377 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2017 :  17:51:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I purchased my boat in December of 2015 I had new batteries that were installed in October '15. Over last winter one would not hold a charge come spring. Had to replace. Lucky for me Interstate has a one year no question warranty.

I was told batteries are like light bulbs and you never know how long they will really last.


Brian

1992 Mako 221
1987 Bayliner 17 (sold)
1963 Elgin (sold)

Pasadena,MD
bkbo529@verizon.net

I am a PROUD DEPLORABLE
"Make America Great Again"

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michigan dave
Peacekeeper

USA
8917 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2017 :  20:07:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the best advice you received in all that is to charge both batteries up and remove the leads, let them set for a couple days unhooked, and observe the voltage across them. An internal shorted battery will show its ugly face this way...

d



1978 Mako 19 with 90hp johnson
1996 Mako 22
1982 Mako 171 Angler 135 Black Max Mercury
1987 21b 225 Yamaha
1974 23 inboard Gusto gone.
1979m21 225johnson "blue dolphin" bought off this board and restored
with everyone's help!!Gone but not Forgotten....
1979 20 Mako 115 Suzuki gone
1977 19 Mako 115 Johnson gone
1976 23 Mako twin 140 Johnsons gone
1983 224 with closed transom and bracket
And 162 SOB (some other boats)
Venice Florida, Traverse city Mi.
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  13:08:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all for the help so far. Have the boat back in my yard so I can begin working through this in earnest. Both batteries are listed as 1000CCA starting batteries. Both are holding voltage when disconnected for a few days.

I went through the boats wiring and disconnected the plethora of old gauges and wiring that was hanging loose in the console. None of the old gauges worked, but most of them were still connected to the bus bars... Somebody has been Band-Aid-ing their 'upgrades' over the years, and not cleaning up the mess along the way. Tsk tsk.

One question for now. There is a green (ground?) wire going from an inline master switch. It was connected to a lead on a fuel burn gauge, connected to wires in the fuel sending unit. I've removed the gauge and cut the sending unit wires, so now this green wire is doing nothing. It occurs to me this should be hooked back up to something, though I'm not sure what. Master switch only has red battery cable leading in. Should this be connected to negative terminal block?

1971 Mako 22
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Justin
Fortune Favors the Bold

USA
4354 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  13:28:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Without looking at it, it sounds like it was a ground off the tank sender? And if so, yes you'd want to ground it to the negative block. Your tank itself, and the fill, should also be grounded...

ROGUE I
1978 235 CC
Newburyport, MA
ROGUE II

1987 17' Montauk
Camden, ME
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hawg
Member

275 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2017 :  13:21:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For what it's worth, I just had the same problem on my skiff. It turned out that one of my 6 month old Optima batteries had failed internally and was dragging down the other battery when the "BOTH" position was used. The battery was replaced under warranty and the problem has gone away.
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2017 :  14:36:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
UPDATE: Not the update I wanted to provide, but unfortunately my issues continue. I disconnected both bats and charged them with a decent digital charger. Both seem to hold a charge at 12.5 volt or so on their own. I ended up splashing the boat after my last update, and for the first time it actually wouldn't start (at the ramp of course). My normal trick of moving the selector switch around didn't cut it. I figured I screwed up the wiring, so I double check all my connections at the battery terminals they all seem fine. But when I reconnect them, boat fires up on 2 again. I run it to let it charge for a bit, and drive away from the ramp. Get home after running it a good hour, figuring ok, now I've got the batteries charged up and connected well, maybe they were just low. Get home, get on the lift kill then engine. "Let me just check to make sure..." Turn the key, nothing.
New trickle charger on both batteries independently, they both look good. Reconnect everything. No start on any position. Again I disconnect the batteries from each other and the boat, reconnect them, and boom, starts on 2. Again I run the boat for some time, build up a good charge, come back to the dock. Shut off engine, attempt restart, nothing.

So I'm pretty sure I had a slow leak, that I solved by disconnecting some old wiring. But I've either mucked something up worse, or more likely I think, I've only been treating a symptom, and I've got bigger issues with my wiring/electronics/batteries.

So does it still seem like 1 (or 2) bad batteries? They both look fine (voltage) on the charger, independently of each other. Verified with a multimeter that voltage is being correctly reported. Also, can verify via engine gauge that they are showing same voltage on selector switch position 1, All and 2. Its always showing as 12.5ish volts on all combinations. So is it possible to have a batter that "looks" OK but is causing the problem on cranking?? And even then that doesn't explain why now selector position 2 is doing nothing for me? Or does it. I'm pretty far outside my element here.
What else can I do? I hate to spend the money on 1 or 2 new bat, if something else stupid could be causing this.

1971 Mako 22
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2017 :  15:14:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another question, related or not, I'm not sure. The previously mentioned green ground wire coming from the inline on/off switch behind the Perko. It was originally hooked to I can only assume was a ground wire connected into the old gauges. Didn't seem right to have it hanging loose, so I touched it to the negative block. Was treated to a light show and a blistering hot wire almost instantly. So that doesn't belong there, but what to do with it? For the record there was no load on the boat at that time. Ignition and all electronics off, Perko on 1, master switch on, and boom wire starts roasting. After review it seems maybe Perko gets power first, and the 'master' (west marine single battery switch) is actually power to the starting system. So I can't find any diagrams of the unit, but now I'm thinking its not actually a ground wire, but maybe was a power wire someone previously tapped into to feed power to the gauges? That's all I can figure or theres a short in the selector, and it only didn't show because the gauges weren't hooked up?

1971 Mako 22
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APMako22
New Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2017 :  10:25:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well. Replaced batteries with nice new AGM marine batteries exactly to the spec Mercury recommend. Still won't start. Brand new problem surfaces. "Lost Engine Comm..." I'm not a happy camper. I guess I get to go through my Smartcraft/Mercury wiring harnesses and double check all the connections. Hopefully it's that simple. Experience tells me it's never simple. Given all the trouble I've had. I don't believe one of my harnesses has just chosen to come loose with my boat sitting still on the lift, but we shall see.

"Smartcraft" - I'm skeptical. A rats nest of harnesses with flimsy finicky connections on a boat don't seem all that smart a design to me.

1971 Mako 22
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