Why won't this thing charge!!

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by derby_city_flathead, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. derby_city_flathead

    derby_city_flathead New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    kentucky
    Over the winter i completed my project boat.a 18' Wellcraft with a 140 I/O mercruiser. I have gone completely thru this boat...including new floor,carpet,seats,Carb,starter,Alternator,a complete tune-up and 2 new batteries(1 cranking,1 deep cycle) I finally got it out on the river today to see how well i've done and after 6 hours of playing/bait catching,All was going well until i turned the key and got that dreaded "click"...grrrr

    How can a fully charged battery go dead that fast? Is the new alternator not charging?? What did i miss??

    I can R&R with the best of them,but when it comes to troubleshooting electrical systems,i have to ask for HELPPP!!!:confused:

    Can any of you mechanics out there help a fellow brother out....I am at my wits end of this one:confused:
     
  2. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Quick tip to try. Hook a hose up and start the boat, while the boat is running disconnect the battery. If the boat is still running then the altenator is good, but if the motor stalls then there is a problen with the alt. or voltage regulator. Or you can take a voltage reading off the battery, then start the motor and take the voltage reading again at the battery. there should be a differance in voltage.
     

  3. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    make sure the alt is hooked up properly. you can also check for voltage at the alt. to make sure it is charging. When you disconnect batt when running, do so with caution.
     
  4. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    You should read 12 volts at the starter battery with the switch off. With the motor running you should be reading 13 to 14 volts ate the battery thet means your alt. is working. If its not take the alt. off and take it to a rebuild shop.
    I am assuming that the alt has the built in voltage regulator in it.
    If you arc the battery cables sometimes it will burn a dioad out in the alt. I do know this is a no no on a outboard.
     
  5. explayer

    explayer New Member

    Messages:
    372
    State:
    Tucson AZ

    I would agree with copycat
     
  6. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Messages:
    707
    State:
    Minnesota
    Not sure if this would be of any help. It sounds like you have gone over everything pretty thourogh.
    I have had a problem that sounds somewhat similar to yours. I use an older outboard Merc.
    The last two years when I'm getting the boat out of storage. I have had the 2 following problems 1 happend last year and 1 happend this year. I have had 1 ground strap......... blow off? well not quite but the metal completly failed, right up by where it was bolted to the block. Got lucky and was able to see it once I took the cover off my outboard. The engine would turn over and when I wedged the cable to complete the connection. It would start
    This year.... Starter cable connection blew off. From starter to ??? Drawing a blank........Sorry guys I'm not the most mechanical. The engine would click and when I wedged the cable to complete the connection. It would start.
    My point being is double check your connections between the battery and engine as well as engine connections, plug connections, if you did any storage.(engine Fog) if you havent done so already.
    Good luck Mate.
     
  7. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Listen to Bubbakat he may be correct about the diode. Just check the batt voltage first then start the boat and read the voltage again and it should be higher.
     
  8. derby_city_flathead

    derby_city_flathead New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    kentucky
    I have double and triple checked all the connections...all are tight and secure.
    I also took the positive cable off while running and the motor did not die. I will check the voltage with a meter tomorrow as its too dark to see. I dont believe that i've arc'ed the cables...Shouldn't i be able to see the diodes in the alternator...like you can on the gm cars?
    I'll post my findings tomorrow when i check it with the meter...

    Thanks soo much BOC...you are a godsend
     
  9. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    dont ever remove the battery cables while running sure fire way to bbq some charging systems.
     
  10. derby_city_flathead

    derby_city_flathead New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    kentucky
    ohh lord....now i'm really confused...
    Do i or do i not remove the Battery cables while running to check the alternator:confused: :confused:
     
  11. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    use a volt meter like bubbakat said to best way to test it and no chance of possibly knocking out the charging system
     
  12. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I am just like you... I have heard forever to remove one battery cable to tell if the altenator is bad or not... but, while in the military, I had training that said you would short everything electrical thats's connected to the motor completly out. So, I now do the smart thing, I take it to a mechanic.
     
  13. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    on the older cars it really didnt hurt anything but now days it is a costly mistake. and for the chances you take id rahter invest in a dvom or even a analog vom if i didnt have one and take the readings that way its more accurate and no chance of cooking something. you can buy a dvom these days for 10 bucks or less for a cheap one to check the charging voltage.
     
  14. Fordman

    Fordman New Member

    Messages:
    90
    State:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Let's go back to square one.
    You stated that after 6 hours of playing, bait catching it would not start. Was the engine started at all in that six hours? If so, how many times. How long do you have to crank it to start it, several seconds each time, or just a flick of the key? If it was started several times during the six hours, how long did it run each time?
    Do you have a radio, amp, in the boat? If so, was it on the whole time.
    Did you have other accessories running?
    Do you have a battery isolator switch or multi battery charger installed?
    Have the battery cables themselves been replaced during the R & R?
     
  15. derby_city_flathead

    derby_city_flathead New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    kentucky
    First and moremost....thanks to all for the responses,you've been most helpful.
    I plan on testing with a meter when i get home from work,but since i've already taken and used the advice i got from here and removed the battery cables while running....its probably already fried...lol. I'll know better next time;)
    Fordman:
    While i was running the river scouting and bait catching,i was stopping and moving every 30 minutes or so...the only accessories that i had running was the depthfinder.The battery cables are also new.I dont have a isolator switch or charger on board,i wish i did but with my limited knowledge on electrical work i wouldn't know how to hook it up.
    I'm a jack of somes trades,master of 1(brick) and a electrician is NOT 1 of them..lol
    Not giving up yet....tooo much time and money invested not too...lol
    Thanks again for all the info...all have been a big help
     
  16. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Does it just make one click or does it keep clicking as you hold the key? If it makes one click it is possible that you have a starter motor going bad and it's not the charging system at all.
     
  17. derby_city_flathead

    derby_city_flathead New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    kentucky
    several clicks......if i hold the key on....
    all the components are OEM new....starter,alternator,coil...etc.
     
  18. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    need to check for a draw when the key is off see if something may be pulling down the battery. a fish finder shoudlnt run it down i run dual finders for hours when i have the engine off on my bass boats. check for the voltage at battery engine off then voltage engine running if it is 12 volts off and 12 volts running it isnt charging it should be 13 to 40 volts in that area while running. check that first then go from there
     
  19. mbiddensw

    mbiddensw New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Florida
    Might want to test and maybe replace the rectifier.
     
  20. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    If you have a meter, Bubba's advice - 12v at the battery before starting, 13-14v while running will tell you if the battery's charging without having to remove the cable while running. If while running you're seeing a 12v or less, you're not charging.

    If it's clicking over and over, check your starter solenoid if it has one. Sounds to me like you're battery's not dead, you just have a connection or component issue in the starter circuit.

    I know you've done it, but it may be worth re-checking ALL your connections from the battery to the starter and giving them each a pull with a wrench just to make sure. If you did just re-do it all there's always a chance something was left just finger tight and when you took it on it's maiden voyage they shook loose.