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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Conwy
    Posts
    3,965

    Default Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Volvo KAD 42. Took the boat out, bit rough. Anchored up in rolly water. When it came to start engines port started fine. Starboard dead at ignition. No guages nothing on Stbd. Complete electrical outage.
    Common isolator switch and battery bank.
    Checked fuses including trip on engine. All good.

    So my thinking is no power is getting to ignition switch to kick in the gauges or starter relay. Where should I start looking?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Isle of Man
    Posts
    2,029

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Check if you have power at the alternator b+ and b- . That’s permanent live (with isolators on of course)

    Loom plugs not come apart

    Wires in the back of the ignition switch still connected

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Conwy
    Posts
    3,965

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Will do. Where does the ignition switch source it's live from though and do ignition switches ever just fail without warning. (bearing in mind all was well until I switched the engines off) I'm thinking vibrations getting there and rather rolly water while at anchor may have a part to play in loosening something. It was a rounded 4 foot swell with a 3 second period. The boat was rolling badly for most of the days fishing. Lots of crew spewing in misery but the fishing was good so they soon perked up....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    midlands
    Posts
    7,272

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
    Volvo KAD 42. Took the boat out, bit rough. Anchored up in rolly water. When it came to start engines port started fine. Starboard dead at ignition. No guages nothing on Stbd. Complete electrical outage.
    Common isolator switch and battery bank.
    Checked fuses including trip on engine. All good.

    So my thinking is no power is getting to ignition switch to kick in the gauges or starter relay. Where should I start looking?
    Pop fuse side of black electric box , has a live and earth one , either blown will cause your problem

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Not sure if the electrical setup is the same as the kad 44 but it seems to have the same black box on top of the engine. My kad 44 had a broken retaining nut on the cable going into the black box. The slightest nudge would disconnect the connector and cause a dead engine. This would not be visible by looking at it. I would try the wiring loom connections first starting with the one on top of the engine. Might be a simple fix with a cable tie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    946

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Well Bruce, where to begin?

    The beginning is a good place so the batteries would be my first port of call and the terminals are always first as they can corrode or become loose, but look fine.

    These cables run to some form of electrical distribution board so check this next to confirm power, if it has power you have eliminated this section of wiring.

    From here you will have wiring running to the ignition switch so find the live terminal on the ignition switch and check power is going to it, if not it is this section of wiring. One simple test would be to run a live wire from the distribution board to the ignition switch and turn it on and see if your lights come on, this will confirm it.

    If you have power to your ignition switch you can test it by probing each position as someone turns it to each position and test for power at each outlet, if you have a live feed and no power out it confirms your ignition switch as these do go wrong more often than people think. Bosch units used to wear the thin brass contact strip out and they used to snap off inside the switch.

    Fuses and breakers need removing and checking with a continuity test and not a simple visual check as many fail but look fine in the viewing area, so pull them and continuity test on them, and check for condition.
    I am old and wise because i was young and stupid.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,989

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by rlw View Post
    Not sure if the electrical setup is the same as the kad 44 but it seems to have the same black box on top of the engine. My kad 44 had a broken retaining nut on the cable going into the black box. The slightest nudge would disconnect the connector and cause a dead engine. This would not be visible by looking at it. I would try the wiring loom connections first starting with the one on top of the engine. Might be a simple fix with a cable tie.
    +1 connector on an engine loom having jiggled loose would be my first call.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Conwy
    Posts
    3,965

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by volvopaul View Post
    Pop fuse side of black electric box , has a live and earth one , either blown will cause your problem
    Hi Paul. The pop fuse themselves, are they liable to break? That was my first thought and I checked it by pushing in but either it was already in, made no difference or was stuck permanently out. Difficult for me to tell as the button / shaft is black all along the visible length. I presume a continued short would hold it tripped but I did not feel any sort of click to signify that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Conwy
    Posts
    3,965

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin View Post
    Well Bruce, where to begin?

    The beginning is a good place so the batteries would be my first port of call and the terminals are always first as they can corrode or become loose, but look fine.

    These cables run to some form of electrical distribution board so check this next to confirm power, if it has power you have eliminated this section of wiring.

    From here you will have wiring running to the ignition switch so find the live terminal on the ignition switch and check power is going to it, if not it is this section of wiring. One simple test would be to run a live wire from the distribution board to the ignition switch and turn it on and see if your lights come on, this will confirm it.

    If you have power to your ignition switch you can test it by probing each position as someone turns it to each position and test for power at each outlet, if you have a live feed and no power out it confirms your ignition switch as these do go wrong more often than people think. Bosch units used to wear the thin brass contact strip out and they used to snap off inside the switch.

    Fuses and breakers need removing and checking with a continuity test and not a simple visual check as many fail but look fine in the viewing area, so pull them and continuity test on them, and check for condition.
    Thanks for the time to write that Assassin. I'm guessing I am going to have to do these tests. Half my problem is finding these looms. It seems they were put in the boat before the various shells and topdeck and I have tried to trace them before without much luck. From the back of the engine they simply disappear into one of many loom carriers to reappear behind the dash. No connectors to be found.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,748

    Default Re: Electrical fault. Advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by simonfraser View Post
    +1 connector on an engine loom having jiggled loose would be my first call.
    Black multi-plug on end of loom at engine should be a twist and lock.
    It is made out of plastic and can get very brittle. Plug on my port engine gave up the ghost.
    Trod on cable.
    All Works perfectly OK but actual locking ring nackered
    Now secured with cable tie.
    +1.

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