Return to the home page...

Go Back   Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians > Owner Discussion Groups > Discussion Groups > Catalina

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 38.118.52.41
Old 07-21-2007, 09:10 AM
Don Moyer's Avatar
Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,778
Thanks: 0
Thanked 79 Times in 41 Posts
Catalina Atomic 4 No Crank Problem Resolved

Posted on behalf of River Rat (please read today's private message to you):

PROBLEM:
Catalina 30 Atomic 4 engine cranks at times but at other times there is not even an engagement click or any sound coming from the start circuit. Go below and short the terminals between the "S" terminal and bat hot lead at starter and immediate crank and likely start will occur-----What is wrong??

ATTEMPTS AT FIXING ISSUE:

1. Replace Ignition Switch, may work for a while.
2. Replace Starter Solenoid, may work for a while.
3. Replace Starter, may work for a while.

Bottom line is that you can try all of the above and they MAY work or seem to work for a while but then the problem will occur again, ---- Turn the key, no crank or turn the key over and over and maybe after 10 or more attempts the engine might crank. You can always go to the starter and short the "S" terminal and the battery lead and it will always crank over perfectly-------major question is ----what is wrong with this picture???


ANSWER AS I HAVE FOUND IT OVER AND OVER:

1. Original Atomic 4 engines had Prestolite Starters which carried a Piggy Back Relay to carry the heavy load of the starter solenoid. The Catalina harness was designed for this light load due to the relay being a part of the start, crank system, and therefore was in the 16 gauge wire range or at least very very small.

2. Later Atomic Four engines had Delco Starters which had no such thing as a Relay and expected the hot lead from the starter switch to carry the full 20 to 25 amp load that the starter solenoid needed for engagement. Catalina unfortunately did nothing when the starters were changed and therefore a very small gauge wire was expected to carry full solenoid load which it can not do for long. Result is that when the points in the Ignition Switch or Starter Solenoid contacts becomes even slightly burned the resistance is so high that the tiny wire can not carry the amp load and the stater does not engage. Bottom line, no crank.

THE FIX:
All you have to do is disconnect the wire leading from the Ignition Switch to the starter solenoid and introduce a a 30 amp relay. You get an old style relay which uses a hole in the case as ground and bolt it to the engine. You then run a number 10 wire from the starter hot lead, main battery lead to starter, to the relay and then from the relay you connect a 12 gauge wire from it to the the starter "S" terminal. Now all that is left to do is put the old small gauge wire from the Ignition Switch to the Activation Post on the relay and you are in business. Now the starter solenoid gets full amps it needs and the Ignition Switch is only carrying the light amp load needed by the relay.
I have done the above fix to at least four Catalina 30 boats with Atomic 4 engines and they have never had the issue of no crank again. Catalina will tell you that the wiring is fine and that you need a new Ignition Switch or Starter which is a crock. If you call Delco they will tell you that their solenoid needs at LEAST 20 and most times 30 amps to work properly. Even if you buy the new harness from Catalina it will come, or has in the past come with the same small lead used with the Prestolite Starters which will NOT work with the Delcos or at least not well or for long.

Hope this helps a few Catalina owners who have fought the above problem and probably spent a fortune trying to cure it. I learned much as they did, the hard way, but found an old Electrical Tech who had seen the same issue in Log Bronc's, little boats used to push logs in lumber mill ponds, which used Stevedore versions of the Atomic 4 and suffered the issues of Prestolite versus Delco starters. Hope this helps.

River Rat
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 38.118.52.41
Old 07-21-2007, 09:15 AM
Don Moyer's Avatar
Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,778
Thanks: 0
Thanked 79 Times in 41 Posts
To the best of our knowledge, the Catalina 30 fleet never had early model engines (or Prestolite starters), and their wiring harnesses had much heavier gauge wire between their starter switch in the cockpit and the starter solenoid than 16 gauge wire. I can check to make sure, but I'm quite sure they (as we do in our kit which is modeled after the Catalina 30) use 12 gauge white wire in this application.

Don
Reply With Quote
  #3   IP: 71.34.105.23
Old 07-21-2007, 12:57 PM
RIVER RAT RIVER RAT is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Catalina Atomic Four No Crank Problem Resloved

While I would hope that Catalina resolved the issue in their latest harness they are selling for service the boats that I upgraded with the relays were in the 1978 thru 1981 vintage and were identical in respect to the lead from the switch to the starter solenoid and was way undersized per Delco's Tech department for the distance run. At the time I did the installation of the relays in the boats I contacted Catalina and they told me at the time that they would "Look Into The Situation And Get Back With Me"-----------that was around 1985-------do you think I should expect a response soon??
Reply With Quote
  #4   IP: 76.111.232.203
Old 02-06-2008, 05:06 PM
THE BREEZE THE BREEZE is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: STUART FLORIDA
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Old style 30 amp relay...?

Don: What do you mean by an "Old Style 30 amp Relay" with a ground through the middle. Where can I get one of those...? Any brand name or part number you may know of....? I'm having the trouble you talked about in this post. Starter working then not working. Thanks for any info.
Reply With Quote
  #5   IP: 99.141.171.136
Old 08-04-2012, 12:40 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I've owned my 1977 catalina 30 for nine years now and it's only this season that I've begun to experience this starting problem. Key the engine and you hear the solenoid click but the engine wont crank. At first I thought it was the starter solenoid -replaced that- then I found loose connections at the instrument panel. Fixed those and the problem seemed to be resolved but it still didn't start as forcefully as I thought it should. then one day after running the engine for a long time(fishing) it just up and died. no power to the instrument panel at all. no clicking sounds when keying - nothing. Jumped the starter motor and it spun but solenoid wouldn't engage. I was at a loss for a solution. Then it occurred to me that in order for the ammeter to work, all the power must flow through it. So I tried bypassing the ammeter by removing the red wire (from the back of the ammeter) and piggybacking it to the orange one and BINGO! It starts like never before. it was the ammeter itself all along causing the high resistance.
Reply With Quote
  #6   IP: 71.252.8.106
Old 08-04-2012, 01:38 PM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
jbsoukup,

A lot of us (especially with the C-30) have removed the ammeter permanently. That long run for the charging circuit leads to a lot of voltage loss I'd rather have going into the batteries, and as you've noticed, I think unnecessarily complicates things. A voltmeter in the panel is just as useful and can be piggybacked off the purple from the ignition switch. If it says 13-ish volts, the alternator is working.
__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 24.152.131.155
Old 08-04-2012, 01:49 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 8,228
Thanks: 127
Thanked 1,068 Times in 718 Posts
One more thing to consider - have you removed the two (or three) trailer plugs in the engine harness? They are a known failure point. There is one at the engine, one at the panel and if your control panel is located in the aft coaming or pedestal, a third plug can be found in the general vicinity of the galley drawers/ice box. This is a picture of mine, still functioning when it was removed.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #8   IP: 71.252.8.106
Old 08-04-2012, 06:56 PM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
yay..pictures!

Oooo..Neil...That picture brings up the perfect opportunity to re-post my new wiring harness that eliminated that trailer plug(s)..

__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #9   IP: 24.152.131.155
Old 08-04-2012, 06:58 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 8,228
Thanks: 127
Thanked 1,068 Times in 718 Posts
Most excellent!!

Any way I can set you up, Shawn. My pleasure.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #10   IP: 99.141.167.187
Old 08-08-2012, 08:12 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I had installed a voltmeter near the main panel in the galley when I first got the boat - way more useful in my opinion. checked the the disconnect plug by the engine too. it looked good so I just gooped it with some dielectric grease and plugged it back together. couldn't find any other plugs- it seems everything just runs straight to the instrument panel. (I refreshed all the connections to my main fuse panel and added a small sub panel with maybe 6 fuses to handle things like autopilot, radio, 12v outlets, etc. Did that about 5 yrs ago so I didn't have to piggyback on any of the original circuits) don't know yet if I'll replace the ammeter or not, I don't really miss it. BTW my boat is 12v only, no shore power.

Last edited by jbsoukup; 08-08-2012 at 08:15 PM. Reason: clarification
Reply With Quote
  #11   IP: 206.125.176.5
Old 08-09-2012, 10:18 AM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
jb..I do not have any 110V power aboard either...just fine with me. I carry a 30 amp cord and plug in a 6 outlet strip so my wife can blow dry her hair (& charge laptop & gadgets) when in a marina.

I do have a small (3.2watt!) solar charger with a regulator that I alternate between house & start each visit to the boat. It works great. If I ever find another small panel, then I wouldn't have to swap it over.

Where is your engine panel? I have a tiller, so mine is in the front half of the cockpit, port side, in the 'sail' locker, next to the engine controls. My original 12v 6-switch panel was in the aft galley, near the ice box. I found a 2nd plug for the engine harness under the galley counter top in that area, by pulling out the double drawer assembly (aft of the stove). The plug was just before the wires ran off thru the bulkhead into the sail locker & up to the instrument panel.

I think that those with the instrument panel on stbd side of the cockpit due to wheel steering may even have a 3rd plug somewhere...

Catalina liked to continually 'improve' the boat, so even though we have the same hull, there are subtle differences as the hull #'s go up.
__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #12   IP: 99.48.5.69
Old 12-28-2012, 06:49 PM
CdawgII CdawgII is offline
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Is this a confirmed resolution?

Hello All:

I have a 1981 Cat 30 A4 with this exact issue. I noticed that the thread on this went back a few years, but was recently updated...has this solution been verified? If it has, if anyone could provide more detail on how to do all of this [to a mechanically challenged mind], it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, David
Reply With Quote
  #13   IP: 96.229.18.9
Old 12-29-2012, 12:04 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Arrowhead Ca.
Posts: 3,857
Thanks: 365
Thanked 289 Times in 208 Posts
Thumbs up Welcome & go4it!

Cdawg, first welcome to the Afourian Forum.
David,it is basically just wiring and there ar wiring kits that do make it much easier to do. I am in the process myself at this time. I am using a bundled "romex type" wire that has 2 #10, 2 #12 and 4 #14 fo rthe gages. It is a common product available in most marine and hot-rod shops, you buy it by the foot and go to work. It really isn't too difficult if you go one step at a time and take the time to route the leads neatly. Many on this site have re-done the Catalina's with this very issue. My Ericson has a similar set up and since it is now 43 years old I'm just re-doing it before I have any issues with it.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
  #14   IP: 99.139.123.222
Old 01-01-2013, 12:15 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
catalina 30 no start

I just happened to stop by and saw the thread was updated. My boat is on the hard since October 30 and I had no starting issues ever since I removed (bypassed)the ammeter. There are a bunch of other wires connected to it (already cleaned and re attached) and I was just too lazy to check what they were, so I left them in place as the engine runs fine but I think I'll do some work on it in the spring, maybe. I do have to admit it did hesitate a couple of times (literally like two or three times and when I keyed it again it fired right up) but nothing like the completely dead condition I was experiencing before. I wonder though, how long before I'll need to replace the harness; nothing lasts forever. If it wasn't for sails I'd be replacing it right away.
Reply With Quote
  #15   IP: 99.139.123.222
Old 01-01-2013, 12:27 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
sastanley, I have the exact same setup. I did pull the drawers but couldn't find another plug. probably didn't look hard enough. I'll add that to the spring list.
Reply With Quote
  #16   IP: 138.88.62.64
Old 01-01-2013, 11:04 PM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
Thumbs up

jb...I had a plug at the engine, and another one behind the galley drawers as the harness made its way up into the port sail locker towards the instrument panel. I have heard of various configurations based on the length of the run..I have a tiller, so mine only goes to the port sail locker...I guess some boats with wheels may have had another set of plugs in the run to get it farther back in the cockpit...but I cannot confirm that..it is only my theory.

Here is a picture of the backside of my 'new' gauge cluster...there are no plugs any longer, just the two junction blocks...one on the forward bulkhead in the engine 'room' posted earlier in this thread, and this one, on the backside of the gauge cluster pan. I didn't quite achieve the same quality as Neil did with his re-wire, but I was inspired by his work, which you can find elsewhere on this forum with a little digging around...likely in the electrical section.

__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif

Last edited by sastanley; 01-01-2013 at 11:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17   IP: 107.0.6.242
Old 01-01-2013, 11:38 PM
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,803
Thanks: 121
Thanked 152 Times in 128 Posts
Thumbs up

Looks good from here, Shawn.
Reply With Quote
  #18   IP: 24.152.131.153
Old 01-02-2013, 12:08 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 8,228
Thanks: 127
Thanked 1,068 Times in 718 Posts
About those Catalina trailer plugs. . . .

In alignment with Shawn, my boat was originally tiller steered with the engine instrument panel low in the cockpit footwell where it's difficult to see. My original engine harness had only two trailer plugs: one at the engine and one at the panel. I believe the third plug in the vicinity of the galley was common on wheel steered boats with the control panel in the cockpit coaming but that's not a guaranty. If there's a third plug it could be anywhere around the galley drawers, under the ice box or even under the cabin sole. The only way to be certain is to yank the old harness out and if you're going that far it makes little sense to put the old harness back.

The thread describing my harness replacement is entitled Kalina gets new engine electrical found in the electrical forum category.

As an added incentive to replace the harness or at least remove the dreaded plugs, here's the nightmare I removed from mine. Those plugs were for the builder's convenience, not yours.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #19   IP: 138.88.62.64
Old 01-02-2013, 12:24 AM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
Thanks, Hanley...just for personal verification/clarification that I try to do things the right way...that renegade black wire with the yellow terminal that you see on the far right side of that terminal block in the pic and then apparently heading to nowhere to the left is a temporary ground wire to the old original Catalina electrical panel, which is just out of view..i am still working on re-wiring all of that. The running lights and the port side cabin lights still function with their original wiring, so that is why that funky ground wire is there. With all the manifold issues and other stuff I've found over the winter, the ongoing re-wire project may continue to get pushed back on the replacement list....as long as it still works..

Speaking of the manifold issues I've been having and tearing the boat apart...I had a ground wire that was on the engine that I didn't dare disconnect since it went off into an unknown part of the boat. I figured it was important, and I never knew what crazy stuff the P.O. had done, so I left it...it was grounded on the backside of the motor, wrapped around the coil/throttle cable bracket area. Since I had to yank all of that to get that stupid water tank in (another thread), I finally traced this wire and discovered it to be the ground wire for the blower..apologies to my Dad the P.O...not his doing. I wonder if there is an ABYC mandate that the blower motor be grounded to the engine. ...it would be much cleaner for me to wire it to the ground bus on the gauge panel.
__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif

Last edited by sastanley; 01-02-2013 at 12:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20   IP: 199.173.226.236
Old 01-02-2013, 08:06 AM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is online now
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,176
Thanks: 40
Thanked 327 Times in 246 Posts
FYI - I installed one of these extra relays because of the same issues - a long run to the cockpit switch. I have had ZERO issues with starting since then. The start button in the cockpit activates the starter relay in the photo that is connected to the starter solenoid.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by joe_db; 01-02-2013 at 08:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #21   IP: 24.224.152.244
Old 01-02-2013, 09:53 AM
Mo's Avatar
Mo Mo is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Halifax NS,
Posts: 4,207
Thanks: 77
Thanked 123 Times in 89 Posts
Thumbs up Tidy indeed.

That's some nice work done there Joe. Tidy indeed.
__________________
Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
Reply With Quote
  #22   IP: 99.139.126.173
Old 01-03-2013, 05:02 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
joe, ditto on the nice relay install. just to be clear, I'm looking for a second plug - I only found one in the engine compartment. BTW my boat is also tiller steered.
Reply With Quote
  #23   IP: 138.88.62.64
Old 01-04-2013, 12:18 AM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,561
Thanks: 530
Thanked 320 Times in 251 Posts
Question

jb...My boat (#511) and Neil's boat (#600) are of similar vintage..both '77. I can't recall if you had posted previously what hull # yours is.

The two galley drawers to port of the stairs are easy to remove...the frame generally has 4 sheet metal screws into fiberglass..also easy..this gives you enough access to stick your head and a big light in there. Have you tried that yet?

Based on Neil's description, I would guess Catalina made these "harnesses" in 6'-8' lengths..as they went to longer runs, they just added another length(s) of harness..I had two short runs (at the engine and gauge pod) with a 6'-8' run in the middle..add a wheel and an aft gauge pod and it could be two or more sections..

Just throwing it out there for things to look at...I have no positive data on this.
__________________
-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #24   IP: 99.139.126.173
Old 01-04-2013, 02:19 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I'm pretty sure my hull is #783 but I don't have the paperwork (or boat) in front of me right now. I'm also pretty sure I reached in there and traced the harness with my hand and didn't feel a plug. I have had the drawer frame out on several occasions but not for the purposes of locating the plug. Next time I go to the yard I'll check for sure. Like I said before, I'm not really worried about the wires but I would feel better if I could verify the condition of the plug -if there is one. The other one looked absolutely fine and of course I cleaned it anyway which is all I would do to the other one provided it's in good condition. The plugs don't really bother me as they have worked fine for over 30 years, as long as I can keep an eye on them that is.
here's a picture of Her, just for grins http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/at...1&d=1357323394
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #25   IP: 99.139.126.173
Old 01-04-2013, 02:34 PM
jbsoukup's Avatar
jbsoukup jbsoukup is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
sorry, little too big!http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/at...1&d=1357324462
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catalina Atomic 4 No Crank Problem Resolved Don Moyer Troubleshooting 2 09-24-2013 07:36 PM
Atomic 4 from a 73 Catalina 27 Spontaneous For Sale - Engines and Engine Parts 0 07-07-2007 02:10 AM
Timing Problem? Stormy Ignition System 4 11-14-2004 10:36 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universal® is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2018 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved