Green Wire / Electrical assistance needed
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Green Wire / Electrical assistance needed

  1. #1
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    Default Green Wire / Electrical assistance needed

    Hey guys I'm new to the Jetboat scene and I really need some assistance with a charging issue. The boat runs fine but when I pull a cable off the battery it will die instantly, the alternator will not keep it running. I did have the alternator tested and they said it passed. I tightened up the belt cleaned up the connections and replaced the battery cables and still have the same problem. My volt meter indicates 13 volts and registers low on light.

    I have found a green wire that hits at 5 volts, coming off the coil. Can anyone tell me where this wire is supposed to be hooked up at and what it is for?

    Also I have this gold box that I think is a voltage regulator. It is filled with a glue like substance that has hardened, I'm thinking to keep it water resistant. Can anyone confirm this for me? The plugs from the distributer plug into the voltage regulator.

    Ok just a couple more questions... I have attached a picture of the plugs for the distributer, and I'm wondering if this is what is called a 3 wire distributer? If I have to replace my alternator I'm considering going to a 1 wire alternator with a built in voltage regulator, that are common these days. Is there a way of converting the wiring over, or do I need to buy a different distributer?

    Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!
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  3. #2
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    I'm sure others will chime in but here is what I see. That green wire more than likely went to a tach at some point. Looks like a Ford to me in the pics. I'm no Ford guy but I believe that gold box is part of the electronic ignition. Have you pulled the distributor cap? I'm betting there are no points in that dizzy. One wire alternators are an easy swap. I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will chime in soon.

  4. #3
    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    I think you are confusing to systems. Distributor doesn't plug into the voltage regulator, been a long time since I worked on an old style system like this but I think the box is a ign module. If that dist still has points, the 5 volt wire is the ign wire to dist. You need to look at your alternator issue seperate from your ign. Do you have a larger wire (8 or 10 gauge) coming off the back of the alt connected to either the starter relay or battery? This would be where voltage returns to recharge your battery. It's very common for the connection on either end of this wire to corode at the terminal and break internally. Also you should have a smaller guage wire at the plug in the alt (14-16guage) that comes Hot (12 V) when the key is turned on. This is what energizes the reg to turn on the alt. If either of these circuits are open, your alt won't charge thus no voltage to keep engine running without bat feed.

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    Thanks for responding. Ok so to start the motor is an AMC 360. The distributer has no points it is HEI.

    The gold box has 2 plugs. Both plugs, plug into the distributer wires and the then the coiled orange wire from this plug runs to the positive on the alternator. Yes I have a small wire running from the alternator back to the starter relay. This is a very small wire (Probably needs replaced) I will give it a shot.

    I have attached a pic of the Alternator. Is the regulator attached to the Alternator then?
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  7. #5
    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    The large orange wire in your pic is the one that recharges your battery. Thats the one to check the connection on both ends.Does this connect to the battery or the starter solonoid? This needs to be basically a direct battery connection. Also, the small orange coiled wire you refer to may be the ign wire to energize the alt. Does this wire come off one of the small terminals on the starter solonoind or one of the big ones and does it turn on and off with the key? The voltage regulator I believe is the box bolted to the back of the alternator. If this alt was removed and tested by a reputable shop, the problem has to be wiring. There seems to be a lot of butt connector splices in your pics, make sure they're not on the verge of breaking. Remember bad connections can carry volts but won't carry any amps, and amps is what does all the work.

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    Get a testlite[looks like an icepick with one wire coming out of it] The large terminal coming out of alt should lite testlamp w/ wire hooked to ground. For an alt to charge, it must have power to it[small terminal with key on. Touch testlite to small terminal with key off.[should not lite]. Now turn key on and touch small terminal[testlite should lite].Check: some alts have 2 small terminals, if ign power is hooked to wrong small terminal, alt will not charge.

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    I'm not 100% positive where the orange is hooked up at. I'm at work right now but I will check it out tonight and post the update. I do know that the orange wire is not directly connected at the battery. It is connected at the starter relay on the positive cable there. I'm thinking that the orange wire is coming off the "ignition wiring harness that plugs at the distributer. I will take more pictures and post.

    Thanks for all the assistance. This is my first boat and so far it has been a challange, just to get it running. The boat sat for over 5 years and I beleive it had a few people work on it over the years but nobody really knew what they were doing. Now I'm fixing their mistakes and learning as I go as well.

    Thanks again.
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  10. #8
    Horsepower sells Engines lefty's pride's Avatar
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    well you got some good advice so far. a test light wont tell you much volt meters are the way to go just because the light lights up but you may not able to see a volt difference between 12v and 13v kinda important. to help you now and later get a piece of paper and an afternoon and draw out the hole electrical system from front to back. this will help you understand what is going on and help you describe to us what this and future problems are. OK here is the most important part that is an explosion proof alt for a reason you are running a enclosed engine compartment you need it so dont just go out to your local parts store and just pick up a auto unit you may regret it. it looks like a Motorola alt i think it is the same as mine the reg is on the back and mine is wired to be a single wire so you may be able to convert it if you wish. i posted volt drop testing on this thread http://www.performanceboats.com//sho...t+drop+testing see if it helps you find your bad connection.
    any question pm me I'll try to walk you through what ever you need
    Last edited by lefty's pride; 04-18-2010 at 12:35 PM.
    "Horsepower sells Engines but torque wins races."
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    those who never win and never quit are idiots"
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    Thanks for all the assistance guys. I went home and put a new wire from the Alternator back to the starter relay and then tested it, it is supplying power now and keeping the boat running when the cables are off the battery.

    Now it's time to test it out .

  12. #10
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    Default Ah, NO.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Funnynitts View Post
    Thanks for all the assistance guys. I went home and put a new wire from the Alternator back to the starter relay and then tested it, it is supplying power now and keeping the boat running when the cables are off the battery.

    Now it's time to test it out .
    An alternator MUST BE EXCITED. It will NOT PUT OUT without a 12 V source. A generator will run all day without a battery, an alternator WILL NOT. You are seeing residual voltage in the ignition, but it won't support the spark for very long, and MAY do permanent damage to some electronic ignition systems...The old "pull the cable off" test works with generators, not with alternators. Stop testing in this manner or you may fry internal components everywhere in the system......Ray
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

  13. #11
    Horsepower sells Engines lefty's pride's Avatar
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    well not all true. in theory it could damage your electrical system. if you where to lose your sensing voltage your alt can start building huge voltage. now if there is enough magnetism to self excite and will provide enough power to run your electrical systems. if you disagree prove it. alts and gens work on the same theory a wire passing through a magnetic field will produce current flow.
    "Horsepower sells Engines but torque wins races."
    "winners never quit, quitters never win
    those who never win and never quit are idiots"
    "if at first you don't succeed redefine success"
    "why is there never time to do it right, but there is aways time to do it twice"

  14. #12
    Senior Member 78Eliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty's pride View Post
    well not all true. in theory it could damage your electrical system. if you where to lose your sensing voltage your alt can start building huge voltage. now if there is enough magnetism to self excite and will provide enough power to run your electrical systems. if you disagree prove it. alts and gens work on the same theory a wire passing through a magnetic field will produce current flow.

    this is true.

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty's pride View Post
    well not all true. in theory it could damage your electrical system. if you where to lose your sensing voltage your alt can start building huge voltage. now if there is enough magnetism to self excite and will provide enough power to run your electrical systems. if you disagree prove it. alts and gens work on the same theory a wire passing through a magnetic field will produce current flow.
    This is true. BUT if you run your boat without a battery for more than a few seconds. You may fry your electrical system! Idling is fine but if you rev your motor up with no battery---And your charging system is fine. You will overpower the system And fry electrical components. The battery acts like a heat sink and absorbs the electrical spikes. An ALT will keep charging higher and higher as you rev the engine. I saw an actual demonstration.

  16. #14
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    OK, sorry to break up the debate but I took the boat out today and went for a run. First time out It got a bit hot around 220 and I lost the steering. Steering was an easy fix, used a paddle and directed my way back to the trailer, fixed it. I ran into a guy with a jet and while we were talking he said these boats are not supposed to have thermostats. I pulled the thermostat out and the boat ran with even more power. It actually ran really well. I thought I read something about this as well in the past and something about capping off the 3rd hose coming from the Thermostat housing and down into the water pump. Can anyone confirm for me? I really need to figure out this overheating issue.

    I'm still having an issue with the charging system. It is not staying running if the cable comes off, which is weird because all I did was put some new but connectors on it. I tried the connections again with bare wire and nothing. The gauge says 13V while we were out. Kinda weird but I'm gonna have to take the voltage testers to it again.
    It was still running hot, possibly due to overheating it the hour prior. This caused it to act like the battery was dead. I used some wire and connected it to my other battery and was able to crank it over with the 2 batteries. I'm going to time the motor and hopefully it is just a little off. Also I think I need to look into a heat shield for the starter.

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