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Got electric starter problems on a RN DM2.


The starter motor is I think a Lucas M50, the key start is in the boatman's, the wiring rat's nest is behind paneling and there is no wiring diagram. The battery is brand new.


Mounted just below the starter motor are two "black boxes", relays I suspect, one of which is, at least, I suspect triggered by the starter key which in turn fires up the starter solenoid.


My question why would there be an intermediate relay if such it is?


Doing the "deep down and dirty" by shorting across the studs gets the starter motor turning the engine which makes it the prime suspect.


I have a picture of the offending items but sadly no idea how to include it in a post.


Any thoughts anyone?

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6 minutes ago, Man 'o Kent said:

I have a picture of the offending items but sadly no idea how to include it in a post.

Click on the "Add Files" button at the bottom of the message input box, then navigate to the folder where your picture is, click on the photo you want to post. Repeat to add multiple images. Position the cursor at the point in the text you want the image to appear in your post, then scroll down to the thumbnail of the image and click on the + sign.

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Lady Barnaby takes her ease

Knitting overcoats for fleas

By this kindness fleas are smitten

That's why she's very rarely bitten.

 

Spike Milligan.

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David Mack, thank you for that explanation, sound as if even I should be able to do it but then my daughter has just foisted my first mobile telephone on me and you've no idea of the mess I got into with that!

 

Bizzard  I needed a lift. That's cheered me up no end! Ta!

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6 minutes ago, bizzard said:

071808_listing.jpg

If it's a relay between the starter key-button and starter I'd use one of these, old stand alone starter solenoids as a relay. You can also press the rubber button to start the engine, about £25. Auto Electrical supplies.

Edited by bizzard
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20 minutes ago, Man 'o Kent said:

David Mack, thank you for that explanation, sound as if even I should be able to do it but then my daughter has just foisted my first mobile telephone on me and you've no idea of the mess I got into with that!

Works on a smart phone or computer.

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2 hours ago, Man 'o Kent said:

Got electric starter problems on a RN DM2.


The starter motor is I think a Lucas M50, the key start is in the boatman's, the wiring rat's nest is behind paneling and there is no wiring diagram. The battery is brand new.


Mounted just below the starter motor are two "black boxes", relays I suspect, one of which is, at least, I suspect triggered by the starter key which in turn fires up the starter solenoid.


My question why would there be an intermediate relay if such it is?


Doing the "deep down and dirty" by shorting across the studs gets the starter motor turning the engine which makes it the prime suspect.


I have a picture of the offending items but sadly no idea how to include it in a post.


Any thoughts anyone?

 

Because an old/worn ignition or start switch can cause volt drop. Undersized cables will also cause volt drop and if you don't have plenty of volts at the starter solenoid they can pull in but not make contact so the starter clunks but won't turn. Also depending upon the start switch/ignition switch the current needed by the starter solenoid can warm the switch up shortening its life. Using a relay or starter solenoid as show by Biz (or the square version) is an easy way of hiding deficiencies in the system.

 

I suspect one box is a relay (possibly a split charge relay for higher currant capacity) acting as a normal relay - its only how its wired that makes it different and I suspect the other one may well be an actual split charge relay.

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Thank you all, sorry about the delayed reply, not too well at the mo' and had a lay down.

 

The thing about "bigger fleas have lesser" was because as I read it we have a key switch  probably connected to the "black box" relay thing which then feeds the starter motor's own solenoid. Sadly the photos have turned out too dark to show much detail. I tried feeding the pictures via one of them stick things to my old XP desktop that has Photoshop on it, (this acursed Win.10 laptop has nothing remotely useful). Long story short by the time I pluged the stick thing back into the laptop something had killed the stick and all files on it are lost!

 

I will see if I can get the kid to take brighter pictures and try again.

 

I hate boats, I hate sprogs, I hate electrics, I hate finding another problem before I have fixed the last one, I hate getting old . . .

 

 

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No more help with the problem but Google "GIMP for Windows". It has a hell of a learning curve but I understand its well up to things like Photoshop and it's free.

 

Your XP desktop would probably run Linux well if it has  CD drive and there is lots of free software available. Linux is also free. Anything you can do on Widows has a Linux tool for it. Just back up all your Windows stuff before trying to install it (I would suggest Linux Mint or Ubuntu). It should install as a dual boot that allows you to choose to run a session under WXP or Linux. If you get what is called a live CD you can play with Linux without actually installing it on your computer.

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Right head scratchers all here is an image of the suspected "black boxes" kindly supplied by the "artist in residence".

 

Can anyone identify what they might be and indeed the thinking behind their employment?image2.jpeg.478123e940f81438320c8e227a55b8ac.jpeg

 

A visit to the boat with a new starter battery and then a bit of cable tracing resulted in the discovery that the +ve cable went up to a domestic looking fuse box and then back down to the lower stud on the right hand "black box" in the picture. It is not clear at this point why the cable is routed thus, all of the fuses in the fuse box are of a domestic fuse wire size, all are in a clean condition with no signs of overload stress and therefore something of a red herring it would seem. 

 

At this point a crude test was conducted by simply shorting the two studs on the right hand "black box". The result of this "experiment" was that the starter motor sprung to like and turned the engine normally.

 

It was at this point that it was found that the BPF injector pump was not in a mood to co-operate despite cracking the input line and operating the manual lift pump to clear the line of any air it refuses to deliver. Given that the pump is probably the best part of 50 years old it would seem to be a good time to get it properly serviced.

 

David Mack Hells bells! Your instructions worked, even I managed it! What ever next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They are starter solenoids circa 1970s. Right one is feeding the starter, thin wire from start position on the ignition switch?

 

Suss that the left one may be being used as a split charge relay but its unusual to use one of these, the coil inside will take a lot of energising from an alternator D+ feed.

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The other might be to do with making the engine insulated return once running and earth return when starting. It would not surprise me if it's not controlling the start battery negative to engine block.

 

I have seen that configuration on some Lister engine photos.

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39 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

The other might be to do with making the engine insulated return once running and earth return when starting. It would not surprise me if it's not controlling the start battery negative to engine block.

 

I have seen that configuration on some Lister engine photos.

I considered that Tony but the cables are thinner than the starter cable and have been spiral wrapped as if they have come from the engine loom.

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Thank you chaps, looks like the next step will be to trace the wiring and make a proper circuit diagram, at least for this part of the system..

 

The 1970's observation makes sense, I think that is about the time the boat was built.

 

Given that the right hand unit is suspect and a direct replacement would seem unlikely, would it be worth re-jigging the whole thing?

 

For a start there must be better split-charge systems about half a hundred years on!

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Man 'o Kent said:

Thank you chaps, looks like the next step will be to trace the wiring and make a proper circuit diagram, at least for this part of the system..

 

The 1970's observation makes sense, I think that is about the time the boat was built.

 

Given that the right hand unit is suspect and a direct replacement would seem unlikely, would it be worth re-jigging the whole thing?

 

For a start there must be better split-charge systems about half a hundred years on!

 

 

 

 

Those solenoids are still available from car factors. They were used on inertia starters, fell out of fashion when pre-engaged starters became popular. Look at ebay for classic car solenoid, used on Minis, Triumph cars etc.

Modern split charge systems use Voltage Sensing Relays, google is a friend., there are diagrams on line.

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33 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Those solenoids are still available from car factors. They were used on inertia starters, fell out of fashion when pre-engaged starters became popular. Look at ebay for classic car solenoid, used on Minis, Triumph cars etc.

Modern split charge systems use Voltage Sensing Relays, google is a friend., there are diagrams on line.

 

But both energise terminals seem to be commoned with white and red trace cable which would be ignition switch to starter solenoid activation. I can't think what else would explain that.  it also looks as if the left-hand one has its coil negative blade connected to one of the stud terminals. If that was not negative that solenoid would not work.

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You lot do realise that at 80 I am going to have to climb over the engine,, elbow aside the calorifier, weasel my way past the plumbing whillr bent double just to trace this bloody wiring don't you?!!!

 

And there is you two gleefully prattling on about "But both energise terminals seem to be commoned with white and red trace cable which would be ignition switch to starter solenoid activation. I can't think what else would explain that.  it also looks as if the left-hand one has its coil negative blade connected to one of the stud terminals. If that was not negative that solenoid would not work."

 

Gawd! I coulld get to hate people who know how elektrickery works!

 

And yes, I am kiddding, please don't give up on me!

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Yes they look like standard 70's inertia solenoids, I think however they are insulated return ("Marine") units rather than standard units, which would just have one spade terminal and use the mounting bracket as the return, be aware that they are also available with an auxiliary contact (for a "ballasted" ignition system as seen on some 70's ford cars) which will LOOK like the units you need but the energise circuit is between one spade and the mounting bracket, the second spade (which may be smaller) is connected to the main feed when the solenoid is energised.

 

The wiring certainly looks like they are paired in the positive and negative main leads - possibly a way of providing "insulated return" as Tony suggested earlier, and nothing to do with charge splitting.

 

springy

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As far as I am concerned only an idiot would use a starer solenoid for charge splitting - there i no way they are designed for continuous use powered up. I think the coil would burn out.

 

@Man 'o Kent It looks very much as if the right hand side small terminal on the right had side solenoid connects back via a wire in black sleeving to the same terminal on the left hand solenoid. That tells me its probably the negative and if so I am even more sure one is  related to swapping between earth return for starting and insulated return for running.

t

Can you get a photo of the starter motor and surrounds plus a view showing the engine and those solenoids. Then we may be able to work out what is going on. If one of those solenoids is to energise the starter solenoid proper I don't see why it needs such thick cables. The run from solenoid to  starter must be short so 6mm CCSA cable or even 4sq mm CCSA should be ample to just energise the starter solenoid.

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42 minutes ago, springy said:

Yes they look like standard 70's inertia solenoids, I think however they are insulated return ("Marine") units rather than standard units, which would just have one spade terminal and use the mounting bracket as the return, be aware that they are also available with an auxiliary contact (for a "ballasted" ignition system as seen on some 70's ford cars) which will LOOK like the units you need but the energise circuit is between one spade and the mounting bracket, the second spade (which may be smaller) is connected to the main feed when the solenoid is energised.

 

The wiring certainly looks like they are paired in the positive and negative main leads - possibly a way of providing "insulated return" as Tony suggested earlier, and nothing to do with charge splitting.

 

springy

Good point, they are likely to be insulated return ones, my eyes are not so good any more. So not car ones, supply may be tricky then. I don't remember having many burn out in the day.  Perhaps its just a wiring fail?

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So chaps, why does the engine motor over when only the terminals of the r/h solenoid are shorted? Seems as though something else is providing a negative for the starter? My Canalstar used the armour on the fuel lines when someone’s size 11 broke the main negative lead! Perhaps the negative solenoid has been bypassed unintentionally by some earlier work. Need to look for a large cable from battery negative to the body of the engine, and it might be close to the alternator. It’s not uncommon for the negative from an insulated return alternator to be found connected to the mounting of a non insulated (standard) alternator.

Edited by Eeyore
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If it's a negative earth narrowboat I would just use a car one with the existing negative cable on one of the mounting bolts. Not absolute best practice for marine use but no different to thousands of other narrowboats.

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Ooo! Errr! It 'aint 'arf getting complicated!

 

I think the best thing I can do is get back on board and carefully make a wiring diagram, if for no better reason than to stop you fellows spoiling your good looks by tearing your hair out.

 

What is worth remembering is that the whole set-up was a very sweet starter, with a much complimented beat and minimal smoke --- until she ran out of fuel --- TWICE . . .

 

Meanwhile I'll get the injector pump off and properly serviced.

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