Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crimp, crimp, crimp

That about sums it up. I continued working on the engine electrical system this weekend. After shoveling the driveway of course. That seems to be a regular weekend chore these days.

I installed a few more electrical bus bars. Top left is connected directly to the battery and alternator. Just below comes off the 'Ignition' switch. In the middle is the bus for the navigation lights (top is +, bottom is ground)and engine instrument lights (switched through the engine electrical panel. On the right is a connection point for the ground wire. The battery negative terminal is connected to the engine flywheel cover (as per original) which is in turn connected to the ground bus.

I went ahead and ordered #4 guage wire and connectors to run the full alternator output to the ammeter at the back end of the cockpit and back to the 'battery bus' at the engine. The rest of the system minus the switch panel is about complete. The alternator has a max 37 amp output but I am selecting wires and the guage in anticipation of upgrading to a 60 amp output alternator at some point. For general wiring I am using #12 guage. I could have gone smaller on a lot of it but #12 covers 90% of the boat needs and I just felt it easier to stock one size rather than rolls of many different sizes and colors. It means that sometimes a 2 amp draw is running through wires capable of handling 20 amps but I did it just to simplify my stocks of wire and connectors.

So, the battery bus feeds the switch panel, bilge pump(s) (not connected yet), a automotive type 12v utility socket (cigarette lighter) and provides a connection for the alternator (bus bars are rated at 100 amps)

From the the 'Ignition' switch, power goes to the 'Ignition' power bus bar. This feeds the ignition coil, electronic ignition sensor (replaces the old mechanical points) and after passing through the oil pressure safety switch, the electric fuel pump (temporarily removed)

From the 'Navigation' switch, power goes to the navigation bus bar which will power the red, green, white and engine instrument lights. I don't know if these will be connected by launch day. Its there for whenever I can get to it.

Whatever is not grounded directly through the engine, like nav lights, coil, and fuel pump, is connected to the 'Ground' bus bar

I have yet to run the power and sensor wires to the engine instrument panel. That has to happen out in the cockpit and it is cold out there. I also figured I would wait until I have the panel installed so I can run all the wires in a bundle at the same time. Darn, I just remembered I need to order more wire for those sensors...

I did run the common power, ground, and light power wires to the individual guages. Single wires from the just installed terminal blocks will supply guage power, light power, and a ground to complete the installation.

Doesn't look like much I know. I am waiting for the switch panel to be installed before I bundle up the wires neatly and secure them.

Replacing my stock of crimp connectors, shrink tube, and the #4 wire and connectors ran up my weekly bill to about $150. It looks like my total bill for the engine wiring project is going to run around $300-$400 just in wire and connectors. I have no idea where it all goes...

With the epoxy having set this week, I used a belt sander to clean up the instrument panel frame.

I really wish I had a table saw.
With a skilsaw, plane, and chisel I cut out the 'notch' (the proper term escapes me) that will allow the panel to insert into the hole in the cockpit well.

Here is a preview of what the panel is shaping up to look like. I think I can finally justify a router. I want to put a quarter round on the outer and inner edges. I have been wanting one for years and I think I am finally getting to the point where I am not going to be happy with the results unless I get one. Free handing the curved edges gets old and is tough to get perfectly. With my interior furniture projects getting closer I think its time and this would be a good job for it.


Anonymous said...


brushfiremedia said...

That black panel looks nice.