Electrical issues 08 196

MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller

Wondering if someone more skilled can help me understand/troubleshoot. Boat has been randomly shutting down. The is the key version so it does not have the main battery switch. When the boat shuts down, the ignition switch trips under the drivers feet. Also, it seems like the circuit breaker in the bow trips ( I believe this one trips first, then when reset the ignition trips, but not 100% sure if that's the same everytime). The circuit breaker in the bow had some loose wires and was getting hot, so those were tightened. We tightened the wires on the circuit breaker box too.

I am not sure if this is a weird coincidence, but the volt meter in the dash (gauge) has only been showing 10 - 11 volts. Not sure when that started. When tested the batt and alternator, both are working properly. Bad gauge or something is causing the wrong reading that is tripping the breakers? Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!


  • JDskiNECAJDskiNECA Posts: 30 Baller
    If the work you did on the loose wires you discuss does not resolve your issue, I would be looking for a short in the system. A wire that has the insulation worn off touching metal. It could be anywhere, but there is not a lot of metal so I would concentrate around the circuit breakers and motor. Gremlins like that can be so simple but are a nightmare to locate. Look at each wire from one end to another. It can be time consuming.
  • skier2788skier2788 Posts: 810 Crazy Baller
    @Martin ran into a similar problem on an 04 196 not long ago. It had a ballast tank in the trunk and the gauge wires came loose and would ground. Boats are a little unique in the fact that ground isn't readily available like on a car. Pretty rare to find a short in a boat harness. Roll the gauge cluster out you may find loose wires on your volt meter.
    Travis Torley
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    I’d measure the voltage at the gauge. If that’s an accurate reading you either have voltage drop across a loose/corroded connection somewhere, or…. A short somewhere pulling more current than it should, thereby also dropping voltage in the line before the gauge.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller
    Thank you! I changed the circuit breaker since I thought it might have been toast from over heating. Tightened up anything and everything I could. The gauge is up from 10v to 12v when the boat is running. I will measure the voltage at the gauge today. We skied yesterday without the breaker tripping, so things definitely improved.
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    Sounds like you at least touched (if not fixed) the problem. With the boat running you should see around 14 at the gauge. If it’s really 12 the problem is likely still there, just improved.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    Can you post your battery and alternator voltages both before you tightened and after? I'd hazard a guess that you could have been damaging the alternator with the loose connections and thats its output voltage is now deficient.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller
    I measured last night and every gauge now has 12.25v. When boat running, the battery and the circuit breakers close to the battery have 13.8-14.5v. I have not checked the alternator, will check today, but it does seem like the alt is working. Somehow I am getting reduced voltage on the gauges in the dash and on the key. The boat is not tripping anymore, but I would still love to figure out what is causing it.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller
    The battery had 14.5v even before tightening, that's where I started when the boat tripped the first time. The voltage might have been up and down though as the connections were moving, not sure.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    14.5 volts? At the battery? That's too high. I'd still test your alternator output but by definition it should be higher than your battery. But you shouldn't see anything that high.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    In other words, I'd bet your loose connections fried your alternator, which has damaged battery as well.
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,374 Mega Baller
    Many years ago I changed out an alternator on my 02 196 that I thought was putting out too much voltage (14.5V at the volt meter) and replaced it with a new alternator from Nautique. Same result..... I now have a spare.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,696 Mega Baller
    14.5 is fine IMO.
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    2.45 volts/cell, or 14.7 in this case, is considered max allowable charging voltage for lead-acid. 14.5 is on the high side, but should be OK.
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 149 Baller
    Maybe I misunderstood him but I thought he said he was getting 14.5 at the battery. I presumed at rest to have ruled out a bad battery but maybe not.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller
    At the battery while boat is running. Battery at rest has about 11.8v. Seems like anywhere 13.8-14.3v while running now at the battery and at the closest/main circuit breakers. We skied last few days and the breaker did not trip. Dash is still only getting 12.25v while the boat is running.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 39 Baller
    I think I might have found the issue. I replaced a few things and it still tripped every now and then. There was a toast wire touching the block that melted the shield, I replaced it, but did not fix the problem. Every time I got under the dash it started tripping. One of the hot/ground sources powering the dash is faulty. I unplugged it and the gauge now reads 14v and it has not tripped since. I have not figured out why that source is draining power yet, I can't get to the wires behind the dash easily to track it down.
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    @Martin good chance it’s a wire, but maybe not. Look for loose/corroded connections in the wire leading to the dash. Less likely, but could also be a device powered by the dash is pulling too much current, resulting in a slight voltage drop across the wires and connections. If you don’t find anything in the wires try disconnecting (1 at a time) any devices powered by that dash wire.
Sign In or Register to comment.