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12v positive ground

Your old Chris-Craft electrical system can be a challenge. If it runs on "juice" pose your questions and offer your advice here.

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Katanna
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan

12v positive ground

Post by Katanna » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:48 pm

Purchased a 62 Holiday 3 years ago that had been sitting several years prior. After purchasing I stored it for three years. Now its time to get started on restoration. Boat is in great shape but has original bottom. I didn't want to use it until I replaced with 5200 bottom. Anyways I wanted to make sure the engine started before I removed it for roll over. Installed new battery, remote fuel tank and cranked. nothing. A quick clean of points with emery cloth and it fired up and ran great-even idled smooth.

To my question. started removing the engine and noticed the red wire which I assumed was the positive battery cable, went to the block. I switched the wires and the motor wouldn't start, dash lts and bilge wouldn't work. Switched wires back and it fired right up and bilge and lights worked. Would this be a positive ground? If so, why?

Steve

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mfine
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Location: Pittsford and Penn Yan NY

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by mfine » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:12 am

To promote corrosion and reduce reliability? Was the former owner Brittish, possibly with the last name of Lucas?

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drrot
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Location: Three Lakes, WI
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Re: 12v positive ground

Post by drrot » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:35 am

You didn't mention the engine type. Some engines were + ground.
Dash lights should still work and bilge should run backwards unless electronic. Look at the ignition coil and post how the wires are run. (does the + go to the distributor or ignition switch?)
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

Katanna
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by Katanna » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:11 am

Engine is original 283 flywheel forward. blue wire from harness goes to positive side of the coil. Negative from coil goes to distributor.

What would be involved with converting to negative ground?

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drrot
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Re: 12v positive ground

Post by drrot » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:37 am

Something's funky. I think M-Fine is on to something. :shock: Double check and see if the wires cross under the floor boards. Should be negative ground.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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mbigpops
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by mbigpops » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:56 am

Need more information to figure this out.

When you hooked up the battery to the red cable that goes to the block which terminal did you connect to on the battery - plus or minus ?

Can you post any photos of the engine setup showing the battery, coil, starter, generator and distributor ?

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

Katanna
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by Katanna » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:05 am

Here are some pics of the wiring. you can see the red wire goes directly to the block at the front of the engine. I assumed that was the positive wire when I hooked it to the battery being red. the brown/beige wire I hooked to ground.


Holiday 4.jpg
Holiday 3.jpg
Holiday 2.jpg
holiday1.jpg
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mbigpops
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by mbigpops » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:32 am

Sorry for not being specific but one photo of everything involved showing the wire paths would be best.

Based on the photos that you have posted I would highly recommend a full re-wire of the electrical system using proper gauge and color wires, marine environment rated terminals, etc. It looks like whoever had been maintaining the electrical just used whatever was available. There are basic wiring diagrams available in previous posts under this heading.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

Katanna
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by Katanna » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:31 am

Everything will get replaced. I pulled the engine out before work this morning. Hope to roll it over tomorrow and get started on the bottom replacement. Was hoping to get some more insight on the positive ground. It will get changed to negative. Amazing it ran so well after sitting for at least 7 years. Figured the carb would be gunked up but it idled fine. Also notice the boot missing on the coil wire.

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mbigpops
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Re: 12v positive ground

Post by mbigpops » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:27 am

I noticed that too. I would not run without that boot even though it was not there originally.

I think the judging rules committee would benefit from an electrical safety lesson if they deduct for items like that.

Good luck with the bottom !

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

jim g
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Re: 12v positive ground

Post by jim g » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:06 pm

Katanna wrote:Engine is original 283 flywheel forward. blue wire from harness goes to positive side of the coil. Negative from coil goes to distributor.
Wired this way is negative ground. I have seen these engines run with the battery hooked up either way.

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