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Three's a Crowd

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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Three's a Crowd

Post by Moosemeat » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:17 pm

I installed a new starter motor on my KLC this fall. The starter is great and spins the engine better, but the positive terminal post barely accommodates the three wires on it. It's holding on by three threads on the nut. One good pothole or wave and it may pop off. Not good. :shock:
In pondering a solution to this I ask the question why do the two smaller wires need to be connected here? Why not attach them to the battery's positive post, leaving plenty of post space for the big cable from the battery. One powers the fuse panel via the ignition switch and the other powers the always hot items like the bilge pump, bilge blower, and fume detector.
I also considered a buss bar extender on the starter terminal, but that leaves me with a large piece of hot metal waiting for a tool to fall on it and make a circuit. Also not good. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Three's a Crowd

Post by Bilge Rat » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:54 pm

Yeah you don't want anything loosening up at the starter solenoid terminal. Lots of grounded metal around there and the results would be spectacular. The buss bar idea is a good one instead of the battery as it will not subject the connections to loosening up every time you disconnect and reconnect the battery terminal. They have USCG approved buss bars with plastic covers to encase the positive terminals and insulate them from a wayward wrench. This is if you have enough real estate in the bilge to install this. Another idea would be to use a battery disconnect switch and junction these extra conductors inside there. I like disconnecting the battery when trailering and as I have 2 separate circuit batteries (engine and house), the switch makes it easier.

Another idea would be a small distribution fuse block that would have only 2 wires on the solenoid battery terminal (the battery cable and a smaller one). The smaller 1 would feed the fuse block and then provide separate fuses for the 2 smaller circuits. They also have insulating covers. This would also provide fuse protection at the source of battery tap-off, always a good idea.

The bussbar and the fuse block pictures are Blue Sea Systems products but there are others too.
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1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

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Re: Three's a Crowd

Post by mbigpops » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:15 pm

As a general rule of thumb anything within proximity of the engine that is not fused can wire directly to the generator output using a ring terminal (not a spade terminal) and locking hardware.

Anything else that is fused should go to a marine rated fuse block like Bilge Rat has suggested and again using ring terminals.

You should only have the one heavy gauge wire going from the battery to the starter.

1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

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