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Thread: Questions about replacing those trailer plugs

  1. #46
    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Langer View Post
    - - you're right that most carry very light current....
    Mmmmm... ��
    Frank
    I wound up replacing the engine-panel-side trailer plug when I did a complete rewire of the panel.

    In the engine compartment, I only cut the large-gauge wires (14-10 ga) out of the trailer connector. I'm still running the alternator excitation, water temp sender, and oil pressure sender circuits through the trailer plug. A quick look at the pins on the plug will tell you that they're probably adequate, if not overkill, for 16-18 gauge wire, as long as they are in good condition.
    Last edited by Kenneth K; 09-05-2019 at 04:34 PM.
    Ken
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
    Universal M-25

    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

  2. #47
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Thanks, Ken.
    Frank

  3. #48
    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Frank,

    Regarding my previous post #44:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth K View Post
    ....just go after the wires associated with the starter circuit. I.E. the black/ground, the red/power feed, and the orange or yellow/starter wire....
    In considering your starter circuit, disregard the trailer plug's black/ground wire, as the starter grounds through its metal-to-metal contact with the engine block. The black/ground wire running through the trailer plug is just there to bring the ground out to the engine panel for things like panel gauges and lights, buzzers, the oil pressure light, and the blower if you have one.
    Last edited by Kenneth K; 09-05-2019 at 09:54 PM.
    Ken
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
    Universal M-25

    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

  4. #49
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Thanks, Ken. I really appreciate your attention to detail on this.
    Frank

  5. #50
    Sustaining Member eknebel's Avatar
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    "R&R of the starter on a 32-3 is awkward but doable. I wonder if anyone has done it on a 30+? "

    I replaced my 30+starter, and I had to remove the alternator to get access. It wasn't bad after that. I got a Kubota starter for $184, and as a bonus, solved a 200 ma current leak that I couldn't track down for years. In hindsight, it was obviously corrosion in the starter "dog" that extends the gear to engage the engine.

    if indeed all the connections are good(including the often overlooked engine ground), I vote for the starter over the "trailer plug" since the plug and harness looks ok.
    Ed Knebel
    E-30+ 1980
    "Blitzen"

  6. #51
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question Diagnosing the problem

    You might also do what I did when trouble-shooting our former Universal wiring harness and "trailer plugs". I bought an inexpensive laser pointer temperature reader. These seem to start at about $20.
    That's about three fancy Starbucks coffee drinks, for a common cost measurement scale....
    Absolute accuracy was not my goal, just comparative temps and I found that not only did each tape-wrapped plug feel a little warmer it actually measured ten degrees higher than ambient wiring beside it.

    Since then I have used it to verify temps of various parts of the engine(s) and associated parts.

    Heck, you can also point it at other people and if their number is too cold, out them as Zombies.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  7. #52
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Thanks, Loren. I do have one of those laser temp gauges, and the trailer plugs were both same temp as surrounding wires and air temp. It's so hard to know if they are ok, given that they are mainly carrying low current. But I'll probably end up replacing them, we'll see. And I'll probably get the solenoid and starter motor serviced too.
    Frank

  8. #53
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    Frank how did it get resolved?

    Frank,

    I've finally been able to get back to my boat and I'm in the same boat as you. How did your issue end? Did you get a solution? what was it?

    Dan
    1988 E-32-200 M-25 engine

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth K View Post
    Here's an outside thought: Maybe it's not the trailer plugs themselves, but the Dielectric grease.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    .......

    .
    Do not believe everything you see on the Internet. Even though dielectric grease is non-conductive it should be applied to the mating surfaces of the connector. It is counterintuitive but it works. At work we stuff connectors with dielectric grease all the time and never had a problem. Here is an explanation how it works:
    https://www.nyelubricants.com/facts-...or-lubrication
    yea, I know, this is from the Internet too ;-)
    Still Crazy, E32-3, 1987

  10. #55
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Dan,
    I've been away, so haven't dealt with my issue yet, though it's on the agenda for later this fall. It's not urgent for me as it only happens occasionally, but I will get it resolved.
    Frank

  11. #56
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Electircal

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonov View Post
    Do not believe everything you see on the Internet. Even though dielectric grease is non-conductive it should be applied to the mating surfaces of the connector. It is counterintuitive but it works. At work we stuff connectors with dielectric grease all the time and never had a problem. Here is an explanation how it works:
    https://www.nyelubricants.com/facts-...or-lubrication
    yea, I know, this is from the Internet too ;-)
    Thanks! Great link!!
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  12. #57
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    Thanks Frank

    Yeah,

    I'm not in a huge rush either but since I'm here and have the engine cover off to change the oil. I can see that I do have a trailer plug in the engine compartment. So I was wondering what the outcome was on yours. Our issues sound so similar. Intermittent issues are the worst. Oh and thanks also to the guy that posted the link on the diaelectric grease since I've also used it on the connections in the switch panel.

    I'm thinking of going with a terminal block in the engine compartment to replace the trailer plug and an automotive cellinoid to power the glow plugs.

    I'm basing this on a conversation I had with an electrician who made these mods on his Catalina which as I understand it is very similar.

    Opinions are all welcome but please back them up with reasons.

    Dan
    1988 E-32-200 M-25 engine

  13. #58
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Update on progress

    Hi,
    I had posted previously asking for advice about my very intermittent starting problem. Normally the engine starts fine, but occasionally when I pushed the start button nothing happened - - no cranking, no solenoid sound, just silence. I had cleaned all connections, replaced the start button, tested batteries. My plan based on advice on this site was to replace the trailer plugs in the wiring harness (even though they looked fine) and if the problem arose again, have the solenoid and starter serviced.
    Today I completed replacement of the trailer plugs. For those who have not yet done this, it was easier than I anticipated and the result is worth the effort.
    I had to remove the alternator to get access to wires to the starter and solenoid to ensure those connections were good and that the wires were run in the most efficient manner to the terminal block that I added in the engine compartment. Having completed all connections to the terminal block (there are seven wires in total) I followed the wiring harness aft to the engine panel. Fortunately, I discovered that the harness had a 2 foot loop attached to the underside of the cockpit floor. When I unwound this and straightened it, I found that I had enough length to reach the engine panel, thereby bypassing the trailer plug near the panel and avoiding the need for another terminal block and its connections. So now the wires run from the engine compartment to a terminal block, and then directly to the aft panel. I removed the trailer plug and shortened all the wires by about 2 feet, thereby hopefully improving the connections and reducing voltage drop a bit.
    Although it's too soon to know if I've solved my intermittent starting problem, the engine seemed to start even faster than before, and I now have a good understanding of all the wiring between the engine compartment and the aft panel. It also looks more organized.
    So all in all, it was definitely worth the effort, and not as hard as I had anticipated.
    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Langer; 10-26-2019 at 10:48 PM.

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