3. Electrical

Note: I insert records as I come across good advice in current email threads or as I get a chance to review the archives. For that reason all elements of the index are not populated. If any C470 owner does the research and sends me text for a record, I'll include that with attribution. ...Joe

3.8 Fischer-Panda Generator

3.8.1 Jump starting due to a dead battery.
Advice: The FP rep in Marina del Rey explained there is a fault with the FP.  If you jump start a dead battery and remove the jumper before the battery has got up to 12v it blows the chip.  He doesn't know why, just a design fault.  For Mini 8 the part numbers for the chip are :640-563 & MC 1404S UBC. It is about a 15 min job to replace one.
Owner: Dick McKee
Boat: ONE9TEEN; 120
Date: 13 Oct 2009; 9 Dec 2009

Advice:
I successfully jump started when I had a weak generator battery. There was enough power in the weak battery to operate the remote control panel so I made sure it was off. I then connected the + jumper cable from the generator battery to the auxiliary battery. I then connected the - cable to the generator battery and then made the final connection to the auxiliary battery. I was able run the starter from the remote panel without incident. I did this for quite a while as I was having a hard time getting air out of the high pressure side of the injector pump. The problem was finally cured and I ran the generator for a while and then turned it off and disconnected the cables in the reverse order.
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date: 9 Dec 2009

3.8.2 Starter solenoid control relay.

Problem:
Starter solenoid does not function when control panel Start button is pushed.
Advice:
The generator starter did not respond when I pushed the start button on the generator. To trouble shoot it, I opened the generator enclosure and used a small wire to apply +12V directly the the terminal of the solenoid on the starter motor - the starter immediately engaged. Thus the problem was the small relay switch that is activated by the Start button was not working. I had a spare for it and the Start button functioned normally when the new relay was installed. The part numbers for the relays are:
Hella: 41210291 ; Duralast: 19208
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date: June 2007

Problem:
Starter solenoid does not function when control panel Start button is pushed.
Advice:
I called FP and the Techs walked me through the system and told me the "K-1" relay was bad. For a short term fix they had me use the number "K-0" relay
as a replacement. They said "K-0" relay is not used. Once switched, the Genset started right up. They could not explain why the relay kept failing and suggested keeping
spares. The spares where about $12 a piece.
Owner: Tom Jeremiason
Boat: S/V Camelot; 145
Date: 9 Dec 2009

Problem: Dirty & corroded contacts act like a bad relay for starter
Advice:
Sometimes the genset will run for 2 hours and sometimes it will run for 12 hours after i got tired of scratching my head i had my mechanic look because i was going thru relays and he discovered there is heavy corrosion and disintegration in the circuit board that the relays are plugging into so baqd contact and inconsistent voltage to the genset and fuel relay i have had to replace the wiring harness on the genset - of course not a cheap part, about $400 for now you can keep some relays on hand but dont throw them away because they might not be bad - just bad connection. This i discovered after i had an electrician friend test 2 and they were fine.
Owner: Larry Comcast
Boat: Comfortably Numb; 73
Date: 9 Dec 2009

3.8.3 How to remotely start a F-P generator

Problem:
When working on the F-P generator, it is necessary to initiate the starter - but there is no one to push the button on the remote control panel.
Advice:
Get a piece of 14 - 18 ga wire about 2' long.  Single strand works best.  Put a small alligator clip on one end and strip ~ 1/2" of the other end.  If you use multi-strand wire you can crimp a thin connector / lug of some type to the end. To remote start:  clip the alligator to the +12V terminal on the generator battery. Then momentarily touch the other end to terminal 10 on the generator electrical connector strip.   This is the power out from the little relay to the solenoid on the starter. If you have to hang over the generator like I do, be sure to stay clear of the fanbelt! If I ever have to do more work on the connector strip, I will permanently connect a spade lug with a short piece of wire and another insulated connector.  Then I'll add a push button to the wire above so I can clip to the battery, plug in to the insulated connector, then push the button to start the genset.
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date: November 2009

3.8.4 A way to prevent oil from the dip stick port from coating the electrical contact strip and components.
Problem:
Those great German engineers really screwed up when they decided to put all the electrical connections directly under the oil dip stick port.  It is essentially impossible to check the oil without oil getting onto the electronics.
Advice:
I built a shallow tray out of thin SS about 3 x 4 " with 1/2" sides.  I wired it into place under the lip of the oii port.  I keep a layer in it of the highly absorbent towels they sell for under engines.  This tends to keep the electrical connections cleaner.
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date: April 2007

3.8.5 Bleeding air from the F-P Generator fuel line
Problem: Generator will not start due to air in the fuel line
Advice:
After almost 2 years of starting as soon as I touched the start button, I began having difficulty starting it.   The start times seemed to increase in proportion to the time between my last use of the generator increased.  I wrote in another post that that has been fixed by installing a back flow check valve in the fuel line at the generator. Before doing this, I had a bear of a time getting the generator started.  I vented air at the bleed screw.  I even took out the solenoid valve to see if that was the problem.  I verified it was getting air and fuel was at the intake of the high pressure pump.  No matter what I did it wouldn't start and I ran down the battery in the process.  I eventually found a diesel mechanic to look at it at Isle of Hope GA. He showed me that it was necessary to take one of the injector fittings completely off at the injector end.   Then crank the starter until small but strong spurts of fuel came out of the high pressure line.   When the fitting was reconnected, it started immediately.
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date:
9 Dec 09

Problem: Why air in fuel line is a problem - explanation
Advice:
Ok, credentials first.  I am the guy that used to give the diesel maintenance course at the southern boats shows back in the 80's. The bleed/bypass devices on a modern diesel are very effective at getting air out of the low pressure side of the fuel system.  Both the low pressure and high pressure side of the injection pump are designed to pump a non compressible column of fuel to its destination.  When the system contains air - which is highly compressible, the pumps simply can't build up the pressure required to do this job. When the Japanese got into the diesel business, they created a "fuel return" system on the low pressure side of the pump.  This constantly returns a small amount of fuel - and any trapped air - back to the fuel tanks. This bypass is a pretty effective way to "self bleed" the low pressure side of the system, working even on the pressure of an electric fuel pump before the engine is running. However, once air enters the high pressure side, the bleed device is no help at all.  Fuel injectors "pop" open when the injection pump pressurizes its individual fuel supply line to somewhere over 2000psi of pressure. Even a small amount of air in the high pressure line/injector cushions this pressure pulse enough that the injector just won't pop. Obviously, there can be no "self bleeeding" device on this side of the system, because it would interfere with the pressures and timing of the injection pumps pulse, so once air gets this far it will have to be removed though the fitting on the head of the injector. In my experience I have had all kinds of clogged fuel filters, poor  filter changes, and other dumb stuff and the system bleed its self just fine.  But run a tank dry with either the gen set or engine, and will guarantee you are going to be doing the knuckle busting "injector bleed."
Owner: Gary Bratton
Boat: S/V Country Dancer
Date:
10 Dec 09

3.12 Running / navigation lights
3.12.1 LED replacement bulbs.
Advice: LED Bulbs for C470 running lights
Anchor - Dr. LED 8001047 - WM9353384 (WM=West Marine)
Stearn Nav. - Dr. LED 8001047 - WM9353384
Port Nav. - Dr. LED 8001054 - WM9353392
Starboard Nav. - Dr. LED 8001061 - WM9353400
Owner: Bill Martinelli
Boat: Voyager; 11
Date: 28 Oct 09

3.12.2 Replacing bulb in Aqua Signal Series 40 lights
Advice:
Stbd running light. Replaced standard bulb with Dr. LED; 12V; 0.09A; Series 40; for Aqua Signal Series 40 lights; West 8001047. Note: when inserting the bulb, the tit closest to the base should be oriented at 0400 when looking down at the base. Insert and twist CCW when looking down at base.
Owner: Joe Rocchio
Boat: Onward; 126
Date:
13 Dec 09

Problem:

Advice:

Owner:
Boat:
Date: