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Thread: Ever have a power wiring cable go bad?

  1. #11
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    Cray is offline Crappie.com 2019 Man of Year, Supermod & Moderator of the Mechanics Forum * Crappie.com Supporter
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    If was me Id do it on trailer. Knowing me half my tools would be on bottom of slip
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    No tools involved while working on the slip deck.

    You run the cable through the hole in the floor under the console, pulling out about 15 feet. Then you tape the cable to the end of an 8' pvc pipe. You insert the pipe into the end of the pontoon guide and push it through the other end of the guide. You take the tape off, freeing up the cable. Pull about three feet of the cable from the end of the guide, run it through the hole in the front where the female tm plug had been.

    You put connections on both wires and fasten them on the connector strip. You then pull the cable back through the guide so you have a tight line and use a line fastener to fasten the cable to the bottom of the pontoon deck.

    On the battery end you measure and cut the cable to fit. Add your connectors and you are back in business.

    The only tools used are used on the deck of the pontoon so i can't drop them into the water. Or shouldn't be able to drop them into the water but lately there is no telling what will hapen when it comes to me doing things.

    The hardest part of the job is getting the pvc pipe through the pontoon guide, which is a pain whether on the water or on land. And as I said, it is easier for me to work laying down than it is standing up.
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  3. #13
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    I've seen stranded wire "break". Typically on smaller wires. Sometimes it's from vibration and cuts the insulation and shorts the wire to ground or another conductor which can cause arching (like a welder). This is the fire risk which is why we use fuses and breakers.
    However the silent killer and what I've seen more commonly, especially on larger wire, is a small puncture in the insulation which allows moisture to penetrate. The moisture combined with being energized causes accelerated corrosion inside the insulation which eventually causes an "open" or break.
    I bet this was your problem. If you pull the old wire you might find a harder/less flexible spot, if so cut back the insulation and see.

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  4. #14
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    The ONLY time I have ever had a stranded cable larger then 10 gauge (it was 4 gauge I think) break was the power cable running to my 150gt outboard. It was a bass boat with a high back deck. Each time the motor was trimmed up it caused the wire to bend at a 90 degree angle and pushing against the rear deck. After about 15 years the motor would get harder to start, sometimes. Finally it stopped and would not start. Then when turning the key it clicked a few times, crackled a little and smoke started coming from that spot in the cable. My guess is from the wires moving it was causing a partial connection which when I hit the key caused some heat and eventually melted the insulation finally letting me see where the issue was. The repetitive bending is what caused the wire to break. Is there a chance your wire is bending (moving) in a particular spot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDCrappie View Post
    The ONLY time I have ever had a stranded cable larger then 10 gauge (it was 4 gauge I think) break was the power cable running to my 150gt outboard. It was a bass boat with a high back deck. Each time the motor was trimmed up it caused the wire to bend at a 90 degree angle and pushing against the rear deck. After about 15 years the motor would get harder to start, sometimes. Finally it stopped and would not start. Then when turning the key it clicked a few times, crackled a little and smoke started coming from that spot in the cable. My guess is from the wires moving it was causing a partial connection which when I hit the key caused some heat and eventually melted the insulation finally letting me see where the issue was. The repetitive bending is what caused the wire to break. Is there a chance your wire is bending (moving) in a particular spot?
    This pontoon is seven years old.

    I don't see how it could move. From the batteries, the wire goes through a hole in the deck, angles down to the pontoon guide where it goes straight to the front of the boat. There it makes an angle up to the hole in the deck where it emerges to hook to the terminal strip.

    I did not feel any slack in the line when I did a gently pull on the line. It has a cable protector around the wires so the wires themselves should never rub against anything. There is only 6-8 inches of wire that is exposed from where it leaves the guide up to the hole in the floor to attach to the terminal strip.

    The new wiring and lugs are due in today so I will probably rewire it tomorrow. I plan on connecting the new wiring to the trolling motor first to test it before I run it through the pontoon guide. I fully believe the wire is my problem but I don't want to go to the work of running the cable to discover that was not the problem.
    We are all born ignorant but one must work really hard to remain stupid. -Ben Franklin
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  6. #16
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    The problem was the red wire being open. I haven't pulled it from the cable run so I don't know what caused the break. I run new wiring along the side of the pontoon and hooked up the trolling motor which now works. Now that I know for sure that the problem was the wiring I will run the new wire in the pontoon guide underneath the boat and do the job the right way.

    Don't look forward to doing this as I have done it with my front fish finder cables and it is not fun.

    Thanks to all who commented on this problem
    We are all born ignorant but one must work really hard to remain stupid. -Ben Franklin
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    Glad you found it! Would love to see a picture of the break when done.

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