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Old 04-10-2014, 23:39   #1
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FORD Lehman, short please help.

HI all, i have a boat with 2 ford lehmans, one engine starts good, but the other , seems to have a short some where, where in, when I trying to start it, it boogs, maybe turns over one time, then tries to find a ground, or what ever, it will start frying the little ground wires, attached to the back of the transmission, gets them hot and tries to burn them. at one time last week, I had it running, it would turn over and start, but it would still try to smoke/burn the wires but once started, and i let go of the ignition key, ( i assume, when i let go of the ignition key, it stops the power going to the starter )it stops trying to find the ground, or what ever it is doing to these wires and the engine would run fine. at one time the short seemed to go away, and it would turn over, multiple time before starting. Please help, what do you think it is, starter, solenoid? short battery.
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:49   #2
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Re: FORD Lehman, short please help.

Virtually every time the small negative wires on an engine get hot, especially when they smoke, there is a bad connection on the battery negative cable. Usually it is the end of the cable that attaches to the block and not the battery terminal end.

Anyway, unbolt the negative cable from the block and clean both sides of the connection and bolt it back together and that should fix your problem. If it goes not, then your cable is most likely internally corroded and needs to be replaced. How to verify that is to simply clamp a jumper cable to the neg terminal and the block somewhere and verify it cures the problem.
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:08   #3
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Re: FORD Lehman, short please help.

thank you for your reply, the way this is set up, is the starter has the neg cable from the battery connected to it, and the pos is connected to the solenoid. So i do not see a big cable connected to the block, I already cleaned both sides of the thick neg cable . I even tried to ground the block on this one engine, to the other engine, and it still heats up the jumper cable and the small wires. and only turns over one time, not what i am looking for, the crank over multiple times, So i am leaning towards some thing else, battery, starter, solenoid
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Old 06-10-2014, 00:16   #4
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Re: FORD Lehman, short please help.

Sounds like the small cables are taking the start load and not the big cable, check the big cable properly at both ends. Even link a new big cable across to the other engine negative and see if that helps. It will at least show if the big one is the problem.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:34   #5
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Re: FORD Lehman, short please help.

Salt water can "wick" along electrical cables. Sunlight seems to make the process much worse.

Why not simply replace all the cables with new? A good battery place or auto electrician may be able to make them up. See if you can get the ends sealed.

If you can buy some good quality marine tinned cable so much the better. Going up a size or two may also help.
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Old 06-10-2014, 17:02   #6
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Re: FORD Lehman, short please help.

Can you get ahold of some automotive jumper cables? Just use one, and clamp it to your battery negative and then to the starter case and then try it and see if it is any better.

Additionally, you can cut a inch or so lengthwise slit in the negative cable you have at each end and peel it back to inspect the wire. If the wire is still all shiny then it is still good most likely and just tape the jacket with some electrical tape.

Also, do you have access to a 12 volt test light?


These are really handy to have, just clip it to the negative terminal on your battery and then touch the point to your starter caqse and hit the key. If it lights up it means the electricity flows easier through the light than it does through your battery cable. Then you can you can start at the battery terminal itself and move away from the battery until you find the fault.

Hope that makes sense!
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