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Old 20-06-2014, 19:33   #31
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Quote:
Typical starter schematic attached (replace the key assembly with a push button) - if the small wire going to the solenoid (probably mounted right on top of your starter) is chaffed and is touching metal anywhere along it's run the engine will crank. Check it carefully all around the engine.
No, it will have to be shorted to +12 volts.
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Old 20-06-2014, 19:47   #32
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Whoops - Who's the idiot now? - Doh...

You're absolutely correct - short to ground won't do it.

Don't discount that the button wire could be bundled with a 12v wire or shorting against the starter supply at point 6.

My experience is that "electrical hardware" (starter and solenoid) do not fail while changing a water pump.

Correlation and causation and all that stuff.

Also the simplified circuit I posted does not allow any "fancy gadgets" like the relays being discussed.

All troubleshooting is a methodical process to isolate and eliminate. The remote starter button isolates all the relays, start button and wiring in the solenoid circuit and is a great place to start.

Actually another quick test is remove the wire from the solenoid put a volt meter on it and shake the wire loom all around the engine bay. If you get any spikes...
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Old 21-06-2014, 03:02   #33
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

I've also had an issue of an engine not functioning property after (more than likely) the same mechanic changing belts&oil on my boat..
I was also in the exact harbor...my issue was simply my port engine didnt crank or start (small yammar engine)

i thought that Portobelo would have more resources and sailing minds...and it is less than a half day sail away...so I pulled up anchor and sailed to portobelo. (not sure if that was smart or not...but my thinking was it is a sailboat...i can sail it..and i did have 1 working engine)

Capt Jacks hostel is a really good resource there...

OP, I messaged you a diesel mechanic that was recommended to me. .

The boat has two identical engines...so I literally just sat with the manual and tried to figure out what was different (my problem was just a loose wire on the starter...i'm guessind was either knocked off or just not replaced)
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Old 22-06-2014, 11:35   #34
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

First an update, then I'll respond. Much thanks for the knowledge shared, I'm learning quite a bit about this boat...

So - I played with a multimeter and a bunch of wiring. There is a minor short in the wiring somewhere between the panel and the engine room.

On my boat, there's a connection in the wiring between the panel and the engine room - I found it, and it's fine. Bummer. So the thought now is that there's a failure somewhere in wiring itself, in one of those two pieces of wiring (between the control panel and the engine room). I'm headed back out shortly to see where that short is by connecting each one of the individual wires, in both pieces of wiring, to my multimeter and (hopefully) find the short.

I'll also try that little solenoid trick.

I managed to get the attention of a local German mechanic. He's methodical, honest, and hasn't charged me for the last couple of hours of work (both on my boat, and explaining the troubleshooting). For the time being, I'm going to keep using him as it's like a free lesson in electrical troubleshooting. And he's guaranteed to be cheaper, and has proven to be more knowledgable than the "mechanic" that was working on my engine when all this started.

Worst case - I'll replace the all the wiring and the control panel in the starboard engine. Best case, I manage to isolate the issue and replace a single part. Guess we'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, good to have another set of (experienced) eyes/hands. I will PM you the email of someone who may be able to help in the Puerto Lindo area. Often best to learn with a little guidance.


Edit: PM sent.

...and until you get this sorted out I would keep the start batt switch off unless you actually need to start the motor. Bad things can happen from a motor continually trying to start (mine never actually started): fire, damaged starter, water in the engine...
Thanks man, got the PM! And yes, I'm keeping the start batts off. I made the mistake of leaving them connected for a bit and it ran them down to 9 volts ... Managed to get them charged back up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
I'm so glad you said that, I was thinking the same thing. And if I can make a suggestion, if you don't already have a copy of Nigel Calder's 'Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual', get one. It really does have the proverbial 'wealth of information', for both beginners and oldhands.

I've got that one. The thing that has helped the most is the shop manual for the 2030, and this crazy German dude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Further to your experience last night, the three relays that belizesailor mentioned are the start, glowplug (preheat) and grounding?! relays. I'm still trying to figure out what the grounding relay does. Also, in the alarm/signal box there are at least nine diodes, a transistor and a couple of ambiguous (to me anyway) components. The point being that there may be several ways for the start relay to get activated. Switching out the panels is a good trouble shooting idea, but it still leaves the question where in the panel is the fault? I'll be curious to see what Volvo wants for that jewel of a panel.
For just the panel (no shipping, installation, import tax) - they want $856. Bastards. I can buy alot of Balboa beer with $856 (+). Once I find the short, I'm going to move to switching the panels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
At any rate, if you're going to be there a while, and if it turns out that the panel is at fault, I have a alarm/signal box that came with the MD2020 I put in my boat that I didn't use (made my own harness). It's used but was supposedly working when I got it. If the problem turns out to be in the panel you're welcome to it, mail from New Orleans to Panama is probably only a week or two.
Awesome, thanks for the offer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
These are common Bosch-style relays (black plastic cube). I just looked at mine and see no vent hole anywhere. The spare I looked at was not a genuine Bosch, so maybe those are different.

I didn't see any reference to a "ground" relay. There are only two relays on that engine - the start and glow plug relays, which are the Bosch-type in the little box.

Mark
On mine, the schematic does show a ground relay (see image). I don't know where it is though, it's part of my homework assignment from the German to find it. On the schematic below it's called an "Earthing Relay" - number 4.


Again thanks for the input, I'll let you know how it all turns out!
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Old 22-06-2014, 12:01   #35
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Valuable lesson learned from your original "mechanic"...there are plenty of folks in popular cruising destinations claiming various skills, but its not uncommon for them to be far from professional grade. Choose carefully and ideally with the guidance of folks with local knowledge who can steer you clear of the bad choices.
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Old 23-06-2014, 16:39   #36
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

I just looked in our service manual and see that that "earthing relay" was only on the MD2030A model engines and not the later B,C,D models. We have the B model, so don't have it.

From experience, I can tell you that there are a number of the small harness wires that run around tight spaces on the engine after leaving the harness. Volvo was very anal about not leaving any slack in them and running them around deep between stuff. It is very easy to pinch these wires and either open-circuit them or nick them so they short to ground.

P.S. I know it is typecasting and possibly not PC, but when I need machining or troubleshooting, I seek out a German. The older the better. Something about their makeup or culture, but they are obsessive, methodical and meticulous in these two areas. As long as they aren't drinking (too much)...

Mark
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Old 23-06-2014, 16:58   #37
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Mark, one of the interesting thing about older German, and Dutch tradesmen is that they did generalist training during their apprenticeship.
As an example, a Dutch electrician could also lay bricks.
Lots of times, tricky problems lie at the interface between trades, it is great to have someone who can cross the boundaries.
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Old 23-06-2014, 17:05   #38
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

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Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
Mark, one of the interesting thing about older German, and Dutch tradesmen is that they did generalist training during their apprenticeship.
As an example, a Dutch electrician could also lay bricks.
Lots of times, tricky problems lie at the interface between trades, it is great to have someone who can cross the boundaries.
Ah good - I wasn't being rude or characterizing! There actually is a reason behind my experiences with them.

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Old 23-06-2014, 17:31   #39
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Yes, and the Germans did/do have a wonderful apprenticeship program. Exceptional training.
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Old 23-06-2014, 18:06   #40
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

P.S. I know it is typecasting and possibly not PC, but when I need machining or troubleshooting, I seek out a German. The older the better. Something about their makeup or culture, but they are obsessive, methodical and meticulous in these two areas. As long as they aren't drinking (too much)...

Mark

I lived in Germany for a few years, and you don't know the half of it, you would see them out in the yard with scissors getting ever blade of grass perfect.
Go to the local automotive repair shop and it was literally as clean as a surgical operating room.
Can you think of anything German made that has a reputation for being junk?
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Old 23-06-2014, 18:09   #41
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

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I just looked in our service manual and see that that "earthing relay" was only on the MD2030A model engines and not the later B,C,D models. We have the B model, so don't have it.
0 - There are no dumb questions so I'll ask - The engine only tries to start by itself with the battery master on, right? All the below is different if the engine tries to start with the house/start batts master switch off.

1 - The earthing relay could be a red herring - you are getting a ground because the starter is engaging. The earthing relay provides isolation for all the engine circuits. On my engine (no relay) the ground from the engine wire loom is connected to B- on the alternator and B- (alternator) is connected to the ground buss. If you are getting all the panel lights the panel is grounded.


2. If there is a start relay it is in the box on the engine. It is a PITA to get the cover off but outside is the fuse block and inside the two relays - start and glow - If you have an earthing relay it will be in this box - I can't see them putting it anywhere else.

3. When the master switch is on you have potential at Start relay (30) glow relay(30) and B+

4. Through start relay junction (30) and the Red (R25) wire you have power supply to the panel through fuse block (11) Red Wire and Pin 1 (plug)

5. This plugs into the loom going to the panel or maybe directly to the panel - If so eliminate step 8.

6. Engine loom - Disconnect all wires from starter solenoid at starter, disconnect ground wire a alternator B- (if you want), disconnect engine plug.

7. On engine side of plug insert ohm meter in Pins 1 and 4 of plug. Shake loom vigorously. No continuity allowed.

8. On panel side of plug do the same.

9. If no intermittent short is discovered trace R & R/Y wires into panel. Flash them to LBN, W/BN, LBL, W/BL, BN & GR - All these circuits are grounded back to the engine (especially if you don't have a start relay) as they ground through the panel loom, the plug, the engine loom to B- on the alternator.

If you have a ground relay its purpose would be to isolate the engine from ground with switch off and the engine would be isolated - You would need 2 failures to get automatic engine start - short to ground relay and short of the start relay supply circuit

edit - Oh! And they both would have to intermittently short at the same time.

That's the way I ready it - Good luck!
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Old 23-06-2014, 19:35   #42
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Dan, I'm not the one with the problem, but your post will help the OP.

Belizesailor said his grounding relay was mounted on the outside of his relay box.

Why is the top of your relay box a PITA to get off? Ours is simply screwed on with two small screws. Remove those, lift the top off - very easy.

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Old 23-06-2014, 19:49   #43
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Dan, I'm not the one with the problem, but your post will help the OP.

Belizesailor said his grounding relay was mounted on the outside of his relay box.
Why is the top of your relay box a PITA to get off? Ours is simply screwed on with two small screws. Remove those, lift the top off - very easy.

Mark
I just piggybacked on your "where to find the relay" post. In it or on it, if there is a ground relay I don't know where else they would put it.


On my engine the clearance above the philips screw was like 2 inches. I tried angle philips, phillips point on a ratchet etc.

The screw head was also a bit buggered (although I have no idea why someone would have had this cover off an on enough to bugger it.

Long story short when I pulled the engine the box stays on the boat and I couldn't shift the engine enough to work the screw. I accidentally broke a corner off the plastic cover - Doh...
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Old 23-06-2014, 20:33   #44
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

It sounds like you got a mechanic with poor electrical skills. Find someone who knows how to diagnose and correct an electrical problem, and probably a pretty simple one at that.

At the opposite extreme, it is possible that you have severe corrosion throughout your electrical system and that it really does need to be completely overhauled (and the source of corrosion permanently corrected).
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Old 24-06-2014, 12:32   #45
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Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

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Its a pretty simple circuit. You need to apply +12 volts to one side of the solenoid to energize it. The voltage is supplied through the starter switch. The starter switch is supplied the voltage from the key switch. The key switch gets its power from the battery.

You can also check the solenoid wiring to ensure that nothing is shorting against the hot lead to the starter. Could possibly be a partial short that makes contact when the boat moves. I suppose it could be a short in the wiring harness to the start switch. Just follow one wire at a time from the solenoid (which is located on top of the starter) to where it disappears into the wire loom checking for the possibility of a short to the hot battery connection.
Phil is right on the money. If I were in Panama and needed this resolved, I would not rewire the harness. If anything at all, run ONE wire from the starter solenoid to the panel start switch.

The small hot lead to the starter solenoid pushes the starter gear onto the flywheel and activates the starter motor by the movement of the solenoid. Simple process that has not changed.

$2500 is way too much. Last job was on a Westerbeke where the wiring inside the loom had melted because of past short circuit compounded by the heat of the exhaust manifold it was running under. A new harness from westerbeke was about $250. Labor to build a new harness would be about four hours minimum, to install the harness, two hours. Panel to harness may be another 3 hours and easier as the wiring is one to one.

Cruise fix, I would run the single wire to the solenoid and to the start switch with a 20 Amp , disconnect the corresponding harness wire. If everything else is working as it should (gauges, glow plugs, alternator), leave it alone as a semi-permanent fix.
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