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Author Topic:   Basic Whaler wiring - HELP
frontier posted 02-22-2003 10:48 PM ET (US)   Profile for frontier   Send Email to frontier  
Bow & stern lights on a 13 Whaler. 2 wires from the bow light, 2 wires from the stern light and 2 wires from the switch. What goes where?? Good strong battery but all I get is dim lights. It is "haywire" !! HELP. Thanks!!
msullivan006 posted 02-22-2003 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for msullivan006  Send Email to msullivan006     
Hi Frontier,
I don't have my manual handy, but teh first thing that strikes me is that you should hav three wires at the switch, aat least if you have the three position pull out switch that was standard for a lot of years. On that switch set-up, fisrt position outward is just the stern light, for use as an anchor lignt withour runing teh bow light. Second position (full out) connects both bos and stern lights. On this switch, there are three separate screw terminals, one being the common power from battery, one the power from bow, and one the power from the stern. I believe that the negative wires all connect separately back at the fuse box near stern, starboard side (not through the switch) but I may be off on that. However, there is no other place under the tyical side console where the negative wires come through.

I would start by opening the fuse box and cleaning up the connectors there. Remove each wire and look for hidden corrosion in the wire connectors, remove fuse and clean its contacts also. Also, clean teh connections on teh battery terminals where the accessory wires connect and check those wire connectors as well. I have often found wires that are corroding inside of the wire end fitting where it is not easily seen but still makes a poor connection. If you haven't already done it, pull the bulbs and clean contacts at base inside fittings. There really aren't any other places for bad connections on that rig, so it should be pretty easy to locate the problem with a little patience.

frontier posted 02-23-2003 12:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
Thanks Mike.
Where does each wire go? The wire on the "batt" terminal on the switch goes direct (with fuse) to positive on the battery, right? Where do the other 5 wires go?
frontier posted 02-23-2003 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
I have a 2 position light switch & it's a total re-wire.
Would sure appreciate advice! Thanks.
Tom W Clark posted 02-23-2003 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

It's really pretty simple. If you have a two position (three pole) switch, then you should end up with seven wires, not six to hook up in the stern of the boat.

On the original Whalers, there was a terminal block that accommodated two sets of wires, positive and negative. This allowed a single position switch (OFF/ON) to turn both the bow and stern lights on or off.

On newer Whalers that have a two position switch (OFF/ON/ON) you can either turn on the stern light by itself (anchor light) or turn on both the bow and stern light (running lights).

To wire the latter arrangement, you will need a terminal block that accommodates three sets of wires.

On the first pair of terminals you will run a negative wire from the battery or distribution panel at the console. To the other side of this terminal you connect the negative leads of both the bow and stern light.

On the next pair of terminals you connect the positive lead coming from the first position pole of your switch. On the others side of this terminal you connect the positive lead from the stern light, or the quick disconnect pig tail for the stern light.

On the third pair of terminals you connect the positive lead coming from the second position pole at the switch. To the other side of this terminal you connect the positive lead from the bow light.

If wired properly, only the stern light will come on when the switch is pulled to the first position. When you pull the switch all the way out to the second position, both the bow and stern lights should be on.

DanT posted 02-23-2003 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for DanT  Send Email to DanT     
If you rewired the lights and they are dim and you're sure all the connections are clean and tight maybe you have the lights wired incorectly in series. To determine if this is the case, remove one bulb and if the other goes out then this is your problem. To get the lights to work correctly each light needs 12 volts and a good ground. The light switch will be in the 12 volt line between the battery and the lights. The 12 volt line needs to feed both lights. The return from both lights needs to connect to a good ground or the negative battery terminal.
msullivan006 posted 02-23-2003 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for msullivan006  Send Email to msullivan006     
Hi Frontier,
If you mean that you have a two position, on-off only switch, then the wiring should go pretty simply. In general, the positive from battery through the fuse goes to the Batt connector on the switch. The other switch connector should have two wires (onto the one connector), one from bow and one from stern lights. Then, the other wires from bow and stern lights connect with the wire coming from battery negative side - not conected to the switch but just all three wired solidly together as in a wire nut or better, a soldered connection protected with heat shrink wrap that has sealant inside it. You could also use a crimp connector, but soldered is the longest lasting where corrosion is a factor.

As far as which particular wires go where, I don't know the color codes used, but it isn't really important for this simple hook-up. So long as you identify the positive and negative from battery, and identify which pair is from bow versus pair from stern, then just pick one of bow and one of stern for positive to switch, and the others are all negative by default. The direction of current through the bulbs is no important. If one of wires from both bow and stern is same color, and one different, then the wires that are the same color will be the negative side, and if so, just pair them with the battery negative. Positive side is likely to be separately color coded so that you can identify front from back in a three position switch where you want the stern light on the right switch position. Just take your time with teh sorting so you know which wires you are working on.


frontier posted 02-23-2003 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
Thanks you guys - I'm getting there!
Tom- so where do you hook up the fused wire from positive side of battery?
Thanks again for basic electricity 101!
msullivan006 posted 02-23-2003 12:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for msullivan006  Send Email to msullivan006     
My last post was being drafted while these other guys in the middle produced all that good specific Whaler detail. I'd got with them if i were you ;-)
Tom W Clark posted 02-23-2003 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The fused wire from the battery goes to the first termianl on the switch. I think different switches may be marked differently, but most I have seen that are the pull type will have little markings on them near each terminal.

They may say something like: " + ", " 1 " and " 2 " where the one marked " + " is for the power source. It may also be marked as "Bat" or "pos" or some other code. It should be fairly obvious which is which.

frontier posted 02-23-2003 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
GOT IT! Thanks everybody.
DaveNJ posted 02-23-2003 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveNJ  Send Email to DaveNJ     
Thanks very much for the quesion and information in this post. It helped me out too.

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