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  One Battery In Two-Battery Set-Up Fails Repeatedly

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Author Topic:   One Battery In Two-Battery Set-Up Fails Repeatedly
montuck2 posted 08-16-2009 11:37 AM ET (US)   Profile for montuck2   Send Email to montuck2  
I started my 2003 Yamaha 200-HP Saltwater Series two-cycle fuel injected outboard on the port battery. It was running fine. After two hours, [the motor] quit. There was not enough power in the battery to turn engine over.

I switched to starboard battery; the engine starts and runs fine.

I installed a new port battery and new battery switch. Two weeks later on a second trip, the same thing happens. Both batteries had less than 20 hours running time. Yamaha gauge shows charging. Connections appear good. Not sure problem is confined to port side; but so far no problem on starboard side. Thanks for any ideas.

HAPPYJIM posted 08-16-2009 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Some times you just get a bad battery. Could be a piece of the lead plate broke off and caused an internal short....it happens. Did the battery come with a warranty?

Look at the top of the battery and make sure the the motor is not overcharging the battery. Water on top of the battery may indicate cooking off of the electrolyte and that will shorten battery life.

montuck2 posted 08-16-2009 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for montuck2  Send Email to montuck2     
Thanks for the reply, understand about dud batteries; but doubt I brought 2 in a row. Both are sealed. Have to belive either the motor or wiring is killing the batteries; but do no know where to start looking after checking the connections. Thanks again.
HAPPYJIM posted 08-16-2009 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I would check the voltage output of the motor at the battery terminals. If you have a manual to check what the maximum voltage is supposed to be, that would be a start.
jimh posted 08-17-2009 07:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Measure the voltage with a voltmeter with at least 5-percent accuracy. Observe the change in the terminal voltage of the battery when the engine is not running to when the engine is running at 1,500-RPM or more. You should see the battery terminal voltage increase from about 12.5-volts to about 14-volts.

If you do not see a significant increase, check the engine charging circuit.

jimh posted 08-17-2009 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved]
pglein posted 08-19-2009 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
Have you tried hooking the battery up to a charger other than the engine? Does it hold a charge when left disconnected? You need to determine if the battery is actually dying, or if it's just losing it's charge due to some draw or because it's not being charged by the engine.
jimh posted 08-19-2009 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A simple technique for diagnosis of the cause of problems when you have two of something: swap them. In this case, swap the port and starboard batteries. If the problem follows the batteries, the battery was the source of the problem. If the problem remains with the PORT battery, the source is related to the wiring or configuration of the PORT battery, not the battery itself.
seahorse posted 08-19-2009 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

quote:

Thanks for the reply, understand about dud batteries; but doubt I brought 2 in a row. Both are sealed.

Yamaha states specifically in their manuals and training literature not to use sealed batteries with their motors.

jimh posted 08-20-2009 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If Yamaha warns against using a sealed battery, the most likely reason is the voltage regulation on their charging system is not set to hold the charger output to below 14.4-volts. Generally speaking a sealed lead-acid battery cannot be charged with more than 14.4-volts without developing too much gas formation in the electrolyte of the battery. If you use a sealed lead-acid battery you must control the charging voltage and regulate it to less than 14.4-volts on a long term basis.
montuck2 posted 08-21-2009 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for montuck2  Send Email to montuck2     
Thanks for all of the information, Will be working on this problem, or taking the boat to a shop in the next few days. All information is appreceiated.
TransAm posted 08-21-2009 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
quote:
Yamaha states specifically in their manuals and training literature not to use sealed batteries with their motors.

No where in my Yamaha literature (Owners Manual and Factory Service Manual) do I see any mention against using sealed batteries. The only cautionary note is not to use a battery that does not meet specific capacities. Specifically, that refers to a battery of 512 Amps and reserve capacity of 182 minutes. Is there a bulletin or other reference available on prohibiting sealed battery usage? If so, what model engines does this restriction affect?

seahorse posted 08-21-2009 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

From page 4-3 in a recent Yamaha Outboard Rigging Manual:


Yamaha recommends a Cranking-type battery
that can have distilled water added to its cells
when necessary.

Dual purpose Cranking/Deep-cycle batteries can
be used if they meet the above specifications and
water can be added to the cells.

Maintenance-Free sealed or Gel Cell batteries
are not recommended because they may not be
compatible with Yamaha’s charging system

Battery Sizing

There are many things to consider when choosing
a battery for a boat and engine combination.
Yamaha has certain electrical requirements in
order for the engine to perform as designed. These
electrical requirements have increased as technology
has evolved. The engine must first be started.
This is the heaviest load the battery must provide.
The modern outboard engine has many electronic
components that require battery voltage to operate
the fuel injection and ignition system to keep the
engine running.

number9 posted 08-22-2009 12:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
The latest [unclear acronym] in my library is 2007 and says the same. No knowledge of what the most recent recommends. I do know my Yamaha charging voltage output is higher than recommended for an AGM battery, but [I] still use it without worry.

Of all the available batteries and outboard motor charging systems out there, [I] doubt any are a perfect match per the battery specification sheets, particularly when the recommended charging rate is considered. The outboard motor systems are still designed to charge a battery to restart the motor and provide enough power to the battery and accessories to keep them serviceable.

montuck2's problem is not a result of using the sealed battery unless it's a second [unclear acronym].

montuck2 posted 08-22-2009 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for montuck2  Send Email to montuck2     

All information continues to be appreceiated.

Number9, please explain "BFS". Thanks.

Other information , "bad voltage regulator, motor runs until the fuel pump kills the batteries,once there is no voltage left for the fuel pump to run the motor shuts off, thus when U add power the pump runs and so does the motor, motor is not charging battery, needs new voltage regulator."

Is a "bad voltage regulator" likley when the Yamaha guage shows charging? So far the problem has been on the Port side, perhaps the motor has not been run long enough on the Starboard side battery to kill the Starboard battery.

I realize trouble shooting on the internet (or anywhere else) is not easy; but, I think problems can be narrowed down and useful guidance obtained.

Thanks for any thoughts.

TransAm posted 08-22-2009 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
O.K. I checked my rigging manual (section 3-30 of the 2000 version) and it does in fact mention a cautionary note regarding the use of gel cell, maintenance free or deep cycle battery for starting. Specifically, it reads:

Using a deep cycle, maintenance free or gel cell battery for starting in not recommended! These batteries are not designed for high starter current discharge or continuous charging on most outboards and usually have short life.

Gel cell batteries require special controlled charging and may not be compatible with Yamaha charging system. Marine, cranking types are most suitable. Consult the battery manufacturer for details.

This note still lacks some clarity in my mind (seems to lump ALL maintenance free batteries into a broad category) and the ultimate determination should probably be made by the specific battery manufacturer. I also find it curious that this cautionary note is embedded in a guide very few boat owners have at their disposal.

seahorse posted 08-22-2009 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

quote:
I also find it curious that this cautionary note is embedded in a guide very few boat owners have at their disposal.

Yamaha, as well as other manufacturers, train their dealers in rigging boats. They don't recommend or suggest that a customer should do his own rigging. They recommend that their authorized dealer do the servicing and the parts replacements needed.

Looking at the big picture, I'm sure that if you produced a product that could kill or maim someone if installed incorrectly, that you would not suggest that the general public be the ones to install it. You would want a trained person or authorized dealer to do it, just to minimize liability.

Same way with repairing a motor, that info is in a specialized service manual, not the owners manual.

It all has to do with our legal system.

TransAm posted 08-22-2009 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
I don't interpret any legal implication whatsoever in this cautionary note. Only that using such non-recommended batteries may result in short battery life. I also find it curious that there is no mention of possible engine damage, something that is almost always qualified in recommendations such as this. And you better believe if there was even a remote risk of harm to humans it would be specifically and clearly set forth in the cautionary note, probably in BOLD in a font much larger than the standard text.

And since Yamaha doesn't sell batteries, I don't see an especially pertinent corollary between fixing a motor that would require a manufacturers specialized parts and replacing a battery. Especially when the note asks the user to consult the specific battery manufacturer. Further, if the rigging guide were for the exclusive use of Yamaha authorized personnel, that too would be specifically spelled out.

In fact, my rigging manual begins with an INTRODUCTION that the Yamaha assumes only that the operator of the manual are aware of standard rigging techniques. No mention of formalized training requirements. It then goes on to set forth definitions of various cautionary notes and warnings. For instance "A CAUTION indicates special procedures that must be followed to avoid damage tot he outboard motor, accessories, boat, test equipment or tools." "A WARNING indicates special procedures that must be followed to avoid injury to persons operating the outboard motor or other components, to persons installing or repairing the motor or other components."

The note referring to battery type is described as just that, "A NOTE" with no specific provisions contained in the CAUTION or WARNING definitions.

jimh posted 08-22-2009 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am enjoying the layman's legal wrangling, but I don't think it is helping to solve the problem. We still don't know if the problem is associated with the particular battery or with the battery being wired on Port side, which always fails.

As I suggested previously, when you have two identical components in a circuit, and one appears to malfunction, a good technique for diagnosis is to exchange the components. Retest the device and see if the failure follows the component or if the failure remains associated with the location in the circuit

If montuck2--and by the way, what an interesting name, is it German?--would oblige us with a swap of the batteries from Port and Starboard, we could proceed with the investigation of what is causing only one of them to repeatedly lose charge.

TransAm posted 08-22-2009 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
quote:
I am enjoying the layman's legal wrangling......

Ah, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Perhaps you could provide a diagram of your wiring. Also, since you are using a battery type (sealed) that Yamaha warns may have a short life, this is certainly not helping matters. Your installation should look something like this.

http://s299.photobucket.com/albums/mm314/77SETransAm/?action=view& current=SingleEngDualBatt.jpg

seahorse posted 08-22-2009 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
quote:
I don't interpret any legal implication whatsoever in this cautionary note.


I don't either.

My comment about legal implication was rigging in general by the public. It was in answer your comment about the info that was "...embedded in a guide very few boat owners have at their disposal."

Sorry for the misunderstanding

number9 posted 08-22-2009 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
BFS = Bad From Stock
John W posted 08-23-2009 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
I know this is off the original topic/problem at hand, but I find it very interesting that Yamaha is advising against sealed & gel cell batteries in this maunal. This is obviously not widely known by Yamaha owners. Is there something unique to Yamaha's charging system that makes such batteries unsuitable? Is this strictly on newer Yamaha outboards? (I used sealed AGM batteries with a 1989 Yamaha 115hp for 8+ years without any problems).

Would other outboard brands have similar charging issues, or is Yamaha's charging system less well regulated than other outboard brands?

skred posted 08-23-2009 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Maybe "Montuck" is a Currituck converted to a Montauk....
montuck2 posted 08-30-2009 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for montuck2  Send Email to montuck2     
I removed the new port battery (Sears, Die Hard Marine, Platinum, PM 2)from the boat yesterday. This battery then passed a load test at Sears, showing a full charge. The battery was not charged between the ostensible failure and the load test.

The first battery was about 8 weeks old when it apparantly failed in the boat and then failed the Sears load test. I wrongly assumed that the second battery was also dead.

Is there likley to be an intermitent short? The connections all appear good?

Thanks for any thoughts.

I took the User Name when I was in the market for my second Montuck.

glen e posted 08-30-2009 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
A friend of mine was a Yamaha field rep until last years re-organization. He handled the mid -south. I asked him why Yam corp relations still refused to consent to using AGM batteries when everyone else was using them.

He said , "because like pure synthetic oil, we have not tested them for use"

Made sense to me. It's not a engineering reason, strictly a budget and need they have decided against.

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