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Author Topic:   Wierdness in running lights
JohnJ80 posted 10-07-2001 11:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for JohnJ80   Send Email to JohnJ80  
I must bought a 15 dauntless 1996 with a 70hp johnson 2 stroke.

all seems to be well, except the damn running lights!

When i got the boat, the lights didn't work - blown fuse. I replaced the fuse at the dock and lights worked like a charm.

I leave the dock at nite, lights on idling through a no wake zone. Go to put her up on plane, and the lights go off and stay off.

I go back in to the marina, idling through the no wake zone again (about 10 minutes). Tie up to the dock etc... Guess what now works again?

Obviously there is something going on here with water in the wiring and its sloshing back and forth as the boat goes up on a plane (current theory).

Question is this: I probably should just rerun all the wiring to make sure it is good and then solder all connections, cover with vaseline etc... all those things to make sure they are safe from corrosion. However, I am not sure where the wiring runs and the best way to do this.

I would love comments from anyone that knows how this is set up. This would be great too since I intend to hook up a fishfinder and some instruments too.


triblet posted 10-08-2001 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I'd look for a bad connection rather than
water. Dunno about your Dauntless, but my
Montauk doesn't have any connections any
where sloshing water is going to get them.

Weak points in my running light system:

- The connector at the base of the pole.
- Both lamps, where they connect to the
- The pushon QDs at the switch.

It sounds like both the white masthead light
and the red/green running lights went out,
right? If that's the case, go looking around
the switch and fuse. It will be in the
console area somewhere.

Vaseline is the wrong stuff. It washes off,
and when it gets hot, it gets everywhere.
Dow Corning 111 or 4 (I think it's 4) is
the right stuff. I like the 111 because
it's real stuff, and absolutely doesn't
wash off (it's made for lubricating valves).


JohnJ80 posted 10-09-2001 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Thanks for the reply.

Both lights go out simultaneously and when the boat was steeply inclined coming out fo the hole to a plane.

It looks like the mast light has a cable that goes down into the hull - i.e. it doesn't run in the side of the boat.

The wierd thing is that it came on again, sometime later - very much as if water drained out.

Do you know where the wires actually run? My guess is that the best, fastest way to fix this is to just run new high quality wire and replace the switch, clean the light contacts etc....


andygere posted 10-09-2001 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Almost all my electrical problems have been related to bad grounds. The cause has been loose terminal block connections, corroded splices, and loose/dirty battery connections. I have solved many problems by running new wire (I just solved a bilge pump problem that way, after I discovered a bad splice in the old cable mid-way in the tunnel!). I make my waterproof connections as follows: Solder the joint, and cover with correct size heat shrink tubing. Seal ends of tubing with Star Brite liquid electrical tape. Cover/strengthen joint with convetional electrical tape. It is probably overkill, but it works. I never use butt splice connectors because they almost always fail. Also, get a multi-meter and learn how to test for continuity and voltage. This will help you troubleshoot most problems.
triblet posted 10-10-2001 02:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The wiring on my Montauk runs down the
tunnel from the console to the stern, then
the bow light wire runs back forward,
probably under the rub rail. There are two
separate wires starting at the console, so
if both lights go out at the same time, the
problem has to be in the console. That's
NOT water draining out. Stick your head
in the console and have a look.

One more thing: is there a pilot light on
the switch? There is on mine. See if that
goes out. That may tell you something.

The switch is probably a DPDT center off.
One side switches the running light, the
other side switches the anchor light. MMMM,
that would eliminate the switch as the
problem -- both sides won't fail together.

I'm still guessing a bad connection in the

BTW, Ancor has heat shrink that's lined with
hot melt glue. When you shrink it, it
glues itself to the wire.


andygere posted 10-10-2001 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My dad's Dauntless 16 has a sort of bilge below the console that is connected to the stern bilge by some type of wiring/cable chase. It is very different from the Montauk tunnel, and could possibly be flooded with bilgewater. The 15 may have a similar configuration. One idea is to completely dry out the bilge area by pumping and sponging or by pulling the threaded drain plug while on the trailer and see if the problem continues.

I'll try the glue impregnated tubing--the liquid electrical tape works, but it's really messy stuff.

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