Replace fuel stop cable with stop button

Jaxn

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May 17, 2021
21
O'Day 272 Percy Priest
I have a Westerbeke 10-two and would like to replace the t-handle stop cable with a button. I am having a little trouble figuring out what I need to do.

I think I need a fuel solenoid, mount it where the cable was connected to the engine, and wire the hot side to a momentary button.

is that right? and if so, where should the hot to the button come from? and where does the negative return?
 
Mar 6, 2008
692
Catalina 1999 C36 MKII #1787 Coyote Point Marina, CA.
Use 16 gauge wires from house battery bus. The solenoid must be able to pull 1" of travel. Use 3 AMP fuse on the positive side after battery then to solenoid. I would take the negetive to the button and back.
 
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Jaxn

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May 17, 2021
21
O'Day 272 Percy Priest
Why? Honest question.
I have an O'Day 272 with an inboard and a tiller. The original controls were not easy to access for service and it wasn't shifting reliably. So I replaced the control arm (w/Spinlock handle) and moved it to a better spot in the process. I could leave the existing stop cable where the old controls were, but since it is already bent from being stepped on by PO, I would rather replace it. The engine panel is on the stern and there is not enough room to put a new pull cable there, but I can add a button.

But maybe I shouldn't be so quick to prefer a button. If you were starting from scratch, would you do a button or a cable?
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,957
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
If you were starting from scratch, would you do a button or a cable?
Thx for your detailed answer, makes sense.

From scratch: Your choices are OPTIONS, with adv and disadv. Mechanical vs electrical with the assorted +s & -s that come with them. I put in a glow plug solenoid years ago, and bought a backup solenoid, because while the wires were durable and reliable, the connections are always suspect (99% of all electrical problems are the connections), and the solenoid has moving parts. Still on the first one, though. And builders don't put in solenoids because they're better, care to guess why? Cheaper to run a wire than a cable...

Your boat, your choice. :)
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,918
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I have an O'Day 272 with an inboard and a tiller. The original controls were not easy to access for service and it wasn't shifting reliably. So I replaced the control arm (w/Spinlock handle) and moved it to a better spot in the process. I could leave the existing stop cable where the old controls were, but since it is already bent from being stepped on by PO, I would rather replace it. The engine panel is on the stern and there is not enough room to put a new pull cable there, but I can add a button.

But maybe I shouldn't be so quick to prefer a button. If you were starting from scratch, would you do a button or a cable?
Just out of curiosity (‘cause I don’t know)..what would happen if the batteries were dead? Solenoid would not shut off engine? Or engine would die when the batteries died? I only ask because:
1) My propane solenoid requires that I have 12-volt power to the solenoid to open the valve so I can cook…
2) Ashamed to say that I temporarily killed by batteries by watering them while out for a sail and I diluted the acid (at least until it was mixed and charged Up…

So, if I did something stupid like that again, and the engine was running, what happens?

I like my friends newer Hunter 33-3 boats with newer Yanmar engines and control panels, including key-start and pushbutton stopping of the motor…but my simple pushbutton start and pull cable stop works fine for me.

I do intend to move my engine control panel, which is at foot level on my O’Day 322. But I plan to raise the whole panel up to knee level on the coaming. I think this will be an easy fix to not being able to see the tach, fuel gauge, etc.


Greg
 

Jaxn

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May 17, 2021
21
O'Day 272 Percy Priest
I am tempted to move the engine panel too, just not right now.

As for the battery, if the engine is running, the alternator is charging the battery. Even if the battery can't hold a charge well, there should be plenty of juice to shut off the engine. (not a mechanic, but that's my layman understanding).

Now, if a wire comes lose or the switch goes bad, then yeah someone will have to manually pull the shutoff on the engine itself. which is I think the primary downside Stu referenced.
 
Dec 14, 2003
1,319
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
Greg, a diesel engine only needs electric power to activate the starter. So without getting into the details of what would happen to the alternator diodes, if you were to disconnect the batteries, the engine would still keep running. To answer your question about how would you then shut it off, you could still go to the linkage on the engine and pull it where the cable is connected.

Stu, as to your why question: in my case, where the Yanmar panel with the stop cable is located in my T-shaped cockpit, I have had to replace the cable...and the Yanmar panel... 4 times in the last 20 years because someone stepped on it with their heel when moving down from the seat. About $120 (CDN) each time !!! Plus the hours of work replacing them. This summer after it happened a 4th time, I bought the panel and cable but installed the cable in the lazarette. Not as convenient I agree, but not worse than many boats with it in the companionway.
 
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RoyS

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Jun 3, 2012
1,212
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Instead of connecting the wire to the house battery I would connect it to the start battery. I would tap off the start button positive and jump to the new stop button, from there to the new solenoid and then back to negative buss.
 
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Mar 6, 2008
692
Catalina 1999 C36 MKII #1787 Coyote Point Marina, CA.
The solenoid does not need much current to be energized. Even a "dead" battery can energize it. How dead the battery can be, you started the engine that morning, so it is still good that day. In any case, the alternator produces more current than is needed to energize the solenoid.
 
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Jun 25, 2004
288
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
I went the other way. My 2GM20F had a stop button on the engine panel that energized a solenoid. It stopped working after around 10 years, and I found it impossible to trace the problem. I think it had to do with the automatic fire suppression system, which could also actuate the engine shut-down: so there was probably another relay in the chain for that, which somehow stopped working. Anyway, I ran a solid-cable fuel-stop cable from a location on top of the engine bay (under the companionway steps). It's simple, and not likely to fail. I'm very happy with the change.
 
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jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
a diesel engine only needs electric power to activate the starter
That's not generally true. It is true for most of the smaller diesels in sailboats that are based on small tractor or generator diesels. But bigger ones, including the Volvo marine engines with common rail fuel injection require electrical power to run.
 
Dec 14, 2003
1,319
Hunter 34 Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
That's not generally true. It is true for most of the smaller diesels in sailboats that are based on small tractor or generator diesels. But bigger ones, including the Volvo marine engines with common rail fuel injection require electrical power to run.
Indeed ! Thanks for mentioning it. I was of course only reacting to the question in regards to our ''smaller'' engines !