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Does Your Battery Installation Look Like This?

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  • Does Your Battery Installation Look Like This?

    Just wondering if everybody's stock battery installation from MC looks like this. Prior to buying MCs my experience was with Cobalts and small Wellcraft Scarabs. I seem to remember them being much neater. I know we tend to look at previous boats with rose colored glasses but this seems to be well, not so good. Not sure if this was a MC install or a "custom" installation by the previous owner or dealer.

    At any rate I've decided to move things around and if anyone is interested I'll post my progress. I expect this to take some time to complete as my primary focus will be on enjoying our short season here in MI.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by bturner2; 05-13-2009, 03:43 PM.

  • #2
    Wow nice rats nest. Guess I'm lucky since I've got two batteries and they didn't have to try and cram everything on to one.
    2006 Maristar 200 SS

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    • #3
      I asked in several other posts where the stock location was for a dual battery switch installation was located but never got a response. As such I decided that it was time to blaze new territory and find what looked like a good location on my own. Based on an excellent post I saw from Sodar I decided to go the Blue Seas "Add a Battery" route. It seemed to provide the best package for size and function.

      I decided that the area under the observer seat would provide great access, protection and a good location relative to the batteries. In order to use this location though I would need a bracket to mount switch/isolator to. I had my brother in law waterjet this bracket out for me out of 1/2" alum plate (I know this is overkill but the material was available) and tap the mounting holes. This is what it looked like after it was painted and ready to mount.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        At any rate I've decided to move things around and if anyone is interested I'll post my progress. I expect this to take some time to complete this project as my primary focus will be on enjoying our short season here in MI.[/QUOTE]

        yes please!
        2000 X-5

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        • #5
          As I couldn't through bolt or screw it to the mounting location (due to appearance or thickness of the fiberglass at the chosen location) I decided to see if that miracle bonding agent JB Weld would work out. Here's a shot of it being bonded (OK glued, thought bonded sounded better. It also makes me feel better about having to secure the bracket this way) to the fiberglass seat base. I'm open to alternative suggestions should this fail. My confidence level on this method is also why the carpeting has not be trimmed back.

          I've already made cable to length for the battery connections. Got all the parts from Genuine Dealz out of Sodar’s stereo installation post. Great place to get all kinds of marine grade wire, terminals etc. They also have great service and prices.


          This is pretty much where I'm at so far. I'm traveling this week so the JB Weld should have plenty of time to set up. Next step will be to clean up the existing cable installation, add power posts where necessary and hopefully cable everything up.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by bturner2; 05-13-2009, 11:50 AM.

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          • #6
            I will tell you one thing... MC's wiring is quite a cluster. Everything is done in two seperate harnesses... one for the deck and one for the hull and when the two are mated, they connect the two harnesses under the dash. My biggest problem with the harnesses is that everything under the dash is not supported or cleanly mounted. The whole boat wiring looks like quite a rats nest.
            -Cameron
            2007 ProStar 197
            1996 ProStar 190

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            • #7
              Are all battery locations the same on the older prostars? My 94 I just bought has the battery located in the back next to the gas tank but the manual says its location is up front under the observers seat in the plastic well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rgardjr1 View Post
                Wow nice rats nest. Guess I'm lucky since I've got two batteries and they didn't have to try and cram everything on to one.
                Yeah, that's what I thought to. It has always been my understanding that there should be a minimum amount of connections going directly to the battery. This one had 7 ground wires attached directly to the battery ground post and 4 to the positive post. My understanding is that this is why bus bars and terminal posts were created.

                If you notice the battery switch is actually mounted to the battery box. What's worse there are exposed screw threads that are digging into the battery casing. I'm finding it hard to believe MC did this installation.

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                • #9
                  Again, hate to look at old boats and remember only the good but both my Cobalt and Wellcrafts had all the wiring tied and laced throughout the boat. Oh well, good project.

                  Also have to say none of my other boats had as bullet proof a propulsion system as any of my MCs.

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                  • #10
                    OK. So for those of you who may have thought my decision to use JB Weld to bond the mounting plate to the fiberglass was a bad idea..... you were right. After having it clamped for nearly 5 days I came back and it basically fell off after unclamping. Looks like the surface wasn't smooth enough or just didn't bite into the fiberglass. Here's a picture of the plate after it came off.....
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      No worries though I have another mounting plate being cut as I write this and believe I've found the secret mounting location for the dual battery set up. To try and get this project moving I've purchased a couple Optima battery trays that I thought looked greeat. They're CNC billet and much more compact than what I was finding at West Marine. Better yet they're made locally in MI and our local shops could really use the business these days. Here's a picture of the trays.......

                      As soon as I get some more time and the latest version of the mounting bracket I'll update this post. It'd be nice to actually get something installed this time.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Well it's been a while since I got a chance to start working on this but I finally got the boat off the water and home in preparation for our vacation trip.

                        Asked a bunched of questions on this forum and ordered a bunch of parts. Got to work straightening out the wiring mess I had. Took about 10 hours to complete but I think it turned out pretty good and is much better than what I had before.

                        The first place I started was rewiring the amps and power going to the battery. I combined the power from the amps with distribution blocks and ran the power back to the battery switches. Also replaced the in line fuses and with circuit breakers.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by bturner2; 06-27-2009, 07:31 AM.

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                        • #13
                          In the picture from the previous post you can see the 2 distribution blocks in front of the amps and at the bottom of the picture the single power run going back to the breakers / battery switches. This was wired in 2 separate runs before starting this project. One above the radio and one along the floor.

                          The next area I went after was the Blue Seas "Add a Battery" installation. If you recall from my first go at this project I tried to bond the mounting plate to the fiberglass under the passenger seat. You can still see where the carpet is pulled back from this failed attempt (I'll deal with replacing the carpet later today).

                          Here's a picture of the battery installation from the front of the boat.....
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by bturner2; 06-27-2009, 07:13 AM.

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                          • #14
                            There's been a bunch of threads on batteries and a few of them critical of the Optima batteries but Costco had these on sale so I went with easy and bought the blue tops. At least they now come with a 2 year replacement policy (maybe because of the bad press). I also liked the idea of the custom cut battery trays that I picked up locally at a place in Lapeer Mi.

                            Just to give perspective this is where I started.....
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Here's the final installation. You can see the battery switch and isolator mounted to the seat base. It's a little tight but this was the only place I could find that had fiberglass thick enough to provide a solid mounting point.

                              My focus on this project was to reduce the number of cables terminating on the batteries and to add the dual battery feature to the boat. I'm pretty happy with the results.
                              Attached Files

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