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Old 12-04-2017, 09:46 PM   #1
Lt. JG
 
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Default 2800 - MS2012 Inverter and DC rewire/ACR install

I'm documenting the process that I've been going through for the last several days to do what started as an inverter install, but quickly turned into converting the batteries to very differently-sized-and-placed AGMs, adding an ACR unit, and essentially rewiring the entire power/ground components of the engine bay.

I started out last week by ordering two 8Ds and one 3100T Lifeline AGMs to replace the 3 hodgepodge batteries that came with the boat. Picked up the pallet from the Freight depot and my wife and I had a lovely evening hauling them all down the stairs to the boat.

I didn't want these 163-pound-each behemoths turning into torpedoes in the engine bay, so I had a battery tray fabricated by a welder friend (www.chaserace.com):


Painted it:


Put it in the port-most tray of the engine bay and bolted it down with 1/4" by 1" long SS lag bolts:


Hauled the batteries into the engine bay, shimmed the corners until they were level, then ran ratchet straps through and cinched them down. They ain't goin' anywhere now:


Moved the starter battery over to the starboard side of the engine bay for weight balance, and also because I was tired of having nowhere to step/sit to work on the port side of the engine (you can also see the water filter I've added in this pic):


I'm using a Magnum MS2012 inverter, which has an optional battery monitor with DC shunt to measure current flow, so I wanted a little panel next to the batteries for the shunt, hard battery cutoff and 300A fuse to the inverter, before the big wires disappeared into the boat, so I built something to hold all that:


Measured out what I needed and bought a bunch of 4/0 cable and crimped it at Fisheries Supply. Hooked the batteries up in parallel to each other and to the panel (still need to figure out a solution for covers to the battery terminals):


As part of the rewire, I wanted to add an ACR since manual battery selection is for suckers. Bought the Blue Sea add-a-battery kit and extended the stock battery switch panel to the left to have room for all the necessary fuses and wiring. Also added a bus bar at the bottom. Picture for reference, and more explanation below:


The house batteries come in from the left (to the port) and the starter batteries come in from the right (run along the firewall over to where I relocated it.) I also pulled the engine (starter/alternator) red wire out from the rear loom and ran it down the front alongside the newly-moved starter battery wires, so it can all come into the one nice little spot on the start side of the combine switch. The several house load-side lines are just hooked up onto the "house" pin of the 4-way combine switch right now, so I have a 12-fuse Blue Sea fusebox on the way from Amazon to hook up later this week. I also put a ground bus bar onto the bottom of the panel, and ran a 4/0 yellow wire from the engine ground post up to this new bus bar (for easy merging with grounds of the start and house batteries), and joined the engine ground point with the rear bus bar with a normal 2 AWG line.

After throwing all that together, the engine bay is "complete"! Saturday night around midnight, I had everything re-nylon-strap/zip-tied to its final resting place, and carefully enabled the two shutoff switches one by one, testing voltage along the way. Much to my surprise, house switches all worked perfectly, and the motor fired up and ran -- as soon as the motor fired up, the ACR detected the voltage, kicked in, and cross-linked the two battery banks! Can't believe it worked the first shot, but I'll take it! So, engine bay more or less complete, sans the fuse panel/the few house wires that I'll need to properly stow somewhere. On to the interior work...

I've drilled a small hole in the wood wall aft of the fuse panel cabinet and measured with a fish line how far from where the inverter will go, and bought two 7 foot 4/0 red/black cables, and a 10 foot 4/0 yellow cable (since it needs to go all the way to the bus bar), which have arrived and are ready to go in.

For the inverter, I needed to rewire the AC panel to have a separate switch for the inverter-powered devices, so I took it as a good excuse to upgrade the stock panel to a newer Blue Sea panel and picked up one of the 8074 panels (8 switch + ammeter/voltmeter), which I'll mount on the left, and then the Magnum remote panel will go top center and picked up a little 8058 (3-switch) AC panel for inverter-powered switches right below the remote panel. After looking around the fuse panel area, I couldn't find any way to remove the wood inset panel without completely dismantling the boat (it was stapled in from all sides), so I decided to just cut out most of the stock panel:


I picked up a 1/4 piece of black acrylic, 18 3/8" by 11 7/8", to screw over the empty spot and mount it at the 4 corners, which lets me easily change the panel in the future as I add more things (looking to add a water/holding tank level meter). I finished up cutting out those things and installing the new AC panel in the boat around 12:30am last night, and was too tired to document progress, so I'll have more pictures tonight for the next round of work...
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:48 PM   #2
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Nice looking work.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:51 PM   #3
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(Sorry about the vertical pictures not showing up right for some reason -- if you right click them and open in a new tab, they'll be the right way up!)

Picked up 15 feet of Ancor 3-wire 10 AWG, ran two segments behind the AC panel to the floor area, and ran one end of the remote wire for the inverter up behind as well. Measured (more or less), then cut out the 3 panel parts. Wired up the new 8-spot panel to the external AC, ran one of the new inverter segments down to space, then wired up the new line for the outlet from the inverter up to the input on the 3-spot panel, and wired the receptacle output to the first breaker on the little panel. Screwed everything back together, and voila -- lots more room on the side for more panels down the line as needed, like a water/waste level meter:


Cut out a hole in the side of the cupboard along the boat, to run the big 4/0 wires down:


Made a little flat-ish "cable run" of the ground, negative, and positive 4/0 cables, to keep them together for easy fishing and anti-chafing:


Then fished them through the opening, my wife with tiny arms could reach up from the engine bay and grab the wires and pull them the rest of the way through! Finally, I had to run the battery monitor and battery temp sensor cables down the same fishing as the big 4/0 cables, and hooked them up at the batteries. I'll seal it up with expanding foam once I verify that everything works.

Lastly for the evening, I pulled all the cables over to the side where they'll need to go into the inverter, and test-fit the little bracket I'm making for the inverter to hold:


I discovered that the floor in that closet isn't even close to level, so I had to re-cut the fore mount by 5/16" to bring it back to level. That brought us to midnight and bedtime, but now, in theory, everything's ready to go to install the inverter tonight!

Also, I took a final shot of the starboard starter battery arrangement (still need terminal covers over there as well!) -- positive and negative lines go straight to port toward the central panel, and the engine start/alternator line joins up with them at the first starboard rib of the floor, so all 3 wires together run over to the panel:
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:16 AM   #4
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Final day! First, I finished wiring up the Magnum battery monitor and the battery temperature sensor, leaving everything done and a pile of wires in the cabin that theoretically just needed to be hooked up to the inverter. I cut down the bracket so it reflected the slant of the floor of the cabinet, and test fit the inverter:


Everything magically worked out, somehow, so I went ahead and moved the inverter over to the cabinet, attached all the wires with it sitting in a position that I could reach the wires, and then put my bracket in, mounted it on my bracket, and bolted it to the top cabinet part and the floor with 1/4" lag bolts:


Cleaned up a little of the wiring, checked voltage at all the key points, and then started flipping on battery disconnect switches one by one. Amazingly, zero issues found! Inverter works, charger works, pass-through works, panel works!


Our boat came with a little (what looked like custom) shelving arrangement in the lower half of the closet, so I spent a bunch of time cutting the shelving units and the side covers back down again until they fit back in with the inverter hard-mounted in place. Cleaned up the rest of the cabling, and voila, a closet!


Now we leave it plugged in overnight and see if it burns down and sinks while we're sleeping...
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:42 AM   #5
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Now, that's an amazing progress! Thanks for the updates!
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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great project, thx for sharing...
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