Things seem much brighter today; mainly due to my not being so bright...
Saturday after hanging upside down and pulling old battery trays and charging new batteries, I put the cranking (starting) battery in the boat. After so many years of sitting, the Mercury 50 horse cranked right over (I was afraid it might be locked up, though there was no real reason for it to). It was getting late, and hanging upside down like a bat and dealing with my bifocals is a new experience. When I connected the rest of the wiring, the bilge and livewell pumps all worked, the running lights, the feeds for the sonar units, the horn, everything. The only problem was that the pretty blue LED I had wired in years ago to tell me the bilge pump was on (because sometimes you can't hear it) came on when the switch was turned off! Puzzled, frustrated, tired and aching, I gave up for the night and disconnected everything from the positive terminal, put one of the new trolling motor batteries on the charger and came in the house to eat and spend time with Dottie.
Sunday morning I started a bit slower than I had planned on. I turned on the heat in the garage (it was 30 outside) and then played in the house 'til it thawed a bit. When it did I went out and started connecting one wire at a time to figure out what I had screwed up. I didn't get anywhere at all that way, so I went in the house to get a multi-meter. I had laid my bifocals down somewhere, so took a pair of reading glasses with me. This time when I stuck my head under the deck, I figured out that although I had connected the cables to the outboard correctly, I had reversed the 4 terminal bundles that run everything else! "DC" current being very forgiving, nothing was damaged, thank goodness!
I could hear Fred Sanford's voice (or my Dad) saying "Big Dummy"...
Wiring fixed, it was 50 something outside now, so I swung the two 6 gallon gas cans into the boat behind the batteries and rolled it back out the door. I have a "muff" that you connect to the garden hose and slip over the lower unit to give it cooling water so you can run them if you have to. This was the next test, since the rubber-bladed water pump is 25 years old as well, and I wasn't sure it would still be intact after sitting so long. Turn on the wather, pump the bulb in the gas line to prime the motor, choke it and crank...it took about 5 seconds for it to light off, it ran and died twice, then idled like it was new (no more hours than are on it, it practically is)! After about 15 seconds the water pump started spraying out it's little port just like it should; all seems fine! If it makes it through the summer I promised it I will replace it next winter, either learning how to do it myself or paying a Mercury shop to do it...the pump is $60, there are 4 or 5 different manuals in the $30-50 range; I am sure in the shop it would be a $200 job at least. I looked at a new 50 horse Merc at Bass Pro the other night, they are about $3500!
So today, though I'm going back to work, the world is a brighter place! I'm going out now to vacuum all of the dust and debris from the carpet and rewire the trailer connector to hitch to the new truck. After that it's rebuilding reels and respooling them and picking up licenses and permits for us, the vehicles and the boat.
Summer is beginning to look awfully good this year!