Tilt \ Trim motor Troubleshooting

Secutor54

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May 11, 2017
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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
long story short, finally made it out after spending the better part of the last few weeks sanding and painting the 17’ Whaler project I bought last year, after converting it to a center console fishing skiff.

Anyway, took my wife and Grom out to the bay this past Friday for a quick spin.

Upon launching, I noticed the tilt / trim seemed sluggish when I lowered the motor. Got the boat in the water and off we went.

No problems and the ol’ 73 Whaler rode beautifully most of the day.

Made it back to the ramp, I raised the motor and again, the tilt / Trim seemed very sluggish, but I was able to get it on the trailer and off we went.

Got back late, so the following morning I go to trouble shoot it and it flat out just quits one me. Can’t raise it or lower it, but the motor is up and the safety pins are engaged.

First thing I checked, was the relay. I’m getting a click and I also checked it with a multimeter and it’s reading 12.8. So, I’m getting enough juice to the relay.

Second, I checked fluid and also checked for any leakage of trim fluid and it checked out. No problems there.

Lastly, I cut the Blue and Green wire that goes to the tilt/trim motor itself and used the multimeter to check for voltage and again it’s reading between 12.5 - 12.8.

I think I’ve narrowed the problem down to a bad tilt / trim motor and have ordered the part to install next week.

In the event that the tilt/trim motor is not the issue, does anyone have any other recommendations of what may be causing the failure? I checked the fluid reservoir for any leaks as well, and it’s not leaking. What gives?

Project is coming along nicely. Babying the old 88 Johnson and planning to hopefully repower next year during Fred Hall for a good deal. Check out the progress.

BD81E2E2-5E26-4863-9160-ED9146BEE57A.jpeg 5F34E29A-89DD-4D76-B589-1B47CFF9E128.jpeg 2DEF426B-47B0-4ABF-BAD4-67AC45DC577C.jpeg 58853AC8-228A-459B-B5AE-BE5958EDD54F.jpeg A5DFB739-2411-4DE3-A4C4-02CE1D6BDBF2.jpeg CFB56858-DC43-448B-9CEC-75DF89426EE1.jpeg 7A7B4605-882A-46F3-9484-D567745B908F.jpeg 5CE1F9D7-C54A-4B95-9A7F-8BD8FA12811F.jpeg 89BF144A-B065-4BD1-BF97-7748F351AB39.jpeg F50DAECC-5F7B-441D-AFC9-1D87A490A167.jpeg
 
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Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
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Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
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I don't know dick about outboards but it sounds like you covered the "electrical loop." Just out of curiosity, what was your ground source? were you putting the meter on the actual ground wire or where you running it straight to the battery or somewhere else besides that circuit? That could play a factor if in fact it is a bad ground.

Based on what you said above, I would imagine it is the tilt trim pump or one of the solenoids in it. My assumption would be the pump since it was slow in both directions.

Also, nice job on the restoration; it looks great!
 
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Aliboy

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When checking a voltage like you did on the blur and green wires you should leave the wire intact and strip a little insulation to take the voltage readings. Reason is that a bad connection might give you a solid 12v with just the meter on it, but no volts when you have the load connected. Your issue could easily be a bad connection or corroded wire and your testing hasn't really checked for that so far. It is quite likely that the new motor could fix things, but remember for future jobs to check the voltages with the load connected.
 

Secutor54

Well-Known "Member"
May 11, 2017
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AP
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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
I don't know dick about outboards but it sounds like you covered the "electrical loop." Just out of curiosity, what was your ground source? were you putting the meter on the actual ground wire or where you running it straight to the battery or somewhere else besides that circuit? That could play a factor if in fact it is a bad ground.

Based on what you said above, I would imagine it is the tilt trim pump or one of the solenoids in it. My assumption would be the pump since it was slow in both directions.

Also, nice job on the restoration; it looks great!
Thank you.
 

Secutor54

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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
did you hook the motor to direct power? blue up , green down.
I didn’t do that, since I had cut the blue and green wires at the tilt motor and checked for voltage at that spot... hindsight, I could’ve cut it at the splice, closer to the relay box and tested it to direct power that way.
 

Secutor54

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May 11, 2017
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AP
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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
When checking a voltage like you did on the blur and green wires you should leave the wire intact and strip a little insulation to take the voltage readings. Reason is that a bad connection might give you a solid 12v with just the meter on it, but no volts when you have the load connected. Your issue could easily be a bad connection or corroded wire and your testing hasn't really checked for that so far. It is quite likely that the new motor could fix things, but remember for future jobs to check the voltages with the load connected.
Anywhere on the wire? As in from the relay to the tilt motor? Can you explain a bit more? Thanks for the response, by the way.
 
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karlow

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karl
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Well trim motors need two wires. Connect 12Vdc across them and the motor runs one way. Reverse the connections and the motor runs the other way. I would not go chopping up the wiring unless it is bad. Just jump 12 to the connector.
 
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Secutor54

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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
Well trim motors need two wires. Connect 12Vdc across them and the motor runs one way. Reverse the connections and the motor runs the other way. I would not go chopping up the wiring unless it is bad. Just jump 12 to the connector.
Right on. The trim motor looks pretty old, and if I had money to bet, I’d say it’s probably the original or it’s been a very long time since it was changed out.

So for future reference, to test the functionality of the trim motor, should I have cut the blue/green wires at the splice between the relay and the trim motor? Leaving the trim motor wiring intact to test with 12V?
 

Aliboy

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Anywhere on the wire? As in from the relay to the tilt motor? Can you explain a bit more? Thanks for the response, by the way.
No, you need to start measuring close to the motor and then work your way back along the wiring depending on what measurements you get. The issue is that a bad or corroded connection or wire can carry the 12v quite ok if the current draw is very low. Your meter draws almost no current so the voltage doesn't drop over the connection or wire. When you try to run the trim motor however it will attempt to draw a lot of current and the voltage can all get dropped over the bad connection or wire. It is a real issue for inexperienced people diagnosing faults on boats prone to corrosion and often ends up with new parts being ordered when the issue is really a bad connection or wire. The maths is that V=IR where I is amps and R is resistance. A bad connection or cable has high resistance so a lot of voltage is lost when you have high amps and almost no voltage is lost when you have low amps like your meter would draw.
 
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Secutor54

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May 11, 2017
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73 Boston Whaler 16'7
Well, ended up replacing the trim motor and both up/down relays.

Trim is going down and up a lot quicker, but I’m having an issue on the way back up.

The trim stops about halfway up and I just get the click at the relay box. Wait a minute or two and it keeps going to full “up” position.

Definitely an electrical issue, as the hydraulic pump is working fine. I’m not getting any slippage or failure on the hydraulic side of it.

Trouble shooting from the relay box back to the motor and I’ve also checked the relay box for corrosion at the connections, but did not see any.

This one’s got me baffled and scratching my head.,,
 
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