I got my Cummins 6CTAs installed over summer 2015 and need to wrap up the installation so I can splash the boat and bring it closer to home in 2016. One of the things I need to do is service the aftercoolers, and while I have them off I decided to eliminate some unnecessary electrical components–the intake air heater system and a noise suppressor that looks like it was installed as an afterthought.
Cummins engines don’t need the air heater to start. All they do is cut down on white smoke on cold starts. I installed 400w Moroso oil pan heaters when I put the engines in, so the air heaters have become a not very useful option. According to the gurus at boatdiesel.com, the air heaters are more trouble than they’re worth. Many work just fine, but a lot of them end up killing the alternator, and they can draw down battery voltage to the point that accessories stop working. There are some workarounds for those problems, but there’s another consideration in my install: in the pic above, you can see that the lower left solenoid is unbolted from its mounting plate and hanging there at an angle. I did that because otherwise the solenoid hits the stringer. You can also see that the electric terminals on the right-side solenoid are extremely close to my stringers, which are made of aluminum. By the size of the cables, it’s safe to assume that a lot of current can run through here. I don’t like having that much power that close to the conductive stringers. But I also didn’t want to cut the stringer to make clearance, and rearranging the solenoids or relocating the plate would take time. Given the recommendations over at boatdiesel.com, I’d rather just remove them and be done with it.
Adding wires here that connect to a switch at the helm can give manual control to people who want to keep their heaters.
The hole that’s been burned through the plastic housing of this solenoid was on the under-side…never would have seen it without removing the whole thing. This is the kind of stuff the guys at boatdiesel warn about. Good riddance, I say.
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Servicing the Aftercoolers