Mercury power steering - SOLVED

BEERviper

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@LaurencetheAdventurer After a week long vacation and more issues including loss of power to the motor I finally figured out the issue! I hope this saves you and others a lot of stress and headaches.

In short - the boat was wired improperly and the correct electrical components were not used! We received the wrong distribution panel which included the incorrect battery switch, they left off the battery isolator, and the power steering pump was not wired to the distribution panel (wired directly to a battery). After we figured this out, it totally makes sense and I can't believe I didn't see the issue the very first time we were having issues, but than again neither did the dealer 3 times.

Our hypothesis was confirmed by Bennington that we did in fact have our boat improperly wired. Just glad we have a temporary fix in place until it can be properly corrected by the dealer.

PS Mitch over at Bennington is the man for helping us figure this out!

View attachment 30982

Sorry to revive an old thread but we have run into the same issue on our 2022 Bennington QX and the dealer has been zero help!

@scottkp thank you for creating this post! With no help of the dealer we were able to at least diagnose that the power steering going out is in fact electrical related. I spent an entire weekend pulling kids on a tube with manual steering, what a workout!

Looking at your picture, our setup appears very similar only the the power steering cables are on the opposite battery on ours.

During the demo when a dealer rep came for a ride along he mentioned to switch between batteries each day you go out so you're using a different battery to start the engine each time. When I asked if the other battery still charges when it's not switched on he said YES :mad:

On the weekend of July 8/9/10 I took the boat out with some friends to fish, I moved the battery switch to #1 and started the engine and fished for about 5 hours when the steering went out a couple hours in. When I switched over to battery #2 while out on the lake it didn't have enough power to start the engine so I had to go back to #1 for the rest of the trip.

The following weekend after finding this thread, I brought out my multimeter and found a fully charged batter and an almost completely dead battery (11.58V). I used a NOCO Genius 2A battery charger with a portable power station with AC outlets to charge the battery overnight. The next morning both batteries showed fully charged.

The remainder of the weekend I combined both batteries on the battery switch and the power steering worked just fine the entire time!!!

@scottkp, if there's any way you could relay the information that Mitch @ Bennington helped you diagnose I would be most appreciative. I have created an inquiry to Bennington and unfortunately the c/s rep I'm working with keeps directing me to the dealer and I continue to tell him the dealer is clueless :mad::mad:.
 

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LaurencetheAdventurer

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Sorry to revive an old thread but we have run into the same issue on our 2022 Bennington QX and the dealer has been zero help!

@scottkp thank you for creating this post! With no help of the dealer we were able to at least diagnose that the power steering going out is in fact electrical related. I spent an entire weekend pulling kids on a tube with manual steering, what a workout!

Looking at your picture, our setup appears very similar only the the power steering cables are on the opposite battery on ours.

During the demo when a dealer rep came for a ride along he mentioned to switch between batteries each day you go out so you're using a different battery to start the engine each time. When I asked if the other battery still charges when it's not switched on he said YES :mad:

On the weekend of July 8/9/10 I took the boat out with some friends to fish, I moved the battery switch to #1 and started the engine and fished for about 5 hours when the steering went out a couple hours in. When I switched over to battery #2 while out on the lake it didn't have enough power to start the engine so I had to go back to #1 for the rest of the trip.

The following weekend after finding this thread, I brought out my multimeter and found a fully charged batter and an almost completely dead battery (11.58V). I used a NOCO Genius 2A battery charger with a portable power station with AC outlets to charge the battery overnight. The next morning both batteries showed fully charged.

The remainder of the weekend I combined both batteries on the battery switch and the power steering worked just fine the entire time!!!

@scottkp, if there's any way you could relay the information that Mitch @ Bennington helped you diagnose I would be most appreciative. I have created an inquiry to Bennington and unfortunately the c/s rep I'm working with keeps directing me to the dealer and I continue to tell him the dealer is clueless :mad::mad:.
Happens all the time to me - When this happens, I switch to Battery 1+2 to charge both on long cruises. My Power Steering is wired to Battery 1, need to fix this winter.
 

BEERviper

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Happens all the time to me - When this happens, I switch to Battery 1+2 to charge both on long cruises. My Power Steering is wired to Battery 1, need to fix this winter.

Well at least we're not the only one! I just find it absolutely ridiculous to spend this kind of money for a boat and not have a correctly functioning electrical system!

Post #19 in this thread has the video of the Blue Sea Si-ACR that would appear to resolve this issue by keeping both batteries combined by default other than starting the engine to protect the electronics. Why isn't this standard equipment on a $200k boat is beyond me!

I hope @scottkp will chime in to let us know what Bennington figured out on his setup.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Well at least we're not the only one! I just find it absolutely ridiculous to spend this kind of money for a boat and not have a correctly functioning electrical system!

Post #19 in this thread has the video of the Blue Sea Si-ACR that would appear to resolve this issue by keeping both batteries combined by default other than starting the engine to protect the electronics. Why isn't this standard equipment on a $200k boat is beyond me!

I hope @scottkp will chime in to let us know what Bennington figured out on his setup.

The extra cost and rigging time is my guess as to why this isn't standard. As a manufacturer when you're evaluating your standard features you probably take into consideration 1) what the competition is doing and 2) how much return you get on a particular option being standard.

Given the vast majority of owners are likely fine with the 1, 2, 1+2 switch, the extra cost would only serve to make the MSRP higher. But I believe there are enormous benefits including the hassle factor that many of you are going through.
 

scottkp

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I am going to keep this post short as I am out of town and do not have my laptop but wanted to respond as I can totally relate to your frustration. trouble shooting was all done on our own after several shots of whiskey fueled frustration to ensure another family vacation wasn’t ruined!

Looking at your set up it appears that they wired your boat to an outdated schematic (same way mine was).

For the short term fix I moved my power steering from the battery to the distribution panel which required a fuse to jump the bar in the panel - they are cheap, a couple bucks!

Long term fix - keep your power steering on the distribution panel. (Frankly nothing should be on the batteries, after all that is what the distribution panel is for. The cables you see on my batteries are an onboard charger) and have the dealer add an digital voltage sensitive relay and an updated switch. The DSVR will ensure your starter battery is protected/isolated if voltage drops when not charging (at the beach or something with the motor off and electronics running) and ensure proper charging when running.

Here is a pic of what we finally put in and have had no problems since.

Hopefully this helps! I can filter questions better when I am not limited by my mobile typing abilities!

BB423D87-A4B5-4945-BFDB-B0E9233ABD1B.jpeg
 

BEERviper

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The extra cost and rigging time is my guess as to why this isn't standard. As a manufacturer when you're evaluating your standard features you probably take into consideration 1) what the competition is doing and 2) how much return you get on a particular option being standard.

Given the vast majority of owners are likely fine with the 1, 2, 1+2 switch, the extra cost would only serve to make the MSRP higher. But I believe there are enormous benefits including the hassle factor that many of you are going through.

Thank you for posting that video @Potomacbassin’ , it appears the switch in that video is the one that Scottkp ended up going with and a different version of the relay.

But honestly, the difference in cost between the switch installed and the Blue Sea 5511e is only $16. Then add in the cost of the relay at $100 and a couple bucks in wires. PLEASE BENNINGTON - charge me an additional $500 on my $200k boat so the electronics side is wired correctly and I don't have to go through this frustration!!
 

BEERviper

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I am going to keep this post short as I am out of town and do not have my laptop but wanted to respond as I can totally relate to your frustration. trouble shooting was all done on our own after several shots of whiskey fueled frustration to ensure another family vacation wasn’t ruined!

Looking at your set up it appears that they wired your boat to an outdated schematic (same way mine was).

For the short term fix I moved my power steering from the battery to the distribution panel which required a fuse to jump the bar in the panel - they are cheap, a couple bucks!

Long term fix - keep your power steering on the distribution panel. (Frankly nothing should be on the batteries, after all that is what the distribution panel is for. The cables you see on my batteries are an onboard charger) and have the dealer add an digital voltage sensitive relay and an updated switch. The DSVR will ensure your starter battery is protected/isolated if voltage drops when not charging (at the beach or something with the motor off and electronics running) and ensure proper charging when running.

Here is a pic of what we finally put in and have had no problems since.

Hopefully this helps! I can filter questions better when I am not limited by my mobile typing abilities!

View attachment 33095

Thank you so much scottkp for chiming in while you're out of town!! This makes so much more sense than the way it came wired at delivery! Power steering hard wired to battery #2 on mine which means running only on battery #1 is going to quickly drain #2 running the power steering!

I would love to follow up with you further when you are settled as I'm curious if Bennington considered this a dealer/warranty issue and maybe get the contact information for the rep you were working with at Bennington.

Thanks again!
 
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