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Ignition switch Breaker

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I just had the ignition switch on my 2000 Chaparral SSE replaced. I noticed a yellow wire dangling loose just above the 20 amp breaker below the ignition switch. This breaker doesn't have a wire connected to its upper terminal, but has one connected to its lower terminal. All of the other switch breakers in the same row have an identical yellow wire connected to their upper terminals. Logically thinking the dangling wire belongs to the upper terminal of that breaker. I tried to connect it to that terminal but a spark flew, caused a short and tripped the breaker. I don't have a wiring schematic. Can anybody tell me what may be happening?

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What is the circuit breaker labeled as being? If its labeled as being the ignition I would need to wonder how its working. To trip a 20A circuit can be nasty to the wiring so caution needs to be taken as you troubleshoot the issue.

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The yellow wire is a ground wire. The standardized marine color code is yellow = ground. I have the same boat and I believe that might be the extra ground wire for the optional windshield wipers. It might have touched a "hot" circuit on the ign switch and that's why the breaker tripped. That is unless the wiring has been tampered with. To be sure, use an ohm meter and check for continuity between that wire and one of the other yellow wire. Should read zero ohms. If it doesn't, change your meter to DC Volts and check between that wire and another yellow wire. If you get a reading around 12 VDC, then that wire is not factory original.

EDIT:

Here is a link to the standard marine color codes.

http://boatwiringadvice.com/boat-wiring-colors/

Note especially that there are lots of yellow wires but with different color stripes.

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I agree with the upper statement that a good starting point would be a wiring diagram and to follow a color code. However, because you stated that you have other switch breakers in the same row with yellow wires connected to them would lead me to think the code doesn't match your boat. It's not common for a switch breaker to operate a ground circuit. One side of a switch/breaker will have power ( + ) and the other wire will be attached to the load ( lights, pumps, etc. ) and then to ground ( - ). Have you looked at the yellow wire really close to see if it has a trace color, that is an additional colored stripe going down the wire? With the color code Rich provided above ( and he too mentions the stripes ) could really be helpful in determining what the wire might go to. My boat Sig 29 has a striped yellow wire on the Ignition switch that goes to the starter solenoid and would be a power circuit. Color codes are great to have if they are followed and you can be certain you don't have a secondary stripe on it that you can't see. However, you need to be careful as they are different in different industries. In my business ( aircraft ) the yellow wire would be the hot side of the lighting dimmer system,

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Thank You Rich and Elkhound

I will have to get back to my boat which is at the lake - maybe next week. The color code info you sent me will be a good troubleshooting aid. There must have been a difference in polarity between the yellow wire I connected and the wire on the lower terminal of the breaker. I may also find the 90 amp fuse on the starter solenoid was blown too. Unfortunately I don't have any documentation identifying that breaker. Also I didn't see any identification on it except 20 amps. I would expect it belongs to the device above it which is the ignition switch. I confess I don't know what part of the ignition wiring might typically be protected by the breaker but by Elkhound's comment it could be the starter solenoid but I seem to remember a yellow cable with a red stripe connected to the S terminal of the ignition switch. It didn't have a flat terminal that could connect to the breaker though. I also remember another tubular glass fuse in part of the ignition switch circuitry. Does anyone know what that might protect? I need to try to identify which wire is connected to the lower terminal of the breaker too. It is odd that there is only one wire connected to that breaker. I will check all of the other yellow wires to be sure there is no tracer and whether they are grounded or live. It is possible an incorrect wire was connected to the lower terminal of that breaker mistakenly in the past or since it was new. Unfortunately my memory doesn't recall anything about it. .

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If your boat ENGINE is running correctly ? Stop wondering & test connecting things THAT ARE NOT ALREADY CONNECTED..........You are going to cause damage !!!!!

Those are wires for OPTIONS your boat does not have. DO NOT TEST THEM OUT !!!

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