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Joe, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 7251
Experience:  ASE, electronics, Marine mechanical and electronics, pwc, wiring, all around repair tech,
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I have a Sea Ray Sundancer 320. Recently one of the bilge

Customer Question

I have a Sea Ray Sundancer 320. Recently one of the bilge hatch linear actuators failed. I bought a replacement which is the exact same size but is faster (and quieter). So, instead of looking for another actuator that was slower, i bought another one of the faster kind. But when I put that one in, only one of the actuators will work at a time. If I have both connected, only one works (always the same one). If I disconnect the one that works, then the other one works. The actuators have independent switches in the fuse box, but both are on and none seems to be tripped. Very puzzling. Any idea what could be wrong?
JA: Sometimes boat issues seem like they'll be really complicated, but end up being easy to fix. The marine mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else the marine mechanic should be aware of?
Customer: no, i think I summarized it all.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Boat
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I thought I would clarify something. The new linear actuator I bought, which us faster than the one I had, does not match the speed of the actuator on the other side of the bilge hatch, so the hatch does not open properly. This is why I bought a secon actuator of the same kind, so both sides would open at the same speed. But then when I replaced the second one I started having the issue of only one side working.
Expert:  Joe replied 10 months ago.


Thank you for allowing me to assist you, my name is Joe and I will be happy to assist you with your concern today.

This sounds like it is most likely a ground issue, they share a power source but not after each switch only before, check that the power is secure and same as the ground, it appears what is taking place is that there is enough contact for power on a single but not both and when both are operated the one is not getting a good power/ground path. This is however interesting that even when the one is not used the other will not work until you disconnect the one that does work, try swapping them side to side and see if you still have to disconnect on that side for the other to work or does the problem follow the actuator to the other side and then must disconnect that one still.

The other therory is that possibly the one is still moving faster and or the other is binding when that one operates which to find would require checking power and ground and no amperage loss to that side while the other is being operated as well, you will have to do a process of elimination to first check if it is or is not electrical related in order to eliminate that and move on to mechanical issues or with the actuator itself.

Thank you!
- Joe

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