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2013 Z3 electrical gremlins

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    2013 Z3 electrical gremlins

    I just purchased a 2013 Z3 and I'm having a few issues. The previous owner did a number on the electrical system in the boat. I need a few pieces of information to get everything working correctly again.

    1) The boat came with amplifiers that were not working, so i wired in new amplifiers. those are working fine, but the radio power was supplied by the amplifier power wires and a manual switch. I can't find the power wires for the radio. I am a fan of keeping things as close to stock as possible, so i'll run new wires from whatever fuse block is supposed to power the radio, but where is that fuse/breaker?. There is a switchboard of some kind under the helm with 20? switches, but i didn't see any radio/audio/head unit/receiver labels on it.

    a) the screen doesn't work on the transom remote. the transom remote buttons still control the radio. the touch screen and panel to the right of it don't control the radio. I ordered a new control module, but I'm not sure if the problem could be the head unit or cables.

    2) There are several loose wires behind the radio, one white, two blue with white spiral stripe, and one black wire. The black wire is not a ground and I can't make any of the wires hot with switches the rest of the blue with white spiral stripe wires in the boat seem to be for lighting, but nothing happens when I turn on all of the lights. are some of these wires the radio power? am i missing a fuse panel? (I have messed around a little bit at the helm, but haven't found anything)

    3) When the boat power is on, one of the tower downlights is on, all the time. I think someone was there before because I can't get the other light to come on at all, and the "tower" light button turns on the docking lights on the tower. nothing happens when i turn on the "docking" lights, nothing happens when I push the button for tower color. It seems like crossed wires at the switch or something, are the tower lights are plugged into the wrong thing and the docking lights plugged into the tower light switch? What do I check first? how do i know if my boat has the RGB controller?

    1) If the head unit's black and yellow power wires were not connected to the power cables of one of the amps you removed, that could be a reason why the amps were not working. If the head unit does not power up, the amp will never get the turn-on signal to wake up.

    If the black and yellow wires where there connected to the amps power cable terminals, then go back and insert them and the head unit will likely power up once the toggle on the hash is flipped.

    a) not its a bit confusing. Above, you indicated you cant find the head unit power wires. This tells me the head unit will NOT power up. In this case, then the remotes will not work at all, and this includes the tige touch.

    So can you clarify the head unit power wires not being fond and a remote that works but no display?

    2) behind the head unit or coming out of the head unit? Black sounds like a groud and blue/white is likely courtesy illumination.

    3) RGB LEDS was not an option on a 2013, so any RGB LEDs and controller would have been installed aftermarket.

    For the tower and docking lights, id find the relays for them. They are typically under the helm, toward the gunwale and together. Ussualy they are turned connector up, which leads to their failure. They collect moisture.
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      1) The amplifiers are cooked. I tested them out of the boat, when they didn't work, I opened them up and found water damage.

      It seems like a bad idea to run the head unit off of the amplifier power source permanently. i feel like the head unit would get feedback and an inconsistent power source. The head unit is currently powered with a 12v plug that is plugged into the 12v source in the glove compartment. i did this temporarily to see what i was working with and get the replacement amps installed and tuned. The head unit does power up and works fine except the remote screen and Tige touch controls I found a small (18ga?) wire which is switched with the boat accessory power, so that's the remote wire to turn on the radio.

      2) behind the head unit. I had the same thoughts, but the black isn't a ground and the courtesy illumination isn't getting power when the courtesy lights (or any other lights) are on (checked with a test light). Do you know where the fuses are for the lights? I haven't found any courtesy lights that don't work.

      3) the screen has a "tower light color" button. I'll upload a photo of it later.


        Audio feedback (unwanted noise) is actually induced all the audio components i.e.amps and head unit, do not share the same voltage source. So with the absence of a distribution block, terminating the head unit at the amp, preferably the largest one, is ideal.

        If there is voltage drop at the amp, the issue is undersized cabling, corrosion or poor connection.

        As to the remotes and the TT. If the transom remote functions but no display, this indicates the cable is connected at least. Could be a poor or corroded connection somewhere, could be the display in the remote or could be the head unit. If the TT does not work, could be disconnected at the back of the TT or behind the head unit. Same with the helm remote, if there is one.

        There should be a Viper fuse box under the helm. Likely has a cover that pops off to expose the fuses. Could also be behind a false carpeted wall panel on your 2013, i cant remember.

        IIRC, that tower light color is changed by TTP (timed toggle protocol), by simply either by turning the light off/on quickly, or cycling the "color" button. I do not recall it being a full spectrum RGB, but maybe just blue and white.
        Mikes Liquid Audio: Knowledge Experience Customer Service you can trust-KICKER WetSounds ACME props FlyHigh Custom Ballast Clarion LiquidLumens LEDs Roswell Wave Deflector And More


          I'll put up what we found with a couple boats of this era:
          if the tower lights facing down are the round small ones with a black trim, they cycle through a couple of colors(blue/white/red that I remember). chp is right in that pressing the button on the tt will cycle. last 14 z3 had one that worked and one that would not switch colors. was told it needed replaced. iirc it's a simple twist out. sounds like yours are wired wrong. you can remove the access on top of the tower for some wiring and the rest of the light wires are fed down the driver side and then ran over to the helm. we had some wiring issues as well with the tower lights but eventually gave up.

          viper panel is behind the carpeted panel under helm. remove panel and you will see the medallion fuse cover. it's pretty big. there's also a smaller black breaker box with switches further right for getting you home in the event tt fails. inside the medallion panel, there's connections and fuses. if you remove a fuse and reinstall 1 position either left or right, it'll turn that accessory on outside of tt. for example if you need to fill front ballast, remove fuse, reposition in center and the other empty port either left or right of where it was and pumps will turn on until fuse is removed.

          we wired our '12 22ve clarion deck straight off the amp power/ground and added a power switch at the helm grabbing power off the buss and then running this over to the deck switched power wire. this moves the stereo off the tt panel for power and added another puck at the drivers helm above the throttle on the top panel. hands down best thing we ever did stereo-wise to be able to use without having tt on. I'd suggest if your wiring is not factory, go this route and add a switch in the dash for stereo. you will get tired of staring at the low voltage warning on the tt panel every time you want to park and listen to tunes for a minute.

          good luck.....
          2012 22ve.. RIP 4/17
          2014 Z3.. Surf away


            I got the stereo working thanks to y'alls help.

            I'm still fighting these tower and docking lights. I can turn them on manually but I can't figure out where the signal is supposed to come from to turn them on and off.

            Neither of the circuits i am looking for is on the medallion panel.

            The text with the images explains what I have done so far.

            There was one relay.


              There are a few things that would be helpful.

              1) color and location for the switched wires
              2) photos of the wiring on the right side of the black box with the switches
              3) photos of the relays

              I assume items 2 and 3 for any similar year boat will work

              Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk


                Well, I got the lights hooked up per factory spec. Still no solution to the lights. I wonder if I'm missing a fuse or the controls are fried in a computer/ viper box?

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