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ssmith
06-22-2010, 11:38 PM
OK, here's the problem. I had a dual battery setup with VSR added over the winter, just in time for spring. The boat now has a 1 yr old battery and a new battery. Jim at Viper Customs did the install. Since day 1 of getting the boat back, the engine has been slow starting. Initially, you would have to hold the key over for a second or two longer than usual and it would start. It has slowly progressed to turning the key and nothing happens. You can hear it click in the engine compartment and nothing. Usually after a 3 or 4 attempts, the engine would start right up. After starting, if you ever cut the engine...it may fire right back up or do the same thing again. However, it has always started and I haven't found it to be that big of a deal until today. It did it today after being out for a while and we actually starting swimming the boat in. However, it finally started and we surfed the rest of the day, not turning the engine off. After putting it on the trailer, I cut the engine and tried to restart it (still in the water) without success. So, now what??

Thoughts....

Viper Customs did "hot wire" it to check the VSR. Maybe they didn't get something connected back correctly? If so, what?

Vapor Lock? I don't think so though.

Bad starter?

Bad Battery (even though I have 2 now with the VSR)?

Bad Alternator?



Any help would be appreciated.

phospher
06-23-2010, 10:59 AM
Sure sounds like your not getting enough power to the starter..

bslide
06-23-2010, 11:11 AM
I had the same problem on our old boat. The starter solenod would just click and after a few key cycles it would finally engage to the fly wheel. My guess would be the starter is on the way out. If you can get to it, tap it with a hammer while someone tries to start it.

ssmith
06-23-2010, 09:55 PM
I took the starter battery to Autozone and it checked out....so that's not the problem. I took all of the connections loose on both batteries and checked for corrosion (none), then retightened everything very snugly...still not starting. Next, I located the starter. The positive connection had a little play in it. I tightened it up (tight spot). The boat did turn over briefly and I cut it off (no water supply, just trying to turn it over). However, never able to turn it over again.

Was getting late so tomorrow I will remove the postive wire on the starter and clean it all really good with sandpaper and try again. If that doesn't work, I'm assuming I need a new starter.

Thoughts?

ssmith
06-24-2010, 12:48 AM
I'm starting to piece together, from researching everything imaginable on the web, that its a bad solenoid.

This sounds exactly like my problem and here's a few links if anyone is interested.

Here's a good explanation given on another forum to someone...

" This is almost certainly the solenoid. If it clicks but doesn't engage when you turn the key, and will do that several times, and then it will engage and start normally it is very unlikely that it is the battery or the connections. Does the starter have a built in solenoid? If it does then the problem is likely the two copper L shaped contacts that are in the top of the solenoid. They can usually be purchased for less than $10.00. What happens is the two contacts wear unevenly and then will start to fail occassionally. By turning the key off and back on it will attempt to make the connection again, and it might, in which case the starter will engage normally. If the connection doesn't happen it will simply 'click' again which is the sound of the solenoid 'plunger' (have no idea of the technical term) hitting the top of its travel. If that's the case then you do not need a new starter, you just need to replace the copper L shaped contacts and you will be good to go. If you don't replace them you will eventually find yourself stuck somewhere for sure.

This is very common in the gear reduction type starter motor. Is that what you have in your boat?"

" If the solonoid is on top of the starter then it is quite possible that the problem is what I mentioned earlier, the two copper L shaped washers that are inside the solenoid. Tapping it will sometimes make them engage as it shakes them a bit. To fix it you need to remove the starter and dismantle the solenoid. If you haven't done it before you may need to find someone that is familiar with starters to help you out. It's not that hard but it does require taking the starter apart. I highly recommend you explore this before you buy a new starter, which will fix your problem, but will cost a lot more money. If you are able to make the starter work by cycling the key a few times then it is not the battery or the connections, it is the solenoid. I've changed a ton of those washers and it fixes the 'click, no start; click, no start; click no start then turn the key and it engages and spins normally problem every time. You will get stranded if you don't fix it as one day the connection just won't happen no matter how many times you cycle the key. I hope this is your problem anyway as it's cheap to fix. I'm not sure what starter you have in your boat but if the solenoid is on top then I would definitely check this out before I bought a new one."



And here is a good link...

http://www.sherco-auto.com/contacts.htm#startersolenoidcontacts

gcnettl
06-26-2010, 03:32 AM
One way to check is to get a pair of jumper cables and hook to your truck, then connect the positive to your starter, to the stud that has the big cable going to it, the negative to your engine somewhere that is not painted, such as the the alternator bracket bolt or so. Then try to start. If you have the same problem, then you could pull your starter, and take it to autozone, and they have a machine that will check the starter.

ssmith
07-12-2010, 01:09 AM
Thanks for all of your replies and info. Turns out it was the starter. I had that replaced with a new one and all is good now. It wasn't cheap but was worth the peace of mind it gives while out on the lake.

cfdrews12
07-17-2010, 08:52 PM
So I'm on the lake and can't get the boat to start. Same clicking that everyone in this thread talked about. But only clicking, time and time again. So hooked up another battery and jumped the boat and it starts. We went out for some boarding sets (hour or so) ran the boat back to the dock and turned it off to test its starting power. No go. So measured the amps of the battery 12.4 just like it should be. Hooked up a battery and jumped it again no problem.

If it is a solenoid, would I be able to jump start it? And if so, it doesn't sound like it would be my starter??

Any help you guys can give would be appreciated. Day sucked in Arkansas.

gcnettl
07-17-2010, 10:22 PM
Check you power at the starter. You will have a big (+) wire that goes to it, as well as some smaller wires. You should have about the same voltage at the starter as you do the battery. This big power wire is on when all the time. It is unswitched. You may also take this wire off, take the positive loose from your battery, and test the resistance between the hot cable at your battery and the connector that goes to the starter. Remember, you must disconnect both ends, both at the starter and at the battery to test this. This will be measured in Ohms. If you get a reading more than an Ohm or two, then you have a poor connection in the power wire to the starter.

I have seen a loose battery connection, a loose Perko switch (loose connection inside the switch, and a faulty ignition switch cause the problems above.

To test the switched side of things, you will need to short the connections at the starter. The starter has a solenoid, a bendix, and the actual starter motor. When you hit your start switch, a 12 signal is sent to the solenoid. This is turn sucks a connection together, between the starter motor windings and the big power cable that goes to the starter. The motor then turns. The bendix is spring loaded so that when the motor spins, it pushes outward toward the flywheel. This serves two functions: To engage the flywheel and make it turn, and once power is cut off from the starter the bendix will disengaged from the flywheel and 2 it raises inertial energies to get the flywheel to initially move.

So... To rule out ignition, short out the big power wire to the smaller wire... If your engine turns over, then it is a weak ignition signal. If nothing different is observed, then bet on a loose/degraded connection between the starter and the battery.

cfdrews12
07-18-2010, 04:47 PM
So I appreciate all the help. So far this is what I've done. I've checked the resistance on the power cable that goes between battery and Starter. 1.3, so I assume this means cable is still good. Second thing I've done is check both boat batteries to be 12.4 amp's on both so they are good to go.

So now need to short out the big power wire to the smaller wire... (Is this at the starter?) How do I do that, screwdriver?? gcnetti you said if my engine turns over, then it is a weak ignition signal. What does this mean I should replace??

So last question. Why would the starter and system work fine every time I jump started yet wouldn't work from a good battery. All my posts and cables are clean and look good.

Very confusing. let me know your thoughts.

Waynes345
07-18-2010, 05:41 PM
So I appreciate all the help. So far this is what I've done. I've checked the resistance on the power cable that goes between battery and Starter. 1.3, so I assume this means cable is still good. Second thing I've done is check both boat batteries to be 12.4 amp's on both so they are good to go.

So now need to short out the big power wire to the smaller wire... (Is this at the starter?) How do I do that, screwdriver?? gcnetti you said if my engine turns over, then it is a weak ignition signal. What does this mean I should replace??

So last question. Why would the starter and system work fine every time I jump started yet wouldn't work from a good battery. All my posts and cables are clean and look good.

Very confusing. let me know your thoughts.


CF - This sounds very similar to the problem I am experiencing this weekend. If I disconnect and reconnect the battery, it seems to reset something and be back to normal for a while. Then when we least expect it, no crank again. It'll be interesting to hear your resolution. I'm pulling the boat out shortly and leaving it for the local marina to have a look at. If I hear anything, I'll let you know as well.

gcnettl
07-18-2010, 09:48 PM
Starter needs a 12v signal to activate to solenoid.
http://www.misterfixit.com/starttst.htm
There is somewhat horrible picture of what I am describing to short the starter, but nonetheless you should be able to figure it out.


The resistance seems low enough, i dont think that there is a bad connection between your starter and battery. Only other two things would be bad ground, and you can test it much the same way in terms of resistance, from the engine block to the negative cable. second would be ignition. If there is a degraded connection your solenoid might not be getting the full signal that it needs. And shorting the starter would be an easy check for that.

jamie_abb
07-19-2010, 05:29 PM
How does one know which solenoid to get?

Which starter?

cfdrews12
07-26-2010, 05:00 PM
OK. Just information back to the group in case you run into this and didn't think to try it out.

#1. I've learned to take out my starter and put it back in in under an hour. Remarkable but doable. (had to do it three times).
#2 Find a local alternator/starter fix it shop. They will re-do your starter or alternator for less than 1/2 of what you'll pay for a new one. Took mine into a shop. They tested it and said it was good to go. Autozone and other places can't test the starters unless you get someone who is actually willing to cross reference the starter and spend some time with you. Otherwise, they just look at the blank computer screen and say. Can't test that.
#3 I had a battery that was a few years old. Even though it tested and registered at 12.3 volts, it fell on it face when they put a load on it. I don't know if the typical auto shops can test this, but the starter place i went to put the load on it and showed me that an old battery simply won't perform and you'll get clicking due to the fact that it can't push enough amperage to run the starter.

So I put the new battery in the #1 position and moved the old batter to the number 2 and all has been fine. Evidently the starters our boats run take everything they can get and anything older than about 3-4 years old. so if you can't find anything else. Have battery tested under load.

jamie_abb
07-29-2010, 09:25 AM
Agreed in under an hour - two bolts to mount and two for the wires. I wish I had thought about bringing it to a starter rebuilder. I just swapped it for a rebuilt at the marina. Could have saved some dough