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Waynes345
07-17-2010, 11:10 PM
OK, been running great all summer with 59 hours so far. Yesterday morning, went out for a tow, ran an hour and pulled into the dock, engine died and wouldn't crank. Everything else seemed to be working - radio, bilge, nav lights, etc. Clicking but no crank. Pulled the battery out of my shorestation and cranked it up. Took the battery up to our place and the charger showed it as 100%. I assumed it was shorted out and went to buy another. Put the new battery in and everything was cool until this afternoon. Pulled out of our spot and idled accross the bay. Stopped and it wouldn't crank. Swapped batteries again and all is good. Put the other battery on a charger and it's full. I can't find anything obvious and I wouldn't think the alternator as it starts fine one minute and then won't crank the next. Anybody seen anything like this? Ideas on troubleshooting? Thanks.

gcnettl
07-18-2010, 09:39 AM
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.

gcnettl
07-18-2010, 09:40 AM
Actually yours sounds more like just a plain and simple bad battery connection. Might need to clean your terminals...

Waynes345
07-18-2010, 01:20 PM
Actually yours sounds more like just a plain and simple bad battery connection. Might need to clean your terminals...

Cleaned the connections and replaced the battery first. It's almost like something is getting reset when I disconnect the battery and reconnect since both batteries I have been using show a full charge when I put them on a charger. Everything will be working fine and I'll stop to pick up a rider and it won't crank. I swap in a different battery and away we go. I've done it back a forth several times now.

cfdrews12
07-22-2010, 01:59 PM
So I'm jumping over to this thread because I'm experiencing same type of issues and can't figure it out. Thanks gcnetti for taking the time to be part of thread. So here is what I've done to try and troubleshoot.

Thought I had this fixed til I went to lake again last night. Started off boat trailer right up. Drove 5 minutes to get to place where kids could jump in and fill up tubes. 15 minutes later. Clicking is all I got. Used second battery to jump start. Frustrating..........

1) Checked resistance on power cable. Looks good
2) Pulled starter and took to Starter/Alternator place today. He was kind enough to check it and tear it apart, says it both starter/Solenoid look great.
3) Going to check Alternator charging tonight at battery. Volts were only charging at 12 last time out and that may be part of issue. Might not be charging my battery which after 10 min of running all equipment and starting the motor doesn't have enough juice to start again.
4) Starter/Alternator guy says bring back batteries and he can check to see if I have bad cell. Some register amps after charge at 12.1 to 12.6 but can't push enough juice because of possible bad cell(s).
5) need to check ground to boat motor frame. Don't think that is issue since I could jump it.
6) Checked fuse on ignition, its good.

What else..... Starting to get very confused and frustrated.

gcnettl
07-24-2010, 12:36 AM
The relationship resistance forms on terms of power is that as resistance in the wiring connections and the wiring itself increases, the more voltage is needed. This explains why an additional battery makes the starter purr.

The starter needs three things to operate.
1. Ground-- The block must be properly grounded
2. Battery(hot)-- Straight from the battery.
3. 12v signal from the ignition.

if you check the resistances of your engine to the ground wire at the battery, and have a relatively low reading, ground should be good.

If you check your hot terminal at your starter to the hot wire at the battery, and have a low reading, then your hot connection should be good also.

Thirdly, you can test the signal by having someone try to crank the boat and test at the solenoid your 12v ignition signal. If signal is 12v, then your starter will turn. You may also take this wire off the solenoid and check so that the starter will not spin over in case the signal is good.

Sometimes it a case of a poor or loose connection. Like wires arcing out, the same can be the case here. At first you dont have power, then after trying for a while or getting a jump off, the current "jumps the gap" of the loose connection.

But from what i understand no one has tried to short out the solenoid to the hot wire. That would be the first thing that I did, short out the small stud coming off of the solenoid that has a small wire coming off of it to the big hot wire coming into the starter.


This can be done using a screwdriver or a short jumper wire. Assuming the power and ground are both good, and your starter is good, this will turn your starter over. Also its a good trick to be able to do. Can be a life saver in certain instances.

Waynes345
07-24-2010, 12:16 PM
My issue appears to have turned out to be a battery connection problem. Even though I had removed and reconnected the cables multiple times, I did it all in the boat and never throroughly cleaned the cable connectors. I had left it at the local marina this week to have them check it out and was told they found corrosion on the positive connector that was evidently enough to cause intermittant problems. It wasn't obvious to the naked eye down in the hole, so I should have taken a brush to them and cleaned them up. I've started it a numbewr of times out of the water without issue.

gcnettl
07-24-2010, 01:26 PM
Glad to hear it. Normally it is something simple like this and poor or degraded connections will give intermittent problems. The test resistance test is only good if you have clean connections to your battery, as this test only test to the connector rather than the post on the battery.

Sometimes the problem lies in corrosion of the connections inside the perko switch as well. Sometimes the best thing to do is go ahead and clean your battery post and cables to "shiny metal". This only takes a few minutes and can save a lot of troubleshooting.

But hopefully your problem is solved and after a few times out on the lake you wont even be the slightest worried about it.

outback08
07-24-2010, 04:19 PM
I am also trying to locate the problem I am having with my engine not starting. I have cleaned terminals and ohmed wires. I did find a loose connection at the starter. I tightened it up, but it still clicks.

It will start after multiple attempts. Anyone have the brushes go bad on them that was the result of a loose cable. I only have 77 hours on my boat, so it seems unlikely its a starter brush, but ???

Also, troubleshooting out of the water scares me a little. How long can engine turn without doing damage to seals or pumps without water? Any recommendations are welcome.

Waynes345
07-24-2010, 07:36 PM
I am also trying to locate the problem I am having with my engine not starting. I have cleaned terminals and ohmed wires. I did find a loose connection at the starter. I tightened it up, but it still clicks.

It will start after multiple attempts. Anyone have the brushes go bad on them that was the result of a loose cable. I only have 77 hours on my boat, so it seems unlikely its a starter brush, but ???

Also, troubleshooting out of the water scares me a little. How long can engine turn without doing damage to seals or pumps without water? Any recommendations are welcome.

Don't run out of the water without a fake-a-lake or other water source into it. If you don't have one, there are posts on here about making one out of a plunger. You should be able to search and find those as you'll have bigger problems if you don't. Good luck.

outback08
07-24-2010, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the feedback 345