View Full Version : Wont Crank when Hot

04-13-2008, 11:32 PM
I have a 89 190 that I purchased over the winter. It has been starting up just great when I use it every other weekend however once the engine warms up it scares with a slow crank however it had been turning over after 2-3 turns of the key...until this weekend when after a 15 minute drive to the marina it would not start...all I got was the slow crank over and over...like there was not enough battery to turn it over...the voltage showed ~10 on the gauge. I tried to jump it from another boat but we still could not get it going...however the jumper cables were pretty thin so perhaps I was not getting much from the jump. I stuck a new battery on in the AM and it started right up...after the 15 minute drive back to my house I tried to start it up after shutting it down and the exact same thing happened...slow crank - no start. The next morning It started right up - I did not charge the battery or anything. Any ideas why I would have trouble starting a hot engine? I did take the starter out and the NAPA guy said it was in fine shape. Thanks for your insight!

04-14-2008, 12:05 AM
We had a similar problem with the old Grew we had before our Prostar. We found that letting the boat idle for a few minutes before shutting her down and warming it up at idle before going hard seemed to stop the 'heat seize' that we were calling it. Same thing, starter and selenoid and charging was good. Just wouldn't turn over the hot engine.

Might try the cool down idle with the engine cover up before killing her for the mean time.

Sorry I just have a band-aid to offer man. At least our problem led us to finally buy a MC.

04-14-2008, 12:17 AM
When it tried to crank, was it smooth or lumpy and slow? If it's lumpy, check your timing. If it's smooth, make sure the carb isn't leaking into the intake and causing hydraulic lock. Also, make sure the mounting bolts for the starter and tight, the mating surfaces are clean and the battery terminals/clamps are clean and tight.

04-14-2008, 12:42 AM
carb isn't leaking into the intake and causing hydraulic lock.

I think this was the prime susoect for our boat. Fluids which cannot be compressed sitting in a cylinder would certainly cause an engine to not turn over. Ours was simply seized until she cooled down.

04-14-2008, 06:44 AM
When it tried to crank, was it smooth or lumpy and slow? If it's lumpy, check your timing. If it's smooth, make sure the carb isn't leaking into the intake and causing hydraulic lock. Also, make sure the mounting bolts for the starter and tight, the mating surfaces are clean and the battery terminals/clamps are clean and tight.

The cranking was slow. So slow I would not know if it is lumpy. The hydraulic lock sounds like it could be it (however I have not worked on an engine before. With regards to the battery teminals...I did make sure they are clean and tight however the clamp has been swished a bit from over tightening. Do i need new cables even if they are tight?

04-14-2008, 08:25 AM
Next time it happens, remove some of the spark plugs and if it's pressurized, you'll know. Watch out for the gas mist that sprays out, though and wear gloves.

04-14-2008, 08:53 AM
JimN is the expert on these issues.

One thing that I've seen in the past that caused these issues was bad battery cables.

T Scott
04-14-2008, 11:33 AM
I'd get a multimeter and check your battery voltage. I would not rely on the guage to give you an accurate reading. If your voltage is less than 12.2 (ish) you probably just need a new battery. If your voltage is good at the battery, check the voltage at the starter and see if you get the same reading. If you are getting good voltage to the starter, you likely have a bad/dieing starter and simply get it rebuilt as necessary. If your batery voltage is lower at the starter than at the battery, start checking connections. A cold engine is much easier to crank than a hot engine.

04-14-2008, 01:33 PM
Well, when I put a new battery in this weekend it was still showing 10-11 on the guage and had the same isssue. I will follow through with the suggestions the next time I am out at the lake and report back. Thanks for the suggestions!

04-14-2008, 01:40 PM
I would be looking at every connection, from the battery posts to the dash, by way of the block. The battery grounds to the block but if the connection point is corroded, the voltage drop will be substantial. It's also very hard on the starter, so keep the cranking to a minimum until it's fixed. Go to the solenoid and make sure the connections are clean. If you want to be sure of the starter and solenoid, take it in and have it tested for load. The accessory grounds are on the block, too, so that's another place that probably needs to be cleaned up.

.1 Ohms is the acceptable resistance from the battery + post (not the cable) to the starter and if it's more than this amount, the voltage drop will cause a lot of problems.

04-14-2008, 04:22 PM
sounds like a bad cable and /or connection someplace between you battery and starter, even the smallest flaw in some wiring will break down under heat after the engine has warmed up !! i had same issue few seasons ago and had to replace the ground cable on the starter and put a new battery in , worked a treat.

04-14-2008, 04:43 PM
Let me save you alot of time and touble my buddy went thru exactly same problem here is the fix below, good luck:

89 PS190 starter problems


Hey Teeter,
First time poster, long time reader.
Had the same problem for years. One of the best things I ever did (took me about 7 yrs to figure it out) was buying one of the new style starters. I had the old one rebuilt several times and it always worked good for awhile, but then waited till a holiday weekend with guests onboard to just plain quit.
One of the issues was that the shim where the armature goes into the casing worked out and binded the starter. You can see this if you pull the starter and see brass dust in the starter or in the flywheel housing. Sometimes this would not present itself till after the engine/starter got warm. If you keep trying to start the boat the solenoid will just melt/arc.
Talked with the guys over at Skidim.com and he suggested the new starter. I always thought they were for the newer boats. Your battery will thank you. The new style just has a lot more torque for the amount of current applied.

Good Luck!

What time is it?

04-14-2008, 04:50 PM
Here is the starter information from skidim.com good luck.

Home > Electrical and Tune-Up > Starters/Alternators

STARTER KIT LH 302/351 Permanent Magnet.

Item Number : 1201

Unit Price: $256.50


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Detailed Description
This starter kit replaces the old plunger type starters. It is smaller and more powerfull than the old style and bolts right up. These starters are for left hand rotation only. Kit comes with additional wires needed for installation.

04-14-2008, 04:53 PM
First thought would be battery connections

2nd would be starter

3rd would be your cooler is out of beer!

04-14-2008, 05:18 PM
You are getting great advice here.

I am not much help but to say that I had the exact same issues with my '88 PS190. Usually either did not shut down when out skiing for long periods of time, or sat and had a few cold ones myself before firing up again.

I also had a few solenoids go bad if the engine got too hot.

What is you engine temp getting up to? I took the thermostate out of mine. It took a little longer for the engine to warm up, and ran cooler. Most here may say that this is not the recomended way to run the boat, but it worked great for me.

04-14-2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks everyone! I think I have a gameplan! I truely appreciate everyones help! Let the troubleshooting begin!

04-16-2008, 10:52 AM
Starter. I have been down the road you are on. I checked all connections. I cleaned them, and no change. I swapped out my battery for a spare, no change. I checked the output of the alternator: 13 to 14 volts. The battery was spot on also. I removed my starter, and brought to a local guy who rebuilds them. He showed me how the starter was bad. He rebuilt it for $150. Problem is solved. It was driving me nuts. :)

04-16-2008, 02:59 PM
jbfootin......bad idea to run the boat without the t-stat, the engine never really gets to proper operating temp and if it does you have an overheating problem !!!