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TonyB
04-20-2008, 06:50 PM
Trying to get the boat ready to go out next weekend. Charged up the battery and connected the terminals. Hooked up the fake a lake after closing all the open block drains. Turned the key on, dash voltage showed ~10volts. Tried to start, got a click...then nothing. No reading on dash now

I'm showing 14 volts at the battery side solenoid and zero volts at the starter side.

Tachometer will often show 3000 rpms.

Oddly, as I mess around with things, sometimes I will get a dash voltmeter reading and the RPMs go back to zero. If I try to crank it I will get the click again and then nothing.

Help!

TonyB
04-20-2008, 06:52 PM
Also, as I was trying to bypass the neutral safety switch I dropped both screws into the bilge and can't find them. What size? Anyone?

TonyB
04-20-2008, 08:55 PM
Still working on it. Pulled up the deck and my daugter found the screws.

Placed a screwdriver across the solenoid terminals and got only the tiniest of sparks and a mild popping at the starter.

As stated previously, I've got 14 volts at the battery side solenoid.

Voltage at the coil wire (purple) is 10 volts.

That is all for now.

JLeuck64
04-21-2008, 12:51 AM
Just ran into this same problem with a buddy of mine last fall. Drove down to his place to winterize the engine and she wouldn't crank over. Same exact voltmeter readings as you. B+ on the battery side of the relay and Zip on the starter side. His boat, like yours needs a new starter relay. The contacts inside the relay are probably burnt making for a poor electrical connection. I couldn't get one that day, but wanted to continue to finish winterizing the engine. I used a jumper cable to bypass the starter relay. It will definetly make some sparks as you first make contact but jumper cables can handle the current to run the starter motor. I held the jumper cable on the terminals and my friend would work the throttle to start the engine. This spring, before I de-winterize that boat, I will be installing the new starter relay...
J

TonyB
04-23-2008, 09:24 PM
His boat, like yours needs a new starter relay. The contacts inside the relay are probably burnt making for a poor electrical connection.

Nope, that's not it. Replaced the starter relay and I had the starter bench tested.

So....New relay. Good Starter. Good Battery. Bypassed neutral safety.

Still doesn't do anything beyond the occasional light click.

All other times tach is showing 3000 RPMs

Jim@BAWS
04-23-2008, 09:27 PM
Also, as I was trying to bypass the neutral safety switch I dropped both screws into the bilge and can't find them. What size? Anyone?


Bad Idea !!! Very bad idea. Why would you want to do this? It is there for your safety and the safety of others in your boat. If it needs adjustment in the cable make the adjustment.


Jim@BAWS

TonyB
04-23-2008, 09:33 PM
Bad Idea !!! Very bad idea. Why would you want to do this? It is there for your safety and the safety of others in your boat. If it needs adjustment in the cable make the adjustment.


Jim@BAWS
Only a temporary attempt to eliminate all items in the obviously faulty ignition circuit. It is sitting on the trailer and will not be going anywhere soon it would seem. Since it made no difference in my attempts to get the starter to engage, I will return it to its previous condition. Lickety Splitly.

I get the impression you only read the last post.

Jim@BAWS
04-23-2008, 10:31 PM
Possible faults
a) LOW BATTERY
b) Bad ignition switch
c) You may need new cables NEG and POSITIVE
d) Starter
e) Take off the SOLINOID Clean the area on the block
that it touches, re affix it.

Jim@BAWS


Only a temporary attempt to eliminate all items in the obviously faulty ignition circuit. It is sitting on the trailer and will not be going anywhere soon it would seem. Since it made no difference in my attempts to get the starter to engage, I will return it to its previous condition. Lickety Splitly.

I get the impression you only read the last post.

TonyB
04-24-2008, 01:42 PM
Possible faults
a) LOW BATTERY
b) Bad ignition switch
c) You may need new cables NEG and POSITIVE
d) Starter
e) Take off the SOLINOID Clean the area on the block
that it touches, re affix it.

Jim@BAWS
A) Battery tests fine
B) Possilbe - haven't tested
C) NEG and POS cables test good (little to no voltage drop) up to Starter Relay. Possilble that cable from relay to starter needs replacement.
D) Starter bench tested. It is good
E) New Solenoid (Starter Relay). Contact area was cleanded before re-attaching

So that leaves starter cable and ignition switch.

I will also probably run a new 10 ga. ground bus up to the dash to see if that solves whatever is going on with my tach.

JimN
04-24-2008, 01:55 PM
If you have the regular needle style tach and it jumps around and/or is inaccurate, clean the hold-down for the distributor and the place on the intake manifold where it comes into contact. That's the gauge's reference for RPM, not the dash ground. Also, if the bottom plate in the distributor is rusty, clean it. The points will have a better ground connection and not only can it give you better tach reading but possibly more consistent spark output. While you're at it, check the advance weights and springs. If they're original, some service is long overdue.

JLeuck64
04-24-2008, 02:23 PM
Sorry bout that Tony,
I might have assumed something in error. Let's see if I am on the same page with you.

When I troubleshoot electrical problems I put the black test lead on the battery negative and LEAVE it there for the remainder of all the following tests.

I then move the red test lead along the circuit looking for available voltage at those points.

For example, when you turn the key to the start position there should be close to B+ down at the S terminal on the starter relay. If not, back track up that circuit towards the ignition switch. If there is voltage from the ignition switch circuit then the starter relay should be energizing and making an audible click. If not, then check how it's grounded like Jim suggested.

You could test the starter circuit the same way. Have somebody hold the key in the start position and place the red test lead on the battery side of the relay, then on the motor side of the relay, and finally on the starter motor terminal. There should be close to B+ at all those points. If not there is a voltage drop indicating resistance, clean connections and/or replace the cable.

If there is B+ at all the positive points on the starter circuit, we still need to consider the ground side. Move the red test lead to the frame of the starter. Expect to see just around 0.5V, if it is higher than that it indicates a problem with a ground connection and/or a cable. I would try checking the point where the ground cable is attached to the engine block next. If it looks like it needs cleaning go ahead and do it. Check available voltage on both ends of the ground cable also, it should be closer to zero on the ground side.

Using the voltmeter to test for available voltage is easier for most to understand if you keep a few key points in mind. Expect to see close to B+ on the positive side of a circuit up to the load. It's OK to lose a few tenths of a volt through switches and connectors. And a little more loss on the starter circuit because it has more amps flowing. If a load is operating normally it should use (drop) practically all the voltage across it. Good ground side readings will be 0.1V or less, again OK for the starter circuit to be higher because of amperage.
Hoping this helps better,
J

JimN
04-24-2008, 05:43 PM
Also, the starter grounds through the mounting bolts and mating surface, so if those are corroded, current will have a very hard time trying to flow through the rust. Any time I see low voltages, I clean the battery terminals, remove the ground from the block, clean the terminals, nut, stud and the block, then put it all back on. If everything except the starter are already clean, I remove that and clean the bolts, holes and mating surface. If it still doesn't want to crank strongly, I have the starter checked out.

This is assuming the battery has already checked out as GOOD, not just for voltage, but for load.

TonyB
04-24-2008, 11:44 PM
This is assuming the battery has already checked out as GOOD, not just for voltage, but for load.
And that is what I'm about believe is the problem. I've done just about everything else that has been suggested (i.e. clean contacts, test starter, replace relay, etc.).

I checked the voltage myself. But maybe it is just a surface charge. I'll pull it and have it tested further.

mbeach
04-24-2008, 11:58 PM
And that is what I'm about believe is the problem. I've done just about everything else that has been suggested (i.e. clean contacts, test starter, replace relay, etc.).

I checked the voltage myself. But maybe it is just a surface charge. I'll pull it and have it tested further. battery needs to be load tested and not just voltage. same thing happened to me a couple of years ago including the tach thing. tried to put a charge on the battery but no dice. voltages were ok, but failed load test. now i always disconnect the battery when not intending to use for several months including winter storage (store in warm place off ground). like baws said, battery is #1 suspect.

JimN
04-25-2008, 12:06 AM
A good starter should range from 150-350A of current draw, depending on the load from the motor. At 12VDC, this comes out to about 4200 Volt Amps, and we can use Watts for this since it's a pretty simple load. If the battery voltage drops below about 10VDC while cranking, the starter has excessive load or it shorted, internally. If it drops very little, the starting circuit has high resistance somewhere.

TonyB
04-25-2008, 10:50 AM
One other thing...

Last night I was checking voltage on the starter side relay again as my son was turning the key to crank position. There wasn't any voltage on the starter side of the relay but I could feel the relay (thru the probe I was holding) vibrating (but not clicking) each time he tried to crank it. Don't know what that means other than the relay seemed to be trying to do its job. I've using an analog sperry multi-meter. It is almost impossible to read voltage drops on the large scale (50Vdc). I plan to buy a digital (Probably Fluke 112) soon.

JimN
04-25-2008, 06:10 PM
Is the battery cable on the correct side of the solenoid? That relay needs to be well grounded in order to work, too.


BTW- the 112 is disco'd, so you'll probably be directed to the model 117.

TonyB
04-25-2008, 09:13 PM
In spite of the open circuit voltage test showing 12+ volts, the battery was dead.

<I know, I know.>

I bought a new battery today during lunch break. Dropped it in this evenging and hooked up the cables, turned the key, and away it goes, and goes, and goes, and...

I had to disconnect the battery ground to get the starter to stop turning.

Now what?

JimN
04-25-2008, 09:33 PM
Now, you remove the starter and service the Bendix. That's supposed to be lubricated annually, or it...Oh yeah- it sticks. It may not be that- it may be the solenoid on the starter, which may have burned contacts from low current starting attempts.

It could be the ignition switch, but I doubt it.

TonyB
04-25-2008, 09:42 PM
...it may be the solenoid on the starter, which may have burned contacts from low current starting attempts.

I've a 91 Prostar. Would this be the solenoid attached to the starter or the remote solenoid (starter relay)?

TonyB
04-26-2008, 02:41 PM
Replaced new remote solenoid (that I fried) with the old one.

Boat fired right up.

So... the moral of the story I suppose is: Always suspect the battery even when you think it is good. And don't depend on a simple open circuit voltage test with a cheap analog multi-meter.

All is well. Except I think I've still got intermittent grounding issues.

JimN
04-26-2008, 03:35 PM
A battery load tester can be bought at Harbor Freight for less than $20. It's basically a load resistor and it gets HOT, so making one for less isn't really a good plan. They at least indicate whether the battery has any capacity to drive a load. Voltage is nice but LEDs and transistors are about the only things that I know if that rely on voltage, rather than current. The free way to test for ability to carry a load is to turn the key on, read the voltage and turn on the accessories, one by one. If the voltage drops considerably just from one light, the battery is probably bad. If the voltage drops drastically again when the blower goes on, the test is pretty much done. If voltage goes to zero when cranking, there's a problem. As I said before, it shouldn't drop below about 10VDC while cranking. On an injected motor, going below about 9.5VDC can cause the ECM to do a "hard reset".

Glad to hear you got it to run.

TonyB
04-26-2008, 05:17 PM
Thanks JimN (and everyone else) for all your help.

codegrad
07-07-2008, 05:50 PM
All - I hope everyone is still watching this thread, cause I need help. I'm not especially mechanically inclined, but through reading these types of posts, I've been troubleshooting my own problem related to the solenoid clicks. When I turn the key, I get the click and nothing else. I've replaced the slave selenoid but continue to get the clicks. I believe the battery is ok as it doesn't fall below 10v when attempting to start and levels at about 13v when key is on. I also hooked up jumper cables from my truck to make sure (if the battery were bad and that were the issue, it should start with the jumpers on, right?). Anyway, when I do the old screwdriver trick across the posts of the starter, it will activate and spin but not engage the flywheel. I've been told that the engaging action wouldn't be triggered by doing this, so have assumed it's not a starter problem. Is this correct? Should it engaged the flywheel when doing this "screwdriver" trick or does it count on the ignition system to do this? Also, if it were the starter, does it make sense for the slave solenoid to click and nothing seem to go through to the starter? I've done some measurements of voltage by attaching the leads of a digital multimeter to the large posts on the solenoid and get about 12.75v without turning the key to the start position (just turning it on). Am I checking this correctly? Although I have cleaned the terminals on the battery and around the slave solenoid, I've not disassembled anything of significance to trace the wires through or pulled the connections to the starter itself. I'm sure you're going to tell me to do this next, but I would probably be looking to take it to the shop before I go that far as I'm not familiar enough with this stuff to take a chance on spending a lot of time and taking a chance on jacking something else up. Any help would be appreciated.

JimN
07-07-2008, 09:29 PM
If the starter clicks but doesn't engage the flywheel, it means that the Bendix hasn't been lubricated as it should have. It needs to be replaced. Have the starter rebuilt, don't just replace the Bendix and/or solenoid. It's just not worth repairing it that way.

skibtlvr4evr
07-11-2008, 01:36 AM
I had same problem, and this is how I solved it. Test the neutral safety switch wire with test light from key and work your way back to switch itself. Test connections at the various junctions, power in, power out. I had the same problem and it was a wire connector that was not crimped tight. Took apart neutral safety switch to make sure the swich was aligning correctly. Goood luck