View Full Version : Need some help...

06-29-2008, 11:02 PM
Sorry for the long post, but the more info the better in my opinion.

History: (1986 Mastercraft, Indmar 351, Velvet Drive) I leave my boat at the lake house all summer. Can't get there by road, have to take the pontoon boat from the marina. Last year the float in my bilge pump kept getting stuck in the on position and kept running my battery down and the boat got quite a bit of water in it a couple of times. Took me forever to figure that one out. Battery=toast.

This year: Installed electronic ignition before taking to the lake. Bought new battery. Never tested it before I got it in the water...ok, dumb on my part. Got it to the lake...turned the key..."click"...nothing. Towed it across the lake.

Removed the e-ignition and put everthing back the way it was. Replaced the solenoid..."click"...nothing. Replaced a questionable negative battery cable..."click"...nothing. Took the starter and had it "rebuilt". Back to the lake...it acted like it was going to start and turned the engine about 1/2 revolution...then..."click"...nothing.

Took the starter to another place and replaced the starter motor with a rebuilt one. It turned over repeatedly but wouldn't start. The next morning it came to me that it might be the points. Next day I sanded the points and it turned over and really acted like it was going to start but after about two tries it acted like the battery was drained and then ..."click"...nothing.

Got jumper cables and hooked it up to the pontoon and it fired right up. I let it run for about 10 minutes then took it for about a 45 minute ride. Got back and pulled it over to the cove and cleaned it up a little...jumped back in to pull it over to the dock and it wouldn't start angain...just the infamous "click" from the starter. Took the battery to AutoZone and it showed full charged putting out 800 cold cranking amps.

I'm loosing my frickin' mind here. Any ideas? Should I just buy a brand new starter and rule that out completely? AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Thanks for any and all input in advance.

06-29-2008, 11:50 PM
Don't buy the starter just yet. Sounds like you are losing power from the battery to the starter, especially if it won't turn over after it sets for a little while. Someone will be along and help you out.

06-30-2008, 08:25 AM
Is the ground good and clean at the solenoid (where it attaches to the engine block)? It really sounds like solenoid issue. The only other thing I can think of would be the safety switch on the dash. Your problem sounds similar to that problem people have listed before. If it has one, try to take it apart and clean with a good electrical contactor cleaner or some wd40. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

06-30-2008, 09:01 AM
The only thing that makes me think it's still the starter is the good crank I got at first...then it slowly petered out. If I never got a good crank to begin with I would think it was an electrical issue.

06-30-2008, 09:45 AM
Pull the spark plugs and crank it. Lay something out so whatever is in the cylinders doesn't stain your carpet. Once everything is gone, put the plugs back in and try it. Also, make sure the timing is set correctly, at 10BTDC.

07-07-2008, 02:33 PM
update: I broke down a replaced the starter...fired right up. I assume the old starter was so far gone it couldn't be fixed. I did remove the solenoid to clean the ground connection and when I got back there to look at it...the entire post had burned off and the positive cable (the one from the solenoid to the starter) was laying in the bottom of the boat. Not sure what happened there but I feel pretty lucky I didn't get some major damage.

Next...getting the electronic ignition up and running. Post to follow.

Thanks for the help.