View Full Version : Boat starts cold but not hot

07-01-2008, 06:55 PM
I have a 1989 Prostar 190 that has always run great. Over the past week I noticed that when trying to restart a hot engine the starter wouldn't rollover, kind of like a dead battery problem. I recharged the battery and as before it started fine cold but when starting hot (like after changing skiers) the same thing happened. I replaced the battery and same conditions occured. It's almost as if there is a thermal problem with the starter such that it works cold but when hot the slightly expanded metal prohibits rotation(?). Help?!


07-01-2008, 06:57 PM
I would check the timing.

07-01-2008, 08:14 PM
Have the starter checked, to rule it out. Hot wires don't conduct as well as when they're cold. Do you have points or electronic ignition conversion? How long since the last tune-up?

Kevin 89MC
07-02-2008, 12:22 AM
I know you said you replaced the battery, but I had the exact same problem with mine. A new marine battery worked OK for a few years, but then the problem came back. I switched to a standard automotive battery, biggest one I could fit in the hole, and no problems since.
Good luck!

07-02-2008, 04:25 PM
It has points. The last tune-up was in spring 06. We only put about 30 hours on the boat in 07 and about 20 so far this year. Is it due for a tune-up? Also, is checking out the starter a big deal? Do I just pull it and take it to a reputable shop of does it need to be conducted by a marine mechanic? Thanks so much.

07-02-2008, 04:25 PM
I'll find a bigger battery! Thanks.

07-02-2008, 05:29 PM
This is a common problem for those 190 model years. I can tell you that to save time money and headaches you need to update to a new style PCM starter. 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:... 235.15:D:D:D

07-02-2008, 05:57 PM
Points can move, spiders like to spin webs in dark spaces and if it conducts, say goodbye to your spark. I would still verify the gap and dwell of the points, if it was my boat.

Other than spark suppression, a marine starter is the same and I would think that most rebuilders will be able to work on either type. Just disconnect the battery cables at the battery, remove the starter and have them check it out. Then, clean the mating surface and put some grease on before re-installing it.

Starters are usually permanent magnet, but some used a different magnet material. The newer ones are ceramic, which is more brittle and is the reason that banging on it is not a great idea.