View Full Version : cant get the engine to turn over...

10-06-2008, 02:03 PM
ok so when i turn the key to the on position, all the gauges and stereo turn on like they should. but when i turn the key into the starting position, there is one click back at the engine, and everything turns off. and by everything, i mean the gauges, stereo, and strangely enough, all of the switches on that side of the dash(which are the bilge, blower, and nav/anchor lights. I thought that it was blowing a fuse or something, but all of the breakers and fuses aren't blown or tripped. it seems like whatever it is resets on its own though, because after a while everything will turn back on, and works fine, except when I turn the key all the way into the starting position. the batteries are fully charged and we just had the starter replaced this summer. although i did have a friend come over who has a basic knowlege of engines, and he told me he thought that it could be the starter again. the local boat place just went out of buisness, which means that the closest place i trust my boat with is two hours away. any of you very knowlegeable people have any ideas on what the problem could be?
thanks for any help you can give me in advance.

10-06-2008, 02:19 PM
my guess is starter again.

10-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Do the Ford starters have a seperate solenoid? If so, that's where I would look as it sounds like the power isn't getting to the starter.

10-06-2008, 02:43 PM
That's not starter, it's battery or cables. Voltage is like water pressure and when there's no demand, it shows a normal level but as soon as the starter is engaged, the supply drops because there's not enough flowing (current). Clean the battery terminals and clamps. If you have a multi-meter, measure the resistance from the ground point on the motor to the battery negative POST, not the clamp. All battery voltages and connections reference to the battery posts since it's hard to get inside to check. If you have any kind of 12V light, connect it to the battery and watch how fast it goes out. If you see a noticeable decrease in brightness in a short time, charge the battery and let it sit, completely disconnected from the boat. Try the light again and if you see it dim in a short time, have the battery load tested. The battery cables can cause the same problems.

Where, in the Midwest, are you located?

10-06-2008, 03:14 PM
thanks for all of the fast help guys, and im living at Lake Lotawana, a suburb just south east of kansas City Missouri.

10-06-2008, 03:29 PM
Yes, does sound like battery cables. Either way, trace your + until you lose the 12V then you know where the problem is.

10-06-2008, 03:52 PM
Yup, I'd been checking that ground cable where it attaches to the engine block...

10-12-2008, 10:25 AM
Did you have any luck?

10-15-2008, 09:49 PM
OK so sadly we had no luck.
Checked the ground at the starter, and it still has a good connection. I took a little different route than I did before. I checked the power from the battery to the breakers, from the breakers to the switches. all of that was good and had good power. after I have reset the system by either disconnecting the battery or waiting for whatever it is to reset itself, all the switches work, and I have power coming from the switches to whatever they are for. Now after I have tried to turn the key, and get one click out of the starter, nothing on that side of the dash works, bilge, nav lights, blower, or ignition switch. I do however still have power from the battery to the breaker, and from the breaker to the switch, but no power coming from the switches. there is one wire that basically piggy backs from each switch to the one next to it and so on. I don't know what this wire is.

While just trying the ignition switch multiple times without changing anything, the starter would try to turn over but would just try and try with no success, while this was happening nothing would be set off in a way that required us to reset it, by unhooking the battery. without messing with anything this stopped and went back to just one click and then nothing working.

I do have a family friend who is a mechanic at a Chevy dealership, who is going to come out and look at it. I know he's not a boat mechanic or anything, but he does know what hes doing tons more than I do.

Any further help is much appreciated, if we don't get it going this weekend, im going to have it towed to the ramp which is just a very sad thing.

edit: does anyone have a schematic for the 2000 X Star, which i would assume would atleast be similar to any boat with the 205V hull?

10-15-2008, 10:03 PM
If you have cranked (or attempted ) the motor until the battery drained, it's definitely possible that the starter is toast again and it's really easy to verify. Get your jumper cables out of your car and use one positive clamp on the starter's main post and then connect the other positive clamp to the battery positive. If that doesn't get it to crank, the starter could be toast.


Use a load tester for that. You can also use one jumper cable clamp to bypass the solenoid, but be careful. If you only get sparks, stop and remove the starter to have it checked out and/or rebuilt.

10-18-2008, 11:35 PM
Thank you for all of the help everyone. still no luck so we are going to get a tow to the ramp and take it to the dealer. Ill post up what the problem was when they tell me.

10-20-2008, 10:43 AM
You need to check for 12V while in the "cranking" position. In the on position isn't going to tell you anything since everything "works" then anyway. This will take 2 people to do and your mechanic will probably be doing this with you.

10-20-2008, 10:58 AM
This can be done alone but it requires test leads and alligator clips. If the voltage goes away completely while cranking, it's either a dead battery or the starter is drawing a ton of current, both of which have been discussed, IIRC.

Connecting the yellow/red lead to a 12V source will activate the solenoid and if that does nothing at all, it's not hard to find out if the battery cable is bad, or if it's the solenoid. I think this whole issue may be in the FAQ section.