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View Full Version : Starter mx every 50 hrs


macattack
03-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Why does MC recommend greasing the starter bendix every 50 hrs? Obviously, not required on car starters and they are used a lot more often than boat starters. My guess would be the potential to have more moisture related issues in a boat?

jixxxer
03-05-2009, 02:20 PM
I dont even know what or where that is???

bcampbe7
03-05-2009, 02:22 PM
I say yes... It is a fairly easy thing to maintenance.

X-5_Driver
03-05-2009, 02:38 PM
My manual says "engine starter gear & shaft lube" every 50 hours. My first stupid question is: does the starter have a grease fitting? How do you perform that?

Ole Miss Rebels
03-05-2009, 04:05 PM
i was told by a dealer once that the starter had to be removed to be properly greased. he also said that unless the starter gets wet from a leak or failed bilge pump that it didn't need servicing.

bturner2
03-06-2009, 07:35 AM
I've had 4 MasterCrafts over the past 23 years and never greased the starter bendix on a single one. Never replaced or took off the starter on a single one either. IMO your time would be better spent polishing the muffler bearings.

Ben
03-06-2009, 08:46 AM
I've had 4 MasterCrafts over the past 23 years and never greased the starter bendix on a single one. Never replaced or took off the starter on a single one either. IMO your time would be better spent polishing the muffler bearings.

Not unlike yourself, I used to keep my muffler bearings in tip top shape, but have since replaced them with the newer teak bearings. So now I oil those instead. Sounds great!


On the other hand, I'm about 6 years in a row w/o bendix maint. Although saying that, it will probably go out this year....

bbymgr
03-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Not unlike yourself, I used to keep my muffler bearings in tip top shape, but have since replaced them with the newer teak bearings. So now I oil those instead. Sounds great!


On the other hand, I'm about 6 years in a row w/o bendix maint. Although saying that, it will probably go out this year....


Teak bearings............where can I get some, and does Harold have a step by step maintenance plan for them?

BCBlazers
03-06-2009, 09:34 AM
hmmmm....better go ahead and grease up the ole continueum transfunctioner

JimN
03-06-2009, 10:22 AM
Why does MC recommend greasing the starter bendix every 50 hrs? Obviously, not required on car starters and they are used a lot more often than boat starters. My guess would be the potential to have more moisture related issues in a boat?

It's a boat, usually near water and if it's only run 50 hours in a season (very common) condensation will cause the gear to freeze onto the shaft. Many dealers and most boat owners don't grease it at the recommended interval and it's easy to see that a seldom-used starter with heavy rust hasn't been serviced. This kind of thing costs MC and Indmar a lot of money. A starter that's used more often will have much less chance of freezing just because the motion of the Bendix removes rust or redistributes the grease. A car that sits for a long time will have just as much chance of a frozen Bendix as a boat.

JimN
03-06-2009, 10:25 AM
i was told by a dealer once that the starter had to be removed to be properly greased. he also said that unless the starter gets wet from a leak or failed bilge pump that it didn't need servicing.

There's no difference between the condensation that gets into everything on a boat when warm air hits a cold boat interior/drive system and dew on grass. It gets into everything and happens every time the humidity is high enough.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-06-2009, 10:45 AM
The only starter that I ever encountered that needed lubrication on a regular interval was a V-4 Evinrude. If I didn't give it a spray of WD40 two times a year, when I hit the key the starter would spin but the starter drive would not engage the flywheel. There is a helical drive that the speed of the starter motor causes the drive to travel to engage the flywheel, and even though it looks clean, without the WD40, I eventually end up taking the motor cover off in the middle of the lake and fixing it there if I don't do it occasionaly on shore. So far the starter on my Stars & Stripes has worked every time, but I guess I will give it some lube when I get the boat out for the season.

JimN
03-06-2009, 10:55 AM
There is a helical drive that the speed of the starter motor causes the drive to travel to engage the flywheel, and even though it looks clean, without the WD40, I eventually end up taking the motor cover off in the middle of the lake and fixing it there if I don't do it occasionally on shore.

That's the Bendix and it fails the same way on an inboard. I replaced far more starters because they weren't lubed than the ones that were killed by cranking with a dead battery or bad cables.

Ole Miss Rebels
03-06-2009, 01:23 PM
JimN,

can i grease the starter without taking it off of the motor? can you give me an 8th grade description of what i would need to do as my dealeship is 250 miles away. thanks

thatsmrmastercraft
03-06-2009, 02:51 PM
That's the Bendix and it fails the same way on an inboard. I replaced far more starters because they weren't lubed than the ones that were killed by cranking with a dead battery or bad cables.

Actually Bendix is a brand name of brake parts, of which the starter drive is part of their product line. It isn't even the culprit here, its the corrosion that occurs on the helical cut shaft that the starter drive travels on.

You do need to remove the starter to lubticate the starter drive. The place to lubricate is the shaft that the starter drive rides on. In the picture you can see the teeth on the starter drive which engage the flywheel. The shaft is above that and extends to the end of the starter housing.

JimN
03-07-2009, 10:45 AM
JimN,

can i grease the starter without taking it off of the motor? can you give me an 8th grade description of what i would need to do as my dealership is 250 miles away. thanks

The last post nails it. It may be possible to lube the gear but the shaft needs to be exposed for inspection, possible cleaning and lube.

I have a major problem with dealers who just dismiss this step as unnecessary. It may be more important in areas where the humidity is high but condensation occurs in every part of the world these boats are used. I understand not wanting to make a trip like that for service but it is part of what's needed to keep the motor working without problems and unlike a car, you can't push start a boat if it won't crank when you're on the water.

You'll need to disconnect the wires, loosen the bolts (there are only two), put something in the bilge to protect if the starter falls, and finish removing it. It's probably 15 pounds and awkward, but it should come out fairly easily. If you can't lift it out right at the normal location, you can place it on whatever you put in the bilge to protect it and slide it to a more open place.

You'll need to turn the gear to make it climb up the shaft. It has a return spring and it should go back on its own. If it doesn't, it either needs to be cleaned or repaired. If it's extremely clean, lube it anyway, with waterproof grease.

JimN
03-07-2009, 10:48 AM
Actually Bendix is a brand name of brake parts, of which the starter drive is part of their product line. It isn't even the culprit here, its the corrosion that occurs on the helical cut shaft that the starter drive travels on.

I know- that's why I recommend removing the starter and servicing it. Bendix is the generic name for the gear assembly and I have replaced many starters because of this step being skipped.

Ben
05-14-2009, 12:53 PM
Due to a side project, my starter is very accessible, and may get lubed due to all the hub-bub. Plus, I can say I did it. Anyway, what is recommended lube? Same grease I put in the trailer bearings and rudder box OK?

JimN
05-14-2009, 01:04 PM
Due to a side project, my starter is very accessible, and may get lubed due to all the hub-bub. Plus, I can say I did it. Anyway, what is recommended lube? Same grease I put in the trailer bearings and rudder box OK?

Waterproof grease, white lithium grease, whatever. As long as it's clean and not subject to moisture, it will last a lot longer.

Also, this isn't an MX issue- it's ANY marine starter.

flipper
05-14-2009, 01:05 PM
I have done mine in the past, but not every 50 hours like they say to. I do it about every other year

JimN
05-14-2009, 01:12 PM
Where the boat is used/stored makes a huge difference. If it's always wet and humid, condensation will always be a problem but in desert areas, not so much.