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View Full Version : Batery or starter problems


jbfootin
06-07-2005, 09:16 AM
Last weekend I finally got the boat out, 2001 19Skier. I put it on a charger overnight but it was still drawing a few amps. I hit the key and it turned over fine so away we went. On Saturday, once the engine was hot the motor would hardly turn over, but it would start. That night I put the charger back on. The next day we were out for about 30 min. and I turned the motor off and it would not turn over. I got it back to the dock put the charger on in the "start" cycle and it still could not turn the motor over after 15 min. The starter was very hot at this point. I left the motor cool for an hour and it started right up. The charger was on this whole time. Do you think it is a bad batery or do I have a bad starter.

Thanks for the feed back in advance.

Jorski
06-07-2005, 09:26 AM
I know you are going to think this sounds crazy, but it happened to my boat last summer and a few summers ago to my brother-in-law....make sure that the battery terminals and and connectors are all clean and tight.

Last year, I changed the cable terminal ends to the clamp on type. They were brand new and appeared clean and tight. one of them had worked lose and I guess that there had been some sparking. This must have created some black carbon which inturn (randomly) interefered with the connection.

Quite literally, the boat would be fine and then nothing; and then fine again. I cut the wire back, cleaned and reattached everything and it was fine for the rest of the sumer.

In my brother-in-law's case the terminals just had a minor amount of oxidation on them, and honestly they looked fine. When a local mechanic suggested hitting the termials with a little sandpaper - we scoffed, but again it worked.

Worth a look.

tex
06-07-2005, 09:34 AM
I had the same problem on my Jimmy last year. The thing made no sense at all. Sometimes it would start, others you could not jump it. My cables looked clean. it turned out they were dirty just before the clamp and you could not see it. Cut them back and no problems since. good luck!

jbfootin
06-07-2005, 11:45 AM
When it was not working, I took the cables off and cleaned the post and clamps and reattached. The post were oxidized but they still did not work after I cleaned them. Could the oxidized post keep the batery from charging from the alternator? My voltage gauge reads 14v when the engine is running and was reading 12v when the engine would not turn over.

east tx skier
06-07-2005, 11:58 AM
I had some dirty connections on my expedition a few weeks ago. Didn't have the right tool to remove the connection, so I poured a little sprite on it and the acid buildup was gone in a few seconds. Cranked like a dream immediately. A little too messy to do in a boat though.

PeteS
06-07-2005, 12:17 PM
Sounds like a starter or alternator issue to me. The fact that the starter wouldn't crank even when it was hooked up to battery charger alarms me. Typically in "Start" mode, the charger outputs plenty of amps/volts to crank the motor.

If the battery is draining during boat use, then the electonics and accessories of your boat are not running off of your alternator, but your battery. You might want to check how many volts your alternator is putting out while the engine is running as well. There should be two posts on your alternator, where you can get a reading from. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you should see around 13 volts.

jbfootin
06-07-2005, 01:55 PM
Can I go to the local GM Dealer and get a starter for the Chev 350 Vortec engine or do I have to go to the Mastercraft dealer. The MC dealer near me is known to gouge people whenever they get a chance. I know where I can get a good deal on GM parts... :twocents:

Andyg
06-07-2005, 02:18 PM
No, You need a marinized starter. Marinized starters have spark suppression built into them to keep from blowing up your boat.

east tx skier
06-07-2005, 02:20 PM
Can I go to the local GM Dealer and get a starter for the Chev 350 Vortec engine or do I have to go to the Mastercraft dealer. The MC dealer near me is known to gouge people whenever they get a chance. I know where I can get a good deal on GM parts... :twocents:

Skidim. Or, you can have your starter rebuilt by, according to the answer I received from several people last week, a good "mom & pop" operation that knows how to rebuild a marine starter.

OhioProstar
06-07-2005, 02:48 PM
It really sounds like your battery is not getting a charge from the alternator or the battery is dead. I would first check to see if the fluid in each battery cell is normal, then I would check the output of the alt....should be around 13.5 - 14.7volts. My guess is the engine and house load is draining the battery faster than the alternator is returning the charge. I would start there before spending $125+ on a marine 350 starter.

mark g
06-07-2005, 04:53 PM
I know you had the battery on charge for a while, earlier this year i had the battery on all night charge on a battery charger i bought the battery seemed to last a day then sound tired checked out the alternater it was ok so decided to buy a new battery, took my battery to a local battery shop to see if it was big enough for the job the guy assured me it was, stuck a meter on it and told me it needed a good charge, told him i'd had it on all night again and he laughed at me left it with him he put it on a high charge ??? battery has been good for nearly three months now.
he did say most cheep chargers dont give out the charge needed for the job, i could have queeried this but he does seem to have proved his point.

i would make sure battery ok before spending on a starter although your starter does sound it could be at fault.

zberger
06-07-2005, 05:13 PM
It really sounds like your battery is not getting a charge from the alternator or the battery is dead. I would first check to see if the fluid in each battery cell is normal, then I would check the output of the alt....should be around 13.5 - 14.7volts. My guess is the engine and house load is draining the battery faster than the alternator is returning the charge. I would start there before spending $125+ on a marine 350 starter.

Just take the battery into an auto parts store and have them check it. They have machines there that will be able to put a load on it, and do whats called a load test.

If the battery is good.. find out what kind of voltage you are getting from the alternator.. if at idle its around 13.8-ish.. you are probably ok.

Its very possible its the battery tho, if you get one.. I personally would splurge for an Optima..

jbfootin
06-08-2005, 11:06 AM
I plan on testing the batery first. As I said earlier the voltmeter reads 14v when the engine is running but I will check the alt. Hopefully I will not need to replace the starter.. even that isn't too bad of a problem. I have a friend that ran the boat without oil a few weeks ago. His dad winterized the boat and told him the oil is in the boat... meaning under the seat. I'll take the $200 fix over the $6000+ problem...It can always be worse.

Footin
06-08-2005, 11:32 AM
14v while the engine is running tells me it is charging ok as long as this is checked after the charger has been off the battery for a day or two.
To check the battery yourself, charge it overnite at 2 amps then let the battery sit for 2 to 3 days and then put your volt meter on it, it should registar at least 12.6 after sitting, if it is lower than this you probably have a week or bad cell.
I generally replace the battery in my boat every two years, it may seem like overkill; however batteries in boat take a beating that causes the internal plates to break, remember heat and vibration are the worst emimies of a battery. The last thing I want to happen at the ramp or out on the lake is to be standing there with a set of jumper cables in hand waiting for someone to bail me out.
60 bucks every other year seems like cheap insurance to me.

Footin
06-08-2005, 11:36 AM
About my previous post: I am ASSUMING it is a marine starting battery in regards to the charging at 2 amps, if it is a deep cycle/starting battery charge it at 10 amps.

wesgardner
06-08-2005, 12:06 PM
jbfootin

In addition, sorry if someone already posted this but it was my probelm so..., CLEAN (with sand paper) the mating surfaces where both stater and alternator bolt to the engine - this is half the electrical "equation" - the negative side....also my boat suffered from hard starting issues after having both the starter and alternator rebuilt - the problem was the wire from the "start" terminal on the iginition switch to the "S" terminal on the solenoid - the wire LOOKED good - I replaced the wire and VOILA! It as if I had a super-starter...lots of "crank".... :D

Hope this helps


Wes