View Full Version : Need electrical expertise, ignition/starter issues

05-12-2010, 09:31 PM
Need some help with my 96 Indmar Prostar. I just replaced my alternator. The main output wire is in the correct place, but I wired the purple exciter wire up to a post labeled "E". I attempted to start the engine and then it threw the ignition breaker. I reset the breaker and continued trying to start it several times.

I removed the alternator and took a second look only to realize there was another post on the other side labeled "EXC". I rewired the purple wire to the exciter post and tried to start it again, but I get nothing. The gauges turn on, but it will not crank. The breaker at the rear of the engine and the ignition breaker have not been tripped, so I attempt to jump the starter solenoid. Voila! it starts and runs perfect. Alternator works fine, ~12.5v output.

I swapped out the solenoid for a new one, but it still won't start without jumping the solenoid. So, is the ignition switch fried or is there something else that's keeping it from starting?

05-12-2010, 11:11 PM
Check your transmission netural switch and the wrist strap switch they are part of the starting circuit. You may have knocked them lose working on the motor.

05-13-2010, 09:07 AM
Yes those were the first things I checked. Also, I was under the impression that since the lanyard kills the fuel, it would be impossible for the engine to start when you jump the solenoid. I can start the engine by doing this.

05-13-2010, 11:08 AM
this isn't an answer to your question but speaks generally about replacing parts...

"In trying to repair my Alternator, I found some Warnings about using Automotive parts when replacing Marine Parts. While there are some Parts/Fluids, that can be interchanged to save $$, there are other parts that must be replaced by Marine Quality"

I found some info about Alternators and I thought it would be worth posting:

There is a profound difference between a MARINE and an AUTOMOTIVE starter, alternator, distributor, and fuel system. They are NOT the same. All the electrical systems have "explosion proof" housings. You will find flame screens, plates, and other features to isolate a spark from the potentially explosive environment in a bilge. Other parts have special features for marine use (non-corrosive leads on spark plug wires, different seals on carbs, different grinds on cams for low-end torque, fuel hoses, etc.).

There are regulations on marine engine parts - USCG approval, NMMA, other certs - that you need for safety. I have seen, personally, two fires from automotive starters igniting the fumes in the bilge.

Oil is the same. Use a high burst strength filter and you are fine.

05-13-2010, 11:23 AM
It has a marine alternator. I fixed the issue. It was the solenoid after all!