07-16-2010, 10:57 PM
Sunday--the starter on my boat was only chattering after about three hours of normal use. I kill the engine when we are loading/ unloading for a long time or someone is camping on my platform. Got a tow to the ramp. I don't do major trouble shooting on the water unless it is the only way to get home. Checked battery but didn't load test it. Visually inspected terminals and gave them a good push to check for tightness. Nothing moved and everything looked clean. Thought it must be the starter. Removed the starter and tore down. Starter armature and brushes looked good. Checked bearings then greased and reassembled. Starter worked good on my test bench. Installed on engine and tried. Starter chattered. I manually flipped battery switch a couple of times and tried starter, it worked. Thought I had a bad battery switch. Took boat to the water to try starter and bypassed battery switch. Lost all power to the boat when I engaged the starter. Reloaded boat on trailer took short drive home. Worked from starter back wards to find open circuit again. Checked circuit breaker back to battery. Found positive terminal snug but not tight. Removed and found crack under bolt on a good looking terminal. Replaced and now it works. I know starters chatter when voltage is low. Thought I would post this. Might happen to someone else. I should have checked the battery terminals better. Would have saved me some time.