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DeluxeSS
09-28-2011, 06:05 PM
So Ive been dealing with this issue off and on for a year and its gotten worse so its time to do something about it. The boat is a 1985 ss with a 351w.

What originally was happening was after the boat would get hot, it wouldnt start. It would turn over slowly but never fire until it had cooled off for 30 minutes to an hour. Eventually, it got to where it would do the same thing cold and the batteries had to be completely charged to get it to turn over. Now, its killing batteries in minutes. Sometimes itll turn like its going to start, other times it just gets a single click. Other problem is the ground and positive wires get really hot now after trying to start.

What should I be looking at? From what Ive read on here, everything seems to be pointing to a bad starter. Would it be worth replacing the solenoid or relay first before ordering a full starter? How hard is it to replace a starter? I have basic skills and think I can do it but dont want to get in over my head.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

03geetee
09-28-2011, 06:27 PM
So Ive been dealing with this issue off and on for a year and its gotten worse so its time to do something about it. The boat is a 1985 ss with a 351w.

What originally was happening was after the boat would get hot, it wouldnt start. It would turn over slowly but never fire until it had cooled off for 30 minutes to an hour. Eventually, it got to where it would do the same thing cold and the batteries had to be completely charged to get it to turn over. Now, its killing batteries in minutes. Sometimes itll turn like its going to start, other times it just gets a single click. Other problem is the ground and positive wires get really hot now after trying to start.

What should I be looking at? From what Ive read on here, everything seems to be pointing to a bad starter. Would it be worth replacing the solenoid or relay first before ordering a full starter? How hard is it to replace a starter? I have basic skills and think I can do it but dont want to get in over my head.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Here is all I can tell you as I had the same exact problems as you and now I have NONE of them. Total cost under $300.00.

Checklist first....

-Good battery cables from battery to solenoid?
-Good battery cable from solenoid to starter?
-Tight connections everywhere?
-Coil giving enough voltage after hot run?

If any of these things need attention, fix them first and most are inexpensive. Now once those items are in order please just do your self a favor and buy the following...

Arco gear reduction starter for PCM 351 (can be found marine parts source for 118.00)
New interstate Marine 1000CCA battery (largest battery that will fit the stock spot 100.00)
Epoxy filled Flamethrower coil from Ski Dim (black in color, around 52.00)

Hook it all up, watch and be amazed at how fast that motor fires up every single time hot cold what ever it wont matter. Best mod I have done since restoring the boat, no more knotts in my stomach about a boat that fails to start and GAS is too expensive to idle all the time. Doing this solves the following problems you are for sure having....

-Oil in coil is getting red hot sitting next to the manifold if still in stock location, thats why it will start cold and thats it. Pull a volt meter and check it if you dont beleive it.

-Starter is an old truck/van starter designed to get plenty of air flow from beneath the chassis. Your boat motor doghouse has no where near enough air flow to cool a starter, then add that if its original it probably is ready to bite the dust anyway and is drawing a ton of power every time you try to start it. Plus if your Alt is original, it may still work, but no where near as good or quick as it used to be.

Take my word and just do this.

JTR

1redTA
09-28-2011, 08:56 PM
mine was doing the same thing, wiggle the batt to solenoid connection and check for voltage also disconnect it and check for resistance. a new no.2 cable and ARCO starter set my boat right.

Cloaked
09-28-2011, 09:08 PM
So Ive been dealing with this issue off and on for a year and its gotten worse so its time to do something about it. The boat is a 1985 ss with a 351w.

What originally was happening was after the boat would get hot, it wouldnt start. It would turn over slowly but never fire until it had cooled off for 30 minutes to an hour. Eventually, it got to where it would do the same thing cold and the batteries had to be completely charged to get it to turn over. Now, its killing batteries in minutes. Sometimes itll turn like its going to start, other times it just gets a single click. Other problem is the ground and positive wires get really hot now after trying to start.

What should I be looking at? From what Ive read on here, everything seems to be pointing to a bad starter. Would it be worth replacing the solenoid or relay first before ordering a full starter? How hard is it to replace a starter? I have basic skills and think I can do it but dont want to get in over my head.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!I currently have a 85 model. Starters are easy to replace. A straight forward activity. The newer starters are indeed an improvement and they are relatively inexpensive. I bought all of my stuff from Skidim when I was doing the same type upgrade.

jaybraz78
09-29-2011, 11:06 AM
This happened with my 77 a couple of weeks ago. I did replace the starter and it corrected the problem. I agree with checking the other components coil, wires, etc first. My battery was extremely hot to the touch as well, and reason being is the starter was drawing the amperage needed, it just wasnt effective. I thought to that it was something to do with heat, so my neighbor gave me a gear reduction starter, said it should help with dissipating the heat if thats problem. After replacing it, i just think i needed a new starter and the heat wasnt helping. I have a 351 as well and would be happy to give you his shops number when I get home from work.

DeluxeSS
09-29-2011, 04:40 PM
Here is all I can tell you as I had the same exact problems as you and now I have NONE of them. Total cost under $300.00.

Checklist first....

-Good battery cables from battery to solenoid?
-Good battery cable from solenoid to starter?
-Tight connections everywhere?
-Coil giving enough voltage after hot run?

If any of these things need attention, fix them first and most are inexpensive. Now once those items are in order please just do your self a favor and buy the following...

Arco gear reduction starter for PCM 351 (can be found marine parts source for 118.00)
New interstate Marine 1000CCA battery (largest battery that will fit the stock spot 100.00)
Epoxy filled Flamethrower coil from Ski Dim (black in color, around 52.00)

Hook it all up, watch and be amazed at how fast that motor fires up every single time hot cold what ever it wont matter. Best mod I have done since restoring the boat, no more knotts in my stomach about a boat that fails to start and GAS is too expensive to idle all the time. Doing this solves the following problems you are for sure having....

-Oil in coil is getting red hot sitting next to the manifold if still in stock location, thats why it will start cold and thats it. Pull a volt meter and check it if you dont beleive it.

-Starter is an old truck/van starter designed to get plenty of air flow from beneath the chassis. Your boat motor doghouse has no where near enough air flow to cool a starter, then add that if its original it probably is ready to bite the dust anyway and is drawing a ton of power every time you try to start it. Plus if your Alt is original, it may still work, but no where near as good or quick as it used to be.

Take my word and just do this.

JTR

Thanks for all the replies guys, glad to know I can get some guidance on this. Found the starter, going to order a new one. Only question I really have left is on the coil. Exactly where is this and how do I check and or replace it? I feel ignorant on that part. Everything else makes sense and I think I can tackle.

03geetee
09-29-2011, 04:47 PM
Canister on top of the motor if you are looking at it from the front toward the back, usually on the left laying down. Coil wire comes out of it and goes to your distributer.

JTR