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View Full Version : Bendix not engaging


02ProstarSammyD
03-18-2012, 08:30 PM
Hey guys pulled the boat out this weekend but go to crank and the starter just spins at high rpms and the engine doesn't turn over. Have never seen a starter do this. The starter was new last year in april. Could anything else cause this besides a busted flywheel? I also did manually turn the engine over about 1 turn just to see if the flywheel maybe had a few chips.

mikeg205
03-18-2012, 08:37 PM
most likely bad solenoid...you can take the starter out and find out right away....take it to NAPA or other to have it bench tested.

learjet2230
03-18-2012, 09:17 PM
spray that bendix drive with some lube...if that fixes it slap some marine grease on it and call it good.

boater8987
03-18-2012, 09:27 PM
Try a different battery, jump box or battery charger that has a start setting. Battery may be slighly discharged or bad cell. Test with battery load tester. Might start working with extra amps. Starter may have developed rust on the bendix, not letting it fully engage. Says in my operators manual to remove starter and lube gear and shaft as part of yearly maintenance. Just a partially educated guess without more tests and info. Good luck.

02ProstarSammyD
03-18-2012, 09:35 PM
I'll pull it out tomorrow. Hopefully doesn't cost me another week in shipping etc. I'm guessing your manual didn't have you changing it on a merc. Merc's engineers must have just gotten fired from Jeep when they designed this layout. 2 hour pita to remove/reinstall 2 bolts

mikeg205
03-18-2012, 09:44 PM
I'll pull it out tomorrow. Hopefully doesn't cost me another week in shipping etc. I'm guessing your manual didn't have you changing it on a merc. Merc's engineers must have just gotten fired from Jeep when they designed this layout. 2 hour pita to remove/reinstall 2 bolts

2 hours - yipes...sorry to hear...some contortion involved as well to remove? :(

boater8987
03-18-2012, 09:54 PM
I feel your pain. I just got my new to me garage queen Maristar 240 delivered from 1700 miles from Denver Co. to VA Monday evening. Boat has 454/ 400 hp BBC 144 original hrs, boat looks new. The dealer installed a new Arco starter and battery requested by me day before it was picked up by Uship. They just rolled over motor and did not start it because did not want to break winterization. I tryed to start motor Wedsday and all I got was a click. Hooked up jump box and bam started right up. Charged battery and tested 100 percent. Still clicks till you hit key 3 or four times then will start without jump box. Looks like maybe bad solenoid for me. I still have to check a couple of other things and do some voltage test. Only good thing is starter is located on rear bell housing and easily accessable.

Table Rocker
03-18-2012, 10:09 PM
When you have the starter out, reach in and feel the teeth on your flywheel. If the starter wasn't properly shimmed, it can chew up your flywheel.

02ProstarSammyD
03-19-2012, 08:44 AM
2 hours - yipes...sorry to hear...some contortion involved as well to remove?
Contortion is an understatement. I really wanna punch someone for this. Flywheel was fine last year when I changed this. This may be the end of my "buying rebuilt" luck

02ProstarSammyD
03-19-2012, 12:58 PM
Try a different battery, jump box or battery charger that has a start setting
took both batteries by advanced this morning. Both tested fantastic and fully charged. Looks like I'm going in

learjet2230
03-19-2012, 01:00 PM
took both batteries by advanced this morning. Both tested fantastic and fully charged. Looks like I'm going in

May the Electromotive Force be with you!!

thatsmrmastercraft
03-19-2012, 01:16 PM
Definitely needs lube on the starter drive shaft. Once they won't slide, often times they need to come apart to polish the corrosion off the shaft to regain reliable start function. this is a good fall project prior to storing the boat so that there is fresh grease on the shaft for it's long winter nap.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-19-2012, 01:17 PM
most likely bad solenoid...you can take the starter out and find out right away....take it to NAPA or other to have it bench tested.

If the starter motor turns, it is not the solenoid. Bad solenoids usually click or work erratically before they fail completely.

02ProstarSammyD
03-19-2012, 01:39 PM
If the starter motor turns, it is not the solenoid. Bad solenoids usually click or work erratically before they fail completely.


that was my understanding too.

Its spinning a million miles an hour. I'll update tonight but hoping its just not extending. I didn't worry about it in fall for 2 reasons.

1) its a pita to get to and makes me want to find out where these engineers live
2) It was stored in a dry climate controlled garage all winter and it was usually dryer than the desert in there with the heat going.

Definitely needs lube on the starter drive shaft.

any particular type of lube on the starter or will my KY work? jk but seriously

thatsmrmastercraft
03-19-2012, 01:42 PM
that was my understanding too.

Its spinning a million miles an hour. I'll update tonight but hoping its just not extending. I didn't worry about it in fall for 2 reasons.

1) its a pita to get to and makes me want to find out where these engineers live
2) It was stored in a dry climate controlled garage all winter and it was usually dryer than the desert in there with the heat going.



any particular type of lube on the starter or will my KY work? jk but seriously

Good quality wheel bearing grease gets the job done.

02ProstarSammyD
03-19-2012, 08:49 PM
Ok officially weirded out. Took the starter out (world record of 1 hour for 2 bolts) but the bendix moves out and is well greased. The flywheel doesn't seem to have any chips etc. Anything else that could be causing this mess? I'm going to have the starter tested at advanced (if they can figure it out this time) but just kind of confused at this point.

Table Rocker
03-19-2012, 09:01 PM
This is about your fourth starter isn't it? What starter problems have you had in the past? I really expected you to have some chewed up teeth in there. What does the wear on the starter pinion gear look like? Does it look like the teeth engaged pretty well in the past, or just barely?

Here is some info on starter shimming, and yes you will need a contortionist for an assistant.

http://marinemechanic.com/site/page169.html

02ProstarSammyD
03-19-2012, 09:21 PM
I bought the boat last year and the starter was shot. I replaced the starter at the beginning of the season. To be honest I bought the 50 buck amazon special and that could be the problem.

This is about your fourth starter isn't it? What starter problems have you had in the past? I really expected you to have some chewed up teeth in there. What does the wear on the starter pinion gear look like? Does it look like the teeth engaged pretty well in the past, or just barely?

It looks pretty much new to me. The starter is not shimmed right now but it looks like its hitting perfectly. Heres a pic
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/picture.php?albumid=500&pictureid=3870

No metal or anything inside of there starter

Table Rocker
03-19-2012, 09:31 PM
It's hard to tell what is glare and what is wear in a pic, but if you can check the alignment you can rule that out.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-20-2012, 10:01 AM
Ok officially weirded out. Took the starter out (world record of 1 hour for 2 bolts) but the bendix moves out and is well greased. The flywheel doesn't seem to have any chips etc. Anything else that could be causing this mess? I'm going to have the starter tested at advanced (if they can figure it out this time) but just kind of confused at this point.

This is weird. When you said the starter drive moves on the shaft, Is it safe to assume that are you bench testing with 12 volts?

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 10:31 AM
Just got back from advanced for testing the starter. Bench tested 100% perfect. There is no wear in the gears that looks unusual, the flywheel felt fine (can't see it due to location), and the battery tested fine. I'm officially lost here. Not sure how it can go into the garage starting on the first try every time to this. I did have to remove the dash over the winter but every wire was marked and reinstalled the same way.

Guy at advanced said it could be that the 1 way clutch on the starter was gone and that they couldn't test it under load but idk.

76S&S
03-20-2012, 02:42 PM
After reinstalling, could you bypass the switch? If it functions properly then it may be related to the winter dash project.

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 02:44 PM
Well gentlemen seems I may have a culprit. I bought a pos starter evidently. Curiousity kicked in and went to check some reviews on the starter I bought to see if similar problems existed..


There is not much to review, but the starter that I got worked seven times and then just spinned I am assuming that I got a bad starter. Six hours to change and yes I am not impressed with the whole situation.

tried to cut corners and install this in my 5.7L Mercruiser instead of an OEM Mercruiser part. Worked about 8-10 times the same day before leaving the group stranded on the lake, as it would just spin and not engage the flywheel.

Table Rocker
03-20-2012, 02:47 PM
Sounds like you found your problem as strange as it is.

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 02:49 PM
Strangest thing I've ever heard but really 3 people with the same problem on the same motor with the same starter? Just find that to be alil too close to home. Gonna lube up, buy an oem part, and pray

ahhudgins
03-20-2012, 03:04 PM
I've never pulled the starter on my 95 that I purchased from a dealer a few years ago. After reading this thread, I think I'll stretch out my lower back (and knees) and pull my starter out this weekend before I fire it up. It's times like this that I hate working on my V-drive.:rolleyes:

thatsmrmastercraft
03-20-2012, 03:33 PM
Sounds like you are correct calling the starter a pos.

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 03:36 PM
anybody know of a good place to order one. Skidim is out and my local merc guy is a special man who has sold me the wrong parts about 10x

thatsmrmastercraft
03-20-2012, 03:38 PM
Someone here had recommended this place, though I have no experience with them.

http://www.dbelectrical.com/c-2654-marine-inboard.aspx

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 03:43 PM
^Yea I took the recomendation from here. Thats where the starter came from. Evidently they are fluent in cheap crap

thatsmrmastercraft
03-20-2012, 04:01 PM
^Yea I took the recomendation from here. Thats where the starter came from. Evidently they are fluent in cheap crap

I will now be deleting them from my list.

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 04:09 PM
Not really sure what I was expecting out of a 60 dollar starter but still.......half a year? Sounds like from some of the stuff I'm reading online I was just lucky to not be in the water.

76S&S
03-20-2012, 04:10 PM
anybody know of a good place to order one. Skidim is out and my local merc guy is a special man who has sold me the wrong parts about 10x

Last time I was in NAPA they had marine starters.

Sodar
03-20-2012, 04:11 PM
Mercruiser/Quicksilver parts can be bought ANYWHERE! Try West Marine or the local Bayliner dealer. Do you have a part number for the OEM starter?

Kyle
03-20-2012, 04:27 PM
I just bought this one. I dont like ordering online and my dealer sold it to me for cost $130 plus tax so I went that way. If I have an issue then I can get a new one quicker than fighting back and fouth online.


http://www.marinepartssource.com/newdetails.asp?mfgno=70201&pnumber=AR70201&mfg=Arco%20Auto%20&%20Marine&desc=Ford%20Small%20Block%20Inboard%20Starter

thatsmrmastercraft
03-20-2012, 04:46 PM
I just bought this one. I dont like ordering online and my dealer sold it to me for cost $130 plus tax so I went that way. If I have an issue then I can get a new one quicker than fighting back and fouth online.


http://www.marinepartssource.com/newdetails.asp?mfgno=70201&pnumber=AR70201&mfg=Arco%20Auto%20&%20Marine&desc=Ford%20Small%20Block%20Inboard%20Starter

Looks like that should do the job.

learjet2230
03-20-2012, 05:22 PM
I just bought this one. I dont like ordering online and my dealer sold it to me for cost $130 plus tax so I went that way. If I have an issue then I can get a new one quicker than fighting back and fouth online.


http://www.marinepartssource.com/newdetails.asp?mfgno=70201&pnumber=AR70201&mfg=Arco%20Auto%20&%20Marine&desc=Ford%20Small%20Block%20Inboard%20Starter

Thats the good one with the permanent magnet too!!

02ProstarSammyD
03-20-2012, 06:14 PM
I got one ordered from baws. Atleast I know I'll be taken care of and it will get here quick. Called a few places and everyone gave me the "well we don't have 1 but we can get it in a week or 2".

I'll keep this updated since its probably the strangest thing I've seen and thats coming from my weird freaking boat.

02ProstarSammyD
03-26-2012, 08:47 AM
Well not good news. Got the new starter in (pita again) and the starter was def toast however the boat will not start and it sounds pretty bad. Looks like it tries to turn and then locks after about a turn. Sounds pretty nasty and def some clunking. Not too sure what changed after 5mo of sitting in a heated garage but it sounds pretty mangled. Going to pull the plugs today and see if it will rotate but not the outcome I was expecting.

Table Rocker
03-26-2012, 09:47 AM
I'm thinking your starter is either too close or too far away from the ring gear. I know it will be almost impossible to check the fit, but that is what needs to be done.

I went through this on a truck. I slapped a new starter in thinking "no shims on the old one, no shims on the new one." It ended up being too close to the ring gear. The ring gear isn't perfectly round due to manufacturing tolerances and when the "lobe" would come by the starter it would wear the bushing on the pinion. After enough wear on the pinion bushing, the pinion was sloppy and was chewing up gears on the ring gear. Guess who had to replace a flex wheel on an old 4WD.

Good luck on this, I really feel for you.

02ProstarSammyD
03-26-2012, 10:06 AM
Should have been more clear. The engine wants to turn over. The starter seems to be doing its job. The clunking, etc noise is coming from the engine not the starter. yea I'm pretty frustrated over all of this considering it took me close to a year to get her running right last year. Just painfully annoying to drop a boatload of cash last year and then end up at square 1 or worse the next year

02ProstarSammyD
03-26-2012, 07:14 PM
Word of the day. Hydrolock. Problem found. Solution pending (maybe)

thatsmrmastercraft
03-26-2012, 10:11 PM
Word of the day. Hydrolock. Problem found. Solution pending (maybe)

Yikes :eek3:. Bad exhaust manifold letting the water in?

02ProstarSammyD
03-26-2012, 11:58 PM
Haven't gotten that far yet. Turned it over by hand slowly tonight with everything pulled and heard a drip. Gave it a good quick turn and heard a splash. Plugs were soaked.


Good news: No rust on plugs, water was clean, and engine spun pretty freely. Didn't feel any binding etc. Thinking the starter was either shot before or didn't like the pressure and the clutch just went bye bye. Either way it might have saved me an engine. Sprayed her with some pb blaster and letting it sit over night. Will give it a few turns tomorrow and repeat. Thinking wed going to change oil and try her up. *crossing fingers*


Don't really have a clue what caused it. Had a slight rev problem on the last outting of the year. Talking with my mech buddy and think it was just a fluke backing up at the doc and sucking up some water or something even more odd. Regardless it is going to monitored closely if she comes back to life this week.

Just kind of stumped how it happened but regardless of weather or heated garage I'm full blown winterizing next year just for peace of mind

thatsmrmastercraft
03-27-2012, 10:31 AM
Is there any water in the oil? When my exhaust manifold let loose, I kept filling the oil pan with water.

02ProstarSammyD
03-27-2012, 11:12 AM
^haven't gotten there yet. Going to drain her tonight and take a look. Think 2 days of soaking with pb is enough?

thatsmrmastercraft
03-27-2012, 12:03 PM
Before you drain your oil, check the oil level. Mine never hydro-locked, but until I figured out the cause, each time I ran it for a couple minutes I ended up with half of gallon of water in my oil pan.

02ProstarSammyD
03-27-2012, 12:21 PM
Already did. It was in normal range. Oil seemed fine but since it didn't run and has been sitting I figured it would look that way regardless of having water or not

thatsmrmastercraft
03-27-2012, 01:17 PM
the water will definitely settle to the bottom of the oil. If there were water in the pan, you would obviously see an increased oil level. Very interesting.

02ProstarSammyD
03-27-2012, 03:40 PM
Yea not a bit of it makes sense. For now I will just pull a tebow and pray

02ProstarSammyD
03-29-2012, 06:59 PM
alright thoroughly confused even more now. Took the plugs out, pb blastered for a few days, and turned it by hand a bit every day. The starter is now new and so are the plugs.

The engine turns freely when the plugs are out and everything seems fine. I put the plugs back in and the grinding is back.

Why would this only happen when the plugs are in?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
03-29-2012, 07:42 PM
alright thoroughly confused even more now. Took the plugs out, pb blastered for a few days, and turned it by hand a bit every day. The starter is now new and so are the plugs.

The engine turns freely when the plugs are out and everything seems fine. I put the plugs back in and the grinding is back.

Why would this only happen when the plugs are in?

Did you spin the engine over with the starter motor or just by hand. Is the "grinding" in the same spot in the rotation or constant?

02ProstarSammyD
03-29-2012, 07:48 PM
It just grinds with the plugs in. With the plugs out I spun it by hand and with the key and both turned over flawlessly. No specific point of the grind. Its pretty much instantly when you put the plugs in. I'm thinking of pulling the exhaust manifolds tomorrow and seeing if there is still any remaining water that isn't draining but it turns over fine with the plugs out.

Sorry if this sounds like rambling this just isn't my forte. To me it seems like I'm still having a compression issue. My mechanic has assured me that if the engine is turning over without the plugs that the engine should be fine which is my main concern but I'm still freaking out quite a bit haha

From what I've read on these new starters the starter will basically crap out again before it gets enough pressure to bend a connecting rod. Either way I want to try everything in my power before toasting another starter or a rod


Any suggestions?

In my opinion:
Battery is fine
Starter should be fine (engages fine without plugs and is brand new)
Plugs are new
Engine fine (turns over fine without plugs)


This is reminding me of my 3 week nightmare last year with a poor plug connection on the fuel pump grrrr

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
03-29-2012, 09:00 PM
I would put a couple tablespoons of atf in each cylinder, let it sit for an hour then with the plugs out spin the engine over with the starter motor a few times giving the starter a breather after 30 seconds, do that 5 or 6 times. Make sure there is not any atf still pooled on top of pistons and install plugs and see what happens. This will loosen everything up. When the engine is started and running it will smoke until all atf is burned off.

02ProstarSammyD
04-01-2012, 03:31 PM
she lives! Thanks guys!

Lumbergh
04-01-2012, 03:36 PM
Did you do the ATF fluid thang or what was the solution?

02ProstarSammyD
04-01-2012, 04:43 PM
Yea I have been soaking it for about a week now and put some atf in this morning. Double checked everything since this was going to be my last day of trying. took off the starter again to double check everything and just made sure everything was tight and good.

Took a few tries but she turned over and ran fine as could be. Let her run for about 30 min and everything seemed fine. Gonna change the oil again tomorrow, filters, etc just to make sure everything is perfect

Table Rocker
04-01-2012, 06:02 PM
I'm glad it all worked out. Did you ever find a problem with the exhaust manifolds, or figure out why water got in a cylinder. I know sometimes it can happen as a freak thing. I hope yours was.

02ProstarSammyD
04-01-2012, 08:07 PM
I'm gonna order the new manifold gasket and crack it to see just in case but it wasn't a ton of water. Will update if anything pops up

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
04-01-2012, 08:14 PM
she lives! Thanks guys!

I'm glad it worked out for you, atf works miracles with driveability issues.

02ProstarSammyD
04-02-2012, 10:48 AM
^Thanks for adding that to my bag of tricks. The PB blaster did great for getting rid of buildup and gunk but did absolutely nothing to get her fired. My boat is going to send you a christmas card this year. The ATF worked like a champ