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GregBR549
01-11-2013, 07:38 AM
Hi everyone,
For about the last 6 months, my starter has gotten more problematic. When I turn the switch, it just clicks. I think that is just the solonoid closing. I can turn the switch on and off for maybe 25 to 50 times, and it will eventually turn the engine over. I can put a screwdriver across the terminals on the starter and it sparks when it makes the connection, but does not turn the engine over. This should remove the solonoid as a problem. Is this my starter going bad?
thanks,
Greg

Kweisner
01-11-2013, 07:53 AM
Have you tried this while running lights and other accessories? If not, give it a try. If you find that your lights dim when you turn over the key, then it could be something as simple as a poor ground or battery connection. If the lights don't dim, then I would suspect the starter.

TRBenj
01-11-2013, 07:54 AM
Either a bad starter or low voltage. Low voltage can be caused by the battery itself, but that would most likely be ruled out of the boat eventually starts fine. More likely is a bad connection on one of the battery cables, or the battery cables themselves (corroded). Check every single connection from the battery to the motor to the solenoid to the starter, both positive and ground. Make sure theyre tight and clean, with no evidence of corrosion (green or black on the cables themselves = bad). Clean and tighten them all just to be safe. Dont forget your connection to ground through the starter case to bellhousing as well.

If the cables or terminations look bad, then replace them with a new set- make sure there tinned with good sealed connectors, and dont cheap out on undersized wire.

02ProstarSammyD
01-11-2013, 08:19 AM
^what he said. Charge the batteries well, check voltage at the batteries and at the starter.

thatsmrmastercraft
01-11-2013, 08:46 AM
X2 on what TRBenj said. Always start with the basics. All connections need to be clean and corrosion free. Be sure to take each one apart and clean........looking clean and being tight don't get the job done.

GregBR549
01-11-2013, 08:53 AM
I put a new battery in this summer thinking it was the battery. It didn't help.
I guess I will get mine rebuilt.
thanks for the help.

thatsmrmastercraft
01-11-2013, 09:01 AM
I put a new battery in this summer thinking it was the battery. It didn't help.
I guess I will get mine rebuilt.
thanks for the help.

I think you're jumping the gun on going straight for a rebuild. Throwing the battery didn't fix the problem, the starter might not be it either. You are most likely dealing with corrosion somewhere here, although it could be within the starter. When is the last time you cleaned all the battery terminals? Also a reminder to apply a little dielectric grease to these connections before re-assembly to help ward off any future corrosion.

Note: cleaning the terminals should be done on an annual basis to avoid no-start problems.

mikeg205
01-11-2013, 09:03 AM
You can take the starter to almost any autopart or autoparts electrical rebuilder shop to have it tested iirc... benchtest will determine power overdraw if bad or something else wrong...what year boat - engine?

mikeg205
01-11-2013, 09:03 AM
I think you're jumping the gun on going straight for a rebuild. Throwing the battery didn't fix the problem, the starter might not be it either. You are most likely dealing with corrosion somewhere here, although it could be within the starter. When is the last time you cleaned all the battery terminals? Also a reminder to apply a little dielectric grease to these connections before re-assembly to help ward off any future corrosion.

Note: cleaning the terminals should be done on an annual basis to avoid no-start problems.

^^+1 great advice

02ProstarSammyD
01-11-2013, 09:46 AM
I think you're jumping the gun on going straight for a rebuild. Throwing the battery didn't fix the problem, the starter might not be it either. You are most likely dealing with corrosion somewhere here, although it could be within the starter. When is the last time you cleaned all the battery terminals? Also a reminder to apply a little dielectric grease to these connections before re-assembly to help ward off any future corrosion.

Agreed 100%. I don't know what kind of boat it is etc but on mine it is a pita to get the starter out/in. I've jumped the gun before, spent 8 hours screwing with it arm deep under an engine, and it turned out to be a bad batt connection. Clean the terminals, check the wires, and check your voltage at the starter and the battery. If you are getting a signifigant loss you have a problem before you get to the starter. Some info on what boat it is would help also.

BTW when you start throwing parts at a problem you rarely get a solution. I've found out that it just compounds the problem 100x and costs 2x as much. Focus on basics and work up.

I put a new battery in this summer thinking it was the battery. It didn't help.
Also just an fyi just b/c the battery was new does not mean that it was fully charged and ready to go when you bought it. If you don't have a multimeter get one. They are about 13 bucks at your local hardware or big box store. I've bought "new" batteries and checked them...........not fully charged.

TRBenj
01-11-2013, 03:00 PM
If the boat was run any significant amount, the alternator would have topped off the new battery. That being said, hopefully you didnt buy a deep cycle (marine) battery? Those are intended for long, slow draws (trolling motors and stereo systems) and not short, high amp draws like starting a V8 engine. If thats what you have, then it may be a big part of your problem.

I cant tell you how many times I have seen this happen on my boats or others. Dozens. Have replaced 2 starters, so they do go out and cause these symptoms... but they are the true cause <10% of the time. So I agree with those above who are telling you that replacing the starter at this point is premature.

1redTA
01-11-2013, 03:06 PM
I had to replace the wire running from the battery to the starter and the ground wire. I would check the resistance for those as well, it should be nominal. When checking, wiggle the connections that is when my battery cables were really messed up

Jibber
01-12-2013, 08:31 AM
I have same issue with mine 2012 X2 with the ilmore 6.0. Sometimes i try to start the engine, the starter only clicks. After some trys it work. After i told my dealer about this problem, he send me this troubleshooting sheet from mastercraft below. But i donīt understand how to fix this problem. I looked at the connections and everything looks fine like it should in the pictures. What do they mean with "relocate the clean power wire". I looked at this cable and its on the right position where it should. Has any of you an idea? Here are an pic from mine.

bcd
01-12-2013, 11:00 AM
I have same issue with mine 2012 X2 with the ilmore 6.0. Sometimes i try to start the engine, the starter only clicks. After some trys it work. After i told my dealer about this problem, he send me this troubleshooting sheet from mastercraft below. But i donīt understand how to fix this problem. I looked at the connections and everything looks fine like it should in the pictures. What do they mean with "relocate the clean power wire". I looked at this cable and its on the right position where it should. Has any of you an idea? Here are an pic from mine.

The way I read that is to move the clean power from the starter terminal over to where the starter connects to the battery switch, however, that is a poorly written service bulletin and is not very clear. I looked on the electrical schematic I have, but it doesn't break down the engine/starter circuit to tell where exactly each of the wires go. It also doesn't have any wires labeled as clean power, but I think they are referring to the 14 Ga Yel/Red (start) wire on the schematic.

If I were you, I would call MC directly and speak to their tech support to give complete clarification on which wire to move from where to where before doing anything.

Jibber
01-14-2013, 03:59 PM
Thanks for the reply! Iīll try to contact Mastercraft directly. Hopefully i get an response. For Europeans itīs difficult to get informations from them. Even for Dealers.

Hunterb
01-18-2013, 01:43 PM
I think your problem is in the starter solenoid. I've encountered this many times. If the starter clicks but does not engage, but will if you try enough times, it is not the battery or the connections. You need to remove the starter and dismantle the solenoid. Look closely at how the solenoid works. If it works that way I think it does you will notice that there is a terminal on each side of the solenoid that the main power to the starter runs through. When you turn the key to 'start' the solenoid is energized and a 'ring' slides up and makes contact with an L shaped copper washer on each side of the solenoid. This allows the power through to the starter motor and away you go. What often happens is that the two copper washers wear at different rates for some reason and then start to fail to make a good enough contact to allow the voltage through. The ' click' you hear is the solenoid 'ring' sliding up and hitting the contacts, but unfortunately it is only hitting one of them. The reason it will, or may, eventually work is that each time you try it the ring comes up in a slightly different angle and may make a good enough connection. What usually happens is that you have to try a few times, and then more and more and eventually it will just click away and never make contact. You should be able to purchase the copper L shaped washers for less than $10.00 and it is relatively easy to replace them. I've saved lots of people from the expense of a new starter with this simple repair.

Do not confuse this with the repetitive clicking that will occur if you have a bad battery or connections. That is a different problem. I believe your problem will be solved by repalcing the L shaped contacts in the solenoid. I hope so anyway. Good luck with it!!

Bruce

Hunterb
01-18-2013, 01:55 PM
Hi again,

If you look at the picture that is a couple of posts up you will see what I'm talking about. The two big red wires are on either side of the solenoid. One comes from the battery, one goes into the starter. The small black wire comes from the key and energizes the solenoid which causes it to slide up which does two things 1) it engages the drive gear in the flywheel BEFORE it starts spinning and 2) it completes the connection between the two big red wires allowing the power through to the motor so it starts spinning. If you dismantle the solenoid you will find the L shaped copper washers in there right inside where the two big red wires attach. Replace those washers and you will be good to go. You MAY even be able to adjust them as sometimes they are attached with an elongated hole allowing you to move them up or down. It's very likely that you will find one is much thinner than the other and you may be able to move it down so it makes proper contact.

Many people don't know about this simple repair and waste a ton of money on a new starter. I hate buying new things when a simple fix makes the old one work.

Good luck.

Bruce

marko
01-25-2013, 08:38 AM
I had that same problem on my '90 PS190. I replaced the starter, solenoid, battery cables, ignition switch, cleaned every connection possible, etc. One time when it 'did it' on the lake I put a test light right on the starter solenoid where the wire comes from the key (yellow?) switch, turned the key and: intermittent low voltage at the solenoid. As a temporary fix I put a smaller extra solenoid (marine rated) next to the starter that is activated off that wire from the key, that in turn energizes the main starter solenoid. The real fix is to run a new heavier wire from the key switch to the starter solenoid, but my 'temporary' fix is still working fine after about 19 years.
A friend had the same issue, he ran a new wire. Neither of us have had a problem (that one anyway) since.

thatsmrmastercraft
01-25-2013, 10:36 AM
I had that same problem on my '90 PS190. I replaced the starter, solenoid, battery cables, ignition switch, cleaned every connection possible, etc. One time when it 'did it' on the lake I put a test light right on the starter solenoid where the wire comes from the key (yellow?) switch, turned the key and: intermittent low voltage at the solenoid. As a temporary fix I put a smaller extra solenoid (marine rated) next to the starter that is activated off that wire from the key, that in turn energizes the main starter solenoid. The real fix is to run a new heavier wire from the key switch to the starter solenoid, but my 'temporary' fix is still working fine after about 19 years.
A friend had the same issue, he ran a new wire. Neither of us have had a problem (that one anyway) since.

Low voltage is low voltage. It is just a matter of finding the source and resolving it. Sounds like you guys did.:toast:

TRBenj
01-25-2013, 10:47 AM
I had that same problem on my '90 PS190. I replaced the starter, solenoid, battery cables, ignition switch, cleaned every connection possible, etc. One time when it 'did it' on the lake I put a test light right on the starter solenoid where the wire comes from the key (yellow?) switch, turned the key and: intermittent low voltage at the solenoid. As a temporary fix I put a smaller extra solenoid (marine rated) next to the starter that is activated off that wire from the key, that in turn energizes the main starter solenoid. The real fix is to run a new heavier wire from the key switch to the starter solenoid, but my 'temporary' fix is still working fine after about 19 years.
A friend had the same issue, he ran a new wire. Neither of us have had a problem (that one anyway) since.
Verifying that the ignition key and wiring are providing the proper 12v "start" signal to the solenoid is certainly something to do when troubleshooting. Well in advance of parts swapping, obviously. However, based on the symptoms described (below) it is clear that there is a problem in the primary voltage path (battery to starter).

I can put a screwdriver across the terminals on the starter and it sparks when it makes the connection, but does not turn the engine over.

adkskier
01-29-2013, 07:39 PM
i have also had this issue, but it was from water getting to the starter, all was needed was the starter shaft to be greased and the fact that i had a loose battery wire sometimes did it this summer which is a pain in the a** in a 91 where you have to take the back seat out to access it.

GregBR549
03-15-2013, 11:20 AM
I have been putting off working on the starter. I was at the lake again this past weekend. I thought I would tinker with it. I noticed that when I was putting the screw driver across the terminals at the starter, I was not by passing the solenoid. when I did put the screw driver across the 2 terminals that bypassed the solenoid, the starter turned over every time. I guess this means it is the solenoid. Can I replace the solenoid without removing the starter? I attached a pic, but it is not very good. Hard to see which starter I have. My engine is a Mastercraft vortec engine.
thanks for any help

88 PS190
03-15-2013, 05:51 PM
Pull the starter.

While you can do some service in place on most boats, you should be cleaning up the shaft, checking for play etc.

I just had my starter completely rebuilt, with new bendix gear etc. for 110$ out the door.

Worth the money.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-15-2013, 06:27 PM
Remember to apply a little grease to the shaft the starter drive rides on.

homer12
03-30-2013, 11:04 PM
does it get worse when it warms up? I had an issue where I replace the battery cable terminal ends and solved starting issues. My ends didn't even look bad. Clipped old terminals, installed new ones, and then coated with corrosion resistant.

GregBR549
04-15-2013, 09:14 PM
Jibber,
I have the same solonoid that you have in the pic. How do I get it apart? I got it off the starter, but I can't figure out how to get it apart.
thanks,
Greg

GregBR549
04-15-2013, 09:34 PM
Here is a pic from the other end.

Jibber
04-16-2013, 03:05 PM
Sorry Greg. I donīt figured out now because the boat stays in a winter hangar bit far away. But i think Hunterb has better technical understanding a few posts about. If you also have a 2012er with starting problems my dealer will give me more information about the solution. It is apparently a common problem for 2012. I will post when i get them.

FrankSchwab
04-16-2013, 03:23 PM
Greg -
That appears to be non-serviceable.
Note that on the end of the case with the electrical connections, the metal part of the body is bent inwards to hold the piece with the electrical connections in-place. You could use a screwdriver to bend that lip back outwards (making a really ugly mess of it), pull it apart and replace bits and pieces, put it back together and use a punch to bend the lip back into place (no, really, I've never done anything like that in my life ;) ), but the probability of success and reliability of the result aren't worth it. Besides, the solenoid is sealed to avoid having sparks ignite any gas vapors in your bilge, and doing this would break the seal. Can you say bad day at the lake? I knew you could...

I think it's time to get a new one. It should be a readily available part.

/frank

thatsmrmastercraft
04-16-2013, 04:52 PM
Is anything connected to this corroded stud?

GregBR549
04-16-2013, 05:45 PM
Nothing is connected to that stud.

GregBR549
04-24-2013, 09:00 AM
I did some more troubleshooting this weekend. I have come to the conclusion it is the solenoid on the starter. The solenoid on the back of the engine was working. Can I buy just the solenoid? The one that is attached to the starter? If so, where is a good place to order it?
thanks for any help,
Greg

JimN
04-24-2013, 09:21 AM
Jibber,
I have the same solonoid that you have in the pic. How do I get it apart? I got it off the starter, but I can't figure out how to get it apart.
thanks,
Greg

You don't/can't disassemble it.

JimN
04-24-2013, 09:24 AM
I did some more troubleshooting this weekend. I have come to the conclusion it is the solenoid on the starter. The solenoid on the back of the engine was working. Can I buy just the solenoid? The one that is attached to the starter? If so, where is a good place to order it?
thanks for any help,
Greg

You can buy the solenoid separately, but in a marine application, you're better off buying a direct replacement starter a remanufactured one.

The main reasons starters fail are:

Not being lubricated annually.
Cranking while the battery is dying/cranking until it's stone dead.

MikeyOrange88
04-24-2013, 01:01 PM
In addition to Jim's list I would add:
Age.
Gee, It's twenty years old, it's an electrical device in a marine environment.
Buy a new starter, it's time. Arco gear reduction type starter is about $120.

sixysixss
04-24-2013, 02:39 PM
As others have said, your problem is likely the solenoid. There is a copper disc inside that rotates when you turn the ignition. It causes the solenoid to engage. Over time, the copper burns and therefore doesn't engage. Click it enough times, and it may ultimately find a clean spot and start the motor. There was a time when you could open the solenoid and just flip that copper disc over. Most solenoids now, however, are not serviceable.

GregBR549
05-28-2013, 07:25 PM
Finally got it fixed. I ordered a new solenoid. It had a tag on one post that said "use this connection if only one wire is used". So, I used that post. It was the wrong post. So I took it back off and did some troubleshooting. With the old solenoid on, the bendix was engaging, but it was not making connections to the starter motor. I put the new solenoid back on, and with the starter off the boat and on my work bench, I connected power to the positive stud and grounded the starter to the negative battery side. I then jumped across the positive post to the small solenoid post. When you do this, it is suppose to actuate the solenoid which first pushes the bendix gear into the starter flywheel. It then switches on the starter motor. My old solenoid was only actuating the bendix gear. That was the click I heard. It was not making the connection to power the starter motor. Check out this diagram and you will see what I am talking about. http://www.indiacar.com/infobank/battery1_od.htm

Thanks for all the help.