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Old 07-04-2005, 08:53 PM
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adkins1966 adkins1966 is offline
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Boat: 89 Tristar 190 Open Bow
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I just installed a new style starter on my 89 tristar 190. When I spoke with the guys at skidim.com, they told me to install it just the way the directions explained it, or the starter would stay engaged and burn up. If you haven't figured out the relay, give those guys a call and they can tell you exactly what the issue is, better safe than sorry.
Bring a pitcher of beer every 7 minutes until somebody passes out, and then bring one every 10.

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Old 07-13-2005, 11:53 AM
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PeteS PeteS is offline
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Boat: 1988 Prostar 190 - 351 Indmar (1:1) / 365 Hours
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Who all has experienced this issue of the starter cranking continually before and after the key is released or off? Has it always been completely resolved after the disconnecting of the orange wire from the coil to the solinoid? Thanks!
1988 Prostar 190 - 351 Indmar (1:1) / PerfectPass Digital Pro 6.5n, 13 x 12 Acme 3-Blade

Last edited by PeteS; 07-13-2005 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 07-16-2005, 02:54 AM
Joe S.
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Hey guys. I was just searching the web and came across this forum and post about the starter solenoid issue.

Here is another data point for everyone. I have a 1990 American Skier with the Ford 351 Indmar which I believe is the same engine setup in the Mastercrafts during that time. I have been fighting this issue for almost 5 years! I have changed the starter, battery, battery cables, ignition switch and 6 starter solenoids. When I try to start the boat I either get the starter stuck on or I turn the key and nothing happens and this becomes worse over time. It will start but youíre afraid to turn the boat off for fear it wonít start again. The only thing that fixes it is getting a new solenoid.

Believe me, Iím no expert, but it seems as though the solenoid is degrading over time due to an unknown cause, maybe the wire coming from the coil as suggested earlier. I hope this is the fix. Has anyone tried a different solenoid?
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Old 07-16-2005, 09:40 AM
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6ballsisall 6ballsisall is offline
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Originally Posted by PeteS
Who all has experienced this issue of the starter cranking continually before and after the key is released or off? Has it always been completely resolved after the disconnecting of the orange wire from the coil to the solinoid? Thanks!
Have checked your battery power? The brushes inside the solenoid/relay are self cleaning and can have a hard time cleaning themselves if you have a low battery, they may actually ark over and weld themselves together. Just something to try!
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2003 X-7
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Old 07-20-2005, 02:16 PM
Hunterb Hunterb is offline
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Boat: 1990 Prostar 190 351
Location: Southwest Canada
Posts: 299
Hi again,

Well I thought I had this problem licked by disconnecting the orange wire but, as T-Rager predicted, it happened again last week. I'm starting to think that it may have something to do with low battery voltage, if that is possible. The reason I think this is that everything has been perfect for a month or more, until last week when the output wire from the alternator broke and I failed to notice it until the battery had run down a bit. I fixed the wire then started the boat and the starter motor kept running requiring me to pull the positive cable off to stop it. I charged the battery, hooked everything back up and it has been fine since (probably about 30 starts). The solenoid and the ignition switch are new. Could this be a battery voltage issue?

Thanks in advance if you have any thoughts.

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Old 07-21-2005, 01:23 PM
torbmi torbmi is offline
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Well, I replaced the original plunger-style starter with the one that skidim sells for $200. All week at Shasta, no problems at all. I told a guy I was there with what had been happening, and he immediately said that it was a common problem, and was caused by low power from the battery, which would cause the solenoid to micro weld itself in the on position (that would explain how I could get the starter to stop by hitting the solenoid with my fist). I am guessing that the new starter draws less current, so all else being equal it is no longer having this effect, and all is well.

Jrandol and Hunterb, I think you guys are onto something - although this guy is not a MC tech or dealer, he's been building inboard and outboard boats for over twenty years, and has a pretty broad knowledge base. He suggested (as countless others have done on this site) religious cleaning of all battery cables, and always making sure the battery is in good condition - even a slight electrical drop might be the root of this problem for everyone.

Maybe the disconnecting of the orange bypass wire helped because it didn't divert that extra current - so for the starter, it was sufficient for awhile, but eventually something else caused it to drop again, and the problem reared its ugly head once more.

I also wonder if the relays (solenoids) are made a bit differently than the original ones. This did not start happening to me until I replaced mine, because I torqued the post too tight on my original one when replacing a cable and broke it. But, I'll probably never know, because that's also when I put in the rebuilt starter. Anyway...
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:58 AM
Joe S.
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I find it hard to believe that a low battery is the root cause. My battery and cables are new & I checked the voltages with a meter. The last time this happened we had been out all day in the boat, so the battery was fully charged. When we came back I went to flush out the engine and tried starting it, this is when the starter stuck on.

I also wonder if the newer solenoids are made differently.
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:40 PM
Hunterb Hunterb is offline
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Boat: 1990 Prostar 190 351
Location: Southwest Canada
Posts: 299
Hi again,

I decided to take a shot at fixing this problem by replacing the battery with one with considerably more cranking amps (1000) and also a new solenoid. I have used the boat every day since (slalom in the morning, wakeboard in the evening) and the stuck starter problem has not reappeared. It may have been the battery that was the problem as it was only 700 Marine cranking amps which is only 550 cold cranking amps. Several mechanics have indicated that this may cause the solenoid to stick. I hope they're right. Time will tell.

On another positive note my boat has become the favourite ski boat at the lake, with a Malibu Echelon running a close second.

Have a good summer !!

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Old 08-17-2005, 06:05 AM
jimmer2880 jimmer2880 is offline
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Boat: 95 PS 190 EFI
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Glad you took the top spot away from that 'bu.

Thx for giving us an update. Sounds like you fixed the problem. Good to hear!
If one day you're asked:
" How did you spend your time here on Earth?"
Will you say:
"I kept a crabgrass free lawn"
It's time to SKI.
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:47 PM
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JLeuck64 JLeuck64 is offline
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Boat: 98 Prostar 190 Stars & Stripes, LT1
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In my days of being a car tech we used to replace the starter solenoid contacts that became worn. These were integral type starters with the solenoid built in. So, it made sense to replace just the solenoid contacts instead of the whole starter. After many years of doing this It became apparent to me that the vehicles that needed these repairs either had an old battery, or the battery had been replaced recently. The solenoid contacts wearing out definetly has a relationship to a weak battery.

You really have to understand electrical theory in order to understand the relationship between higer current flow and a weak battery. Direct current motors will allow more current to flow when they turn slowly. This can be due to a weak battery or mechanical resistance or a high compression engine ( =

On a side note, I still keep a buddy's 81 Nautique running for him. This last year I noticed his solenoid had an "I" terminal that would have battery voltage applied to it when the engine was cranking. There was no wiring harness connected to it and I knew it was supposed to be connected to the positive side of the coil. I made up some wire harness and connected it properly and wouldn't you know that old point style ignition system started up much better than it ever had!
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