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Old 04-04-2010, 12:06 AM
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CruisinGA CruisinGA is offline
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Intermittent Starting Issues

Since putting the boat ('02 X9, 330 LTR) in, have had intermittent starting issues.

Either starts fine, like normal, or engine makes half a rotation at slow speed and start clicks and stalls.

The no start to start ratio is getting worse.

Today, I checked all connections, removed starter and cleaned contact between it and the block, and tried three different (fully charged) batteries, including two in parallel, even took my Perko dual batt switch out of the circuit just to be sure it was not the issue. Nothing helped.

Pretty much leaves the starter. I've changed many bad automotive starters and solenoids, and never had one act like this. I'm planning on taking it apart once I get the new one in, but I'm wondering if anyone here has had anything like this happen before.

Also, anywhere other than Skidim worth looking for a new one?
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:30 PM
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I know it's Easter and all, and starters are not the most interesting thing in the world, but I figured someone would have something to say...

Are gear reduction starters available for these engines? Switching to one on my Land Cruiser made huge difference..
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CruisinGA View Post
I know it's Easter and all, and starters are not the most interesting thing in the world, but I figured someone would have something to say...

Are gear reduction starters available for these engines? Switching to one on my Land Cruiser made huge difference..
Yours is gear reduction. Call around to the auto service shops in your area- they all use someone for rebuilds and you can go to them, too. A nearby NAPA dealer may be an option, too.

Have you checked the ground point on the back of the motor for loose or dirty connections? Take the starter out and have it thoroughly tested. Take the cables connected to t he starter, too. That way, you eliminate as many variables as possible.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
Yours is gear reduction. Call around to the auto service shops in your area- they all use someone for rebuilds and you can go to them, too. A nearby NAPA dealer may be an option, too.

Have you checked the ground point on the back of the motor for loose or dirty connections? Take the starter out and have it thoroughly tested. Take the cables connected to t he starter, too. That way, you eliminate as many variables as possible.
I wanted to see if I could get it rebuilt locally, but dad wants to leave the starter in the boat and just swap with a new one since the current starter still works sometimes. He's buying the starter, so it's his choice.

I checked the ground cable from the battery to the front of the engine, which was the only one I could find (and I think the only one there is). It was clean and tight.

Just ordered a starter from skidim. If this was a vehicle I had where I live full time, I would have it tested etc before purchasing a new one, but since I am only at the lake on the weekends, and intend to use the boat, figured I better have a good one on hand.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:31 AM
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I do a lot of repair on my boats and vehicles. Sounds like the brushes are either hung or worn on this starter. The are rebuildable. A good shop can do it or you can. Parts are available on line--don't forget to check bushings and bearings.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:04 PM
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Once I install the new starter, I was planning to take apart the the non-functioning one and see what's up.

If easily repairable, I'll either fix and keep as a spare, or fix and sell. I've rebuilt starters and alternators in the past, but since I'm only in the same place as this boat when I want to use it, I needed to have a replacement on hand next time I went up.

Thanks for the tip. The only potential problem with the starter that I could think of was a bad place on the commutator or worn brushes.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CruisinGA View Post
I wanted to see if I could get it rebuilt locally, but dad wants to leave the starter in the boat and just swap with a new one since the current starter still works sometimes. He's buying the starter, so it's his choice.

I checked the ground cable from the battery to the front of the engine, which was the only one I could find (and I think the only one there is). It was clean and tight.

Just ordered a starter from skidim. If this was a vehicle I had where I live full time, I would have it tested etc before purchasing a new one, but since I am only at the lake on the weekends, and intend to use the boat, figured I better have a good one on hand.

Thanks for the help.
Make sure it's rated for marine use- those have spark suppression built in so flammable vapors won't ingite when it cranks.

The grounds I was referring to are for the relay on the motor. Also, the starter grounds through the mating surface with the block, so that needs to be clean, too. Put some light grease on both surfaces after cleaning them, before the new starter goes in. Also, the starter's Bendix is supposed to be serviced annually.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimN View Post
Make sure it's rated for marine use- those have spark suppression built in so flammable vapors won't ingite when it cranks.

The grounds I was referring to are for the relay on the motor. Also, the starter grounds through the mating surface with the block, so that needs to be clean, too. Put some light grease on both surfaces after cleaning them, before the new starter goes in. Also, the starter's Bendix is supposed to be serviced annually.
I would hope Skidim wouldn't sell a starter that's not a marine rated unit...


Where is the relay? You are talking about something other than the solenoid on the starter motor, correct?

I checked the starter mating surface, cleaned and reinstalled Saturday while I was troubleshooting. When I install the new starter, I'll smear some marine grease on the mating surface.
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Last edited by CruisinGA; 04-05-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisinGA View Post
I would hope Skidim wouldn't sell a starter that's not a marine rated unit...


Where is the relay? You are talking about something other than the solenoid on the starter motor, correct?

I checked the starter mating surface, cleaned and reinstalled Saturday while I was troubleshooting. When I install the new starter, I'll smear some marine grease on the mating surface.
The relay may not be there- they used it for quite a while and I never understood why. If you follow the battery cable from the battery to the starter and see only a connection to the solenoid, don't worry about a relay.

One thing to remember- if your battery starts to go down, stop cranking- it beats the crap out of the solenoid contacts and makes it hard to crank. They can get so hot they weld together and then you have to disconnect the battery cables to get it to stop.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimN View Post
The relay may not be there- they used it for quite a while and I never understood why. If you follow the battery cable from the battery to the starter and see only a connection to the solenoid, don't worry about a relay.

One thing to remember- if your battery starts to go down, stop cranking- it beats the crap out of the solenoid contacts and makes it hard to crank. They can get so hot they weld together and then you have to disconnect the battery cables to get it to stop.
OK- I don't think I have the relay, as I traced the battery cable from the Perko switch to the starter.

Thanks for the heads up.
I've seen the aftermath of contacts welding together. Land Cruisers (my other hobby) have very robust starters that typically last a couple decades and 200k miles, but the contacts wear out over time and have been know to weld together. Often changing the plunger and a pair of contacts is all those starters need to keep going almost indefinitely.

Good thing is, on this boat, I can just turn the Perko switch off rather than having to unbolt a cable. Regardless, I don't want that to happen.


Also- good to know the starter is a gear reduction unit. I thought it might be, since they work so much better, but it didn't look at all like the gear reduction starters I'm used to.

I didn't service the Bendix before or after the winter this year, but when I pulled the starter this weekend to check the mating surface, everything looked great. Nonetheless, I'll service it when I winterize this year. Don't want to have to mess with this again anytime soon. "Servicing" is just checking for corrosion and lightly greasing moving parts, correct?
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Last edited by CruisinGA; 04-05-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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