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Old 01-06-2014, 07:52 PM
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strad strad is offline
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Not sure how to proceed -- starting problem

84 PCM 351. It was acting like it had a bad battery (needed to be jumped, but fired right up), so I took the battery of unknown age out and got a new one. I elected to replace it because I know for a fact that it has been run flat several times, and I don't know how old it is. The new one is a Marine cranking battery, group 24, 550 CCA. It is fully charged. The starter still spins the engine slower than it is supposed to and the boat won't fire. I'm almost 100% sure it will fire if I jump it with my Tahoe, since it did earlier this afternoon before I replaced the battery, but I haven't actually tried it again.

I removed the starter and inspected the ring gear all the way around, because the starter was sounding "different." The ring gear is visually fine, as is the bendix. I also obviously turned the engine over by hand with a wrench, and it has compression and turns over fine. I don't know how old my starter is, but judging by appearances it is younger than the boat. It is a marine starter, a single wire version. I plan to take it down and have it tested, but beyond a visual inspection of main grounds and inspection/cleaning of battery clamps and other connections (which I haven't done yet), I don't know where else to look.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:02 PM
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Battery cables may be shot.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:13 PM
supreme112279 supreme112279 is offline
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Put power directly to starter with a good set up jumper cables which would tell you if it's a starter or something else
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cbryan70 View Post
Battery cables may be shot.
+1 Check the resistance of your battery leads.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:32 PM
atihanyi atihanyi is offline
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+2 on checking battery leads
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:34 PM
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take out starter take to autozone for load test. Plus a 650 cca battery is usually what should be installed in IMO.

What is voltage at starter when cranking? Also check alternator rectifier - old is always a good source of battery drain.

what was old battery CCA?
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:51 PM
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Regardless of the remedy of cables etc, you can't go wrong with a new permanent magnet starter for a fresh baseline of that component. Makes a world of difference.
www.skidim.com

$.02

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Old 01-06-2014, 08:52 PM
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Old was 800. Alt is original. Looks like it anyways. Haven't had a chance to test it at higher engine speed but at idle it was doing 13 volts. I'm used to 14 at idle with cars. I haven't checked voltage at starter while cranking. Starter is out so I'll have it tested next.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by strad View Post
84 PCM 351. It was acting like it had a bad battery (needed to be jumped, but fired right up), so I took the battery of unknown age out and got a new one. I elected to replace it because I know for a fact that it has been run flat several times, and I don't know how old it is. The new one is a Marine cranking battery, group 24, 550 CCA. It is fully charged. The starter still spins the engine slower than it is supposed to and the boat won't fire. I'm almost 100% sure it will fire if I jump it with my Tahoe, since it did earlier this afternoon before I replaced the battery, but I haven't actually tried it again.

I removed the starter and inspected the ring gear all the way around, because the starter was sounding "different." The ring gear is visually fine, as is the bendix. I also obviously turned the engine over by hand with a wrench, and it has compression and turns over fine. I don't know how old my starter is, but judging by appearances it is younger than the boat. It is a marine starter, a single wire version. I plan to take it down and have it tested, but beyond a visual inspection of main grounds and inspection/cleaning of battery clamps and other connections (which I haven't done yet), I don't know where else to look.
Clean the mating surfaces for the starter- that's where it gets its ground. Along with that, check/clean the spot on the engine where the ground cable is bolted on. If the cable feels stiffer at the end, check the end at the battery- if it's stiffer at the ends than in the middle, replace it. Stiffness indicates corrosion or damage from excessive heat due to cranking for too long when the battery is almost dead. Make sure the positive cable is clean and tight, too.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:29 PM
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Not sure how to proceed -- starting problem

Well part of the problem is definitely the starter. It popped the breaker on the test bench! So I got a re manufactured one. I also took all the big pos and neg connections apart and cleaned them up with a wire brush. They actually looked mostly ok. Now I'll put the new starter in and see what happens.

Edit. Got home, installed it, connected the battery, turned the key, and she fired right up! Now to deal with the alternator.
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Last edited by strad; 01-07-2014 at 01:40 PM.
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