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Old 09-25-2013, 09:52 PM
EsCoach EsCoach is offline
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Boat: 1994 ProStar
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Starter struggles to turn at first

The problem I am having with a near-showroom condition (inside and out) 1994 ProStar 190 with throttle body EFI and 350 Indmar, although not as perfect as Harold Page's '87, is the following:

After the engine is warmed up but not necessarily hot and then shut off, the starter struggles very hard to turn against the cylinder compression for 1-2 seconds when I attempt to restart the engine. After a second or two holding the key in the "start" position, during which it acts like the starter is getting nothing from the battery, the starter runs normally and the engine starts immediately. If I shut it off at this point and start it again, it will start without showing this problem. The problem never occurs when the engine is cold but only after it has been run (a few passes in the course or 10-15 minutes of tricking). The starter is original, the battery is one season old and the engine has 850 hours on it. This sounds to me like it might be caused by high pressure fuel vapor in the cylinders which is released after one revolution of the flywheel alloying the starter to function normally. A credible source has suggested it could be the fuel pressure regulator and the folks at Discount Inboard Marine also thought it could be the regulator or possibly a timing issue. All feedback greatly appreciated before I get out my wallet and start spending money. I know there's a way to measure the pressure out of the regulator but not sure what tools are needed to do that. Many thanks for your insights.

Last edited by EsCoach; 09-25-2013 at 09:55 PM. Reason: typo
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2013, 10:54 PM
j.mccreight@hotmail.com's Avatar
j.mccreight@hotmail.com j.mccreight@hotmail.com is offline
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Boat: 1989 MasterCraft TriStar 190 SE
Location: Houston, TX
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I would seem to think you are having a starting circuit issue. Next time it acts up check and see if positive and negative battery cables are/ get very warm to the touch, you may very well have corrosion and high resistance in the cables and the cables act up when they get warm cause the starter motor to lug down on restart. I would ensure the cables are clean and tight and perform a voltage drop test on the battery cables.
To check fuel pressure you need a fuel pressure tester and plumb into the pressure hose of the f.i. system. Some motors have a schrader valve which makes checking the psi very easy. I don't know pressure specs at the moment.
I don't think its a timing issue as that would cause issue on a cold and warm motor, however its always a good idea to check and ensure all the basics are covered.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2013, 11:36 PM
MikeyOrange88 MikeyOrange88 is offline
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Boat: 1988 Tristar 190 Sport (Closed Bow), 351W w/ GT-40's
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Assuming that cables etc. check out as suggested above by j. mccreight, I would next remove starter and have it bench tested (free at autoparts store). Similar problem that I and several others here have had and best described as 'slow start when hot' turned out to be the starter on mine at least. My setup was also a very clean boat/bilge and I didn't really think the cables were the issue, solenoid had been previously replaced. Removed starter, it didn't look bad at all, no rust, had it bench tested and it failed. It always started easily when cold, but a couple times when I turned it off, after a couple runs, it darned near left me stranded as it was barely able to turn the motor over.
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Last edited by MikeyOrange88; 09-26-2013 at 12:01 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2013, 11:43 PM
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Kweisner Kweisner is offline
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Boat: 2007 Prostar 197
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This may be a long shot but I will use it to second the idea of having the starter tested. Had a similar problem with a starter on a car (old VW Bus). Starter became slow, and eventually would fail to turn at all when hot. Turns out the armature was expanding due to heat and would literally lock up against the starter's cylinder housing. When cold, no problem.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:51 PM
EsCoach EsCoach is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Boat: 1994 ProStar
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Many thanks for the positive perspectives. I just rebuilt the transmission on this boat with new forward and reverse clutch packs and all new seals so I cleaned the starter and ground connections when I reinstalled everything but I will re-clean the battery connections and have the starter checked out. After 19 years and 850 hours, it doesn't owe me anything. A fuel pressure tester is one tool I do not own but I should be able to come up with one. MC should be able to provide the specs on '94 throttle body FI.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:32 PM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsCoach View Post
Many thanks for the positive perspectives. I just rebuilt the transmission on this boat with new forward and reverse clutch packs and all new seals so I cleaned the starter and ground connections when I reinstalled everything but I will re-clean the battery connections and have the starter checked out. After 19 years and 850 hours, it doesn't owe me anything. A fuel pressure tester is one tool I do not own but I should be able to come up with one. MC should be able to provide the specs on '94 throttle body FI.
Don't forget the battery ground connection at the block. Easy to overlook and often the problem.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2013, 12:22 AM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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Perhaps a water leak into the cylinder? You run, you've got hot water (or steam) that leaks into a cylinder, raising compression. After awhile, the excess pressure or water leaks past the rings, and everything is back to normal.

Check the oil for color, pull the plugs after a short run to see if you see water droplets.

Also, if it happens everytime, you can eliminate the water and fuel vapor possibilities by pulling the plugs, turning the engine over for half a second, then reinstalling the plugs and see how it turns over. That will vent any excess fuel or water.
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2013, 02:43 PM
blackcreek blackcreek is offline
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Boat: 1997 prostar 205 lt1
Location: Jacksonville Fl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.mccreight@hotmail.com View Post
I would seem to think you are having a starting circuit issue. Next time it acts up check and see if positive and negative battery cables are/ get very warm to the touch, you may very well have corrosion and high resistance in the cables and the cables act up when they get warm cause the starter motor to lug down on restart. I would ensure the cables are clean and tight and perform a voltage drop test on the battery cables.
To check fuel pressure you need a fuel pressure tester and plumb into the pressure hose of the f.i. system. Some motors have a schrader valve which makes checking the psi very easy. I don't know pressure specs at the moment.
I don't think its a timing issue as that would cause issue on a cold and warm motor, however its always a good idea to check and ensure all the basics are covered.
I chased a slow starter(new battery, new starter solenoid,bench test starter) and it ended up being the battery cables. While the cables looked ok the first inch of each cable end had enough corrosion to cause a large amp drop to the starter when warm. I cut back each cable end an inch or so and replaced with new terminals. The starter now works great even when hot.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#battery-cable-ends/=opflmj

Last edited by blackcreek; 09-28-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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