M4-30 won't start....Help! - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 07-10-2013
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M4-30 won't start....Help!

This is installed in a 1970 Bristol35. Was running fine until a few days ago. When I push the glow plug and start button, it makes a single click. Subsequent attempts may or may not be rewarded with the"click". I've veified that the batteries are fully charged and took off all cables, cleaned the connections and reinstalled (2 batteries). There's 12 volts at the engine connector as well as the instrument connector. The low oil pressure light, bilge blower, glow plug and fuses (2) are good with 12 volts both sides of fuse.
I accidently grounded the positive wire (from battery to bolt under starter) and a great shower of sparks was the result, so I'm assuming that the starter is recieving power as well. I can't think of anything else but a bad starter solenoid or the starter itself. Is there a way to test the solenoid or starter motor? I would appreciate any insight in troubleshooting this anyone may have. The engine is a 1989-ish Universal M4-30 diesel 4 cyl. with less than 240hours on it
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: M4-30 won't start....Help!

Hey,

Before you do anything else, make sure the ground is good. I had a similar problem last year with a friend's boat. He even changed the starter but the problem stuck around. It turns out that the main ground was bad. So there was plenty of power and good wiring, but no way for the starter to get the amps needed. Cleaning and re-installing the main ground lug on the engine block solved all the problems.

Good luck,
Barry
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Re: M4-30 won't start....Help!

Thanks, I believe you may be right as it acts like the batteries are dead or really low. I'll go back and check the ground. This is the cable from the neg battery post to a bolt on the engine block, correct?

Kevin
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Re: M4-30 won't start....Help!

Correct, that's the one.

On the boat I referred to the connection looked ok but when the mechanic (I had used up all my skill by that time) loosened the bolt the lug just came apart because it was all corroded.

Barry


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Originally Posted by salty sam View Post
Thanks, I believe you may be right as it acts like the batteries are dead or really low. I'll go back and check the ground. This is the cable from the neg battery post to a bolt on the engine block, correct?

Kevin
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: M4-30 won't start....Help!

There also might be a relay in the wiring from the start button that went bad. It's one that is activated by the switch but then actually makes the connection for electricity to the starter. Not sure where to find it on your engine but a mechanic can replace it in minutes. Not an expensive job.

Tod
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