Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

I have a Yanmar 2GM which runs beautifully (except for the fuel issue this summer but that got sorted out). However, when I push the starter button, sometimes the starter catches on the first push. Other times, it just makes "click" sound and the starter doesn't engage. I may have to push it 2 -7 times before the starter cranks the engine. It has never failed me yet (and has been doing this for a couple of years) and there doesn't seem to be any pattern to when it goes on one push or seven. I haven't been overly concerned about it, but am thinking that I need to correct it before it gets worse. any suggestions about proabable causes?

I am not really from Toronto


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post #2 of 9 Old 10-07-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

This is a well known problem with many engines and a common one with Yanmars. It is due to voltage drop from poor wiring. Do a search, it's been covered many times on this site.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

Clean all of your cable terminals both positive and negative, at the battery and at the engine. If the problem persists check your battery. The best way to do this is to buy a cheap battery load tester from one of the discount tool catalogs. If you have multiple batteries and some cars this tool will come in handy. If your battery is good then it is your starter, either the solenoid sticks or the gears jam, get a rebuilt starter. My guess by the way you are describing the problem it's your starter, but you cant be certain until you check the other things first.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

It is a common problem with Yanmars and I thought the most common reason was the solenoid wiring, not the battery cables or battery.

The problem is that the solenoid doesn't have enough voltage/current to make a good connection.

One way to tell whether it might be the solenoid versus the battery wiring is to monitor the system voltage or watch other electronics and lights. If they dim/flicker then you know the solenoid is closing. If they don't dim at all then it's likely the solenoid that's failing to close.

If I remember correctly, good old boat ran an article where someone ran new 14awg wiring from the starter button to the solenoid to solve the problem.

Last edited by asdf38; 10-08-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

After verifying Battery + cable to solenoid and Ground - cables are clean and secure (as described above) first replacement to try is starter solenoid. "Clicking" indicates solenoid is energizing properly, but not making the required high current connection between battery and starter motor. Cheap, (~30.00) and it fits symptom of intermittent problem.

Contact surface inside is usually a thin metallic disc which contacts the lg copper studs when solenoid is energized. Disk rotates at random helping to distribute erosion caused by high (60-100A) current arcs when contacts open and close. After sufficient wear, disc will be too eroded to make adequate contact in all positions. Repeated engagement of solenoid "joggles" the disk around till eventually you reach a position where the disk will make contact with both studs. Depending on the solenoid type and mfg it is sometimes possible (not recommended) to disassemble the solenoid file the terminal posts and disk to get a faulty solenoid working in a pinch.

When I purchase a solenoid, I am fine with a 'Rebuilt". New terminals and contactors are basically replacing all the parts that wear. Your mileage (or opinion) may vary... While it is possible to replace the solenoid without removing the starter (depending on your engine space), probably best to pull the starter out. While it's out, go ahead and check the brushes, and the bendix for damage/wear. Hey, its already out.. right?

Good luck
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
This is a well known problem with many engines and a common one with Yanmars. It is due to voltage drop from poor wiring. Do a search, it's been covered many times on this site.
Yep Your right about that! Time to get mucking around with electrical connections. Mast is off as of Sunday anyway, so sailing is out of the question.

I am not really from Toronto


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post #7 of 9 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

I had the same problem with my Yanmar 3GM30f starter. It never let me down, but having to push the button a few times to get it to start didn't leave me feeling too confident in the starter. I went through all the suggestions above (rebuilt the starter, redid the connections etc.) and in the end I finally opened up the starter button itself on the engine panel and found the problem- carbon build up. A good cleaning and sanding and it now starts on the first push. The button itself is a bit tricky to open up (it wasn't immediately obvious how to disassemble it), but a bit of patience is all you need. Anyway, after checking voltage and connections, if the problem persists you might want to look at the button before you do an expensive rebuild of the starter.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

Install a relay.
http://tartan3500.com/uploads/3/1/1/...ter_wiring.pdf
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Yanmar 2GM starting issue (sort of)

That interposing relay works a treat!.. you can use pretty well any 12V relay that's rated for the solenoid's current draw. It's usually the length/small gauge of the long wires between panel and starter that are the culprit.

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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