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Old 11-05-2013
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Universal M25XP Starting Problem

Recently purchased a 1989 Catalina 30 MKII with a 23HP Universal M25XP engine. It is now failing to start when I push the start button. The low oil pressure alarm sounds as it should, but the starter will not engage at all. This used to be an intermittent problem but now has become chronic. Once the engine starts (if it does) the engine runs perfectly. I have contacted Seaward (the control panel manufacturer) and they are sending out some technical information but I thought I might reach out to see if any others out there have experienced the same problem. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Jim N.
Port St. Joe, FL
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Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

Possibly bad switch/key contacts, loose/corroded connection? You could try jumping directly to the solenoid. If it works the problem is probably in the switch. If not, jump battery directly to the starter terminal. If that doesn't work, it may be in the starter itself.

All this is assuming you have tested all points with a meter before hand.

Paul T
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Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

Hello,

You need to be methodical in how you approach this problem.
-First verify that the battery(s) is charged and is in good condition.
-Verify that the wiring from the battery to the alternator, starter, switch panel, and ground is in good condition
-Next check your panel itself. I believe there have been a number of recalls for Catalina boats over the wiring harness. I know that some used a poor quality harness designed for a trailer and not marine use. The harness can't pass enough current.
-Lastly check that the switch and / or solenoid are getting power.
-If you have done all that then check the starter.

Personally I bet it's a wiring problem, most likely a bad ground.

Good luck,
Barry
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Last edited by BarryL; 11-05-2013 at 11:40 PM.
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

I had a similar problem. It turned out to be a loose connection in the inline fuse that feeds power to the solenoid. It sounds like you are having a similar problem in that there is no power getting to the solenoid. Could also be the star button is defective.

Have someone push the start button while you test for power at the solenoid.
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

Thanks to all for prompt replies. I know Catalina did an upgrade on wiring harness in 1993 with new eurostyle connectors replacing traditional connectors.
Hopefully I can isolate problem without having to go that far...but it may be a good long term project anyway. I will check out all possible solutions that have been suggested and hopefully get up and running soon.

Thanks again,

Jim N
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

This isn't one of those panels where you have to press the glow plug and start buttons at the same time, is it?
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Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

There is a lot of good advice here. It would also be helpful to us if you let us know what your starting panel looks like; some have separate glow plug and start button, some have no buttons, and only have a key switch.

Check the voltage of your battery at the terminals with everything off. It should be over 12.6VDC. Then check voltage again after turning the main switch on. Battery voltage should still be over 12.6VDC. If not, your battery is toast.

Then check the voltage at the high amperage connector at the starter solenoid. This should be over 12.5VDC. If not, you wiring needs attention (cleanup or replacement)

Then check for voltage by disconnecting the low amperage wire that runs from the instrument panel to the starter solenoid. Note that there should be a fuse that protects this circuit. Turn the key, push the button, or do what you do to start the engine, while looking at the meter. You should again see over 12.5VDC. If not, either the switch the fuse that protects the starter circuit (check the contacts) or the low amperage wire is bad.

If all above is good, but the starter won't do it's thing, either the solenoid (likely) or the starter motor is bad. However, because they are integrated into one unit you will need to pull the starter to get this fixed or replaced.
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Universal M25XP Starting Problem

Do a search Universal did a service bulletin for this problem. I think it was the yellow wire was too small. So run a larger wire and it solved the problem. Happened to my on a Ericson 32-200 I used to own. I replaced the wire and changed the wiring so I didn't have to hold the glow plug and it solved the problem.
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