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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-24-2007
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Ignition switch stuck in on position.

Murphy's Law strikes my CS 34! Motoring back in to the marina yesterday, the ignition key broke off at the switch for my Universal 18 hp diesel. No problem, the engine was stopped as usual by shutting off the fuel. The only problem is that the ignition switch is now stuck in the 'on' position. I got the end of the key out, and will try to have a copy made by a locksmith. If not, I know I need to replace the ignition switch. My question is: other than the obvious problems of a very low drain on the batteries from the gauges working (not a problem when connected to shore power), and the fact that anyone can now start my engine without a key (temporarily fixed by disabling the fuel lever under the lazarette), does anyone know if there is any harm to the engine to having this key switch in the 'on' position for a few days until this can be fixed? Is this anything other than a nuisance problem that a new key will fix?
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Old 09-24-2007
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Damn cheap Canadian junk... Shouldn't be a problem IMHO, aside from the slight drain on the batteries, but it really depends on how the switch is wired and to what.
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Old 09-24-2007
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You could just turn you battery switch to the off position. That would keeping anyone from starting the engineand turn off the lights.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Tried turning the battery switch to off. The gauges by the ignition switch are still on, and the engine still cranks. There is an additional switch near the batter switch that does turn everything off, but haven't figures out the wiring yet. That is another in the long list of things to check on this winter. Just bought the boat a couple of months ago, and although I love sailing her, that list keeps getting longer every time I am out...

Thanks for the responses. I won't worry about it too much until I can get to it after a new key is made.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Disconnect your batteries; sometimes leaving engines in the on position can damage internal components, pumps, or points on a gas engine.
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Old 09-24-2007
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I guess it depends on how long to get the key and back to the boat. One day no problems that I can see.
You might have a fuel sol. on but that will just be a drain on the battery.
Might wanna turn that other switch off and check if the auto bilge pump is still on---if yu have one
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Old 09-24-2007
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Just replace the switch. Cole Hersey makes a ggod one. A half hour job for about $15. I did this a few months ago.
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Old 09-24-2007
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If it is an older points type ignition, it will burn them out.
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Old 09-24-2007
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I guess no one saw that he says he has a diesel motor. No points in them to burn out.
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Old 09-24-2007
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My Universal 5411 has an electric fuel pump that comes on with the ignition key. Yours may be the same. Probably not good to leave that running continuously.
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