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Sometimesbrilliant 05-07-2008 08:43 PM

Yanmar 1GM10 won't start
Good day,

So I'm aruging with this engine. It's about 15 years old, but has been maintained very well. I just bought the boat last year and at the end of the sailing season here in Toronto (when else of course?) the engine failed to start. I'm pretty sure the battery was near dead when I first tried to start the engine. The starter sounded like it was trying to start the engine and then nothing. After charging the battery, then replacing the older battery I was still getting no response from the starter or engine.

So the boat goes away for the winter (after I winterized the engine of course). I bought a new starter / solenoid and waited for spring thaw. I've now replaced the starter and am still having problems. When I press the start button on the control panel I can hear the solenoid "click" but that is the end of it. I've read through the shop manual for this engine and followed the diagnostics, checking the power cables are secure and clean, etc.

So here I am. Suggestions or thoughts?



captainrizzo 05-07-2008 08:49 PM

I was struggling with my Yanmar 2GMF and asked a mechanic to take a look. He spend 10 minutes and told me what was wrong and which tree to bark up. I was fortunate as it only cost me a tip for the guy. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and ask a professional to take a look.


rperret 05-08-2008 08:36 AM

sounds like a bad battery to me. although you charged it how do you know it is really good? did you check the specific gravity - only real way - also check amps from battery to the starter.

the 1GM10 is difficult to start in best of circumstances. also - try two batteries and see if she'll turn over.

visit for more info - good site. also google "1GM10 hard start" at least a billion web pages on the topic..>

BarryL 05-08-2008 09:17 AM


Can you turn the engine over with a socket at the end of the flyweel? I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but if a new starter and a new battery won't spin the engine you may have a serious problem....

Of course, the starter could be bad, or not installed properly, or you may have a wiring problem. If you do have a wiring problem between the start switch and the starter, changing batteries and starters won't solve the problem.

At this point there are too many variables for me to really offer meaningful assistance.

If this were my engine I would manually turn the engine with a socket on the flywheel and the decompression lever set. If you can spin the engine, then check power to the starter. As a test you can use a jumper cable from a fresh battery right to the starter. If that spins the engine then you have a switch or wiring problem.

Good luck,

Faster 05-08-2008 10:09 AM

Hopefully you didn't try to start it last fall for an extended time with the sea water **** open... if you did, the engine may be hydro-locked (and may have sat full of water all winter)

If, as Barry above suggests, you can hand crank the moter, then with luck all you have is a voltage issue...

Sometimesbrilliant 05-08-2008 10:31 AM

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I had not found the yanmar site before, I will have to do more research there as well thanks!

I complete agree with batteries being suspect. I also tested with a "known good" battery from my pickup. I have not tried two batteries, maybe that will be the next test.

Thanks also for the suggestions about the engine being seized. Thankfully the engine spins smooth with the hand crank (and the compression lever open of course). No salt water sitting in the engine all winter either, I drained all water from the engine before putting her to bed for the winter. Lake Ontario water might even be worse then salt water ;-)

I'll keep at it and keep everyone up to date on what I find. Thanks again for the assistance. I'm at the point where I will probably do the smart thing and seek a professional to take a look.


FarCry 05-08-2008 10:50 AM

Bypassing much of the wiring and running straight to the starter using jumper cables is a good suggestion. What do the battery cables look like? Are the ends in good shape, shiny and clean? If any of the cables or ends are bad, or if you have a battery selector switch that could be corroded also, the starter will not spin the engine. If you do not have the proper testing equipment to measure the resistance, or the knowledge to do it, you could try the following. Attempt to start the motor by leaving the key or start switch on for 30 seconds, or so, and then quickly put your hands on all of the cable connections, battery terminals, solenoid and starter. If you can find a very warm or hot spot that could be where you are having problems getting enough power to the starter. A low tech ohm meter so to speak.

The odds are against it, but I have had "new" starters that did not work. It might be worthwhile to pull the starter off the engine and run some power from the battery that is on your boat to it and confirm that it is functioning. Be careful, the starter can jump a lot when it first spins.

Good luck.

capn_dave 05-08-2008 11:22 AM

It just might be
The battery cables. It is not uncommon for the battery cable to be bad at the terminal itself. Remove the cables from the batteries and ohm them out. We had one at the marina that would make contact and show good 12 VDC. but when you tried to start the engine the mechanical connection between the battery cable and terminal would break down.
It can drive you crazy.

Fair Winds
Cap'n Dave

rperret 05-09-2008 08:20 AM

hopefully you're engine is not hydrolocked - i hydrolocked my Saab 9-3 when i drove thru a shallow puddle - the air intake in the Saab is low. what a fiasco that was.

Sometimesbrilliant 05-09-2008 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by rperret (Post 311745)
hopefully you're engine is not hydrolocked - i hydrolocked my Saab 9-3 when i drove thru a shallow puddle - the air intake in the Saab is low. what a fiasco that was.

Nope not hydolocked. Still working on it. Ugh! It's no wonder we refer to these boats as "her" and "she" ;-)


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