Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
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Yanmar 2GM20 Starter Problem
From the many posts it is clear that this is a common problem with Yanmar engines as they begin to age. My problem was the same as that reported by so many others. Frequently, at the most inopportune time, the engine would fail to start with no response from the starter button. Eventually, after 30 to 120 seconds, the engine would finally kick over.
I can attest to the fix that others have suggested. Installation of a relay between the starter button and the starter solenoid solved the problem. Now the engine starts without fail even after several hours of sailing with electronics and refrigerator drawing on the batteries. It takes a couple of hours to install a 30 amp relay as close to the starter solenoid as possible, using 10 gauge wiring to minimize any voltage drop between the relay and the starter.
I don't know if corrosion or just undersized wiring caused the problem, but a couple of hours of labor and $35 worth of parts and a few feet of heavier gauge wire did the trick for me on my Beneteau 311.
The folks at Inlet Marine Services were kind enough to provide a wiring diagram and suggest which Carquest relay and pigtail will work. Contact them at inletmarineservices at comcast.net