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  #1  
Old 08-02-2008
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Yanmar starter problem...

A buddy of mine has a '77 Hunter 33 with a Yanmar diesel in it (not certain what model). Started fine this morning to get him out out into Puget Sound out of Port Townsend. Sailed down to Seattle today where he made it to Shilshole Bay marina and went to restart it and it would start to try to turn over, but... nothin'. Then it wouldn't so much as click. Finally got it in, tied up, connected to shore power (in case batteries were bad)... still nothin'. This is how the issue was explained to me anyway. Sounds to me like his starter is kaput. Any other ideas?
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I wouldn't jump to conclusions about the starter. You need to logically work through the starting system to find the problem. It only takes a few minutes with a multimeter to at least get close to the problem. There are many places you can start, but I usually start at the B post on the starter solenoid. Check for 12 volts at the solenoid where the large (probably red) cable connects to it. Careful not to touch ground and the post with the probe or you will get a big spark and possibly weld your probe to the post. Make sure you use a clean spot, no paint or rust for the ground point. If you don't have about 12.5 volts the problem is back towards the battery switch, cable, or battery. If you do have 12 volts there pull the small wire off the solenoid and check for 12 volts at the end of wire while someone turns the key. If that has 12 volts the key / panel is okay. Reconnect the small wire and try tapping on the starter with a hammer while someone turns the key. If you still have nothing put a socket on the front of the motor and try turning it over a little by hand (with the engine stop pulled out!) to make sure it's not hydro locked or stuck. If not, you could then remove the solenoid and / or starter and have it tested at an auto parts store.

If you post what you find before removing the starter there will probably be more trouble shooting steps you can take.

Last edited by SteveInMD; 08-02-2008 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008
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It might be something as simple as the switch (key) an inexpensive fix, try replacing that first.
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Old 08-02-2008
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Start with the simplest first - is the kill switch pushed back in from the last time the motor was shut off?

(Speaking from experience here)
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I would trouble shoot before replacing any parts.

If the kill switch were out you would have a failure to fire situation, not a failure to crank.
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Old 08-02-2008
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Start at the beginning!!!

Make sure the fuel is off.

Turn off the shore power and try to start the engine---NO START?

Check the battery voltage at the battery posts (not at the terminals) 12+ volts
NO??

Turn on the shore charger power again and check voltage at the posts--13+ volts??
NO??

Check at the terminals--13+ volts
Yes!! Clean terminals and allow the battery to charge.

Battery has been charging for hours but when you turn off the charger the voltage dropped to-- 10 1/2 volts.
Yes!! The battery is toast---replace.

I have two (one red and one black) 14 gage jumper wires that I can conect to make 20 feet if needed.

Conect the jumper wire to the cable end that attaches to the engine and the other end to the black wire of the meter. place the red meter lead to the battery post.
12+ volts??
Yes--You have just tested the ground wire to the engine and found it good.
No voltage--ground wire broken or coroaded--fix and try starting--No??

Now a leap of faith--
take your meter to the engine but first turn the batter selector switch to what ever position you normally use to start the engine.

Conect the black wire to the place that you checked the ground to be good and the red wire to the big red cable to the starter, or the starter solonoid (if remolt)--12+
Yess!! You have just tested the entire system(battery switch, and all conectors to this point and found them good.
No?? Using you engine ground, use the red meter lead to check the positive lead from the battery to the switch lead and then the cable to the post. with switch in the on position check for voltage on the out post of the switch and then from the post to the cable and then from the cable to the starter post and fix what ever is corroded or broken.

Voltage is now good but still won't start??

Locate the solonoid trigger wire ( it the little wire) and have someone turn the key on and operat the start button or start side of the switch
12+ NO??
Check out the pannel.
You might want to rig a jumper wire from the big feed line and touch it to the trigger terminal on the solonoid and if the starter works you have varified that the problem is in the starter switch.

Well you are getting close to the end.


You have power to the starter solonoid and triger power to turn it on.

Turn the switch to start and check for voltage on the starter side of the solonoid 12+ volts??
NO?? Problem is the solonoid!!

Yes?? Problem is the starter!!

WAIT JUST ONE MOMENT!!

YOU FORGOT TO CHECK THE GROUNDING OF THE STARTER!!

Probe the case of the starter and make sure it has a good ground. If not make it right before the above assumption is correct.

Honestly, I am betting on the battery being bad.

Rick
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There's nothing wrong with those steps, but "Start at the beginning"? A circuit is a loop, so it really has no beginning or end. Just pick a point and proceed logically around it. If you've got 12.5 or so volts at the B post on the solenoid you are probably in good shape up to that point. Any starting point is fine as long as you troubleshoot systematically.
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Old 08-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveInMD View Post
There's nothing wrong with those steps, but "Start at the beginning"? A circuit is a loop, so it really has no beginning or end. Just pick a point and proceed logically around it. If you've got 12.5 or so volts at the B post on the solenoid you are probably in good shape up to that point. Any starting point is fine as long as you troubleshoot systematically.

Why waste time? Just have some one hit the starter and check the voltage at the starter. If it is 12+ volts and the starter does not turn it is the starter.

Rick
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Old 08-02-2008
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Thumbs up

Thanks everybody for all of the advice. We went through everything... tested power... also checked voltage when the starter switch was engaged and it showed that the starter was under load. My friend had tried to hand crank it but the cabinet at the front of the engine is such that it is impossible to get a good turn on the engine with the crank. I took my 1/2" drill (lots of low-end torque) along with a hole saw that would just slip over the end of the crank. We took an angle grinder and cut a couple of notches in the hole saw that would slip over the pin that runs through the crank shaft. With both of us holding onto the drill we hit the trigger... and it would spin the engine just to the point where the compression release would close off... grinding the drill to a dead stop (and subsequently not starting the engine). It is pretty much a joke that Yanmar even provides for the option of hand cranking the thing to start it. Perhaps their target market is super-human weight-lifter contortionists? Anyway, that not being our case... there is a West Marine just next to the marina, so we walked over to see if they happened to handle diesel engine parts (though we knew full well that it was unlikely). They didn't. But there is a 2nd hand/consignment marine supply next door. We figured it was worth stopping in (perhaps they would know where to get a starter if nothing else). We walked to the back of the store where we saw some alternators and other miscellaneous engine parts. They had 2 starters... one of which was a Hitachi that looked strikingly similar to the one in the boat. Eureka! So he ponied up the $65 and we crossed our fingers all the way back to the boat. Pulled the old starter, matched them up and they were the same. Got it all hooked up and bumped the ignition... SUCCESS! It started right up. It is almost spooky that the situation wound up as easily fixed as it was. I mean, what are the odds that you're gonna just stroll into a used marine supply place on a Saturday morning and find exactly the part you need? I have had more trouble finding parts mid-week at places that are supposed to handle them on a regular basis.
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Old 08-02-2008
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Nice work. You didn't need any advice - you had it nailed on your first post!
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