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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-04-2008
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Cool Starter problem

One day while motoring along I noticed my fuel gage stoped working. I tried to start the motor the nexd day and had to pull start, the fuses for the choke and gages were blown, I replaced them and then tried power sterting again and blew the fuses once more.

I would think I have a shorted out starter switch. This switch has the start, choke and run positions. Does anyone, or has anyone had this problem and how do you fix it? I have purchased a new switch I just need to install it this weekend and I was wondering if the problem is in the relay or the switch.

Dennis
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Old 09-04-2008
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Cool

don't think is the switch
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Old 09-04-2008
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Does it blow immediately or after a second or 2?
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Old 09-04-2008
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It blows immediatly!
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Old 09-04-2008
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Hmm. definitely sounds like you have a direct short. I don't think it's in the switch but it does appear to be somewhere in the starting circuit. It might even be a siezed starter motor. If you can, try tracing the wires down to the starter and look for problems like bare wires and such.

I'm assuming this is an outboard right? You might be able to test the starter motor using a set of jumper cables from the battery + to the starter + terminal (or starter side of the solenoid if it has one).
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Old 09-04-2008
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I'll try the jumper method. I will also see if the harness has a short in it seeing I did disassemble the whole motor in the spring, maybe I have a wire arcing across to another. I'm really not sure I got the harness in the recomended mounting. I do have an outboard only it is on a inboard saildrive. I think the new switch is a good idea anyway.
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Old 09-04-2008
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Looked in the manual. No solenoid, just a bendix on the starter, the switch engages the whole starter or not at all. The run and choke are differant positions all together.
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Old 09-04-2008
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The run and choke being different switches makes sense. Most are like that (tho some combine the run and start into a dual pole key switch). I seriously doubt a new keyswitch will solve anything other than your curiosity . Especially if the switch is mounted on a fiberglass bulkhead. The switch only completes the circuit from the battery to the starter motor.

I'm betting it's a short between the switch and the starter. What happened immediately before the motor died?
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Old 09-05-2008
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The motor does not die, the mags keep it running. The switch is mounted on a stainless steel plate that holds the throttle and gear shift as well. I did talk with a couple of electritians at work who deal with diverse troubleshooting problems. they agree with you, I probably have a wire that chafed or an arc that would short out the starting controll and it usually is in the harness, they also said a new switch won't do the job but just have a newer one to do the same thing.
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Old 09-05-2008
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Sorry, by "die" I meant popped the fuse. A good way to find out which wire to trace is to use a volt meter or 12V test light. Since the problem only shows up when you engage the switch then it's safe to say that the "hot" (battery) side of the switch is ok. If you have a wiring diagram it should tell you the wire colors and show you which wire goes to the started. If not, take the meter (or light) and connect it between a known ground and one of the connection on the back of the switch. The one that shows voltage (or lights) goes to the battery so you need to trace the other one.

Hope this helps.
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