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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > 3GM: Engaging the starter idiosycrasies
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Thread: 3GM: Engaging the starter idiosycrasies Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-04-2008 07:08 PM
SteveInMD Adding another circuit controlled by a relay from the key switch is a good improvement. It will increase the reliability of the starting circuit.
09-04-2008 06:53 PM
welshwind
Final Update

I am thrilled to report that my starter is engaging and turning over the engine like a Ferrari (OK, I've never even started a Ferrari, but you get my point). Single battery and it fires off every time.

It is a relief after living a couple of seasons crossing my fingers at the end of a good sail. In my case, I believe it was simple the loose posts at my battery switches (on my Beneteau, I have three throw switches - Negative, Positive battery one, Positive battery two). Once I figured it out and tightened them, I haven't had an issue.
07-12-2008 04:54 PM
Marleetet
Important Update!

What I am about to write maybe common knowledge, but I didn't know about it. The Yanmar rep and two mechanics didn’t guess it would be the problem.

Hellosailor made me realize that I wasn't completely clear on what was happening when I was trying to start the engine. I would turn the key and there would be a "woo-woo" from the motor and then nothing. Turn the key again, and another "woo-woo" and then nothing. Sometimes after the third or forth attempt, not even a little "woo". More times than not, if the generator had been on and charging the battery, it would tend to start right away or at least within the first couple of tries. Right after the starter and the new injectors were installed, it started right away. But then the next day it would go through it's one or two "woos" and not start.

We even tried a new battery and a remote starter. Again, it would sometimes start after many tries or it wouldn't. It would always start right away if we were able to get it started once. Only after not starting it for 10 plus hours would it have it's problem.

After installing the injectors with no positive results, the Yanmar rep thought the starting issue might have been from leaking injectors and that there might be left over fuel that was not burning off just idling. So he wanted us to get it started and run the engine under load for 1 to 2 hours. It started on the first try. The engine sounded a little different, not bad, just different, and was actually running much smoother than the port engine. I attributed that possibly to the new injectors. The port engine, that has been running just fine showed 60 MP for oil and temperature smack in the middle. The bad engine showed about 55 MP for oil and also smack in the middle for temperature.

After about 10 minutes at 2500, all systems looking good, I ran it up to 3200 rpm (the turbos kick in around 2900 rpm) That is when the MP slowly, and I mean slowly started to drop to 40, No change in engine sound or rpm. When it went below 40 MP I shut down the engine. In the bilge was a whitish gray mixture with the consistancy oil. I check the dipstick and it was very dark.

From start to shutdown was about 30-40 minutes.

We one engined it back and with the mechanic, started to really probe. There was some whitish oil in the crankcase, but just a trace. Lots of whitish oil scum under the oil filler cap and attached to the number three cylinder rods. The oil in the bilge was very whitish gray. Wild case guess, I would say that there was a 1/4 to 1/2 quart of oil that had come out of the relief tube that empties just below the turbo.

Off came the head. What we saw was, that the number three cylinder was 3/4 full of lake water and had rust on the walls of the cylinder. 1, 2 and 4 looked perfect.

Had the head and exhaust pressure tested cold and hot- no cracks or warpage. Cylinders were tested for height against the case, and there seems to be no damage to the any internals.

Now keep in mind, there was no drop in rpm, except for running smoother than the “healthy” port engine, there were no sounds or indications other than the MP drop to indicate any problems what so ever.

There are quite a few people scratching their heads at Yanmar.

In my quest to figure out what my problem was, I saw a small posting on a boat model specific blog site that stated that:

We suggest adding this to your maintenance checklist - especially after an extended layup/layover:

Sight check the clear tube running from the exhaust riser anti-siphon valve to the inboard hull vent fitting to make sure it is clear.

If that tube is obstructed [in our case by an insect family], on diesel shutdown the tube cannot break a vacuum in the exhaust loop and seawater is sucked back through the exhaust riser into the diesel. You know this has happened when you try to start and get almost no turnover [water does not compress] - or, if you are really unlucky, an engine that starts up on 3 cylinders and mangles the valves, piston etc in the cylinder with the water.

We were lucky on two counts - lots of water, preventing any possibility of starting, and an immediate diagnosis and recovery instructions from Chris Calvert. Three hours later, including the oil change, we were running nicely at 3200 rpm. Whew!

Well I check the anti-siphon tube on the bad engine and it was clean, but full of water and some anti-freeze. The valve that is the exit for the anti-siphon hose from the boat on the other hand had two small larvae and black fluid completely blocking the hole. When the hose was attached, I was unable to blow air through the valve. Once I cleaned it, air passed through the hose and valve unrestricted.

ARGGGGGH! So did I have two problems: a bad injector and larvae. Or just one problem: larvae.

This has been pretty expensive and time consuming. It could have been worse and still may be.

So all of you Yanmar owners having or not having some starting problems, check the anti-siphon system from the anti-siphon valve all the way to where it exits the boat.
07-09-2008 02:16 PM
Vasco If it won't crank it's electrical and most likely caused by a voltage drop or sticking slave solenoid. If it cranks and doesn't start you got me there, fuel, air, all the usual suspects.
07-09-2008 01:18 PM
hellosailor When you say "wouldn't start" does that mean the starter motor was turning at full speed, and the engine simply wouldn't start?

Or, wasn't the starter motor turning over?
07-09-2008 09:37 AM
Marleetet
4jh3te start problems

I have a similar starting issue. 4 years old and has always started fine the first try every try. Even the first time this year after having been out of the water for 20 months. Then, the starboard engine wouldn't start after a night on the hook. Checked batteries and swapped batteries with running engine and generator. Nothing. Took 6 hours to get home on one engine. Just for grins, charged battery with generator for thirty minutes- then it started. Started every time I tried for the rest of the day. Next morning, wouldn't start. Installed a new starter, started right away. Next morning wouldn't start. That afternoon wouldn't start. When mechanic came over in the morning it started, and everytime we tried the rest of the day. He and Yanmar Distributor guessed that it was at least one leaking injector. Blue Freighted them in- installed, and engine started like a champ. Next morning, engine won't start.

Any ideas of what to try next?
07-07-2008 12:48 PM
welshwind An update -- After doing some additional investigation and cleaning of simple connections from starter button to starter, we got it to where it never failed on one battery but always failed on the other. So I decided to take the cables off the switch posts (one post at a time) and wire brush them. As I took off the cables from one of the posts of the switch in question (the one attached to the battery that won't start -- we did switch the battery cables and convinced ourselves both batteries were good), I noticed that the actual post was quite loose. I tightened up the post first, cleaned it, cleaned the cable connection, and then fastened them to the post. I also found the one of the ground post was slightly loose (not nearly as loose as the other). Anyway, with everything tight and cleaned, it starts on both batteries now. I'd love to say it fires right up, but you know diesels...it is not like starting a gas car engine. I'm a bit leery about whether this truly has resolved the issue. However, I've tried several times over the weekend to reproduce it and haven't been able to so ... time will tell.
06-23-2008 12:06 PM
jr438234606 I had a similar problem once, and it turned out to be the starter switch. Inside the key mechanism, there was some corrosion. It caused a voltage drop to the solenoid, which then only partially deployed and caused a voltage drop to the starter. People often don't think the key switch could cause such a problem, but think about it: That switch is generally located in the cockpit and subject to salt spray. The other components are tucked away safe inside.
06-23-2008 12:03 PM
JimsCAL
Quote:
Originally Posted by welshwind View Post
When I tried to start on Battery 1 this weekend, nothing. Tried numerous time and nothing. The oil pressure alarm was bright and clear, but not a budge out of the starter. When I added Battery 2 to the mix, it fired right off.
Sounds like a bad connection in the Battery 1 circuit. Try cleaning the battery terminals. If that doesn't fix things, try cleaning other connections like at the battery switch.
06-23-2008 12:00 PM
hellosailor Doesn't really tell you anything. Adding two batteries would mean there is more power (watts, not just volts) available to the starter. If something was stuck, more power could unstick it. Or, battery #1 might be low and battery #2 was simply enough to fire up a perfectly good starter. Or, an intermittent fault might have just co-incidentally been passed when you went to both batteries.
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