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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Engine will not crank and required charging time
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Thread: Engine will not crank and required charging time Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-14-2010 07:50 PM
JiffyLube I don't know where you can get a new starter, but I know old ones can be rebuilt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekenna View Post
Update
Last night went down to the boat. I moved the pulley driver by hand to check that it was not siezed. I started with the battery and worked through the wires to the solenoid checking the voltage. I checked the voltage at the wire that runs from the key switch when it was turned in the start position. I then checked the voltage on other terminal on the solenoid that goes starter. These all shows the 12.5 volts that were on the battery. Still nothing from the starter. I tried the decompress lever. Still nothing. Then I tapped both the starter and the solenoid and then decompressed and it started. I know this means I need to replace either the solenoid or the starter soon. So where am I going to get a starter for a rebuild universal 11 hp?
05-14-2010 07:26 AM
ekenna Update
Last night went down to the boat. I moved the pulley driver by hand to check that it was not siezed. I started with the battery and worked through the wires to the solenoid checking the voltage. I checked the voltage at the wire that runs from the key switch when it was turned in the start position. I then checked the voltage on other terminal on the solenoid that goes starter. These all shows the 12.5 volts that were on the battery. Still nothing from the starter. I tried the decompress lever. Still nothing. Then I tapped both the starter and the solenoid and then decompressed and it started. I know this means I need to replace either the solenoid or the starter soon. So where am I going to get a starter for a rebuild universal 11 hp?
05-13-2010 02:58 AM
Omatako First run a jumper cable from the +ve battery terminal to the starter motor +ve post and try starting. No luck? Try the neg to neg connection and try starting again. This will eliminate a dodgy main cable.

Then try a jumper wire from the solenoid connection to the +ve starter post. If the wiring is faulty it should now show a reaction.

If still no reaction, try a jumper cable between the two posts on the starter. If the starter spins the solenoid is faulty.

If all of this fails to show something then take some of the other advice above and by a multimeter. Not all electrical problems need one though.

I had a battery cable that looked new and when I finally discovered it was dodgy and took it off, it was so corroded inside the sleeve it was like holding a stick. Like all other things electrical, one day it worked, the next it didn't.

Finally after the overheating issues you mention, try turning the engine by hand - and pray it isn't siezed.
05-13-2010 12:49 AM
Stu Jackson There is a fuse in the wire between the start button/switch and the starter solenoid. With no sound as you described, either the fuse holder disintegrated, one or both ends are corroded or the fuse blew. Bring a new fuse holder down with you next time, find it and replace it.

How long to run? You need to know about your energy budget (what comes out) and how large your alternator is, and then do the math.

Energy budget forms are available here: Energy Budget West Marine used to have one on their DIY page, but I just checked and it disappeared! Dratz, they used to be good...
05-12-2010 11:58 PM
mitiempo 12.5 volts should be plenty for an engine start. A fully charger battery is about 12.9 volts - unless on a shore charger. And a voltage check at the starter won't really prove much either. If there is a bad ground there could be good voltage at the starter but when you turn the key the current can't flow. Check all connections between the battery and starter, take apart and clean, and then try again.
05-12-2010 11:43 PM
JiffyLube I had a problem like this with my 1970 Chevy truck once, and it turned out to be a two bad wires to the starter.
05-12-2010 10:06 PM
sailingdog Ekenna—

You're really going to have to learn to use a multimeter for trouble shooting.

As the previous posters have said, check the voltage at the starter, the starter solenoid and such.

Finally, I'd highly recommend getting a small solar panel to top off your batteries, rather than using the engine. It isn't efficient to run an engine to top off your batteries and not good for the engine to do so.

I'd recommend you read the primer on solar power on boats that I wrote a while back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaFever2000 View Post
As has been suggested, the first you check is if you have enough voltage to crank the engine. Say 13+volts...

If the voltage is there and it seems to you that the starter is trying to turn the motor but is failing to do so, you may want to use the de-compression technique - If your engine has decompression levers, switch them both to de-compress position. That may allow the starter to turn the motor with its partial juice. Once the motor is turning, switch the de-compression levers one by one. Once you switch one the engine will start as the compression occurs (it may be rocky) and once it starts then you add the second cylinder. This technique was sometimes used in situations like these. Of course this can be done only if you have de-compression levers.

However, if you have good voltage and still the starter does not crank (you check wiring is all ok but you get nothing), you may want to check the fuse that is there on some diesels inline with the connection from the start switch (push button switch) to the starter solenoid. In some boats this fuse (usually 20A) is located in a very inconspicuous place. I have advised people to lengthen the wires and move the fuse to a more accessible and visible place.

Just some thoughts.
I'd point out that a fully charged 12 VDC system isn't going to give you 13+ volts. Fully charged, you're generally looking at 12.7 VDC or so.
05-12-2010 10:03 PM
ekenna Thanks for the suggestions. my responses in no particular order. The battery was only showing 12.5 ish volts not 13 on the boats. volt gauge It is only 1 cylinder and i do have a decompress lever so I will try that. Gary M the key starter switch is a 2 position switch. The 1st position powers the gauges and the alterator trickle the 2nd position activates the solenoid on the starter motor. just like a car. I know some newer boats have a 2nd switch or push button. Also there is no fuse between the switch and the solenoid or the battery to the switch (I know something I need to fix). I'll check this thread before I go from work tomorrow and let you know the outcome.
05-12-2010 08:37 PM
SeaFever2000 As has been suggested, the first you check is if you have enough voltage to crank the engine. Say 13+volts...

If the voltage is there and it seems to you that the starter is trying to turn the motor but is failing to do so, you may want to use the de-compression technique - If your engine has decompression levers, switch them both to de-compress position. That may allow the starter to turn the motor with its partial juice. Once the motor is turning, switch the de-compression levers one by one. Once you switch one the engine will start as the compression occurs (it may be rocky) and once it starts then you add the second cylinder. This technique was sometimes used in situations like these. Of course this can be done only if you have de-compression levers.

However, if you have good voltage and still the starter does not crank (you check wiring is all ok but you get nothing), you may want to check the fuse that is there on some diesels inline with the connection from the start switch (push button switch) to the starter solenoid. In some boats this fuse (usually 20A) is located in a very inconspicuous place. I have advised people to lengthen the wires and move the fuse to a more accessible and visible place.

Just some thoughts.
05-12-2010 07:28 PM
remetau I think it sounds like a voltage issue to where the starter isn't getting any or proper amount of voltage. You should at least here the starter clicking.
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