SailNet Community banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got down to the boat today, and sure enough, the transmission was essentially without any fluid. I filled that up as per the directions, then went to start the boat to see if that did the trick, and the engine wouldn't start.

I'm not exactly mechanically inclined (electrical/computer is more my thing), but I had my dad with me, who is a former mechanic. We could hear the starter motor turn on, but it never engaged the flywheel to actually start the engine. So, we're thinking that some part of the starter is probably toast. Getting the starter off was more of a challenge than we'd hoped, and we eventually had to give up. The starter is held on by two bolts, one easy to access, and one that's deep in the bowels of the engine. This second one is the one that gave us problems, because there isn't an easy way to get to it. We're guessing we'd need a wobble socket extension, which we didn't have.

I think I'm going to throw in the towel and have a marina do the work for me so we can keep the process moving. In trying to get an idea of the cost of a new starter, I came across this High Output Alternators | Fan Motor Assembly | Power Cable Kits can anyone confirm that that is the right starter? I believe so, but would appreciate a spot-check.

Thanks!

- Jim
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,188 Posts
Jim the marina isn't going to have it any easier to get out one bolt. and it's going to be VERY expensive! Spider electric is very often quoted as a great source for starters and alternators. Spider Marine Electric Supply, Inc.

Did you try a direct connection to the starter first? There are so very many connections on the battery cables in boats! The batter switch on my boat had terminals that were never crimped properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,979 Posts
Jim,
I have a wobble socket. Holler if you can make it down.

And I think it's a solenoid issue.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,586 Posts
We could hear the starter motor turn on, but it never engaged the flywheel to actually start the engine. So, we're thinking that some part of the starter is probably toast.
Can you hear the starter spinning, or does the starter starting make a loud click, and hum. I am trying to verify that the starter, and not the engine, is the problem. Make sure that you can turn the crankshaft by using the compression release, and pulling on the V belt.

Denise and Chuckles are right, the the marina will charge $80+ per hour (and the guy doing the work will likely get ~$15/ hr) to do the job.

A good place to look for a starter is your local Kubota tractor dealer. A Kubota part number for my M25 engine (which is related to the M5416 engine*) is; 15231-63015. This number is probably obsolete, and may have "-" in the wrong place, but the Kubota parts guys can get you the current part number.

Unless you want to pay 4x the tractor prices, get the cross reference guide for YOUR motor.

* From the History of the Universal Motor Company, which is sprinkled throughout the internet;
The first Universal diesel was advertised in 1976. Designated the Model 5416, it was a 45 cu in, 16 hp, 2 cylinder, based on the Kubota Z-751 block and built from 1976 to 1982. Approximately 1,000 were sold. It was replaced by the Model M20, which was produced in 1982 and 1983. Approximately 230 were sold.
...
The Model 5421, a 52 cu in, 21 hp, 3 cylinder, based on the Kubota D-850 block, was built from 1978 to 1981. Approximately 1,000 were sold. It was replaced by the Model M25, which was produced from 1981 to 1986. Approximately 3,650 were sold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
We had to "service" our starter that would click but not turn over. Sometimes a few LIGHT taps with a hammer on side of starter can knock some scale loose that can build up over periods of non use. We've also had to take it off, break it down and clean more thoroughly. Just a thought to try before going the expensive route. Be sure battery switches are in off position and to disconnect that big battery lead before servicing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Sounds like the starter drive isn't engaging the flywheel if you can hear the starter spinning, solenoid on the starter that makes the drive gear move forward to engage the flywheel not working. I think it would be simpler to just replace the starter if you get it out than rebuilding it. I've rebuilt many auto starters but on a car you don't usually get stuck somewhere in the water... Lol
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
eherlihy, I think it's more accurate to say that the starter was spinning, and not just humming. There was a loud click as the solenoid was energized, and then you could hear it turning. We were able to turn the crankshaft by hand, which made us feel better that it was probably just the starter. I think Chuck's analysis may be accurate - its probably the solenoid.

In talking it over with my dad, we were a little concerned that the teeth on the starter may also be damaged. If I'm going to pay someone to do the work (which at this point is the most efficient solution), it seems to me that the wiser course of action would be to replace the entire starter assembly, so I know it should work properly. We're talking an extra couple hundred dollars, which certainly isn't to be discounted, but the peace of mind may be worth it.

I'd like to do the work myself, so I can learn more, but there's a point where it isn't time-efficient or cost-effective to do.
 

·
Señor Member
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
Jim,

If I've found the right starter, you have pre-engaged starter on that engine.

If you didn't hear a grinding, gawd awful sound then I think there's little chance that you have gear tooth problems.

If you can hear the starter spinning, then the likely fault is somewhere in the solenoid. Either the actuator arm is broken or stuck, or the electro-magnet plunger is stuck.

Before you pull the entire starter, remove the solenoid -- that should be far simpler and faster than pulling the entire assembly. Either check it out yourself or take it to starter/alternator repair shop to bench test it. If you are lucky, then your existing solenoid is salvageable. If not, then buy a new solenoid -- take the old one with you to do a side-by-side comparison with the new one (a lesson I learned the hard way ;)).

If it's not the solenoid, it could be that the bendix (the gearing that engages the ring-gear on the flywheel) is frozen. To fix that, you'll need to pull the starter.

Good luck,
PF
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PorFin,
Thanks for the feedback! We didn't hear a grinding sound, thankfully. You may be right, it may be a problem with the solenoid, or with the linkage between the solenoid and the body of the starter.
 

·
Fresh water refugee
Joined
·
160 Posts
I worked for a quite a few years in an starter rebuild shop so I may be able to offer some insight on how it's supposed to work and I have pulled a few along the way so I can offer some suggestions as well.

1. Fix it, either a rebuild or a replacement because I sure would not want to be out on the water wishing I had fixed it at the dock.

2. The solenoid has to energize, it pulls the plunger in and that seats the Bendix in the flywheel and closes the current carrying contacts at the same time. If the starter is spinning and the gear is engaging then your solenoid is working but your Bendix is not engaging the flywheel. Either way you need to pull the starter and get it on a bench.

3. Removal suggestions
  • Spend the money you were going to give to the yard on a a 24 inch 3/8 drive socket extension. This is your new friend.
  • Removing the control wire should require a 5/16 socket. Make sure you disconnect the battery first. (5/16 nut driver)
  • Removing the battery cable should require a 1/2 deep well socket. Tap the nut lightly to break loose any of the old corrosion so you don't break the plastic cap on the solenoid when you crank on the nut. If its real corroded you may have to place an open end wrench behind the cable on a second nut you cannot see that is between the cable and the solenoid cap.
  • Use your new friend to reach in and remove the nuts, you'll be amazed at how well it works. I think they are 5/8 inch.
  • Take it to a shop and have it rebuilt or replaced, The solenoid is fairly common across all delco-remy starters, the Bendix may be a little more unique.
  • Test the new starter before you install it.
  • Use a set of jumper cables connected to a battery, the positive goes to the big post, the negative to the case then you short from the big post to the control terminal to energize the solenoid, Hang on, they tend to buck a little when you put the current to it.
  • Lube everything with di-electric compound so it will come apart a lot easier when you use the new skills you just learned the next time you need to replace the starter.

More tips
  • Arrange a towel under the work area so you don't have to hear that bloop sound when the nut or socket falls into the irretrievable section of the bilge.
  • Put a piece of blue shop towel inside the end of the socket when stick the nut in, this will make it stay in the socket so you won't have to experience the bloop sound.
  • Put a piece of blue shop towel between the socket and extension if the socket is not real tight, once again it's all about avoiding the bloop sound.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Katsaior, thank you! Excellent write-up and the tips are very muhc appreciated!

My dad was able to get a starter (nice to have friends in the business!), so we're heading down later this week to work on it. I actually purchased the tools yesterday so I'd have them in case (or should I say, when) I need them again.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,586 Posts
... and here is the Kubota part number that I referenced above from Amazon.com!


NEW STARTER MOTOR KUBOTA COMPACT TRACTOR 15231-63015 15231-63016 15271-63C13 : Amazon.com : [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41GKVUi0wCL

$106.28

Or, you could buy from Torresen for.....


[care to guess?]

...

[may I have a drum roll please]

...

$1,164.47

I am not sure what the cross reference starter motor is for your engine is, so you want to do the research for your motor yourself. However, I would not be surprised if the starter that I am using as an example would work on your engine.

Lesson: Get the cross reference, and research your motor! I just showed how it could save you $1000
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimgo

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,586 Posts
Because I'm out of work, I had the time to research YOUR starter motor. (Idle hands are the devil's playground, and the devil is in the details.)

Here it is from Amazon

L185 L175 KUBOTA STARTER (028000-3360, -3361, -3850, -7480, -7481)- 17355 : Amazon.com : [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41f%[email protected]@[email protected]@41f%2BrdYN9rL


$213.10

Best deal is from Spider Marine (and they are EXCELLENT to work with - I got my alternator and V belt pulley from them)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top