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Mercruiser starting problem

 
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sialoub



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Mercruiser starting problem Reply with quote

Have a 2003 Glastron with a Mercruiser Alpha 130 HP I/O that has intermittent starting problem. Sometimes when trying to start I can hear the slave solenoid click when the key is turned...can do this 10 times sometimes...and then the engine will finally turn over. Other times it will start right away with no issue. I have checked all over for loose or shorting wiring...no issue.

What is the best way to determine the cause. I have checked that the slave solenoid is getting 12V and that the starter is getting 12V...I don't want to arbitrarily replace parts to find the problem, so any help you can give me is appreciated
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willyman



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the exact same problem with a 3L LX 1994. I changed starter (with OEM part $$$), alternator, battery, and slave solenoid. checked and remade all electrical connections in ignition wiring. added axtra ground strap to block from starter to ensure good ground return path for current. The problem persists even when I jumper 12v directly to starter. after 10 attempts, like you, it engages. I made an observation that it only happens when its hot. I read on "heat soaking' where engine heat (through block or radiation from e\xhaust manifold causes the problem. was goin to add some heat shield this summer and possibly shim the starter mount to give a little more tolerance on the bendix gear to fly wheel as I think its jamming due to slight change in allignment when hot. I'd be interested if anyone has a sure fix...this is alot of work and in a crappy spot but you cant have intermittent starting on the water!
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sialoub



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it is related to being hot, because it has this problem even when cold
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sialoub



Joined: 05 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read up on heat soaking...appears this is for a vapor lock issue...not an electrical issue

I'm pretty sure that this is an electrical issue...possibly a dead spot on the starter or the master solenoid on the starter is intermittent.

Does anyone know if the master solenoid on the starter can be replaced without having to remove the starter. If it can then I would remove it to see if I can find anything wrong with it. I think its only an electro magnet design and may have some corrosion that can be cleaned up, or replaced.
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dvddave
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Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: starting Reply with quote

You should not have a problem replacing the solinoid on a 3L motor.you may have to back out the fuel pump to gain excess to the solinod inner srew. 6&8 cyl have to remove starter.90% of the problem is mostly the pre solinoid.I have replaced them with a ford type soliniod its heavy duty compared to the merc.Try jumping the yellow with red tracer to the main battery wire on the starter if it turns over evry time most likely the pre solinoid is no good.PLAYSAFE DVDDAVE PS im a boat machanic for 20 years
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sialoub



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Try jumping the yellow with red tracer to the main battery wire on the starter"

Just so I get this right...short the yellow with red tracer wire on the slave solenoid to the +12V (RED) wire on the starter and see if this fixes the problem and then if it does replace the slave solenoid ?
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dvddave
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Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is correct. The yellow and red wire is the same one thats on the big terninal of the pre solenoid you can jump it to the other big terminal of the pre solenoid that is 12v battery power thats the same as jumping it at the starter. by doing this you are bypassing the ignition switch and the internal switch pre solenoid.If the problem goes away the pre solenoid is no good.If the problem is still there the starter solenoid is bad.The yellow and red wire on the pre solenoid is the same one that goes to starter motor.DVDDAVE
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dvddave
Senior Member


Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now to make things easier. Use a test light.put it to the yellow@ red wire on the presolenoid (big terminal) turn the ignition switch several times if the test light lights up every time presolenoid is good if not its no good.if it lights every time and wont turn over. The starter solenoid is bad(on the starter).This should be easier to understand.DVDDAVE
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willyman



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting reading...I've never used before. DVDDave, thanks for posting, and thanks for mentioning your credentials. I've been fixing most things all my life and have alot of success and confidence in my skills. I'm pretty certain I have the symptoms on my problem nailed down and the work I've done so far is of the highest quality (prepping wires with a clean cut to get rid of oxidized connections, sanding surfaces for good electrical bonding etc...) I bought and installed new OEM starter, alternator, battery, slave solenoid (see above). I've systematically jumpered our more and more electrics (boat wiring is excellent and matches prints - no rebel work here!) to the point where I have jumpered the slave with a heavy wire and still problem persists (when motor at running temp after being used for a while). Starter motor stutters like you have a low battery but it's not (12.8VDC). After a few attempts it starts. Tests point to faulty starter but its brand new OEM! What do you think about some shim-stock on the starter mount to open tolerance to the ring gear? Thanks.
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dvddave
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Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI willyman.I dont think shimming the starter is a good idea or will help with the problem the last thing you need is damaging teeth on the flywheel. if starter sounds ok turning over gear mesh should be ok. theres a good possibility that the starter has a solinoid problem or even a broken brush. Somthing is making the starter motor heat sensitive.I have run into problems with oem starters. I found alot of companies sell reman starters as new.Only differance between marine and auto starter is a fire arester plate and sealed solinoid where it mounts to the starter. I buy auto starters half the price and install the fire arester plate from the old starter silicone all the openings bingo you have a marine starter.You have done everything right you know what your doing. not to often i run into a( good ) machanic Let me know how you make out.PLAYSAFE. DVDDAVE PS glad to help.
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willyman



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply DVDDave. I've been crazy busy last couple weeks and just read it tonight. I'll take your advice on not shimming. My plan at this point is to redo the main 12V neg connection on the block. As I've gone over all the stuff I've done I realized that is the only connection that has not be serviced. I've done the whole ignition system, up through the key and other interlocks and I always service the positive and neg battery terminals and cable connections when I install the battery and I've even added a short 12V neg bond wire from the slave solenoid directly to block in case the wiring harness one was not great...but never the heavy negative main connection to block. Sounds kind of stupid now ( other parts had to be changed anyway so that part is ok) but sometimes you go past some of the simple stuff when you get caught up in it. anyway when i get a chance to get at it (couple weeks) I'll see what it looks like. I post another entry here if I see something obvious or if I have a troublefree summer of starting so you know how it works out. thanks again.
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junior300



Joined: 20 Feb 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: I have the same problem Reply with quote

I am having starter problems to. In my case, I have a 2000 5L merc. I have replaced my starter over 5 times. I just replaced it just before I parked the boat on my trailer to work on it some. It has been here for 2 months and from starting it once a week I am getting the click, click, thing again. After about 10 times It will turn over. I also noticed now it seems like when it turns over, It is having trouble cranking the motor. All my connections are clean and tight. What could be the cause of me going through so many starters? My battery is charged, just seems like it is vapor locking. Starters are not cheep and I am tired of purchasing them:)
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willyman



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what a nightmare. I did the work mentioned below and also installed an isolating switch on my battery so i can turn the whole boat off while i'm away. this has worked good for giving me a perfect battery for starts even when i'm not using the boat for 3 weeks...i think this has helped but i find i tend not to turn the boat off as much (like between ski runs and tubing etc..) because of my historical problems. I know i havent had a single cold start problem since. I didnt use my boat much last year so not sure if i got it beat or not. hope this summer is nice...i'll test the hell out of it! good luck with your troubles...maybe try a different dealer for your starter (just incase your not getting "new" parts per DVDDAve above). post any new experiences or info (and i will too) as i suspect i may not be totally out of the woods either.
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