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Old 25-08-2012, 17:46   #1
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Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

Our 1978 Marine Trader Trawler has been beautifully restored but now has been having a problem starting. Turn the key, buzzer goes on, push the start button (hear it trying) but the engine doesn't start. Try again and it starts. Try next day it takes longer...very intermittent.
Did the old hammer trick and it worked twice but now we need more help. Could be a bad solenoid? need to clean the brushes? perhaps the wiring?
The batteries are charged and I don't think it's the starter button.
Appreciate any suggestions or possible solutions. Thx in advance!
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Old 25-08-2012, 17:55   #2
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

Check all wiring especially ground,experienced the same ground was the culprit.90% of all electrical misques are connection related IMO
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Old 25-08-2012, 18:14   #3
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

Appreciate the info and will look into the wiring. THANKS
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Old 25-08-2012, 18:37   #4
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

Auto Zone stocks a remote starter switch, it has alligator clips amd can be used to test the starter switch and the solenoid. just hook it to the solenoid and ck to see if that makes things normal, when ya start talking about THE HAMMER ck I get that cringie feeling !! Bad Idea, get ya one of these remote switchs ya can use it for a bunch of things, and save the hammer for Intruders LOL
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Old 25-08-2012, 18:44   #5
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

When you say, "Hear it trying" can you be a bit more specific?

1 - Single big "CLICK" and nothing else?
2 - Little click, click, clicks repeating in rapid succession?
3 - Click and sound of engine rotating but no start?

And by "the hammer trick" do you mean "tapping" on the starter or solenoid?

In general troubleshooting.

- Batteries charged
- All electrical connections tight and clean at batteries, switches and starter - remove polish and reinstall for good measure.
- Battery cable to starter in good shape - see photo for "bad" shape. Cable will be "ductile" and firm but not "sloppy" like overcooked pasta.
- Ground cable to engine in good shape - as above
- Starter solenoid suspect - "no click"
- Starter bendix "stuck" - Click, maybe sound of "whirring" but no gear engagement to flywheel
- Starter suspect - Click, no rotate. Dirty/corroded armature, failed contaminated armature wiring

Photos - My ground cable from last year. This cable laid in the bottom of the bilge and until we pulled it out "looked" OK - The engine was still cranking and starting even with this much damage.
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Old 30-08-2012, 15:20   #6
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

you didn't really say if the motor was cranking but not starting or just not cranking. the remote start switch is a must so you are in the engine room and can see what is going on. you should also buy a multi. meter so you can read the voltage at the starter while cranking. This will tell you right away if you have connection or cable issues. If the voltage at the starter is above about 9volts you probably need to fix the starter. You can use a screw driver to connect the battery connection and the starter terminal.( the two big ones ) This will spin the starter without engaging it into the flywheel so you can hear if the motor is running ok without a load. There is such a thing as a worn out solinoid that will be interminent and then fail. The average guy might have a tough time with this issue and if you replace it you really need to go through the entire starter anyway. Don't assume your switch or anything else is ok. Put the hammer away.
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:32   #7
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Re: Lehman-Ford Starter Problem

Muffin, in your Marina store (Where you did the work) says her husband will look at it. Get back to her.
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