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Old 26-08-2011, 16:38   #16
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

When you say reset do you mean solenoid? A solenoid will chatter when the voltage is low due to a run down battery or a poor connection. Put your hand on the suspect wires after attempting to start to see if any are getting warm. The warm one is usually the one with a problem
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Old 26-08-2011, 20:15   #17
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

My 2c - you've got either a bad battery or a bad connection(s). An infrared thermometer is a great test tool in this situation. If you find a connection that's hotter than the rest after you try starting a few times then that's your problem.
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Old 29-08-2011, 19:31   #18
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Do you know if your system uses 1 battery to start both engines? The reason I ask is that the twin engine boats I've had used 1 battery to start both engines & had a 2nd as a house bank. If that is how yor system is set up that would eliminate the battery as the problem if the other engine is starting & a bad connection or starter as the culprit. If you have separate batteries for each engine just switch them to see if the problem moves to the other engine if it does the battery is bad. If the battery is bad check your charging system to make sure it is functioning. Good Luck
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Old 30-08-2011, 14:50   #19
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Problem solved....I tested everything from the helm switches to the main ignition, tested solonoids and starters...cleaned every connection from motor, to charger, to batteries, to starters and solonoids....after all that I tried starting the port again...same clicking...battery tested at twelve volts, as did the others...then I remembered something this big guy named Tiny told me..."if you want to know for sure that your battery is holding a charger, hook up some cables and quickly tap the ends together. If the spark is big...your battery is likely holding a charge...if spark is small it's not. On top of that he thrwe in...'if the battery isn't holding a charge, check your battery fluid levels before changiing the battery, then charge it again over night (he meant in a car of course.) try it one more time and see what happens."

Tiny was right both my engine batteries were extremely low on fluid...SB was half full, Port was a fifth full. It took 2quarts to refill the Port, one quart to fill the SB. Turned on the charger, left it overnight and it started like a charm today.

Thanks Vyndance, perky, Jean and foggy sail. All your input led me to learn a little more about our not so little boat....now we can breathe easy and finish the plumbing this week....it'll be a bit of a stinker replacing the pumpout line to the tank...but hey...with a little crap there also comes a little bliss.

Thanks again!!

(my next question will be about replacing my all-round on the arch )
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Old 30-08-2011, 15:10   #20
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Glad you got things running.

When you say the batteries were 1/2 and 1/5 full, are you talking about the total amount of electrolyte, or the amount over the tops of the plates? If the plates were exposed, which would certainly be the case if they were 1/2 their total capacity, then your batteries are likely on their way to failing and you might want to put new batteries on your winter fix-up list.
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Old 30-08-2011, 15:40   #21
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Tiny was an idiot. You are lucky you can still see to type.
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Old 30-08-2011, 15:41   #22
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

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Originally Posted by Will I Am View Post
"if you want to know for sure that your battery is holding a charger, hook up some cables and quickly tap the ends together. If the spark is big...your battery is likely holding a charge...if spark is small it's not.
Now that's a scary way to test a battery. You're OK as long as the battery is near dead, but with a good battery that's basically welding instructions.
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Old 30-08-2011, 16:39   #23
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

You only need to see a battery explode once to ensure you never try that test method ever again.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:29   #24
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Quote:
Tiny was an idiot. You are lucky you can still see to type.
+1 on Tiny being an idiot. (but don't tell Tiny, ok)
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:57   #25
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

A delivery Captain I was working with had a BIG battery charging all day. In the afternoon he went to attach a portable water pump to the battery (with clips) and got a tiny little spark. The BOOM was crazy loud. He could not hear anything for a day or so. Blew the top right off the battery.
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:01   #26
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyndance II View Post
Tiny was an idiot. You are lucky you can still see to type.
Well I guess that's why I haven't known Tiny since then...thanks for the heads up.
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:02   #27
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Glad you got things running.

When you say the batteries were 1/2 and 1/5 full, are you talking about the total amount of electrolyte, or the amount over the tops of the plates? If the plates were exposed, which would certainly be the case if they were 1/2 their total capacity, then your batteries are likely on their way to failing and you might want to put new batteries on your winter fix-up list.
The plates were exposed more so on the port cell...and yes...I'll put a couple of spare batteries on the shopping list. Both engines are starting better than they have since we got the boat a few months ago.
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:04   #28
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesFCook View Post
A delivery Captain I was working with had a BIG battery charging all day. In the afternoon he went to attach a portable water pump to the battery (with clips) and got a tiny little spark. The BOOM was crazy loud. He could not hear anything for a day or so. Blew the top right off the battery.
Wow...I'll count my blessings this time and keep an eye on the battery fluid levels...thank you!
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:08   #29
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

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+1 on Tiny being an idiot. (but don't tell Tiny, ok)
I wouldn't tell him anyone said anything like that about him....as an ex biker, I watched him get angry at someone while they were about to remount an engine into the car...he picked up one side of the engine and let flop on an angle in the 67 caddy they were working on...He stopped short of hurting anyone...just stormed of cussing. I haven't seen hime since 77, so your pretty safe
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:26   #30
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

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Wow...I'll count my blessings this time and keep an eye on the battery fluid levels...thank you!

I suggest that you invest in a $10 battery hydrometer. That is the best method for testing batteries. Just doing or attempting to do the test will disclose low fluid levels. OH--- watch out for Tiny's advice!

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