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Old 26-08-2011, 11:07   #1
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Port Engine Won't Start

My partner and I bought a 1997 Cruisers 3650 (salt water boat) moved up to Toronto...been living aaboard three months. Been enjoying the boat throughout our summer. We had an odour problem we resolved by replacing the vent filter with a direct hose to the outside. (we have no boats on either side of us. )

New problem...hopefully minor...we Took the boat out about a week ago...port engine took several tries to start...but ran fine for the entire trip...went to take it out this week...Port engine reset button was clicking. I shut the power, pulled out the manual which told me to check Baterries, check connections, ccheck ignition and master ignition...all seemed fine at the time.

I had to leave it for another day because of business, came back went to test port engine again...this time the port engine buzzer sounded erratic, instruments bounced around...but nothing happened with either the engine or the reset button.

The Batteries all test well...one boater says I should follow the red wire from the engine to through the boat and see if there is a break or short somewhere. I'm brand new to boating and need some experienced input...most of the powerboaters where we are are away during the week and out early in the mornings on weekends.

Any suggestion for us noobs?
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Old 26-08-2011, 11:27   #2
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Nope not the red, the black between the battery and the block. First remove, clean and replace. This is a ground problem.
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Old 26-08-2011, 12:44   #3
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyndance II View Post
Nope not the red, the black between the battery and the block. First remove, clean and replace. This is a ground problem.
Okay...took out and cleaned the black...and all other connections from battery to the engine...now the reset is clicking repeatedly again pushed it to reset...still clicks...so power is flowing....is it grounded somewhere else...if so...where should I be looking next?
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:02   #4
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Ok, I am assuming the batteries are good. have you checked the starting battery with a load tester? I am not sure what reset you have in the starter circuit? It does not take much power to make a solenoid click or a buzzer buzz. It takes a bunch to turn over the motor. You can buy a load tester at any autoparts store for around 30 bucks. The funny buzzer, instruments jumping around still sounds like a bad ground.
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:11   #5
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Re: Port Engine won't start

A new boat for us - Manta 42 S/V -- also had starting problems. I checked the battery, removed and cleaned terminals and contacts in baking soda, rinsed and dried well. Then greased to inhibit moisture introduction in the future. Also rotated our battery switch. Still clicked loudly. We had already replaced the relays.

Had our diesel guy check it out. Replaced the battery and no more problems. I thought the battery was OK, but obviously I was wrong. Could have been one weak cell for all I know.

S/V Galileo
Washington, NC
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:12   #6
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Re: Port Engine won't start

I'll pick up a load tester and check it out. The engine is my port...which is a 7.4 litre Mercruiser bluewater. They added reset breakers to prevent the harness from being damaged in case of overload etc....but I agree that it is likely a ground problem from what I can tell too. The power was lost to the reset breaker a few days ago...the cleaning has it sounding like a mini-machine gun when I push the ignition key....

Our boat came with built in battery tester...but maybe I shouldn't trust that....
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:20   #7
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Hmmm...sounds similar...our SB engine starts beautifully...maybe it could be the battery...could I run booster cables from SB battery and see if it starts?
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:41   #8
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Re: Port Engine won't start

You want a load tester. It will simulate the starter cranking the engine. Very simple to use. Yes you can try to jump from the other side and that will rule out the starter as the problem.
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Old 26-08-2011, 13:43   #9
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Sounds like you have a battery problem if all your connections are good and tight.If it sounds like a minisubmachine gun it means that you don;t have enough juice.
Good luck.
JC.
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Old 26-08-2011, 14:01   #10
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Re: Port Engine won't start

The mini sub machine gun sound is the reset swwitch on the motor...the starter hasn't made a peep yet.

Started SB engine then hooked cables from it to the Port Battery...just a single loud click...not sure if the click camer from the breaker or the starter/solenoid as I can't be above and below at the same time....missuss gets home in about an hour...I'll double check that one.

It took about a minute and a half to start the port last time out and it ran well once started....wanna get this fixed soon...pump out then replace old hoses near holding tank and pump out line before winter hits.

Keep the ideas and suggestions coming...I'll try everything I can...till it's fixed....new plugs and wires already on this motor too.
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Old 26-08-2011, 14:07   #11
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Re: Port Engine won't start

Were you cranking it for a minute and a half before it started? Was the starting problem due to the engine turning over slowly or just not starting. Get the load tester, it is a must have on a power boat.
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:07   #12
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Yes...the last time I took the boat out it cranked but sounded a llike it was struggling to get going...then it started..(about a week ago). Had it our for a day...ran fine till I tried to start it a couple of days ago, nothing happened except the reset switch kept clicking...not the starter...how can I jump the starter?...at least I'd like to rule out the starter and ignition coil as being the issue...This is a learn as I go deal...as this is my first boat this lifetime.
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:18   #13
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

You need to first check the battery. Then post back. The coil has no more to do with this than the joker valve in the head.
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:21   #14
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

Will do...thanks...
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:24   #15
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Re: Port Engine Won't Start

I presume that you own a decent volt meter. If so, measure the voltage at the battery terminals while another person tries to start the engine. That test check your battery under load. If the voltage at the terminals is fine, relocate your meter to the cables attached to the battery's terminals. Again, try starting the engine. If the voltage is fine there, move on the the starter's solenoid--- check the voltage on both sides of the solenoid while trying to start engine. If voltage at the battery terminals is below normal, just clean the battery terminals.

Good luck--

Foggy
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