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Old 05-07-2014, 10:18   #1
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Dead Solenoid?

So*the Volvo tachometer lights up when I turn on the starter battery switch but shuts down if I push the*Start button. Not even a click on the starter motor solenoid... Starter battery drops to 12.2v but connecting another battery via jumpers makes no difference.
Any suggestions on where to start? Volt meter at the starter motor when I'm next down at the boat?
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:38   #2
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Somewhere in the start circuit between the batts and the solenoid windings, it is going to ground. Work backwards from the starter maybe.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:40   #3
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Starter no click? Check battery terminals, try a different jumper battery. Symptoms indicate dead battery, bad connection, faulty ground, really-bad battery, faulty conection to solenoid, but I bet battery bad.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:52   #4
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Yes, often wet or corroded connections are confused for a bad solenoid. Be sure to check the ground cable to the engine block, often a poor connection....
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Old 05-07-2014, 18:45   #5
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivergm View Post
So*the Volvo tachometer lights up when I turn on the starter battery switch but shuts down if I push the*Start button. Not even a click on the starter motor solenoid... Starter battery drops to 12.2v but connecting another battery via jumpers makes no difference.
Any suggestions on where to start? Volt meter at the starter motor when I'm next down at the boat?
High resistance in the solenoid circuit. Most probably cause is dirty/corroded connection at the starter solenoid. but connectors are also likely suspects.

What Volvo?

Check out this recent thread - although this one was a short, the places to look are similar.

Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

First places

- Go to Sim Lim Tower and buy a connector pin cleaner - it's a tiny wire brush gizmo that can clean individual male and female pins. You can do it without it but it takes oh so longer.
- Remove the connector from the engine panel and the two going to the relay box - clean them all up
- Remove the wires from the starter solenoid and clean those up
- If there are multiple wires on the Alternator B+ terminal remove those and clean those up
- Clean the battery posts and the negative ground wire going to the engine

(You could put other different loads on the battery system and see their performance - if other equipment has trouble a bad ground is probably indicated. Try hitting the XMT on the VHF - that would be a good system test.)

You indicate you have the button switch and I can tell you there is not much in that circuit.

There is a start relay and a glow plug relay - Volvo says the relays are interchangeable. If after cleaning everything up and you haven't fixed it you could swap the relays. But I doubt you will need to get that far.
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Old 05-07-2014, 18:53   #6
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Connections or a bad fuseholder in the wire between the start button and the solenoid. Happens all the time on many different boats, standard answer #3,498,613. Or a bad ground at the engine.

Good luck, shouldn't be hard to fix.
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Old 05-07-2014, 19:09   #7
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Thanks guys.
Ex-Calif, it's one of my two D1-30's on a 40ft cat. I'll try another battery but didn't get any joy using jumpers from the starboard starter engine or using the battery link switch. Ill try start with checking the earth connection.
According to the D1-30 handbook its supposed to have a built in fuse switch on the relay box or a fuse under a cover on the relay box. I couldn't find the fuse or switch on the box. Tha.me again, plenty to work with here.

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Old 05-07-2014, 20:38   #8
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Had issues with a solenoid, and replaced it, a few months later it started acting up again, replaced it, a week later, the same.. and while I was down on my belly and my arm up to my neck alongside the motor, I reached over to brace myself at the base of the motor where the ground lug was attached, son of a *****, the bastard moved.. not a solenoid issue.. It was the ground lug.. It had vibrated lose...
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:42   #9
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Hiya,
OP here with an update... on the electrical issue that's preventing powering up the starter motor.
Got down to the vessel this evening and started my beginner style trouble shooting.
Firstly I attempted to load test the starter battery with a spot light. It didn't seem to drain it much and it read around 12.8v on the control panel. I proceeded to turn on the battery switch and powered up the tachometer/start panel and then pressing start. Well what do know, she come to life at the first attempt. I'm happy to hear the engine running but am left uneasy as I have no idea why she wouldn't start 2 days earlier. I left her running for 10mins and then proceeded to work down my to do list (measuring bridge space for larger pumps etc etc etc).
30mins later I try the engine again and when I push the Start button the starter panel just powers off, as was the problem at the weekend. Not a sound from the solenoid or starter? Back to square one. The battery drops sharply to 11.4v when I power up the Start panel. To eliminate the possibility of a dead starter battery I used jumpers to another starter which was connected to the running starboard engine. Control panel read well over 13v at this point and still the port panel just shut off once I press the Start button. I.was running out of time at this point but spent the next 30mins in the engine room checking the relays and other connections. It's a 2011 engine and I couldnt find anything that looked suspect. Grounding looks good, coulnt see any chafing. There was a small amount of moisture in the relay connectors which could either be some electrics connector spray residue or possible water and the cause of my problem? See the attached picture. I didn't have time to check the actual starter button end of the system which I guess could be where the problems lie. I suspect it's still somewhere between the starter and engine as I don't see why the volts would drop sharply once the battery switch is turns on if it's just a faulty start button. Having said all of the above I'm pretty new to this so... what do I know!?
Any input greatly received.
Oliver
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:25   #10
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Sounds like the starter is getting at least some power. I would see what the voltage is at the positive starter lug when you try to start it. I would also check the voltage across the solenoid terminals when starting to see if you are losing some there.

Armed with the data form the above checks you should be able to narrow it down to a lose connection, bad solenoid or bad starter.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:01   #11
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

There have been similar problems noted on this board, and once myself with a Perkins, which ended up being bad connections in one of those multi pin connectors. They are hard to clean, but you can try taking them apart and looking for visual evidence. Then clean with spray on contact cleaner (Deoxit etc) and whatever you can get in there to rub the pins. Dental brushes for bridges etc work well.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:27   #12
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Heat is a big wild card in electric system components.

Solenoid or relays could be failing once they are warm/hot.

Try it again cold to see if you can make the fault repeat. One of the troubleshooting axioms is repeatable fault.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:32   #13
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Quote:
The battery drops sharply to 11.4v when I power up the Start panel.
Where are you reading the battery voltage? If on the panel then you can't count on that being a correct indication of the problem if you have a bad connection to the panel. You need to be sure you are reading the battery voltage right at the battery terminals.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:22   #14
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

Another update: last night engine started first time again, ran for 10mins and then after shutting it down would not restart again. I could hear the solinoid click this time. I tested the battery again and under load (spot light) the voltage drops off pretty quickly. Using jumpers to the "good" battery and the engine started again. Sooo I reckon it's the battery as some suggested previously. Following the removal of the 12v sealed calcium (lead acid) I found some yellow liquid at the bottom of the battery box which I assume is acid.
So next question, if I'm replacing the starter batteries (4yrs old) do I go for two 6v batteries per starter bank? Golf cart batts seem like the preferred choice on CF?
I may consider replacing the 6x 12v 102ah house batteries too depending on cost. Any recommendations on different batteries for the bank and starters?
Thanks

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Old 09-07-2014, 05:44   #15
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Re: Dead Solenoid?

I had this problem with a long run to the switch. Fixed it by putting another solenoid close to the starter motor to minimize the voltage drop.
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