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Old 08-06-2010, 11:32   #16
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Denny,

Due to the long wire runs from battery, to helm to starter, a lot of catamarans have a relay in the starting circuit. Mine is where the wiring loom attaches to the engine. That relay takes low amperage to trip the battery voltage.

I had a similar problem and almost never found the culprit. Look for something that looks like a Echlin AR272 30A. It is about a 1" cube with 5 contacts looks like this.



These are my most frequent starting problem and by shorting the post you are proving that it is not starter, solenoid, or battery problem.

I thought for a while that my ignition switches had gone bad. I did a Rube Goldberg work around to get home from the Bahamas. Took me a while some some expert help to find these little suckers were the culprits.

George
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Old 08-06-2010, 13:21   #17
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Relay pinouts
http://www.installdr.com/TechDocs/999404.pdf

Electromechanical Relays - Cruisers & Sailing Photo Gallery
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Old 08-06-2010, 14:25   #18
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Glad you got it starting.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:20   #19
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"for a clarification it is a Perkins, so I fear it may be a Lucas starter"

key word "lucas"...why do the British drink warm beer? ,,,because Lucas makes refrigerators.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:28   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeSC View Post
"for a clarification it is a Perkins, so I fear it may be a Lucas starter"

key word "lucas"...why do the British drink warm beer? ,,,because Lucas makes refrigerators.
Why doesn't Perkins make watches? The oil leaking would stain your wrist
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:31   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspot Baby View Post
Denny,

Due to the long wire runs from battery, to helm to starter, a lot of catamarans have a relay in the starting circuit. Mine is where the wiring loom attaches to the engine. That relay takes low amperage to trip the battery voltage.

I had a similar problem and almost never found the culprit. Look for something that looks like a Echlin AR272 30A. It is about a 1" cube with 5 contacts looks like this.



These are my most frequent starting problem and by shorting the post you are proving that it is not starter, solenoid, or battery problem.

I thought for a while that my ignition switches had gone bad. I did a Rube Goldberg work around to get home from the Bahamas. Took me a while some some expert help to find these little suckers were the culprits.

George
I do have a relay like that that the glow plugs attach to, but I don't think the starting circuit goes through it, but I will check it out, Thanks George
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Old 09-06-2010, 18:38   #22
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The "cube" that George shows is a RELAY. Typically a Bosch or other 30A or 40A relay, veyr common in 12V systems and, well, fairly reliable but known to fail easily too.

In this case I'd bet it would be the "starter solenoid relay". A relay is commonly used to supply high power directly from the battery to the starter motor solenoid, so they can use lightweight wire to make the much longer run to the starter key.

If the relay has gone bad (contacts worn, or the actual bronze tabs that you see shifting in the case) OR if any of the wiring between the relay and the starter key/button has gone bad, it will produce the problem described EXACTLY. And bypassing the relay by laying a screwdriver on the actual power connections on the starter, will produce the EXACT solution found here, i.e. the starter solenoid works just fine when the relay is bypassed with the screwdriver.

These relays have a very subtle failure mode. In order to cut costs they are now made with the bronze contacts on the outside simply running through the plastic base and then being bent up to form the relay contacts internally. There's nothing holding them in position except the grip of the plastic they pass through! So you can literally wiggle the 'external' contact, or plug an dunplug the wires that go into it, and create a failure inside the relay.

They've become disposable parts, far less reliable than they used to be. But also very easy to find, and very inexpensive, typically under $5 unless you're at a chandlery.
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Old 09-06-2010, 19:06   #23
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update, well it started last night now today no dice. So I started at the key switch and checked everything from the safety in the morse back to the starter. Nothing wrong any where. So I tried the screw driver across the large terminals on the solenoid. This time no dice, until about the third time. Then it turned over and the key works again, so I surmise now that it has to be the solenoid. TRUE? The solenoid got wet due to over heating problem and heat exchanger cap let the water boil down to the starter/solenoid. The connections look alright except the one that looks like it is soldered, and it looks faulty
http://www.stw.fr/download/docs_mote...0-25-30-35.pdf
second page is wiring diagram
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Old 09-06-2010, 19:22   #24
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Center bottom of the diagram on page two, the part that says "RELAY" ? That's the solenoid relay.

Could be a dodgy relay, or a weak/corroded solenoid combined with weak wiring to it. A little water shouldn't hurt a solenoid but...old things and hot water...Might be time to pull it out and eyeball it. Instead of using the screwdriver, if you can use a jumper cable (even a lightweight one) to apply full battery power directly to the solenoid lug, bypassing the relay and key entirely, that should tell you something. If the solenoid still debates engaging with a jumper to the battery--it's time for service.

And I'd suggest at least buying a spare relay just in case that one ages ungracefully. (The older one may be built better than a new one.)
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Old 09-06-2010, 19:34   #25
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I don't see where any of the starting circuit goes to the relay. But I did take the starter off, and taking to a starter shop for testing. I am getting over woring on this fu**ing thing
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:18   #26
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If you look at the terminal marked "30" on the right side of the RELAY block, and follow that line coming out of the "30", you will see that it goes into the starter solenoid assembly along with some other lines. I don't know how familiar you are with electrical schematics, that one is easy to overlook but the schematic is drawn out quite nicely overall.
Still and all, pulling it out and taking it into the shop may be the fastest, simplest, least painful solution.

I find that sometimes if I'm trying to follow a "simple" schematic, I've got to make a copy and then take out the colored hi-lighters to keep track of where all the pieces go. Especially on something like a car system, where "options" and variations for different models are all glommed into the same drawing, so half the lines are for things that don't necessarily exist.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:39   #27
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From your update it is clear that the solenoid has a problem - your shorting of the terminals doesn't produce an instant response every time.

Take the solenoid off, clean up the inside parts and the contacts and put it back together.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:01   #28
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HelloSailor, that lead from 30 goes to the hot lead on the solenoid and when the relay pulls in it feeds the glow plugs. It has nothing to do with the solenoid activation at all.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:44   #29
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Run jumpers (ground and line) to the secondaries on the solenoid; if it turns it's not the sol. Removing the ground 1st will tell you it's a ground issue; removing the line will tell you it's an ignition issue. If the sol does not snap to with jumpers the sol is defective. The primaries (battery to starter) should be cleaned and tightened to the right torque (found in Perkins manual). Connectors don't have to look burned to be burned.
I've seen a number of situations (with Perkins) where there where similar starting situations and symptoms when the engine was hydrolocked. There may be no direct evidence of this other than intermittent hard start. Check your exhaust siphon vent or remove the water bypass hose going to the heat exchanger; if you hear a rush of flowing water; you might have a semi-restricted siphon valve. Replace it and all will be well.
Note: Always carry a good set of jumper cables and/or a jumper battery and spare wire with a number of alligator clips to run test circuits.
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Old 10-06-2010, 16:18   #30
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Unless you like to do trouble shooting for a hobby I suggest you replace the solenoid. Replace it and then you have eliminated something if nothing else. And you might find the culprit in the process. How much do they cost? How hard is it?

Mom had an old Chevy. with a bad solonoid. On that the solonoid drew the starter in to engage the flywheel. At the end of the stroke it closed contacts across the starter motor circuit. Thus the starter would not spin until the motor/flywheel where engaged.

When you turned the key switch you could hear the solenoid pull in "thunk." If I wacked it with a hammer, the contacts would spin a little and it would start right up. Sometimes the solenoid would giggle enough that it would start on the 3rd or 5th try. It would get progressively worse until I would take the solenoid apart and clean the contacts. Finally had to break down and get a new one. I was a kid then and time was cheap.

Kinda sounds like your symptoms, no?
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