Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-10-2010, 19:28   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Electrical Gremlin or Solenoid?

Need help with this one. GordM has tried to help but I am too dense. Have Yanmar 4 banger, 4 house batteries (total 820 amp), new starter battery, new battery switch, new ignition switch. This is what happens: I can't start the engine (no turnover) if I don't switch off all battery draw for about 10 minutes before trying to turn engine over.
The battery draw is usually just fridge (6 amp while running) and maybe light or two.
I am thinking my system voltage needs to recover (?) it's breath for a few minutes in order to supply enough juice to the starter.
Or, maybe I have a sticking solenoid which needs a couple of impulses to get it going. However, I have found that giving the system a rest (?) for 10 minutes usually does the trick. WTH?
I am in Cook Islands and have had this problem ever since I left Portland, Oregon last year.
Makes me nervous thinking about emergency (right now) engine starts.
Any help appreciated.

rigormortis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-10-2010, 19:40   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 3,927
Images: 4
There are several possibilities, but I'm betting that you have a bad connection somewhere, probably a bad ground. CHECK ALL YOUR BATTERY CABLE CONNECTIONS CAREFULLY to be sure they're clean and tight. Checking means removing and cleaning, then replacing with proper torque.

A start battery should not need to "recover"; it should start your engine instantly. If it does not, then suspect the cable connections first, the battery capacity second (expecially if you can start the engine easily using the house batteries).

If it's not connections or battery capacity, it could be a faulty battery switch (I recently ran across one on a client's boat which was really bad, causing a serious drop in voltage). It could be a faulty solenoid or, possibly, a faulty starter. Could even be an intermittent in the wiring harness to the engine, or a badly corroded or otherwise deficient starting switch.

Try the easy things first. That's usually the path to finding the fault fast.

Good luck.

Let us know what you discover.


btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-10-2010, 19:41   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
"It's almost always a bad connection."

That's what I'd guess from here. It takes about 3 dozen connections to turn a starter. One of them is loose.

It may be more "the second time" than "switching off all other stuff".

Voltmeter on solenoid's small wire (the start button wire) should give a clue.

I discovered an interesting quirk here: The preheat button 'locks out' the start button. Maybe this is common. But I'd never noticed until one day when I was in a 'panic' and held both in to save time. More panic ensued until I let go of the Preheat button.
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-10-2010, 21:50   #4
Senior Cruiser
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,138
Previous boat had a bad connection (as have lots of others) in the Yanmar multi connector which on the 3HM35F was located at the rear of the engine. The fix was to unplug, spread the split pins, shoot some contact cleaner in the socket and reconnect it. That fixed it until I sold the boat.
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

-Thomas Sowell
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Complicated Electrical Question - Good Puzzle for You Electrical Geniuses Dockhead Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 36 07-09-2010 06:14
Starter or Solenoid or....? s/v Breakaway Engines and Propulsion Systems 16 27-09-2009 11:27
Gas Solenoid Chrisc Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 24-05-2009 10:13
Remote solenoid switch SV_Gonzo Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 21-01-2009 09:47
LPG solenoid valve stuffinbox Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 2 22-07-2008 05:59

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:52.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.