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Old 07-07-2013, 19:47   #1
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Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Turn ingition key, push the button, engine starts.....yes but in this case (after being away from the boat for 5 weeks) the pushbutton stuck in. Unknown to me under the waterproof rubber shroud the pushbutton had failed to return. Result...engine started but the starter was still being powered and spinning. The outcome was a trashed starter...replacement price $1000 from Yanmar dealership!

I shopped around and found a replacement Hitachi starter for $210 delivered.

I lubricated the pushbutton switch and now check/ feel each time I start the engine that the start button has sprung back out.

I was lucky this happened in a marina during routine engine running.
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Old 07-07-2013, 19:56   #2
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Good to know,thanks.marc
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:54   #3
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

had same happen last year, but I found a starter for $103

But I replaced the push buttons on my panel after, why would you go though this and keep an old sticking push button?
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:04   #4
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

i had the same - the lil arms sticking out of the throw rod inside the SM were bent but I bent them back with pliers. you need an isolator switch like a battery one to cut off power to the SM in such an emergency. thinking about it you need ones for all the little wires (from alternator, ignition button etc) to isolate as well. and you need speedy access to the engine kill switch/lever. hopefully the SM thrower will then get a chance to disengage...its all a bit galling when you can't start an engine, and then it won't STOP!!!
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:03   #5
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Somewhat related-something to think about.
Got a call from a diveboat operator. Went to work in the morning and the 6-71 was running. Long story short. 10AWG to big bilge pump (float switch) induced enough current into common harness to pull in slave solenoid and start engine. I separated out the harnesses- problem solved.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:14   #6
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

If you are going to replace anything, get rid of the push button altogether and install a a key switch with a starter position.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:41   #7
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Several years ago I knew of a sportfish that self started from water getting into the starter switch. The real problem was that in order to put the canvas helm cover on the shift and throttle levers had to be pushed fully forward leaving it in forward and full throttle. When the started in the middle of the night it ripped out the dock cleats and took off across the marina sinking another boat before coming at a stop. Moraal of these stories, Turn the battery switch off to the engine when leaving the boat and always left it in neutral and idle
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:53   #8
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
If you are going to replace anything, get rid of the push button altogether and install a a key switch with a starter position.
Some PO did this on my boat. I figured it was because he was a lubber who thought he was working on a car. The hot wire runs right to the starting bank, and a whole bunch of stuff under the "dashboard" is powered off that.

The other day I couldn't figure out why the engines wouldn't start. I kept pushing on the (disconnected) start buttons. I had forgotten about this non-standard wiring and was just acting out of habit. It was pretty funny.

Obviously I have some re-wiring to do, but maybe I'll stay with the ignition switch thing. It does make some sense.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:39   #9
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

My advice is get rid of the key switch...easy enough to start most boats without the key anyway...plus they seem to develop way more issues than a simple, sometimes lubricated button.

And either get rid of the rubber boot and recover somehow or pay closer attention to the tactile feel of the button coming out and watch in many cases the voltage go back up as you release the button.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:40   #10
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia II View Post
Turn ingition key, push the button, engine starts.....yes but in this case (after being away from the boat for 5 weeks) the pushbutton stuck in. Unknown to me under the waterproof rubber shroud the pushbutton had failed to return. Result...engine started but the starter was still being powered and spinning. The outcome was a trashed starter...replacement price $1000 from Yanmar dealership!

I shopped around and found a replacement Hitachi starter for $210 delivered.

I lubricated the pushbutton switch and now check/ feel each time I start the engine that the start button has sprung back out.

I was lucky this happened in a marina during routine engine running.
I've heard of this happening to more than a few people.
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Old 14-07-2013, 20:37   #11
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Can I ask: What were the symptoms of the trashed starter? (i.e. Smoke? Slow engine turn-over? Unresponsive starter ?
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Old 17-07-2013, 01:53   #12
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
Can I ask: What were the symptoms of the trashed starter? (i.e. Smoke? Slow engine turn-over? Unresponsive starter ?
Well....can you imagine being in the cockpit, at the wheel and pushing the button to start the motor.
Motor started as normal...I went to the engine compartment just to check ( first engine start in 5 weeks)...noise seemed a little different but nothing outrageous...then the smoke started....thats all!

Only on restart...or non restart was the problem found. Thankfully no damage to engine...just the carbon brush end of the starter trashed!

Big lesson for sure!...I retain the now lubricated pushbutton which I regularly test before and after subsequent engine starts. My choice!!
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Old 17-07-2013, 08:38   #13
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia II View Post
Well....can you imagine being in the cockpit, at the wheel and pushing the button to start the motor.
Motor started as normal...I went to the engine compartment just to check ( first engine start in 5 weeks)...noise seemed a little different but nothing outrageous...then the smoke started....thats all!

Only on restart...or non restart was the problem found. Thankfully no damage to engine...just the carbon brush end of the starter trashed!

Big lesson for sure!...I retain the now lubricated pushbutton which I regularly test before and after subsequent engine starts. My choice!!
Hi,
Thanks for your response. I had a lubber kick and jam the key while we were motoring out of the marina last Friday. Didn't catch it until smoke poured out of the engine compartment. Cost me about $700 for a new starter.

I was able to (barely) start the engine 3 times before starter failed completely.

Going to put a protective hard cover over the key so it doesn't happen again.
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Old 17-07-2013, 08:42   #14
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Re: Beware Pushbutton Engine Starts!

A good solution , that is very common in industrial motor start panels , is two pushbuttons wired in series, (a) prevents the " little fingers " issue and (b) would require both buttons to jam on to cause the problem. I implemented this on a previous boat some years ago.

Dave
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