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Old 08-05-2008, 19:15   #1
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Had to abandon ship. Won't start!

1987 Sunray Mirage, Volvo Penta AQ271A w/290 DP OD.

Went for a lil' cruise upriver tonight like we usually do. Stopped to bbq some burgers. Went to restart, nothing. Never had this happen before.

First a few electrical gremlins seem to have inhabited the boat. On the way upriver couldn't get the drive to trim up. Down, yes, up, no. Weird. I tugged a few wires under the dash and it started working again. Weird.

It got too dark to see standing on my head in the bilge so we tied the boat up on the canal bank and called my Dad to pick us up.

So, by process of elimination I'm leaning towards starting at the engine controls maybe the problem with the trim is related to the neutral safety switch in the controller (which is only a yr old BTW). I can bypass the neutral safety to see if that's the issue, easy 'nuff. If that's not it then I'm thinking starter relay. That's easy to get at. I've got a spare to swap out. If that's not it then it's probably the starter solenoid. That's a PITA. I don't know if I can get the solenoid off the starter w/o removing the starter which means jacking up the engine. I might try to jump start it at the solenoid first.

Is there anything else I can check before trying to get the solenoid out?
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Old 08-05-2008, 19:29   #2
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grounds, grounds, grounds and if you missed it the first time grounds
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Old 08-05-2008, 19:34   #3
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Originally Posted by never monday View Post
grounds, grounds, grounds and if you missed it the first time grounds
Thnx Pat. That's what Kai Nui said too.

Where should I start? Start battery to engine block? Everything else in the starting circuit are + conductors I think.
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Old 08-05-2008, 19:36   #4
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Try the ground on the start button.
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Old 08-05-2008, 23:30   #5
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If you wiggled wires somewhere and something changed, I would start in that somewhere location and check all wires.
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Old 08-05-2008, 23:54   #6
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Mate just pull up your sails and off you go. Opps, sorry I forgot you only have one choice
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:18   #7
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Be careful about ohm meters and test lights - the power draw is tiny compared to the draw of the starter and the resistance goes up incredibly if the connetions are dirty or lose.

If you have a charged battery and you get a solenoid click or with lights on the lights go dim when you hit the starter - I would go for any battery cable in the system and either replace the cable and loosen, clean (with sandpaper) and reinstall every connection in the secondary circuit.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:50   #8
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grounds, grounds, grounds and if you missed it the first time grounds

Pat's right. Here in Florida this is especially true. I've had to clean up or replace the large wires running to the starters, and periodically clean connectors.

At $5.00 a gallon for diesel, how much did last night's cruise cost you? Are ready for a real boat yet?
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:01   #9
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I'm gonna start under the dash and see if anything's loose. 90% of the wiring is new including the battery cables. All tinned wire, tinned lugs, double crimped & shrink wrapped. The only change this yr was the replacement of the battery isolator with an ACR. That's got nothin' to do with the starter circuit but I can bypass it to check. There's plenty of juice and I can cross connect the two house batteries to the starter which I tried.

This one's a real head scratcher.
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:03   #10
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At $5.00 a gallon for diesel, how much did last night's cruise cost you? Are ready for a real boat yet?
Gas. Half an evening cruise is about $12.50

Ahhhhhhhhh a real boat! Yup, workin' on that and yup it will have a sail just not a big one!

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Old 09-05-2008, 04:38   #11
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Ahhhhhhhhh a real boat! Yup, workin' on that and yup it will have a sail just not a big one!
I thought this was yours?

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Old 09-05-2008, 04:42   #12
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I thought this was yours?
Yup! That's it!
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:10   #13
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was that phase 1? LOL
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:17   #14
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Thnx Pat. That's what Kai Nui said too.

Where should I start? Start battery to engine block? Everything else in the starting circuit are + conductors I think.
I'd start at the battery and work you way through the system.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:41   #15
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Followed the diagnostic guide DonS provided on iboats.

Step 1: Cleaned all the ground connections between battery and engine block. No go.

Step 2: Checked voltage from ign switch start terminal, good 12.45 volts. Tried to start, no go.

Step 3: Bypass neutral safety switch (ensuring lever in neutral) BINGO!

It's nice to have some logical steps to follow through the troubleshooting process. I had a similar approach thought out starting at the ign switch and working my way back. It's also nice to be able to see what you're doing 'cause couldn't find a flashlight. Last year we were tripping over them!
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