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Old 02-01-2010, 15:50   #1
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IP440 Yanmar 4JH3-TE Failure to Start

When I try to start the engine, it barely turns over. It sounds like a dead battery, or one going dead but the battery voltage is fine, and the symptoms don't change at all when I parallel my house battery bank with the engine start battery. They both read 13.5 volts, so they appear to be fully charged and operational. The starter appears to be drawing a large amount of current since the engine start battery voltage drops to approximately 8 volts during a starting attempt. That probably eliminates the possibility of a loose connection that would increase voltage drop due to the added resistance and reduce voltage at the starter resulting in less current. I have also checked the connections and they all appear tight. The engine oil is at the right level, and was recently changed. The only conclusions I can reach is that there is a short in the starter motor, or the engine is putting a very high load on the starter motor. I verified the transmission was in neutral, but there is a neutral lockout that will not allow the engine to start in gear anyway. It seems pretty unlikely the engine is seized, and it does turn over slightly when I turn the key. The engine only has 300 hours on it, and has always started as soon as I turn the key. It is used regularly, and started fine about a week ago. With some difficulty, I can reach down and turn the small flywheel on the front of the engine, and the starter was turning the engine about 30 degrees, but now won't even do that. When I look at the oil dip stick, there is no indication of water in the crankcase. I think a bad starter motor is most likely. I would appreciate any suggestions as to the cause of the problem and similar experiences.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:24   #2
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Sometimes an old ground cable will go bad by corrosion inside, even if it looks good on the outside it will cause poor grounding and poor starter performance. Yanmar starters never work hard because Yanmars usually start by just bumping the key, they don't usually go bad after only 300 hours.

Was wondering if your engine is equipped with an anti syphon valve, which prevents water from syphoning in, filling your exhaust with water and going into the head filling the open valved cylinders with water. Hopefully, this is not the case. You need to see if you can fully turn the engine over by hand, if you can't, than maybe that is what happened. I don't trust anti syphon valves and always turn my raw water intake off,leaving the key on the handle so I don't forget it is turned off.
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:36   #3
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Thanks! I really like your idea of leaving the key on the valve handle. I leave my raw water on, but the engine exhaust is well above the waterline so siphoning seems unlikely. My main exhaust outlet does not have an anti-siphon valve, but it has a big anti-siphon loop, and from when the boat started to when it would not, the exhaust outlet was never below water, so siphoning is unlikely. With the compresion level on this engine, I don't think it would be possible to make a complete revolution by hand, and I don't believe there is a compression release.

Regards,

Bob
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:44   #4
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When I said to turn over by hand, I meant use a socket on a breaker bar on the crank to see if the engine locks up. As far as siphoning, I meant through the raw water intake and not the exhaust side. Hope you find your problem soon.
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Old 07-01-2010, 17:12   #5
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When turning the engine over by hand, loosen all the injectors since they might 'fire' when pressure builds up. We implemented that procedure as recommended by Mark Boring when we did that in class.
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Old 07-01-2010, 17:40   #6
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Assuming there is no electrical fault - then remove the injectors - and then turn the engine over with it's starter motor and only the dedicated starter battery.
If the engine then turns over at a high speed , then at least some of the potential problem components have been eliminated.
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Old 07-01-2010, 17:53   #7
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Just one question? the engine is still in warranty?? are you try to call a yanmar dealer? Cheers.
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Old 07-01-2010, 17:55   #8
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go with the bad starter idea
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