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Old 04-07-2011, 19:48   #1
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Neutral Safety switch

Silverton with Crusader 502's.

I've got an ongoing problem and getting worse. My starboard engine won't start as it should. I turn the key and I get power but no ignition. In the past, I have "fiddled" with the gear shifter and I would eventually find that "spot" where it would start. Now the "fiddling" isn't working and it just seems to eventually start from just trying for 5-10 minutes. I found the 'safety switch' on the engine (with 2 wires on it) as well as the gear cable. I stared at it for quite some time but nothing happened! Anyone out there think I should start with changing the safety switch doohicky first or does it sound more like ignition relay, solenoid, coil etc. I refuse to go to any busy fuel dock until I get it fixed! Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04-07-2011, 20:02   #2
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

If you've been having to jiggle the gear lever to make it work, it's probably the neutral safety switch as you suspect. Test it or replace it. They're cheap.
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Old 04-07-2011, 20:12   #3
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
If you've been having to jiggle the gear lever to make it work, it's probably the neutral safety switch as you suspect. Test it or replace it. They're cheap.
How do you "test" it?
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Old 04-07-2011, 20:35   #4
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

Use a continuity tester. If I recall correctly, electricity should only pass through it when the shifter is in neutral. Also watch as you change into neutral to see if the switch is being activated. Sometimes they just get out of adjustment. If none of this works, stare longer, then throw money at it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 20:50   #5
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

You should be able to eliminate the switch temporarily to see if it is the problem (obviously, be careful not to start the engine in gear). A lot of times with something like that it is just a bad electrical connection--wires and connections corrode or get loose. Try redoing the wire ends where they connect to the switch if the switch tests out OK. Here's a link to how to diagnose the problem.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:12   #6
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

The neutral safety switch is wired into (series) the circuit going to the starter solenoid. When the transmission is in forward or reverse gear, the switch is in the OPEN position (disconnected). This action prevents current from activating the solenoid and starter when the ignition switch is turned to the START position. When the transmission is in neutral, the switch is closed (connected), allowing current to flow to the starter when the ignition is turned.
Jumper across the two neutral switch terminals to simulate a closed switch; and briefly crank engine to test switch. If engine cranks, adjust or relave neutral switch.
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Old 05-07-2011, 21:03   #7
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Re: Neutral Safety switch

Thanks for the replies. Today I replaced the neutral switch. No help. I cleaned all connections and grounds. No help. I then attempted to bypass the "secondary solenoid." No help. I used a volt meter to check power at helm ignition switch and related relays. All showed power. I got the engine to start once. I was not moving the gear levers at all. However, I did use "parallel start." I could not get it to start again all day. I "banged" on the starter. Nothing. Does anyone know what my next step should be? Thanks
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