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Old 06-03-2015, 15:28   #1
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OutBoard starting question

I have an 8hp Yamaha electric start on a small sailboat. Getting it ready for boating and can't get it to start - as in it will not turn over. As though there isn't enough battery power. It clicks, but will not engage the starter. There is 12.5 volts at the terminals inside the engine. If I engage the transmission I can turn the motor over (so it's not froze up). I tried to hand start it, but it hasn't been run for a year and a half, so kinda difficult. And hand starting wouldn't really resolve anything anyway. Was looking to bypass the syloind directly to the starter, but couldn't see where the starter power cables were attached.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 06-03-2015, 15:34   #2
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Re: OutBoard starting question

Connections or solenoid. You are on the right track by trying to bypass the solenoid. If you have a jumper cable you can connect directly from the positive of the battery to the heavy lug on the starter.
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Old 06-03-2015, 22:16   #3
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Re: OutBoard starting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountianLake View Post
I have an 8hp Yamaha electric start on a small sailboat. Getting it ready for boating and can't get it to start - as in it will not turn over. As though there isn't enough battery power. It clicks, but will not engage the starter. There is 12.5 volts at the terminals inside the engine. If I engage the transmission I can turn the motor over (so it's not froze up). I tried to hand start it, but it hasn't been run for a year and a half, so kinda difficult. And hand starting wouldn't really resolve anything anyway. Was looking to bypass the syloind directly to the starter, but couldn't see where the starter power cables were attached.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
Solenoid clicks indicates solenoid is functioning.
Put the meter on the battery and hit the starter - read voltage with starter engaged.

Top suspects
- Weak/dead battery - charge or replace
- Loose or corroded battery terminals - clean and tighten
- Failed solenoid / high resistance - replace
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:29   #4
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Re: OutBoard starting question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, MountainLake.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:53   #5
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Re: OutBoard starting question

MountainLake,

Does the motor actually start by hand? If not, even if you fix the electric start issues, you'll run down your battery trying to start it. Get it running on manual start first, then deal with the electric start issues.

In my experience, small gasoline engines become balky or impossible to start if you let them sit unused for long periods. The fuel goes bad and the carb gums up. Flush out old fuel with new and clean up the carburetor as the first step.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:08   #6
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Re: OutBoard starting question

Try giving the starter motor a couple of hard raps with a mallet. It may just have bad brush contacts from the lay up.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:55   #7
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Re: OutBoard starting question

For an outboard that has sat unused for a while I do the following.

Pull the spark plug and check for spark with the pull start. It usually does.

Reinstall with a new sparkplug.

Set the choke and TRY to flood it til you smell gas. It usually doesn't. Of course this means the carb is gummed up, so disassemble and clean all including fuel lines. Might as well install new inline filter if it has one.

Don't start the process until you have a known good, fully charged battery.

The electric start issue is secondary in my mind and may even resolve itself by the time you get it starting by hand. And no sense abusing that system if it doen't hand start easily.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:48   #8
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Re: OutBoard starting question

How are measuring the voltage? I once had a problem where my solenoid would click but the starter wouldn't turn. I measured the voltage on on the solenoid post and put my ground probe on the ground wire lug connector. Sure enough I had almost 13 volts. I thought it was new starter time. I talked to a starter shop and he was convinced I had a voltage problem and told me to measure it from a ground on the block. Sure enough, 3 volts. The problem was a corroded ground connection. I unbolted the ground wire and cleaned the block and the ground lug with a wire brush and put it back together. That was all it took. Now I'm very careful with electrical issues to measure the voltage against the same ground whatever I am testing is using.
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Old 09-03-2015, 15:47   #9
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Re: OutBoard starting question

Thanks everyone for the great input.
Here is what I did. I'll leave it to you to sort out what was really going on here.
Two large wires come in to the engine area. I deduced one came from the battery. The other looked liked it went to the starter. So that had to be the solenoid. I borrowed a battery charger (10 amp) and touched it to the wire going to the started. It engaged the starter to the flywheel and spun the started. Then (with the kill-switch on) I held it to the wire from the battery and hit the starter button. IT WORKED. Then I realized I was still connected to the boat battery, I was getting plenty of amps. So I tried it with just the boat battery, it it worked fine. Sticky solenoid? Started a few times and all was good. I will clean up any connectors just in case.
Thanks you much.
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