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Old 21-06-2010, 12:34   #1
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Starter Issue...What Does this Sound Like ?

We just finished an offshore trip from Beaufort to Charleston SC and back. No problems there.

After anchoring for the night in NC, the next morning when turning the key we heard just a click. Waited a second, turned the key, and just a click. It sounded like a dead battery but the batteries were fine. A couple more times and it just clicked. And then, finally it started.

When I was safe at dock I tried it 20 times...Started fine every time.

So I know how this works, I can ignore the problem and it will happen again when I am caught in a strong current with no wind headed for a breakwater somewhere.

Does this sound like a solenoid problem? SHould I replace the starter? I know since it is not "repeatable" on demand I can't just set the mechanic loose.
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:35   #2
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Bad connection/bad ground/bad switch/bad solenoid/bad starter...in that order.
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:38   #3
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Agree with the Chief...100%.

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Old 21-06-2010, 12:39   #4
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Low voltage,bad connection, happens very often, perhaps why it works better at the dock is that you might be plugged in and the charger has the voltage up nicely.
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:46   #5
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I've been through 3 solenoids over the years that died with same symptom. Could clean plunger a couple of times before that didn't work any more.
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:53   #6
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Bad connection/bad ground/bad switch/bad solenoid/bad starter...in that order.
Sounds like a good approach.

It's tough though because I can't replicate it. So I start with the connection and then go start it and it's fine. How do I know I really fixed anything unless I just see a bad connection.
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Old 21-06-2010, 13:01   #7
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Sounds like a good approach.

It's tough though because I can't replicate it. So I start with the connection and then go start it and it's fine. How do I know I really fixed anything unless I just see a bad connection.
Don't look for just one bad connection. Check the entire 12V system related to the starting circuit. Battery lugs, terminals, crimps, cables, solenoid connection and, especially, ground connections. Check also the starter switch connections, harness, solenoid connection.

Once you remove and clean/tighten/replace these it's very likely you've fixed the problem. You'll know soon enough.

For the chap who "went thru 3 solenoids"....something's wrong there, mate! I've only had a single solenoid failure in nearly five decades of boating. Have seen a couple of others on client's boats, though.

Bill
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Old 21-06-2010, 14:59   #8
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Many thanks Bill....I've got my weekend figured out
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Old 21-06-2010, 15:21   #9
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go with cleaning and re connecting the negitive and the positive terminals of the battery, like the other posters suggested.........but please let us know the outcome
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Old 21-06-2010, 16:29   #10
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what engine do you have? sounds like a well known with older yanmars
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Old 21-06-2010, 16:45   #11
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what engine do you have? sounds like a well known with older yanmars
That's what I was thinking. last year I installed a solenoid to put the 12v to the starter solenoid.. Previously turning the key made the circuit to the solenoid on the starter but the long, old, spliced in S.Africa, wiring harness has issues with the amps required to make the starter turn. Now with the added solenoid, I have not had an issue starting except for a dead battery over the winter. Maybe before the harness gives out I can run a couple of non spliced wires.

I also eliminated the stop solenoid and associated wiring by installing a push pull teleflex cable to stop the engine. Before that i had to crawl into the engine room to manually shut one down more often than I cared to.

Now I have more time to fix other stuff!
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Old 21-06-2010, 18:14   #12
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what engine do you have? sounds like a well known with older yanmars
Also with newer one too although on some models Yanmar has added a relay.
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Old 21-06-2010, 18:25   #13
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It's a Yanmar 4Jhte - I think maybe it is one of the ones with the problem...
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Old 21-06-2010, 18:29   #14
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What does a solenoid cost anyway? Approximately...any idea?
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Old 21-06-2010, 19:49   #15
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Just bought starter/solenoid complete $900.You can get the same in USA for $100 or solenoid seperate for $20 from Pats Small Engine Plus-www.psep.biz.I am going to try and get another however they dont ship o/s.
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