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Old 16-12-2009, 13:56   #1
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Starter Motor Problem

I'm a yachtie but a good friend of mine has a Four Winns 318 Cruiser fitted with twin Volvo 5.7 Gi/DP stern drives. As he is elderly and not able to do repairs himself I'm wanting to help him with a starter motor problem on one of the engines.

When the ignition key is turned the starter motor is heard to spin but the pinion gear does not engage with the flywheel ring gear to crank the engine. I've tried the old trick of "tapping" the starter motor with a hammer to see if any dirt or stickiness can be overcome, but to no avail.

So the forward plan is to remove the starter motor (I didn't have the correct tools with me at the time) to investigate. My web research suggests there are two types of starter solenoids : (a) simply connects the starter to the battery and then centrifugal force forces the pinion into the ring gear, or (b) an electromagnetic version whereby the pinion is forced out via magnetic force. Frankly, I've never heard of (b), but then life is full of surprises.

If its (a) then the problem could be dirt, rust or missing teeth on the flywheel (unlikely). If its (b) the problem could be insufficient voltage (unlikely), a bad electrical connection or ground, or a faulty solenoid.

Am I missing anything?

Also, the starter motor is very difficult to access. I can see one horizontal bolt which goes through the flywheel casing roughly on the same axis as the starter motor axle/shaft, and I can "feel" one vertical bolt underneath seemingly clamping the starter motor upwards. Subsequent web research suggests there are two such vertical bolts, so I will check again on my next visit.

Can anyone shed any light on the mounting bolts - are there two vertical bolts? and is the abovementioned horizontal bolt irrelevant to removal?

Thanks for all help.

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Old 16-12-2009, 14:04   #2
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Not sure about the bolts for removal but it is surely type B. The solenoid will likely need replacing they go bad. Auto parts store should be able to fix you up.

Good luck

Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
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Old 16-12-2009, 14:31   #3
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Volvo Starter

The 5.7 Volvo is, I am almost positive, say 99%, a Chevy block. Pull the starter off, and take it to any local starter/alternator shop for a rebuild. It's very inexpensive when compared to anything with marine in the name. There is basically no difference between a marine starter and a non marine.
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Old 16-12-2009, 14:57   #4
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if the horizontal bolt is in the starter housing you must remove also. this bolt was used to stop starter from twisting on the mount bolts making the teeth not mess properly. if it is a chevy then the solenoid could be either. on either style there could be a week nose gear which can be replaced. it could also be the ring gear. if the owner tried to engage starter with motor running this will cause the starter to peen off the ring gear and if done enough will damage both, ring gear more so
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Old 19-12-2009, 00:58   #5
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Not familiar with volvo but all chevy. starters have two vertical bolts on to me.marc
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Old 19-12-2009, 12:53   #6
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Yup.. The 5.7 Volvo gas engine is the venerable Chevy 350 CID. The good news is that the starter is the most common starter ever made in the automotive industry. However "You" have a "Marine"one. Which in theory has sheilding against explosive gases (Gasoline fumes) The FourWinns has a shallow bilge area and water can easily get into the lower part of the flywheel housing if you do not keep an eye on it. Then when running water gets thrown up into the housing and the bendix (The gizmo that pushes the little starter gear out) and it rusts up. This stops the starter from engaging. Pull it off and take it to a shop. or get an exchange unit from the local auto store.

Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
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