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Old 29-07-2009, 15:12   #1
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Starting Issues

Hello. I have had a problem starting my, new to me, Catalina 30, when I first try to start to diesel. After turning the key to warm up the glow plug for about 30 seconds, I hit the start button, I hear a click, but that is it. I release the button, wait about 3-5 seconds and than it will fire up about 85% of the time. What should I be checking for ?

Thanks for the help

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Old 29-07-2009, 16:34   #2
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glow plugs take alot o juice. Is the battery fully charged? also corrosion on the wire and connections from key switch to starter have caused increased resistance in the wire causing intermittent turning over. This time of year you may not need the glow plug. Will it turn over with out the preheat. Also what kind of diesel? some kind of problems are specific others general to the motor.

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Old 29-07-2009, 16:45   #3
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Bad solenoid caused exactly that on our Cat, put a new one on and problem solved.

Also, the older Catalinas had really badly undersized primary DC wiring from battery to starter, ours had 30 feet of 4AWG which is way too small. Best solution is to add a dedicated starting battery as close to the engine as you can get it with at least 2AWG wire.
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Old 29-07-2009, 17:27   #4
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Glow plugs can go bad. If you pull them you may see the tips as swollen. When they bulge like that it means they are no good. In warm weather it isn't that critical. You can also measure the resistance on them as well.
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Old 30-07-2009, 08:03   #5
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If you hear a click with no engine rotation it is either starter solenoid, secondary power to the starter or the starter itself.

If you hear a click and the engine appears to be trying to rotate it indicates high resistance, bad wiring or weak batteries.

You can turn on a cabin light and watch when the starter is activated. If the light dims noticeably it could indicate high resistance (bad large wiring or loose connection) or a weak battery. Slight dimming could indicate a bad solenoid.

I would check the connections on the batteries and the starter first. Remove clean and retighten all connections.

My guess is the solenoid. The reason for that is you state that often (85% of the time) it workd on the second try. This would indicate the batteries are charged, the wiring is OK and the solenoid is intermittent.
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Old 30-07-2009, 08:13   #6
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try posting on There is a Catalina 30 section in the forum.This is often discussed, usually the solenoid but sometimes they mention the wiring harness needs to be pulled apart at the connections and the corrosion cleaned.

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Old 30-07-2009, 18:27   #7
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I have seen wiring issues on a number of these...connections and degraded wiring.

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