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Old 04-08-2014, 11:59   #1
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Stuck Starter Solenoid?

After crossing Georgia strait yesterday, we tried starting our engine a mile off Thrasher rock, intending to motor into Silva Bay. Since the starter button had been a little finicky in the past, I was surprised to find we simply could not start the engine. To get the boat moving away from land, we beam reached back towards Vancouver while I tried to find and repair the fault. We opted to continue back across the strait at 6 knots, arriving at the Point Grey Bell Buoy just after dark, and had C-tow take us in.
When I turn on the key, I get the alarm sound, which diminishes immediatly when pushing the starter button, then resumes full screech when the button is released. Nothing else happens. When I turn on the key and cross the solenoid connections, the starter spins, but does not engage. I have yet to try crossing the solenoid while both the key is on and the starter button is depressed, because I assumed crossing the solenoid connections bypasses the starter button. I think the solenoid is stuck, and I will have a mechanic out tommorow, but, any ideas? We'd like to at least get it started to get the 100 yards back to our slip. It also appears to be a fairly common problem.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:22   #2
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Re: stuck starter solenoid?

Usual suspects:

1. NOT the start button

2. The wiring harness CONNECTORS

3. A fuse and/or rotten fuseholder between the start button and the solenoid
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:28   #3
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Re: stuck starter solenoid?

Tap the solenoid with a hammer.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:38   #4
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Re: stuck starter solenoid?

Yes your solenoid is :

A. Stuck
or
B. Not getting the proper voltage to the coil..

Crossing the two BIG terminals on the starter is only going to make it spin, not engage... Crossing the Hot large cable to the solenoid coil windings "might" turn the engine over...

You can also try some light tapping on the solenoid with a hammer and keep trying your button...
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Old 04-08-2014, 13:09   #5
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Re: stuck starter solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Crossing the Hot large cable to the solenoid coil windings "might" turn the engine over...
If it does, then you can be pretty sure it's not in the starter or solenoid itself, that it's in the circuit that supplies current to the solenoid coil.
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Old 04-08-2014, 13:12   #6
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Re: stuck starter solenoid?

A simple check is to put a multi-meter on the solenoid small wiring connection and see if battery voltage is present when the starter button is pressed, and if you hear a click from the solenoid when the button is pressed.
I've seen more than once the contacts in the solenoid be burnt and not making good connection, particularly if it's had a history of having to turn the key a few times before it will start.
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Old 13-08-2014, 22:39   #7
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Stuck Starter Solenoid?

Shorebird,

Did you figure out your problem? I have experienced somewhat the same thing, except after motoring for 2 - 3 hours, turning off the engine to pump out, at the fuel dock, while the engine is fairly hot, I depress the start button to start the motor, nothing happens. After an hour or so when the engine has cooled down, I try again and the motor starts up.. This seems to be heat related, at least appears to be. Looking for ideas.

Thanks,

BC


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Old 15-08-2014, 10:16   #8
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Re: Stuck Starter Solenoid?

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Originally Posted by DoraPearl09 View Post
Shorebird,

Did you figure out your problem? I have experienced somewhat the same thing, except after motoring for 2 - 3 hours, turning off the engine to pump out, at the fuel dock, while the engine is fairly hot, I depress the start button to start the motor, nothing happens. After an hour or so when the engine has cooled down, I try again and the motor starts up.. This seems to be heat related, at least appears to be. Looking for ideas.

Thanks,

BC


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BC,

Your solenoid is bad... Heat is expanding it and breaking a coil wire connection, or simply the friction between metals is stopping it from sliding...

Get a new solenoid, and you'll be a happy camper... er sailor...
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Old 15-08-2014, 10:43   #9
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Re: Stuck Starter Solenoid?

You statements seem contradictory..."nothing happens", or "starter spins"....but anyway... it spins but doesn't engage right. So the engage solenoid is not operating. This could be the solenoid or could be a bad connection, terminial, dirty, voltage drop. Ran into this 2 weeks ago actually on a gas marine engine. The voltage with a meter was fine at the solenoid. But under load it would not operate the solenoid. Replaced a terminal fitting and all is fine. (should have been soldered and crimped! haha.. ok .. let's not go there!)
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Old 15-08-2014, 13:23   #10
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Re: Stuck Starter Solenoid?

I turn the key, the alarm buzzer sounds , I depress the start button and nothing happens, no solinoid clicking or starter motor running. Someone suggested maybe a bad fuse or bad connection in the fuse and fuse holder in the start circuit?

BC
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Old 15-08-2014, 14:39   #11
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Re: Stuck Starter Solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoraPearl09 View Post
I turn the key, the alarm buzzer sounds , I depress the start button and nothing happens, no solinoid clicking or starter motor running. Someone suggested maybe a bad fuse or bad connection in the fuse and fuse holder in the start circuit?

BC
Ask yourself if the "solenoid fuse" is in the engine compartment where the heat is...
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