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Old 22-01-2015, 14:28   #76
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Triplett - Fox and Hound.

Handy as a watch pocket used to be.

Great for chasing mystery wires.
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Old 22-01-2015, 14:29   #77
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Triplett - Fox and Hound.

Handy as a watch pocket used to be.

Great for chasing mystery wires.
Thanks for the tip. I was looking at some of the Fluke models but they seemed expensive & perhaps overkill for my ltd. needs. Fwiw, someone mentioned that Harbor Freight also had one. I'm sure it's inexpensive but you take your chances. Then I found a Triplett Fox & Hound "Jr." on Amazon for $37. Less range than the more typical home or bldg. application, but may be just about right for the more ltd. confines of a boat.
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Old 22-01-2015, 15:38   #78
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

In general the volt meter is an accurate instrument while the test lamp is not.
I like both of them depending on the situation.
The test lamp for first aid trouble shooting to narrow down posibilities is much more practical.
Once parts of the system have been confirmed to be good and there are still no results than there is no choice to digg deeper with the volt meter but looking at the situation of starting problems with the engine in marine enviroment I would beleave 90% can be handeled with a test lamp.

But I would like to mention something else at this point

Letīs asume for a moment a person with what ever skills turns to the forum for some tech help, because he is sitting desperatly in some lousy spot and there is no outside help

What would be the best way to help this person ?
Now we are at 6 pages

I feel guilty with every word I write.
This person needs some help and not disscusions

So I beleave clear easy proceedures and the shorter the better are vital

No electronic what ever.....just get the damn engine started and get the hell out of the situation

Letīs keep that in mind

NOOOO
I donīt want to discuss that here...that belongs to another topic
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Old 22-01-2015, 15:45   #79
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

No electronic what ever.....just get the damn engine started and get the hell out of the situation.


Amen
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Old 23-01-2015, 08:17   #80
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

We took the old west marine battery in to get it tested, at WM, and it came back "good"...which is why I was not looking at the battery as being the issue. However, it was over 4 years old and since it was out of the battery area we took this opportunity to replace it.

Engine starts up right away now.
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Old 23-01-2015, 08:46   #81
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
We took the old west marine battery in to get it tested, at WM, and it came back "good"...which is why I was not looking at the battery as being the issue. However, it was over 4 years old and since it was out of the battery area we took this opportunity to replace it.

Engine starts up right away now.
Hooray. Congratulations.

But are you sure it was the battery? Maybe removing and replacing the battery cables made a better connection and that fixed it? Or maybe the engine fairy came in the night and sprinkled magic dust on the starter.

All kidding aside, I cannot count the number of times I have taken something apart that wasn't working correctly. Looked at it, found nothing wrong, put it back together and it worked perfectly. I'm guessing that is usually because of a bad or loose connection that the disassembly and reassembly process makes better.

Then I had a computer once that would work perfectly when opened up but would fail intermittently when the case was back together. Drove me nuts until I finally found an adapter card that was slightly high and the top of the case was pushing it out of contact.

In any case, you're back in operation. So go sailing.
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Old 23-01-2015, 09:00   #82
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
We took the old west marine battery in to get it tested, at WM, and it came back "good"...which is why I was not looking at the battery as being the issue. However, it was over 4 years old and since it was out of the battery area we took this opportunity to replace it.

Engine starts up right away now.
Good news, and I hope this is the end of the issue for you.

Hate to play devil's advocate, but each time I thought I had my own Westerbeke starting issue resolved, it would return -- on an intermittent & inconsistent basis, of course. I hope not for your sake, but it could be that the extra capacity of a fresh battery is enough to overcome any resistance/corrosion you may still have in your starting circuit. In my case, it would manifest on hot days after I had run the engine for awhile and then tried to restart it a few hours later. I guess the added heat was enough to prevent the compromised preheat button at the helm from making sufficient contact. Maybe that plus the long wire run from the helm to the engine. Hard to say exactly I suppose.
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Old 23-01-2015, 10:35   #83
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Skipmac has an excellent point. Take off the batter cables and put them back on and you often have fixed the problem. You also may find (and often do) another problem that is lurking and fix that too. That may lead to digressions in your starting problem but it is a side benefit that I have reaped many many times over.

Regarding fixing the starter with a new battery, it could be, as noted, just a better connection at the battery and not the battery itself. If you had tried taking the cables off, cleaning them, and reinstalling them you might have found that this fixed the problem. Or, may be you just wanted a new battery which is OK too.

As far as an intermittent problem with a Westerbeke, or any other glow plug engine, you have to remember that a solenoid is in the circuit. They can stick, they can be temperature sensitive, and they can be intermittent just to be intermittent. I would always check the solenoid is the glow plugs are not glowing. BTW - you can feel if the glow plugs are heating with your fingers, and you can put your voltmeter on them to see if they have electricity.

And glow plugs fail often. And glow plug connections can loosen. If you haven't done the basics you can't really diagnose the more complicated parts. You need to take as many things out of the problem so you can focus and isolate the real problems.

And yes, a stronger battery can overpower a corroded connection and start the motor but the old battery would have to be tired indeed to not at least try to start the motor. The battery does not run the engine. It only turns the starter over so the engine can start. If the starter won't turn over that is one problem. If the starter turns over and the engine won't start that is an entirely different issue.

At this point with this long a thread I am not really sure what the original issue was. I guess it has ended up being a tutorial and opinions on starting and engine circuits in general. If the OP has not seen enough to sort out his/her problem by now, he/she should run down to the local marine service and get help, or from a knowledgeable friend who will spend the time the OP should do him/herself as far as checking connections, etc.

I have done this more times than I can counts, and sometimes repeatedly for the same person. Irritating. People like that should either just get the credit card out and pray nothing happens away from the marina, or sell the boat and do something else.

Sorry for the rant. But at some point you have to figure it out and do it yourself, or admit you are not the person best suited to do it. It has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence or ego or anything else. I have some friends that seem a bit slow for some things but can troubleshoot an electrical problem immediately and engineers/lawyers/doctors who never seem to figure it out. And don't over think it. Some non-trade professionals do that. i won't mention that some of them are engineers. I will regret saying that I know.
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Old 23-01-2015, 13:08   #84
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Just a new battery

Thatīs good news


Fair Winds
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Old 23-01-2015, 14:42   #85
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
We took the old west marine battery in to get it tested, at WM, and it came back "good"...which is why I was not looking at the battery as being the issue. However, it was over 4 years old and since it was out of the battery area we took this opportunity to replace it.

Engine starts up right away now.
I hope your problem is solved. Probably is, I am assuming WM means Walmart as far as the old battery test. I wouldn't hang my hat on that test.
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:00   #86
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior 90 View Post
Just a new battery

Thatīs good news


Fair Winds
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
I hope your problem is solved. Probably is, I am assuming WM means Walmart as far as the old battery test. I wouldn't hang my hat on that test.
Yes I agree that it is probably solved - I hope it is!

But nevertheless a word of caution (and call me pessimistic if you must )

As ExMaggieDrum alluded to, there are still possible unanswered questions that may cause the OP grief in the (near?) future.

The intermittent problem could still exist but maybe being masked by the brand new battery. If so, it will reappear; either by getting worse or by the new battery ageing. IME, all intermittent problems get worse over time, they never self heal .

For the electrically interested let me say that in essence the problem is (was?) always one of the circuit resistance being too high (intermittently). Part of the circuit resistance is the "equivalent internal resistance" of the battery. By replacing the old battery with a new one, the total circuit resistance has been decreased as the new battery will have a much lower internal resistance that the old one. If this was the source of the problem, then great, it is now fixed. If it wasn't the source problem, then the new battery might be masking the the true issue. That is, the intermittent high resistance elsewhere is still there and will get worse.


Again I hope it is just the battery!
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Old 23-01-2015, 17:48   #87
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

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Hooray. Congratulations.

But are you sure it was the battery? Maybe removing and replacing the battery cables made a better connection and that fixed it? Or maybe the engine fairy came in the night and sprinkled magic dust on the starter.

All kidding aside, I cannot count the number of times I have taken something apart that wasn't working correctly. Looked at it, found nothing wrong, put it back together and it worked perfectly. I'm guessing that is usually because of a bad or loose connection that the disassembly and reassembly process makes better.
That's possible. Although the wires and connections looked clean I took this opportunity to clean all the terminals using CRC battery terminal cleaner and a good brass brush then applied some anti-corrosion stuff.

Since I also had everything removed from my house bank storage area I also cleaned all the connections on my house batteries. That is a pain in the butt when the batteries are in the boat still. I think a good practice is to periodically pull the batteries individually, clean them real well, look for physical defects, and charge/equalize them before putting them back in.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that its just the battery and not the wiring. If its the wiring, then that's a pain, but not a very expensive fix - for a change.

We chose not to leave Key West today because of the front that is approaching but we anticipate leaving Sunday after the front blows through. Can't wait to leave KW... have not run into a single cruiser we know, which is very surprising, and it doesn't seem like cruisers come here to socialize. Its mostly people that drive or fly in, even with a huge mooring field. I really thought that the mooring field would have been full for New Years but it was only filled maybe 1/3rd to capacity.
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Old 23-01-2015, 17:59   #88
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

When that happened to me, the gear setting wasn't precisely at neutral.
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Old 25-01-2015, 01:23   #89
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Re: Turn key, push buttons, and nothing

zboss,

If you noticed Wotname's post, what he said certainly struck a chord with me. I think if you have a lay day, just look carefully at all the connections, see if they're pitted, or dull looking. What you're looking for is evidence of past crimes, in a way. You particularly want to get rid of accumulatins of corrosion products, crystalline, or powdery, or different from what you know wire should look like, or pitting on the surfaces of connectors. Fine grit sandpaper, or even pencil erasers can polish them.

When it comes to reading wiring diagrams, there are conventions that people who are familiar with them recognize instantly, and if you don't know them, make them hard to figure out.

If I went too elementary for you, I apologize, but sometimes (to my perspective) our helper guys don't start at the very beginning. They think we might know something! There's lots you can do before you even buy a multimeter!

Ann

PS. Glad she starts now!
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