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Old 01-05-2016, 08:11   #1
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Wont Start

I have a Perkins 4.236 that has intermittent starting problems. I have had this problem for 5 years. It starts , almost always, when cold first attempt. It is after its run for a bit that starting is a challenge.
Here is yesterdays example . Boat started first attempt , ran for maybe 30 minutes before raising the sails and shutting down. Sailed for 4 hours and when went to start it it all I get is a click, no cranking. After 5 minutes of attempts it starts and I motor in.
Everyone , myself included, feels its an electrical issue. I have changed the starter, solenoid ( 2 x ) , ground cable , cleaned all connections, dis engaged the safety neutral, changed the starting button. Nothing has made an ounce of difference. It always starts, eventually, but its inability to start on demand is a problem.
Before I go and spend some more money anyone have any idea on what this could be caused from.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:15   #2
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Re: Wont Start

have you changed out the wires yet?? you could have a cracked wire issue. connectors need to be new and wires intact. otherwise you will replace a lot of not needed to replace items of pricey nature.
good luck.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:46   #3
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Re: Wont Start

Yes Zee that is one thing I thought of last night as well, I will definitely go over them today
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:53   #4
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Re: Wont Start

what comes in sleep usually is the issue or fix for issue. best fun and fortune.

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Old 01-05-2016, 09:32   #5
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Re: Wont Start

Two things I can think of:
1) Does your gear shift control have a switch in it to avoid starting in gear? If so It may be defective . Been there done that! You can bypass it with a wire to find out.
2) My Perkins 4-108 did that sometimes. There was a big white multi wire connector on the back of the engine, The pins were corroded inside the connector.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:33   #6
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Re: Wont Start

check your kill lever. if stuck slightly it can prevent restarting.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:08   #7
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Re: Wont Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by cortezsailor View Post
I have a Perkins 4.236 that has intermittent starting problems. I have had this problem for 5 years. It starts , almost always, when cold first attempt. It is after its run for a bit that starting is a challenge.

Here is yesterdays example . Boat started first attempt , ran for maybe 30 minutes before raising the sails and shutting down. Sailed for 4 hours and when went to start it it all I get is a click, no cranking. After 5 minutes of attempts it starts and I motor in.

Everyone , myself included, feels its an electrical issue. I have changed the starter, solenoid ( 2 x ) , ground cable , cleaned all connections, dis engaged the safety neutral, changed the starting button. Nothing has made an ounce of difference. It always starts, eventually, but its inability to start on demand is a problem.

Before I go and spend some more money anyone have any idea on what this could be caused from.

The most common cause would be a weak battery. Use a volt meter and look for voltage drop.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:23   #8
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Re: Wont Start

Thanks everyone , I have over rode the safety neutral switch and new batteries as well , all test good


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Old 01-05-2016, 11:09   #9
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Re: Wont Start

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
The most common cause would be a weak battery. Use a volt meter and look for voltage drop.
If you continue to be stumped then this is what I would try. While a helper attempts to start the engine take a voltmeter, move up the circuit from starter to battery and look for where you get the voltage drop.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:19   #10
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Re: Wont Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by cortezsailor View Post
I have a Perkins 4.236 that has intermittent starting problems. I have had this problem for 5 years. It starts , almost always, when cold first attempt. It is after its run for a bit that starting is a challenge.
Here is yesterdays example . Boat started first attempt , ran for maybe 30 minutes before raising the sails and shutting down. Sailed for 4 hours and when went to start it it all I get is a click, no cranking. After 5 minutes of attempts it starts and I motor in.
Everyone , myself included, feels its an electrical issue. I have changed the starter, solenoid ( 2 x ) , ground cable , cleaned all connections, dis engaged the safety neutral, changed the starting button. Nothing has made an ounce of difference. It always starts, eventually, but its inability to start on demand is a problem.
Before I go and spend some more money anyone have any idea on what this could be caused from.
Certainly sounds electrical. If you've changed the obvious and checked all connections for voltage drop than you may have a wiring issue.

Try bypassing the low current draw starting circuit wiring.

Do you by any chance have a hidden relay between your start switch and starter solenoid? They can cause this type of problem.

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Old 01-05-2016, 11:24   #11
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Re: Wont Start

His boat makes a click, so the starter low amp circuit is working. It must be in the big cables somewhere. I have heard of engines stopping so the gear wont quite engage the flywheel gear, but never a Perkins.
But that's a thought, next time it does it, go below and move the crank maybe just a little bit and see if that solves it.
By "over rode the neutral safety switch" what did you do? I had the problem on a powerboat once and it wasn't fixed until I replaced the whole wiring from the key switch to the starter. Must have been in the wire somewhere. I had thought it was the Neutral SS.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:35   #12
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Re: Wont Start

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Certainly sounds electrical. If you've changed the obvious and checked all connections for voltage drop than you may have a wiring issue.

Try bypassing the low current draw starting circuit wiring.

Do you by any chance have a hidden relay between your start switch and starter solenoid? They can cause this type of problem.

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Not sure if there's a hidden relay I don't believe so but electrical is not my bag , I will check . When I say I over rode the neutral safety I simply joined the two connections to make it believe it's always in neutral . I thought this was the problem originally . Because the issue is intermittent and it does always start it's tough . If I needed to start in a hurry though I would have an issue and where I sail there is land everywhere .
I am leaning towards replacing all the wiring back to the starter but I do appreciate all the great advice . Before I do change it , I will try the other suggestions first.
Thanks


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Old 01-05-2016, 16:00   #13
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Re: Wont Start

If it starts when on shore power and not when you sail with the motor off. I feel its either an electrical short or you are using to much power from Autopilot, lights, radio before recharging. You said you had a new battery, have you checked your alternator? Maybe battery is to small for use. Just some random thoughts.
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Old 01-05-2016, 16:16   #14
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Re: Wont Start

Could be the start switch itself. I replaced mine just 5 years ago but can tell it is starting to go bad.
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Old 01-05-2016, 16:18   #15
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Re: Wont Start

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
The most common cause would be a weak battery. Use a volt meter and look for voltage drop.
Dying start batt would have been my guess, but he says he changed out the batt. My port engine is currently doing this due to a dying start batt (next up on the maint list).

My next guess would be a charging issue. Cranks fine first time and then wont turn over. My Jeep did this recently, relatively new batt, turned out to be a loose connection at alternator. (Happened when I was away of course as it always does...my wife does not have much patience for such things!)

My suggestion. Start and go sailing as usual, then check batt voltage before attempting to start.

Also check negative connection to engine block, could be a poor connection there. Remove and clean even if it looks good and is secure.
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