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Old 08-07-2015, 10:19   #1
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Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

All -

Been trying to figure out a starting issue and have been reading through some threads here - Yanmar 3GM30F - Starter WOES - but wanted to ask the question in a new thread to figure out where to start troubleshooting. We have had the issue for the past couple of seasons as we sail summers in Lake Michigan.

The issue:

- When we go to the boat and cold start it turns right over
- However if we run the engine for a couple hours (usually on a longer haul lake crossing) and then stop it it wont turn right back over. Instead when we push the button it clicks but no turn over.
- We learned about tapping the starter with a mallet / butt of a knife and after a couple taps that usually does the trick.

Batteries were new last year.

From what I have read and gathered talking to people it may be one of the following:

1. Starter motor needs a rebuild
2. New solenoid
3. New wiring from starter switch to solenoid

We are leaving on a trip this weekend and although this is not critical to the trip we will be gone for three weeks and I thought I would try to troubleshoot it if possible. The local Yanmar engine guys are all tied up servicing boats for the Mac race.

I have not done any work on the engine before but as with most issues on the boat I am eager to try to figure out if it is something I can tackle with some guidance or if I should not touch it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:33   #2
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

One day tapping won't work. Might be best for you to pick the time to address the issue instead of the offending gear doing the picking.

That's the engine I have. Starter maintenance is very straightforward so I think you can tackle this yourself if up for the challenge.

Intermittant electrical problems often come and go with a change in temperature.

Be sure to check the connections carefully on the starter first. Something could be loose. Look at the crimps on the connectors carefully as well as the securing nut.

When you tap, do you tap solenoid or armature housing or both?
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:01   #3
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Here is a real simple test for you to do. Next time on a long run of the diesel and it doesn't restart, but a socket on the crank pulley and turn the engine a fraction of an inch. Remove wrench and attempt a restart. If nothing but the click, repeat with wrench and try again.

During my 40+ years of building up hot rods, this problem has crept up a lot. Same scenario, cold start every time starts. Hot start sometimes just the click. The Bendix drive for starter gear engagement to the flywheel depends on the distance the starter motor gear travels before the motor itself is then energized. Heat causes expansion of the flywheel gear on the motor and the starter gear can hit that gear before enough travel for the starter motor to be energized. If this is your problem, shims are made with slotted openings for the attachment bolts that allow you to shim without removing the starter motor, kinda handy. Just install the shim and test hot again.
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Old 08-07-2015, 13:03   #4
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Here is a real simple test for you to do. Next time on a long run of the diesel and it doesn't restart, put a socket on the crank pulley and turn the engine a fraction of an inch. Remove wrench and attempt a restart. If nothing but the click, repeat with wrench and try again.

During my 40+ years of building up hot rods, this problem has crept up a lot. Same scenario, cold start every time starts. Hot start sometimes just the click. The Bendix drive for starter gear engagement to the flywheel depends on the distance the starter motor gear travels before the motor itself is then energized. Heat causes expansion of the flywheel gear on the motor and the starter gear can hit that gear before enough travel for the starter motor to be energized. If this is your problem, shims are made with slotted openings for the attachment bolts that allow you to shim without removing the starter motor, kinda handy. Just install the shim and test hot again.
Did a correction after the allowed time frame. ".... put a socket" instead of "but a socket". lol
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Old 08-07-2015, 13:47   #5
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

After a haul out for a bottom job, my 3GM30F was dead. Turn the key and nothing. Yard electrician found an open wire in the wire loom of the engine. added a jumper outside the wire bundle and all was fine. Will be going down to the boat later and see if I can identify the wire.

If you have jumper cables, you can go direct from the battery to the starter and the starter solenoid to rule out a broken wire. Most starting issues I've found are caused by the starter motor ground wire. Might pull the wires to the starter and ground connection on the engine, clean them up if necessary and reattach.
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Old 08-07-2015, 13:57   #6
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

...it clicks but no turn over...


We have the 3GM30F motor and two spare starter motors besides, all of which are apparently 'OK' yet we've suffered from the occasional non-engagement with the flywheel with all of them; sadly ours don't have any consistency to the failures - they'll work fine for weeks, then miss engaging 3 times out of four, before settling down to work perfectly again; we too overcome the problem by just moving the crankshaft position slightly, by tugging on the alternator belt. That said, our non-engagements are signified by a 'whir' (the unengaged starter spinning) rather than a single 'click'.
We had the non-start/click problem when we first bought the boat and resolved that straight away as I'd come across it before: The large amount of amps from the battery which are needed to power the starter, all have to squeeze up the thin wire from starter to ignition switch and back again; if there is any weakness in that wire or it's connections, the necessary power cant' get through and it just 'clicks'; indeed with some (long cable length between starter and switch panel) you get the problem even when things are perfect. We remedied the problem by installing a relay into the circuit, so the only power needing to make the journey to the ignition switch and back, is the much smaller amount needed to close the relay and the starting-amps then just have a short journey through a heavier cable to make
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Old 08-07-2015, 15:17   #7
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeac2 View Post
All -

Been trying to figure out a starting issue and have been reading through some threads here - Yanmar 3GM30F - Starter WOES - but wanted to ask the question in a new thread to figure out where to start troubleshooting. We have had the issue for the past couple of seasons as we sail summers in Lake Michigan.

The issue:

- When we go to the boat and cold start it turns right over If it turns over every time when cold, see my post #4.
- However if we run the engine for a couple hours (usually on a longer haul lake crossing) and then stop it it wont turn right back over. Instead when we push the button it clicks but no turn over.
- We learned about tapping the starter with a mallet / butt of a knife and after a couple taps that usually does the trick.

Batteries were new last year.

From what I have read and gathered talking to people it may be one of the following:

1. Starter motor needs a rebuild
2. New solenoid
3. New wiring from starter switch to solenoid

We are leaving on a trip this weekend and although this is not critical to the trip we will be gone for three weeks and I thought I would try to troubleshoot it if possible. The local Yanmar engine guys are all tied up servicing boats for the Mac race.

I have not done any work on the engine before but as with most issues on the boat I am eager to try to figure out if it is something I can tackle with some guidance or if I should not touch it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
When switching to an aluminum flywheel this has happened a lot because the expansion rate when hot of aluminum is 5 times that of carbon steel. It still can happen with steel like in your case, that is why automotive parts suppliers carry starter shims. If it always spins when cold and the problem only appears when hot, then my money is on the needing of a shim. If you shim too much then you will get a grinding sound because the starter motor has picked up speed before gear engagement.
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Old 08-07-2015, 16:41   #8
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

hmm just been through something similiar...long story short, new starter motor, problems solved. Long story - going back 3?-4? years, starter mtr sluggish, checked all battery connections and strtr mtr connections, found a few loose/dodgy ones and fixed them, got some decent power from the starter for a while. Got sluggish again a year ago, started using the valve lifter to help it out. Got annoyed and went over the electrics again, discovered that the main power switches were all a bit...geriatric, so they were replaced but no appreciable improvement in the starter. Recently, out for an engine warmer and the starter just clicked. Took it off, went to an auto electrics guy, tested it, dead. New starter, firing up beauty.(Was quite tempted at this point to clean up the old starter (which seemed ok on dismantle) as a spare but decided not to bother - prefer a replacement) BUT without cleaning up all the electrical connections theres still plenty of room for problems. Incidentally, tapping the solenoid is only useful to (a) get a startup a couple of times; (b) tell you a new starter is needed; and (c) surprising that it did anything if the solenoid was clicking - usually its a last resort if there is absolutely nothing when the key turns, indicating a (maybe) stuck solenoid...
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:48   #9
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

how old is the engine/starter, possible starter sol./ brushes can have rebuilt at reasonable cost.....
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:51   #10
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

While it may not be totally relevant to this situation, and I am rather sure that it isn't the solution to the problem here, I did come across a similar issue with a Maxwell HWC windlass that may be of help to someone else. The windlass wouldn't turn over all the time, but if I tapped it, it would usually work. Internal inspection revealed that the brushes weren't free to slide in the brush holders. I reduced the side dimensions of the brushes by light sanding, thus allowing them to slide freely, and eliminated the need to do any further tapping. I contacted Maxwell and was told they had never heard of this problem before. That being the case, I guess it is well that it was just my windlass.

Now back to the refit...

Cheers
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:58   #11
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Smile Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Had the same issue, Cold start no problem, then when hot and say a stop for fuel, problematic restart.
Yanmar wire harness as suggested above is the problem. I have read elsewhere they are notorious for this and difficult to check all the connections along the route to the starter switch without pulling the entire harness off, so
two easy solutions; 1. route a fresh bypass wire from starter switch to solenoid or 2. temporary fix is to acquire a trigger remote starter switch (autoparts supply house) which can be clipped onto the solenoid terminals allowing starting from next to engine. This little device has the added advantage of allowing you to turn over the engine from below when doing oil changes, bleeding fuel lines etc. without having to climb back and forth to the cockpit.
Good luck
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:38   #12
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeac2 View Post
All -

Been trying to figure out a starting issue and have been reading through some threads here - Yanmar 3GM30F - Starter WOES - but wanted to ask the question in a new thread to figure out where to start troubleshooting. We have had the issue for the past couple of seasons as we sail summers in Lake Michigan.

The issue:

- When we go to the boat and cold start it turns right over
- However if we run the engine for a couple hours (usually on a longer haul lake crossing) and then stop it it wont turn right back over. Instead when we push the button it clicks but no turn over.
- We learned about tapping the starter with a mallet / butt of a knife and after a couple taps that usually does the trick.

Batteries were new last year.

From what I have read and gathered talking to people it may be one of the following:

1. Starter motor needs a rebuild
2. New solenoid
3. New wiring from starter switch to solenoid

We are leaving on a trip this weekend and although this is not critical to the trip we will be gone for three weeks and I thought I would try to troubleshoot it if possible. The local Yanmar engine guys are all tied up servicing boats for the Mac race.

I have not done any work on the engine before but as with most issues on the boat I am eager to try to figure out if it is something I can tackle with some guidance or if I should not touch it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Try this it worked for me on 3 different Yanmar engines! The problem is the voltage loss in the starter solenoid circuit (wiring between the instrument panel and engine).

Yanmar solved the problem with the installation of a small starter relay in the circuit on newer engines. Addition of a homemade starter relay is very easy - let me know if you would like a diagram.

Mike Pz
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:37   #13
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

Had this problem 2 years ago half way across Biscay. Mallet worked first time but problem transpired to be a loose connection to solenoid. White wire torpedo connection squeezed with pliers and bingo off we went trawler dodging.

Brendan
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Old 09-07-2015, 13:00   #14
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

I resolved the intermittent starting problem with my Yanmar 3gm30f (2004) by running a new #10 wire from the start push button straight to the solenoid, as other's have mentioned. It's the small white wire on the side terminal of the solenoid. Previously I had the solenoid "click" with no engagement of the starter. It usually took a handful of button pushes before the starter would go, if it would go at all. The PO had it in mind that it was a ground issue and, having traced all the ground connections, had lived with the problem for years. However, the problem had been getting progressively worse.

In my case, the push button wires were welded to the button terminals so I just cut the old wire a few inches from the terminals and spliced the new wire from there. Also cleaned all the connections to the solenoid. The #10 wire appears to be more than sufficient for the application.

On a side note, I ended up ripping out the untinned Yanmar wiring harness and ran my own system using bus bars. Hard to believe the wire Yanmar used, at least on my 2004 3gm, was so poor. After less than 10 years in a clean engine environment with dry bilges, the wiring harness just crumbled in my hands.
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Old 09-07-2015, 13:14   #15
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Re: Yanmar 3GM30 Starting issues - Starter? Solenoid? Wiring?

I've had this problem on many production boats. Many manufacturers do not connect the wiring until the deck and hull are put together. The wiring harness is already in the deck and hull. Meaning there are connectors splicing the wires from the cockpit to the engine - the majority of them. These connectors many times are lying on the inner hull where there is condensation leading to an intermittent failure. Check under the aft cabin bunk and all wires leading from the key panel and batteries to the engine. It may be easier to replace the wire with a larger gauge wire. They are usually too small in the first place. Lastly someone mentioned using a "jumper" start control directly from the starter. I have one of these and it is nice, however, you should not use a starter to bleed fuel lines. Doing so puts water into the exhaust without exhaust pressure to force it out. A few seconds of this might be ok, but continued turning over of the engine without combustion(i.e. no fuel), will eventually fill up the exhaust line and back up into the engine. I once had water come out of the air element doing this - not a good thing! I know others that have done the same thing leading to a new engine. You could close the through hull, but also not recommended.
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