Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-05-2015, 13:34   #1
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,725
Yanmar Starter Problems

Chapter 2 of my Yanmar starter problems.

This first happened to me five years ago, when my engine just wouldn't start, going out the Needles Channel the first time.

Since then, the Yanmar wouldn't turn over from time to time, but would, the next time I tried it, so I didn't worry about it.

So here we are, crossing the Channel at night to Guernsey, and the wind dies down, and we need a minimum 7.5 knot average (and our plan is 8.5 knots) to make the tidal gate through the Alderny Race, and the engine doesn't start. And doesn't and doesn't.

So I get my tools and dive on the engine room. There doesn't seem to be power coming from the ignition switch to the solenoid. And I just had all the heat exchangers and coolers taken off and cleaned out by a pro, and a new oil line presses hard against the cable tree. So I make up several jumpers and direct wire the solenoid. At sea, and the wind has picked up, and I'm feeling a twinge of seasickness for the very first time in my life, on top of being dead tired from a couple of days of scrambling to get everything ready for this trip.

And voila, the engine starts, and I figure it's solved. We sail on, the wind keeps rising, and I have my new carbon fiber blade jib, and we are smoking across the sea lanes. I go to bed for a couple of hours, and when I come up, my crew say that they've had two hours at an average of 11.5 knots, on a beam reach in 20 to 25 knots, but they are white-faced, as at one time they were dealing with 22 (!) ships on dangerous courses at the same time. They reefed the main (my old baggy one; the new main is here in Guernsey and not yet picked up). We end up hard on the wind, and we get to 32 apparent with ease, even though my sheet leads are not yet fully installed, and we didn't even bother to sheet inside the shrouds -- but I digress.

We get into Guernsey well ahead of schedule, tie up, and as we get ready to motor over the fuel dock, turn the key, nothing. And nothing. And nothing.

So we dive on the engine room again, test the voltage, and hear the solenoid clanking home when the key is turned. So it's not electrical. So we pull off the starter, expecting to put on the spare I have -- and the spare doesn't fit. The pinion has flattened, boogered up teeth, which is worrying. So we grease the pinion, wire brush the contacts, and put it back. And nothing, and nothing. Pull it off again, check everything again, try it out directly wired to a battery with jumper cables -- works perfectly. Put it back -- nothing. Finally occurs to someone to pull the engine over a little with a breaker bar. We do so -- starts.

Many experiments later, which show that it always starts if you pull the engine around a bit with the breaker bar, that the pinion is not meshing with the ring gear. Over time and a number of false starts, the teeth have gotten boogered up and find a flat spot on the ring gear and don't engage.


So sorry for the long introduction, here's the question -- what do I do now? Pop the starter off again and sharpen the pinion teeth with a file? Or replace the pinion? Or replace the whole starter?

Anyone have this problem?
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 13:54   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,929
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Pictures of the pinion gear and if possible the ring gear would help us help you. But while in Guernsey take at least one of the starters to a good alternator/starter shop if there is one. The pinion gear teeth should have a nice bevel on them to help them mesh with the ring gear. Perhaps if they are worn to the point where there is no bevel on the end they will only mesh if the ring gear teeth are perfectly lined up.(?) Perhaps also the ring gear teeth are messed up(?).

Edit: does the starter spin when the solenoid pulls in? Have you tried jumping across the heavy connections on the solenoid with a screw driver shaft? If so what happens?
__________________

__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 14:05   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 324
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Hi,
Sometimes you can disassemble and flip 180 degress the "boogerred" teeth gear to hold you over for awhile.

Like he said-Photos worth a million words.


All the Best.
__________________
Arthur Garfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 15:09   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Miami Beach
Boat: Catalina C34
Posts: 128
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Chapter 2 of my Yanmar starter problems.

This first happened to me five years ago, when my engine just wouldn't start, going out the Needles Channel the first time.

Since then, the Yanmar wouldn't turn over from time to time, but would, the next time I tried it, so I didn't worry about it.

So here we are, crossing the Channel at night to Guernsey, and the wind dies down, and we need a minimum 7.5 knot average (and our plan is 8.5 knots) to make the tidal gate through the Alderny Race, and the engine doesn't start. And doesn't and doesn't.

So I get my tools and dive on the engine room. There doesn't seem to be power coming from the ignition switch to the solenoid. And I just had all the heat exchangers and coolers taken off and cleaned out by a pro, and a new oil line presses hard against the cable tree. So I make up several jumpers and direct wire the solenoid. At sea, and the wind has picked up, and I'm feeling a twinge of seasickness for the very first time in my life, on top of being dead tired from a couple of days of scrambling to get everything ready for this trip.

And voila, the engine starts, and I figure it's solved. We sail on, the wind keeps rising, and I have my new carbon fiber blade jib, and we are smoking across the sea lanes. I go to bed for a couple of hours, and when I come up, my crew say that they've had two hours at an average of 11.5 knots, on a beam reach in 20 to 25 knots, but they are white-faced, as at one time they were dealing with 22 (!) ships on dangerous courses at the same time. They reefed the main (my old baggy one; the new main is here in Guernsey and not yet picked up). We end up hard on the wind, and we get to 32 apparent with ease, even though my sheet leads are not yet fully installed, and we didn't even bother to sheet inside the shrouds -- but I digress.

We get into Guernsey well ahead of schedule, tie up, and as we get ready to motor over the fuel dock, turn the key, nothing. And nothing. And nothing.

So we dive on the engine room again, test the voltage, and hear the solenoid clanking home when the key is turned. So it's not electrical. So we pull off the starter, expecting to put on the spare I have -- and the spare doesn't fit. The pinion has flattened, boogered up teeth, which is worrying. So we grease the pinion, wire brush the contacts, and put it back. And nothing, and nothing. Pull it off again, check everything again, try it out directly wired to a battery with jumper cables -- works perfectly. Put it back -- nothing. Finally occurs to someone to pull the engine over a little with a breaker bar. We do so -- starts.

Many experiments later, which show that it always starts if you pull the engine around a bit with the breaker bar, that the pinion is not meshing with the ring gear. Over time and a number of false starts, the teeth have gotten boogered up and find a flat spot on the ring gear and don't engage.


So sorry for the long introduction, here's the question -- what do I do now? Pop the starter off again and sharpen the pinion teeth with a file? Or replace the pinion? Or replace the whole starter?

Anyone have this problem?
Before pursuing the pinion/ring gear theory, I would be sure to check all of the battery cable connections, especially the connection to ground.
__________________
jkishel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 15:41   #5
Registered User
 
Safari38LH's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Marion, Ma
Boat: Little Harbor 38
Posts: 259
Yanmar Starter Problems

Not being an engine guy, but having a Yanmar that doesn't start often on the first turn of the key - there is a thread on the forum about this (I think). It is a known problem and something to do with the amount of power getting to the starter. I'll see if I can find the thread.

Yanmar Starter Is Intermittent



Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Safari38LH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 15:47   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,725
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Pictures of the pinion gear and if possible the ring gear would help us help you. But while in Guernsey take at least one of the starters to a good alternator/starter shop if there is one. The pinion gear teeth should have a nice bevel on them to help them mesh with the ring gear. Perhaps if they are worn to the point where there is no bevel on the end they will only mesh if the ring gear teeth are perfectly lined up.(?) Perhaps also the ring gear teeth are messed up(?).

Edit: does the starter spin when the solenoid pulls in? Have you tried jumping across the heavy connections on the solenoid with a screw driver shaft? If so what happens?
Yes, it spins and works fine. We connected it with jumper cables direct to battery when uninstalled to check it. And the pinion spins out. I think it's the pinion teeth. The ring gear teeth seem to be more or less or, although of course they have suffered from this. I have photos (from a crewman's phone) and will post when I can.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 15:50   #7
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,725
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkishel View Post
Before pursuing the pinion/ring gear theory, I would be sure to check all of the battery cable connections, especially the connection to ground.
Yes, our first thought was electrical, and did that thoroughly, including voltages measurements while cranking and attempting to crank. As it turns out, it's not electrical.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 16:05   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
Posts: 1,830
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Yanmars have a history of this. Lots already discussed here about the same and fixes.

Sent from my SM-G860P using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Badsanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 16:25   #9
Registered User
 
lonesoldier0408's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Boat: Luger, Southwind, 21
Posts: 356
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Although teeth damage may be normal the rocking over resolution leads one to a faulty ground. Corrosion being a big issue in electronics and chafing between moving parts, the ground seems most likely cause.
__________________
lonesoldier0408 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2015, 16:41   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,929
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Oh, bye the way DH, working on an engine problem at sea (fuel problem) was the only time I have been sea sick. Thankfully I held it in check until the problem was resolved and then fed the fishes. Not a fun situation.
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 08:45   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Slidell, La.
Boat: Morgan Classic 33
Posts: 1,100
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Chapter 2 of my Yanmar starter problems.

Many experiments later, which show that it always starts if you pull the engine around a bit with the breaker bar, that the pinion is not meshing with the ring gear. Over time and a number of false starts, the teeth have gotten boogered up and find a flat spot on the ring gear and don't engage.


So sorry for the long introduction, here's the question -- what do I do now? Pop the starter off again and sharpen the pinion teeth with a file? Or replace the pinion? Or replace the whole starter?

Anyone have this problem?
Yes, and from the description above it sounds like the problem may be something like what is shown in the picture below. Just under the center plug you'll notice that four of the teeth on the starter ring gear have been chipped off and if the engine doesn't start before it hits that section, or if the engine stops where that section aligns with the starter drive (which happens more often than would be presumed), the engine won't start.

If this is the case, nothing you do to the starter will help, but usually the ring gear is replaceable. You have to remover the gear, cover plate and flywheel, then break the old gear off with a hammer and a cold chisel, heat the new ring gear with a rosebud and oxacetylene torch to just before dull cherry red and drop the ring gear on the flywheel, where it shrink-fit locks onto the flywheel. It's a bit involved but not difficult. Last time I did it, on a Ford, the ring gear was 19.00.

You may be able to see if the ring gear teeth are messed up by looking through the hole where the starter goes or you may not.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ring.jpg
Views:	170
Size:	203.0 KB
ID:	101361  
__________________
jimbunyard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 09:57   #12
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

One possibility to consider from the symptoms is hydrolock. It results in intermittent starting with no electrical problem, as you have described. It can damage the starter ring gear or pinion teeth.

The diagnostic test is to see if you can turn over the engine by hand. However, in some cases the slow hand compression ejects the water and helps the engine starts normally. Just as you have described.

Hydrolock happens from incorrect installation (a very unlikely cause in an installation that has been unchanged for many years), a defective anti-syphon valve or an internally leaking exhaust elbow.

Yanmar have had some problems with hard to detect internal cracks in their exhaust elbow. They have redesigned the elbow to fix the problem.

The new part number is:
129670-13561
if you have the older elbow you need to be particuarly suspicious that this is the cause, although any exhaust elbow can leak.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 10:20   #13
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

If you need a new starter check out Spider Marine. My starter purchased from Spider while I was in Trinidad has performed flawlessly and costs a fraction of what a new starter from Yanmar costs.

Starters || Spider Marine Electric Supply, Inc.
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 10:44   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Antwerpen
Boat: Dufour 35 1973
Posts: 98
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Yes, and from the description above it sounds like the problem may be something like what is shown in the picture below. Just under the center plug you'll notice that four of the teeth on the starter ring gear have been chipped off and if the engine doesn't start before it hits that section, or if the engine stops where that section aligns with the starter drive (which happens more often than would be presumed), the engine won't start.

If this is the case, nothing you do to the starter will help, but usually the ring gear is replaceable. You have to remover the gear, cover plate and flywheel, then break the old gear off with a hammer and a cold chisel, heat the new ring gear with a rosebud and oxacetylene torch to just before dull cherry red and drop the ring gear on the flywheel, where it shrink-fit locks onto the flywheel. It's a bit involved but not difficult. Last time I did it, on a Ford, the ring gear was 19.00.

You may be able to see if the ring gear teeth are messed up by looking through the hole where the starter goes or you may not.
I allways prefer to heat the ring in an oven instead of using a torch. I've seen people trying to do it with a torch creating an egg-shaped ring which would never again fit on the flywheel. Just place the flywheel in the freezer for a night, then warm the oven with the ring inside to it's max temperature. Take the flywheel out of the freezer just before taking the ring out of the oven and just place the ring onto the wheel (use gloves and plyers handling the ring)
__________________
Vipe6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 10:47   #15
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,812
Re: Yanmar Starter Problems

If the starter clicks but does not turn, my first guess is a bad/corroded bus bar inside the solenoid. This bar and contacts get pitted over time and is one rather common way solenoids go bad.

I have repaired the solenoid by taking the solenoid apart, flipping the buss bar 180 degrees so new metal is facing the contacts. I will also rotate the contacts (actually the studs that the high amp wires connect too on the outside) 180 degrees so it too has new metal.

Once I even made a buss bar by flattening a piece of copper pipe into the shape of the buss bar.

I'm an engineer, I can fix that......

The second thing it could be is a corroded start wire from the start switch to the solinoid. It appears that Yanmar electrical engineers went to school at Lucas Electrics as the Yanmar wiring is both undersized and tends to corrode and not work over time, just like the lighting on a 64 MGB.

Changing the start wire (I think it's white, but not sure) to a heavier gauge may clear that up too.
__________________

__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
yanmar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yanmar Starter Is Intermittent Tropic Cat Engines and Propulsion Systems 58 03-07-2014 16:54
Vetus M3 Diesel motor starter problems themannsindorse Engines and Propulsion Systems 0 27-06-2013 04:52
Starter Problems sailorboy1 Engines and Propulsion Systems 15 15-07-2011 07:53
Lehman Starter Problems Capt. Rich Engines and Propulsion Systems 9 08-04-2011 19:39
A Yanmar Starter Thread Charlie Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 28-03-2007 20:22



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.