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Old 20-09-2020, 15:30   #1
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Universal M25 Starting Issues

We have an 85 Catalina 30 with a Universal M25 that we canít get to start. When we turn on the key the buzzer comes on for a few seconds and then fades out. It acts like the batteries are dead. We replaced both of them 3 months ago and they are constantly plugged into shore power. I took them out and had the local Napa check them and they have full cranking amps.

Any ideas?
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Old 20-09-2020, 15:38   #2
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

There was a service bulletin issued about this problem. It is a yellow wire that supplies power to the starter selenoid that was to small. Replace it with a larger wire, i think it states a 10 AWG and that should solve the problem.
Search the web and you'll find the bulletin
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Old 20-09-2020, 15:44   #3
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

Bulletin #213
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Old 20-09-2020, 15:47   #4
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

the buzzer is supposed to come on for a few seconds and then fade away. what else?
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Old 20-09-2020, 15:52   #5
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

The buzzer is likely a low oil pressure alarm. That should stay on until the oil pressure comes up ó immediately after the engine starts.

I would put a voltage gauge on the batteries. And crank the engine. If the voltage is good, test at the starter. When you test the starter, be sure to get your ground from the engine and not the battery.

I was having issues starting my Universal 5424 and could hear the cranking RPM was low. Once I replaced the ground cable, you could hear the faster cranking and notice it took less to get her started.
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Old 20-09-2020, 15:56   #6
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's easer to carry a few ounces of VOM onboard and troubleshoot the system than to carry a hundred pounds or so of batteries to the parts house and check the voltage.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:11   #7
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

I had the same problem until I replaced the small wire to the starter solenoid. Problem solved, although I always let go of the glowplug button before cranking the engine. That allows full power to crank it.
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Old 21-09-2020, 12:16   #8
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

I replaced all batteries over a winter on my '87 and new ones in a month later. Trouble starting in the spring, low voltage it seemed. I forgot about a second ground wire, as it got buried wrestling new batteries into place. The single one I connected goes to main negative bus. The one I forgot about, that made a difference went to the bell housing directly. Clean any corrosion while you are at it, makes a difference.
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Old 21-09-2020, 13:11   #9
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

This was covered a few weeks ago for a slow cranking issue on a Universal M25 installed on a Catalina 30. Depending on your year, there are wiring changes that need to be made on Catalina 30s.

The buzzer is the low oil pressure alarm and should not go away until the engine is started and has adequate oil pressure.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-239320.html
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Old 21-09-2020, 13:28   #10
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

Applies to most inboard Universal engines in Catalinas:


https://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.0.html


Includes need to check for fuseholder cleverly hidden under the alternator in the wire from the start button to the solenoid.


Good luck.
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Old 22-09-2020, 10:55   #11
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

A while back I had a similar problem; was fixed when I removed the instrument problem and cleaned the connections on a "large" bus bar located behind the instrument panel.


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Old 28-01-2021, 19:41   #12
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

I had a weird starting issue last summer with my '84 Oday34 (Universal M25). It would start fine at the dock, but after motoring out, shutting down and sailing for a few hours, could not get the starter to crank (no solenoid click even) as I approached home port. Oddly, this happened on three separate occasions at the end of the season. The last time I ran the engine for 10 minutes at the dock, shut down, waited 10 minutes and it started fine. Left the dock and on return - nothing. Each time I eventually got it to restart but have no idea what made the difference (checked connections, even tried a battery booster).
In 2019 I cut out the trailer plugs in the engine bay and wired the glow plugs through an automotive relay, which worked fine all through that season. The things different this year include replacing the starter solenoid (would occasionally fail to connect) and installing a Xantrex Echo charger between the House and Starter banks. Oh, and I renamed the boat mid-summer (we paid homage to Neptune, but maybe went a little cheap on the libations?)
Plans for the spring includes rewiring the control panel (removing the second trailer plug), replacing the glow plug and starter buttons (may be 36 years old, who knows?) and replacing the glow plug relay. In the process I will trace every wiring connection and double-check all the grounds. Any other thoughts?
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Old 29-01-2021, 07:15   #13
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Re: Universal M25 Starting Issues

On marine applications, we always suggest the ground cable [ from the batteries ] be directly connected to the starter. This entails removing one starter mounting bolt, and then removing the paint / corrosion that the cable terminal will be touching, AND SHINING THE TERMINAL, then reinstalling the mounting bolt. Makes for a MUCH MORE reliable connection. Joe D
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