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Old 27-12-2019, 13:00   #1
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Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

My engine was cranking well on the one good battery during the weekly run. Suddenly, about three weeks ago it didn't so I replaced the known worn out battery. Cranked and started fine.
Then, a week later it cranked slow at first and then cranked fine after a few seconds and started. It was this way for a couple weeks.
Today, another week later all I get is a tick tick tick sound when I turn the key.
No cranking at all.
Batteries are in good shape. In fact, the battery charger shows the batteries are at full charge by its green light.
Can it be the solenoid, the starter or both?
I'd like to learn how to fix this myself but not being a mechanic would replacing the starter be something I could possibly do? And I don't know if the engine would have to be lifted because it's down there.
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Old 28-12-2019, 20:21   #2
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

It could be a bad connection including the ground. Sometimes when a starter cranks slowly and then speeds up, is because a bad contact arc'ed and established a better connection. If you arc across the two large posts on the solenoid and the starter spins, it's probably a bad solenoid. Actually bad contacts inside the solenoid. If you're ambitious, take the solenoid apart and file the contacts and disk smooth for a extended life. If the starter doesn't spin when arc'ing across the posts, then it's the starter (if the batteries, cables and connections are good).

Ticking sound could be low battery, bad contacts, bad solenoid contacts, bad starter.
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Old 28-12-2019, 23:18   #3
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
If you arc across the two large posts on the solenoid and the starter spins, it's probably a bad solenoid. Actually bad contacts inside the solenoid. If you're ambitious, take the solenoid apart and file the contacts and disk smooth for a extended life.
Thanks. I'll try arcing the solenoid first. This also coincided with the start of the years rain season. Maybe the humidity furthered some corrosion on an already weak electrical contact.
I should pull the solenoid/starter assembly and clean everything up. It's going to be interesting because I can't even see that area so its almost like working in the dark.
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Old 29-12-2019, 12:18   #4
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

Lepke,
Your illustration shows a solenoid attached to a starter motor that engages a mechanism. My set up looks like a separate solenoid wired up to the starter. Is there a mechanism inside the starter motor that is wired up to the solenoid or am I missing something?
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Old 29-12-2019, 21:25   #5
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

I've seen 2 different starter types on that engine. One like the image in my last post and another with a Bendix drive. 3rd pic is one type of Bendix drive, mounted on the starter shaft, that automatically engages the flywheel and disengages when the engine starts..

Separate solenoid is arc'ed by the posts where the starter and battery cable are connected. The small post is where the wire from your key or starter button attaches.
If arc'ing makes the starter spin, then try to arc between the small post and the post connected to the battery. If the starter doesn't spin with either arc, then it's probably a bad starter motor. If it spins when arc'ing between the big posts but not between the small and battery post, then either the key, starter button, or wire from the key is bad. Touching the small post with 12V+ causes the solenoid to engage the internal contacts.

Most better auto parts stores can test a starter. Some battery stores rebuild starters.
4107 starter on eBay is about $300. If the 4108 starter will fit (not in the way of the heat exchanger, etc.) about $100 on eBay.
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Old 30-12-2019, 08:08   #6
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

Thank you, very helpful.
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Old 30-12-2019, 08:15   #7
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

poche, a starter can be pulled and replaced without removing the engine-not easy because of the location and weight of the starter. 3 bolts.

I've done it. I also have a spare starter I would sell. But it would only make sense if you are in S Fl as its weight makes shipping more than the starter is worth. Bob
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Old 30-12-2019, 08:50   #8
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

Poche,
Any corrosion on the solenoid connectors can cause the clicking you describe. If you can access the connections without dropping the starter I would start by disconnecting the batteries and cleaning those connections first.
Recently pulled a 454 starter that tested fine, re-installed and it worked fine, exactly a week later it would not even click. The small ignition wire had a thin black film of corrosion, wiped it off and it's fine again. I didn't have proper cleaning solution so I expect to be doing it again soon.
It takes very little corrosion to significantly reduce current flow, to the point where it can look fine, you won't see it unless you remove the wires and look at the flat surfaces.
I paid $248 for my 4107 starter off Ebay, free shipping, USPS flat rate box, if it fits it ships!
Good luck, it's a beast
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Old 30-12-2019, 12:21   #9
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

I sure hope I get off easy cleaning contacts. I suspect it will be the case. And...happy to hear that removing the starter is only three bolts. I can see two of them, not the bottom one. That thing must weigh 40 or 50 lbs.
I was freaking out about the possible cost but a rebuild as said above is really not bad. Everything is really expensive on this engine. A new water pump">raw water pump about $700. A replacement exhaust manifold about $1400. They wanted $300 for just the manifold flange. (I had a stainless one custom made for $40).
This is a retirement project. I like doing the work myself and I really don't have the dough to pay professionals.
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Old 30-12-2019, 14:55   #10
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

https://www.parts4engines.com/perkins-4-107/
has the parts you mention for about 1/2 the price. I didn't find shipping cost to the US West Coast much different than within the US. The VAT is just in Europe.

VAT = value added tax? What value does it ad besides making your wallet lighter.
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:00   #11
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

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........... A new raw water pump about $700........
This is a retirement project. I like doing the work myself and I really don't have the dough to pay professionals.
As an aside, most raw water pumps can be rebuild for handful of dollars. Not always but mostly!
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:03   #12
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
https://www.parts4engines.com/perkins-4-107/
has the parts you mention for about 1/2 the price. I didn't find shipping cost to the US West Coast much different than within the US. The VAT is just in Europe.

VAT = value added tax? What value does it ad besides making your wallet lighter.
I see something on the website I like already. They have a set of four manifold studs for $15. Some other distributor wanted $15 a piece!!!!
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:36   #13
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

I hear everyone say VAT is EU only, but when I ordered my transmission from UK, EVERY dealer I priced said VAT must be paid, US customs verified VAT was paid before release of unit in Chicago.
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:38   #14
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

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I hear everyone say VAT is EU only, but when I ordered my transmission from UK, EVERY dealer I priced said VAT must be paid, US customs verified VAT was paid before release of unit in Chicago.
Were you able to determine what percentage VAT was on your trans?
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:51   #15
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Re: Westerbeke 4107 Bad Starter or Solenoid?

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Were you able to determine what percentage VAT was on your trans?
Glad you asked actually, I just sifted through 30+ emails until I found the Invoice, confirming the VAT paid was 20%, but I found in the very first email that there would be no tax.. not sure if that means local tax or VAT but I will ask about it.
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