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Old 06-12-2015, 06:31   #1
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Yanmar SB8 Starter

I just bought a 1978 27' Sun Yacht from a friend of mine. The boat lives on Lake Champlain. We've only taken it out a couple times, but we've had a lot of fun on it.

My question is about the starter. He said not to try to use the electric starter, because it will lock up on the engine. When this happens, you have to get the tools out and physically take the starter off the engine to get the gear back in. He already tried installing a new starter and there's relatively new batteries on board. So the only way to start it right now is to use the hand crank and decompression lever.

When I found the manual, it said to use the decompression even when using an electric starter, but this seems odd, because there's no spot for a lever in the cockpit, and I haven't found any kind of connection from the cockpit to the lever. My friend said it was an original production issue, that the manufacturer didn't use the right gauge wire for the starter.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:29   #2
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Re: Yanmar SB8 Starter

i have a ysb8 in a 1980 mirage 27. i have no issues with the engine starting, i have a decompression lever and have spun it by hand to start. Sounds like the starter gear is getting stuck when engaged. or not enough amps to drive it in all the way. check the wire to the starter for corrosion, check size of wire from batteries for proper size, are he batteries coming up to proper charge? I had issue when first purchased where a wire on the starter would fall off............................fixed that quick after the first time in the harbor.
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Old 06-05-2016, 20:56   #3
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Re: Yanmar SB8 Starter

A little (!) delayed, but thank you for the reply! I kept it in mind when I went to visit the boat the other weekend.

The wire looks plenty big (about a 4 gauge or so). The main wire coming from the battery switch did appear gray, but there didn't seem to be corrosion where any metal was physically missing.

I did notice a small (14/16 gauge) white wire, that appeared to not be connected. I didn't want to try it out while it was on the cradle (can it hurt it, or do people do that all the time?), but was wondering if there's a small wire of some sort that if not connected would cause this problem?

Or should I stop at the gray copper wire and replace that?

This post has to scream "New Guy!", so I appreciate any help I can get.
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Old 16-05-2016, 21:25   #4
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Re: Yanmar SB8 Starter

I went out this weekend and replaced the white solenoid wire, but it didn't help. The starter engages, but does not turn the engine over. I can hear it spinning, but all it does is lock the engine up. I removed the starter, the gear went back, and the engine turned normally again.

The batteries are pretty new, I don't know what it could be.

Do I have to take the compression off in order to start it with the starter motor? My arms aren't long enough for that...
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