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Boat won’t start. Anything easy I should check?


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Gettin my 1986 bayliner trophy 2460 ready to sell in the spring. Never had any issues with it. Always been very good to me.  Had a fella that was gonna check it out so I went out and turned the key to check the batteries and the starter wouldnt turn.  No click, nothin.  Batteries r fully charged. My last two times out with it when I first fired it up I had to turn the key on and off two or three times before it would crank over. But really didnt think much of it.  Any suggestions where to start? Thinkin maybe the starter solinoid was startin to go bad, now its just shot. Seems logic to me. Any suggestions?

thanks for any input fellas

Mike

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You say the battery's are charged but have you tested them? Check all the terminal connections at batteries and battery switch. If all is good, tap the starter with a hammer and try it again. After that maybe jump the solenoid. Other than that, main fuse if there is one. Then maybe ignition switch. Get yourself a manual for the engine and start trouble shooting.

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Tried the whole hitting with a hammer. Still nothing. All fuses are good.  I jumped all 3 wires comin from the switch and still nothin from the starter.  Put a test light on the starter and have power at the starter.  

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It does have the neutral saftey switch and I tried playin around with the throttle and nothin.  I just bit the bullet and ordered a new starter.  If that don’t do I guess I’m gonna get a new ignition next. 

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9 minutes ago, Hachimo said:

It does have the neutral saftey switch and I tried playin around with the throttle and nothin.  I just bit the bullet and ordered a new starter.  If that don’t do I guess I’m gonna get a new ignition next. 

Does your throttle have a kill switch?  Mine does and if the clip is pulled out, it flips the switch so the boat will not start.  

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Intermediate starter solenoid if its a Mercruiser would be my guess especially considering you had an issue in the fall & be careful with the hammer  around the newer starters & small reduction starters as it only takes one hit in the wrong spot to damage the ceramic magnets in what was a perfectly good starter. 

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Not sure which engine is in that particular boat, but there are likely two solenoids, one on the engine block that is actuated by the ignition switch (actually called a "starter relay") and the other is the high current solenoid on the starter itself. If you use a piece of heavy gauge, well insulated, wire and some thick gloves you can jump around the starter relays to put power to the starter solenoid, which should make the starter turn. IIRC, the key doesn't need to be in the RUN position, but if you're trying to start it, that'd be OK. 

The starter relay might look something like this: 

 

Image result for marine starter solenoid wiring diagram
The jumper wire needs to contact the two large studs either side of the relay. 
Expect sparks! (make sure there is no fuel vapors!)
Good luck,
Neil 
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Thank you for the input.  No Brian i do not have a killswitch on the trottle.  At least I dont think I do.lol.  
 

definitely thinking solenoid at this point. When I put the new starter on Hopefully its good if not then next step I will check the relay.  Wish I checked that before I ripped the starter out. 

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On my Crusaders, the slave solenoid is mounted under the large 60 amp breaker that supplies power to the motor. Same thing on my friends Merc's. Just look for the red reset button and then look under it. You can tap those with the handle of a screwdriver or jump them like any other solenoid.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

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I have a 1986 2160 and it has a kill switch so I would think yours has one also 

 

It is forward of the throttle / shift cable on mine  above the radio box . 

 

Could be the ignition switch itself . 

 

I know i have had to clean all my fuses as they have some corrosion on them and had to replace a few of the dash switches for lights and such for same reason. 

 

So check all connections first . 

 

Clean and tight are Buzz words for electrical . 

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If you have a test light Ground one end connect the light end to either S or I in the diagram above . Have someone hold the key in the start position. You should get voltage to either the S or I when you turn the key off and on [start position]  I think its the I terminal its one or the other.If you get voltage to it and the solenoid does not Click you have a bad solenoid.  If you get no voltage to the S or I terminals you have half split the problem .The problem is forward of the solenoid. Fuse , switch,wire anything  . neutral safety switch.  Good luck.....

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Make sure there's ample connection at the batteries positive and ground and as well as a solid ground on your block. A green wire or loose connection will give you the same results.

First thing, test your key power at the starter solenoid in "crank" position. If you have signal power at the solenoid, ensure the cables are all tight. If so, time for a new starter/solenoid... If not, check the wires in and out of ignition switch at helm... Don't wanna waste money changing parts for fun.


Good luck.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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  • 3 weeks later...

Check to see if you have 12v at the Solenoid if so jump the solenoid with a pair of pliers, if the engine turns over you know its the solenoid. If the engine doesn't turn over, turn the key and see if you get 12v at the starter, if so make sure the ground is good from the block to the negative on the battery. Sometime ill us a jumper cable from the block to the negative side of the battery just to rule out a bag ground. If none of that work you will have to bench test the starter.

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Also be aware that you can have a bad battery that reads fully charged until you put a significant load on it. Usually corroded or dirty terminals terminals will give you a clicking sound.

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7 hours ago, tuffishooker said:

Ditto on the " ground " ! Check and clean all electrical connections ! sometimes it is very simple ! Let us know how it turns out ?

I got the new starter.  Hopefully i will have time the end of the week to get it in and hopefully that will b the fix. If not I got lots of info to figure it out.  Thanks for all the info.  I’ll let ya know what it turns out to be

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3 hours ago, wrinklestar said:

Did you short across the solenoid?  I would do that prior to replacing the starter.

No I didn’t and already had the starter out before that was mention. 

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Got the new starter in and still nothing.  So I unplugged the relay and jumped it there and it turned over. :dull:Ordered a new relay. Wish I checked that before I spent $100 on a new starter. 
thanks for all the imput fellas

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Which is why I bring my boat to Tommy. 

 

I would think you have points . 

 

I had Tommy put an electronic Ignition in  mine . . I get about 1/3 better gas mileage . 

 

Money given to Tommy is money well spent . 

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2 minutes ago, wrinklestar said:

That stinks but gald you found it.

Yea me to. Sucks to spend the money on starter but the new owner will have a goodworkin backup starter and outdrive. Lol

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