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Author Topic:   starter goes click, click
Bertramp posted 08-08-2002 10:38 AM ET (US)   Profile for Bertramp   Send Email to Bertramp  
I have a 1986 merc 50 with electric start.
It ran fine on saturday, on sunday it started fine. When I turned it off and went to restart, it went click ... tried again, click. On about the 6th try the starter worked and the engine fired right up. I used the pull start in the driveway when flushing the engine and it turned over on the 1st pull. My guess and the ordered part is a new solenoid ? How difficult is this to change ?
andygere posted 08-08-2002 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
It will take you 10-15 minutes. Just switch the wires over one at a time, and disconnect your battery before you start working.
Jerry Townsend posted 08-08-2002 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Your problem is simple and not a solenoid - just dirty/corroded battery cable clamps. You know the battery, solenoid and starter are alright - as the engine started up after the sixth try. Simply remove the battery cables from the battery and clean the battery post/connection and the cable clamp. After you have cleaned them, coat the battery post, cable clamp and cable up to the insulation with a light coating of vasoline or grease. ---- Jerry/Idaho
whitefoot posted 08-08-2002 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for whitefoot  Send Email to whitefoot     
I disagree with Jerry. I had the same problem and it was the solenoid. I would have the problem occasionally, and it would eventually start right up. Changed the solenoid and it cranks right up every time.
DaveH posted 08-08-2002 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
I agree with Whitefoot (probably just solenoid). If not the solenoid, or severe corrosion on main wires, a fresh rebuilt starter is next thing to try (assuming battery is OK). That is based upon your description of the turnover on the sixth try. If the starter is failing, similar failure is probably down the road for the generator (my opinion). Both of these items are relatively inexpensive as rebuilt replacements (don't buy new).
Bigshot posted 08-08-2002 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I agree and disagree with all of you:) It could be any of the 3. Start with cables. If it clicks it is usually the hot lead. If it spins but does not engage it is usually the ground. You can test the solenoid by jumping it, but check the cables first. Could also be a short in the battery but doubtful. Starter is fine. If starter was bad it would usually start spinning slow, then speed up.
dscew posted 08-08-2002 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew    
Bigshot, as usual you're right on all counts, I hate to say. I would add to check the ignition switch wiring; I had a loose lead on the start position wire, tightened it up, and never had another problem.
Bertramp posted 08-09-2002 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bertramp  Send Email to Bertramp     
thanks folks. I ordered the solenoid right up front, so that (the solenoid) and the battery leads will be my first (and hopefully only needed) plan of attack. You guys are good .... and a lot cheaper than the hourly rate for mechanics in these parts !! :)
After the weekend, I'll fill you in on the results.
thanks again !

now ... can any of you tell me how to remove and rebuild a twin disc 502 tranny from a 36 hatteras?

DaveH posted 08-09-2002 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
Yes, I could remove it but not rebuild. I'll wait though until I receive payment for the invoice I sent you. ;)

If you're serious about how to remove, e-mail me.

scarlson posted 08-09-2002 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for scarlson    
If you have a 36 hatteras I hope it has a stick on the back that says "My Other Boats A Whaler"
daverdla posted 08-10-2002 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I don't know if this is the answer, in fact I doubt it, the same problem happened on my father in-law's Shamrock. All of the battery connections were loose and hot from the higher impedance. He had some work done the week before and the mechanic simply forgot to tighten the terminals. I tightened the connections - problem solved. Same thing happens on cars, I know I routinely forget to tighten at least one battery terminal (old MG's have two six volt batteries). Most of the electrical problems on boats seem to be what Jerry T. mentioned, dirty, corroded connections and cables.

Might be worth checking. Its less painless to start with the simple solutions and sometimes you get lucky. Which in my case was good because its very difficult to pull the starter on that Shamrock!


mag posted 08-12-2002 01:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for mag  Send Email to mag     
Bert, Had a similar problem with my 1979 Johnson 175HP. One of the brushes in the starter motor was worn down, causing the bad connection. Cost $16 for a new set of brushes.
Bertramp posted 08-12-2002 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bertramp  Send Email to Bertramp     
Well .... the battery cables were clean and tight. One of the wires on the solenoid however was not, in fact the nut needed to tighten that wire was stripped. I managed to tighten the wires so that I got sure starts. I just got a call that the new solenoid is in, so .... I'm a happy camper. Thanks for all of the support and suggestions.
and PS .... if there are stickers available that say "my other bopat is a whaler" ...let me know where and I will gladly sport one on the back of the "Hatt" !!
daverdla posted 08-12-2002 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Great job. It's nice when there's an easy answer. That why you should always look for the easy answers first. Glad to hear it worked for you.


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