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Author Topic:   Motor won't start -- ideas?
Dan posted 08-18-2002 10:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dan   Send Email to Dan  
Well it finally happened. I took the kids tubing and after about 45 minutes the engine wouldn't start. I stop the engine anytime a kid leaves or enters the water. Some people just put the boat in neutral but I don't want to risk injury. Anyway, I have two batteries and the power was fine. The fuel flow was good too. The engine wouldn't turn over. I hear a hum or whine kind of sound from the engine when I turned the key. Any ideas as to what the problem might be? Could it be a blown starter motor? The engine is a 1999 115 Merc Saltwater Series. I have a Passport extended warranty which should cover repairs.
JOHN W MAYO posted 08-18-2002 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
Take a small hammer and tap the starter lightly 2 or 3 time..see it does anthing.
Also you can take the start cord, pull the eng throught a couple of times. Then try it.
If it is under warranty.....carry it back for the extra service you paid for...good luck.
simonmeridew posted 08-19-2002 07:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
On a relatively "new" setup like you have I would doubt the starter motor is shot, but anything can happen. Has anyone ever cranked the starter for minutes at a time because the motor would turn over but not start? That's about the only way to fry the starter.
That hum or whine you hear is probably due to poor connections at the battery--clean and tighten-- or at the motor connections. The big fat wires are for the starter.
Could be a dead battery, dead because the connections have been poor for some time and it really wasn't charging at all. It runs down gradually and finally won't supply the 3-400 amps required for the starter to turn over.
Battery could be shot. Take it out of the boat and try to charge it, then put a hydrometer to work on it. Each of the six cells should show in the good zone; if one is bad that's a dead cell and it's time for a trade-in.
Clark Roberts posted 08-19-2002 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Dan, sounds like the "bendix" is stuck... that's the little gear/cog that spins up to engage the gear teeth in the flywheel... to check, take cowling off and hit starter and see if start motor shaft is spinning (whinning sound) but gear not spinning up to meet flywheel. If this is the case, simply pry the small gear loose with a blade screwdriver or whatever and lubricate with first some WD-40 and then with some light machine oil (like 3-in-one etc)... Bet this is the problem... hope so because so easy to fix... Happy Whalin'.. Clark... SCN
rsgwynn1 posted 08-21-2002 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
Stuck bendix. Previous advice is right. You can replace this yourself easily.
Dan posted 08-26-2002 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Thanks for all the great ideas. I think the Bendix is some of the problem. A friend of mine checked it out and the Bendix wasn't engaging. He lifted it up and the motor would've started. However, my friend thinks the starter is not aligned properly. I brought it to the place where I bought the boat and the extended warranty. I also made sure my batteries were fully charged and load tested them. I tried starting the motor with new fully charged batteries a friend lent me but it made no difference. All my battery connections are like new. I don't know why the bendix wold stick to begin with. I post the outcome when the repair place lets me know what they've diagnosed.
JohnAz posted 08-26-2002 11:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
the shaft on the bendix has to be coated with a marine grease ocassionaly , especialy in salt water operation
Dan posted 08-28-2002 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Picking up my boat from Surfside3 tomorrow morning. They replaced the starter motor. : )
David Ratusnik posted 08-28-2002 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Dan- Starter, tap it. R/R it. .03 David

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