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Author Topic:   Mariner Outboard Motor Starting Problem
sullyd posted 08-27-2006 07:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for sullyd   Send Email to sullyd  
[I] have a 1995 60-HP [M]ariner. Three weeks ago the engine was running fine. [I] shut it off, then it wouldn't start. Dead. No click. Nothing. Made several attempts to be sure it was in nuetral. [I] took off the cover, touched some of the wires, kept turning the key, and finally it started. [F]ine for three weeks. [T]hen today same thing. Stuck on Monomoy Island. Did the same thing. After 20 minutes started up. Got back to the ramp. Shut it off. Tried to start. Dead. Got it home. Starts perfect several times in a row. I need help.
jimh posted 08-28-2006 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are many components in the engine starting circuit. You must check all of them for proper connections and proper operation. Begin at the starter motor, and work backwards toward the battery in both the positive lead and the negative lead.

In engine starting there are often safety devices like a neutral switch which can affect starting. Also check the solenoid and the starter motor for proper operation.

Basic Electrical Troubleshooing

Basic electrical troubleshooting procedures will help you find the problem.
Begin at the load where you anticipate having voltage. Measure the voltage. If there is no voltage, follow the conductor from the load back toward the source of the voltage. When you reach the next device, measure the voltage. At some point you will find the voltage. You have now found the point from which the problem is downstream. Begin to inspect all devices such as connections, splices, terminals, fuses, switches, circuit breakers, lugs, crimps, etc., looking for some device or connection which has failed. In this way you will locate the problem. When you locate the device causing the problem you can choose to repair or replace the device.

In circuits which operate at 12-volts DC it is very common that a slight bit of corrosion or insulation on a conductor will prevent conduction. With a low voltage circuit the Electromotive Force (EMF) or voltage will not be able to jump through the insulating layer and restore the circuit. In higher voltage circuits the EMF can jump through small amounts of insulating corrosion and self-restore the circuit. With 12-volts it takes but a very thin layer of insulation to prevent flow of current.

Because boats are operating in a wet environment, it is common for electrical connections to become corroded. If you have any bare copper conductors, they will form an oxide of copper which may not be conductive. Silver is much preferred because silver oxides are conductive. For this reason almost all wiring used in a marine application should be tinned and connections should be tinned or silver plated, not bare copper.

Switch contacts should not be cleaned with rough abrasives. Usually a switch contact can be restored by careful cleaning. If an abrasive is needed use 600-grit emery cloth. You can wet-sand with a cleaner like WD-40. The contacts should be very smooth, almost polished.

sullyd posted 08-28-2006 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for sullyd  Send Email to sullyd     
lisfisher posted 08-28-2006 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for lisfisher  Send Email to lisfisher     
If you could move the negative connection then it is defenetely too loose. Use hex nuts with washers so you can get them nice and tight.I would not reccommend useing wing nuts.
jimh posted 08-29-2006 12:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
While your narrative suggests that the remedy for the starting problem is to be found in moving the wires, it also seems that some time elapses until the successful restart. During this time there is a chance for cooling to occur, and this could be the real reason for the success.
sullyd posted 08-29-2006 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for sullyd  Send Email to sullyd     
i ran the motor for 10 min then shut it down and then it wouldn't start. I took it this morning to a mechanic I will let you know the problem.
sullyd posted 09-05-2006 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for sullyd  Send Email to sullyd     
the problem was the cable from ignition switch that plugs into the motor. The tech cleaned it and seperated the prongs. It worked great all weekend.

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