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Engine not turning over.

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by DoUPhish, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Anyone have an idea of what my problem might be? For some reason my motor (150 Merc) after a while out on the water just won't turn over, I've replaced batteries, charged them, checked the cells and even switched my trolling motor battery out on the water to try to get the engine to turn over but it just wouldn't. What I don't understand is how after hooking that battery back up to the trolling motor, I still had enough power to use it for bringing us back the mile or so to the ramp, but it wouldn't turn the engine over. Can't figure where I'm losing the power, is it my on board charger might be faulty? Solenoid? Starter possibly? Short in the wiring?

    Actually in a way it's kind of funny, last two Midwest C.O.D. tourney's we've had fish to weigh and weren't able to make the weigh in because of it. Guess if I have to see the humor in this, that's the place to look.
  2. Start with a voltmeter and check the voltages of the suspected batteries. Don't check the voltage immediately after unhooking them from the charger as they will show a voltage 'boost' for awhile after charging. If your cranking battery has enough voltage to start the motor at the start of the day I would suspect the problem is somewhere else.

    If the batteries check out then start checking your wiring. Start with cleaning and tightening both ends of the battery cables. Check all connections at the starter and solenoid. More than likely you have a problem with corrosion or a thermal break in a wire somewhere.

    If the problem continues you may be in for some fun. Intermittent electrical problems can be a real biatch to diagnose. It's easier to find a problem with a non-running motor than one that runs occasionally.

    My Mercs are all old so they don't have all of the extra electronics the newer one's have so I can bypass the wiring harness and control box to troubleshoot any problems. I can hotwire the starter and switchbox and use a remote ignition switch to run my motors without too much risk of frying anything important. By doing this I can isolate some electrical problems which may be caused by the external wiring harness and ignition switch.

    Good luck, you may need it.

  3. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    i would check the amp draw of your starter. a bad starter won't turn over even w/a new battery. usually if you try to crank it over and it doesn't budge , your + cable will get hot after trying it. sounds like a bad starter to me.
  4. MAKtackle

    MAKtackle your REEL friend

    Can't tell you how many times I've ran like a bat out of hell to my spot, shut the key off, dumped in trolling motor and fished. Off to the next spot, sit down, turn key and nothing....Oh sh.t!! Try again and nothing. Ahhh, put gear in neutral and all's well. Happens every dam time!
  5. Thanks for all the suggestions guys, after doing a bit of research on the Internet and some calling around and I've narrowed it done to two possibilities. It's either the starter is bad like Freyedknot suggested or it's the stator, they look easy enough to change out, but with my mechanical abilities I should probably take it to someone who knows what they are doing.
  6. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    if you take the starter off,any auto parts store can check it, for that matter ,if you take the boat &motor to a parts store like advance auto parts , they might come outside and check the amp draw of the starter in the parking lot. call them and ask.
  7. Fish Tale

    Fish Tale Sea Food Eater

    Also check your solenoid and all related connections!