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Discussion Starter #1
Finally the lake was laying down on a day I could make it out. Get to Edgewater annnnd motor wouldn't start. Battery seemed good, all electronics worked, but all I got was a click when I tried to start. Guessing is the starter. Only had it out on two trips since getting a tune up a month ago. Getting real tired of this...

Hope the boats I saw out there did well today.

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don,t jump to the starter yyet theres a solonoid first in line. known for oxidation ,there only about $20. bucks ,get a buddy and one try to start the other listin for the klick. not hard to change. and clean the battery post while your in there.
 

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I just had the same issue with my Merc. What kind of motor do you have? You can easily test the starter. If you are hearing a click it is most likley the solonoid. We just picked a rebuilt starter for $80.

It was pretty easy to take out once you figure out to hold the nut as you are unscrewing the back bolts.

Seems like this is the year to work out all the gremlins. Hopefully we can be up and running; boating season is just too short.
 

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Finally the lake was laying down on a day I could make it out. Get to Edgewater annnnd motor wouldn't start. Battery seemed good, all electronics worked, but all I got was a click when I tried to start. Guessing is the starter. Only had it out on two trips since getting a tune up a month ago. Getting real tired of this...

Hope the boats I saw out there did well today.

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Exactly what does this mean? You need to check the battery with a multimeter. I'm betting the battery was discharged enough that it wouldn't power the starter, but had enough juice for instruments. Oh, the battery gauge on most newer fishfinders may not be all that accurate.

Don't go chasing parts till you know if the problem is/isn't really in your battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I assumed the battery was good, the blower functioned, the dash lit up and I was able to trim the motor. But that is worth checking out. I will have to try charging the battery and see if it was just under charged



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Discussion Starter #7
Will also look into the solenoid. it is an OMC inboard. Not very mechanically inclined but might have a friend that could look at it. Really hoping it is cheap and easy to fix.

Thanks for all the advice

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Not sure what type of boat you have, but once you get thru your current problem, I would look into adding a second battery and a perko switch. It's one thing to hear click at the dock, a separate concern to hear it out on the lake after a drift or two.

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18ft open bow four winn. That's a good idea, I have a second battery up at pymatuning, going to have to bring it home. The current battery is pretty easy to get two, should be able to easily switch them if necessary.

And I guess that was the silver lining, that it didn't happen out on the lake!

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I am suggesting that you go a step further, mount the second battery on your boat and install a battery switch. When you run out, run on battery 1 or both, then switch the battery switch over to 2. That way you know you have a fully charged battery as a back up. Reverse on the next trip.

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I had a similar problem, everything measured OK but would just barely click if at all once in the water. Turned out that after 13 years of up and down and back and forth, the battery cables to the (outboard) motor wore through where they exit the motor and cut the 6 gauge cables! I guess I'm lucky I found it in the parking lot instead of 10 miles out!
 

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About my earlier post...a friend recently had a very similar issue. Motor would click when he tried to start it. That battery was brand new last fall. He has two batteries (one is a house battery--powers the instruments), and the motor wouldn't start on the other battery either. You would think that there was a starter problem. When I got there to check it out, he had just finished charging the starting battery. Tried to start the motor...click. I got my multimeter to check the "new" starting battery and it was at 12.2 volts...turn the key and it went down to 10 volts. Definitely not enough to start the engine. Checked the other battery and it too was at 12.0 volts (discharged). A fully charged battery is at around 12.6 volts or so. The "new" battery was bad and had to be replaced. The house battery was discharged and just needed to be recharged again.

One of your best investments for a boat is a multimeter, and learn how to use it. A digital multimeter only costs around $20 or so. With it, you can check standing battery power, battery juice while the motor is running (to check your charging circuit), and breaks in wires and cables. Go down to Lowes or HD and buy one today! Have your friend show you how to use it. You will be glad you did.

Odds are, your problem is in the battery or cables. Clean the battery posts and connections with sandpaper, check the battery with the multimeter, check the continuity of your cables (visually and with the multimeter), and reattach the battery cables with nylock nuts and throw away those damn wingnuts.
 

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Workdog is absolutely correct about obtaining a multimeter. I bought a nice digital one at Ace Hardware for around $20. It has been invaluable in tracking down electrical issues on my boat and around the house...

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Workdog is absolutely correct about obtaining a multimeter. I bought a nice digital one at Ace Hardware for around $20. It has been invaluable in tracking down electrical issues on my boat and around the house...

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That's all good advice you were given about the multimeter checks, I too have a 4wynns, mine is a 17 footer and probably has the same 4 cyl gm engine. You actually have two stating system solenoids, a small one near the large electrical system connector and the large solenoid right on the starter, the large one on the starter draws so much current that they use a solenoid just to draw it in. If you hear a clunk when you try to start it then the electrical system is ok, the starter is bad and I would replace the complete starter assembly, not just the solenoid. This is a common problem with these Delco starters, they draw so much current that they take a toll on your wiring system.
If you do have to replace the starter, get rid of that Delco monster and go with the newer high torque reduction starter, they're about 1/4 the weight of the Delco and work great. I changed over about 7 years ago and have no problems with it. Pay close attention to the shims you remove when you pull your starter, improper shimming will cause it to shear mount bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am going to try the multimeter today (and learn how to use it haha, I have never even held one) and if needed charge up the battery. I send out an update this evening

Really hope it is just the batter so I can get out tomorrow. Otherwise, won't have time to get out until the end of the month.

And thanks for the heads up about the Delco Starter.
 

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I am going to try the multimeter today (and learn how to use it haha, I have never even held one) and if needed charge up the battery. I send out an update this evening

Really hope it is just the batter so I can get out tomorrow. Otherwise, won't have time to get out until the end of the month.

And thanks for the heads up about the Delco Starter.
Easiest thing to do would be to use a jumper wire between the hot (battery lead) on your solenoid, the heavy red wire, and the s (switch) lead also on the solenoid and see if it cranks. That way you'll know that the starter is ok and look elsewhere. Just touch it temporarily, it's easy to get to!
 

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I am going to try the multimeter today (and learn how to use it haha, I have never even held one) and if needed charge up the battery. I send out an update this evening

Really hope it is just the batter so I can get out tomorrow. Otherwise, won't have time to get out until the end of the month.

And thanks for the heads up about the Delco Starter.
Select the DC volts position on the multimeter and, putting the red lead on the positive post and black lead on the negative post, read what your voltage is, before you charge the battery. A fully charged battery will be around 12.6-12.7 volts. If your voltage reading is around 12.2 or less, that is a likely reason your motor isn't turning over. Also, don't forget to check the cables and the connections to the battery. If the battery is low, charge it and read the voltage again with the multimeter. If the charge is around 12.6 or so, the starter should be able to turn the motor over. If it doesn't start then, check the battery voltage again. If the voltage is low then, you probably have a bad cell or two in the battery. You could take it to Advance and get a load check done on the battery to confirm. After you check this, come back and tell us what you see. If the battery is good we can advance to other (likely more costly) issues.
Easiest thing to do would be to use a jumper wire between the hot (battery lead) on your solenoid, the heavy red wire, and the s (switch) lead also on the solenoid and see if it cranks. That way you'll know that the starter is ok and look elsewhere. Just touch it temporarily, it's easy to get to!
If the battery is low, the motor will still not start, and you will think you have a bad starter when it might be perfectly OK.
 

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Select the DC volts position on the multimeter and, putting the red lead on the positive post and black lead on the negative post, read what your voltage is, before you charge the battery. A fully charged battery will be around 12.6-12.7 volts. If your voltage reading is around 12.2 or less, that is a likely reason your motor isn't turning over. Also, don't forget to check the cables and the connections to the battery. If the battery is low, charge it and read the voltage again with the multimeter. If the charge is around 12.6 or so, the starter should be able to turn the motor over. If it doesn't start then, check the battery voltage again. If the voltage is low then, you probably have a bad cell or two in the battery. You could take it to Advance and get a load check done on the battery to confirm. After you check this, come back and tell us what you see. If the battery is good we can advance to other (likely more costly) issues.


If the battery is low, the motor will still not start, and you will think you have a bad starter when it might be perfectly OK.
You're 100 % correct workdog, I'm assuming you have a known good battery. A multimeter is a great tool but it really does not tell you all about the battery, how a battery responds under a load is the only way. I have a personal load meter I purchased at NAPA and can pretty much tell when I need to replace the battery before it fails. I use it often, especially on my boat batteries, I've been running older boats on the lake for over 25 years and not once was I towed in, knock on wood! Not many people can say that.
 

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Having a dead battery out on the lake is one of my nightmares. I think I will look into installing a 2nd battery with an A/B switch. I am not very mechanical but will give it a try. Is it very difficult to do?
 
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