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2008 Hammerhead Starter Issue

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Took brand new 2008 to the lake for the first time today. Just bought it so it has been sitting at dealer for a year or so. Started fine ran for an hour. At idle, something started to sound loose but not bad. We didn't think anything of it. Shut off boat for lunch. Upon trying to restart it sounded like the starter was either stripped or unable to engage. Sound was like tapping on symbols on a drum set. I am not a gear head but am looking for any advice so I could advise dealer when I take it in. They have struggled in the past. Thanks.

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I find it hard to believe that Indmar would/could deliver an engine to Malibu with a loose starter, but it sounds like that could be possible....OR, just the bendix assembly is bad/loose, preventing engagement of the starter gear into full mesh with the ring gear (that sound of symbols you mentioned).

Generally, if the bendix is not fully engaging, you would also hear some grinding of the starter pinion gear against the ring gear (we had several Mitsubishi diesel forklifts that had this problem all the time). The sound is unmistakable.

Regardless, sounds like you have a mechanical starter engagement problem, rather than anything electrical....that is unless you have a loose bendix power lead, but that lead is usually a solid copper bar coming out of the field windings and directly up into the bendix assembly (no wires).

Another possibility is that Indmar supplied the 08's with one of the newer "gear reduction" starters that may have some other internal gearing problem, which would require replacement (not sure what the newer '08's have).

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