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Starter relay

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Hey Crew

Took the boat out yesterday, and it started fine in my driveway, though it was still hooked up to the charger. Turned the battery off for the drive to the lake, and then it started fine on the trailer. drove out a little way, took one run, and when trying to restart the engine, volt meter was a little low, and the engine turned over, but sounded like the battery was dieing. tried hooking up the 2nd battery, no luck. had to get the tow of shame.

this morning, i charged up both batteries, but started by only hooking up one. engine gave me one turn, then the clicking sound.

hooked up the 2nd battery, and with the switch set to all, engine turned over great, and started right up. once it had started, it worked over and over again, even after i unhooked the 2nd battery again.

i was thinking maybe there was a problem with the battery switch, or the cable coming from it, so hooked the cable that comes from the starter cylinoid directly to the battery, and got back to the clicking sound.

hooked the switch back up, set it to battery 1, and still the clicking sound. set it to battery 2, same thing. set it to all, and started great, again over and over again, on either battery, or both.

Engine runs great when started, and the alternator is cleary workimg as i unhooked the battery while it was running and it didn't quite. My conclusion is that the starter relay cylinoid has gone bad, and if there is enough power (two batteries) it can work, but when it looses power when i unhook the battery again (when i removed the switch) it takes too much power to open back up.

So, am i off base? is there anything i am missing, or something else i should check? contacts all look fairly clean. thanks for any help. the inconsistency is really throwing me off

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If your battery is definitely good, the problem is most likely carbon buildup inside your starter.  You can rebuild it out replace it.


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  • 3 weeks later...

update: i pulled the starter, and had it bench tested, and everything worked fine (it isn't that old). i bought new battery cables, and a new relay, thinking they were pretty old anyway, and espically the cables had, had some breaking on both ends. 

with everything installed, i am getting low power, around 10 volts at the dash, and every 15 secounds or so, i hear a click, and the power goes down just a little when the key is turned to the on position.

 battery is new this year and charged.

at this point, i'm not sure what to check. the new grouding wire is making solid contact. what other spots should i be checking? the starter grounds itself to the block, there is power getting to the ignition, and when turning to the start position, power is getting through. 

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On 8/18/2021 at 11:49 AM, lewistonskier said:

with everything installed, i am getting low power, around 10 volts at the dash, and every 15 secounds or so, i hear a click, and the power goes down just a little when the key is turned to the on position.

How are you reading voltage after hearing the click if they key isn't already in the 'on' position?  Are you using a volt meter when doing this?

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  • 3 weeks later...

follow up: I took it to a shop, cause I was throughly confused. It turned out the battery switch had gone bad. meaning on the one run, the alternator was able to get power back to the battery. In the process, one of my batteries had gone bad, and in my experimenting, I didn't do the right combination of bypassing the switch with the battery that was good. Kind of a silly mistake, but I was able to get a few other things fixed while it was there, so net positive.

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