Starter

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Expatriate
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1st mate
Posts: 41
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Starter

Postby Expatriate » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:49 am

While at the dock, I started the engines just because I am heading to the yard in a week or so, and wanted to make sure there were no problems. Good thing I did. The starboard engine was making a very strange noise, sort of a moaning sound. I thought it was a belt, so I had a look. It looked fine, but was still making that noise. It took me a minute or so to decide to shut it down and then look some more.

When I tried to shut it down, it restarted. I took a few seconds for it to dawn on me that the starter had not disengaged. I ran down to the starboard berth and turned off the battery. Then I was able to shut down the engine. The starter was very hot. The next day, I tried to start the engine, but it barely turned over. The battery is new and showed 13 volts, but the voltage may be misleading. I think the starter is probably toast. Maybe the battery survived.

There were some interesting comments online. Usually, this happens in cold weather when you have to crank the engine longer than usual. The solenoid heats up and sticks with the starter engaged. Not the case here, the engine started in about one second. One guy, a truck driver, was sleeping when his rig suddenly started. In his case, there was a short in the ignition switch. Bottom line is keep your start batteries turned off when away.

I found a starter online for about $100. I have heard that they are hard to remove and install. I will have to reschedule the haul-out or be towed over there. It's only two miles and we have towing insurance that covers everything you can imagine.

I have never heard of this happening to anyone after 20 years of boating. Anyone had this problem or replaced a starter?

Tim
M/V 068 Expatriate

AlanH
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Re: Starter

Postby AlanH » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:53 am

Tim,

I have not had the problem you are referring to but I had to replace the starter on the port side. The starter itself was fine in my case, it was only the solenoid that is mounted to the starter. It seems to me there are two solenoids on the starting system, one on the starter and one tucked away out of sight near the starter. I think the one not on the starter activates the one that is on the starter.

When it comes to changing the starter, it is very difficult. I am very mechanical and thought it would be no problem. I worked on it for three hours, had the starter loose but couldn't get it out. My problem was only intermittent so I put it back together to think on it a bit. A couple days later, I tried again. Three hours later, I called the local Yanmar mechanics. It took two of them working together, one in front and one in back, about 2.5 hours to get the old one out. One big challenge is there is a oil drain line coming from the turbo that connects to the bottom of the engine with a little 2 inch long hose. You can't see it but it connects right under the starter. That oil line must be removed. Had I known that I could have done the job.

My original plan was to replace only the solenoid on the starter but due to the labor involved in the job I decided to replace the starter while it was out. There are aftermarket starters available at a quarter the price of a new one from Yanmar. The mechanics convinced me that they are not as reliable (mostly made in China) and due to the difficulty and cost of the job I decided to spend the money on one from Yanmar. I think it was about $600 dollars.

Good luck,

Alan


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AlanH
Catbo
2006 34' Hull #81
75hp engines

Expatriate
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1st mate
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: Starter

Postby Expatriate » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:26 am

Alan,

I replaced the starter. The oil line was in the way of the lower bolt. It is attached to the engine by two metal supports that look like straps. I could not figure them out at first, so I stuck my instant camera under there and took a couple of shots to see what was going on. I have used this technique before. Both of the straps had fatigued and were broken in the middle. I loosened a clamp on the little 2" hose and the pipe assembly would then move about 1/4". That was all I needed to get to the lower bolt. All the bolts were very tight. I had to use a breaker bar to get them to turn. I thought that they were corroded, but they look brand new. The starter came out without removing the drain tube.

Getting the new starter back in was tricky. It has to be supported so that a bolt can be started. Once you get one bolt started, the flange aligns the other bolt. Then you are home free. The trouble is supporting the starter. I could only get one arm in there at a time. Finally jammed a couple of blocks of wood in there to hold it up. Then I started the bolt using a ratchet with extensions running all the way back to the alternator belt. Wiring is easy.

I am not sure what happened to the support straps on the oil drain line. It seems to be fine without the supports on there, but I will order another one just to be sure. The job took about 8 hours. About half of the time was spent trying to figure out how it was installed, and how to get to the bolts. Like any job, it will be much easier if I have to do it again.

Tim

AlanH
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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Starter

Postby AlanH » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:31 am

Congratulations Tim. I know it was not easy.
AlanH
Catbo
2006 34' Hull #81
75hp engines


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