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Old 03-22-2018, 09:17 PM   #1
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Intermittent Start (Ford Lehman 120)

Today I went to start my port engine, opened the seacock, checked the oil, clicked on the upper and lower helm keys...turned the key and...nothing. No click. no crank...Just silence. Same from the upper helm.

OK, down to the ER to see if I have voltage at the engine. Yep, 13.2 V to the starter. I end up jumping the solenoid, she starts, no big.

After shutdown I try it again. Starts right up from the lower helm. I shut down again and test from the upper helm - again starts right up.

My instinct says the beginning of the end for the solenoid but I'd welcome experienced perspectives and suggestions before I just go replacing stuff.

Intermittent electrical issues are my least favorite thing.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:25 PM   #2
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So if the problem repeats, the next thing I would check is the start signal from the key at the solenoid.

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Old 03-22-2018, 09:52 PM   #3
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I had that problem. Turn key, nothing. I only have a single helm at the flybridge. Turned out to be a bad stop switch. Unhooked, engine started right up. Replaced switch, all good now.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:57 PM   #4
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Neutral safety switch??
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Marie View Post
Neutral safety switch??


Definitely possible. I did the fwd/rev/neutral thing a few times from the helm trying to start in between.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:25 PM   #6
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Don't assume it's the starter or solenoid. I've seen dirty battery cable connections do that. A DMM can be fooled also. They need only a few Microamps to give a reading. That amount of current is so small that unless there is actual insulation between battery posts and wire connections enough current can pass to give a good voltage reading. When actually cranking there is no way enough current can pass to even cause a click. Clean them all including the negative side.
Oddly once jumped they will pass enough current to continue for a few starts but it will happen again.

As suggested there are other possible causes also:
-- neutral safety switch. Wiggle the gear control a few times.
-- intermediate relay between the key switch and the starter solenoid. Often used because the key switch cannot handle the solenoid activation current for long. Check connections. Also check that there is actually a good ground for the intermediate relay. If not then the relay cannot work.
-- key switch itself and its connections.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
Don't assume it's the starter or solenoid. I've seen dirty battery cable connections do that.
+1
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