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Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Starter

I took my starter apart because sometimes when I turn the key I just get a click.

What I discovered was the armature seems to have a spot where it touches the stator. When this happens the starter doesn't engage.

This happens very seldom. So the rest of the starter seems Ok.

Question: Is it time for a new starter or can this be fixed?

You know me I would rather fix it than replace it. Whaddyathink?

SD

*


-- Edited by skipperdude on Monday 27th of February 2012 02:17:59 PM
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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RE: Starter

I* had my start rebuilt.* At the plant we have motors starters rebuild all the time instead of buying new.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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RE: Starter

SD,
I always had more success for a guaranteed repair when I troubleshot the starter in place before I moved any wires, pulled any parts, etc.. I have seen starters with a "shorted" bar on the commutator ( the area where the brushes ride). If a brush happens to land on that particular bar, and it is shorted, it won't make an opposing magnetic field you need to spin it. This is rare and will probably take a starter shop and a "Growler" as I recall to confirm it. How hard would it be to reassemble the starter and reinstall?? If not too bad- it might pay to troubleshoot it in place. IF it is a 12 volt system, I always want to see 10.5 VDC minimum at the top large battery terminal when spinning/ attempt g to spin. This confirms sufficient voltage. Next I would suggest to check your voltage to the "switch wire", the one that gets voltage when you turn the key to start. You should have a minimum of 9.5 VDC when spinning/ attempting to spin. When it doesn't start, does it click??
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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RE: Starter

I don't know what you have for a starter but I'm assuming it's one of the large H.D. Delco Remy 42MT or similar that were often installed on your engines.

Another reason for just a click is a failure/burning of the contacts inside the cover plate of the solenoid mounted on the side. Those contacts are what connect the motor to the battery. The click would be the solenoid actuating but eventually the contacts, that the solenoid controls, burn. Often when the problem is first making itself apparent one or two more key turns will rotate the disc to a different spot that completes the circuit. Note that the solenoid drives the pinion gear into mesh with the flywheel and also operates the heavy contacts for the motor current.

That contact disc and the two studs it bridges can be replaced and are not expensive. I'd guess that normally if it's just a no crank with a click it's the contact set.

If the armature is contacting the stator then the bearings need to be replaced. Replace the contacts also.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:50 PM   #5
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RE: Starter

As C lectric says, it sounds more probable that*its your solenoid*acting up, than the starter.* Check for burned solenoid contacts and replace.* If you have a long run between the solenoid and*the ignition switch you may have significant voltage drop to the solenoid which will cause the contacts to chatter and burn up*again.*

If you think that is the problem, an easy fix is to install an automotive style solenoid*on or near the*engine starter solenoid.* Run the start key to it and a nice big fat B+ wire through it*directly to the engine starter solenoid.* I haven't had to rebuild either of mine since I did that.

Larry B.*
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:51 AM   #6
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RE: Starter

I always want to see 10.5 VDC minimum at the top large battery terminal when spinning/ attempt g to spin.

This is easiest if a digital voltage meter is simply wired to the hot starter terminal, rather than the start batt.

Reads the same while charging underway , so no operational hassle.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:27 AM   #7
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RE: Starter

Quote:
Edelweiss wrote:


As C lectric says, it sounds more probable that*its your solenoid*acting up, than the starter.* Check for burned solenoid contacts and replace.* If you have a long run between the solenoid and*the ignition switch you may have significant voltage drop to the solenoid which will cause the contacts to chatter and burn up*again.*

If you think that is the problem, an easy fix is to install an automotive style solenoid*on or near the*engine starter solenoid.* Run the start key to it and a nice big fat B+ wire through it*directly to the engine starter solenoid.* I haven't had to rebuild either of mine since I did that.

Larry B.*
Good idea, a step up relay. Like an old '72 Ford pick up fender mounted starter solenoid.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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RE: Starter

I had my starter rebuilt several years ago, seemed like it was $125 or so, included new solenoid plus the shop guy threw in another new solenoid for a spare. Starter problems sure can ruin a day.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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RE: Starter

There was an extra solinoid on the boat when I bought her. I don't even know if it is any good *I will try replacing that first.

Thanks,

SD*
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #10
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RE: Starter

SD:

I have exactly the same symptoms.* One loud click and then nothing.* If I keep the key in the "start" position too long I get a puff of smoke.* Yikes.* A smack with a hammer on the solenoid got things working.*

As soon as the weather breaks I'm going to pull the starter and take it to the local "generator and carburetor" shop.* Generator and carburetor?* They've been in business a long time!

Let us know how the solenoid swap out works. I do have a spare unit buried in the boat somewhere.* Maybe I'll give that a try first.

*
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
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RE: Starter

Sometimes its the "Bendix" hanging up..... You will get a click, then nothing else. solenoid tries to actuate the bendix...but can't.

I've had starters completely rebuilt in the vicinity of $125......far less than the cost of a replacement....
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:22 PM   #12
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RE: Starter

It may come to that. I would like to try and rebuild it myself if i can.

With my newfound skills as a Cat diesel mechanic

I will take it completely apart and* if she don't work when I get it back together I'll get a new one.

I would be ashamed to take a box of parts to a rebuild shop.

Fix it for me Whaaaaaa.

SD
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:59 PM   #13
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RE: Starter

What a guy! Don't forget to "bench test" it when you get finished. You can use a battery and jumper cables.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:49 AM   #14
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RE: Starter

SD, my boat's starter began doing what yours, (and Lurker's) is doing, not long after I bought her, that being 10 yrs ago practically to the day, and at first some vigorous tapping round the starter would set it going, but it was always a bit of a worry. However, it didn't do it every time, so I procrastinated. Then one night, caught on a lee shore, with 40kn winds and dragging, (that was before I changed out the CQR for Sarca), there was me, floor up, banging away, with 2iC turning the key rather frantically...until, thank God she fired. We made it out, but only just - only 0.7 of a meter (from the transducer) under us when we got the anchor up - she's on the bottom at 0.6m. I swore then never again, and had the mechanic at the marina whip the starter, solenoid and all out and recondition it, and it has gone 1st press ever since. It's a no-brainer. It won't just be the solenoid - get her re-con'd - you won't regret it - but you will if you don't. And frankly it is one job I would advise you don't take on unless you really know what you are doing. It is not usually an expensive fix - especially compared to a new one. And the peace of mind....priceless...
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:53 AM   #15
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RE: Starter

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
It may come to that. I would like to try and rebuild it myself if i can.

With my newfound skills as a Cat diesel mechanic

I will take it completely apart and* if she don't work when I get it back together I'll get a new one.

I would be ashamed to take a box of parts to a rebuild shop.

Fix it for me Whaaaaaa.

SD

I suggest taking it to a shop before you take it apart.* If you want to play with starters, go to an auto junkyard and buy a cheap one and play with it.

The one on your boat is pretty important if you're anchored out in the middle of nowhere and have to start your engine.
*
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #16
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Starter

I was amazed at how easy the starter was to pull out.* Not a single drop of blood nor busted knuckle.* Didn't think that was possible on a British engine; it seems there is always some bass ackwards fitting to be gotten at.

The guy at the shop said it would run about $120 - $140 unless it was shot.* And it could be ready by tomorrow evening.* It's still a while before I drop Moon Dance back in the water and give her the smoke test, but I have high hopes.

The guy at the shop also mentioned that I got there just in time.* As the weather breaks all the construction and lawn service guys start bringing in stuff for their excavators, backhoes and other equipment.


-- Edited by BaltimoreLurker on Thursday 8th of March 2012 12:24:04 PM
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #17
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RE: Starter

Sometimes its the "Bendix" hanging up.

Sometimes it hangs on , not releasing after the engine is started.

Considering the std starter gearing it spins really fast at idle , and is happily working as a generator , pumping ???60v? 100v? 200v? DC into all the stuff you have being powered by the start batt set.

Again the voltmeter attached to the starter might give an idea it is happening.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:56 AM   #18
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RE: Starter

Got the rebuilt starter back yesterday and bolted everything back together.* And, of course, when I turned the key everything was stone dead.* But that's another story, all's well now.

The guy at the shop mentioned something about, "all corroded up inside" as being the problem.* Go figure.*
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #19
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RE: Starter

All corroded up?? On a boat??? :smile: Lurker, through the years I learned the hard way to keep the negative clamp "twist on" tight till I proved the repaired starter was not going to " hang in". An incorrect Bendix drive or weak kick out spring can possibly allow that. :::n my '05 diesel Ford pick up I have a 5/16" wrench tie wrapped to the left positive battery cable. Everyone asks "What's that for?" I tell them to loosen the battery clamp in case of an emergency.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:23 AM   #20
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RE: Starter

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
It may come to that. I would like to try and rebuild it myself if i can.

With my newfound skills as a Cat diesel mechanic

I will take it completely apart and* if she don't work when I get it back together I'll get a new one.

I would be ashamed to take a box of parts to a rebuild shop.

Fix it for me Whaaaaaa.

SD
*I assume your engine is a Cat? Caterpillar original solenoids are renowned for showing the same symptoms you describe. There are aftermarket solenoids available at a fraction of the price and more reliable. Assuming the solenoid is the problem of course.
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