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Old 05-22-2023, 10:31 PM   #1
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CAT 3208 will not crank

Tried starting port engine this morn and not even a sound when I pushed start button. I was able to jump start at the solenoid though and engine ran fine. I then replaced solenoid. No luck. Then I tried starting from flybridge. Same deal - no crank action whatsoever. Stb. engine starts as usual. Both start off same battery. Could this be a starter relay issue? If so is there a test to perform. If not what else should I check?
Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2023, 11:35 PM   #2
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I didn't have 3208 cats but 3126s I had a similar issue, on mine there was a little relay located in the wiring distribution box on the engine. This relay provided the current for the starter relay and was energized by the key switch .... yours may not be the same but I would at least take a look
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Old 05-23-2023, 05:20 AM   #3
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Tried starting port engine this morn and not even a sound when I pushed start button. I was able to jump start at the solenoid though and engine ran fine. I then replaced solenoid. No luck. Then I tried starting from flybridge. Same deal - no crank action whatsoever. Stb. engine starts as usual. Both start off same battery. Could this be a starter relay issue? If so is there a test to perform. If not what else should I check?
Thanks.
Neutral safety switch? Did you try moving the gear shift lever while energizing the starter?
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Old 05-23-2023, 07:53 AM   #4
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If you put a jumper from the starboard side large terminal to the starboard side small terminal on the slave solenoid on rear, port side top of the engine, the engine will turn over if the slave solenoid and starter solenoid are good, the battery and battery connections are good, and there is a good ground connection. Thus, passing that one simple test eliminates a ton of possible problems and limits the issue to the circuit that gets +12V from the helm starter switch, to the small starboard terminal on the slave solenoid.
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Old 05-23-2023, 02:35 PM   #5
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I have two 3208ta’s. I would start with checking at the starter motor with a VOM if you have full battery voltage on the main cables if yes. I would jumper between the between the + terminal and the solenoid to see if it cranks/starts - if yes then I would verify if you have voltage at the start switch on the output when you actuate the switch-yes the you need determine if you have a neutral safety switch to that prevents cranking if you are not in a neutral position on you controls. I have Mathers control which provide this feature. I would also look for loose wires Or corroded connections. If you can not not jumper the solenoid when you have power that would suggest a new starter motor. Good luck on your hunt
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Old 05-23-2023, 03:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ka_sea_ta View Post
I didn't have 3208 cats but 3126s I had a similar issue, on mine there was a little relay located in the wiring distribution box on the engine. This relay provided the current for the starter relay and was energized by the key switch .... yours may not be the same but I would at least take a look
Not sure but this may be the relay I was calling the starter relay or some call the slave solenoid. It is located on the engine on my port side (the side that is toughest to get at). I am looking into this .Thanks.
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Old 05-23-2023, 03:38 PM   #7
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Neutral safety switch? Did you try moving the gear shift lever while energizing the starter?
Thanks Cigatoo. I did not try this but it's easy enough. Can't hurt. I don't think I have this on my Panish controls but if I do I will kick myself for not knowing if this is the problem.
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Old 05-23-2023, 04:22 PM   #8
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If you put a jumper from the starboard side large terminal to the starboard side small terminal on the slave solenoid on rear, port side top of the engine, the engine will turn over if the slave solenoid and starter solenoid are good, the battery and battery connections are good, and there is a good ground connection. Thus, passing that one simple test eliminates a ton of possible problems and limits the issue to the circuit that gets +12V from the helm starter switch, to the small starboard terminal on the slave solenoid.
Thanks Dave. I will try this next time out to the boat. In the mean time I purchased 2 of these "slave solenoids" from CAT. In case anyone wants to know what CAT calls them they are "switch, magnetic, part number 030-2266."
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Old 05-23-2023, 04:40 PM   #9
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I have two 3208tas. I would start with checking at the starter motor with a VOM if you have full battery voltage on the main cables if yes. I would jumper between the between the + terminal and the solenoid to see if it cranks/starts - if yes then I would verify if you have voltage at the start switch on the output when you actuate the switch-yes the you need determine if you have a neutral safety switch to that prevents cranking if you are not in a neutral position on you controls. I have Mathers control which provide this feature. I would also look for loose wires Or corroded connections. If you can not not jumper the solenoid when you have power that would suggest a new starter motor. Good luck on your hunt
Thanks Dennis. I was able to jumper at the starter motor solenoid and run the engine. Don't think I have the neutral safety switch as stated before. We'll see. May have to eventually look into the starter switch although if I can not start the engine from the main cabin or the flybridge I'm guessing it's not the starter/push button switch?
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Old 05-23-2023, 07:03 PM   #10
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Did you have power at the starter switch. If not then maybe a circuit breaker needs replacement
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Old 05-23-2023, 08:35 PM   #11
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Did you have power at the starter switch. If not then maybe a circuit breaker needs replacement
Have not investigated the switch yet but will do. Thanks Dennis.
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Old 05-24-2023, 10:23 PM   #12
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I picked up my switches (slave solenoids) from CAT and headed to the harbor to do battle. I dreaded crawling between the hull and the port engine. When I got onboard the first thing I noticed was the gear shift lever slightly ahead of neutral. Yes, that was the issue and I am a dummy for missing this one. Go ahead and kick me.
It was a good discussion though and I appreciate all the responses. And if the slave solenoid ever does fail I have 2 of them as spares!
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Old 05-25-2023, 01:52 AM   #13
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This happens a lot. Most won't admit to it. They just stop posting to TF out of embarrassment. Your post will save a lot of people some embarrassment, we just won't hear about it.
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Old 05-25-2023, 02:17 AM   #14
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Happened to me one weekend. I asked our (sometime) marina shipwright, on his boat, who said " check the gear selector is in neutral". Not quite, adjusted it, started immediately. Bet it`s happened to a lot of people, once at least.
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Old 05-25-2023, 07:15 PM   #15
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Just like forgetting the drain plug or the safety lanyard. Happens all the time once.
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Old 05-25-2023, 07:41 PM   #16
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You are not alone. I had a single engine GB 36. I did an overnight to a harbor 15 miles from home. The next morning I could not start the engine. Eventually I called tow boat US and was towed at about 3 kts the 15 miles to home. I guess you can figure out what the problem was.
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Old 05-25-2023, 09:21 PM   #17
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Perhaps over time the controls wear, it looks centered in neutral, it`s not, and it`s not obvious. Becomes the first and easiest thing to check, but only after you know.
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Old 05-25-2023, 10:21 PM   #18
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Oh I did that on my last boat MORE than once!
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Old 05-25-2023, 11:50 PM   #19
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Happened to me too. It had been raining and there was a raincoat hanging on the lower helm shift levers. One of our cats had crawled up inside the coat and slightly moved one of the levers. I always start the engines from the upper helm and the port engine wouldn't turn over. After an hour of looking at the wiring diagram and using a multimeter I saw a neutral switch on the diagram and the light in my head went off.
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Old 05-26-2023, 03:21 AM   #20
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At both helms no start would first make me wonder about neutral safety as well assuming battery voltage is good and no dead cells. After that break out the meter and a visual inspection working from the starter to the switch.
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