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Old 09-11-2020, 06:28 PM   #1
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Morse Engine Control

Went to start the boat this morning, didnt happen. Turn the key switch, push the start button, nada. Not even sure where to start: start button, starter, solenoid engine control neutral switch??? Had a spare solenoid so started there and replaced the old one. Nada. Been wondering about the Morse Engine Control neutral switch. For a while now when I went to start the engine the gear side lever would need to be moved a bit forward or back so the neutral switch would allow the engine to start. At this point Iím suspecting the engine control neutral switch, if there is such a thing as a switch involved. The Morse setup is one lever for the transmission and one for the throttle. Tired, hot, and stumped at this point. Top suspects are the Morse, the start button, neutral switch if there is one, gremlins, democrats, republicans, 2020. All ideas welcome.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:10 PM   #2
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Borg Warner Velvet Drives have a neutral safety switch. Bypassed by most owners.
Just because the Morse lever is in neutral doesn't mean the actual shift lever on the transmission is in neutral. Check transmission position.
Many solenoids are controlled by a relay. Relay is probably the weak link. Trace the wiring from the solenoid until you find a small box. Replace it.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:13 PM   #3
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Or jumper around it to help troubleshoot the problem. It may be looking for an open or a closed. Just need to figure out what it is looking for and give it what it wants to start.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:16 PM   #4
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If you've been experiencing symptoms the are alleviated by jiggling the clutch/shift lever, I can understand your line of thinking. A neutral cutout switch. I don't have an answer but think that telling us what engine and transmission you have may help someone give you an answer.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:41 PM   #5
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Ignition switch can also be the cause of a hard to start engine... even if it does turn the engine over. Evidentially, on older marine ignition switches, there are two sources of electric power transfer from the switch to the engine. One leg of electric power goes from switch to starter. Another leg of electric power goes from switch to engine's ignition features.

In other words: Once you release the switch from position that fires up the electric starter on engine - that leg of energy shuts off. Then, the leg of energy that goes to ignition features stays on until you completely turn off the keyed-switch.

As you mentioned a push starter-button; I imagine your keyed-switch simply transfers electricity to engine's ignition set up. So, if that leg of energy is not operating correctly the engine will not start.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swfla View Post
If you've been experiencing symptoms the are alleviated by jiggling the clutch/shift lever, I can understand your line of thinking. A neutral cutout switch. I don't have an answer but think that telling us what engine and transmission you have may help someone give you an answer.
Engine is Perkins 4-236, trans Hurth 630 or 63 ( I think). Will get the trans name number asap, have to deal with the death of the garage door opener tomorrow. Swimming pool fiasco finally good. 2020 been asshoe.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:49 PM   #7
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I had the stop button go bad on one of my engines so the engine would not start because the stop function was energized all the time the key was on. New stop switch and all was good.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:49 PM   #8
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Meeting w mechanic on Monday, hopefully a simple fix. Still don’t understand how the neutral switch works in the Morse. Where is it located? In the control head where the gear shift and throttle is?
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:29 AM   #9
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It should be on the transmission. Not familiar with your transmission but mine is on the transmission.
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:54 AM   #10
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Look here

Attached is a picture of a Hurth ZF63A. The neutral switch is on top near the rear, with two terminal screw visible. You should be able to find a manual online as well.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:23 AM   #11
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Thanks to all for the help. Going back today to prep for the storm headed our way. So far it’s just a TD but will make TS status shortly.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:05 AM   #12
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Tonic1 gave a god example of the switch terminals. The round black thing. Of course wires comeback to this. Possibly straight from the lever mechanism or maybe there's a rely in-between somewhere.
Are you certain that the solenoid you put in is working and the old one tests bad?
I think a mechanic is a great idea if you're stumped. Hope you all weather the storm. Cheers.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:31 AM   #13
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Tonic1 gave a god example of the switch terminals. The round black thing. Of course wires comeback to this. Possibly straight from the lever mechanism or maybe there's a rely in-between somewhere.
Are you certain that the solenoid you put in is working and the old one tests bad?
I think a mechanic is a great idea if you're stumped. Hope you all weather the storm. Cheers.
Not certain about anything at this point. But the jiggling of the shift lever seems to have got worse lately. Neutral switch is $40 on Hale Marine so Ill start there. Probably wonít get much done till this storm goes thru but I can order the part, install and see if that works. If not, get w/the mechanic who I talked w/ yesterday. Appreciate all the help from yíall.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:58 AM   #14
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Bring a helper and a handheld test meter. Neutral switch could be on the tranny, but also could be on the helm quadrant. Put meter in DC volt mode and put test leads on the switch terminals. Get helper to push start button. See 12v, switch is open. See 0v, switch is not the problem. Go to starter button, test that too. Check for 12v on one terminal relative to gnd. Push button, both should be 12v. Go to starter and check volts on solenoid wire when pushing button. Probably have a relay nearby that fires the start solenoid.

Also handy to have a 2' piece of wire with alligator clips on it (or not) to jump the starter and get motor going if you need to move for storm reasons.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:37 AM   #15
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Have you eliminated bad terminal connections at the start battery? That would result in your "nada" experience. Always good to know your connections are good, even if you have checked them earlier this year.
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:34 AM   #16
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By-passed by most owners? Not on this boat. Why would anyone, other than a fool, do that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
Borg Warner Velvet Drives have a neutral safety switch. Bypassed by most owners.
Just because the Morse lever is in neutral doesn't mean the actual shift lever on the transmission is in neutral. Check transmission position.
Many solenoids are controlled by a relay. Relay is probably the weak link. Trace the wiring from the solenoid until you find a small box. Replace it.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:52 AM   #17
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By-passed by most owners? Not on this boat. Why would anyone, other than a fool, do that?
Not on my boats either. Sorta like being able [or unable] to start car... only when its trany is in neutral or park.

Safety is as safety does!!
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:22 AM   #18
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Bring a helper and a handheld test meter. Neutral switch could be on the tranny, but also could be on the helm quadrant. Put meter in DC volt mode and put test leads on the switch terminals. Get helper to push start button. See 12v, switch is open. See 0v, switch is not the problem. Go to starter button, test that too. Check for 12v on one terminal relative to gnd. Push button, both should be 12v. Go to starter and check volts on solenoid wire when pushing button. Probably have a relay nearby that fires the start solenoid.

Also handy to have a 2' piece of wire with alligator clips on it (or not) to jump the starter and get motor going if you need to move for storm reasons.
Yes, all of this! Even a simple old school test light and some methodical tracing will save the process of random replacing of parts until it hopefully works.

Start either at the starter or at the helm, but go from one end of the circuit to the other and methodically check each component, tracing wires if you don't have an accurate circuit diagram to see where they are attached and find any extra relays that might be part of the circuit.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:34 PM   #19
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Turn the key to the start position and jiggle the lever...bad fuel solenoid will not stop the start attempt. Jump the starter solenoid terminals to see if the starter is OK. Check the ground to the starter. Jump the solenoid to see if it works.

Do you get some lights or other sign that the electrics are alive with the "ignition" switch on?
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:51 PM   #20
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To finish this thread, the problem was the transmission neutral switch. Replaced it yesterday and she cranked right up. One question I have: in the event this should happen away from the dock, could you connect the two wires on the neutral switch to bypass a bad switch?
Had a couple of near miss hurricanes since my last update which was mainly high water and flooded roads in the marina
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