Weird no-start issue....

Discussion in 'Electrical Stuff' started by CliffA, Nov 6, 2019 at 4:17 PM.

  1. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    I'll try to keep this as short as possible...two weeks ago we went to the boat to spend the WE...on Saturday we were going to get a pump out and to fill up with fuel...the port engine started as usual...the fuel pump for the starboard engine primed as usual but the engine would not turn over....I only got a clicking noise...it had been several years since the batteries were changed so I assumed I needed new batteries...the engine started fine with the emergency start switch activated...we cruised to get the pump out and fuel without issue...I had to use the emergency start switch again at the marina after fueling up...

    I replaced all of the batteries a week ago...one group 27 deep cell for the port engine, one group 27 deep cell for the generator, and two group 31 in series for the starboard engine and house bank...I was running short on time so I did not attempt to start the engines that day...

    Today I went to the boat for some light maintenance stuff and attempted to start both engines and the genny....the genny started fine as well as the port engine...however I had the same clicking noise and no start from the starboard engine...I double checked the tightness of the battery connections and all terminals are clean...the starboard engine will start and run by using the emergency start switch...I thought maybe I have a bad ground for the 31's in series so I used a jumper cable connected to the neg post on the batteries and the ground stud on the port engine.....this did not help...

    One thing I noticed that seemed odd is when I ran the bilge blowers while connected to shore power they ran fine....when I ran the blowers while on battery power they ran but at a reduced power and the green indicator light on the bilge blower switch was flashing...

    Any and all input in finding the problem is appreciated...

    cliff
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 4:26 PM
  2. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Were the batteries turned off when you left the boat a week ago?
    Sounds like something is pulling your batteries down.
     
  3. GATORB8

    GATORB8 Member

    56
    Jul 17, 2017
    Mountain Island Lake, NC
    2017 19 SPX
    4.3L 220 HP w/ Alpha 1
    Consider checking the connections on the positive circuit between the batteries and the starter.

    I had a nut back off the connection of a battery switch a few threads, the result reduced the contact and allowed enough current to pass for the fuel pump and other functions, but not enough to crank the starter.
     
  4. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    I usually leave the main battery switches on but turn off all the individual breakers except for the cabin frig...that way if the marina looses power for a few hours the frig will switch over to battery power....I have been doing this for a few years without issue...
    Thanks...
    cliff
     
  5. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks...I thought about that also but the fact the engine starts fine when using the emergency start switch stopped me from going that route....
    cliff
     
  6. Espos4

    Espos4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    The starter solenoid could be the culprit. It may be on its way out. Pressing the emergency start with the port engine running ties the batteries together along with the power from the alternator.

    This extra available voltage and current may be what’s needed to overcome the higher than normal resistance inside the possibly failing solenoid.
     
    Express 390 likes this.
  7. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    273
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    Usually when the indicator light starts flashing its going bad ! you might want to check for a clean and tight ground at the Engine Block
     
  8. GATORB8

    GATORB8 Member

    56
    Jul 17, 2017
    Mountain Island Lake, NC
    2017 19 SPX
    4.3L 220 HP w/ Alpha 1
    So the Generator starting should rule out from the battery to the switch. Emergency should rule out Emergency solenoid to the starter. Would just leave the connections/conductor from the switch to the emergency solenoid:
    upload_2019-11-6_16-44-34.png
     
  9. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Cliff - do you know if the new batteries were in fact discharged? Did you put a volt meter on them? What battery is the bilge pump wired to? The one that keeps blowing a fuse. Even if the pump wasn't working, the float switch is.
    Thinking the blower thing is because the batteries are low, but the charger is on when you are connected to AC.
     
  10. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks....I did notice some corrosion on the connection between the battery ground cable and the engine block...the connection seems right...I tried to use a jumper cable connected to the battery neg terminal and the same engine stud the ground cable is connected to in an attempt to creat a new ground path for the batteries but this did not help...I am wondering if using the jumper cable is just not suitable enough to create a sufficient ground...
    cliff
     
  11. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks Bill....I did not test the new batteries...the bilge pump is wired to the same house bank of batteries...when I installed the new batteries the bilge pump went through a cycle and stopped as expected so they had enough juice to run the bilge pump....I tested the pump a few more times and it operated as expected....I don't have a float switch...i installed an electronic switch a few years ago....I did leave the AC Converter on this past week so I 'assume' it would have fully charged all of the new batteries if they were low on charge when installed...
    cliff
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 5:12 PM
  12. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks....I will admit up front I am not as well versed in electrical issues compared to mechanical issues....if you could 'dumb this down a little' and be more specific on what to check I would appreciate it....:)
     
  13. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    I'm starting to wonder if my battery charger may be the culprit....maybe the bank of the charger going to the house battery bank is bad....any way to test that theory?
    cliff
     
  14. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Put a volt meter on the batteries with the charger off, then with it on, should see an increase in voltage at the batteries.
     
  15. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Will do....thanks....
    cliff
     
  16. GATORB8

    GATORB8 Member

    56
    Jul 17, 2017
    Mountain Island Lake, NC
    2017 19 SPX
    4.3L 220 HP w/ Alpha 1
    So I clipped a shot from the wiring diagram (actually from a 290DA with twins, but should be pretty close) in my post above. Walking from the battery to the motor on the positive circuit.

    Port Batteries -> Port Battery Switch -> Emergency Solenoid -> Port Starter
    Port Batteries -> Port Battery Switch -> Generator

    Strbrd Battery -> Starboard Batt Switch -> Emergency Solenoid - > Strbrd Starter

    At the port battery switch, the wire to the generator and the emergency generator are on the same post. At the emergency solenoid, the starter wire and the wire from the battery switch appears to be on the same post, so no current actually flows through the solenoid when it's not engaged, it's just a junction location.

    Your generator starts, so you should be good from the batteries to the switch. Emergency works, so you should be good from the emergency solenoid to the Port Starter. Leaving a possible issue as the wire or connections between the Port battery switch and the emergency solenoid that could be bad.

    If you can access the solenoid easily, jumping from the port battery switch to the port solenoid post should confirm if that's the issue.

    EDIT: Definitely test voltage on the batteries first, if they are low, that is the issue and not the circuit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 5:54 PM
  17. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks for the details....I will be back at the boat this WE and will do some more troubleshooting then....
    cliff
     
  18. Knot It

    Knot It Member

    361
    Oct 28, 2011
    St. Louis, Mo
    '01 340 Sundancer
    T-7.4 Horizons w/ V Drives
    Have you checked the starboard alternator. A bad diode in the alternator can cause a considerable and quick drain on the batteries. I just had a nearly identical set of symptoms. A check of the alternator showed it was not generating power below 2000 rpm and on the charger, it was still not able to keep up with the drain. $80 and a half hour job later I had my new alternator in and the engine fired right up and has not missed a beat since.
     
  19. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Thanks.... I'll add that to the list of things to check....
    cliff
     
  20. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    A question for you guys....
    Is the starter slave solenoid by-passed when the emergency start switch is used?....if so the slave solenoid for the starboard engine could be bad....I had that happen on a previous boat with the same symptoms....
    cliff
     

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