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Old 08-24-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Ok .... So yesterday, I took my girlfriends 2 sons(24-26 yrs old) and one of their girlfriends out on the boat fishing(for the 1st time on my boat), everything was going great, we made 2 stops to try and catch some fish, wellllll nothing was biting so we decided to try another spot but, the boat wouldn't start, the starter would not engage.... every time I'd hit the key the starter would just hit the flywheel, we tried everything to get it to work, but no joy. Luckily a sail boat happened by and gave us a tow(a s-l-o-w tow, but I was very thankful that he stopped and helped us).

My questions is, do I have to use a "Marine" starter? Or can I use a automotive starter? (92-4.3L mercrusier)


BTW if you hear about somebody getting lynched by a mad woman.... Its probably me...LOL
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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You should stick with a Marine starter. They are sealed units to help prevent igniting fuel vapors. I have purchased from Arlington Armature (local reman shop but very good) as well as online with after-market units. If it were me, I would go with the Arlington Armature unit if you can find a local shop that sells them (or maybe they will sell direct to you).
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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What Murl said Todd - marine starter. Gas vapors are heavier than air so settle to the low spots in the bilge - which is also where the starter on the 4.3 happens to be. The marine units are "ignition protected" which means they sealed to prevent internal sparks/arc's from igniting any gas vapors. When you install it be certain your connections are nice and tight - using lock washers. If those connections jiggle loose - but not necessarily come off, the lose connection can also cause a spark.

Dan
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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Got it.... I think I am going to replace the SOLENOID, the starter spins fine, just wont engage the flywheel.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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I took the starter out had it tested and it passed all the test. They said to try shimming it...and I did... still the same problem... Not sure what to do next except try another starter. BTW the ring gear it good... With the weather coming I am covering up the boat untill the storm passes...

Todd
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:14 AM   #6
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9ball, need more info on your issue. In the first post you stated the starter would hit the flywheel, but not turn over the motor. Later you say it spins freely. So is your starter actually engaging or are you just hearing a click from the engine compartment? Makes a big difference on how to proceed.

-JP
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryME View Post
9ball, need more info on your issue. In the first post you stated the starter would hit the flywheel, but not turn over the motor. Later you say it spins freely. So is your starter actually engaging or are you just hearing a click from the engine compartment? Makes a big difference on how to proceed.

-JP
The starter hits the flywheel, but does not engage the Ring gear.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #8
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Not sure I follow you here Todd. The starter has a small gear in the nose cone that rests towards to body end of the starter. When engaged, the gear will jump to the top of the nose and start spinning. On the motor side of this there is a flywheel with gears welded to it that bolt to the rear of the engine. When the starter is mounted to the block (and shimmed correctly), the flywheel does not touch the starter housing or the gear. When you engage the starter, teh gear jumps up, engaging the flywheel gear and then starts cranking the engine over.

So are you saying that you hear the starter spinning but do not believe the gear is jumping up and engaging the flywheel or do you think it is engaging it but not enough for the gears to fully enage (causing it to make that awful grinding noise)?
When you bench tested it, did you verify all of this was happening and the gear was fully engaging towards the nose? Could be that it is not going all the way up (or not at all).
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Seem odd that it would be starting the engine just fine - engaging the ring gear then go to not engaging the ring gear on the same day and without changing anything. Are you able to actually see with your orbs that the starter's pinion gear is not engaging the flywheel? There is only a couple of ways that the face of the starter gear would hit the face of the ring gear. An alignment issue or the nose of the starter is cracked/broken

If you can't actually see it - just guessing that's what's happening, the first thing I'd do is put a breaker bar on the balancer bolt and make certain you can turn the crankshaft in the direction it should rotate.

Dan
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:43 PM   #10
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Were the bolts tight when you removed the starter? If they were loose, it's possible that that was your problem. Have you reinstalled it yet?
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