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Old 08-20-2015, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default neutral safety switch

My boat sometimes starts brilliantly and other times won't fire at all and I'm self -diagnosing a faulty neutral starter switch. if i move the control lever a few times it usually works perfectly but it feels a risky thing for coastal use!

Anyone prepared to shed any light?

Merc 5.0 carbed, alpha 1 and Commander 3000 control lever all 2000

Thanks

PH
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:07 PM   #2
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Need so clarification.

When you say if will not fire sometimes does this mean the engine is turning over but will not start? If so not the neutral safety switch as this will prevent the engine from cranking.

Another fault for cranking issues is a bad slave solenoid.

When it will not start have you verified there is gas at the carb? Spark at the plugs?
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
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hi

When i say it won't fire i mean it won't do anything, until i waggle the controller and try again and then it starts perfectly. i am pretty certain the neutral safety switch is playing up as it is intermittent. id like some other people's views in case i am barking up the wrong tree.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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You may be correct but the slave solenoid is the typical problem from what you have described and acts intermittently due to pitted contacts. It is located on near the engine breaker and cost about $25 US.

When it does not work do you hear any clicking? If so the solenoid is the issue.
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thank you. I will check that too!
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:15 PM   #6
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I agree with the solenoid diagnosis. However, what is interesting is the description that it is either dead ('click') or if the shifter is giggled, then it starts. The 'click' sounds like a solenoid issue. If that is the case, then hitting the ignition 10-15 times in rapid succession can also knock the corrosion off of the gate contact and get the motor started as well.

However, I'm wonder if there is a loose Shift Interrupt at play here. Wouldn't a shift interrupt being actuated, even if the shifter appears to be neutral also behave the same way?
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrew View Post
I agree with the solenoid diagnosis. However, what is interesting is the description that it is either dead ('click') or if the shifter is giggled, then it starts. The 'click' sounds like a solenoid issue. If that is the case, then hitting the ignition 10-15 times in rapid succession can also knock the corrosion off of the gate contact and get the motor started as well.

However, I'm wonder if there is a loose Shift Interrupt at play here. Wouldn't a shift interrupt being actuated, even if the shifter appears to be neutral also behave the same way?

If the shift interrupt (switch to stumble ignition) were loose the engine would still crank just would not have spark.

If it's a miss aligned neutral safety switch in the shifter there would not be a click.

The OP never answered if he hears a click or not.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #8
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To close the loop for you helpful folk i replaced the slave solenoid and the problem is solved. i then took the old solenoid apart and it was horrible inside, very black on one of the terminals. problem solved for 30!

Next tasks......replace the steering cable, fit new chart plotter, get the water heater working, clean all the carpets and head linings....
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