Another boat mechanic question...

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by MrsS, May 26, 2008.

  1. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast

    I have a 1973 evinrude ouboard 65hp engine that ran fine on the lake Saturday but had problems when we docked.

    When we attempted to turn the engine, sometimes we would get nothing, almost like no battery juice was flowing...both batteries work well; other times the "bendix" would turn real slow and not engage the flywheel....just spins; my husband took a metal bar and lifted the bendix but it never spun strong enough to turn the flywheel.

    Took it to Auto Zone and was told the starter is fine...
    Is it time to replace the bendix? Would a bad bendix appear to be running on "low" juice like that?
  2. I doubt Auto Zone . . .

    would be able to diagnose the problem but given the age of your motor
    is might be something as simple as needing a disassembly and cleaning of
    all the electrical and mechanical connections. Boat motors take a lot of vibration that eventually loosens electrical and other parts plus buildup can occur in and around loosened parts.

    Hopefully, you problem will be a simple fix. I mention this because a good friend of mine had a somewhat similar situation that was resolved by
    disassembly/cleaning and did not require a mechanical overhaul.

    Anyway, good luck.

  3. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor


    MrsS: Ma'am
    4 main components:

    Battery: Most of the time the problem: Test Battery

    Starter Switch: Check and clean terminals, Check wiring; Disconnect wiring and clean terminals; Use dielectric and reconnect

    Starter Relay: Jump Hot wire from Battery to Starter Bendix connection. i.e. jumper cable to starter main.

    Starter Motor: Depending on age rebuild or replace

    I'm not there; Best guess, dirty connections::: Bendix need replacing...
  4. The Bendix should work, or not. The starter itself isn't spinning fast enough to engage the nose gear. Sounds like you've got a voltage drop.

    First off, how old are the batteries? Have they ever been run down dead? Are you running other systems off one or both of the batt's?

    Next let's start with the cheapest checks and fixes.

    If you've got a multi-meter this will be a lot easier.
    First check all of the electrical connections, from the batt to the ignition switch and then to the starter. They don't have to look cruddy, even a small bit of corrosion will cause a volt/amp drop. Clean all of the connections with something like a scotchbrite pad (to include the studs on the switch and starter). While you're at it clean the surface where the starter mounts. Usually cleaning the electrical connections will solve most problems.

    If you have a multi-meter, check for no-load volts (no systems on). If the reading is less than 12 volts, go ahead and charge the battery. Properly charged it should read 12.3-12.7 volts, don't overcharge it. Once the batt. is charged you will need to put a load on it. Don't use your marine engines starter, they're not made for extended operation. You can hook it up to your tow rig by removing the battery cables from it and use jumper cables to connect to the other battery. Now disable the ignition so it won't start.
    What you want to do is crank the engine enough to draw the marine batt. down below 12 volts and then take a reading with the multi-meter. Write that number down and then wait an hour or so and check again. If the battery doesn't recover, it's time for a new one.

    Lemme' know if any of this helps.
  5. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Country Boy

    MrsS: Ma'am; "Asphalt Cowboy's" good testing:)
    Add this to your favorites

    My links generally don't work for some reason. Butt I did a "Google" of this exact and it brought me exactly to the site.
    You can find a lot of repair, maintenance, help.

    Most of the time:::: Batteries, then Connection.

    As "Asphalt Cowboy" suggest do the simple first.

    Without the electrical test equipment, {country boy tool}
    "jumper cable" from the car battery to starter connection
  6. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast

    Thanks to all of you....I have to have my hubby read all the postings, though...this is more his realm than mine...thanks again and I will let you know how it goes!!
  7. Outstanding

    link neophyte. I've saved that one to favorites.
  8. Mr.S

    Mr.S G&G Newbie

    I read my wife's explanation & I wanted to clarify some things:

    boat started & ran great at the lake.

    when leaving, I started the boat but the motor died-went to restart it & it was like the battery was completly drained. Had another battery & placed cables on it-the motor did the same exact thing(the bendix barely spun & never engaged).

    Both batterys were bought last year. Checked batterys-both read at 12.5 volts.

    I engaged the bendix to the flywheel while it was spinning, using a rod, but it did not have enough power to turn the motor over.

    Took the starter to Advanced Auto-when they tested it, it did the exact same thing(the bendix did not engage & it barely spun).

    starter smoked a bit at the bottom one time while trying to start it.

    Fella at advanced auto said the motor was fine, but the bendix needs replaced.

    Could the brushes in the starter be the cause of this problem? What other situations may also cause this?
  9. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor


    Mr.S: Sir; at best this is difficult to diagnose.
    You have "good" connections
    You have "voltage" amperage.
    You have engagement: Weak
    You have "brushes" in the starter

    You have contacts inside the starter that complete the ground. Magnetic field induced with 'volt amp'
    Makes me think dirty, commutator or grounded commutator.

    Take the "End" off your starter: Slip the parts apart. [brushes may fall out; no big deal] on the small end you'll see a copper looking thing with longitude grooves. Those grooves fill with 'brush and dirt' and will ground out the starter. Using a broke hack saw blade; clean the grooves; [not the cutting edge] Use a pulling motion away from big part. Don't break the varnish seal on the wiring. Wipe down clean where the groove are [no residue, grease or oil] NONE. Check Brushes. Check Spring Holder.

    A yoke affair connects the Bendix to the starter. clean very clean the yoke assembly and where it attaches. The Collard sleeve need cleaning along with some "Light" greasing [sucker spins and will sling it all over; too little is better than too much]
    Voltage/Amperage sends signal to ground forcing the engagement.

    After you have reassembled you can test with jumper cables.

    Follow up and I hope this gives some insight.

    You can do everything I suggested.
  10. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    The advice above sounds good.

    One caution...don't crank the starting motor very long at a time because it's wiring is not designed for that. Crank for a few seconds, then let it cool off, then crank again, etc.
  11. Mr.S

    Mr.S G&G Newbie

    I took apart the starter & the brushes are wore out so I am going to replace the brushes and clean it up. Then I will go from there. Thanks for all the suggestions.
  12. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Cleaning Grooves

    Mr.S: Sir; without cleaning the grooves as explained; you potentially could still be grounded out. Clean the Grooves.:)
    Should this simple not work. Advice that you have asked for; take it to a starter repair shop.:)
    I am comfortable that this should get you back in business; unless you at some time had a "stuck" starter engagement. That we cannot fix over the internet. Part of the "Oxford's".:)

    By the way; it doesn't surprise me that it worked all day and decided to become obnoxious. Be thankful that you were close to :09:land:09:

    Follow up as you can. Thanks
  13. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast

    Neophyte...husband is going to clean all the parts, even the "groove" thing you mentioned....we will let you know how it goes once we get it back out on the water, lol.
  14. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Garbage can

    MrsS: Ma'am; Have "MisterMr.S; get a garbage can; set the motor foot into the garbage can. Fill garbage can with water until the "slotted" pickup holes are approx 8" below the water level.
    Crank and run the motor in the driveway. Save gas

    Keep the "Propeller" away from the sides of the can. As long as the
    "Water "spouts from the back of motor you can run as long as you wish.

    Follow up if this doesn't make sense.:09: Thanks; Craig
  15. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast mentioned what my husband did last year...and shredded my garbage can!!!
    His uncle has a boot of some sort that connects to a water hose...reminds me of earmuffs, actually. He may end up using that before going to the lake...we don't live far from the lakes. Your suggestions are great ones, and believe me when I say he is taking them to heart.
  16. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ G&G Evangelist

    Check the cable ends were they are crimped they sometimes get real nasty there.
  17. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Most mechanics already know this already...but for what it's worth...

    The copper commutator segments of the starting motors are separated by bakalite or similar material which provides insulation between them. This allows the brushes to reverse electrical polarity in the windings continuously as the stator turns. Here's probably a better description provided by Wikipedia:

    "In a conventional (brushed) DC motor, the brushes make mechanical contact with a set of electrical contacts on the rotor (called the commutator), forming an electrical circuit between the DC electrical source and the armature coil-windings. As the armature rotates on axis, the stationary brushes come into contact with different sections of the rotating commutator. The commutator and brush system form a set of electrical switches, each firing in sequence, such that electrical-power always flows through the armature coil closest to the stationary stator (permanent magnet)."

    Therefore, it is very important that the bakalite segment insulators between commutator segments are not coated with copper or else they will not function. This is the reason for cleaning between them if they aren't in good condition.
  18. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast

    Just wanted to update everyone who assisted us with this....we took the starter to a mechanic-he pulled it apart and asked my hubby what happened to the spring and did he attempt alot of starts on the motor; when my husband told him yeah, the mechanic went on to explain that the little spring we had should've been a heck of alot longer. He rebuilt the starter and replaced the brushes for $45.00. Took the pontoon out over the weekend and she ran great! Thanks again for the responses.