Return to the home page...

Go Back   Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians > Discussion Topics > Electrical

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 23.115.191.11
Old 04-05-2021, 09:44 PM
Golfdad75 Golfdad75 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 77
Thanks: 3
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Intermittent power to starter

My ignition switch drives me crazy. Sometimes it just doesn't work. I can go down below and flip the battery switch and it seems to work. I have replaced the battery switch and nothing changed. If It takes awhile starting and I try again it will act as there is no connection. If I wait a couple of minutes it may work or I may have to switch the battery switch. It always works but keep wondering when it is not going to. . Yes I have replaced the ignition switch also. Any thoughts or insights.
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 75.172.38.196
Old 04-06-2021, 02:01 AM
DDO DDO is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 60
Thanks: 92
Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Not the switches? The wire.
Reply With Quote
  #3   IP: 155.186.122.195
Old 04-06-2021, 09:59 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Arrowhead Ca.
Posts: 4,415
Thanks: 525
Thanked 680 Times in 461 Posts
There is a "trailer" style plug in the wiring harness from the factory and it is notorious for causing problems like you are describing. Many threads to look at.

To check you need to just do a hot wire start and see if the problem abates. If the problem does abate then the plug is degrading. Many here on this site including myself have had this issue and eliminated the connection or wired around it.

If you are unsure of hot-wiring get back for instructions and again there are some threads that cover it too.

Also give the "ground" for the battery and the A-4 a good look too.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dave Neptune For This Useful Post:
ronstory (04-06-2021), TimBSmith (04-06-2021)
  #4   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 04-06-2021, 10:01 AM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 1,787
Thanks: 11
Thanked 386 Times in 287 Posts
Does your wiring harness include one of those 'trailer' plugs? They're a known weak link.
Reply With Quote
  #5   IP: 174.30.210.166
Old 04-06-2021, 10:18 AM
roadnsky's Avatar
roadnsky roadnsky is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Mead, NV
Posts: 3,040
Thanks: 22
Thanked 389 Times in 266 Posts
Connect a jumper wire (12-14 gauge) between the large battery terminal on the starter solenoid and the positive terminal (+) of the coil.
Connecting this jumper wire is the same as turning on the ignition switch and it will by-pass any problem that might exist in the "starting circuit", including the ignition switch itself.

If that alleviates the intermittent issue, then as the guys have said, you've got some wire to replace.

DON'T leave the jumper wire installed very long unless the engine is running or you'll pretty likely burn out the coil.
It's the same as leaving the ignition ON.
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to roadnsky For This Useful Post:
Dave Neptune (04-06-2021), ndutton (04-06-2021), ronstory (04-06-2021), Sam (04-07-2021), TimBSmith (04-06-2021)
  #6   IP: 104.174.83.118
Old 04-06-2021, 11:57 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,158
Thanks: 175
Thanked 1,694 Times in 1,126 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadnsky View Post
DON'T leave the jumper wire installed very long unless the engine is running or you'll pretty likely burn out the coil.
It's the same as leaving the ignition ON.
. . . and with the ignition connected as described, engine running, the only way to turn the engine off is the combination of temporary jumper wire removal and key switch turned off.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 04-07-2021, 10:35 AM
edwardc's Avatar
edwardc edwardc is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 2,364
Thanks: 101
Thanked 434 Times in 290 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfdad75 View Post
My ignition switch drives me crazy. Sometimes it just doesn't work. I can go down below and flip the battery switch and it seems to work. I have replaced the battery switch and nothing changed. If It takes awhile starting and I try again it will act as there is no connection. If I wait a couple of minutes it may work or I may have to switch the battery switch. It always works but keep wondering when it is not going to. . Yes I have replaced the ignition switch also. Any thoughts or insights.
There is another possibility.

I used to observe this exact type of behavior in my old Volkswagens. The problem turned out to be in the starter. The explanation is a bit long, so bear with me:

The solenoid actually consists of two windings. This is done because it takes more power to get the solenoid to engage than it does to hold it engaged, so both get energized when the start button/key is activated, and only one stays energized once the solenoid pulls in. One of the windings is connected between the solenoid terminal and ground. This one that is energized as long start button/key is activated. The other winding is connected between the solenoid terminal and the positive terminal of the motor (NOT the battery positive terminal!!!). The result of this is that the second winding gets energized too by sinking its current through the motor to ground. This provides the extra pull to get the solenoid to engage. Once the solenoid engages, it applies +12V to the positive motor terminal to crank it. This also causes both ends of the second solenoid winding to now be at +12V so current stops flowing through it. Its a clever design.

The problem comes in when the starter ages a little, and the resistance through one or more of the brushes goes up a little. Its not enough to affect the starter, but it reduces the current through the second winding. Combine that with voltage drop in the wiring, temperature, and the exact state of charge of the battery, and sooner or later its just past the threshold where the solenoid doesn't pull in. Wait a few minutes, perturb the starter, or let the temperature change, and it works again.

The "Correct" fix is to get the starter rebuilt, but this isn't always possible or practical.

On the Volkswagens, my workaround was to momentarily bridge the battery + terminal to the solenoid terminal with a screwdriver. This bypassed all the wiring drop, and gave just enough extra juice to pull in the solenoid and "bump" the starter. Once it was moved to a new spot, it always started fine.

My long-term fix was to install a relay close to the starter, using the start wire to drive it, and using it to energize the solenoid terminal. With its short run of wire, the voltage drops were minimal, and this proved to be a reliable fix.
__________________
@(^.^)@ Ed
1977 Pearson P-323 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to edwardc For This Useful Post:
Dave Neptune (04-07-2021), DDO (04-07-2021), ronstory (04-07-2021), Sam (04-07-2021), TimBSmith (04-07-2021)
  #8   IP: 67.169.215.221
Old 04-07-2021, 12:02 PM
ronstory's Avatar
ronstory ronstory is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 366
Thanks: 95
Thanked 180 Times in 134 Posts
Ed--

You may have just explained why our boat has an extra starter solenoid relay on the firewall next to the starter/solenoid. Thank-you! I had always wondered "Why in the heck...."

In my case, the PO used a full-on Ford-style starter solenoid... and not a standard waterproof relay. One more puzzle to contemplate this summer when I finally replace all the 12V non-tinned wiring.
__________________
Thanks,
Ron
Portland, OR
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Push Starter has double click, then all electrical power gone, no start OfficeMonkey Troubleshooting 12 01-24-2021 06:38 PM
Low power, Exhaust and raw water leaking from starter side mtbksouth Troubleshooting 14 06-08-2020 09:46 AM
Hard Starting after warmup, and intermittent low power in gear jkenan Troubleshooting 7 06-15-2010 08:35 AM
Possible starter ring problem? skhorleb General Maintenance 2 06-05-2010 12:12 AM
New gauge readings team118 Troubleshooting 18 05-29-2009 10:55 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universal® is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2021 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved