Return to the home page...

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 162.83.223.19
Old 11-29-2022, 09:47 PM
BenCT BenCT is online now
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ignition Problem - clicking click

I have what I think is a layup question for the forum. So I got my A4 engine up and running on Sunday, but today it won and wouldnít start. I turned on the ignition no gauges turned on and when I hit the starter button all I heard was a click. I checked the batteries they were fine and made sure all my boat power was on, but the engine only gave me a click when I tried again. The blower works. Normally when I turn on the ignition the fuel gauge turns on this time it didnít. I assume that means something. Iím going to get one of those remote engine starter buttons tomorrow and see if that helps. From what Iíve read it sounds like it could be a wire to the ignition or maybe my starter. Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 76.176.224.167
Old 11-30-2022, 10:02 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,504
Thanks: 191
Thanked 2,044 Times in 1,348 Posts
As a starting point I recommend checking the integrity of the wire terminations including the battery cables, positive and ground for tightness. Please try to resist guessing and instead apply good troubleshooting technique and logic. With a good tester, trace where the power is good starting at the battery and follow the circuit downstream up to where the power is not good. The problem will be right there.

Based on your description I'll be interested to hear if the power is getting to - and through - the ignition switch.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 11-30-2022 at 10:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ndutton For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (11-30-2022)
  #3   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 11-30-2022, 10:09 AM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,218
Thanks: 49
Thanked 870 Times in 622 Posts
What he said!
I am guessing some major connection like the ground wire has gotten loose or corroded.
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
  #4   IP: 162.245.50.171
Old 11-30-2022, 10:20 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Grove, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,732
Thanks: 630
Thanked 971 Times in 656 Posts
What Neil said and check the plug. The A-4 came from the factory with a "plug in harness" to connect to the ignition/gage panel. We here call it the "trailer plug". It is a plug just like the lights plug on a trailer for your car and it is notorious for causing problems as it is not sealed and corrodes with time. It can cause all kinds of intermittent problems. If you find a voltage drop the plug should be checked. Many of us have eliminated it or re-wired the engine circuits.

Most electrical issues can be traced to bad grounds on boats so start there.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Dave Neptune For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (11-30-2022)
  #5   IP: 76.176.224.167
Old 11-30-2022, 10:50 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,504
Thanks: 191
Thanked 2,044 Times in 1,348 Posts
In support of Dave's post, here's a picture of a compromised engine harness plug.
Attached Images
 
__________________
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
The Following User Says Thank You to ndutton For This Useful Post:
Dave Neptune (11-30-2022)
  #6   IP: 69.74.217.66
Old 11-30-2022, 03:06 PM
BenCT BenCT is online now
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the feedback. Iím going to try all these paths and Iíll let you know what I find out.
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 23.245.218.108
Old 11-30-2022, 07:24 PM
msmith10's Avatar
msmith10 msmith10 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 447
Thanks: 14
Thanked 36 Times in 28 Posts
Agree with all above. Also, how did you test the battery? Just checking the voltage isn't enough. You need to check voltage under load. A shot battery can still read normal voltage with a voltmeter.
I don't endorse Harbor Freight tools very often, but they do sell a cheap (maybe $35- 40) load tester that's good enough and handy to have.
__________________
Mark Smith
1977 c&c30 Mk1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
Reply With Quote
  #8   IP: 32.211.38.220
Old 11-30-2022, 09:14 PM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 1,935
Thanks: 14
Thanked 528 Times in 374 Posts
I think I recommended previously a multimeter. Did you get one? The juice from the battery isn't getting where it has to go, or it's not getting back to the battery. YOU need the meter so YOU can figure out why! If you don't know why, you don't know what to replace. Replacing EVERYTHING can get very expensive.
Reply With Quote
  #9   IP: 162.83.223.19
Old 12-01-2022, 08:07 PM
BenCT BenCT is online now
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Iím still troubleshooting. This will be an interesting thread once I make more progress, letís leave it at Iím pretty sure it isnít the batteries as I bought new ones and had a fun time carrying the 3 of them up a 10 ft laddder today. The engine won again today, but Iím making progress. My backÖnot so much. Getting the harbor freight load tester, for the future, have the remote starter, next Iím going to get better at the light thingy I bought today. PO left me a new solenoid so if that turns out to be the issue I have it ready to go. Still just clicking though.
Reply With Quote
  #10   IP: 162.83.223.19
Old 12-04-2022, 08:19 AM
BenCT BenCT is online now
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Since winter was finally starting to threaten with serious cold temps and Iím still learning the engine I called in a mechanic to winterize it. He said the starter is shot and that I need someone to rebuild the starter. So thatís where I am for now.
Reply With Quote
  #11   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 12-04-2022, 09:24 PM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,218
Thanks: 49
Thanked 870 Times in 622 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenCT View Post
Since winter was finally starting to threaten with serious cold temps and I’m still learning the engine I called in a mechanic to winterize it. He said the starter is shot and that I need someone to rebuild the starter. So that’s where I am for now.
So did the engine get winterized?
I bet the starter is NOT shot. They are pretty tough! Do you know if it is new or old style?
(I have had exceedingly bad luck the few times mechanics looked at my engine, they seem confused by A4s at best)
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to joe_db For This Useful Post:
edwardc (12-06-2022), msmith10 (12-05-2022), Sam (12-06-2022)
  #12   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 12-06-2022, 11:49 AM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,218
Thanks: 49
Thanked 870 Times in 622 Posts
Another thing - it isn't hard to take the starter off, why not bring it home and see what it does?
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joe_db For This Useful Post:
Sam (12-06-2022)
  #13   IP: 32.211.38.220
Old 12-06-2022, 10:40 PM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 1,935
Thanks: 14
Thanked 528 Times in 374 Posts
Starters are not high tech. Some brushes and a commutator are the electrical parts - none of which were intended for marine use.
Is the commutator clean? If not, get some sandpaper and clean it. How do the brushes look? Long enough (they do wear)? How are the springs that hold the brushes against the commutator? They're just high carbon steel, will corrode and fail (particularly if the starter has been submerged in bilge water).
If the brushes or the brush rigging in questionable, you may need the help of an auto electrical place to source replacement parts.
I would encourage you to get away from hiring a mechanic. You should become the mechanic.
Do you have a multimeter yet? You say you've bought a battery load tester. Curiously, I have over 30 years Atomic 4 experience and never felt the need to buy a battery load tester.
Reply With Quote
  #14   IP: 69.74.217.66
Old 12-07-2022, 02:28 PM
BenCT BenCT is online now
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I appreciate all the input. The engine is winterized now. I will take the starter home and see what happens. I was thinking of taking other pieces of the engine home and cleaning up. Iím thinking pretty much anything I can remove.
Per the battery load tester, I picked up one for $40 from harbor freight that was a suggestion of another A4ian.
Reply With Quote
  #15   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 12-08-2022, 09:10 AM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,218
Thanks: 49
Thanked 870 Times in 622 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenCT View Post
I appreciate all the input. The engine is winterized now. I will take the starter home and see what happens. I was thinking of taking other pieces of the engine home and cleaning up. Iím thinking pretty much anything I can remove.
Per the battery load tester, I picked up one for $40 from harbor freight that was a suggestion of another A4ian.
I still don't get how it got winterized without being run
I have a battery load tester. I use it sometimes to load the system and read max amps out of the alternator.
As for testing batteries, it is a somewhat crude measurement. It will show up a really shot battery for sure, but they can get fairly bad and still pass.
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
  #16   IP: 100.36.81.23
Old 12-08-2022, 02:33 PM
edwardc's Avatar
edwardc edwardc is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 2,474
Thanks: 137
Thanked 548 Times in 364 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
I still don't get how it got winterized without being run ...


You use a small pump, such as a drill pump or fountain pump.:
1. Remove the thermostat and replace the cover & hoses.
2. Clamp off the bypass.
3. Disconnect the hose from the water injection point and put it in a bucket.
4. Disconnect the hose from the raw water pump outlet and hook it to the drill pump's outlet.
5. Put the hose from the drill pump intake into a jug of antifreeze,
6. Run the drill pump until pink comes out into the catch bucket.

You should also pull the drain plug on your waterlift muffler, if it has one, or at least dump some antifreeze into it.

A bit more involved than running the engine to winterize, but not bad.
__________________
@(^.^)@ Ed
1977 Pearson P-323 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to edwardc For This Useful Post:
wagner (12-08-2022)
Reply

Tags
Ignition problem

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
Ignition shutdown problem Jeff in TO Troubleshooting 38 08-06-2014 08:07 PM
A few critical suggestions Don Moyer General Interest 20 02-10-2014 02:45 PM
Ignition Switch Problem? belfoure1 Ignition System 7 07-13-2011 09:18 PM
Ignition Problem on Sunk A4 GorgeSantana Ignition System 4 01-05-2010 11:39 AM
Problem after installing electronic ignition zellerj Ignition System 4 05-23-2005 10:03 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universalģ is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2023 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved