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Lowflyn
04-25-2011, 09:43 PM
This is getting old. The starter originaly mounted at purchase - fits SB and BB chevy's. The engine is a stock 92 VI chevy 454\7.4L. There is nothing "high performance" - part wise on this engine. Yet I've burned 2 starters.
Went with a gear reduction stater - all was working great - 1 battery to start it verses 2..... I felt I finally found the right part for the job.

That starter has only a hand full of starts on it and now just clicks! Both batteries test good - all green.... Yet even with a starting\charger on it - all I get is clicking. last check - compression ran 138 on 2 holes - alll else 140psi. Of which, with searching.... is normal compression....
Played with timing up and down - no joy....

Any hints - any "old school" chevy mechs out there?

Rather depressing - for a Sunday Outing !!! Had the Sunshine, had smooth ocean waters, had the bikiniis and had the beer too!! Yet NO Fire in the hole!!!

Just pulled all plugs - checked batteries (both still in the green) - starter still clicks - yet slightly rotates engine - while clicking!!!! Not enough rotation to pull a compression check.. Thru torgue bar on crank - It seems to be rotating normal by hand......

Damn - i do not want to be rebuildinbg this motor when summer is here - I just got doing that with $4K of head work and parts !!!!

MOP
04-25-2011, 09:59 PM
I am assuming you are running a Merc setup, the problem you are having could be related to bad a ground or even the slave solenoid being flaky. Did you have any of the old starters tested? I have seen quite a few starters blamed when they were just fine.

MOP
04-25-2011, 10:07 PM
Playing with timing with the krappy fuel we have is not a great thing, one you do get it running set "Top Time" @ 30 degrees base timing on a marine engine is not important only a staring point.

Lowflyn
04-25-2011, 10:19 PM
I have a colection of 3 starters - all good, on the bench - yet _ I believe that they are too small for the chore. This is why I went with the gear reduction performance starter. When it was first installed - "1" battery did the job, as should be expected. Checked electrical "again" and all connections are GTG, according to my omn\volt meter. i have NOT dropped the starter YET - running out of day light...
The setup -s a separate starter solinoid up top - with the stater solinoid "jumpered" between 12V and solinoid connection point. That's the way it was originally set up. So I followed suit - figuring whom ever built "knew" what they where doing. This engine was also - back in 01 rebuilt by a "professional" and dyno'd - 425hp...... U'd think they knew about all parts being used!!!

Elecrical - checked just the basics - + and ground - Still need to drop the starter and test it. Yet From first ownership - It always took 2 batteries to start it... Mostly I believe the wrong starter was beeing used..... Just my gut thought...

Lowflyn
04-25-2011, 10:32 PM
I still do not understand that term "Merc" setup ???
For me it's a Chevy 454 - plane and simple - At least, I'm trying to keep it that way - a Chevy is a Chevy....

The "Marined" term.................. I'm learning very quicky with my check book !!!!! Bunch of BS....... If you just use common sence!!!!

I've lost the upper soliniod previously - Yet have not gotten that far into T/Sing....

Will hit again tomorrow after work - Since now we have more day light hours -

Hope it's an easy work day - So I have the energy\motivation to climb in there.... More Beer for my Friends :)

f_inscreenname
04-25-2011, 10:54 PM
Have you tried jumping the starter when it was still on the motor?
Are your battery wires getting hot?

Rumblefish
04-26-2011, 07:38 AM
I am assuming you are running a Merc setup, the problem you are having could be related to bad a ground or even the slave solenoid being flaky. Did you have any of the old starters tested? I have seen quite a few starters blamed when they were just fine.

Stay with this.. Starter amps can equal 250+ in cranking.. the batteries showing green are no indication of actual abilty to supply those amps under load.


You obviously have low battery amperage (not volts) and it is possible you have stressed the starter by attempting low amp cranking condtions.

You may not have the tools to measure amp load in cranking or the batteries

So if what your saying is acurate and the engine spins freely by hand..


Have your set up checked for parasitic draw. ( its possible you have something open or shorted creating a severe drain on your system). this could be the cause all along. and will wipe out good batteries quickly. and stress starters in attempt to keep cranking them.

Once done and the cause is corrected, put fresh batteries and a new low amp draw starter back in.. and your good to go..

Lowflyn
04-26-2011, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the reply Matt -
I'm using a battery tester (with load resistor). To check for for parasitic draw is a new term for me. Not sure where to start on that one. I'm going to try and drop the starter after work - If I get out of here on time..
Again thanks for the dirrection.

Ken

DonziJon
04-26-2011, 03:17 PM
I had this problem on my 350 SBC. I dis-assembled EVERY connection in the system..and cleaned them..as they say "Clean & Bright. No Go. Thought I'd do the easy ..and cheapest thing first. I replaced the slave solenoid. Spent all freakin day in the hot sun. No Go. So I put the OLD slave solenoid back in.

Just for the hell of it I turned the key one more time.. It cranked over and started. That was maybe 5 years ago. Same OLD slave solenoid..same OLD starter. Been starting fine ever since. Replaced the battery last year. Never did take out the old starter. Too much of a PITA. :bonk: DJ

PS: That bran new slave solenoid works fine in the bench..without a load. Add 12 volts and it "Clicks" and closes the connection.

zelatore
04-26-2011, 04:08 PM
A couple of things jump out.

First, you said the engine was all stock; nothing hi-po to be found.

Later, you said it was rebuilt and dyno'ed at 425 hp - that's about 95 hp more than stock (assuming it was a 330 hp 454 to start).

Lastly, I hope you're not serious about the comment about marinized parts being a joke. That's a good way to go boom. Ignition protection is specified for a reason.

Regardless of if the motor is stock or mod'ed, my first thought was also ground or other high-current connection corroded. It sounds like you've already pulled the leads from battery to starter and battery to block and checked both ends to make sure they are in good shape. Since you have/had two batteries, I'm guessing you also have a perko switch - I've seen these melt with prolonged high-current draws (not something you'd normally find on a small boat though). I've had 2 that looked fine but would only pass limited current - put a meter on them and they measure high resistance in the 'on' position. Pulled them off the bulkhead and you could see melted areas on the back side.

One other possible thing, I've seen large cables (battery cables) corrode inside the insulation. The actual connection to the battery terminal was nice and bright, but where the wire enters the lug it was green and scuzzy. Peeled back the insulation about 4 inches before I got to good copper.

joseph m. hahnl
04-26-2011, 04:27 PM
I believe the slave solenoid is to supply the actual starter solenoid with enough voltage . . with such long wires coming from the ignition switch and being small gage, the ignition switch will not have sufficient volts to close the solenoid at the starter. when Phil said Merc setup. This is what he was talking about. A car has one solenoid, as the ignition wires are short run and heavy gage. a boat has roughly ten feet of small gage wire. you need two:crossfing: solenoids. You need to determine which or what is clicking. So now it comes down to the clicking. What kind of clicking? a constant clicking when the ignition switch is turned indicates poor battery terminal connection. As said about low volts,creating high amps will toast the terminals. especially if they are lead. one big click and the volt meter goes to Zero and then comes back, indicates a poor battery connection or ground. one click for every time you turn the key and the voltage remains indicates poor connection at either solenoid. So tell us what and where the clicking is coming from and we will be better able to assist you.

You do need to have a slave solenoid in place, or you'll always have trouble.

Lowflyn
04-26-2011, 05:42 PM
Thank you gentlemen
All good suggestions. I've been through the majority of the ideas. All wiring is in good shape, good grounds every where, starter cabeling and main ground are new. yet I will check the battery selector for any damage and pull an ohm check. This is one item I have not pulled off and checked. The motor is a stock 454\425hp chevy, phase IV, 4 bolt main and it's stock according to chevy. Just a big truck motor. I believe the hisory of Donzi using them is simply they where plentyful.
I was not be littleing the "marine" concept of safety - just the additional costs.
As stated earlier - very soon I will find\make time to drop the starter and the additional solinod and bench test them.

Again thanks for all the responces - It is very helpful. Sometimes a guy just needs a good nudge to get pointed in the right dirrection.

silverghost
04-26-2011, 06:00 PM
I have seen chevy starter solenoids on boat engines suck-in water & condensation under the large main heavy contact plasic terminal cap on the solenoid itself that is piggy-backed on the starter itself.
I have opened these Chevy solenoids only to find a damp green corroded mess.
These starter solenoids are a real trouble area on Chevy boat engines.
I would check here next.

MOP
04-26-2011, 07:47 PM
Is this a first start up issue?

I was BS-ing at the shop today about this, one of the guys brought up a horrible memory from a few years back. One of our boats that was winterized stored had a starter issue come spring, we put two starters in and we ran the gambit of tests. What we found was far from pretty, the gimbal bearing had frozen frozen to the shaft over the layup period and was now galling out the transom shield. No one had noticed the water leaking out of the bellows, it did its dastardly deed over the winter.

Lowflyn
04-26-2011, 08:19 PM
Jumped my charger (w\high output start selection) - to the starter side of the upper solenoid. IE not using that solenoid - It's the starter clicking. Again it barely rotated the engine. Out of curiosity - thru the breaker bar on the crank hub and twisted it again - it rotated - what seems normal to me...for a BB. Then I thought about making that statement "normal" - went at it again with an old flex bar torque wrench. Not a preset - I can see the ft lbs to actually pull that crank around. 60lbs to rotate - does that number mean anything???? The only way I would know good or bad is to do the same on another like engine...

Ran out of time to crawl in and drop the starter - looks like my Sat just got another chore added to it.....

Anybody out there "wanna pull the plugs" on thier 454 - throw a torque wrench on it and twist???? :)

silverghost
04-26-2011, 08:50 PM
I'm betting that water,or condensation, got into your starter's solenoid contact cover cap.
Any water in your bilge compounds this issue.
I have seen this problem dozens of times .

Was this a UL listed & sealed "Marine" solenoid, or a cheap auto store unit ?

Is your starter mounted low on the engine/bellhousing , or a top mount style ?

What happens here is your engine gets hot and as it sowly cools humid air gets sucked past the solenoid's bakelite plastic contact cap & rubber gasket.
Water then builds-up under this cap and then heavily corrodes the large contact disc & two main battery contacts.
Battery voltage that is always there compounds this problem issue.

I posted a photo of such corrosion in a solenoid contact cap on a post here in late 2009 or early 2010.
Do a search here for "Starter Woes" post #9 for those earlier corroded solenoid photos I once posted on a starter thread on this website.

Lowflyn
04-27-2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the input Brad
Will be pulling the starter out this weekend - tear it apart and we'll see. What your saying makes sence. The starter is "marined" sealed unit -

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 06:03 PM
As Brad predicted – the starter is toast… Corrosion!
Those running 454’s - what model (part number if known) starter are you using\recommend????
Thanks

silverghost
04-28-2011, 06:12 PM
As Brad predicted – the starter is toast… Corrosion!
Those running 454’s - what model (part number if known) starter are you using\recommend????
Thanks

Are you sure that the starter itself is also corroded & bad ?
Usually I find it is just the solenoid that is internally corroded in the bakelite plastic contact cap area.
Check this first before buying a complete NEW starter.
You may only need a new solenoid.
I have seen this more than a dozen times.

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 06:22 PM
Well - if it happened once - it may again - I'd really not like to risk having this happen in the water. At least it's still under waranty - I think??

Any recommendations on a good (great) starter?

silverghost
04-28-2011, 06:25 PM
My late father who was an electrical engineer came up with a good "fix" for this solenoid condensation corrosion issue.

He used a die grinder to grind a 1/4 " hole in the lower part of the bakelite plastic cap. He then epoxyed-in a fine mesh brass screen to keep the the solenoid ignition protected & explosion proof. A fine mesh screen will do this.
The screen allows the condensation to drain, & the internal & external pressure to equalize so condensation is not sucked-in.
If you look at any marine Distributor you will see a similar bottom vent hole & brass or stainless steel screen in it's housing.

Dad was the Chief Electrical Engineer at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and at several other shipyards on the entire east coast , Electric Boat Co etc.; all during WW II.
He had 150 Electrical Engineers & guys working under him on three shifts round-the-clock.
They built warships,& subs.

MOP
04-28-2011, 06:27 PM
As you noted in your first post this is the third starter and is is burnt up, and the two others were burnt up something is not right burning three in a row!

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 06:30 PM
Very Kwell - a "practical" thinker..

Yet with this unit - I just don't trust it any more and would feel better replacing it. My experience - once salt water starts leaks in\corroding - it's toast..

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 07:00 PM
Hi Mop
true the count is now 3 - yet this one didn't burn - it leaked - and leaking via condensation or what ever with salt water is not good. I really need a good starter recomended. The one shop that does work on OMC - well - they keep saying use the original, which I now know is too small for this engine.

MOP
04-28-2011, 07:43 PM
Were all the starters the peanut style? I will not use them one of my best but rebuilds marine and auto electrics, he says the peanuts do not have the ballz and do not last as long as the old fat wire wound starters.

MOP
04-28-2011, 07:48 PM
Pictured in the link below is a peanut lower and a wire wound upper, easy to see the difference. They call the peanuts high torque, it is a light weight permanent magnet setup that works at higher RPM through reduction gears, where as the old fat one is all ballz with no reduction. http://www.amazon.com/Chevrolet-Torque-Chevy-Starter-Motor/dp/B003TH78WO

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 08:50 PM
Thanks MOP


The starter on the right looks like the same size as current... Yet mine is "marine" - and $280 - not 99

Anyway of marine sealing that GM starter? A silicone dip???? :)

joseph m. hahnl
04-28-2011, 08:53 PM
Pictured in the link below is a peanut lower and a wire wound upper, easy to see the difference. They call the peanuts high torque, it is a light weight permanent magnet setup that works at higher RPM through reduction gears, where as the old fat one is all ballz with no reduction. http://www.amazon.com/Chevrolet-Torque-Chevy-Starter-Motor/dp/B003TH78WO

I like peanuts:yes: Just not for my starter:shocking: . I use the old school full size one too. six season on mine. I hope I didn't Jinx myself:crossfing:, As I haven't fired up the minx yet.:drive:.

I have seen brand new starters destroyed, by too much water in the bilge.

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 09:09 PM
No - No water in bilge - Yet being Salt Water adventureer - I fresh water everything - inside and out. Including a desalting agent in the "superflush" system for the engine. It's a major bathing routine and it's everytime...

Yes peanuts to snack - Not starting.... The originals where typical small motor units - Listed for SB and BB Chevy's -

Lowflyn
04-28-2011, 10:19 PM
Yo MOP

Check the site further - the meatie starter is demo - they are advertisizing the small "peanut".... I just do not feel good going that dirrection...

If no one has a better suggestion - I guess I'll go with the same unit previously purchased - it is still under warranty and hopefully - since it leaked - maybe a dirrect replacement.

Sht - this boat has been in the water twice - since installing that starter and maybe 8 starts total - 6 on trailer - tuning, oil change, testing\tweeking -

Bottom line - I hate failure in the water - being towed is NOT kwell!!!

Phil S
04-29-2011, 12:35 AM
This is getting old. The starter originaly mounted at purchase - fits SB and BB chevy's. The engine is a stock 92 VI chevy 454\7.4L. There is nothing "high performance" - part wise on this engine. Yet I've burned 2 starters.
Went with a gear reduction stater - all was working great - 1 battery to start it verses 2..... I felt I finally found the right part for the job.

That starter has only a hand full of starts on it and now just clicks! Both batteries test good - all green.... Yet even with a starting\charger on it - all I get is clicking. last check - compression ran 138 on 2 holes - alll else 140psi. Of which, with searching.... is normal compression....
Played with timing up and down - no joy....

Any hints - any "old school" chevy mechs out there?

Rather depressing - for a Sunday Outing !!! Had the Sunshine, had smooth ocean waters, had the bikiniis and had the beer too!! Yet NO Fire in the hole!!!

Just pulled all plugs - checked batteries (both still in the green) - starter still clicks - yet slightly rotates engine - while clicking!!!! Not enough rotation to pull a compression check.. Thru torgue bar on crank - It seems to be rotating normal by hand......

Damn - i do not want to be rebuildinbg this motor when summer is here - I just got doing that with $4K of head work and parts !!!!



Nope, none here....seems like you have everything covered. It should start everytime.

WKR,
Phil S.

Lowflyn
05-01-2011, 03:03 PM
I'm back - To one battery - 3 sec twist and Fire in the holes!!!
Found another shop to goto - took some driving time - yet see the results. A full size - OME size starter for a 454... Do ya think there's a differance - We'll see - besides size - Time will be the real test.

PS - Took a small fork lift to get it into postion and handle a wrench!!! These old arms and a tight space -
Again a happy camper - Heading out to make a run - It's 75, clear skys, and the report says 1ft swells ..