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ajochum
07-15-2013, 01:48 PM
Hi guys -

My 1982 Donzi 2+3 with 350/260 and Alpha drive has had a problem off and on for a couple of years. There are times that it won't turn over. I seem to have to move the shift lever back and forth and finally it cranks. Yesterday, while turning it off to gas up, it gave me a tough time and took about 3 minutes of key-turning and moving the shift-lever to get it to crank and then start.
I'm thinking it is the neutral switch but am open to your ideas. Thought it could be the ignition switch. Could you tell me where the neutral switch is and if it is that, what is involved and where do I get one? If ignition, where would I get that?
This happened with my wife on board, and tends to ruin the event, as she (I understand) doesn't want to shut it off and drop anchor, so I really want to solve it.

Many thanks in advance,

Andy

Tidbart
07-15-2013, 03:11 PM
Neutral safety switches are typically in the control box. I believe that when you are in neutral, there is connection made that will allow the starting circuit to complete. Contacts could be worn in there.
I am not sure on how to replace it. A photo of the control would help others help you.

The ignition switch is easy. Couple of wires and nut. These are readily available at any marine supply store or online at places like Great Lakes Skipper, iBoats, West Marine, etc. Take a good look at from the back and match it up with things you see online as there a few different types. Yours will be a simple one.

Others will chime in.

B

gcarter
07-15-2013, 04:43 PM
Most (or maybe all) neutral safety start switches are located in the throttle/shift mechanism, usually right on the shaft.
Alphas have a shift interrupt switch and is located on the shift plate on or near the engine. When the shift interrupt switch fails, it simply makes the drive hard to shift.

You could always use this as an excuse to upgrade your throttle.

If I remember correctly, the two wires in the neutral safety switch circuit are yellow and red. They're very easy to find under your dash. Just jump them to verify that's the problem.

ajochum
07-15-2013, 11:05 PM
Most (or maybe all) neutral safety start switches are located in the throttle/shift mechanism, usually right on the axle.
Alphas have a shift interrupt switch and is located on the shift plate on or near the engine. When the shift interrupt switch fails, it simply makes the drive hard to shift.

You could always use this as an excuse to upgrade your throttle.

If I remember correctly, the two wires in the neutral safety switch circuit are yellow and red. They're very easy to find under your dash. Just jump them to verify that's the problem.

George - I am assuming the photo you attached was that of a neutral switch. I looked under my dash tonight and couldn't find anything like that - thus am thinking it is behind the shifter control. I will remove it and look in next couple of days.

Tonight I turned the key over about 50 times and nothing. All the time I was moving the shifter forward to reverse. Finally, it caught and from that point on it started fine. I did notice that the battery seemed to have a difficult time cranking after I had let it run for about a half-hour - although I was showing about 14.5 volts on the boat meter.

Am considering three things: neutral switch, ignition switch and finally solonoid. Thoughts? Frankly, the boat only has 400 original hours, but it is an '82. Thus, it may be worth my while to replace all three as they are pretty cheap insurance. And..new battery as well, as I know it is a good 6 or 7 years old.

gcarter
07-16-2013, 06:36 AM
Sorry!
The picture is of the throttle/shifter w/the safety switch attached, and before the control cables or trim wiring were attached.
I was attempting to show the wire colors and that the switch is located on the shifter shaft.
Yes, yours is probably worn and inconsistant.

MOP
07-16-2013, 08:23 AM
You can take jumper wire from power to the starter terminal on the key switch, if it actuates every time you touch the pole it will be the key switch not the neutral safety.

Capevettes
07-16-2013, 10:24 AM
Are you getting a click at the starter solenoid when you turn the key? You may have a battery or solenoid issue. Check all your connections.

ajochum
07-16-2013, 01:09 PM
Are you getting a click at the starter solenoid when you turn the key? You may have a battery or solenoid issue. Check all your connections.

No clicking whatsoever. It either goes or it doesn't.

MOP
07-16-2013, 01:29 PM
I wonder if it is the slave solenoid which is located by the 50amp fuse button on the engine by the port manifold, a simple but temporary test is to jump it out of the circuit. Put both wire onto one post and try it, if the problem goes away replace the solenoid. Can't believe none of us mentioned one of the most common failing items!

CHACHI
07-16-2013, 02:00 PM
When my slave failed, I had a clicking FWIW.

Ken

ajochum
07-16-2013, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the ideas. Do any of you know if Donzi ignition switches and neutral switchs (along with the solonoid(s) are specialized? ie; I know when my front navigation lights went out, someone directed me to Perko for it. I would like to keep the boat as original as possible. Went to iboats and it's just kind of a guess for some of the items.

Tidbart
07-16-2013, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the ideas. Do any of you know if Donzi ignition switches and neutral switchs (along with the solonoid(s) are specialized? ie; I know when my front navigation lights went out, someone directed me to Perko for it. I would like to keep the boat as original as possible. Went to iboats and it's just kind of a guess for some of the items.

Nothing on your boat is Donzi, except for the hull. Most everything is made by others and installed by Donzi. When it comes to the switches, solenoids, etc., nobody cares about "original". They care that they work. When people want original, they are looking at the hull, upholstery, dash, gauges, vents, seats, etc., for the most part. They are mainly concerned about the things that you can see.

With that said, the replacement parts you are looking to get will most likely look the same as the ones you are replacing.

B

MOP
07-16-2013, 03:06 PM
Neutral safety needs to be the one that matches the control, slave solenoid can be switched to another type but can be a pain to mount that leaves the ignition switch which all are or were Cole Hersey. Take what you have out and match it to save grief!

joseph m. hahnl
07-17-2013, 08:22 PM
A light tester can tell you a lot.:idea: Check the key start Yellow with a red stripe wire at the ignition switch, back to both solenoid ,and the always hot red battery leads on both solenoids. The red wires on the solenoids are always hot:chilipepp: that is the best place to start

Parts link (http://www.mercruiserparts.com/selectDocs.asp?doc_nbr=99985) pictures and part #'s:biggrin:

Shifter link (http://www.mercruiserparts.com/selectDocs.asp?doc_nbr=MERCACCA)


The start circuit has a neural safety switch G in the shift control. If the shift is not exactly in neutral the engine won't start. When the engine won't start hold the key switch in the start position and move the handle back and forth. If the switch isn't in neutral moving the shift control will move the handle into start position and the engine will start.

To test the circuit check for voltage on the yellow/red wire at the key switch 12 volts with key in start position, then check the yellow/red at the start solenoid C small terminal. If you have voltage at the key switch and no voltage at the start solenoid small yellow/red terminal the neutral safety switch is bad. If you have voltage at the small yellow/red terminal while cranking and no cranking check the large yellow/red terminal on the start solenoid, if no voltage the start solenoid is bad.
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jacksparrow1956/2011-06-23_154837_start_circuit____i__o.jpg

ajochum
07-18-2013, 03:24 PM
Spent a couple of hours working on the boat last night. It cranked about 40+ times and then wouldn't - then sometimes it would (naturally, once I began to work on the ignition switch with a tester it never failed). I started to take off the "Quicksilver" throttle shifter and God, what a pain in the axx. Have been doing some reading on it and the claim is that there is a nut on the throttle-only button (beneath the square button) but I couldn't see it and it was getting dark. Beyond that, whoever designed the installation of the control had no regards for the removal of it - no place to get a wrench in to hold the nuts on the back.
Meanwhile, in guessing how to remove I noticed two holes on the left hand side of the plate and using a slotted screw driver, I managed to remove them and they fell into no-man's-land. Any idea what they do? They seem to be spring-loaded.
Finally, I removed the ignition switch and just for the heck of it bought a new one today. Will continue to try to figure out how to remove throttle and see if the new ignition works. Will use this handy diagram to trace a bit.

ajochum
07-20-2013, 03:13 PM
Installed a new ignition switch last night and the boat cranked continuously - never failed. Too early to tell if that solved the problem, but so far so good.

MOP
07-21-2013, 02:03 PM
Great may it be the lesser of the other evils!

ajochum
07-21-2013, 10:08 PM
Thanks all - hope this solves it! Testing tomorrow evening with my wife on board.