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Thread: Solve this problem, win my person of the year award!!

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    Default Solve this problem, win my person of the year award!!

    I have a 80's 350 Volvo inboard in a jet. My problem is, it wont turn over. I have wired the starter solenoid directly through a push button. With the key in the off position, the motor turns over as expected. When I introduce the ignition circuit by turning the key on, I lose enough power that the engine will not turn over. I start the motor by cranking with the key off and then turning the key on to get it to fire. I have checked and cleaned all grounds, most all connections. I have isolated the igniton circuit from all guages, radio, etc... and it still will not turn over. I have one new battery and one battery I took to carquest, they tested it and said that it is fine. The battery leads I are not the problem as I used jumper cables to the battery switch and same result. Changed batteries out of truck and no fix. New igniton switch, battery switch, wiring, etc..... no help. I am at a total loss to as what the problem could be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munster View Post
    I have a 80's 350 Volvo inboard in a jet. My problem is, it wont turn over. I have wired the starter solenoid directly through a push button. With the key in the off position, the motor turns over as expected. When I introduce the ignition circuit by turning the key on, I lose enough power that the engine will not turn over. I start the motor by cranking with the key off and then turning the key on to get it to fire. I have checked and cleaned all grounds, most all connections. I have isolated the igniton circuit from all guages, radio, etc... and it still will not turn over. I have one new battery and one battery I took to carquest, they tested it and said that it is fine. The battery leads I are not the problem as I used jumper cables to the battery switch and same result. Changed batteries out of truck and no fix. New igniton switch, battery switch, wiring, etc..... no help. I am at a total loss to as what the problem could be.
    My initial guess is going to be the ignition switch. The batteries aren't the problem because the motor turns with your remote start button. The first position when you turn the key energizes the ignition coil. The second position is a momentary start position for energizing the starter relay. You might not be getting full voltage from the key switch to the starter relay (solenoid).

    Plenty of times over a long commercial fishing career ..... turn the key ..... nothing happens. My primary trouble shooting tools for this are: A remote starter button with spring clips to go right on the starter solenoid.

    And a pair of jumper wires/test leads ..... one red ..... one black, with alligator clips on the ends. Usually of 12ga or 14ga wire.

    Put one end of the red jumper to the primary post (+) on the ignition coil and the other end to a 12v source on the motor ...... starter solenoid is a good 12v source (where the battery cable comes in). You can remove the wires from the (+) post on the coil first if you want to isolate the coil from the key switch or any potential wiring problems. Connect the jumper to the coil first and battery source second ..... so you don't have a hot test lead end that can slip from your fingers and make contact with just about everything.

    Connect remote starter button clips to solenoid. You have to be carful here ..... you just want to energize the solenoid ...... you don't want to carry full starting current through your remote starter switch.

    If the motor starts ok in this test set up ....... you probably need to replace your key switch.

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    You mentioned you have a new key switch .... maybe the wiring at the switch got crossed up.

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    The next thingthat I would do is try and replace the power source at the switch. I assume youhave a three wire ignition switch - use a jumper wire from your battery or agood source at the dash and supply 12v+ to the ignition switch. You are eithernot getting enough current to the switch (broken wire/bad connection) or one ofthe wires that leave the switch and go to the solenoid is shorted out anddrawing more current than it should.

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    Could the ignition be wired to where when the key is turned on it is trying to use the solenoid as power for the ignition and in turn canceling out your starter button due to the juice going to the ignition and not the starter. Not sure I wrote clearly what my head is thinking... Need Coffee
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    Gremlins in the electrical system SUCK!!!!!!!

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    I would grab your meter and look for voltage drops (assuming the new switch is wired correctly)

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    Thanks guys, I replaced the iginition switch with a new one. I ran the solenoid wire directly from my cranking batterey and the batter selector switch directly at different time. With key in off position, engine cranks as should. I isolated the ignition circuit to the correct post on the ignition. Once key is on it wont turn over. It has a Mallory Unalite distributor with the ballast resistor in front of the coil. What in an igntion system could create a draw big enough to rob the entire system? Once the motor starts, it purrrrrs like a kitten, but this is leaving the hairs that I havent pulled out a little gray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munster View Post
    What in an igntion system could create a draw big enough to rob the entire system?
    Nothing it just not possible and if you were drawing that much current things would be smoking and wires would be melting. What every your problem is it not high current draw.

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    Lets see if I have this right?

    1. You leave the ignition in the "OFF" position and the engine will crank with the jumper to the start solenoid
    2. You turn the key to the "ON" position and the engine no longer cranks with the jumper wire to the solenoid
    3. So if you leave the key in the "OFF" position, crank the engine, and then switch the key to "ON" it starts and runs

    So what happens if you turn the key to the "Crank/Start" position?

    How many wires do you have on the ignition switch?

    Have you changed any of the wiring on the solenoid?

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    Ok, because the igition ciruit starts on the "I" post of the solenoid, can that alone steal enough current to cause the soleniod post to not have enough power to crank the motor? If I start the igniton circuit at a battery direct source, I think that will possibly fix this ****. EX.. Battery>ingition switch>resistor>coil>distributor.

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    My last post was incorrect, the I post of the solenoid is the start assist, which supplies 12V to the coil and distuibutor. Could this be robbing the needed voltage from the solenoid? Can it be removed and still obtain engine start?

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    Seems like there are only two wires of concern here. One from the "I" ignition on the key switch to the (+) on the coil ...... and one from the (S) start terminal on the key switch to the solenoid. Why not just run a new pair of wires and see if that does it.

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    You mention having a resistor, and coil in the ignition circuit. IF the circuit is not wire correctly you could cause the coil or points to burn up.

    I could tell you how to wire the circuit, the problem is I don't think you can do it correctly with out having a VOM.

    Buy the way what was the original problem before you started replacing everything?

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    Many of the older ignition systems with a (white ceramic resistor) start on 12 volts, but run on 6 volts. Have you changed or tested the resistor, in my experience they fail often. They will usually only run while cranking, then shut off when the key is on the run position, but it may cause other issues as well.

    I know you said you checked the grounds, but I would run a separate ground just to check. Bad grounds cause the most issues.
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    Take some pictures of ignition switch wiring. Its like you have the battery connection connected to the accessory position on the switch. A few pictures and I might be able to help and a vom is worth the few bucks is worth -try radio shack. keep us posted.

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    Looked like Munster found his problem he has not posted in several days.

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