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Thread: Sluggish starting motors; bad cables or ?

  1. #1

    Default Sluggish starting motors; bad cables or ?

    So over the past few months I've noticed that my port 115 Yamaha starts/cranks a bit slower than the starboard motor. I couldn't get hold of a load tester but the batteries were showing 13.4 volts on a volt meter. Since they get worked especially hard during the summer (lots of shut downs/start ups throughout the day) I replaced the 2 batts with the same multi purpose marine batteries I've been using. After swapping batteries there was no better performance in cranking so I'm thinking of new cables; I'm the 3rd owner on the boat and although the cables look good and are not stiff I realize they could be corroded internally.
    That's my next move and I'm also considering an ACR as well (per Spoiled One's recommendation). What I now have is just the 2 batteries wired into a Guest 4 position battery switch (off-1-2-all). For the 3 years I've had the boat I've always run the switch on "all" and it's been fine.
    I'm open to any suggestions or improvements on this.
    Last year I rewired everything leading to the wheelhouse but left the engine wiring and battery cables alone. Time to do it differently?
    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Come by the shop get my load tester. It might be the connections just need to be cleaned.

  3. #3

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    Big Jim,
    I like to start with the easy items first, look for any lose connection on the starter or the switch, pull the engine cover and start the motor look for any sparking any were on the motor. Start and stop the motor 4 or 5 times and stop the motor and put your hand on the wire from the motor to the switch feel for any hot spots best to have a lazer temp hand held to read the temp directly. If that dose not show a problem next step would be a jumper wire from battery to starter and see if that make a difference. The starter it may be just getting worn out as well very common problem. That can also be tested with a mulit meter. Hope that helps. One other item first motor to start well be using a lower voltage than the second motor.

  4. #4

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    Hi Matt, I'll grab the load tester; all the connections are squeaky clean and everything was/is coated with that purple spray terminal coating.
    Papa Makie; hope you liked the smoked salmon and good to hear from ya!
    We used to have to jump start our old bronco that way, didn't think of trying that. So jump the positive on the batt to the positive on the starter?
    I forgot to mention pertinent info; when I start the starboard motor first (which always starts faster), then when I crank over the port motor it will crank faster but still not like it should.
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  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Check and clean all connections first.
    It could be a solenoid or starter motor issue or it could be a timing issue too.

  6. #6

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    Had a few minutes after a run today and pulled the battery cables on the port motor, all connections clean but when I took em to Desperate Marine to have new ones made, "hey these aren't marine grade (tinned) cables; they're decent (Arctic Flex or something) cables but not for marine use and looks like they're corroded inside the insulation"
    So picking up new tinned marine cables tomorrow. Will report on how that goes!
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  7. #7
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    cut them open and see if they are corroded inside.

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  8. #8

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    There you go bad wire will increase the resistance so as to not curry the load. should be the fix unless it has created high heat in the starter motor and that can slowly kill the windings in the motor.

  9. #9
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I have had to replace many outboard to battery starting cables over the years on my motors due to corrosion. I have heard from marine electricians that you can expect to get about 10 years from wiring on a boat using marine grade wiring before these things begin to show up. But ditto to the other posters. The symptoms are hard starting, slow to turn over, hot batter terminals, sometimes smoke at the terminals. Every time for sure I open up a set of cables and sure enough there is corrosion.

    Sobie2

  10. #10

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    So replaced the port battery (batt 1 on the switch) cables with new ones, no difference. will replace the starboard batt cables today, I'm going at it in stages cuz I need the boat to be able to run on a moments notice. After today the only thing else I see that needs to be fixed as far as cables is someone in the past spliced the Arctic Flex cable directly to the Yamaha factory cable to one of the motors. That will require the big shop crimper to splice in a new cable.
    There's a certified marine electrician down here that's probably gonna get a call from me if this persists.
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  11. #11
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I had the same issue and the starter itself was getting tired. Before spending more money try switching starters between the motors and see if that may be the problem

    Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk

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    At this point my guess would be the starter. If you swap starters and the problem follows the starter you have found the problem. If it does not follow, you have a wiring problem. If it is the starter, open it up and check for corrosion inside or a loose magnet if it doesn't have stationary windings. If just dirty (copper dust and other crud) clean it and retry. I that doesn't work, change the starter. Make sure the bushings are good. If the armature is rubbing even lightly on the pole shoes or magnets it will loose cranking power.

  13. #13

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    Thanks guys for the starter tip but today when I cranked up the boat, the port motor will crank & start a bit quicker if the starboard motor is running so don't think it's a starts issue but rather the current going to the starter motor itself?
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  14. #14
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    Of course it will. Once your first motor starts the running engine will have the voltage at about 14.2 volts or more depending on the system. If the boat/system has not been run in a few hours the battery voltage should be about 12.5. The voltage will come up as soon as the starboard motor/alternator starts running/charging thus giving more power volts/amps to the port motor. While cranking the port motor with coil wire disconnected, have someone check voltage at the +battery post. Then check voltage at the starter post while cranking. Voltage will probably be about 10 to 11 volts, maybe a bit higher if batteries are really good. Voltage should be only a couple of tenths lower at the starter. If much more voltage drop than a couple of tenths, you have cable issues. If not it's the starter. Good Luck.

  15. #15
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Dumb question here, Is the oil level good in the slow starting motor [ read to much oil or is the motor making oil]

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