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84 contessa starting issues.-gctid806816

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  • 84 contessa starting issues.-gctid806816

    I have a 1984 contessa that is having some starter switch issues. It did not do it when I first got her or at least not that I cannot remember. It happened after I got her back from being dewinterized a few years ago and it has not hurt any thing but would like to figure it out. You can crank over on the engine and it will not act like it wants to hit over or run until you let off of the switch. As soon as you let off she will hit and start. It almost seems like it is grounding the ignition while it cranks them as soon as you let off it opens back up and allows a spark. Any advice or assistance would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Bad ignition switch. Its a common fitment from a 1968 Chevy truck if I remember correctly. Only 15-30 dollars. Symptoms are exactly the same for all older cars as well . No run until just as you let off the switch. Could also be the circuit breaker on the top of the engine. Not as common a failure, but happens.
    1986 Bayliner Contessa 2850
    In over my head for sure!!
    M/V SKUA refit


    • #3
      That used to happen on older vehicles when the battery was low. It took so much of the battery to crank it there wasn't enough left for it to fire.

      Charge the battery and the problem went away.

      I think I just really dated myself.

      Started boating 1955
      Number of boats owned 32
      3870 presently owned
      Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner


      • #4
        If all is still OEM, your ignition coil will be set up for resisted voltage.

        In order to combat the low-voltage scenario during starting (as Doug just mentioned), your system incorporates a start-by-pass system.

        This system momentarily bypasses the ballast resistor and takes full current to the ignition coil.

        I would suggest taking ignition coil voltage readings prior to and during starter motor operation.

        Rick E. (aka RicardoMarine) Gresham, Oregon
        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model 31' LOA
        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling systems
        Volvo Penta Duo Prop Drives
        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

        Please, no PMs. Ask your questions on the forum.
        If you leave a "post", rather than a "comment", our members will see recent thread activity!


        • #5
          Along with the new engine I put in her I replaced all electronics and she has two new batteries. I was finally able to get around to replacing the ignition switch and that seemed to fix it. I did have one cool issue but it was easily fixed. When I originally replaced the coil I asked if it had an internal ballast or external and the guy told me external and that is the one I needed. Turns out it had an internal ballast and would not start. Thanks for all of the help and advice.