Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Starboard Eng won’t start

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Starboard Eng won’t start

    I was out on a short hop this weekend getting my dingy sorted out and was ready to come back into the marina and my starboard Eng tried to crank but just died like a bad battery. I went to the battery selectors and turned it to both but it made no real difference. I was able to limp it back into the marina and park at the fuel dock until the next day when I had it towed to my slip. While waiting for the tow I started looking at the selector switches and saw that if I have all the battery selectors on one and put the starboard ignition switch to on, so it will start the preheat, that my house batteries would draw down. I did the same thing to the port Eng and no draw down on the house batteries. I don’t think this is right. The Eng batteries are new and the starter connections have been completely cleaned. I’m thinking it must be a bad starter motor. I even jumper cabled from one start bat to the other and same thing. The engine tries to turn but not enough to get a start. Could I have two issues?? One is the starter and the other is the battery selector switch?? I’m at a loss of what else it might be. I have a new starter coming tomorrow because when it started before it just did not sound that good and it seemed to be dragging before. Any ideas would be great. I’ll be back out on the boat this weekend pulling the starter and might look at the switches for any issues. Thanks

    #2
    Forgot to post this as well I have a 96 4788 with Cummins Eng no real mods to electrical system as of yet. I would have had that in my profile but can’t figure out how to add that info yet. Thanks

    Comment


      #3
      Bad ground to that engine? If you have those jumper cables temporarily use them to confirm a ground on that engine and see of it starts then.
      Northport NY

      Comment


        #4
        I don’t quite understand your comment about battery selector switches! There’s a dual battery switch on the fly bridge and pilot house that link both start batteries together in a single starter battery failure situation. There is a solenoid behind the rotary switch cupboard panel in the rear corner next to the salon/cockpit door. It’s supposed to “click” when the momentary switch is activated to link the two batteries together. I had my switch circuitry fail and I needed to fit a separate override switch as the wiring is a tad complicated to troubleshoot.

        Anyway, if I’m understanding your issue, it may be as simple as a failing battery although you said that both were new! It may test or show on the volt meter as 12+v, but may not have the cranking amps necessary to kick over the engine. That needs a CCA battery tester. If trying your jumper leads to link the start batteries together didn’t work, check the battery terminal connectors like Smitty says. Or swap the batteries to see if that isolates the issue.

        Hope that assists! Cheers
        John H
        Brisbane QLD Aust
        "Harbor-nating"

        2000 - 4788/Cummins 370's

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks guys for your input. I will verify my ground for sure this weekend. As far as a switch to tie the batteries together I don’t think I have that one. I looked for such a switch but did not find it. Unless it’s not on the main panel with all the other switches and hidden somewhere else. I do have a CCA tester which I will also check. I just don’t understand why the house batteries draw down when I turn the engine start key to on but only on the starboard side not the port, and the selector switches are all on 1 indicating they are on there own battery, as I understand. Any thought on that puzzle?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DeeJan View Post
            Thanks guys for your input. I will verify my ground for sure this weekend. As far as a switch to tie the batteries together I don’t think I have that one. I looked for such a switch but did not find it. Unless it’s not on the main panel with all the other switches and hidden somewhere else. I do have a CCA tester which I will also check. I just don’t understand why the house batteries draw down when I turn the engine start key to on but only on the starboard side not the port, and the selector switches are all on 1 indicating they are on there own battery, as I understand. Any thought on that puzzle?
            As far as a switch to tie the batteries together I don’t think I have that one. I looked for such a switch but did not find it. Unless it’s not on the main panel with all the other switches and hidden somewhere else."
            Which boat? What year? which engines?

            "I just don’t understand why the house batteries draw down when I turn the engine start key to on but only on the starboard side not the port, and the selector switches are all on 1 indicating they are on there own battery, as I understand. Any thought on that puzzle?"
            Stb side engine has good connectivity to the batteries so it draws down the batts when energized and starts when keyed.
            Perhaps the connections are failed/poor to the port side, likely the ground because you already tried a positive jump.
            I do not yet know how your batts are organized or which battery switches make which connections.
            Northport NY

            Comment


              #7
              I have 96 Bayliner 4788 with Cummins 6BTA 5.9

              Asfar as starting goes it seems to me that you should never pull power from your house batteries unless you select them. In my way of thinking they should be separate unless you really have to use them in an emergency to get your engine started. I think Port engine is correct and separate when starting. I’m guessing it’s the selector switch for the starboard battery that has an issue.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DeeJan View Post
                I have 96 Bayliner 4788 with Cummins 6BTA 5.9

                Asfar as starting goes it seems to me that you should never pull power from your house batteries unless you select them. In my way of thinking they should be separate unless you really have to use them in an emergency to get your engine started. I think Port engine is correct and separate when starting. I’m guessing it’s the selector switch for the starboard battery that has an issue.
                Based on what you have said so far a few questions...
                - is this a 'new' boat to you?
                - if yes, can you ask the previous owner?
                - if no, what did you change if anything recently?

                Without knowing your familiarity of that boat here are a few thoughts...
                - put all battery switches back to where they were when you successfully left the marina
                - if the port engine is well energized and starts from a known battery, just try a jump from that battery to the stb engine and see if it draws and starts
                - keep in mind that all of your thoughts about these battery switches only concerns positive (+) battery power, good grounds are still required to complete a circuit
                - can you please confirm that providing a good temporary ground to the port engine (jumper from negative battery to good engine ground) does not help

                Summary of 'event'
                - you left the marina with no issues
                - when you tried to start the stb engine to return it would not take a full load, just died like a dead battery
                - you could not start the stb engine
                - exercising the engine battery switch did not help the situation, it remained completely dead
                - you have tested the battery to be 'good'

                After all battery switches are returned to their position when you left the marina please confirm these:
                1. look om the DC breaker panel and reset the 'ign' breakers port and stb, turn the breaker fully off and then fully on
                2. make sure that your gear selector controls and neutral safety switches are not affecting starting, 'play' with them a bit while trying to start in all directions
                Northport NY

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a 2000 4788 with the same Cummins 370’s. On the fly bridge there is a “battery parallel” switch/button (per the pic) which is replicated on the pilot house dash panel. Pressing that is supposed to link the two start batteries together if one doesn’t have enough grunt to start an engine. Maybe it was a factory addition for the later models. But I don’t have any other switch!

                  Cheers
                  John H
                  Brisbane QLD Aust
                  "Harbor-nating"

                  2000 - 4788/Cummins 370's

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by smitty477 View Post

                    Based on what you have said so far a few questions...
                    - is this a 'new' boat to you?
                    - if yes, can you ask the previous owner?
                    - if no, what did you change if anything recently?

                    Without knowing your familiarity of that boat here are a few thoughts...
                    - put all battery switches back to where they were when you successfully left the marina
                    - if the port engine is well energized and starts from a known battery, just try a jump from that battery to the stb engine and see if it draws and starts
                    - keep in mind that all of your thoughts about these battery switches only concerns positive (+) battery power, good grounds are still required to complete a circuit
                    - can you please confirm that providing a good temporary ground to the port engine (jumper from negative battery to good engine ground) does not help

                    Summary of 'event'
                    - you left the marina with no issues
                    - when you tried to start the stb engine to return it would not take a full load, just died like a dead battery
                    - you could not start the stb engine
                    - exercising the engine battery switch did not help the situation, it remained completely dead
                    - you have tested the battery to be 'good'

                    After all battery switches are returned to their position when you left the marina please confirm these:
                    1. look om the DC breaker panel and reset the 'ign' breakers port and stb, turn the breaker fully off and then fully on
                    2. make sure that your gear selector controls and neutral safety switches are not affecting starting, 'play' with them a bit while trying to start in all directions
                    This boat is new to me and the PO does not know about what could be going on.

                    When you say completely dead that’s not really the case, it does not have enough to turn the motor over fast enough to get a start. All the switches were returned to there normal positions and then I tried to do a manual battery jump from port battery to STBD battery with not much help, it did turn over a slight bit more but not enough to get a start. I will check my grounds this weekend to verify that. Gear selectors are all good there as well, like I said it stars to turn over but not fast enough to start.

                    I will update after I go out this weekend and look to see on the items you said to look at .

                    Thanks

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by higgins_jr View Post
                      I have a 2000 4788 with the same Cummins 370’s. On the fly bridge there is a “battery parallel” switch/button (per the pic) which is replicated on the pilot house dash panel. Pressing that is supposed to link the two start batteries together if one doesn’t have enough grunt to start an engine. Maybe it was a factory addition for the later models. But I don’t have any other switch!

                      Cheers
                      i don’t have that switch on mine at all. They must have added it on the later year. The PO never did any real mods to the boat and it was pretty much the way it was out of the factory, as far as I can see from all his well kept records. This looks like a nice mod for me to make in the future. The switches I’m referencing to is at the aft just as your going out the door behind a door on the right side. I would send a pic but I’m not near the boat to do so. Mane this weekend I’ll shot one and send it along.

                      Thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by DeeJan View Post

                        This boat is new to me and the PO does not know about what could be going on.

                        When you say completely dead that’s not really the case, it does not have enough to turn the motor over fast enough to get a start. All the switches were returned to there normal positions and then I tried to do a manual battery jump from port battery to STBD battery with not much help, it did turn over a slight bit more but not enough to get a start. I will check my grounds this weekend to verify that. Gear selectors are all good there as well, like I said it stars to turn over but not fast enough to start.

                        I will update after I go out this weekend and look to see on the items you said to look at .

                        Thanks
                        Thank you - after a few posts I figured you were not that familiar with the boat and the boats history.
                        New information rules out the ign breakers and the neutral safety switches.
                        First thing to do when you get there is see if fully charged batteries once again start your engines

                        If it does not start with fully charged batteries and you can safely 'test jump' a few item's it might narrow down the culprits quicker.

                        Again - only if you feel very comfortable safely jumping with heavy cables without shorting to anything else.
                        - Jumping positive battery to positive starter will rule out the starter and battery if it starts
                        - Jumping negative battery to good ground on the engine will rule out the starter and battery as well as the positive leads and switches if it starts

                        If the negative jump works look here:
                        - on engine negative terminal connections, take it completely off ....and clean it up well
                        - negative lead ends both sides, sometimes these fail internally to the crimped end and are harder to find
                        - starter grounding on the engine, rare but sometimes they get a bit loose and are not well grounded

                        If the positive jump works look here:
                        - try moving jump from batter to jumping from starter to battery switch ...the panel with the batt switches will rotate down from the top and lie flat after taking out 2 fasteners
                        Be very careful with the live DC amps if you lay that panel down to work with.
                        You want to rule out each cable and switch as best you can by moving the jump location until you find the failure mechanism.
                        Northport NY

                        Comment


                        • Oakland4788
                          Oakland4788 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hey Ron, thanks for your detailed response….I learn a bit from reading through your responses.

                        #13
                        Thanks I will do this and let you know what I find.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Smitty gave a great rundown on what to do. I'll just add that on my boat the battery switches were wired incorrectly. I thought I corrected that but discovered recently that my starboard engine has been starting and running off of the house batteries. On my boat I have different types of switches for the port and starboard engines. The port switch is a single battery switch and has positions of off and on or 1, I can't remember which. The port switch in the on position should connect the port engine battery. The starboard engine has 4 positions, off, 1, 2 and both. This switch should connect the starboard engine battery in the 1 position, the port engine battery in the 2 position and both engine batteries in the both position.

                          When your engine was cranking but would not start it could be an issue with the air heater circuit. On my cummins engines the magnetic switches are the weak link, there are two on each engine. You can easily test them. If they are toast you can tell with a visual inspection as terminals the large red wires connect to will be cockeyed, they should protrude perpendicular to the engine. Another test is with a voltmeter connecting to either the air heater end of the large red wire or at the mmag switch. I prefer connecting at the air heater because the top of the engines is easier to access than the side. When cold and you turn the key while the preheat light is on you should have about 10.5 volts reading. It is less than 12 because those heaters draw 100 amps combined. I did this check on my port engine yesterday and found one mag switch was only getting 3.4 volts to its assigned air heater element (there are 2 each engine which is why 2 switches). These things seem to fail every couple of years. This is the first time I had one fail without it being visibly detectable. After replacing the bad one I noticed that the nut on one of the terminal studs was loose and now I wonder if that is why the reading was low. After noting this I checked the other three terminal studs, the other one on the port engine and both on the starboard engine. The other one on the port engine is also loose. I was able to tell this by trying to wiggle the stud. Now I suspect that after a while the hammering effect of the magnetic force on the switch internally pounds the terminal stud out from the inside slightly to cause it to be come loose. I wonder if this coming loose is part of what leads to failure that is visibly detectable due to it causing high resistance which results in high heat and melting of the body of the switch. I'll be keeping an eye on that, maybe it is a phenomenon for new switches that the studs take full seat after some usage and need to be tightened an after that may enjoy a longer life.

                          Anyway, sorry for the long story, you might have 3 issues, poor ground, miss wired battery switches and failed magnetic switches. And one final clue that magnetic switches are bad is hard starting and lots of white smoke.
                          Tony Bacon,
                          Washougal, WA
                          Caspian, MMSI 338355743
                          1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

                          Comment


                          • DeeJan
                            DeeJan commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Tony,

                            Thanks for the on-site on the mag relays. I did find a burnt one earlier and went and changed all of them on the starboard side because it’s a paint to get to. Two are for the heaters, and one for the starter. All three are new and I also got heavy duty ones that will handle high amp loads. I also carry a spare on board just in case.

                            Thanks

                            Dwight
                            1996 4788
                            Anacortes, Wa

                          • Bacon
                            Bacon commented
                            Editing a comment
                            What is your source for those? I had been buying from some place called Larry Bs.

                          #15
                          Everyone thanks for all the input and observations. I went out last weekend and dug into this issue head first and checked everything, and this is what I found.

                          I first went into my switch panel and opened it up and checked all the connections and verified all the connections and made sure they were wired correct with no power bleed through from bad connections. The next day I pulled out my heavy duty jumper cables and was able to go from my battery positive terminal and then try a start, same issue, then I connected the ground connection from battery to starter body, same issue when trying to start. So I got in and changed the starter with a new one, which is a pain to get to one blind bolt on the inside of the starter. You can’t feel it, you can’t see it but it’s there and has to come out. I figured out how to get this out by practicing on the port engine which is super easy to get to. I ended up using a mirror and flash light and set it up to just get a peek at the head of the bolt then slide a socket and extension in on the bolt using the mirror to see that blind bolt.

                          So I got it all in and tried the start again and again no joy, same issue. I was perplexed for sure. It tested the old starter on the ground and sure enough it was not moving and seemed to have a dead short in it. I went back to basics and started my trouble shooting from the start again. First the positive cable from the battery direct, no joy, then the negative cable and Bam she came to life. I pulled the positive cable off and retest again she spun like a mad dog bitting her tail. I then when to my grounds on the engine and found corrosion. I cleaned her all up nice and pretty like and now she starts right up with out hesitation.

                          so now when I go to key on and look for a voyage drop on my house bank there is nothing and when I go to crank there is also no house. draw. I suspect that the bad grounds number one killed the starter and number two was pulling the house down via the ground wire that have massive resistance due to poor connection.

                          I now have an issue with my alternator not outputting the correct voltage. Max volts is only 13.5 with heater load off. I’m going to check my battery combiner to see if that died in the process. I was told that the old combiners that had diodes in them fail often and can cause issues. I’ll first pull the house bank wire off first the see what I get, since the starboard alternator charges the house batteries as well. I really don’t think it’s my alternator because it does go up to 13.5 or so but seems to be erratic.

                          I’ll let you guys know what happens from here. Sooty for the log rant I hope I did not go on to long but I wanted to give as much detail info just in case anyone else is going through this nightmare.

                          Thanks

                          Dwight
                          1996 4788
                          Anacortes, WA

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X