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Difficulty starting 3270 Motor Yacht in Cold Weather

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    Difficulty starting 3270 Motor Yacht in Cold Weather

    Hello, I’m trying my hand at taking my 1985 3270MY out in colder temperatures (around freezing) and finding she’s not starting. The engines are 110 hp Hino diesels (no turbo) and the battery is a group 27 dual cycle new battery that is rated at 650 CCA. The problem is the starter only turns over the starter say 5 times slowly and then is drained (won’t turn over again and voltage drops low (in the low 11s as I recall). The batteries are on a charger and plugged into shore power all the time. The only other battery is a deep cycle group 27 house battery.

    Should this configuration be enough to start the engines in cold weather? I’ve got a Westerbeake generator of more recent vintage that starts without a problem but realize that is a much less massive engine. Thanks!
    Matt Schneider
    1986 Bayliner 3270
    Washington, DC

    #2
    The group 27 battery should be enough to start the engines even around freezing, assuming the battery is reasonably new and at it's rated capacity. If it is older, or weak, the preheat required to start the engine in those temperatures will drain the batteries ability to then crank the engine. No more than 30 seconds on the preheat button! If you have difficulties still, I would first have the battery tested. If you plan to continue to use the boat at freezing temperatures, I'd be tempted to install a new group 31 battery for the start circuit.

    James
    1989 Bayliner 3888, 175 Hinos,
    Hurth 630's Onan 8kw MDKD
    Lowrance Electronics!
    MMSI
    316030379
    VHF CFA2587
    Boating on Georgian Bay

    Comment


      #3
      Are you measuring the voltage at the batteries? How old are the batteries? They may be to old to achieve full charge even though they are on a charger. What is the temperature where you are at?
      1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

      Mike

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the two good responses here. It’s a new battery I’ve only just installed and so far I’ve only been measuring voltage at the panel via a little cigarette lighter 12 volt plug in voltmeter. Temapature when trying to stat has been around freezing.

        I’ll next start testing the voltage at the battery, as well as checking the battery using a load tester I recently purchased for this purpose. I’ll also check the battery cable connections and clean them thoroughly... Easy things first...! I’ll also consider a group 31 battery, but it sounds like I should be getting better performance from my new group 27 battery.
        Matt Schneider
        1986 Bayliner 3270
        Washington, DC

        Comment


          #5
          The cold temperatures will thicken the engine oil making it harder to turn the engine over. Diesel engines require a decent crank spin speed to light up, so if it is cranking too slow, it may not start. A single start battery may not be enough. Most diesel trucks have two batteries to give that extra capacity under cold weather conditions. Synthetic engine oil does not thicken under cold conditions and would be better if you plan on doing cold weather operation.
          1980 Bayliner 3270 "Goose Bumps"
          Twin 4.3 V6
          Located Blaine Wa.

          Comment


            #6
            Everything has to be "right" for a diesel to light off in cooler weather. Two things happen as the temperature drops - the battery capacity goes down and the work it is asked to do (turning the engine over) goes up. Clean battery connections and cables in perfect condition with no corrosion on the terminals both become important at lower temperatures to make sure that every bit of energy in the battery is making it to the starter. Lower viscosity oil is really important. 40 weight oil will really thicken up at colder temperatures. A single Group 27 seems marginal to me. If you can warm the engine room that will make a huge difference - even a 100 watt bulb in there would likely help but a cube heater overnight would make a huge difference. If you can't warm the engine room then warming the battery will also help.
            R.J.(Bob) Evans
            Buchanan, SK
            Cierra 2755
            Previously 43 Defever, Response LX
            Various runabouts, canoes & kayaks

            Comment


              #7
              The few diesels I have worked with were set up with dual batteries and block heaters. Since diesels require compression to lite off the engine needs to spin at a fast turn over rate.

              Cold temps mean thick oil and fuel so a heater really helps.
              1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

              Mike

              Comment


                #8
                Many years ago, we had a 330 cubic inch Graymarine gasoline engine with a 6 volt starter. If the batteries were right up to scratch, it would start. Otherwise, a combination of physical cranking (with a handle!) plus the starter was required to get it to go. The eventual solution was to connect the two 6 volt batteries in series and run the 6 volt starter from 12 volts. This did the trick and the starter never did fail even after 20 seasons of use. I'm not saying that you would want to go this route with your diesels, but it is a possibility; maybe 3 golf carts in series to give 18 volts and a bit more boost in the cold weather.
                2007 Discovery 246
                300mpi BIII
                Welcome island Lake Superior

                Comment


                  #9
                  On your battery switch panel there should be a little lever to bridge your house battery and start battery. You could turn that on and try starting you engines. If it fires right up you know your start battery is weak. Make sure you turn it back to the off position once the engines start.
                  "Martini's Law"
                  1986 Bayliner 3270, 110 Hino's
                  Nova Scotia, Canada

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by 706jim View Post
                    Many years ago, we had a 330 cubic inch Graymarine gasoline engine with a 6 volt starter. If the batteries were right up to scratch, it would start. Otherwise, a combination of physical cranking (with a handle!) plus the starter was required to get it to go. The eventual solution was to connect the two 6 volt batteries in series and run the 6 volt starter from 12 volts. This did the trick and the starter never did fail even after 20 seasons of use. I'm not saying that you would want to go this route with your diesels, but it is a possibility; maybe 3 golf carts in series to give 18 volts and a bit more boost in the cold weather.
                    NO this is bad advice.
                    "REEL WILD"
                    2001 2859 FNM 300 Diesel-Bravo 2
                    Anchorage, Alaska
                    If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes.......

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by aknurse View Post

                      NO this is bad advice.
                      Not if you run a Greymarine!
                      2007 Discovery 246
                      300mpi BIII
                      Welcome island Lake Superior

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If this were a tractor say i would recommended a blowtorch into the intake. Boat maybe not.

                        You should install ether a oil heater ( goes down the dipstick tube ) or a block heater, pad under the engine.



                        Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

                        1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                        '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

                        Manalapan N.J

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Not really familiar with the diesels but I agree a gp 27 dual purpose battery would be marginal starting a diesel in close to freezing temps. They have less CCA's than a starting battery to start with, even in good shape. I think you need to make sure your battery cable terminals are free of corrosion, the connections are tight and I'd also switch to a lighter weight oil (check the manufacturer's recommendation for proper vis at these temps). On my old OMC 4.3 I run a pair of gp 27s dual purpose batteries and Merc 25/40 oil. It will start fine down to 40*F even on one batt, but a diesel has much higher compression than any gas engine. Take a look at what size batteries they have in a diesel truck (ie Ram 2500, Ford Powerstroke or GM Duramax) that will give you an idea what you might need in those temps.
                          88 Four Winns 200 Horizon 4.3 OMC
                          98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0/Selectrac
                          07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi/Quadradrive II

                          Long Island Sound Region

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