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  1. #1

    Default Starter is stuck

    I purchased a fishing boat with a 90 hp merc a 1987 I believe. It had been sitting in the elements for 3 years. I completed the normal procedures for preping an engine that has not been started for a while. The problem I have is that when I hit the key the engine cranked fine and began to start and sputter a bit but died quickly however, the starter motor stayed engaged, not with the gear spun all the way out to the flywheel but it was still spinning. I turn the key off and it still remained on. I had to disconnect the battery to stop it. I then thought I would reconnect the batter in a few minutes and when I did sparks flew everywhere. Once I got my heart restarted and said a small prayer I decided to ask the pro's. What's happening?
    Last edited by Walkinonwater; 02-27-2012 at 05:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Chesapeake, Va, US

    Default Re: Starter is stuck

    Either the ignition switch is sticking in the start position or the starter solenoid is sticking.
    Bill H PTC USN Ret
    A manual is a cheap investment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    northern IL.

    Default Re: Starter is stuck

    The bendix gear on the starter needed to be cleaned and lubed with lite oil (3&1) and would not disengage when needed. Also the starter brushes could be bad. Now about all you can do is fix the starter or get another one. The selinoid or switch also might be bad as you got arching when reconnecting the batt. cable. If the key was in the OFF position there should not be any arching as you stated. Start by disconnecting the cable that goes to the starter, at the selinoid, and try reconecting the battery cable at the battery. If no arching happens, disconect the cable and turn the switch on and try again with the starter still disconected. No arching or very little will tell if anything in the wiring is bad. Make sure all accesseries are turned off in the boat while testing, IE raido, locater, lights, bilge pump, or other accesseries. The bendix should, or can be pushed down to disenge the flywheel by turning the flywheel by hand. This is the not so fun part of being a boat owner.

    Last edited by oldman570; 02-27-2012 at 09:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SW Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Starter is stuck

    I'm betting it is the starter solenoid. Disconnect the battery first then both power leads on the solenoid top studs. Check for continuity between the studs w/an ohmmeter set on the 1K scale. If there is any continuity the solenoid is welded internally. Replace it.
    Fix minor things (replace wear items for preventative maintenance.) that cause major problems before they break.

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