Jump to content



Recommended Posts

I have a problem starting a 1GM10, sometimes the starter clicks once but does not turn the engine over, this can happen 10 times in a row and then on the 11th it will fire. Other times it goes first time. I think the switch and batteries are good, anyone any ideas? Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 23
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

It's just a single click, not multiple. I read somewhere about a possible problem with the cable from the switch to the solenoid sometimes not carrying enough voltage to activate the solenoid, so wondered if anyone had heard of that

Link to post
Share on other sites

For now:

Lift the decompression level, then turn over and drop decompression lever then.


Test batteries with a hydrometer and multimeter. Could be a faulty cell.


Clean battery terminals and wiring lugs to remove dirt / dust / oil to make sure good contacts (electrically :lol: ).


Remove wire(s) from starter motor and clean connections as well.


Make sure electrical wires are tight so they won't vibrate loose.


Only use RING terminals on wiring, especially on boat engines.


Old fuel or fuel bug = clean filters primary & small secondary.


Check fuel lines are good tight and secure. Any air gap can let air in and fuel falls back into tank. Then takes 10 attempts to start engine which is really just lifting fuel through filters into engine before starting.


The air leak may be so small it only occurs after several hours / overnight. Does it start on 12th & 13th etc attemps at a restart?


Fit a fuel pump, e,g, foy you (1GM10) a simple in line bellows bulb as commonly used on outboard fuel tanks to engine works a lot quicker, faster and easier (3 squeezes) than pumping on the tiny manual fuel lever 30 to 40 times. (Bellows worked really well on a larger 3GM30 :thumbup: one squeeze and then started every time last year)


If still not starting, then Get an engineer to look at it including starter motor including the spring and solenoid / coils. Might just be as simple as opening, looking, cleaning, finding nothing, reassembling and finding it will work well. It does happen :thumbup:


Where is your boat :?:


"Afloat, moored etc are knot the answers we need" :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites



Also cable size and length can be issues as well as moisture or (bilge) water getting into the cables.


I presumed it was going before OK but now hard to start. So basic cleaning on EXTERNAL wire terminals first.


Other issues can be rust on contacts, rust on bearings inside starter motor, rust on contacts inside "once sealed" solenoids etc.


So simple easy things first before more confusing or advanced things like measuring cable resistances etc that an engineer can do later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems worse when it's left for a period, but the amp meter shows a full charge. I had not been out for a while and it took 12 or 13 goes to start, then later that day it went first time. Even if I can't get out for a sail, I go out and run the engine for 20 mins every two weeks to keep the battery charged. She is out at Westhaven on the piles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems worse when it's left for a period, but the amp meter shows a full charge.


Sounds like fuel supply = fuel lifting problem.


Next time try the little primer pump 30 to 40 times. I think, but please check your engine manual, that the pump goes slightly harder when the filter is full of fuel and fuel is in the next section of the engine internals.


Look for any fuel drips elsewhere on the engine, filters tanks etc.

Perhaps closing the fuel outlet valve on yor fuel tank may stop the fuel returning to the tank. I recommend putting the starting key on the valve when shut as a reminder to turn the fuel ON before trying to start. If this works, then there may be a samll air leakage in the fuel supply line, rather than the return line. Just halved the search area.


Mark: Perhaps you mean VOLTS are OK, showing a full charge.


If the Amp metre is connected to the START battery then AMPS should fall whilst engine is being turned over until starting when the charging AMP rate would be shown. Chances are that if you have a single amp metre, it will be connected to the house battery for discharge, but now were are drifing into various electrical options and different wiring systems.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It has a meter showing amp hours and it shows 220a/h as a full charge. I don't understand how air in the fuel supply could cause the starter motor not to turn the engine over?


Yes granted. Got sidetracked thinking about the motor knot starting but needing 10+ attempts to turn over before starting.


Knot turning over is the real problem, is it :?:

So battery good.


Then is electrical path good :?: => Clean terminals etc.

As I understand it, Electricity mainly flows on the surface of conductors. Hence the more wires in a cable, the greater the surface area available for electrons to flow more easily. (The cable is more flexible with more thinner wires, rather than a single solid one.)

So any dirt, corrosion, oxidation, oil etc are bits blocking the easy flow of the electrons, just in the same way as mountain ridges channel and blockn wind flows, stones in the river etc.


So clean terminals on the batteries, cable lugs, starter motor contacts are the next easiest thing to check and fix.


Then does the starter motor rotate easily? If not, then springs that engage/dis-engage the pinions can be rusty / broken / dirty.

Bearings in the starter motor could be dirty, rusty, have flat spots or siezed. For myself, this is where calling in an expert is now quicker then trying to do it myself, because they have the experience and spare parts availability and any specialist tools.


We have had a starter motor "brown out" twice. Moved the starter battery to beside the engine with cable length (there and back) about 1.2m, rather than the 7m or 8m it was. Fitted new BEP VSR switches, new lugs and one new cable. No problems for a long time.


PM me if you want to discuss engineers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I haven't clicked on this thread because of the title. It looks like you have already checked some points, but I will start from the beginning as it's a good fault finding lesson.

First off, you always need to check the battery Voltage and if possible, have somone watch the Voltage meter as you turn the key and see if the Volts drop down to very low. That will tell you if you have a Failed battery cell or a faulty battery connection. A Failed cell can sometimes give you a 12V reading, but it drops to nothing when it has to produce the current.

A flat or low battery usually causes a loud buzzing noise from the Solinoid. It doesn't quite have enough to fully close the internals and it buzzes.

If voltage is OK, then the very next thing you shuld check is that the engine is able to be turned by hand. It could be either seized or has water in the cylinder. Trying to continue to start with it locked up could cause serious damage. So Always check.

Righty Mark, this is where I think your propblem lies.

Depending on the starter desing, usually there are a couple of common points in most modern starters. The Solenoid closes a copper blade across two copper contacts. The actual starter motor is energised through that switch. Some solenoids shoot the small gear forward to engage the flywheel and some simply spin the shaft which has a Bendix gear on it that shoots forward on a worm thread and engages the flywheel. That copper contact blade and the two points can burn out or get dirty. You have two choices. Either pullit apart and clean it all. Turn the copper blade over so as you have good clean copper and not arced holes. Or other option is replace solenoid.

One other possible is that the bearings are worn out in the starter which although not normal, it can cause the stator to twist slightly and lock. Normally the result of worn bearings is a slow engine turn over and sounds like you have a flat battery.

And finally, if starter spins up but does not engage the flywheel, that can be the bendix gear not slidling along the shaft, or once again the bearings worn not allowing the starter to spin up fast enough to shoot the bendix gear along the shaft.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...