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Repair guy changed starter 4 times in last 2 years. Still having issues.


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I have had an issue with my 2001 Chaparral 183 SSE for the past couple of years. Most recently, the problem is that I am out on the lake and the boat is running fine and when we go to start it, it won't turn over. My repair guy told me it was the starter and has changed it 4 times in 2 years. We launched it on Saturday and it started fine but when we accelerated it shook violently and would not get up to full speed. I called him and he came over. Said that a couple of the wires were crossed. I know, he should know better. We dropped him off and it sounded better and got up to full power. We took off again, I shut it off and tried to restart it and it would not start. Cranked a couple of times and then nothing. Made a clunking sound. Finally after 3 tries got it to start and hauled it out and brought it back to him. Again, he changed the starter and said it was fine. We picked it up Sunday morning and it started fine but when we turned it off, it did the same thing, cranked twice and then a clunk. Got it to finally start and we stayed on the lake. My daughter mentioned that each time that we were trying to start it when it didn't start, the radio was on. When we powered the radio off, it started every time. Is this just a coincidence? Also, the vibration and shaking is back. Please help as we are going on a two week vacation on Sunday.

Thanks,

Kerry

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Check all your battery terminals and make sure they are tight and clean. I would also make sure your mechanic is installing a marine starter and not an automotive starter! You may also want to have your battery load tested, if the radio being on is not powering the starter enough to kick in the bendix, it could just be a faulty battery. Any auto parts store should be able to do a load test on the battery as a courtesy check. Hope you get it all figured out before the trip!

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Thanks for the reply. I did bring it in to NAPA and they told me it was perfect. The starter is a marine starter as I picked it up at NAPA on Saturday. He used a file to clean all of the wires. Another thing about the radio, and trust me, I am not crazy....3 times last year, when the boat was in the yard, the radio powered on by itself. Does this help?

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No, it doesn't ... your boat is infested with gremlins!

Regarding radio ... the radio on my boat comes on every time the house battery that powers it is switched on. You have an intermittent break in there somewhere ... loose connection, broken wire, faulty switch, etc.

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Sounds like a flywheel problem to me, if you have shake and vibration it could be that your flywheel somehow got bent or warped, this would also explain some of the starter issues. Not sure how this would happen though. You need to first trace down the electrical system and make sure you have no problems with the cables going from the starter to battery and starter to ground on the negative side. If these are fine then start looking at the wires that trigger the starter. It is a very simple set up and should be easy to test. If you have gone through 4 starters though, you definitely have a bigger problem. Could be that one of the first starters was improperly installed and bent the flywheel, and now you are just wasting parts on the wrong fix. Your radio also probably has nothing to do with the problem either. I would also try a different mechanic as it sounds like this guy is a little careless with his work and may not know how to properly diagnose a problem.

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Just my 2 cents. Radios pull very little power in them selves. If you had the fridge running that would make more since, BUT. Do check the batteries and the cables. Make sure the cables are tinned/marine rated.

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Sounds like a flywheel problem to me, if you have shake and vibration it could be that your flywheel somehow got bent or warped, this would also explain some of the starter issues. Not sure how this would happen though. You need to first trace down the electrical system and make sure you have no problems with the cables going from the starter to battery and starter to ground on the negative side. If these are fine then start looking at the wires that trigger the starter. It is a very simple set up and should be easy to test. If you have gone through 4 starters though, you definitely have a bigger problem. Could be that one of the first starters was improperly installed and bent the flywheel, and now you are just wasting parts on the wrong fix. Your radio also probably has nothing to do with the problem either. I would also try a different mechanic as it sounds like this guy is a little careless with his work and may not know how to properly diagnose a problem.

I have heard of a missing tooth on the flywheel. So it times the starting motor will spin but not engage the flywheel.

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thanks for your help. I dropped it off to him again tonight. He did mention flywheel. Could it have been damaged by him connecting the spark plug cables incorrectly?

You are right, I need to find another guy. The guys on the lake charge /hr and he is ....but i guess you get what you pay for....

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I just called him and he said the issue with the noise was that a bolt holding down the starter was loose. Thoughts? And he said that the issue with it continuing to run after i turn the key off was due to a couple of wires touching each other that he has since separated. We will see how it goes when i put it in the water tomorrow evening...

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Hmmmm, I'd file this one under the WTF catagory....

With regards to the rough running, how are your manifolds and risers? I have seen shaking due to misfire, due to water being in the cylinders (ask me how I know). The whole boat shimmied. However at higher RPM, the water was being pushed out and the misfire didn't occur.

Call me paranoid, but I'd want to make sure I wasn't getting a hydrolock situation....

IMHO, 4 starters is nuts. How about starter solenoid? It has one, correct? Was that replaced? I used to have a Porsche that would do something similar. Smack the solenoid with a screwdriver and it would start.....just a thought.

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sounds like a starter bolt is coming loose, not put in tight or hole is getting to big, will make starter come loose and bang around and then knock teeth off fly wheel, also mess up wires after a time......

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