LarryH07

Starter Motor Nightmare

18 posts in this topic

I am suffering with my 2004  260 Signature.  A bad mechanic said my engine was seized.  Disassembled the whole top end.  Engine was free, wrong diagnosis.  I hired a second mechanic, he reassembled the puzzle.  Turned the key and only a loud Click Click Click.  He installed a new starter, only a loud Click Click Click.  He removed the starter and tested it off the boat, worked fine.  The flywheel looks good, battery voltage is good.  Does anyone have a possible suggestion?  I have spent $5,000 on this mess and am about ready to give up....  Please Help!

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First, did you rotate engine by hand once all assembled?  A large breaker bar and socket on the crank pulley will work.  If it rotates, then something is probably out of alignment with starter. Starter could be hitting a shield or something and not fully engaging.  

If it doesn't rotate, then back to the engine.  If boat is out of water, remove the drive.  That will disconnect the drive from the engine.  Try rotating by hand again.  If it rotates, then your issue is in the out drive.  Well, most likely.  There could be something hanging up in the bell housing.  A cheap boroscope from Harbor Freight will get you a set of eyes to see in the housing.  But frankly, I am not sure what is in there that could freeze up an engine. Especially if it rotated when engine was disassembled.  You didn't indicate if engine was still in the boat when disassembled.  I am assuming it is.  

You can check the drive rotation my trying to rotate the input shaft.  It should rotate freely.

If motor still doesn't rotate then you are probably going to have to go back into the engine.  If the crank rotated with the heads and such off, then problem is probably related to valve train (cam, lifters, rockers, valves, etc).  

I am sure others can chime in, but I would start with the above to at least narrow in on a problem area. If its in the engine, we can focus in further from there once you get back to us.  

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Thank you.  The engine is free, he is able to rotate it with a large socket.  We also removed the plugs and the engine will rotate easily.

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35 minutes ago, LarryH07 said:

Thank you.  The engine is free, he is able to rotate it with a large socket.  We also removed the plugs and the engine will rotate easily.

Good news.  Now, where the starter bolts on, there is sometimes some shims.  These space the starter the right distance so that the teeth can engage.  I think there is also a shield on the bell housing.  Someone more knowledgeable about the marine application of will have to chime in.  Also, may want to tell us exact engine combination, ie Mercury 4.3 with alpha, or Volvo, etc).  Also, not sure how mechanically inclined you are.

Have you bench tested the starter?  A battery and a set of jumper cables can be used to check starter.  It is possible you got two bum starters in a row.  Hook up ground to the casing somewhere (unpainted surface).  The hot end to the main large stud.  Then jump to the small stud.  That should engage the solenoid.  Once solenoid engages, the motor should spin.  

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I just replaced my starters yesterday, then still got a click.  It was a bad solenoid on top of the engine.

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No, I have the merc 5.7, but probably the same.  It is screwed to the riser on the port side.

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If your hearing a click thats the slave, if you hear a loud clack thats the starters solenoid, where do you hear it?

Is it a click when you turn the key or clicks rapidly like a bad battery cable connection

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It clicks loud and rapidly with the key turned to start.  Update, the new mechanic says WM sold me the wrong starter.  He says that the starter they sold me is for a 14 1/2".  He says mine should be 14".  We will see on Tuesday when he returns.

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You should have the staggared bolt pattern 2 long bolts 

Beginning with the very first Chevy V8 in 1955, there have only been two sizes of flywheels/flexplates:
1. Small, 12 3/4in diameter (frequently referred to as 13in) with 153 teeth.
2. Large, 14in diameter with 168 teeth.

The early flywheels were ONLY the large, 168 teeth version and MOST of them only had a bolt pattern for a 10in clutch (later replacement clutches are now about 10.5in). Some of the early 168 teeth flywheels, such as those for trucks had a bolt pattern for the 11in clutch.
In 1963, the smaller, 153 teeth flywheel was introduced and it ONLY accepted a 10.5 clutch.
The later, 168 teeth flywheels had a bolt pattern for the 11in clutch.
SOME replacement 168 teeth flywheels had a dual bolt pattern for either the 10.5 or 11in clutch.
ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL V8 Chevy flywheels for engines with a 2-piece rear main seal have the same bolt pattern for the crankshaft. And ALL V8 flywheels, EXCEPT those for the SB400 and 454 BB, are neutral balance. The SB400 and 454 use the same size 168 teeth flywheels and accept the same 11in clutch, but they have an additional weight on the front side of the flywheel for engine balancing purposes. These 400/454 flywheels are commonly referred to as EXternal balance flywheels.

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The first starter purchased had a slightly larger opening where the bendix is.  The second starter purchased has a slightly smaller opening at the bendix.  Both had two large bolts and the staggered bolt pattern.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Chevy had five different nose cone Styles at the Bendix

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Why don't you look up the VP OEM part number and buy it at VP authorized place or order it online. The exact replacement part would save you a lot of headache already, and it would be an ignition protected model that fits your engine.

BTW, I don't think WM (whatever it means: Western Marine or WalMart) is selling VP OEM parts.

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I always KEEP any old part until I get a new part that works. Saves a lot of needless arguing with counter people. I check the replacement part with my old defective part for being very similar. After the new part works.  I give them my old one & get my core charge money back.

Works for me.

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On 9/2/2017 at 8:21 PM, cyclops2 said:

I always KEEP any old part until I get a new part that works. Saves a lot of needless arguing with counter people. I check the replacement part with my old defective part for being very similar. After the new part works.  I give them my old one & get my core charge money back.

Works for me.

Yep.  Match em up at the counter too.  In the old car world, I can't tell you how many times a part was in the computer as being the right part, but the one in the box was no where near the same item.  

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