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starter, starter relay, T/T solenoid problems. Ground?

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  • starter, starter relay, T/T solenoid problems. Ground?

    I have a 1993 130hp 2 stoke model 130TXRR. I am having an intermediate problem with the starter not engaging and turning motor over. When it does it turns hard and strong and the motor starts with no problem. When it originally started to happen i reached down to tighten up battery connections and noticed the negative was getting very hot. So i assumed resistance was the cause. Sure enough I pulled back some tape and old heat shrink and found half of cable exposed and frayed. i cut at least a foot off end of both + and - cables and crimped on new lugs. no difference with starter after new ends. I pulled of starter relay and bench tested and it passed test but from reading it can have some burnt contacts inside and not always work. I took one of another 130 that i kept as a parts motor. Had the pair on another boat. That starter relay did the same thing. When put back together then trim up and down did not work but solenoids clicked. So i then decided it must be ground issue or voltage drop. went out this morning to get some reading and the trim works but the starter will not engage. starter relay just clicking.

    Is there a difference in the relay/solenoid making one click or if it makes a continues clicking noise?

    Here are the voltage numbers i got this morning.

    + battery post to - battery post, key off = 12.64
    + battery post to - battery post, key on = 12.54

    + battery post to - starter post, key off = 12.59
    + battery post to - starter post, key on = 12.57

    + battery post to - starter relay, key off = 12.60
    + battery post to - starter relay, key on = 12.58

    - battery post to + starter relay lead, key off = 0.013
    - battery post to + starter relay lead, key on = 6.45
    - battery post to + starter relay lead, key start pos = 12.48

    Didn't seam like it was a voltage drop issue but tested some of the cables anyway. Was not expecting all 0.00 so i hope i was doing it correctly.

    + battery post to + post on starter relay, key off = 0.000
    + battery post to + post on starter relay, key on = 0.001

    - battery post to - starter post, key off = 0.000
    - battery post to - starter post, key on = 0.001

    - battery post to - starter relay lead, key off = 0.000
    - battery post to - starter relay lead, key on = 0.001

    The starter, starter relay, and trim solenoids get their ground directly from the block correct? I cleaned the terminal that is holding on the bracket that holds the solenoids and starter relay and it looks like it provides the ground for solenoids directly and then the starter relay gets it from one of the solenoids. I did not take the bracket of completely thinking that as long as the bolt was clean and against clean ring connectors it was fine. Was that a wrong assumption?

    Is it safe to make a jumper directly from - on battery and attach to the grounding screw that holds on bracket that holds the solenoids and starter relay? If the system works the way I think that it does this way i can rule out any grounding issues from ground coming through starter to block?

    Another thing this morning is that i tried to jump starter relay to engage starter and all i heard was a slight crackling noise. I have never had and issue with jumping a solenoid or relay before but with the trim switch on the motor operating in both directions I even tried to jump those and all i get is a small spark but nothing moves. trying to jump with large screwdriver. Do it not have enough surface area to work?

    I have also read in post that when i have 3 flashing light on oil indication it means that low engine tank oil and full remote tank oil, or a missing ground path. When it happens the motor does not reduce rpms or buzzer and plenty of oil in both. After running a while it usually stops and the arrow is only above green. This makes me think that it is a ground issue. This ground is through the harnesses correct? From block to harness to remote tank and back to motor? So I need to check ground through all pin connections from block through harnesses back to motor?

    I know that the starter is not out 100% but can it be causing the intermediate problem? Is the starter working an all or nothing regarding the starter itself?

    The ground comes from battery to starter post. Then the mounting of the starter to block provides ground for all other systems correct? Except the separate ground and power sent to aux panel (lights, fish finder, radio,....) directly from battery.

    It just still seems like everything is a ground issue to me with the voltage numbers and the intermediate problems.

    Any suggestions or corrections on my thoughts and issues?


  • #2
    I'd attach the neg cable from battery to the engine block and run a jumper from neg wire 6 gauge to the starter.


    • #3
      "Is there a difference in the relay/solenoid making one click or if it makes a continues clicking noise? "

      in my experience, one click means the relay/solenoid is being properly activated -
      so the remaining problem is either -
      - no power going into the relay to be switched (fuse, wire, connection issue)
      - the internal contacts of the relay are bad

      or the relay is properly "sending power on" but
      - power is not getting to the device being con*****ed (wire, connection issue)
      - the device being supplied with power is "bad"

      the relay making a continuous clicking sound,
      means there is not enough power going to the relay magnet -
      a problem with the control circuit or power source

      I'm not clear what you mean by "key on"
      to get a meaningful voltage drop you need as much load on the wiring as possible
      no or very small load tells you nothing
      so you need to measure while you have the key turned to "start" (cranking/attempting to crank)

      start by measuring the entire 1/2 circuits - from battery post to starter lug / ground lug
      then delve further connection by connection, wire by wire


      • #4
        90% of the time it's a ground issue.


        • #5
          "you need to measure while you have the key turned to "start" (cranking/attempting to crank)"


          • #6
            not sure how i missed that. I did go to start when testing voltage but did not try with voltage drop. I just went out there and trim still works up and down for now. hit to see if it would turn over. Clicked about 3 times and then turned motor over. let go since i had no water hooked up. then waited a couple seconds tried it again and then just continious clicking. So i assume change in temp doing something to connection. Here are the voltage drop readings

            + battery lug at battery to + lug at starter relay, key to start = 0.015

            - battery lug at battery to - lug on starter, key to start = 0.021

            - battery lug at battery to ground screw on block, key to start = 0.021 (so does this mean starter is grounded to block okay?)

            + battery lug at battery to outgoing + terminal on starter relay , key on = 12.49 (i would expect this due to relay being not activated and not letting volts pass through correct?)
            + battery lug at battery to outgoing + terminal on starter relay , key to start = 3.59

            I would lead toward starter relay but since what ever it is is effecting the trim also i am leaning toward a ground. But seems like all ground connections and wires have been checked.

            Walleye1, You gave me a better idea on jumping battery ground to block ground. Since I don't have any 6 gauge on hand what if I made 2 short jumps from the - starter ground directly to both solenoids ground terminals? The - that supplies the relay has a ring terminal that jumps off of the - on down solenoid anyway. That way can use wire that I have since not much amps to operate relay and solenoids. The suggestion that you had was it a temporary way to check it or is it okay to operate it with that set up? Can I ground it from - post on starter directly to the grounding bolt that supplies solenoids and not relay on block being grounded by contact with starter housing? Does anything else pull enough amps to need such a large gauge wire?



            • #7
              I did take it and they said it was good. I walked by a little earlier and trim worked up and down. Tried to start it and nothing but clicking. Then tried trim and nothing but clicks. I used a short jumper with alligator clips and went from negative post on battery straight to the negative post on trim solenoid which provides ground to starter relay. Then went straight from bullet connector that gives + power to starter relay to the end of the + battery cable that connects to starter relay. So I thought this should close relay for sure turn starter but nothing.

              Yes I tested starter with a battery power back and it jumped up with no problem. I also attached the power pack to the battery thinking it might be weak but that didnít help. Nothing but clicking. After thinking about it i connected it to the post on the battery and not the studs that have the cables connected to. Could the battery be messed up and not getting any power from the power pack?

              I guess I am now going to take a battery out of truck that I know is good. Get 2 short cables and connect
              as usual. I gues this way I can rule out existing battery and existing battery cables even though they seem to test good.

              I was thinking of bringing battery to have checked again. The guy doing it had to go in twice asking questions so I am not sure he knew what he was doing. With all the testing and numbers could the battery actually be causing it all by itself?

              thanks again,


              • #8
                Well I though that I had something. I put battery on onboard charger and brought to another place. I was showing 12.57. That is what they showed also. The battery tested well twice at the same store today. So I came home and hooked it up with the old wires. Nothing. I then hooked it up with shorter wires directly from the battery to the starter relay and ground on starter. Nothing with trim or starter but clicks. I didn't have my power pack directly to the starter and it jumped with no problem. I then decided to try the positive directly to the starter. Nothing. The only difference was the battery was load tested on the post and not the stud that I was using to connect the battery. So I went to the store and got the connections to convert the post to the wingnut studs. Try it to the Post and it works great. Tried multiple times turning on and off and the trim up-and-down with no problems. So I assume there was a problem inside the battery with the stud connections. I then use that set up and hooked it to my original battery cables. Everything worked great. I went out this morning and a trim would barely go up and down like the battery was dead. It moves just very slowly. Starter would only continuously click but very low. I guess I'm going to try the battery out of my truck first didn't replace if it seems to do fine.
                All of the wires had voltage tested good and the battery load tested fine. Any suggestions other than replacing the battery?



                • #9

                  Changed to my truck battery and still nothing. Slowly going up and down until it hit tilt and stops and very slight continual clicking when trying to start. cannot be the battery. So i got power pack back out and hit starter, starter relay, ground on starter, ground on painted bolt on engine, and ground directly on trim relay (which feeds ground to starter relay) and both t/t and starter worked. But happen then to noticed the ground from battery to starter was not tight all of the way. must not have tighten it up good after changing what seemed to be 100 combinations yesterday. Well tighten it and worked on old battery using post as in above picture. Now I am back thinking studs are not good but the post are on battery. The last failure was my caused by my oversight on not making sure ground to starter was tight.
                  Any thoughts on studs vs post? Ever heard on one going out and not the other? Battery seems strong as brand new turning starter and trim.


                  • #10
                    No they did not load test both sets. Only from the post each time. I learned something new. I am going to watch it close and make sure I always have my jumper pack with me. Thanks to everyone for their feedback.



                    • #11
                      Did you try the voltage drop test on your main cables as shown in the diagram Fairdeal shared above? Post #3.


                      • #12
                        yes sir. both cables tested good. I went from lug to lug on both cables.


                        • #13
                          And how much voltage drop did you get?


                          • #14
                            panasonic see post #6. Since I changed to the post on the battery instead of the studs I have had no issues. I think that it is something inside the battery with the studs.



                            • #15
                              I always load test both, posts and studs.