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Intermittent start problems

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by ChrisCall, Jun 15, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. ChrisCall

    ChrisCall

    Joined Mar 27, 2016
    66 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hingham
    Hi I have 1989 Catalina 30 with a universal m25xp with the 3 position key ignition and start button. Every once in a while I go to start it I get no cranking. Other times it starts right up and engine runs fine. Could the be a bad start button or ignition switch ? Or maybe just a lose connection? Or something else ? Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
     


  2. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,770 posts, 616 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Make sure the push connector on starter solenoid is tight, the fuse holder is in good shape.

    I had this problem and it turned out to be a bad cable between switch and starter. After analyzing the circuit it is some what marginal so I put a relay in to eliminate line losses.

    Les
     


  3. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,987 posts, 619 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada


    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  4. jwing

    jwing

    Joined Jun 5, 2014
    436 posts, 183 likes
    ODay Mariner
    US Guntersville
    I had that problem on an engine; it turned out to be a bad starter solenoid. Check on Youtube; there are many videos describing how to determine which components of a motor starting system are good and which one is the culprit. It's not difficult once you know how. You'll need a multi-meter, preferably with alligator clip leads.
     


  5. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,333 posts, 2,286 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    @ChrisCall both @LeslieTroyer and @Stu Jackson have extensive knowledge of your challenge, the engine and it’s issues. It would be worth your time to consider their solutions.
     


  6. ChrisCall

    ChrisCall

    Joined Mar 27, 2016
    66 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hingham
    Thanks for the all your help I'm heading to the boat today
     


  7. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,333 posts, 2,286 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Have fun on the boat. Let us know how you make out with the tasks.
     


  8. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,770 posts, 616 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Also if the fuse holder turns out to be the problem - don’t replace it - toss it in the trash it really does nothing. If you want to have a fuse move it to the power (red) coming off the starter lug going up to your panel. 15-20A would be good.

    Les
     


  9. drazlou

    drazlou

    Joined Aug 8, 2009
    52 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30 MkII
    US Forked River, NJ
    I had the same problem. Mine would always start when cold and then give me trouble when I tried to restart it after sailing, I bypassed the fuse holder, with a new wire, replaced the starter and the glow plug relay all to no lasting effect. I finally came across a wiring diagram for a late model C30 which showed the line to the starter coming off the run terminal on the switch rather than the glow plug terminal. This made sense, why try to start the engine while powering the glow plugs? I changed the wiring and now I turn the switch to the glow plug position for a time, let the switch return to the run position and push the start button. It's been two years now and I've never had the problem again.
     


    jssailem likes this.
  10. ChrisCall

    ChrisCall

    Joined Mar 27, 2016
    66 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Hingham
    Thanks everyone for your help I cleaned up the connections. Seemed to help although it being intermittent it's hard to tell . I'm going to replace the fuse but can't tell amps of it.does anyone know Off hand ?
     


  11. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,333 posts, 2,286 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    @ChrisCall I think this addresses your question. Fuses are placed to protect the wires from over heating and cause a fire. You want them near the power source. This is why Les indicates removing the fuse holder where you are finding it and placing it where it is with in 7 inches of the power source (battery).
    Les knows electrical.
     


  12. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,770 posts, 616 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    That should be of the power stud on the starter(not Battery) And you can’t do that until you do the glowplug relay. That fuse only protects the starter selonoid wire. The selonoid pulls ~35A for a second then 12A while cranking. I’d put a 15A slow blow if you leave it where it is.

    Les
     


    jssailem likes this.
  13. Steve k

    Steve k

    Joined Jul 30, 2014
    29 posts, 0 likes
    catalina 30 mkII Tall Rig
    US bay city
    The first thing I would do is clean your batter cables and post. I had a problem when I put my boat in this year and that was all it was.
     


  14. Steve k

    Steve k

    Joined Jul 30, 2014
    29 posts, 0 likes
    catalina 30 mkII Tall Rig
    US bay city
    I had purchased two new batteries during the winter and my third was still in good shape. When we lowered the boat in the water I turned the key on, pushed the start button and absolutely nothing. I was on a waiting list to have a mechanic look at it, I got tired of waiting so I started with the cables and that was the whole problem.
     


  15. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,333 posts, 2,286 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Again Necessity proves to be the mother of invention.
    Way to go. Fair winds and fun sailing.
     


  16. weekendrken

    weekendrken

    Joined May 7, 2011
    57 posts, 5 likes
    Catalina 30
    3573 US Lake Norman
    The OEM fuse is problematic, but there should be a fuse there. If the solenoid goes bad and you have a locked condition, it's like a locked rotor on a pump. It will fry the wiring all the way back to the "B" terminal of the starter solenoid. In other words, a complete round trip. There are accounts and pix on the net of the outcome of that happening and it isn't pretty. To avoid issues there, prepare a pigtail with an uninsulated female quick connect on a 10 awg weathertight AGC fuse holder, and a watertight quick connect on the other end. Carefully solder the uninsulated quick connect to the solenoid "S" terminal so it never comes loose and falls off, heat shrink over it all. Then the other end w/ the weathertight quick connect to your harness "S" wire can be used for troubleshooting, or to remote start the solenoid if needed.

    Take a 10 awg AGC weathertight fuse holder, crimp a #8 x M8 LUG (NOT ring terminal) on one end, butt crimp on the other end. (Fold the bare 10 awg in half and it's perfect diameter for a #8 LUG.) Put in on the "B" terminal, and crimp the butt end to your red power wire to the panel.
    NOW you have an ABYC=compliant harness that is NO LONGER a fire hazard because it's unfused.
     



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