• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

13- 15 presses on start button before cold Diesel Starts

Apr 8, 2010
1,391
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
If you are in or near a populated area, check around for a shop that works only on starters and alternators -- preferable doing a lot marine work.
We have one here and he can repair your Universal starter (and rebuild the original Moto alternator). Price is honest and you get some education from discussing the work.
I predict that after the rebuild you will be amazed at how quick your engine will turn over and fire. I recall being surprised at how much slow deterioration in performance I had accepted as "normal" over a period of years. :banghead:
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
May 5, 2008
35
Oday 25 Washington DC
Thanks. I’ll look into that one next. See attachment, the one I bought from ebay (NEW STARTER UNIVERSAL INBOARD 5411 5421 M-12 M-15 M2-12 M-25 M-25XP M-25XPA ( 143471395688 ))
was too big (9” long vs 7.25” long) and would not fit.
 

Attachments

Oct 26, 2008
4,476
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'm wondering why you hit the glow plug in warm/hot weather? Does everybody use the glow plug all the time? I've only pressed it in the late fall when the temps get down to freezing overnight.
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,724
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
I'm wondering why you hit the glow plug in warm/hot weather? Does everybody use the glow plug all the time? I've only pressed it in the late fall when the temps get down to freezing overnight.
Ya do what it takes. My 3YM20 does not need the glow in the winter, or even after sitting all winter.
 
May 17, 2004
2,675
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Seems to vary by manufacturer. On our Yanmar 3YM30 I’ve never even touched the glow plug button. On our Universal M12 we needed 5+ seconds when cold or 2-3 seconds hot.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
1,893
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
My 2GM20F doesn’t even have a glow plug. It starts every time on the first push of the starter button.
I used to have an issue with starting, replaced the white wire in the harness with a heavier gauge from the switch to the starter. This was a known problem with Yanmars.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,476
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I had the glow plug with my 2YM15 in Thunderbird. Didn't really have a need to use it. No glow plug on the old 1GM and I was able to get her started down to about 40 with no problem. Colder & it took a little more work. Now I have 3GM30 with Andante and no glow plug. We'll see how she behaves in the late fall! I can warm up the cabin with a heater, if I have too.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,597
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I'm wondering why you hit the glow plug in warm/hot weather? Does everybody use the glow plug all the time? I've only pressed it in the late fall when the temps get down to freezing overnight.
Depends on the engine. Engines with pre-combustion swirl chambers, like most Kubotas, upon which many Universals are based, usually require glow plug heat, even in warm weather, when the engine is cold.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Scott T-Bird
Mar 1, 2016
248
Oday 28 Tracy's Landing
i agree with Stu. But nobody knows what a prior owner might have done with the wiring. If it is original you should rewire the whole thing as in the link in dlochner's post (that's a must read if you are not already familiar with it). But in the meantime (after making sure your battery ground to the engine is clean), while I was looking for the fuse Stu talks about, if it is original wiring, I wouldn't just replace the fuse and or fuse holder, I would replace the whole wire between the starter and the start button. This sounds what j_schoenfeld did (hopefully it won't take a full day ;)). The original wire is/was only 16 AWG and as things age it's really too small to carry the current to the starter solenoid.

It's a pretty easy job. Here is the wiring diagram if you don't have it. I'm talking about the yellow/red wire number 3. I would just unhook that one at both ends and replace it with a fused 12 or 10 AWG wire directly between the start switch and the starter solenoid, bypassing the original connector plugs.
Thanks. I will try and make sense of this. Sounds relevant. My wires go into a relay and it's hard to track wires to follow from there. Currently I'm trying to finish hooking up a new starter - see my latest post on that which I hope you can help with.
 
Mar 1, 2016
248
Oday 28 Tracy's Landing
Finally got a Mitshibusi starter that fits. I bolted it in place and now need to attach the wires but it seems I have an extra wire to account that I did not take note of when removing the old starter a month ago. Time has passed getting the correct starter that makes remembering the right way to hook it hard. I fear hooking it up wrong and burning it out. Need help please. I'm attaching photos. I have the wiring diagram shared earlier in this posting stream but that is hard to follow as my wires go into a bundle with relay and its hard to track from there.

Here are the notes I took when I remove the starter:
Black wire Underneath the oil filter goes to the bottom bolt mount for the starter the other two wires off to the right red ones go to the top right post on the solenoid

Of course I bolted the starter down before seeing this note implying I need to remove the lower bolt, insert the black wire and bolt it again - very tight spots to work in. I have 3 red wires to account for yet my notes only talked about 2 red wires. Here are the pictures. I'm thinking maybe all 3 go on the right post of the solenoid?

As for whether a wire jumps from starter to Alternator, I'm not sure if it does or does not. I assume it would be one of the red wires from the right terminal on the solenoid to where on the alternator?
 

Attachments

May 2, 2020
15
Oday 28 Venice, FL
Congrats on getting a starter that fits. When I changed mine I had three wires on the + stud of the starter solenoid. Heavy gauge red wire working its way to the battery via the 1,2,off, both switch. Thinner gauge red wire which I believe went to the voltmeter. Orange wire which went between the starter and the alternator Out. The final wire was red/yellow with a spade connector which goes on the S terminal of the starter solenoid and goes to the Start button. This should be fused. This wire has been suggested in several write-ups to be replaced with a heavier #10 gauge so it may no longer be red/yellow. Hope this helps.
 
May 5, 2008
35
Oday 25 Washington DC
I got a mechanic to help and sure enough as you all suspected the culprit was a bad ignition wire close to the ignition switch in the cockpit. He thinks the starter replacement helps as you can hear much more vigor when the start cranks. At least I installed the starter correctly. Mechanic says the old was drawing more current to run than it should have Of course now I a new problem - engine mysteriously dies (3 times in A 30 minute trip). I’ll start a new thread for this topic. We are thinking water in the fuel. Mechanic says everything checks out well otherwise. Not sure how to deal with this. I did have the tank scrub a couple times with in the last 5 years. Last time was 18 months ago when I had a 2nd (or 3rd?) high end fuel filter installed that is supposed to catch the water. Have not filled the fuel tank since May 2019 but only have about 8 hours on her since then. Cannot recall if I put the fuel additive in it before leaving her sit (after 3 hours of use) for 9 months.
 
Jan 11, 2014
5,930
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
What kind of fuel filter? Racor Spin On filters have a check valve that can get clogged.

Look for a recent post by @Stu Jackson on the topic.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,391
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
The old-style Racor filter assembly with the two O rings can sometimes develop mysterious air ("Vacuum") leaks. Another common problem with any older fuel system is the O-ring in the deck fill cap that is allowing rain water to get past it.
Preventative Maintenance = replace those deck fill O-rings before 20 years and sometimes at ten. Replace the filter with a Racor 500 series.
Replace the old (and often original) fuel lines with new USCG-approved reinforced fuel hose.