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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've replaced all the bad ends on my wiring harness going to my distrobution box in the back of the motor, replaced my ignition switch and my coil. The Distributor cap and rotor look okay. The problem with this problem is every time I fix something it works for 2 hours so I think I'm good then "kaput" and I have to flag somebody down for the tow of shame. So this time I brought my multi meter to sniff this bugger out. Both my ground from my distro box and my ground to my battery were melting and had molten metal dripping on my battery. (and my battery needed to be fully charged 5 times in 3 days) When I checked the distro box for major resistance I found it coming through the starter wires. Then wouldn't you know it my starter motor was doin funny things like turning the motor really slow and then "kaput" no more starter.

So my question is this....

Do you guys think my starter was the problem or the problem killed my starter?

I'm going to replace my ground wires and all the wiring going to the motor along with my starter for good measure.

So what do you guys think?

Thanks again for the help!

~J
 

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Sit N' Spin
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So I've replaced all the bad ends on my wiring harness going to my distrobution box in the back of the motor, replaced my ignition switch and my coil. The Distributor cap and rotor look okay. The problem with this problem is every time I fix something it works for 2 hours so I think I'm good then "kaput" and I have to flag somebody down for the tow of shame. So this time I brought my multi meter to sniff this bugger out. Both my ground from my distro box and my ground to my battery were melting and had molten metal dripping on my battery. (and my battery needed to be fully charged 5 times in 3 days) When I checked the distro box for major resistance I found it coming through the starter wires. Then wouldn't you know it my starter motor was doin funny things like turning the motor really slow and then "kaput" no more starter.

So my question is this....

Do you guys think my starter was the problem or the problem killed my starter?

I'm going to replace my ground wires and all the wiring going to the motor along with my starter for good measure.

So what do you guys think?

Thanks again for the help!

~J
Where in the circuit is this "distro box"? The starter should have a cable coming straight off of the battery. Without knowing the circuit of how you have your boat wired it's hard to tell. Need more info.
 

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Maybe the Alt. is fried! You said you had to charge the bat.5 times in 3 days! It does sound like a direct short in starter or Alt. if it is wired properly! WT:)devil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I guess it's more of a board than a box, it's mounted on the back of the engine one side has the wiring harness connected the other the wires to the engine. The battery connects directly to the starter power runs through the starter to a relay then to the board. I guess I the relay could be fried also to create all that resistance. But the relay also feeds the alternator and that connection is fine.

A real head scratcher...
 

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Sit N' Spin
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Well I guess it's more of a board than a box, it's mounted on the back of the engine one side has the wiring harness connected the other the wires to the engine. The battery connects directly to the starter power runs through the starter to a relay then to the board. I guess I the relay could be fried also to create all that resistance. But the relay also feeds the alternator and that connection is fine.

A real head scratcher...
How do you know you have high resistance? Did you measure it?
 

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The problem with this problem is every time I fix something it works for 2 hours so I think I'm good then "kaput" and I have to flag somebody down for the tow of shame
~J

Sounds like my weekend. Go raising hell out in the water and piss off all the fisherman.. Just to get towed back in and have them laugh at me :D.
 
G

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Sounds like you have a couple of problems to me.

1. Poor or non-existent block ground for the starter. High resistance here will cause heat and melting of smaller grounds trying to carry the starter load. A bad connection will do the same thing.
2. A high resistance short (+ to -) somewhere causing the drain on the battery over time. You can check this by disconnecting as much as possible and checking the + to - resistance, the higher the better. Then start reconnecting things, if the resistance drops you've found the problem. fyi anything with caps should start low and then go high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How do you know you have high resistance? Did you measure it?
Yeah I took my multi meter out this weekend just in case the gremlin showed up so I could diagnoss, fix and retest. Major Oms from the starter slot on the Distro board to ground. But then again I don't have a schematic so I don't really know what it should look like. I do know that every other connection read .2 Oms and the starter read 3.9. Oms.
 

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don't know if this helps, but starters that are either bad, or in the process of going bad, will draw seriously high amps when cranking. cables can get so hot they'll burn ya (melting's just the next step). i've had that happen with stock starters a couple times on a couple different boats.

i'd pull the thing and either check it out yourself, or have someone (auto-electric shop) check it. it doesn't cost anything to verify that it's still good, or find out if there's anything wrong with it.
 

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A couple of pics. of the wiring would let some of the gurus see and maybe helpout more! Something is pulling a direct short! WT:)devil
 

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Just Me
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This sounds like dead short somewhere. Quick question, does your boat have an AMP guage? If so it is high probable that it has gone bad. Kills many a wiring system. The starter turning over is a result of voltage feeding back through the ground system. If there isn't an amp guage check the starter solenoid for a short. If you have an multimeter you can check for draw as you disconnect or turn things off. If not you can always use the light bulb and wire method. Turn everything off and unhook the ground from the battery. Wire the bulb between the ground lug and the battery post. If the bulb lights up there is a short somewhere as something is completeing the curcuit. If you take the positive lead off the solenoid and the light goes out you've found your short. If not hook it back up and go to something else. Altenators can frequently still charge even though they have bad diodes in them. They will just remain open and allow the battery to drain over time. Your's sounds more like a direct short. Check all the positive cables and make sure they haven't rubbed up against the block, exhaust, ground cable, ect.... Good luck.
 

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Pink Taco
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this is a stupid 1 that caused a few tows for me. when i first got the boat i changed head gaskets and a few others. stock thru transom manifolds, when i put them back on i caught the starter wire between the manifold and block. so overtime the short got worst and would act similar to ur SHITuation. got a nice high torque starter and slowly replaced every wire in the dam thing, double checking all wires before applying power. hope u dont have as bad luck as me when i first started this never ending money pit. but the means are usually justified when u get a nice day on the lake.good luck
 

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Well I guess it's more of a board than a box, it's mounted on the back of the engine one side has the wiring harness connected the other the wires to the engine. The battery connects directly to the starter power runs through the starter to a relay then to the board. I guess I the relay could be fried also to create all that resistance. But the relay also feeds the alternator and that connection is fine.

A real head scratcher...
its sure seems like you have a relay that controls the starter solenoid which then engages the starter. the relay is switched on from the ignition key when moved to the start position. unless its a 5 pin and you are using the 5th pin for the alt. i'm not sure how its attached to the alt. or why. pics would help i think, unless there is more info you can give as to what you have exactly, because its not making much sense.

based on how i am interpreting what you are saying, it seems you are not measuring the resistance in a helpful manner, and will probably throw you off more than anything, until you know exactly what and why you are measuring it.

if you have both the NEG cables (from how i read your post, there are only 2 neg cables attached directly to the battery???) melted, and only those are damaged, then you probably have a high resistance issue with the ground circuit in your boat. you said that this has happened before? do you mean you go out for 2 hours and it just won't start anymore? or have you replaced these neg cables more than once already?

pics would be helpful i think, but based on the info you gave it seems like bad connections on the ground cables and/or bad wires/cables on the ground side. another thing, is this a new or old battery?

AP
 

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Glendale Arizona
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don't know if this helps, but starters that are either bad, or in the process of going bad, will draw seriously high amps when cranking. cables can get so hot they'll burn ya (melting's just the next step). i've had that happen with stock starters a couple times on a couple different boats.

i'd pull the thing and either check it out yourself, or have someone (auto-electric shop) check it. it doesn't cost anything to verify that it's still good, or find out if there's anything wrong with it.
X2 for bp's suggestion. Cheap (free actually) and fairly easy. I've melted wires before and it was the starter..........both times.
 
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