Monday, August 24, 2009

Boat Prep - Fixing the Starter on the Big Outboard Motor

Over the last few months, the big motor has been more and more difficult to start. Usually, the starter motor spins, but it isn't engaged with the flywheel and does NOT turn over the main motor.

I thought it was the bendex, which pops up the starter teeth to engage the flywheel. I cleaned off the shaft and it seemed to help... but this weekend it wouldn't pop up at all when we were out on the water. Ouch - stranded on the river! Thats NOT good...

Here you can see the starter motor (vertical) and the copper-colored bendex gear head. It wasn't popping up at all on the river. I took the cover off, and manually spun it up, and it finally engaged with the flywheel and started. We quickly got off the water.

This morning I openned up the motor, and tested the contacts on the solenoid to make sure the solenoid was good. I hate replacing something only to find out that it didn't fix the problem.

Besides - its FISHING SEASON! Of all the times for the motor to need work, Fall Chinook is NOT the time! Get-R-Fixed!

Guess what - the solenoid AND the starter motor checked out good with the test meter... and the motor turned every time!

It because clear that the bendex wasn't popping up enough to even touch the flywheel, but the motor would spin each time.

So... I carefully spun the bendex up manually, and looked underneath at the shaft - a gunky mess! I had been spraying the top of the shaft, but all the buildup and gunk was underneath and inside the shaft. So... I sprayed it really well UNDERNEATH the shaft, and tried it...

... SUCCESS! The bendex popped up easily and quickly EVERY TIME. All the gunk was keeping it from popping up.

I manually popped it up, and cleaned it several times. It appears to be working great now. Yeah! We can get back on the water!

Hopefully it works as well out on the river!