Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Batteries, Generators, Solar, Wind and Electronics
User avatar
mike cunningham
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by mike cunningham »

OK, dag nabbit, I am still experiencing problems with the start button. The classic: you push it, a little click, and nada. I push it a few more times and eventually I get a start. This is not a battery or starter problem and all the wiring/connectors are squeaky clean.

I know there is a relay and some heavier wiring I need to add somewhere to fix this. I went back to the archives and I see I asked this question eight years ago. At that time I said it was "on the list" ...well it's a long dam list is all I can say.

Anyway, it is darn annoying. Re-reading the older responses I am still a bit confused about the additional relay and the larger gauge wire that folks have installed to address this issue.

Could someone in the know take a few moments to explain what I need to do? Formatting the answer for the complete idiot (me) would be appreciated.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment

User avatar
GeoffSchultz
Posts: 1072
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala
Contact:

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by GeoffSchultz »

I located my secondary relay near the engine where I had ready access to +12 & ground. The start wire from the button goes to this relay, which draws much less current than the starter relay. The secondary relay connects to the starter relay and then reliably engages the starter.

-- Geoff
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org

User avatar
mike cunningham
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by mike cunningham »

Geoff, thanks for responding.

OK, you put new relay in to activate the larger relay. Do I just follow the relay wiring in the manual wiring diagram and stick the new relay in the middle?

Is the original wiring OK re awg, just need to add the relay?

Stupid question, what do you call the required relay so I have a search term to find one? Is there a current spec I should be looking for?
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment

peaceandfreedom
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:51 pm
Location: F 33 CK Milford ct

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by peaceandfreedom »

Are all your ground connections clean as well. I had the same start button problem and simply resolved the problem by wire brushing all the ground connections.
See YouTube video on how to install the solenoid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp2cGDa1VOU

happy sailing,

Jim D

User avatar
GeoffSchultz
Posts: 1072
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala
Contact:

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by GeoffSchultz »

Mike,

My existing wiring was sufficient to power the secondary relay.

I'm not sure how I picked the relay that I did. I think that I just looked for an automotive relay in the 10+A range that had a tab on it that I could mount to a bulkhead wall with a screw. I used female spade connectors to make the connection.

-- Geoff
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org

AlJacobs
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by AlJacobs »

Preplace the STOP relay. I had same issue.

BillSmith
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am
Location: San Mateo, CA

If misery loves company...

Post by BillSmith »

Have the same issue. My experiences as follows...

Other than one time (detailed later) engine start every time in slip. After a day's sail on the SF Bay, will push start button and nothing, nada, zilch. No click, no groan, no moan, no grind, no nuttin'. Scratch head, check that all is in order, shifter/throttle, battery on, etc.

Then at some Ouija board random number of presses, engine starts smartly, no sign of issue. Again, it only happens after getting out and about.

One time only, it did the dead button in dock. Once. I guess just to be a total mysterious PITA.

Had our mechanic do a quick once over as he had replaced original panel of gauges and buttons in the cockpit. The original keyed version did the same. Turn, turn, turn...nothing. He found a suspect wire in a bus, but after removing and replacing, same old problem. He never could actually reproduce the issue because, of course, he's tied in the slip when testing.

I have yet to take my cheap Harbor Freight volt meter and test variances along the route to starter. Fear that I'd be chasing my tail, as I would be testing in the environment that actually functions.

On a humorous note, wonder if my F35 electrical was done by Lucas or Smith. While it has eventually started every time, keeping current with BoatUSA fees is a must.
Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
SweeTART
Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA

jdpandlp
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:59 am

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by jdpandlp »

You did not mention the type of engine but I had the same issue on a Yanmar. Tracked the problem to not enough amperage to starter when it was hot. The next time it happens jump the battery connection on the starter to the solenoid, if it turns over you have the issue identified. I wired a NAPA marine solenoid in the starter circuit from the key switch. This worked for two decades until the aftermarket starters for my 4JHE became cheaper than rebuilding the original. Since changing the starter I have not had the issue.

AlanK
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: Freedom 33 Boston, MA USA

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by AlanK »

Had this flaky mysterious problem on my F33 with Yanmar. Replaced some wiring and new starter button. No Luck. Problem turned out to be resistance at the connecting blocks of the wiring that runs to the cockpit panel/start button. Even a little corrosion can make it flaky. Solution separate the connecting blocks and spray with something conductive or anticorrosive for elections. Even wd-40 suffices but with that you need to do it a few times a year depending on where you're located (salt air/humidity).

BillSmith
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: Start button - I swear I'll fix it this time

Post by BillSmith »

Thanks to y'all for the compass points. If equilibrium allows, I'll hang upside down in lockers searching for likely issues mentioned here. Sailors should not be 6' 1" and 200+ lbs.
Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
SweeTART
Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA

Post Reply