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A World Of Trouble

Guest Jonny

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As you know we was down for a few days to get Curlew ready for for a weeks cruise now iam here to the 2nd of August to try and sort her out but have a few problems.

1. When trying to start the engine we heat her up but when we do the the volts should go down but they dont.

2. When trying to start the boat we turn the key to start the engine but all i get is one click that all

3. We can only start the engine if we short her out IE we a screwdriver touching the terminals on the starter.

4. Dad swapped the batteries over and dint put the starter battery where it should have gone now its dead but before useing Brians laptop two boats down wicked fella it was showing it was charging.

now Iam on my own with small amount of food great detox for looseing wieght and dosnt cost a penny.


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Jonny Well at least you got nice weather Sorry to hear you got problems, Did you get the meter I recommended to you, as with a little bit of logical faulting with a meter it sounds like you could soon sort it, without one you might as well put a blindfold on.

2 Clues there sounds like all is well in the heavy current side if you can turn it over by shorting the solonoid, the bit about the voltmeters, I assume you expect the meter to drop right off when heating and its not, That together with the cle that it is on the low current side suggests an issue with the switch or more likely the power not getting to it, All the fuses are clean and well seated arn't they. Very difficult to remotely fault but keep posting the clues and we will try to help Good luck mate cheersbar

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hi Gordon

when heating the glow pllugs the volt metre normaly drops a little but its not doing.

yes i do have a digi metre somewhere on the boat :?

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Hi Jonny, first remove, clean, Vaseline and reattach the heavy cables at every terminal including ALL the battery earth returns. If that doesn’t work check with your digi for a voltage drop at the solenoid supply when you operate the starter key, if there is little or nothing, repeat the exercise at the starter key / button. That should give you a good indication as to where the issue lies. Then start checking for internal cable resistance with a good avo meter. Most ex hire fleet boats have never even seen a bit of fully tinned cable so they may well be setting up resistance with many individual strands broken through corrosion, a careful inspection of all the terminal joints will reveal much.Does your motor have one of those funny single starter coils in the inlet manifolds or 4 usual glow plugs?.

It is my guess (and a remote diagnosis is fraught with danger) that as two symptoms have presented at once that it is cabling related rather than component, but there's no way I can really tell without my head in the bilge.

Good luck Jonny

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hi Jonny yes clean all connections on the wiring first but if i remember you were looking at altering the dash on the boat the ign switch can go faulty too try a good squirt of WD40 directly into the ign sw check connections onto the switch itself some are screw fitting others are lucar if no luck try a dead short with a piece of wire from the main battery feed to the switch to the start circuit if the starter turns ok change the switch about £12 plus vat at any lucas outlet , ask for a plant switch

or use your voltmeter to check the switch out but you might get a voltage reading but if the internals on the switch are corroded the switch may not be able to carry the ampage needed

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Just another thought, is the red charging light coming on when you operate the switch, if not it is another clue that all is not well with the 12 volts getting to the switch, as Strangers said get that voltmeter around the switch see if the power is present going in to it, then ensure that it is switching. Sounds like you have an annoying problem but not critical or expensive one. My guess is that it is a corroded connection, maybe on those lugar connectors on the switch. Or one of those nasty fuses. A boat is a hostile environment and physical contact connectors both get corroded or lose their tension.

Dont do anything drastic like ripping things out or changing bits yet, have a measure with your meter,draw a picture and note readings.on it don't overlook the negative side, try the meter in different places to get used to the sort of readings, pick your earth up in different places, you will learn a hell of a lot and I reckon solve your problem in the meantime.

Remember that red light it is another clue you are looking for that switch to do three jobs

Power to the charge cct, operate the starter solonoid ( that is a low current device that switches the big start current) and operate a relay to do the same sort of thing to the glow plugs, clearly that is not happening either as you are not witnessing a volt drop.

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