Please note this thread has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new thread.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    This is going to be a rough one unless we know what kind of controller and the model number that you have.Many of the boat manufacturers don't use the Mercruiser unit, but something else.If you don't have any information on it, can you post a picture of it?There is really no "Here's how you adjust a neutral safety switch" that fits all the different shifter/controllers.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Damn.....That didn't take long Let me see if I can find some pictures of how to fix it.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  3. #3
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    There isn't really any adjustment on that type shifter, the switch is inside the assembly (See picture below)and is number 5. Check that both wires are hooked up with solid clean terminals, but it sounds like the switch is either sticking or broken. If there is a lot of grease on the switch and the weather is cold, that may be the problem. Clean the grease off from around the switch and see if it works. If the switch itself is sticking and you can hear, feel and see it stick, it's time to replace it.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  4. #4
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    If you can hear the starter 'hit'--- the Neut. Safety switch if fine. It disconnects the ability for the starter circut to be energized unless it thinks its in neutral. If the starter hits-- the siwtch is doing what it's supposed to.If the starter 'clicks' but won't start, you have another problem. If I had to guess, I'd think it was the battery or its connections. If the boat wasn't so new, you might check the starter motor. Being so new- I'd look at that last.

  5. #5
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Good point Winger, I sure missed that If the starter solenoid or slave solenoid is clicking, there is nothing wrong with the neutral safety switch.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  6. #6
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Neutral Safety Switch problems

    I think my signature includes this, but, just in case: I have a 2003 Odyssey Lextra with a Mercruiser 350 Mag MPI I/O Alpha one outdrive.For a good time period, my motor has been difficult to start, Especially when Cold. I'd have to move the Shifter back and forth some to find that "Just right" position for the starter to kick in. I went out to start my motor this evening, and run some fresh water through it, let the motor run some, before draining the water out of the block. Well, I just was unable to find that "Just right" position. I'd turn on the key and get the Starter click, but the motor would not turn over. All fluid levels checked OK. I finally was able to figure out how to remove the cover over the shifter, but didn't see any type of adjustment screw to set "the Neutral Safety Switch?" In the past, sometimes I'd have to shift the gear forwards/backwards a time or two, then push in the Neutral button push the throttle forward to idle it up, and it would start. No go this time. Any suggestions on getting this Adjustment right? When I removed the cover they had some linkage, with a Ball bearing that would pop in and out as you moved the shifter forwards backwards.

  7. #7
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Sorry if this is the wrong place for this topic, I'm adding a photo of my type of shifter if it will help.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Sounds like some troubleshooting is in order. The safety switch might be alright, however if the switch contacts aren't making a solid connection (corrosion, arcing, etc.) it might not be holding the solenoid closed, just a brief "click". I would suggest putting a tester on the slave solenoid coil connections and make sure that it is energized as long as the key is held to "start"Of course the other test (with the ignition OFF) is to take a resistance reading across the neutral switch,it should be less than a few ohms.I only bring this up because of the difficulty he has had with the switch in the past.

  9. #9
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Thanks Don, Winger, and Water, I too think something is out of line, or out of adjustment. Because you have to find that just right spot to turn the key and get the "Hit" or Click of the starter. In the past I'd get a few clicks when it was cold (or the first start of the day) as it was warmer it would start easier, but every now and then you'd still have to try a time or two to find that spot. I've learned to say, it can't be the Battery or connections, from experience. Connections can be finiky. I do have the on board battery charger, and the Alt gauge is showing good enough. But I'll heed the suggestions and check the connections better. Question: I wouldn't be hurting anything, to try to start the motor with the On board charger plugged in would I? I have not ever done that but was wondering? Anyway, I plugged it in this evening, will check the connections, and will leave it charging all night, and try again tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    I don't know what charger you have, but generally it shouldn't be a problem. Most chargers have over-current protection that will momentarily shut off the charger if there is too much of a current draw (very discharged battery).

  11. #11
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    It's real easy to check for neutral safety switch porblems, just hook the two yellow w/red stripe wires that go to the NS switch together and bypass the neutral safety switch altogether. Then it should crank the engine (not just click) every time the ignition switch is turned to the start position. If it now clicks each time but doesn't crank the starter, you have a problem in the start system also.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  12. #12
    Seaman
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Buzzards Bay
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    if the shifter isn't in neutral the starter won't energize. if it clicks and engine won't turn over sounds like an electrical problem. clean battery terminals and any other connections between starter and solenoid. if your using wing nuts on battery replace with stainless nylon stop nuts and washers and tighten down good. also check solenoids.

  13. #13
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Originally posted by Don S: solenoid is clicking, there is nothing wrong with the neutral safety switch.
    There's pro. mechanics around here that probably see 3 of them a week go bad, but of all the boats I've ever had or been around, even 30-odd year old stuff, I've never seen a Neut. Safety switch go out.I always take the prop off first when playing around back there on a O/B or if someone might walk up on me while I'm working on a I/O, but trying to crank it a few times with a mechanic's clip on remote starter switch should tell alot too.

  14. #14
    Supreme Mariner
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kitty Hawk NC
    Posts
    20,072

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    hello its rare to see the safty switch fail, unless its been sunk. but not at all rare to see the slave solinoid fail on a mercruiser. do as don said. test the switch and test for 12v at the slave solinoid. also test the solinoid ground. seems some of them used a push on connector rather than a nut. most the symptoms of a bad slave is you have to make it click several times before it works.
    no tech questions by PM, they wont get answered.
    you have to be trusted by the people that you lie to .

  15. #15
    Supreme Mariner
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kitty Hawk NC
    Posts
    20,072

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    hello another quick slave solinoid test is to use a jumper from the small yellow/red wire to the large yelow/red wire on the slave solinoid and try it again. if it works odds are the solinoid or its ground is bad
    no tech questions by PM, they wont get answered.
    you have to be trusted by the people that you lie to .

  16. #16
    Lieutenant Junior Grade
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Winger, isn't modern production wonderful ?(sometimes the parts work...other times....??). I agree with you, of the ones that work, they usualy don't go bad. His has been acting up since new. Don (as usual) hit the nail on the head (throw a clip lead around it and see what happens).Your safety tips are something I overlooked, glad you brought it up, hate to think of the consequences. Of course I can only speak for myself, but I would like to troubelshoot this one.

  17. #17
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    I really appreciate all the help guys. I've been a tad busy lately and I'm working this Weekend, but I was able to check all Battery Connections, and left the charger on for 3 days. Then I tried again. All I got was a louder Click or Tap of the Starter tapping. So, I belive I'm fixing to have to change a Starter Solinoid. Check this picture out, I'm going to have fun.

  18. #18
    Supreme Mariner
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kitty Hawk NC
    Posts
    20,072

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Godsbeast its rare to see the starter solinoid fail. its very common to see the slave solinoid fail. test it carefully or when your done changing the starter solinoid the slave may still be bad. and that gets frustrating . yep thats about the normal service space. the engineers never ever thought that it may actually have to be worked on. it looked great on the cad-cam drawings I just winterized a 38ft fourwinns that I dont think there will be enough clearence to change the dist cap. there is less than 1/2" between the cap and the deck above. this guy is gonna love his first tuneup when the engines come out to replace a cap
    no tech questions by PM, they wont get answered.
    you have to be trusted by the people that you lie to .

  19. #19
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    I agree with rodbolt, the slave solenoides are the usual problem, not the starter.I would sure do some testing of the solenoid before going after the starter.Here is a picture of your solenoid and the wiring diagram that may help. You should really get the Merc service manual for your engine. I will be one of your "Most Used" tools in your tool box.The first picture shows the location of your solenoid on your engine.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  20. #20
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Lord Have Mercy, I wish I would have read your reply before I went and done this: It was a real pain getting that Starter Out. Stupid me, thought the Slave Solinoid was the Solinoid on the Starter itself. Oh well, It's no use crying over Spilled milk and cramped fingers. Don, I really appreciate the trouble you went through to label my own picture. I was wondering what that thing had to do with the starter, being as it has the same colored wires (Yellow w/red tracer). Now I have another question. What the heck is this tan boxlike connection for? The one hooked to the bolt on the Solinoid just under the Red Power wire. The box with the cover that looks like a button? {I just relooked at your picture, it is a 90 amp fuse** or at least that what I think it is according to your picture. How do my teeth look on my gears? Now if you don't mind one more question? Discriptivly how do I test that Slave Solinoid that you labeled for me? Meter on Ohms, Red lead on one side of Solinoid, Black lead on the other side Solinoid? Have the key turned ON, while checking it?

  21. #21
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Please Delete this Reply in this Post Moderator, just found the Edit button.

  22. #22
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Since you already have the starter out, disconnect the yellow/red wire from the starter.Then hook a test light to the wire and hook the clip of the test light to a good ground.Then hit the ignition key and see if the light lights up, if it doesn't, replace the slave solenoid.That square thing is the 90 amp fuse, item g in the schematic above. Click here for something really helpful.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

  23. #23
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Many, many thanks Don for the test light tip to check the slave solinoid. I'll do that in about an hour when I get home from work, and get my Uniform off, and can deal with it a little more.Now, while on patrol, I took that Mini starter by my Mechanic friend's house, and he hooked up the Starter to my Battery with Jumper Cables. It worked, but he commented that he thought it was weak, and said "I think you have found your problem." So with you telling me a tip to check the slave solinoid before putting the starter back in, I should know, and feel more confident before putting the starter back in. He said, at first he didn't realize I had a slave solinoid, but said he'd guess it is ok, because it wouldn't be clicking, every time like it is now. Don also thanks for the link, I had planned to purchase a service manual last time I went by the local Mercury Service Center, but was a little short on cash, after buying what I went for. I plan to get one next trip. I'll let you and the others know how this turns out, and I really appreciate the time everyone took to pitch in and help.

  24. #24
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Port Allen, La. 70767
    Posts
    502

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    OK, the tests are in and somethings fishy. Don I hooked up the test light like you said, then had the wife turn the key, no light. Then I remembered to turn back on the battery switch, because I turned it off when taking the Starter out. Another test, and still no light. So, I got to thinking maybe the other wires have to be hooked to the Starter, So I hooked the Power and fuse wires up, and got a brainstorm. I hooked all the wires back up, and put a Jumper Cable from the Starter frame to the Engine Block. Had the wife turn the key, and the Starter kicked the gear out and worked like it did with battery Cables. It wasn't hard to hold with one hand. So, this should mean that the Slave Solinoid is working, and the Starter is just to weak to turn the motor over, RIGHT? Oh well if it is the Starter, at least I didn't take it out for Nothing. Or am I overlooking something? Again, thanks for all help, suggestions, and tips, and patience with my lack of knowledge. Any tips on making the Starter last longer (after I have this one professionally re-built) would also be appreciated.

  25. #25
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Western WA.
    Posts
    62,323

    Default Re: Neutral Safety Switch problems

    Weeeeell, when I did the last reply, for some reason I assumed for some strange reason the other wires were still hooked to the dangling starter. Which would have had all the hot wires (Main battery cable plus the red/purple wire)still hooked up. But since I had you disconnect the yellow/red wire the starter shouldn't have tried to turn, just the test light would work. From the looks of the starter, there isn't anything wrong with it due to water or rust, but if you are going to get it repaired have them put a new solenoid on it. Either the slave or the starter solenoid is intermittent, and due to the starters location and fun it removing and reinstalling, it might be best to replace the solenoid. If the problem persists, replace the slave solenoid.
    Don S.


    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Neutral Safety Switch? Please help!
    By Saxman in forum Electrical, Electronics, Audio and Trolling Motors
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: April 21st, 2007, 08:34 AM
  2. neutral safety switch
    By maphillips3 in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: June 16th, 2005, 11:42 AM
  3. Neutral safety switch?
    By 71whaler in forum Johnson & Evinrude Outboards
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 25th, 2004, 08:16 AM
  4. neutral safety switch, OR
    By tmcalavy in forum Mercury & Mariner Outboards
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: June 30th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  5. Neutral Shift, or Neutral Safety Switch
    By Jeighkc in forum Non-Repair Outboard Discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 11th, 2002, 02:30 PM
  1. iboats Forum Directory - Over 100,000 forum posts organized by topic