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  1. #1
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    Default Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    Ok, I am not new to boats although i am somewhat new to engines, I am younger but I have been boating my whole life, and i have a basic knowledge of most boats. I have a 87 25.5 Century Mirada with a 305 chevy small block im pretty sure. It was my fathers boat but hasnt been in the water or started for about 3 years i dont think... he was about to start working on it again but he recently just passed away

    The whole boat has electric power and the batteries are still putting out decent juice (going to replace both of them anyway) but when I turn the key to start the boat all i get is like a loud grinding kinda noise... really hard to explain.. i pulled the starter and had it looked at, its spinning perfect and the teeth are still in good shape... so i put the starter back on and cleaned the battery terminals (thinking it wasnt getting enough juice) but still the same noise... it does get any further then that what I turn the key, just a loud clicking/grinding noise... I already pulled the spark plugs so there isnt much compresssion. and i can also turn the engine with a rachet so this means its not seized up correct?

    I remember my father telling me he didnt winterize the boat but he had a "heater" in the engine compartment on cold nights... but i think that was a lie...

    how can i tell if the engine is junk or whats the next step to look for? hoping to get a mechanic to come out and look at it soon

    Thanks guys -adam

  2. #2
    Cadet
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    Jun 2010
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    also here is a link to the boat

    http://www.thesaltydog.com/search/viewListing60567.aspx

    i would hate to scrap it, my father had all the interior just redone along with brand new interior in the cabin as well. boat looks incredible inside, just cant get this engine working.

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    It it grinding, almost like the sound of a skill saw cutting wood? If so, I'd say the starter, or flywheel have had it, or, the starter isn't shimmed correctly, or, the bendix is sitcking, not engaging the teeth...Know anyone who plays with smallblock chevies who can give you a hand?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    Quote Originally Posted by PS94 View Post
    It it grinding, almost like the sound of a skill saw cutting wood? If so, I'd say the starter, or flywheel have had it, or, the starter isn't shimmed correctly, or, the bendix is sitcking, not engaging the teeth...Know anyone who plays with smallblock chevies who can give you a hand?
    yea i thought it was the starter as well so i pulled it and had it looked it, he said the teeth still look good i guess it does kinda sound like a skill saw cutting wood.. almost like the teeth of the starter and flywheel are hitting together but the starter is not turning the flywheel its just rubbing together... hard to explain.

  5. #5
    Captain
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    I remember my father telling me he didnt winterize the boat but he had a "heater" in the engine compartment on cold nights... but i think that was a lie...

    Well, if it was a lie than the block is probably toast and the starter is just the tip of the iceberg, NJ had a relentless winter last year.
    '90 Chaparral 2000SL
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  6. #6
    Commander NHGuy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    Sounds like your starter solenoid isn't engaging the starter drive to the flywheel. It only gets up against the edge of the flywheel and grinds. 1st verify your battery or batteries are up to snuff. Then if they are good, get the starter checked out &/or fixed or you risk killing the flywheel too. A starter can appear to be working when out of the boat even if it is not working correctly. The solenoid is supposed to shove the the starter drive gear into the flywheel at the same time as the starter motor begins to make rev's.
    It sounds like yours isn't.
    1989 Baja Sunsport 196, Mercruiser 5.7, Alpha 1
    Moultonborough Neck, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    i had my boat mechanic look at it, said its definatly the batteries not giving the starter enough juice, said he heard it hundreds of times befor. so im gonna give it a try tomorrow and see how it goes

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Starter is good but boat wont turn over

    whats the verdict i seem to be in a similar situation and would love to know what happened?
    1996 Bayliner Capri 1950 CL
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