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7.4 380 Horizon sometimes tough to start

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  • 7.4 380 Horizon sometimes tough to start

    Great to find this forum. I hope that I can add value in the future, but for now, I need help with a starting problem.
    I have a 1999 Mercruiser 7.4 380 Horizon engine with sometimes starting issue. When I hit the ignition switch on the dash, I can hear the fuel pump energize and I can hear some type of solenoid click. Sometime the engine will immediately come to life. Sometimes I need to hit the switch several times before it catches. When it does catch, the engine fires up immediately. The problem is that it is taking more and more tries to get it to fire. At some point this is going to be a major problem if I don't figure it out.
    Any help that anyone can give will be greatly appreciated.
    This engine is in a Sea Ray 380. The port engine will once in a great while not hit on the first try.

  • #2
    Re: 7.4 380 Horizon sometimes tough to start


    I'd start by removing, sanding, cleaning, reinstalling,+ greasing All of the Starter Circuit Wiring,.....

    Especially the Grounds.......

    If that doesn't Fix it,.... Your Starter is probably on it's way Out.......


    • #3
      Re: 7.4 380 Horizon sometimes tough to start

      Thank you, I really didn't think about connections. You very well could be right.

      Any other opinions?


      • #4
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        Re: 7.4 380 Horizon sometimes tough to start

        I have a 1998 7.4 blue water mercs (fresh water lake only). I have been having trouble keeping the engines running when I increase RPM from idle while docking. Short burst of power to turn her in the wind. The engines would die .
        Some time port some time starboard engine would die.

        3 weeks ago starboard engine fired but port would not and no beep when turning key on. 4 hours of research with a volt meter we found the main harness going into the engine the prongs had so badly corroded could not get 12 volts to the engine. I have since cleaned both connections and my stalling issue has been resolved along with the no start issue.

        Be sure you check the main engine harness connection.

        You might also check your distributor if you have one and make sure the base plate inside the distributor is not corroded. Both engines were a mess with it.

        Note: I do not allow water in my bilge since I owned the boat but apparently the previous owner kept her with water in the bilge and I believe that is what cause this mess..

        Good luck!