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Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi Won't Crank; Winterizing

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  • Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi Won't Crank; Winterizing

    I'd appreciate any expertise you all have to offer: I went to winterize my 2004 Chaparral 230 SSi with a 2004 Volvo 5.0 GXi motor (serial number 4012104628; less than 300 hours on motor) and the engine wouldn't crank. It was last run in September and has had no issues. Both batteries are new as of May 2017 and I fully charged them overnight again just to make sure. When I insert/turn the key and go to the start position, the standard alarm sounds and I get full power to the electronics (all seems normal). I can hear a relay click in the black fuse box directly on top of the engine each time the start is attempted. I hear nothing coming from the starter area. Battery terminals are clean. I cleaned the top and bottom terminals on the starter solenoid but not the ones on the left/right sides. I have verified the kill switch clip is in place and the throttle is in neutral; I've thoroughly cycled both just to be sure they aren't the obvious problem. If I can hear the relay clicking on the motor, can I safely assume the key switch is not the problem? If so, it seems to me the likely problem is the starter solenoid or the starter itself. Please offer any insight on this conclusion or if you think I'm missing other steps. Also, I went ahead and completed all of the engine draining I can do to winterize for now, but I can't turn over the motor to "burp" the water pump of any water. Should I be concerned about that being a freezing risk? Thank you for your time!

  • #2
    can I safely assume the key switch is not the problem?
    Correct

    I would check that the start relay (the one that is clicking) is actually making a connection. Those relays go out more often then the solenoid. Take a 12 AWG wire and jump across the small Yellow/Red wire on the starter to the large battery cable stud. This will cause the motor to crank. If it does crank then its probably the relay

    Not so sure you need to burp the pump, but don't let it crank much at all
    94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
    95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
    07 Seadoo GTX
    Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
    G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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    • #3
      You could always get someone to turn the key for you and test the voltage on the solenoid to ensure its getting voltage in and out, although space might be pretty limited for such a maneuver. Don't hold the key in the start position, just have someone bump it while you check the posts for voltage. The one I'd make sure to check is the large gauge wire attached to the side of the starter. If that isn't getting voltage when you turn the key, its your solenoid. If it is, then its likely the starter.

      If it is just a stuck starter, sometimes a pretty good whack on the side of the starter can jar it loose, although if that works, I'd make sure and have starter replaced before using it next year.

      Comment


      • #4
        AllDodge and kdiddle, I'm attaching a photo of a starter that looks identical to mine (I"m not at the boat).

        AllDodge, I think you're saying I should jump from the top terminal in the photo (which is where the large red positive cable comes from the battery) to the terminal on the right. Is that correct?

        kdiddle, when you say "the large gauge wire attached to the side of the starter," do you mean the wire that comes out of the side of the starter and attaches to the lower post as show in the picture? I definitely will give it a whack--I wish I had thought of that earlier!

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        • #5
          yeah, the top post is the 'in' wire, the bottom wire is the 'out' that's energized when the solenoid is activated. The top post will always have 12v, the bottom should only have it when the key is turned (and the solenoid clicks). AllDodge referenced the relays being prone to failure so that might definitely be something to look into. But jumping a wire across the two large posts on the solenoid will bypass both solenoid and relays and at least tell you if your starter will move. Jumping from the little terminal to the large top post will engage the solenoid to let you know if its functioning (and also bump the starter)

          Note - be prepared for sparks if you jump the posts

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          • #6
            The top one with the smaller one on the right. Note in the pic that also shows the start relay. The relay can be pulled and you can jump across the Red to the larger Yellow/Red going to the starter, not the ne going back to the harness which is a smaller Yellow/Red wire

            Actually the Ignition and Fuel pump relays are the same and can be swapped to see if problem moves

            Click image for larger version  Name:	jump.jpg Views:	1 Size:	86.8 KB ID:	10683230
            94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
            95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
            07 Seadoo GTX
            Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
            G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

            Comment


            • #7
              nice diagram, AllDodge...I'll be saving that one for my GXI...thanks!

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              • #8
                Its from a GSI but start circuit is the same
                This is hard to read but is the GXI-C/D

                Click image for larger version

Name:	GXI_C_D.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	78.3 KB
ID:	10683236
                94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                07 Seadoo GTX
                Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
                G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Okay, I'll give these suggestions a try...I'll probably get a start switch to do the jumping! Thanks for the help!

                  If I do determine it is the starter OR the starter solenoid, I think that results in a replacement, right? I have found a replacement starter for about $60 here: https://www.ebay.com/i/232813131409?chn=ps

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                  • #10
                    Yes, replace or repair

                    You can use any marine offset GM starter, and the one selected will work, just don't know to much about Detroit Starter Company
                    94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                    95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                    07 Seadoo GTX
                    Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
                    G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      AllDodge, so I was able to crank the boat last night. Let me share the circumstances and see what you think: I first put a test light on the connectors for the starter relay--I had hot power on the "30" port with the ignition switch in run (which is battery power) and when I turned the key to start and heard a click I had power at the "87" port (which goes to the starter solenoid, I believe). With that information, I initially concluded the starter relay is operating normally. Then I proceeded to test power on the starter solenoid. I found that I had power at the top post on the starter solenoid, where the battery feeds in. However, I was surprised to find that I also had unswitched power (ignition in "run") at the bottom post of the solenoid, which appears to go into the starter itself. That didn't make sense to me and I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. I didn't have power to the smaller, right-hand post on the solenoid with the ignition switch in run, but I wasn't able to check it with the ignition in start due to lack of hands.

                      In the process of doing these checks, I did attempt your first recommendation--to jump across the top and right posts on the starter solenoid (blue arrows in your diagram above). The engine cranked just fine when I made the connection!

                      So I think I can safely say the starter relay, starter solenoid and the starter itself are fine. Do you agree? If so, what's the problem--is there a circuit breaker I'm missing between the starter relay and the right hand post of the starter solenoid? Or elsewhere?

                      Also, why did I have unswitched power on the bottom connector on the starter solenoid?

                      Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        had hot power on the "30" port with the ignition switch in run (which is battery power) and when I turned the key to start and heard a click I had power at the "87" port
                        This says the relay is making contact, but since the starter did not crank, this says either the relay is unable to pass sufficient current to engage the starter solenoid, or there is corrosion on the Yellow/Red wire or its contacts between relay and solenoid.

                        There are no breakers or fuses between relay and starter solenoid connection. Swap the fuel pump relay with the start relay

                        There should be no power on the bottom terminal of the solenoid at any time unless during cranking. There should also be no power on the Yellow/Red wire with the key in run position. Some how your getting power showing maybe do to how the ground probe is connected, maybe floating
                        94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                        95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                        07 Seadoo GTX
                        Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
                        G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Okay, it sounds like you agree that the system components are working normally (starter, starter solenoid and starter relay). I'll do more troubleshooting with corrosion in the yellow/red wire and verify my test light is well grounded/not floating.

                          I can't swap relays as you mention, I don't have two that are the same (see picture--the lower relay is the starter relay). Thanks for your help!!!

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                          • #14
                            Key does not need to be in run, it can be left ON or OFF
                            OK, then pull the start relay and jump across terminals 30 and 87 which should crank the motor. If it does not crank, then its the Yellow/Red Wire connections

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	relay contacts.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	19.4 KB
ID:	10683532
                            94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                            95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                            07 Seadoo GTX
                            Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
                            G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Great, thanks a million!

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