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AQ125a, Bad Starter?

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  • AQ125a, Bad Starter?

    I have an '83 AQ125a that has been having some starter issues this year. When I turn the key I just hear the "click" of the solenoid but the motor doesn't turn over. If I keep trying it will eventually turn over, and then it starts and runs fine.

    Here is a typical scenario:
    If the boat has been sitting for a while it will take 20 or turns of the key to get the motor to turn over. Then, once it turns over once it will take anywhere from 1-5 turns to get it to turn over again.

    It seems like the issue has been getting worse over time. I remember it not turning over once last year and I wrote it off as a low battery. After I got it back from winter storage this year it took probably 10 tries to get it to turn over the first time, but once it did it started every key turn. Putting it on the water for the first time, it took maybe 15 turns to get it to turn over, but once it did It would start all day on the water no problem.

    Now it's taking 20 tries and if it sits for even an hour I have to try 20 times to get it to start again.

    I have done some digging here and elsewhere and I have tried the following:

    1. Had the battery tested and it tested 499CCA for a 500CCA battery
    2. Checked the voltage at the key, same as the battery voltage
    3. Replaced the battery ground wire
    4. cleaned sanded the block where the ground wire connects
    5. cleaned the battery posts
    6. installed new terminals on the positive cable
    7. removed all accessories from the battery so only the two main cables are connected
    8. moved the ground the from the block to starter bracket
    9. tried shorting the solenoid with a screw-driver

    Anything else I should try before getting a new starter?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Either the key switch or not sure but if it has an assist relay

    The assist relay transfers power on the motor from the battery to the starter solenoid

    If there is not one, (probably does not have one) then check voltage on the starter solenoid when key is turned to start
    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
      There is a small assist relay near the starter. It has a small metal bracket, the wires are yellow/red stripe along with red wires. It is about 1” square. The terminals are numbered so when you change the relay do it wire for wire one at a time.
      Kenner, Louisiana 1980 Donzi 18'. 2+3 6.2 MPI Alpha 1

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies.

        If it is the switch relay, shouldn't shorting the solenoid with a screw driver bypass it?

        And to add to the mystery, yesterday morning I put the battery on a charger. When I came home the thing fired right up. Once. Then started clicking again.

        So, I thought maybe the battery test wasn't as through as it could have been (I recently had this problem with one if my cars, battery tested good but it wouldn't always start. Replaced and battery and the problem disappeared).

        Anyway, picked up a new battery last night. Boat fired right up. Hit the water, worked perfect all night. Tried starting this morning, and just a click.

        So, here's my new question. Do you think maybe the internal resistance on the started has risen to a point where it needs the extra oomph of a fresh charged battery, then one it warms up a little the resistance drops and it works fine until it cools down?

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        • #5
          So, here's my new question. Do you think maybe the internal resistance on the started has risen to a point where it needs the extra oomph of a fresh charged battery, then one it warms up a little the resistance drops and it works fine until it cools down?
          I don't see that as an issue, or causing this issue
          IMO its either corrosion or a bad starter
          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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          • #6
            You diagnosed the problem.
            The starter or the solenoid is probably bad.

            The old Volvo's just need a test light to find out the problem.

            Test light at the starter power lug.
            Turn the key and if the light is lit, then the starter is bad.
            You turn the key and the light doesn't lite up, then the solenoids bad.

            Get a battery load tester 25$ Harbor Freight.


            Buy American made Cars and Trucks!!!Towing insurance for a boat,a GREAT thing.
            ​Tools to make my life easier: Battery tester, die grinder, temp.gun, compression tester, DVA meter.

            In Scenic , Beautiful San Sebastian by the sea Florida

            88 Bayliner 21CC 2001 Mercury 225 HP EFI

            PLEASE,NO PERSONAL MESSAGES IF THE QUESTION CAN BE ASKED ON THE OPEN FORUM

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            • #7
              So I picked up a new starter and everything is perfect except on my old starter there are two threaded extensions on end of the started that the throttle cable mounting brackets mounts to. I looked around and it seems all the starters for the aq125a that are currently available are like this. Has anyone seen a retrofit bracket?

              I built a bracket out of Marine plywood that mounts to the side of the engine bay and then costed it. I'd like to find a more permanent solution that connects to the engine if possible though.

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              • #8
                Assuming your old starter was turned in as a core, you could take your new one to a starter rebuild shop and see if they have some longer studs.
                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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                • #9
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                  On my aq125a i had that ticking
                  the starter silinoid pushing arm had rusted shut, and wouldn't send the gear to the flywheel
                  starter worked on the bench
                  When i opened the silinoid much of it turned to dust
                  had to replace the whole starter, motor turns over nicly now

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