Starter Motor Completely Dead

Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
I'm completely stuck.
I replaced my starter solenoid and rebuilt my starter motor with new brushes and completely cleaned it top to bottom.
I had it spinning, but oddly enough, spinning backwards. I'm not just saying this because the bendix wouldn't pop up but because I tied a zip tie to the center to determine the direction and it was turning clock wise not counter clock wise.

Eventually I no longer got a click from the solenoid and the starter motor stopped doing anything.

I removed the starter motor and opened it up. Everything looked fine. Wires and brushes still look perfect. I hooked up my car battery to the main lead and nothing... I opened it up again and it looks fine. I hooked it up and tested to see if I was getting 12 volts to the bolt, not just the jumper cables and I was. I opened it up, hooked it up, and was also getting 12 volts to each brush connected to the bolt.

I am hitting my head against the wall here. If the brushes, wires, and connects of the starter are fine, what else could even go wrong?
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
39,029
welcome aboard

for a starter motor to run backwards, you would have to wire the starter backwards. DC motors are the simplest electromechanical device there is.

you either have a permenant magnet motor or a field-wound motor (since you do not explain what type of starter you have) however if you spin a starter motor backwards, the bendix will not engage
 

Chris1956

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
25,154
Can you test the windings with an ohmmeter? That will tell you if they are open. Also, if the solenoid doesn't click, it is either bad (not likely) or not connected correctly. Is it connected to the neutral safety switch?

A permanent magnet starter will spin backwards, if the magnet is reversed when installed.
 

racerone

Supreme Mariner
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Dec 28, 2013
Messages
29,551
Or if the cap with brushes is not installed correctly.-----Need to know what you have to be ably to provide help and not guess.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
Or if the cap with brushes is not installed correctly.-----Need to know what you have to be ably to provide help and not guess.
Sorry everyone I am pretty new to outboard motors. This is pretty much the first I've worked on. I am not sure of the exact year of the motor, probably 80-90s Mercury 50 2 stroke 4 cyl. I can provide a picture of the starter if that helps
 

racerone

Supreme Mariner
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Dec 28, 2013
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We know what the starter looks like.----Perhaps inspect the cap with brushes and make sure it is assembled correctly.-----There is a notch in the cap I believe.----And a mark on the body of starter
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
Can you test the windings with an ohmmeter? That will tell you if they are open. Also, if the solenoid doesn't click, it is either bad (not likely) or not connected correctly. Is it connected to the neutral safety switch?

A permanent magnet starter will spin backwards, if the magnet is reversed when installed.
I am going to test them this morning. I'll let you know what I get. It was connected to the safety switch and working. I'm thinking maybe I had some connections backwards and fried the solonoid, which still doesn't answer why the motor isn't working when on power.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
We know what the starter looks like.----Perhaps inspect the cap with brushes and make sure it is assembled correctly.-----There is a notch in the cap I believe.----And a mark on the body of starter
Okay thank you I will take a look this morning and let you know
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
Can you test the windings with an ohmmeter? That will tell you if they are open. Also, if the solenoid doesn't click, it is either bad (not likely) or not connected correctly. Is it connected to the neutral safety switch?

A permanent magnet starter will spin backwards, if the magnet is reversed when installed.
I've tested the windings and they are fine. I checked and all brushes and caps are installed cottectly. Nothing is happening when I hook it up to 12 volts. I checked again and I am getting 12 volts to the 2 brushes. The grounds are solid.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
39,029
I've tested the windings and they are fine. I checked and all brushes and caps are installed cottectly. Nothing is happening when I hook it up to 12 volts. I checked again and I am getting 12 volts to the 2 brushes. The grounds are solid.
one brush should be + batt, one should be ground.

if you are getting +12 volts to both brushes, it wont work.
 

racerone

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
29,551
See the notch where the bolt comes out of the cap.-----There is a corresponding spot on the starter housing that fits in there.----Post a picture of the bottom of that housing.-----Do an ohm test on armature too.
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
See the notch where the bolt comes out of the cap.-----There is a corresponding spot on the starter housing that fits in there.----Post a picture of the bottom of that housing.-----Do an ohm test on armature too.
Interesting. I didn't know that. I'll take a look and see if I have it lined up. I did an ohm test this morning and everything looks fine
 
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
9
If that is not assembled correctly it may turn backwards.
I've determined that I had the center portion magnet, not sure what it's called, upside down. I'm assuming that's why it was spinning in reverse. Still not sure why I am not getting anything from it when hooking it up to a battery. I ordered a new starter but would still like to figure it out just to know
 
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