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Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:26pm

Post Subject: engine starting failure

Tony, I have a Perkins 4108 in my narrow boat. On my last trip I cruised for about4 hours, in very hot weather, then stopped for about 30 mins. On starting the engine all I got was 1 click and nothing else. Had a quick check of wires to starter motor all appeared OK. After about an hour the engine started, then cruised for about 2 hours then tied up for three days staying on the boat therefore using the batteries as normal. After three days engine started first time and I cruised back to base in 9 hours. Switched of engine but then tried to restart. Again got just one click and no start. It seems not to want to start when it is hot. Any ideas. The starter motor was rebuilt less than a year ago.


Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:44pm

Post Subject: engine starting failure

I am afraid that there is very little hard information here upon which to base a diagnosis. It would help if I knew the battery voltage measured measured lead post to lead post AND post clamp to post clamp. That would rule dirty battery terminals in or out. Then there is the question of why the starter needed rebuilding and what was done. Now I have to guess possible faults. First of all if the engine battery master switch has a plastic removable key they are known to be less than reliable so temporarily bypass the switch by putting all the cables on one terminal bolt. Take great care not to create a short circuit. If the master switch does not have a removable key try turning it on and off very vigorously a few times when you have the fault. Some of the Perkins 4-10x series of engines used an inertia starter while other use a pre-engage model. In either case it could be dirty contacts in the solenoid or heat causing the solenoid to stick. The inertia version should have a solenoid remote from the actual motor while the pre-engage model have it as part of the motor itself. This must be an older boat so it is even possible that the ignition switch (or starter push button) is wearing out and creating excess voltdrop across itself when hot. This could prevent the solenoid having enough ooph to engage its contacts. What is the voltage on the SMALL solenoid terminal when trying to start? Do any wires or terminal feel hotter than the rest when this happens? I do not think it will be sticking starter brushes but who knows. There are starter fault finding procedures in the electrical notes on my website

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