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Old     (wristy_j)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-26-2004, 9:35 PM Reply   

My 1982 Ski Nautique won't start. Since I bought it 2 years ago, it's had an electical problem with the ignition. Sometimes when I turned the key, it would start with no problems. Other times, I would only get a click. Sometimes, I wouldn't even get that. This year, it won't start at all, so it's time to fix it.

Last year, I replaced the main cables from the battery to the solenoid (pos), and the engine block (neg). Just recently, I replaced the solenoid, and the starter. I have a fresh charge on the battery as well. If I use jumper cables to connect the battery directly to the starter, bypassing the ignition and solenoid, I can get the starter to turn. When I connect the battery through the normal routes (solenoid and engine block), the solenoid chatters when I turn the key, and the starter doesn't turn. I've isolated the solenoid and verified that it works by disconnecting the starter, and turning the key. The solenoid clicks, just like it should. I also isolated the starter, as I mentioned above, and know that it works. The only thing I haven't isolated is the ignition switch. Could that be the problem? If not, what else could it be? A short in the wiring from the ignition switch to the solenoid? It shouldn't be the ignition resistor, voltage regulator, or ignition coil. Even if those were bad, they shouldn't interfere with the starter getting the necessary current to turn the engine, right?

Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated,

Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-26-2004, 10:12 PM Reply   
Your solenoid is not passing enough current to turn the motor over. Take it apart and rotate the shorting ring. If you don't know what I am talking about replace the solenoid.
Old     (wristy_j)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-26-2004, 10:32 PM Reply   
I just replaced the solenoid like 3 days ago, and it didn't fix anything.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-26-2004, 11:47 PM Reply   
On the 82 Nautique you should have access to the ignition switch right under the dash. Use jumpers and bypass the switch, I should have suggested that first since it is the easiest thing to do. Do you have a voltage meter? If not go buy a cheapie. Take readings at various points in the system until you find the trouble area. Check voltage coming off the solenoid with the starter connected and bypassed. Let us know what your find.
Old     (wristy_j)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-27-2004, 11:25 AM Reply   
Yes, I've got a voltmeter. I don't have an ammeter, though. Wouldn't it be better to test the amp load than the voltage, since you can have ~ 12V and still not enough current to turn the starter? I'll fiddle around tonight and let you know what I come up with. Thanks for the help!

Old     (wristy_j)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-27-2004, 12:28 PM Reply   
For eveyone else with PCM engine problems, I found this...

Download the PCM service manual (pdf file).

Direct link...

It's got detailed step by step trouble-shooting instructions for every system of the engine. It's helped me a ton!
Old     (wristy_j)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-28-2004, 8:38 PM Reply   
Well, I ended up cleaning every electrical lead I could find, and buying a new battery. It turns over great now! However, I can't get it to start up...

I pulled out a spark plug, and it was firing. It looked pretty old though, so I'm going to get new ones tomorrow. Any suggestions for what to look at if the new plugs don't do it?

Old     (tranner)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-28-2004, 8:46 PM Reply   
Bad ignition coil??? Just a thought if it is cranking good but not turning over.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-28-2004, 9:37 PM Reply   
My 83 had starting issues every year from the time when it was brand new. Finally around 1990 I got fed up enough that I rebuilt the carb and installed the breakerless ignition conversion. It ran so well after that I never considered a boat upgrade until the upholstery started to self destruct. Interesting thing was that they appeared to have used an incorrect gasket between the carbs metering block and throttle body blocking a few passages. Not sure if it was the carb or the ignition but it after the upgrades it was fun to try to bump the starter, the engine would hardly turn before starting right up. That 83 was the best boat I ever had from a driveability/reliability standpoint. Other drivers always used to comment about how well it ran.


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