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One-Click Nightmare

Discussion of batteries, chargers, wiring, generators, distribution panels, battery switches, etc.

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Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 9:46 pm
Vessel Info: 1996 Wellcraft Excel 21 SL Cuddy Cabin

One-Click Nightmare

Postby NoMechanicHere » Tue May 29, 2018 11:58 am

Hi Guys,

So I’m having a recurring issue that has plagued me for the past 2 seasons. When I turn the key to start the engine I get a single click. The click is either coming from the 50A main reset, or what I think is the slave solenoid located right next to it. Last year I replaced the slave solenoid assuming that was the culprit – it wasn’t. Still had the same exact one-click issue. The next thing I did was replace the 50A circuit breaker. This actually seemed to have fixed the problem. However, a month or 2 after I installed it the problem came back. The weird thing is that sometimes it will actually turn the engine over, but 95% of the time I get the single click.

When I went to start the boat for the first time this year it turned over and the engine fired up after 2 turns of the key. I let it come up to temperature and shit her down. About 30 minutes later I tried turning the key and the single click has returned. Since I ordered two 50A main reset breakers last year I went ahead and reinstalled the second. By George, that seemed to fix it as it turned right over. Again, I let the engine come up to temperature and then turned it off. When I returned 30 minutes later to start it up, the click returned. Grrrr….

One thing to note – if I touch both prongs on the slave solenoid (located directly next to the 50A main) it kicks the starter over 100% of the time. In my mind, this eliminates the starter solenoid and starter as the culprit. I also assume it can’t be the 50A breaker since that falls behind the slave solenoid, which wouldn’t let the starter turn over when jumping the slave solenoid, I think?

Another anomaly is my battery is only showing 11 volts on the gauge as well as on a portable voltage meter. When the engine is running over 1000 RPM it increases to around 13V, then comes back down to 11ish when idling. I know this is low and could be contributing to the problem. However, if there wasn’t enough cranking power in the battery to turn the starter when I turn the key, why would it provide plenty of power when I jump the slave solenoid? Does this weed-out the battery as well as the main positive and negative cables as the problem? Furthermore, I’ve hooked the battery up to my battery charger on the “50A engine start” setting to try see if it will turn over when above 12A – no luck.

I also can’t locate any corrosion anywhere. Also, if there was corrosion I don’t think it would turn over when jumping the solenoid.

If there’s any connection, last year the engine was hydro locked, which was professionally repaired by Sea Ray – I still have no idea how that ever happened. Not sure if this is a clue or a totally unrelated problem.

Running a Merc 4.3LX/V6 engine. All fuses appear to be good. No crimps in the wiring that I can see.

Anybody have any suggestions? This is driving me crazy and the last thing I want to do is take it to the shop so they can take a month fixing it and charge me a ton of money. As the name suggests, I’m no mechanic so any replies should be typed as though being read by a 5th grader! Any suggestions are highly appreciated. Thanks guys!!!!!!

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Re: One-Click Nightmare

Postby goodday » Wed May 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Ck grd cable that goes to back of engine, seems like your not getting full circuit, maybe loosen and tighten all your cables

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Re: One-Click Nightmare

Postby AquasitionBoston » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:54 pm

Did you ever resolve this? I'm having a similar issue and could use some pointers.

Engine shut down while under way, had to deploy emergency anchors front and stern in narrow section of river approaching a bridge..!

Definitely have a short somewhere, found and isolated it, but can't start due to one-click nightmare, as you put it. Can start just fine when jumping the back of the solenoid posts.

In your case, what caused the one click? Any idea what you did to resolve it? :help:

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