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Problem: Starter, Battery, Spark Plugs, or Other?

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I started my motor in a water tank while it was attached my boat last month like I do every year before I go fishing so I know it will run when I hit the lake.

 

It ran fine and started up normally.

 

Then yesterday my friend and I went fishing for the first time. My batteries were connected to the 3 bank Pro Charger that I have the entire time it was in my polebarn. Well, when I tried to start the motor it sounded really strange and wouldn't turn over. After a few more tries it almost did but made such a weird sound. I stopped trying to start it. I've never heard such a weird sound from a motor. It's a 2000 Mercury 115 horse. I hooked up a battery jumper to see if the battery was low but nothing changed and it still wouldn't start. If it's the charger, how did it go bad just sitting in my heated polebarn?

 

Do you know what this problem sounds like?

 

Problem: Starter, Battery, Spark Plugs, or Other?

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Can you explain the noise? You say I wouldn't turn over so without more info I would pull the cowl and look at the starter, flywheel, and watch them while you crank

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I would make sure that there isn't something physically binding the engine before I did anything else 

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Did you check battery voltage?  If you have access to a battery tester try it and see if maybe a cell has gone bad. The noise may have come from the starter because of low battery current available. If no teter is available the hook up a volt ohm meter to the battery. Watch the meter when you try to crank the motor. If it drops below 12 volts then look at replacing the battery.  Your charger should not be plugged in all of the time (sorry I did not understand if that is what you meant when you said the batteries were connected the entire time) Mine are always wired to it but I only occasionally  plug it in during the off season, and always recharge the batteries upon returning from boating.  If a cell had gone bad in your starting battery no jump starting charger will make a difference since the internal connections from one cell to another are compromised. On board chargers rarely cause the problem. If the battery is bad closely check the others.

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42 minutes ago, Ski213 said:

I would make sure that there isn't something physically binding the engine before I did anything else 

 

I don't think that's it. It ran fine in the tank. I did change props before I headed out to the lake, but I only torqued it to the specified 55ftlbs. 

 

It sounded like a weird screeching/grinding sound sort of.

Maybe I can get it back in the tub soon and record it. 

 

 

 

23 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Did you check battery voltage?  If you have access to a battery tester try it and see if maybe a cell has gone bad. The noise may have come from the starter because of low battery current available. If no teter is available the hook up a volt ohm meter to the battery. Watch the meter when you try to crank the motor. If it drops below 12 volts then look at replacing the battery.  Your charger should not be plugged in all of the time (sorry I did not understand if that is what you meant when you said the batteries were connected the entire time) Mine are always wired to it but I only occasionally  plug it in during the off season, and always recharge the batteries upon returning from boating.  If a cell had gone bad in your starting battery no jump starting charger will make a difference since the internal connections from one cell to another are compromised. On board chargers rarely cause the problem. If the battery is bad closely check the others.

 

 

I I think it was at 12 or below 12. Maybe it was the battery. 

 

 

The the battery is about 5 years old I think. 

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I would swap out the battery with a car or truck to test.  Its free and will eliminate that as a possibility.  You might not have enough juice to properly engage the starting gear.

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I'd say you're most likely right given how recently you have run it. Just a thought.

I'd probably hook up a known good battery directly, as mentioned above, and see what she does. You could also take the battery to a parts store and have them test it. 

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Pull the battery and go to Battery Warehouse, AutoZone etc. They will check it free.  Just be sure to replace it with a marine starting battery. Those are built differently  so absorb the shock of marine use.

 

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You're going to need to post a video or the sound or describe it better. "A weird noise" can mean a thousand different things. As much as you don't think it was what was suggested or want it to be anything besides a battery, it sounds like it is something aside from the battery. (hard to say without hearing it) A weak battery will more times than not just sound sluggish. I can't recall every hearing a bad battery create a high pitch squeal or whine. I have heard a high pitch squeal / whine before and the person drove on it and the motor seized.  However, like the post above said, you should make sure nothing is making the motor bind. It doesn't matter if it ran okay last time you were out or 500 times prior. It could be anything from the drive shaft bearing to a magnet in the flywheel to a lost cylinder. 

However, 12 v or lower than 12v is a dead battery. Hope it's just a battery for you. 

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Look at the starter when you try to start.It sounds like the bendix is not kicking in properly ,hence the grinding + the screeching may be coming from the starter with dry bearings.Try some light oil lube  or dry lubricant on the Bendix shaft.Just a tad

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16 minutes ago, Catch 22 said:

Look at the starter when you try to start.It sounds like the bendix is not kicking in properly ,hence the grinding + the screeching may be coming from the starter with dry bearings.Try some light oil lube  or dry lubricant on the Bendix shaft.Just a tad

 

 

Thx. Where would I see a pic of where to lube?

 

And what type of lube should I use?

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Where to lube.  Just spray the heck out of everything you see on top of the starter with WD-40.  The bendix is that small gear with the spring and all the other stuff under it. 

If it I was mine, and I wanted to check it out, the first thing I would do is connect a digital volt meter across the terminals of the cranking battery, making sure the leads are contacting the lead post with the motor on a set of muffs or in a tank.

The following process sounds complicated but is actually very simple and doesn't take but a few minutes, but will show you exactly where your problem is.

Try to crank it and see what the voltage is showing when trying.  It should be no lower than 10.5 volts when trying to crank it, and hopefully not that low.  If it's below 10.5VDC, it's time for a new battery or make sure that one was fully charged. Understand, that's while the starter is under the load of spinning and trying to crank the motor, not just sitting there.

If it's above 10.5, leave the lead on the negative battery post and connect the positive lead to the lug on the starter the positive cable is connected to and try cranking it again.  You should have the same voltage that you got on the battery, If it's more than a couple tenths lower, you need to clean all the connections between the starter cable and the battery.  When you have good voltage on the positive with the meter's negative still on the battery post.  Connect the meter's positive lead back to the lead post on the battery and move the negative lead from the lead post to the metal housing on the starter and try cranking it again.  You should have the same voltage as you had when you had both leads on the battery terminals.  If the voltage is lower, you need to clean all ground cable connections between the motor and the battery.  What you have just done is verify both the negative and positive cables to the motor are good connections.

Now, if you are getting good voltages doing the test above, it's time to start looking at the starter.  Make sure the bendix is good.  If so, it might be time for a starter to go to the repair shop.

 

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