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Starter motor for old 35 HP

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  • Starter motor for old 35 HP

    I investigated my starter motor because it sometimes squawks when I start the motor. I had wondered if the
    Bendix was clashing with the fly wheel, but then I noticed the shaft of the starter motor can be wiggled around. Can I ***ume that is in no way normal and I should get a new starter before I get stranded somewhere?

  • #2
    No, having the starter shaft wiggle is not normal. I wish you luck in finding the starter... perhaps all you need is the starter end head with the bushing?

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    • #3
      Thanks Joe. From your comment about the bushing, tonight I took the starter out and opened it up. I see the bushing where the shaft goes through the "lid". That's where all the movement comes from. We have one, very small, boat repair place here in town. I'll stop in there and see if they have or can get a bushing like that. (I'll be shocked if they have one.)
      One other thing. When I opened the "lid" and turned the housing sideways, water poured out. It was black, but it was water, not oil. I poured a little on a finger and rubbed it.
      Remember, the starter would still start the engine. I don't know how the water got in there and I don't know how long it had been in there. I put the boat in and it stays in until fall, that's why I decided to do something about the squawk it made, when starting, while it was still on dry land. Summer's going to be half over pretty soon. :-(

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      • #4
        Follow up. I fixed the starter myself.
        On Wednesday, I had time to take the starter (opened up) to the only boat repair shop in town. Luckily, they sell and repair Johnson and Evenrude. I found a sign on the door that said "At the lake, back asap." In the building next door, I found a guy working on a boat. It was someone I know and I didn't know he was now working there. We had a discussion about my starter. He said to buy a new one. He said they have had them rebuilt, but they send them out to another place. He estimated that a starter would cost $200, but I would have to come back when the owner was there. I had seen very similar starters online for $60 or $70 so I didn't jump at the $200.
        I thought about it and thought if I just had something to fill in the space around the shaft, it might work. A few decades ago, I got some stainless steel ribbon somewhere and for something. I still had it. I cut a length, and dragged it across the back of a knife to make it curl. It curled tighter than the diameter of the shaft so when I pulled it around the shaft with needle nose pliers, it snapped right in place and stayed there. I wiggled the "lid" over it and it worked. It still had a little wiggle but it was very much better.
        Today, I put it back in the outboard motor. I started the motor several times and there was no hesitation and no funny noises.
        Just in case, I might still locate a new starter, keep the information and be ready to buy it if the starter ever starts to squawk again.

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        • #5
          Good for you.... and that's why guys like us save stuff. My late wife used to say... "My God Joe, do you save string too?"

          I'm trying to picture that bendix gear in my mind... wondering what's going to stop that curl of steel ribbon from working upwards.

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          • #6
            I was, and am, a little concerned about that too. When it starts quickly, the bendix gear will drop down and push it back in place. The real test will be when I start it for the first time next spring (or summer) . I usually have to crank it several seconds before the engine starts for the first time. Of course, I hope it just doesn't want to migrate upward in the first place.

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            • #7
              Well, I'm disappointed. With great confidence, we took the boat down to finally launch it. We put it in only half a mile from my house. Even though I had started it several times the other day, I did what I always do and make sure it starts before I let it float off the trailer. It did nothing! I ***umed the battery had run down so I brought it home and put a charger on the battery. It charged up real quick. I hooked up the hose and tried it. Nothing.
              I pulled my wife's car up behind it and used jumper cables. The starter remained hooked up completely and I touched the positive connection then one of the bolts that holds the starter on with the negative. I could see little sparks. Other than sparks, only once did the starter jump a little. Nothing else happened.
              I just don't understand how it started with no hesitation on Saturday, then nothing today. What changed? I could turn the starter by hand and it felt normal. I suppose I need to go back to the idea of looking for a new starter. Any other ideas before I do that?

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              • #8
                Steve...If you had a good battery with good jumper cables and hooked those cables directly to the electric starter's casing and the red cable nut stud of the starter..... and nothing happened, unfortunately that spells electric starter failure. Time to tear that item down for inspection.

                Usually, but not always... that's the way they fail, okay now... 10 seconds later=toast!

                Check it out as it could simply be a brush hanging up.

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                • #9
                  Yeah, I'll do that. If I buy a new starter, I'll have to take the old one off anyway. It only takes a minute to open it up and look inside again. There's probably no way, but I wondered if it was solidly grounded to the engine. 3 bolts hold it on so I guess all 3 couldn't be too dirty to make contact. The jumper cables should have byp***ed all other possible problems, but I also want to use an electronic meter to make sure I'm getting full power to the starter. (I'm not 100% trusting the jumper cables. It was awkward to get the positive in there for a good connection.)

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                  • #10
                    I'm back. I investigated things last night and today. I used a meter to make sure the key took power all the way to the starter cable. I had my wife turn the key and got nothing on the meter. Then I noticed it wouldn't tilt up or down. Then the mosquitoes chased me inside. I was puzzled.
                    With a good night's rest and the light of the new day, it took only seconds for me to realize I had unhooked the black cable to make more room to remove the starter. One of those Duh moments. I put that back and THEN the tilt worked and turning the key did send power to where the starter goes.
                    Out of curiosity, now that the old starter was out, I hooked up the jumper cables using the boat battery this time. It revved right up. Then I hooked up the jumper cables to the red starter cable and the engine block. I sat the starter on the curb where I could see it when I turned the key. Turning the key would fire it up every time with no problem. Now I wonder why the key seemed to do nothing at all when the boat was at the lake and again after I brought it back home. I'm going to guess the the starter runs, but is so weak that I didn't hear it and it didn't even move the flywheel.
                    I guess I'll just buy a new starter. It had better work!

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                    • #11
                      One more thing. When I powered up the starter, when it was sitting on the curb, the Bendix gear would shoot to the top, as it should, but then it would sink back down as the starter motor continued to run. Maybe that's normal. I could imagine if there was no flywheel there to contact, the gear would match the speed of the starter motor and it WOULD sink back down. On the other hand, maybe a full functioning starter should be able to keep the Bendix gear up under those circumstances. I just don't know.

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