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ENGINE will not fire up.


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We have a narrowboat which we are 'doing up'.   It has a a kubota V1505 engine & Hurth gearbox . ( 4 110amp leisure batteries and 1 starter battery) On the way to its mooring back in sept last year, it failed to start when we stopped for a cuppa.  We found a loose wire which we reconnected and it started up and we went on our way.

Over winter on its mooring, we started her up a few times.  Until May of this year.  She does not want to start.  Batteries are reading full, we have two solar panels which work well.   Now, she doesnt turn over.  There is the usual long beep sound and then nothing when you turn the key.

We would welcome any suggestions before we have to bring in "the professionals".

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Please explain what you mean by "batteries  are reading full". Also are you sure that whatever is giving that reading is reading from the engine bank rather than just the starter battery.  It is not so common to get such readings for an engine battery.

 

Do you mean beeps as normal when you turn the ignition on but then the noise stops when you turn to start. If so the first thing to do is clean the stast battery terminals.

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How do you know the batteries are reading full? What are you using to make that judgement.

Would be worth cycling the engine start battery isolations switch a few times, especially if it is one of the sort with a removable red handle. At first reading it looks to be a poor electrical connection, so I would go through all the big diameter cables between the engine and battery, including the return cables that probably are connected to the engine block.

 

Jen

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Check the cable loom, the main contecter between the panel and the engine, may not be fully pushed together. This did happen to me.

 

   

Edited by nbfiresprite
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Thankyou, you have given us some things to look at and check next time we are down at the boat.  Hubby did have a look at the terminals and they do look clean but says he will give them a clean.     Beeper noise does stop when key is turned but then nothing happens, no turn over, no clicks, nothing.

we are taking a reading of batteries being topped up from a digital display.  It may relate purely to the starter battery, we will investigate this further when next at boat.

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13 minutes ago, deckhand said:

Thankyou, you have given us some things to look at and check next time we are down at the boat.  Hubby did have a look at the terminals and they do look clean but says he will give them a clean.     Beeper noise does stop when key is turned but then nothing happens, no turn over, no clicks, nothing.

we are taking a reading of batteries being topped up from a digital display.  It may relate purely to the starter battery, we will investigate this further when next at boat.

It is more likely that the digital display is your cabin batteries and that your starter battery is flat-faulty-poorly connected-duff isolator if a red key.

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10 minutes ago, deckhand said:

Thankyou, you have given us some things to look at and check next time we are down at the boat.  Hubby did have a look at the terminals and they look clean but says he will give them a clean.     Beeper noise does stop when key is turned but then nothing happens, no turn over, no clicks, nothing.

we are taking a reading of batteries being topped up from a digital display.  It may relate purely to the starter battery, we will investigate this further when next at boat.

 

1. The mating surfaces need to be cleaned to bright metal on the terminals, not just the outside.

 

2. Check the engine master switch as Jen suggested. If it is a key in the top type I would put a screw of paper under the key. If that works get a new decent quality switch.

 

3. Symptoms of dirty battery terminals, faulty master switch, loose terminal on heavy wiring or a flat battery.

 

4. I bet the digital display has nothing to do with the engine battery.  If he has DECENT jump leads try with both clipped between the engine and domestic battery positives.

 

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

1. The mating surfaces need to be cleaned to bright metal on the terminals, not just the outside.

 

2. Check the engine master switch as Jen suggested. If it is a key in the top type I would put a screw of paper under the key. If that works get a new decent quality switch.

 

3. Symptoms of dirty battery terminals, faulty master switch, loose terminal on heavy wiring or a flat battery.

 

4. I bet the digital display has nothing to do with the engine battery.  If he has DECENT jump leads try with both clipped between the engine and domestic battery positives.

 

Thankyou, We will try all that you have suggested.    

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Happened to me I pulled the main fuse out and put it back again no further issues. Also check the battery switch mine is easy to accidently switch off.

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1 minute ago, Midnight said:

Happened to me I pulled the main fuse out and put it back again no further issues. Also check the battery switch mine is easy to accidently switch off.

Yes, i did ask him that question and he had checked that he hadnt switched the batteries off.  Ours is easy to switch off too.

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Some times i get similar problem and have to tap the starter motor hard ( with head of mooring pin) whilst the key is fully turned to start position. Damp has got at the electrical contacts in the solenoid on the starter motor or the pinion is jamming , a n overhaul schedule soon. 

Have you checked power at the large cable to earth on the starter.  Also small cable to earth with the switched turned to start. May be faulty switch or extra relay if one is fitted or just a bad connection if the small terminal is not powered on.

You will need multimeter or 12volt lamp to test the above

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3 minutes ago, adrianh said:

Some times i get similar problem and have to tap the starter motor hard ( with head of mooring pin) whilst the key is fully turned to start position. Damp has got at the electrical contacts in the solenoid on the starter motor or the pinion is jamming , a n overhaul schedule soon. 

Have you checked power at the large cable to earth on the starter.  Also small cable to earth with the switched turned to start. May be faulty switch or extra relay if one is fitted or just a bad connection if the small terminal is not powered on.

You will need multimeter or 12volt lamp to test the above

 

Red bit - probably OK on most of our boat engines for now but geared permanent magnet starters are becoming more common and if you tap the body of one of those hard you stand a chance of shattering the magnets and buying a new starter. If you must use a block of soft wood.

 

Another reason could be worn brushed so one does not make contact so it won't turn or turns with much lower power.

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  • 3 months later...

by way of an update. Hubbie invested in an battery reader.  We were chuffed to find that all batteries were reading good.  A bit of detective work identified a loose wire behind the ignition switch. found by sheer good luck, I am so pleased to say , she turned over and started a treat. 

  • Greenie 1
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10 hours ago, deckhand said:

by way of an update. Hubbie invested in an battery reader.  We were chuffed to find that all batteries were reading good.  A bit of detective work identified a loose wire behind the ignition switch. found by sheer good luck, I am so pleased to say , she turned over and started a treat. 

I had the opposite. Damned engine would not stop when I pressed the stop thingy. Loose wire behind the panel, I had just installed a radio and all the fiddling about must have moved it.

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10 hours ago, deckhand said:

by way of an update. Hubbie invested in an battery reader.  We were chuffed to find that all batteries were reading good.  A bit of detective work identified a loose wire behind the ignition switch. found by sheer good luck, I am so pleased to say , she turned over and started a treat. 

 

Thanks for the update and feedback! 

 

So that is now two loose wires causing breakdowns you've had. Bear this in mind next time something packs up, it sounds as though the electrician wiring up the boat initially, was doing his first boat ;) 

 

  • Greenie 1
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