Dead on trailer


Old 06-22-05, 07:25 PM
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Dead on trailer

I recently purchased a 1989 Baja boat. It has a 4.3 liter with OMC outdrive. The guy I bought it from had starter trouble, he put a automotive starter on it. It worked a couple times out, then quit.
He then realized the ring gear was bad. He replaced it with automotive gear as well. He reassambled and was left with nothing but loud clunking. Then sold the boat to me.
I took the starter off, I find nothing wrong with the starter. Just a few chewed up teeth on ring gear. I have talked to several boat shops they all say the automotive starter is not right due to spark control and wet location, but should turn the motor over.
I have ordered the correct starter with a marine application, however after I install it , I am afraid it will not turn the engine over.
I know the engine is not locked up, and the fly wheel has 168 tooth count (is this right?).
Any advise would be greatly appriciated.
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Old 06-23-05, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 74
Ring gear

An engine seems to always stop at the same position.

Therefore the starter is almost always engaging the ring gear on the same
teeth. If any teeth are missing or damaged that will be the position of most contact with the starter, the starter will spin rapidly but not engage (or also makes the sound you described) - and the ring gear has to be replaced.

If not replaced the starter drive teeth also become damaged after some use.

The ring gear probably cannot be rotated to a different position since it is likely keyed to the crankshaft, and even if it were rotated the starter drive may disengage at that point, with a failure to start.

If it was a new ring gear it would be undamaged all the way around.

A ring gear (used with automatic transmissions) is relatively inexpensive, a flywheel used in standard transmission applications (with clutch assemblies) can be quite expensive. Used is good if not damaged. (1/2 price of new?)

I believe the ring gear is common to marine as well as automotive applications


Last edited by oldJoe; 06-23-05 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Add paragraph
Old 06-26-05, 05:04 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I got it up and running. It ended up being that the flywheel was put on backwards, positioning the ring gear much futher away from the starter.
Starts and sounds great now. I feel like I need to change the lower unit oil, hasen't been done since 2001. I read on this site that it should not be done by someone that doesn't know how to do it, due to air pockets in the lower unit.
Do you have any suggestions?
Old 06-26-05, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 74
Oil Change (Lower Unit)

I think the void occurs if you fill from the top plug instead of the bottom plug.

To avoid an air pocket at the bottom of the lower unit I bekieve you are supposed to push the nozzle end of the squirt bottle into the drain hole to seal it off, and force fluid in until it comes out the top vent hole, then quickly install the bottom plug.

Since you are getting farther into the mechanics, perhaps you should get a manual to be certain... try this website for next day mailing
Old 06-27-05, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
Posts: 209
Old Joe,
One thing I would add. When filling the lower unit (through the bottom plug), once it is full, I install the top plug first. Then, quickly remove the filler/bottle and install the bottom plug. With the top sealed, it forms a vacuum and you won't loose much oil while installing the bottom plug.

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