Mercruiser Starter

Old 08-01-05, 11:24 AM
Erik Gray
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Mercruiser Starter

I have a 2002 Chaparral 196ssi, Carburated, 5.0l V8 (chevy), Alpha

My starter won't turn. Sudden failure. Click when I turn the key.
Checked connections: Good
Checked Battery: Low
Replaced 3 year old battery. Still ... Click when key is turned.

Sounds like the solenoid is pulling in but no rotation.

Trying to isolate problem.
Dropped hot lead from battery (single battery setup).
Hooked up good battery to ground and touched a the hot lead directly to the
starter at the point where the battery line comes in. It sparked! This seems
to indicate that there is a short in the starter/solenoid assembly. This could also attribute to why the battery was low.

What do you think? Is there another way to test the starter/solenoid without
uninstalling it?

When replacing this starter, should I replace with a new one or should I have this one rebuit. My major concern is that I may not get the correct starter if I have to order one. I certainly don't want to go through those physical contortions more than once!

Also, I replaced the original "starting" battery with a combo "starting/deep cycle/trolling" unit. Is this a problem?

Thank you for anything.

Old 08-01-05, 06:20 PM
Erik Gray
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Follow up to 1st message

Hi. Quick update. I looked at a schematic and then the engine.
There is a 50a circuit breaker near the carburator (and starter
slave solenoid) that appears to be tripped (it is poking out).
I cannot reset/push the button in. What is this? It won't move. Is this why
the engine won't turn over or just a symtom/by product of a shorted

Thank you.

Old 08-05-05, 06:33 PM
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Starter maybe

I had a 350 mercruiser that had similar problems and it was the slave solenoid but you may put a socket and breaker bar on the front crank nut pully and make sure the engine is not locked up and will move.If you do have to buy a starter the one you have may be a marine starter which is coast guard required ,but I have heard you can change the guts out and save your housing as it's spark proof. Changing that starter is a beast and you may have to pull the engine to do it ,but even at that it isn't all that bad,the outdrive will have to be pulled,put in forward gear .whole job can be done in 4 hours easily. One has to really keep the water out of the bilge, as those starters are first to get soaked. good luck
Old 08-09-05, 08:34 AM
Erik Gray
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Starter update

Thanks for the reply BernieB.

I was able to get the starter off without removing the engine. Made a tool out of a six-point wrench and piece of pipe for added leverage. Not as bad
as I thought.

Sent the starter to a local re-build house.

I may be wrong, but I am attributing the early failure (3.5yrs old) to the following:

1) have had highwater (fresh water) in the bilge on two different occasions
due to bilge pump issues.


2) My oil pressure switch was stuck open and I had to crank the boat about
40 times to get back to the dock. The fuel pump gets power when cranking via the solenoid switch, once the key is released, the power to the pump is routed through the oil press. switch. Since the sw. was open, the engine only ran until the carb. bowl was emptied.

thanks again.


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